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March 30, 2020

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lj, in possible answer to your earlier question, Dominic Cummings is self-isolating with symptoms.

I expect he's trying to figure out how to use the virus to destroy the NHS.

One of the reasons Japan has taken a slowly slowly approach, according to this chatter, is that Abe doesn't want to crash the Nikkei

How totally Trump-like of him.

I expect he's trying to figure out how to use the virus to destroy the NHS.

The virus may not need any help.

There appears to have been an element of luck involved in South Korea's pandemic response;

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/03/30/asia-pacific/south-korea-emergency-exercise-coronavirus-testing-containment/
SEOUL – A South Korean tabletop exercise on emergency responses to a fictional mysterious outbreak led directly to tools the country deployed less than a month later to manage the arrival and spread of the coronavirus, one of the experts involved said

According to an undisclosed government document, on Dec. 17 two dozen leading South Korean infectious diseases specialists tackled a worrying scenario: a South Korean family contracts pneumonia after a trip to China, where cases of an unidentified disease had arisen.

The hypothetical disease quickly spreads among the colleagues of the family members and medical workers who treated them. In response, the team of experts at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) developed an algorithm to find the pathogen and its origin, as well as testing techniques.

Those measures were mobilized in real life when a first suspected coronavirus patient appeared in South Korea on Jan. 20, the document said.

"Looking back over the past 20 years, humans were most tormented by either influenza or coronaviruses, and we're relatively doing well on influenza but had been worried about the possibility of the outbreak of a novel coronavirus," said Lee Sang-won, one of the KCDC experts who led the drill....

Hopefully, this move will motivate more physicians to start giving these drugs to their patients with COVID-19, possibly in combination with azithromycin, as was used in South Korea.

II have spent a long drinking Corona and told people about being BANNED FOR LIFE along with Thullen by interweb legends hilzoy and Gary Farber.
I see lj has let some of the riff-raff sNeak back in. DaveC
hating on charles bird.

Dr Science appears to me to be a mashup of hikzoy and rilkefan ( secret co-conspirator, not a troll herself)

I do know that Slartibartfast name is David and
liberal japonicus is a secret conservative Christian as well.

i have also bothered Edward_ & charleycarp

quiet shout-out to russell.

Christian like von and Sebastian

banned for life, but we didn't say whose life...

...but did you get Banned from Argo?

tings were so much better BACK IN THE DAY when commenters had handles like cleek or SnarkiSonofLoki

should also mention Tacitus and Ugh, friend of lj

Snarki :)
will send this Obwi link to my son explaining his dad's secret life.

would be pretentious to send link to Wikipedia article about Andy Olmsted.

"DaveC dont mention stuff about your family. Its not just saying fuck that we are banning you for."

"I'm simply trying to exacerbate the situation" MAYORHAROLD (WASHINGTON) - Don Vogel, radio legend

I also need to point out that DaveC attended a lecture by Martin Heidegger, which clearly makes him a Nazi Buddhist or a Buddhist Nazi.

Testing

At least lj does not have dementia, of which my wife Angie suspects.

And, we have lots of pasta!
https://xkcd.com/2287/

rilkefan, Bay Area physicist and poet

BACKINTHEDAY THERE WERE INTERESTING COMMMENTERS

I KEPT A LIST OF WHO WAS WHO

That xkcd cartoon implicitly makes a point that Sir Peter Medawar made explicitly in his 1959 BBC Reith Lectures: human evolution is in many respects Lamarckian, because humans can inherit acquired traits -- though not by genetic means. We don't have to evolve gills; we can teach the next generation how to make scuba gear. We don't need to transmit virus resistance to our kids through DNA; we can teach them how to protect themselves better.

Once humans evolved brains, acquired traits became heritable. Good traits AND bad ones, alas.

--TP

mattbastard CO-CONSPIRATOR

black liberal Canadian TRIFECTA!!!

musicians and programmers have been done, so

Once humans evolved brains, acquired traits became heritable.

We have, within a pretty generous range, programmable nervous systems.

Makes us adaptable, but makes no guarantees about the adaptive strategy chosen.

BACKINTHEDAY THERE WERE INTERESTING COMMMENTERS

I KEPT A LIST OF WHO WAS WHO

If we're not interesting any more, why are you here? Has boredom really gotten that bad at your house?

what wj said.

I really don't know why this blog should be the drain pipe for some people's toxic effluents.

But then, who would ever have thought I'd end up being a law and order party of one?

who would ever have thought I'd end up being a law and order party of one?

Everybody (who is not a total sociopath) likes law and order. All we really differ on is the implementation, and just where the line is for "too much".

