The Evening Blues - 3-18-20



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Elmon "Driftin' Slim" Mickle

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player Elmon "Driftin' Slim" Mickle. Enjoy!

Elmon Mickle - Jackson Blues

"Obvious cognitive decline is a stutter.

Massive exit poll discrepancies are normal.

An ex-president installing his right-hand man as his successor is democracy.

Facts are Kremlin talking points.

Journalism is a crime.

War is peace.

Freedom is slavery.

Ignorance is strength."

-- Caitlin Johnstone


News and Opinion

Leaving your house? Don't take your cellphone.

Federal government in talks with tech groups to use phone location data to track coronavirus

The federal government is in talks with Facebook, Google and other tech companies about ways to use smartphone location data to tackle the coronavirus, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Washington is reportedly interested in using the data to better understand how the virus spreads and to see whether people are practicing social distancing.

A new task force made up of tech and other industry executives presented ideas for the use of the location data at a White House meeting Sunday, the Post reported. Presenters included officials from Harvard University and representatives from top tech groups and Silicon Valley firms.

Erdogan in talks with European leaders over refugee cash for Turkey

Turkey has pressed European leaders to make fresh cash pledges to prevent tens of thousands of refugees from leaving the country and trying to reach Europe amid a Russian-Syrian offensive in north-west Syria. After intense bombardment in Idlib province last month, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, encouraged thousands of refugees in the country to move on towards the Greek islands and the Baltics, in a repeat of the surge to Europe in 2015.

That push ended when the EU gave Turkey €6bn to house the refugees in Turkey. Nearly €4.7bn has been contractually awarded, but only about €3.2bn paid out.

In a phone call on Tuesday between the French president, Emmanuel Macron, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Erdogan, the leaders discussed the possibility of a new refugee deal, ways to combat the continued Russian threat in Idlib, and the fear that coronavirus could sweep through the refugee camps bordering Syria in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. ...

Erdogan has been accused of blackmail by some Europeans for bussing refugees towards the EU’s borders. TV footage showed Greek security guards using water cannons and teargas against migrants who tried to force their way across the border. ...

The advocates of the 2016 EU scheme say there is no alternative but to prepare a second €6bn scheme, and start to take some of the refugees off Greek islands and on to the mainland prior to their dispersal in Europe.

The Coronavirus Is Killing Iranians. So Are Trump’s Brutal Sanctions.

The U.S. government is run by sociopaths. How else to explain the Trump administration’s callous disregard for the lives of ordinary Iranians in the midst of this global coronavirus crisis? How else to make sense of U.S. officials doubling down in their support for crippling economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, despite the sheer scale of the suffering?

The spread of Covid-19 has been nothing less than a catastrophe for the people of Iran. On Monday, Iranian officials reported another 129 fatalities, “the largest one-day rise in deaths since it began battling the Middle East’s worst outbreak.” Dozens of Iranian government officials, parliamentarians, and religious leaders have lost their lives to the disease. The death toll now stands at 988, and the total number of cases has crossed 16,000 — roughly, nine out of every 10 cases in the Middle East! Globally, only China and South Korea have had more confirmed cases and yet, as the AP notes, the real number in Iran “may be even higher.” ...

U.S. sanctions on Iran, which have had a devastating impact on the economy, have made things much worse. The government has been forced to request an emergency $5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has written to several world leaders to tell them how his country’s fight against the coronavirus has been “severely hampered by US sanctions.” His foreign minister Javad Zarif accused the U.S. government of “medical terrorism.”

The Trump administration — in the form of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin — continues to insist that sanctions do not prevent humanitarian aid. This is, technically, correct. Yet as Human Rights Watch pointed out in October 2019, months before the novel coronavirus outbreak in Iran, “while the US government has built exemptions for humanitarian imports into its sanctions regime … in practice these exemptions have failed to offset the strong reluctance of US and European companies and banks to risk incurring sanctions and legal action by exporting or financing exempted humanitarian goods.” The result, concluded the human rights group, “has been to deny Iranians access to essential medicines and to impair their right to health.”

In fact, as the Atlantic Council noted in May 2019, “despite the fact that sanctions exempted humanitarian goods, the US Treasury Department had previously prosecuted medical companies for selling small amounts of medical supplies to Iran, which in turn, has had a deterring effect on other companies doing business with Tehran.” ... On Monday, the Chinese and Russian governments demanded the U.S. suspend sanctions on Iran as a result of the pandemic. ... Yet, again, the Trump administration has refused to budge. Imagine being both so cruel and so out of step with the international community that the Chinese and Russian governments have the moral high ground over you.

Iran warns virus could kill ‘millions’ in Islamic Republic

ran issued its most dire warning yet Tuesday about the new coronavirus ravaging the country, suggesting “millions” could die in the Islamic Republic if people keep traveling and ignore health guidance.

A state TV journalist who also is a medical doctor gave the warning only hours after hard-line Shiite faithful on Monday night pushed their way into the courtyards of two major shrines that were finally closed due to the virus. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a religious ruling prohibiting “unnecessary” travel. ...

In announcing the new warning, the Iranian state TV journalist, Dr. Afruz Eslami, cited a study by Tehran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology, which offered three scenarios: If people cooperate fully now, Iran will see 120,000 infections and 12,000 deaths before the outbreak is over; if they offer medium cooperation, there will be 300,000 cases and 110,000 deaths.

But if people fail to follow any guidance, it could collapse Iran’s already-strained medical system, Eslami said. If the “medical facilities are not sufficient, there will be 4 million cases, and 3.5 million people will die,” she said.

Italy and UK rely on help from Cuba, China, Venezuela to fight coronavirus

The Italian government lamented that “not a single EU country” has responded to its request for medical equipment — unlike China, which immediately helped. And it is not just Italy; Britain has also relied on Cuba to help it battle the contagious virus.

The northern Italian region of Lombardy has been particularly hard hit by coronavirus, with tens of thousands of cases and more than 1,000 deaths. The pandemic has devastated the region, which is the richest and most populous area in the country. ... In response to the crisis, Lombardy’s government requested that China, Cuba, and Venezuela send doctors and other medical personnel to help to contain the outbreak.

“We are in touch with Cuba, Venezuela, and China, who have made doctors available,” said Lombardy’s health minister, Giulio Gallera, in a press conference. ... The local government in the major Italian city Milan has also relied on shipments of medical equipment from China. A team of Chinese doctors arrived in Italy on March 12.

The European Union, on the other hand, has left Italy out to dry. Italy’s ambassador to the EU, Maurizio Massari, published an op-ed noting that his country requested support through the body’s Mechanism of Civil Protection, seeking medical equipment to contain the coronavirus outbreak. “But, unfortunately, not a single EU country responded to the Commission’s call. Only China responded bilaterally,” Massari wrote.

In fact the European Union has done the opposite of help. The European Commission, which leads the EU, called on member states to cut medical spending and privatize health services at least 63 times between 2011 to 2018. The EU’s obsession with cutting and privatizing state institutions has greatly weakened the continent’s health infrastructure, making it much more susceptible to deadly pandemics like coronavirus. ...

Even the United Kingdom, one of the richest countries on the planet, has relied on Cuban help to contain the coronavirus. The British government asked numerous countries in the Caribbean to let the cruise ship MS Braemar dock in their port, after there were several reports of coronavirus among its more than 1,000 passengers. CNN noted that “British officials launched an intense diplomatic effort to find a country willing to take the” infected ship, but were rejected by Barbados and the Bahamas. On March 16, Cuba agreed to assist Britain, offering to dock the MS Braemar in a Cuban port and help fly the passengers back to the UK.

Amid coronavirus pandemic, Bolsonaro’s Brazil begs for Cuban doctors – after expelling them

Brazil, currently under the control of a far-right administration that has joined the US in demonizing Cuba’s socialist government, has fallen back on the small nation for much-needed medical support — requesting help from the very same Cuban doctors it expelled months ago. ...

Before Bolsonaro was elected president in 2018, 10,000 doctors Cuban doctors were inside Brazil, working in some of the poorest, most remote regions of the country. Their assistance arrived thanks to an agreement between Havana and the country’s left-wing Workers’ Party government, which sought Cuban help to treat those that the Brazilian health system had long failed to reach. Throughout his presidential campaign, Bolsonaro slammed the Cuban doctors in his country as a nefarious fifth column, denigrated them as “terrorists,” and pledged to expel them.

When he took power following a US-backed soft coup against the Workers’ Party government, Bolsonaro made good on his promise. He kicked out many of the Cuban doctors, leaving impoverished rural regions without medical personnel. By February 2020, however, the Brazilian government began to reverse course. The Bolsonaro administration had been unable to find doctors who would serve in these remote areas, so it agreed to allow the 1,800 Cuban doctors who remained in the country to return to the communities they had previously served.