When the Recent Comments list gets too full of pointless, trollish entries from a single commenter, so that you can't tell which thread the latest real comments can be found in, THAT is "too much".

--TP

TP: you mean like when I got up this morning....

I wonder how much the measures being put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus will affect infection rates for other communicable diseases. I haven't seen or heard anything about that, but I also haven't sought it out yet, either.

I read somewhere that the number of flu cases has declined. And the number of deaths from all causes has declined.

which will be taken as proof that even teh flu is nothing to worry about.

ga-ron-tee.

"I read somewhere that the number of flu cases has declined. And the number of deaths from all causes has declined."

Saw that too. Didn't someone (not here) say 'hell is other people'?

It's those damned 'other people' that cause many of our problems. The rest are caused by CATS.

It's those damned 'other people' that cause many of our problems. The rest are caused by CATS.

I thought no one saw that movie. Though it's mere existence could be causative. (I'm breaking a rule that I usually have, which is not to diss something unless I've actually seen it. But these times, eh?)

Speaking of these times, this blog is a bit like an 8 hour time machine for me, in that I wake up and find, like a stink bug encased in amber, various exchanges. And in these times, I suppose stronger measures are in order, so if I wake up and find a string of comments by the same person, I'll put a block on you for 24 hours. How many? Not really sure, depends on how my WiiFit exercise feels. Will I go back and catch everyone who is doing this? Don't know, haven't decided.

I heard, and I don't know if this was a joke or true, but some experts don't like the term 'social distancing' because some people are thinking that this means they shouldn't use social media. But here, interaction and back and forth exchange is the norm, and given the times, we will enforce it strictly...

At the moment the death rate is down. But, in about nine months, will the birth rate be up?

Before that, will we see a divorce blip? I've seen speculation about both.

As I sit here tonight thinking of my peers, ok us boomers, our lives now bookended by counting the dead every day. The first decade we were old enough to understand, it was our brothers and friends and classmates being counted in battlefields in a strange land for reasons unclear. 

Fighting a villain we weren't sure existed. 

Now, those who have survived are the primary target of another enemy targeting us, not because we are young and healthy but because we are not. Once again the soul dulling count of the dead while politicians pretend some moral stance to use our deaths as pawns in their cruel attempts to gain some political advantage. 

The poets of our generation are leaving us faster for this, but not before their deaths remind us our dreams are going to survive this. Everything we grew up believing; peace, love, empathy, caring about each other in spite of the horror of this damned count,  will sustain our children and theirs. 

Ours is a hopeful generation, this too shall pass, the count will slowly go to less than the media will cover.  
Our lives have been good but always bittersweet, we have been watching the count of our dead for most of our lives.

Trump is diverting supplies away from states that didn't vote for him.

A GOP fundraiser named Mike Gula abruptly quite his day job to open a new business.... selling masks and ventilators. He says he has millions of them. Where did he get them? Quite possibly from the government. On Trump's orders. How much of a kickback do you think Trump will get?

Our country, our people, are only useful to Trump and the GOP for what they can squeeze ouf of us. They're looting what they can while they can.

I'm feeling more like John D. Thullen sounds. Every f*cking day.

Mike Gula article. Trump was talking about PPE "going out the back door". His mafia associates are organizing this? Every accusation is a confession with him.

This is beyond despicable. And yes, CaseyL, it's hard to fight that feeling.

Gula:

Asked how he’d managed to procure such equipment when there are shortages in hospitals across the country, Gula said, “I have relationships with a lot of people.”

Here's an idea for a new parlor game. It's based on Dante's Inferno, and it's called "Which Circle?". We hear about people like Gula, and we pick which circle of hell they will end up in.

The only problem is, we have to wait until we're all dead to find out who won.

There is, no doubt, a sound legal and constitutional argument for why we can't just seize all of the medical goods Gula has sourced through his "relationships" and distribute them, gratis, to hospitals, cops, and other first responders.

Sucks to be us, sometimes.

The only problem is, we have to wait until we're all dead to find out who won.

Sadly, might not be that long a wait for some of us.

There is, no doubt, a sound legal and constitutional argument for why we can't just seize all of the medical goods Gula has sourced through his "relationships" and distribute them, gratis, to hospitals, cops, and other first responders.

If we figure out how he got them, there most certainly are legal ways to get hold of them. I have no doubt that this is just as shady as it looks.

If we figure out how he got them

"relationships". he knows some people. apparently, the rest of us just don't know the right people.

maybe they fell off the truck.

we're governed by two-bit mafiosi wanna-bes. and somehow, we put up with it.

it's remarkable.

we tried to correct the situation. the GOP decided they were cool with it.

it's all on them.

There is, no doubt, a sound legal and constitutional argument for why we can't just seize all of the medical goods Gula has sourced through his "relationships" and distribute them, gratis, to hospitals, cops, and other first responders.


I wouldn't bet on that. There might be a way to pull off getting that equipment legally. But given the track record of repeated incompetence that Trump and his flunkies have, it seems rather more likely that they have missed several steps that would be required to get around the law here. Think of it as another Trump University -- with the same penalties for all involved. Plus, one hopes jail time for some.

But wj, I'm betting they don't want to seize it by the equivalent of eminent domain, because they (for whatever value of they) or their "friends" are in it up to their necks.

Personally, I don't want to see any more opportunities than there already are for politicians and bureaucrats to get around the law.

masks and the market.

We've been indoctrinated over the last 50 years with the idea that free markets in goods and services is the most efficient way to provide things that are needed, to the people and places that need them.

That's probably not a bad idea, when the conditions for efficient markets exist, and when the inevitable inefficiencies that are created by the distortions and contingencies that are an inherent part of life don't result in intolerable outcomes.

That is not now.

This is a pandemic with the potential for, by some estimates, half of the people in the country to become infected, for a significant percent of those people to require extraordinary care, and low-single-digit percent of those people to die. "low-single-digit percent" of half the people in the US is, let's say, 3 to 5 million people.

It's not likely to get to that point, because leaders at the state and local levels have required people to stay the hell home. But hundreds of thousands of people losing their lives is a realistic possibility. Or, probability.

If that is not a sufficient reason for a vigorous and pro-active public response, at the national level, then I don't know what is.

The feds aren't up to the task. Not because national governments are incapable of being up to tasks like this; not because governments are inherently FUBAR.

The feds aren't up to the task because the federal government has been systematically undermined by two generations of (R) leadership that has absorbed the ideology that 'government is the problem'.

This is what shitty government looks like.

Meanwhile,
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/wisconsin-goes-it-alone-holding-elections-next-week-amid-fears-of-infection-and-voting-chaos/2020/03/31/8bd801ae-735f-11ea-a9bd-9f8b593300d0_story.html
Making it the only state to just go forward with their election.

The (Republican) leaders of the state legislature, which would have to have acted, claim they are concerned about all the city and local governments where terms end right after the election. While over 100 cities, towns, and counties are so short of poll workers that tthey cannot open even a single polling place. Not one!

And then we get to people who are self-isolating, and have requested an absentee ballot. Which, however, requires a witness's signature. The helpful suggestion: have the postman look in thru the picture window while you vote; he can then sign the envelope. Of course, if you live in an apartment....

The feds aren't up to the task because the federal government has been systematically undermined by two generations of (R) leadership that has absorbed the ideology that 'government is the problem'.

Self-fulfilling prophesy at its best (or worst).

Here's some more evidence that the coronavirus patient zero was infected at a research lab in Wuhan, and not at a Wuhan wet market.

"After 2 weeks of painstaking searching, I refute the claim that the Coronavirus started outside of China."
I Found The Source of the Coronavirus (YouTube)

There is, no doubt, a sound legal and constitutional argument for why we can't just seize all of the medical goods Gula has sourced through his "relationships" and distribute them, gratis, to hospitals, cops, and other first responders.

Sucks to be us, sometimes.

Not really. It isn't easy: following the law, universally presuming innocence, etc. But, it is one of the things that makes living here a good thing.

That said, if Gula benefited by illegal advantage, there will be a price to pay.

The claim that we would be a lot better off with more government spending, and more centralized direction--regardless of DT's obvious shortcomings--is non-falsifiable. You can always argue that if we had just had others in charge and given them more money, things would have worked out better and no one can prove otherwise. I'm not seeing where anyone else is doing materially better than we are and many are doing much worse.

Some in the US remain remarkably willing to accept current PRC propaganda and to spend zero time holding the PRC to account for its criminal irresponsibility, yet spend seemingly every waking breadth finger-pointing domestically. Most of this seems to be broadbrush slamming of all conservatives based on the asshattery of some. We are self-quarantining in the heart of Trump country. No one I know is taking this lightly. Everyone is social distancing, practicing careful hygiene, etc.

If you wonder why there are people who vote for DT, consider that the left alternative has a candidate for the presidency who is an unapologetic socialist. That's not so much of a much the farther left you move along the spectrum, but for folks who think the private sector beats a command economy and who are not impressed with the hair-splitters at Slate et al, DT is going to get a lot more votes than if the Dems didn't have their own extremists--who, for many here, are not extreme at all.

If we figure out how he got them, there most certainly are legal ways to get hold of them. I have no doubt that this is just as shady as it looks.