And now, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Brasilia’s right-wing occupant has done a complete about-face. In a press conference on March 15, Brazilian Secretary of Health João Gabbardo beseeched Cuba to send back the doctors who were expelled to prevent the country’s health system from collapsing as it battled a spreading pandemic. ...

The Bolsonaro administration’s reversal was particularly embarrassing considering that, just last year, the president claimed the Cuban doctors were not real medical experts, but ideological brain-washers training poor Brazilians to become communist guerrillas.

‘We Are at War’: France Just Went Into Coronavirus Lockdown

France’s 65 million people were put under lockdown Tuesday, with 100,000 police officers deployed to enforce harsh new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

From midday Tuesday (7 a.m. ET), French residents are forbidden from leaving their homes except for essential trips, such as to buy food or medicine, or for necessary travel for work. The measures will last for at least 15 days, and will be enforced with fines of up to 135 euros ($151). ...

France had already shuttered all bars, restaurants, and shops deemed “non-essential,” along with all nurseries, schools and universities. But Macron said those measures had proved insufficient, as the number of infected people continued to surge: France has recorded 148 deaths from COVID-19, the third-highest in Europe, with 6,655 confirmed infections.

"Even while medics were warning about the gravity of the situation, we saw people get together in the parks, busy markets and restaurants and bars that did not respect the order to close,” he said.

“There can be no more outside meetings, no more seeing family or friends on the street or in the park.”

'Cannot Go On Like This': Ordered to Work Despite Coronavirus Outbreak, Spanish Autoworkers Shut Down Mercedes Factory

Employees shut down a large Mercedes factory in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain on Monday to protest being required to work despite the coronavirus outbreak which forced the Spanish government to impose a nationwide lockdown over the weekend.

After talks with management over factory conditions and precautions against the spread of COVID-19 broke down, employees stopped working and staged a sit-in at the end of the assembly line, refusing to allow the production process to continue.

The factory's works council, which represents employees, alleged that Mercedes management failed to comply with on-the-job safety requirements such as ensuring that workers have masks, adequate gloves, and other supplies.

The employees demanded that "the health of workers be prioritized over production in the face of the coronavirus health crisis," according to local Spanish outlet Naiz. ...

Major automakers like Ford, General Motors, and others have instructed non-factory employees in the United States and across Europe to work from home amid the coronavirus outbreak, but factory workers have been required to work.

Jalopnik reported Monday that the Mercedes factory in Vitoria-Gasteiz "had at least one case of coronavirus and 23 workers in quarantine."

'Despicable': Insurance Industry Front Group Ramps Up Propaganda Against Medicare for All Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the United States, laying bare the myriad dysfunctions and inefficiencies of America's for-profit healthcare system, a powerful insurance industry front group is openly ramping up its campaign against systemic healthcare reforms that experts say would help mitigate the outbreak and guarantee essential care for all.

Forbes Tate Partners, the lobbying firm behind the anti-Medicare for All group Partnership for America's Health Care Future (PAHCF), tweeted late Monday that while its employees have been working from home since last Friday, "our work on behalf of our strategic partners and clients continues full steam ahead."

To that end, PAHCF last week launched a Facebook ad blitz against Connecticut's state public option plan and began laying the groundwork for propaganda efforts in other major states, including New York and California. PAHCF was formed in 2018 by major healthcare industry interests with the goal of squashing growing public support for single-payer. ...

Ahead of the Democratic presidential primary debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden Sunday night—held without an in-person audience due to the coronavirus outbreak—PAHCF published a lengthy memo condemning single-payer and other more incremental proposals like the public option as "one-size-fits-all" plans that would hike taxes on the middle class.

The memo, authored by former Obama administration official Lauren Crawford Shaver, does not mention recent studies showing single-payer would slash U.S. healthcare spending by hundreds of billions of dollars and save tens of thousands of lives each year.

The PAHCF memo also does not once mention the coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, which has infected at least 4,400 people in the United States and killed 86. As Common Dreams reported last week, the insurance industry has pushed back against calls to waive all costs related to coronavirus treatment.

"In the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, the corporate front group for the hospital, pharma, and insurance industries continues to churn out anti-Medicare for All propaganda," tweeted pro-Sanders group People for Bernie. "Despicable."