This assumes he got them illegally, as opposed to unethically. I agree that an immediate investigation is warranted. If there are signs of criminality, the Feds can and should offer leniency in exchange for immediate surrender of all supplies and all profits from the sale of supplies rather than go through a trial and appeal.

Beyond that, I don't know how you take something away from someone without due process.

Beyond that, I don't know how you take something away from someone without due process.

Consider: there is currently a "process" by which assets can be seized from someone, even without convicting them of a crime, or even formally charging them**. And without returning those assets, even if they are never charged. So, it shouldn't be an insurmountable obstacle. (Granted, it's a much abused function, and ought to be drastically scaled back if not totally dropped. But for the moment, it does exist.)

** Originally intended to seize the assets of drug dealers, if memory serves.

Headline currently visible on nbcnews.com:

This county of 560,000 has no health department. Republicans said it didn't need one.

Heading and subhead in the article:

Pennsylvania county facing the coronavirus crisis without a health department

The GOP, which ran Delaware County for years, balked at creating an agency that is now vitally needed, experts say.

If only the media told the truth more often.

Pitchforks and torches have been used occasionally, McKinney. They're a lot of fuss and bother, so people don't generally resort to them frivolously. It takes considerable provocation, which may not be a black-letter legal concept, but people do sometimes recognize it when they see it.

Not advocating pitchforks and torches here, just worrying about them out of concern for my conservative lawyer friends.

--TP

Some in the US remain remarkably willing to accept current PRC propaganda

russell is hereby marked safe from accepting PRC propaganda.

I put the odds of Gula being held accountable for "benefit(ing) from illegal advantage" at somewhere between slim and none. It's highly likely he did nothing illegal. More likely he just knows people who could put him on to sources for PPE and he's grabbing the gold ring.

Why not? Right?

Follow that line of thought to its conclusion and you will arrive at my point.

I blame Trump for being a toxic fraudulent incompetent blowhard. Feel free to argue the point if you wish.

Some in the US remain remarkably willing to accept current PRC propaganda and to spend zero time holding the PRC to account for its criminal irresponsibility

Remarkably irrelevant, counselor. Even if germaine, what public policy flows from this observaton? A lawsuit? A declaration of war?

yet spend seemingly every waking breadth finger-pointing domestically.

How dramatic! Every breath you say? There is one inescapable thing that flows directly from this....throw the bum out.

If you wonder why there are people who vote for DT, consider that the left alternative has a candidate for the presidency who is an unapologetic socialist.

consider looking up the definition of "socialist". since proper use of terms is key to effective lecturing.

Some in the US remain remarkably willing to accept current PRC propaganda and to spend zero time holding the PRC to account for its criminal irresponsibility, yet spend seemingly every waking breadth finger-pointing domestically.

Is this a joke? What makes you think anyone is willing to accept (by which I'm assuming you mean something approximating "believe") current PRC propaganda? If, by "accept," you mean something more like not being a bit surprised that they would put out false propaganda, then I guess we agree.

I've been following the numbers on worldometers.info, and I don't even bother looking at China's.

consider looking up the definition of "socialist". since proper use of terms is key to effective lecturing.

That's partly Bernie's fault.

Bernie doesn't seem to know what it means either

What makes you think anyone is willing to accept (by which I'm assuming you mean something approximating "believe") current PRC propaganda? If, by "accept," you mean something more like not being a bit surprised that they would put out false propaganda, then I guess we agree.

While I doubt any significant portion of the population believes the PRC's statements. On the other hand, there does seem to be a segment which finds it convenient to act like they accept the PRC statements. See, for example, the various statements from POTUS about his conversations with Chairman Xi.

We've been indoctrinated over the last 50 years with the idea that free markets in goods and services is the most efficient way to provide things that are needed, to the people and places that need them.

It's important to remember what the word "efficient" means in that sentence. It means the market gets things to those willing to pay the most.

That's all. I doubt that's the best measure with respect to medical supplies in a pandemic.

I like that conservatives are concerned about foreign influence in our politics again, tho.

Some in the US remain remarkably willing to accept current PRC propaganda and to spend zero time holding the PRC to account for its criminal irresponsibility, yet spend seemingly every waking breadth finger-pointing domestically.

Someone let Cuomo know! He should be spending some breath on that!

Also, if it is PRC propaganda you want
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/01/coronavirus-china-hid-extent-of-outbreak-us-intelligence-reportedly-says.html

But that would mean that previous discussions about overhyping this were wrong and we underhyped it?

The claim that we would be a lot better off with more government spending, and more centralized direction--regardless of DT's obvious shortcomings--is non-falsifiable.