“It’s Inadequate”: Rep. Ro Khanna Says White House Stimulus Plan Helps Big Business, Not Workers

Saagar Enjeti: Pelosi, Biden, Kamala BETRAY workers while GOP fills in the gaps

Nancy Pelosi once again proves that she is a sneaky-assed shitweasel and that Democrats are the working peoples' oppressor.

With Many Lawmakers Out of Town, Democratic House Quietly Weakens Paid Leave Provisions in Coronavirus Relief Bill

The Democrat-led House of Representatives on Monday quietly weakened paid leave provisions in a coronavirus relief bill that was already facing criticism from progressives for excluding 80 percent of the U.S. private-sector workforce.

The changes to the legislative package—formally known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—passed the House with unanimous consent Monday evening under the guise of "technical corrections." The bill now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate, where its prospects for passage are unclear.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday morning that "Democratic aides were alarmed by the changes, which were passed with no objections because House lawmakers are away from Washington [on recess]. The changes weren't shown to most lawmakers before the vote."

The new version of the bill, according to the Journal, "would still provide two weeks of sick leave to a wide swath of workers affected by the pandemic, including those who are in quarantine, caring for family members with COVID-19, and those who have children whose schools or day-care centers have closed."

"But for the next 10 weeks," the Journal noted, "paid leave would be limited only to workers caring for a child whose school or day care had been shut. Healthcare providers and emergency responders, as well as workers who had been in quarantine or caring for a family member affected by the virus, wouldn't be eligible for the additional 10 weeks of leave."

The changes were negotiated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The original version that passed the House early Saturday before lawmakers left Washington for recess sparked swift backlash from the business community, which chafed at the paid leave requirements.

Earlier Monday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) delayed passage of the changes but eventually withdrew his objections, concluding that "what are being called technical corrections make the bill better than it was when it got passed in the wee hours Saturday morning."

Progressives, along with a handful of Republican members of Congress, characterized the original legislation as woefully inadequate to provide meaningful relief for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

"Democrats are scaling back the paid sick leave bill that already left out 80% of workers," tweeted Max Berger, co-founder of progressive Jewish advocacy group IfNotNow. "Instead of proposing solutions as big as the crisis, it looks like they're still playing small ball."


Romney Joins Tulsi Calling For Emergency UBI

Trump Proposes Direct Payments to Americans as Part of Coronavirus Plan

As large parts of the economy shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will propose direct payments to Americans, delay tax penalties, and keep the stock market open, among several measures aimed at protecting the health and livelihood of Americans.

President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin promised direct payments to Americans, many of whom work in industries like travel and dining, which have all but shut down as citizens self-quarantine to slow the spread of the infectious virus. They also said it will include sweeping measures to bail out industries.

“These will be payments to small businesses. We've talked about loan guarantees to critical industries such as airlines and hotels, and we've also talked about a stimulus package to the American worker,” Mnuchin said at a White House press conference. “We're looking at sending checks to Americans immediately. Americans need cash now, the president wants to get cash now, I mean now, in the next few weeks.” ...

Swift Congressional action is anything but assured, however, as it would need the support of 60 senators, and individual lawmakers have various ideas about how the stimulus should be crafted.

Krystal Ball: Bailouts show "how will you pay for it" is a con


Facing Mass Layoffs, Restaurant Workers Living “Tip to Mouth” Demand Living Wage & Paid Sick Leave

US service workers see livelihoods vanish amid coronavirus

Service industry workers across the country who rely on tips, service fees and foot traffic to pay their bills are confronting a bleak reality. Their livelihoods are either in serious jeopardy or have completely vanished, at least for the time being.

As Americans practice social distancing to combat the spread of a global pandemic from the coronavirus, establishments that rely on a steady stream of clients are being forced to cut hours or close entirely either because of government regulations or lack of business.

Those decisions are dealing a catastrophic blow to service workers, who can’t just work from home like others, and who can’t immediately find a new job in their industry when no one is hiring.

“That’s our business, to serve people. And these are our customers, and our customers are not able to come to us. We can’t go to them. So fiscally, it’s not gonna work,” said Simone Barron, a restaurant server in Seattle and the co-founder of Full Service Workers Alliance and Restaurant Workers of America.