On the other hand, the claim that we would be better off with less government spending and no centralized direction has been falsified. For most people with eyes and a little bit of empathy. It is also non falsifiable that things would have been better without DT, but that doesn't seem to get your motor running at all.
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/04/01/trump-breakdown-threaten-sink-presidency-158321

If you wonder why there are people who vote for DT, consider that the left alternative has a candidate for the presidency who is an unapologetic socialist.
Someone tell Cuomo he needs to devote some time on his pressers to where ideas like on the left-right spectrum!

But instead of talking about PRC propoganda and some bullshit left-right spectrum, he spent his time talking about inanities like people dying.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/nyregion/coronavirus-new-york-update.html

I like that conservatives are concerned about foreign influence in our politics again, tho.

Perfection.

(Although in the interests of fairness, I suppose it should be said that McKinney himself has in the past been outspoken in his contempt for Trump's admiration for despots, dictators and thugs).

One of my earlier comments got lost. Probably not a huge loss, since others have made my points for me.

The PRC government doesn't do truth. Our government has suffered a huge truth decline under Trump. Truth matters. That said, the PRC government did all that it knew how to do to mandate virus containment. In addition, the Chinese people took it seriously, and stuck with the program. I'm sure a lot of that is routine adherence to totalitarian mandate, but part of it is a cultural desire to be a part of the social effort. It's not over there: they're suffering recurrence.

I don't want an authoritarian government. I don't want a government whose statements I don't trust to be factual. We are moving toward a fact-free government, but lack the basic national solidarity to fight this disease in a common effort. The worst of both worlds.

McKinney himself has in the past been outspoken in his contempt for Trump's admiration for despots, dictators and thugs).

Yes, but he understands that those are better than having a (god forbid!) socialist!

PRC is going to do what it does. It's just sad that they don't/no longer have an example to show how it could be done differently.

It's just sad that they don't/no longer have an example to show how it could be done differently.

This is very true, and some of us were discussing it here just the other day. When the diehard Trumpistas (and Trump) say "Finally we're respected again!", the rest of the world (the democratic world, at any rate) laughs incredulously. The damage done to the reputation of the USA, and any respect whatsoever for it, and its institutions (particularly ones like SCOTUS) will probably be impossible to repair, and even if possible would take generations. This is a truly tragic thing for anybody who cares about America, and even the number of those is diminishing.

Some evidence that the deaths in Wuhan is maybe 15 to 40 times what is being reported.

"The Chinese regime is hiding a massive death toll from the coronavirus pandemic that escaped from Wuhan, China. But how bad is it? "
China Hiding MASSIVE Death Toll from Coronavirus (YouTube)

This is a truly tragic thing for anybody who cares about America, and even the number of those is diminishing.

Including in America.

China Hiding MASSIVE Death Toll from Coronavirus

I wouldn't be surprised if the death toll in Wuhan is huge. That said, where the hell did this Youtube come from? Not trusting anything, not the Chinese government, and not people who have an axe to grind otherwise.

This is the thing: the disease was first discovered in Wuhan, and is believed to have begun there. Wuhan is a city of 11 million people, 3 million people larger than New York. We can assume that there are a whole lot of people who got that virus before anyone knew what to do. We know that the local government there freaked out, and handled things badly at first. The poor doctor who alerted everyone to the problem was first punished, and then died of the virus. No one supports what happened there, and everyone condemns it.

That was in December. By January, the whole country was on lock-down orders of various kinds. Not a hugely delayed response compared to Trump, who knew about this in January, and minimized it until March.

Sure, CharlesWT, we all know that China lied, and that Wuhan suffered in a major way. And that the wonderful, brave, whistleblowing doctor was persecuted. Nobody supports that. Nobody thinks that China is fine. People do know that China did a good job of containing it. People should also know that China hasn't conquered it: that it's back, that they're again closing bars and restaurants. They're fighting this. What's the point in dwelling on their propaganda?

So, again, not sure what your point is, CharlesWT. If you're talking about deaths exceeding what would have been okay (not sure what that number would have been), look at Alabama. Okay, where's the youtube video about the unnecessary deaths that will happen there? And the undercounting, and lying, and failure to serve vulnerable communities?

Oh, I forgot. You libertarians are going to collect the correct numbers using some corporation's disinterested algorithm!

It just annoys me that the media takes China's official numbers as gospel and keeps pointing out that the number of deaths in the US has surpassed China's. Sometimes as an argument that the US should handle the virus like China has.

It just annoys me that the media takes China's official numbers as gospel and keeps pointing out that the number of deaths in the US has surpassed China's. Sometimes as an argument that the US should handle the virus like China has.

Could you provide an example of the media extolling China?