$2.2 Trillion Pumped Into Banks Explained w/Dylan Ratigan

Labor Leader Sara Nelson Demands Stimulus Package That Bails Out Airline Industry Workers—Not Shareholders and CEOs

As the Trump administration signaled that it would take measures to support the airline industry as the coronavirus pandemic led to international flight restrictions and a slowdown in bookings, the union representing flight attendants called on Congress to ensure airline workers—not executives and shareholder profits—are at the center of the effort to shore up the industry.

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, released a video on social media early Tuesday morning calling on lawmakers to prioritize the interests of working people in the industry as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin prepared to meet with Senate Republicans to discuss an $850 billion economic stimulus package, which is set to include $50 billion for the airlines.

The industry stimulus was included following a request for $58 billion in aid from the trade group Airlines for America, but Nelson implored Congress to include direct support for flight attendants, pilots, and other workers in their plan to help keep airline companies afloat during the pandemic.

"We have told Congress that any stimulus funds for the aviation industry must come with strict rules that includes requiring employers across aviation to maintain pay and benefits for every worker," Nelson said in the video. "No taxpayer money for CEO bonuses, stock buybacks, or dividends; no breaking contracts through bankruptcy; and no federal funds for airlines that are fighting their workers' efforts to join a union."


Nelson also shared her union's proposal for a bailout for workers rather than corporations in a Twitter thread. Mass layoffs for airline workers, she said, who need to go through a months-long security clearance process before being hired, would delay recoveries for many industries once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

The proposal submitted to the administration by Airlines for America mentions the country's 750,000 airline workers only in passing.


The U.S. Has a Classified Stockpile of Ventilators and Masks, But It Won’t Save Us From Coronavirus

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the country, leading to fears of overrun hospitals and shortages of key items in ERs, many have begun to look for help from something they didn't previously know existed: the Strategic National Stockpile. The stockpile was established in 1999 as a key piece of America's disaster-response infrastructure. It's a series of warehouses in undisclosed locations across the country, containing huge stores of medicines, vaccines, and equipment in preparation for a national disaster, like a hurricane or an epidemic.

In 2016, VICE News Tonight was the first television news crew allowed inside one of these facilities, although we couldn't reveal where it was or what exactly it had inside. It looked like a prepper’s Ikea, with row after row of containers filled with mystery medications and equipment — including that one item everyone’s been talking about lately, ventilators. ... But if you’re looking for the SNS to save us from our current coronavirus crisis, former director Greg Burel has a message: Don’t hold your breath. Burel, who ran the stockpile program for more than a decade until his retirement in January, says the stockpile was never really meant to play that role.

"The role of the SNS right now is to try to help bridge the gaps that currently exist between what the supply chain should be doing and what it's not able to do," Burel told VICE News. "We receive limited appropriations from Congress, and we've tried to make it clear to public health officials, locally and at the state level, that we can't buy everything, we can't afford everything, and the SNS is really not going to be the right place to be the answer to everything we need." ...

"We cannot solve the problem we have now with the stockpile," said Tara O'Toole, a former Homeland Security official under Obama and now executive vp at the intelligence firm In-Q-Tel, who led a National Academy of Sciences review of the stockpile in 2016. "The real problem is the medical supply itself, of which the stockpile is one small piece of the chain." That chain has become increasingly efficient, O'Toole and others say, to the point where manufacturers produce barely enough of any given product to meet demand, and suppliers purchase only what they know they will need to sell, meaning there simply aren't backlogs of supply to tap into in an emergency.

"It was very clear to the committee that a lot of people were under the misapprehension that the feds were going to come in and rescue them," O'Toole said. "But what the executives we met with told us is, if you have an emergency or crisis in one region, we could redirect all our supplies to address needs of that one place. But if you have a problem that covers the entire world, like we have now with the coronavirus, we won't be able to get you what you need."



the horse race



Delay or Hold Primaries: Can the 2020 Election Be Safeguarded Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Closures and confusion as US voters go to the polls amid coronavirus concerns

Voters faced confusion, a shortage of poll workers, and shifting or closed polling stations on Tuesday in Florida, Illinois and Arizona – the three key states that still held their primaries despite concerns over coronavirus and pressures to delay the elections.

The votes came at a crucial point in the Democratic primary contests as Bernie Sanders vies to stay in the race against Joe Biden. But there was low in-person turnout in Florida and Illinois, though the overall count is not clear since both states saw significant numbers of voters cast votes by mail or vote early.