As to how we should handle it, I think we should be insist on people staying at home, as China did. As I may have mentioned, I know someone who lives there, and it sucks to be stuck in one's living space for a couple of months, even though Internet and food delivery is available (and the person I knew got exercise by running in the middle of the night). Having your temperature taken if you wander out for awhile maybe is not really that bad.

I know that China is lying about its numbers. I don't think it's lying about the fact that it temporarily (even if it's going up again) brought things into a better place.

We have no way of knowing that, but our own stats are very sketchy, even using numbers produced by people working in good faith. (Thank goodness we have state governments that are in some way legit.) I don't trust Trump at all - he has betrayed our trust in so many ways that I just don't pay attention to him or his people, even though I know that there are old-style bureaucrats trying to keep it together.

And you don't have any room to talk about what good government looks like, CharlesWT, since you are all about tearing it up. So sorry, you lose.

The media I see has been reporting that it appears cremations have been going on constantly in China - evidence that China's under-reporting the real numbers. Whatever makes you feel disgruntled is what you'll see, I guess.

Not hearing from CharlesWT about how lack of government helps here. This is an example of how disdain for government's role has a detrimental effect.

Wouldn't mind McKinney commenting either. I know that McKinney doesn't style himself a libertarian, or have any views that one can pin down. He's kind of squishy, and can glom on to whatever seems successful. Convenient.

This, no doubt, because the "official numbers" for both China and the US are being used as direct comparisons.

Because we don't have anything else to go by that isn't fraught with uncertainty and bias.

You don't need to tell me about the media controls in China. As of Monday, I have students in my current classes that are taking their courses remotely from China - in quarantine camps, where they will remain for the first two weeks of their return.

I've exchanged emails with them about VPNs and access to course related information and other constraints that they might be working through. We know what they can and cannot access, even if they are not free to discuss everything with us.

I've been in personal contact with all of this since Christmas Break was over and my kids started showing up to class in masks and scared to death.

I've been in personal contact with all of this since Christmas Break was over and my kids started showing up to class in masks and scared to death.

You're the best, nous. I know that Chinese students from Wuhan have needed to apologize for their existence, and to tell people that, no, they don't eat wild animals. I am heartbroken by the promise of Chinese students whose families have given everything to come to United States universities.

We're all in this together, folks. The whole world. We have imperfect governments dealing with it (and we, the US, have every reason to dismiss our current controlling party). Let's not be pointing fingers.

The claim that we would be a lot better off with more government spending, and more centralized direction--regardless of DT's obvious shortcomings--is non-falsifiable.

On the other hand, the claim that we would be better off with less government spending and no centralized direction has been falsified. For most people with eyes and a little bit of empathy. It is also non falsifiable that things would have been better without DT, but that doesn't seem to get your motor running at all.

FWIW, we are about to embark on a pretty astounding level of government spending. A lot of it will probably be helpful, certainly some of it will not. Some amount of it will have no effect whatsoever on the management of COVID-19.

All kinds of folks are going to see what they can tuck into the great humanitarian outflow of federal money.

Nobody is criticizing Trump for not spending money. People are criticizing Trump for failing to grasp the risk to the American people posed by COVID-19, even when it was pointed out to him. For not only failing to prepare for things like this, even when they were brought to his attention as possibilities that required attention, but for having spent the last 3 years actually undermining existing capabilities.

People criticize Trump for holding grandstanding daily briefings featuring notables like Mr. MyPillow, where we are all exhorted to read our Bibles while people sicken and die.

In brief, people criticize Trump for being a sleeveless fuckwit jackass.

China

Our response to COVID-19 is and was in no way dependent on anything China does or did. We - people in positions of responsibility in US government - have known about the dangers posed by COVID-19 since at least January.

It is now April.

The Chinese will settle their own hash. What China did or did not do, and did or did not say, has bugger-all to do with the discussion of how *we* are handling this.

I doubt that's the best measure with respect to medical supplies in a pandemic.

^^^^^^^ this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

thank you, Bernie.

Let's not be pointing fingers??? That's really all we do here, as sick and useless as that is, this thread is nothing but pointing fingers. In fact that comment is buried in finger pointing.

I could make a case that Cuomo is clearly the most incompetent Governor, perhaps government official, in the world. It took him way too long to lock down NYC blah blah.

But I'm not saying that, I'm saying if we are all in this together I'm sure he did the best he could and continues to (although it can be irritating that he blames all of his failures on someone else. Sound familiar)?

I will also add that if Trump had shut down the whole country on February 20th every Dem in the country would have accused him of using the crisis to take over the country. The Dem governors would have refused and there would be almost no difference in the current outcomes.

sleeveless fuckwit jackass

I am retiring "Clickbait" as of this evening, and stealing this. Maybe "SFJ" for short, as our own little ObWi inside joke.

And russell, in case anyone reads your comment without searching back to see whom you're quoting -- "Bernie" is byomtov, not Sanders. Credit where it's due.

The Chinese will settle their own hash. What China did or did not do, and did or did not say, has bugger-all to do with the discussion of how *we* are handling this.

No, actually, they did do stuff, and some of it was extremely effective. Their reaction didn't kill it there. It helped though, and the virus is back, but what they did is instructive. I know you're all about "local", russell, but sometimes (now) this is a global thing. It's humans versus the virus. [Not sure about other parts of our environment which may be benefitting by our travel deficit.]

if Trump had shut down the whole country on February 20th

Our sleeveless fuckwit jackass probably doesn't have the authority to do this, and nobody expects him to do this.

People expect him to do the things he can do. He did not do them, in fact has spent the last 3 years undermining our capability to do them, and is making a shambles of doing them now.

Let's leave partisan politics out of this. The president, as an individual person independent of his party affiliation, is grossly unsuited to the position he holds. And since it is a position of enormous public responsibility, a lot of people are therefore going to suffer.

Understandably, this provokes a response in many if not most people.

Some people dig the guy, I not only don't understand why, I'm not sure I want to.

I'm saving my kum-ba-ya moments for situations where they are useful. Uniting under the banner of our fearless leader is not one of them. He has no clue.

The federal response, to the degree that Trump is leading it, is not going to be effective. Not for partisan reasons, but for reasons having to do with the character and capabilities of Trump and of the people he surrounds himself with. They suck.

Support your state and local leadership in dealing with this.

I'm sure he did the best he could and continues to

I agree.

Here's what I blame Trump for. Even with every expert in the room telling him that this is serious business and that social distancing is crucial for managing the impact on hospitals, he hasn't the character or the ability to take in the vital information and make an informed decision that puts the whole of the country ahead of his own self-interest.

He has not once spoken in public about COVID-19 without lying, deflecting, and endangering the public with his falsehoods. He's the student who didn't do the reading who is standing in front of the class and bullshitting his way through the presentation. Except not reading this book is going to kill a lot of people that did not need to die.

See also Puerto Rico.

And yet Fox and the congressional GOP continue to prop this dangerous incompetent up, calculating that doing otherwise might end their political careers, bodies be damned.

So, yeah, finger pointing.

Guess which one.

And another finger for the fascists in ICE who are raiding away through this all and hauling more people into the horrible danger of incarceration during a time of pandemic.

Our bigoted, carceral state is going to have quite the body count itself by the time this is done.

No, actually, they did do stuff, and some of it was extremely effective.

I agree.

That's not my point. My point is that arguing about what the Chinese did or did not do has bugger-all to do with what we did or did not do.

Whether there is merit to criticisms of the Chinese or not, "Yeah, but the Chinese!" is weak beer. Time to stop drinking weak beer.

I know you're all about "local", russell

Actually I'm not. I'd love to see a vigorous and effective national response. Sorry if I haven't made that clear.

It's been three months and a vigorous and effective national response seems to be.... lacking. So if I say reach out to state and local actors, it's because I don't think the feds are going to be a reliable source of aid.

Congress, maybe, at least in terms of funding. As far as executive effectiveness, it's not there. It's above the pay grade, and outside the skill set, of the folks driving the bus.

People think that because somebody is rich and on the TV and shits in a gold toilet, that person must actually be good at something other than accumulating money and showing up on TV and shitting in a gold toilet.

Joke's on them.

"Support your state and local leadership in dealing with this"

Which is basically how our emergency response is organized in the US. The federal support for that has been slow, but improving, some states have responded better than others. Florida sucks. My family there worries me.

No single person, even jackass, is the reason this is happening.

I'd love to see a vigorous and effective national response.

More than that.

I'd love to see this country, the richest fucking country on the face of the earth and possibly in history, inheritor of some of the best political traditions on earth and possibly in history, actually provide some leadership to the world in addressing this pandemic.

That won't happen. We have stepped away from that kind of role.

America First.

So, I'd settle for a vigorous national response if that was on offer. It's not.

So, I'll make do with reaching out to state and local actors to make sure my community isn't fucking gutted by this.

We have given the executive responsibility for the nation to a sleeveless fuckwit jackass. Not only that, we knew we were doing it, and the fact that he was a sleeveless fuckwit jackass was no small part of his appeal.

We've spent the last 50 years absorbing the doctrine that government sucks. So, now we have a government that sucks.

Sow and reap.

Support your state and local folks and do what you can to help out your neighbors. Wash your hands and stay the hell home.

No single person, even jackass, is the reason this is happening.

I agree. It's a virus. It's a little ball of RNA wrapped in a lipid layer with spikes that know how to bond to human cells.

It's nature.

'Even jackass' is largely responsible for the balky and incompetent federal response. That, and no more than that, is what I hold him to account for.

And that's actually no small thing.

We'll work around him.

Or maybe russell, federal government as the solution for everything has made it incompetent at the things it really should be good at. Like this.

If you think there has been any diminishment of governments control and intervention in our lives over the last 50 years you live in a different country than I do. The feds now touch literally every part of our lives from conception to the grave, we spend 4 trillion dollars a year so they can do that. But when we really need them they are too busy fighting over 3 billion dollar budget items and sneaking in money for public television to focus on the few things they should be doing. Like a coronavirus plan and a road without holes in it.

sneaking in money for public television

It would be nice to have a public television channel that could put out reliable information that people could turn to rather than depend on an outfit like Fox. Just saying.

Dave C and I are standing by, fully jacked up for new asshole tearing.

Back to stalking.

federal government as the solution for everything has made it incompetent at the things it really should be good at. Like this.

Yeah, that must be it.

Trump is in over his head, and to top it off he's being a dick about it, on a daily basis. Because that's kind of who he is. He's an entitled cowardly blowhard who blames everybody else for everything.

So let's just ignore him, work around him, and do our best to deal with this. I'm more than happy to talk about something else.

Over and out. Good night all.

https://federalnewsnetwork.com/legislation/2020/03/what-the-2t-coronavirus-stimulus-means-for-federal-employees-retirees-and-contractors/

Takeaway: The Deep State gets some Deep Cleaning

"The General Services Administration’s Federal Buildings Fund, for example, will receive an additional $275 million for “deep cleaning” efforts at federal facilities, as well as additional screening and unanticipated space requirements."

That's gotta hurt, Marty.

Too bad we can't reduce the federal "headcount" on behalf of murderous Irish conservatives like Mulvaney and his mother by letting the civil service pick up the Trump virus at work.

Bye.

federal government as the solution for everything has made it incompetent at the things it really should be good at. Like this

Yeah, it's just DEPLORABLE how the federal government, just spontaneously, totally independent of Trump and his MAGAtarian minions, disbanded that National Security Council Pandemic Task Force.

Trump did say he "wasn't responsible" for that, and we all know how totally honest Trump is about absolutely everything always.

Not pointing fingers. Flame throwers, we'll see.

"No pointing fingers" is another way to say "Let's look forward, not back."

Like after 9-11; like after Iraq was so obviously a major clusterf*ck; like after Bush let New Orleans drown; like after the crash in 2008; like after Trump let Puerto Rico rot; like after Trump "lost" a few thousand children who had been torn from their parents... and now, after the much-worse-than-it-should-have-been pandemic. Always look forward, not back; never point fingers.

The GOP does this every goddamn time to make sure that their corruption, incompetence, and cruelty get swept under the rug.

But that's only for the GOP. Only the GOP gets to whitewash itself and gaslight us over and over again.

Different rules for Democrats. For Democrats, the GOP will invent scandals and then investigate those non-existent scandals over and over and over again. Remember Benghazi?

I hope there are tribunals for the inaction, the sabotage, the incompetence, the favoritism, and the profiteering that are what the GOP and Trump have offered the country during this pandemic. I hope there are prison terms and executions.

Don't want to be too hard here on Marty, was hoping to get the skinny on the simulus bill. I can make a new post if we want to talk about it separately.

And something to consider for those who want to get on the China is fooling us

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/hidden-mortality-in-spain

Of course, when Spaniards or Italians do it, they were just overwhelmed, when Chinese do it, it's with malice aforetought. Serves em right for not believing in the germ theory...

Hey, dagos are conniving, dastardly weasels, don't ye know? ;-)
Weren't they the gold standard* on that before anyone in Europe even had the idea to put any moniker on those yeller bar studs?**
Keep the prejudices well sorted and filed ready for use when the opportunity arises.

*they had all the gold until the limeys nicked it, hadn't they?
**OK, the go-to were the guys with the yellow hats but there were tons of them in Spain before 1492, so cross-pollination was natural.

[Sorry, no proper (English) slants or slander against Italians coming to mind not mafia related]

Addendum to previous post: When the Black Death stalked Europe it was a common (and iirc deliberately spread by authorities) belief that it came from Moorish Spain and got spread by Jews in cahoots with the Muslims via well-poisoning. In the current times of corona extremists try to resuscitate it in a modern form (i.e. Jews in cahoots with some other enemy du jour are responsible for the pandemic as part of some nefarious plan).

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