Chicago election officials reported mid-Tuesday afternoon that 126,499 votes had been cast in the city, less than half the number cast at the same point during the 2016 primary, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.


There also were some glitches. Rebecca Gross, a 16-year-old student and election judge, said she showed up to set up her precinct on the city’s north side at 5am, but still hadn’t received the materials by late afternoon. ...

In Florida, a state where around 20% of the population is over age 65, election officials have scrambled in recent days to move polling locations out of senior facilities and shore up poll workers. In Palm Beach County, polls opened late or not at all after hundreds of poll workers dropped out. Wendy Sartory Link, the Palm Beach County supervisor of elections, tweeted that some polling places were being moved the day of the election. ...


In Arizona, Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county, closed 80 polling places in recent days locations amid concerns over poll worker shortages and a lack of sanitary supplies. The remaining 150 polling locations, however, were vote centers where anyone could cast a ballot. More than three quarters of active registered Democrats are also on a state list that allows them to automatically receive a mail-in ballot ahead of an election, said Murphy Hebert, a spokesperson for Arizona secretary of state Katie Hobbs.

Adolph Reed Jr.: How Establishment Dems cooked Bernie from the beginning

Bernie Sanders Proposal for $2 Trillion Coronavirus Emergency Plan Includes $2,000 Direct Monthly Payments to Every American

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders put forth a far-reaching plan Tuesday night that calls for at least $2 trillion in emergency funding—including for free healthcare and direct cash payments of $2,000 per month to every American—as a way to "mobilize on a scale not seen since the New Deal and World War II to prevent deaths, job losses, and economic ruin" caused by the deadly and growing threat of the coronavirus outbreak now sweeping the United States and much of the world.

"In terms of potential deaths and the impact on our economy, the crisis we face from coronavirus is on the scale of a major war, and we must act accordingly," Sanders said in Tuesday night address. "We must begin thinking on a scale comparable to the threat, and make sure that we are protecting working people, low-income people, and the most vulnerable communities, not just giant corporations and Wall Street."

The new plan—which Sanders set out in a live-streamed address just before polls closed in the primary voting states of Illinois, Florida, and Arizona—gives new policy details to his repeated call that the response to the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, be adequately robust and specifically targeted to help those who need it most and done in a way that centers both the short-term and long-term health of the nation's people and its economy.

While former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the winner in each of Tuesday's primary contests—adding to his already substantial delegate lead—the release of the new plan by Sanders made it clear that the Vermont senator still believes he has a role to play and a vision to share with the nation even as his prospects for winning the Democratic nomination continue to diminish.

"In this moment of crisis, it is imperative that we stand together," Sanders said. Referencing people in the U.S. already out of work, those sick or fearful that they or someone they love could become sick, and everyone worried about their ability to get tested or treatment if they need—Sanders emphasized how it is now essential that the needs of working people and the most vulnerable in society are put before corporate interests or those seeking to profit in the midst of the society-wide shock.

The plan would guarantee that all healthcare needs related to the coronavirus would be free and available to all, including testing, any treatments, and ultimately—when available—the vaccine. The plan also calls for a dramatic investment in the public health system—including an urgent overhaul in terms of testing for the virus—and increased preparedness and support for frontline medical workers, hospitals, clinics, and community health centers. It would also mobilize the National Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and military resources to build healthcare capacity nationwide.

On the economic front, Sanders' plan would issue direct cash payments, in the form of $2,000 check to every American each month for the duration of the crisis. The plan would also establish what the Sanders campaign calls the "Emergency Economic Crisis Finance Agency," which would be charged with handling the financial downturn unleashed by what is now a global pandemic.

Trump & Biden Give Disinformation About Coronavirus

Biden to Sanders' supporters: 'I hear you'

Joe Biden celebrated his primary victories in Florida and Illinois, saying his campaign had had a “very good night” and moved closer to securing the nomination.

The former vice president then made a pitch for unity, directly addressing the supporters of Bernie Sanders and asserting it was time to “put politics aside.”

Biden said he and Sanders shared a “common vision” to provide Americans with affordable health care and reduce income inequality in the country.

Biden commended the “remarkable passion and tenacity” of Sanders’ supporters, asserting they had “shifted the fundamental conversation in this country.”

“I hear you,” Biden told his opponent’s supporters. “I know what’s at stake. I know what we have to do.”



the evening greens


Adviser behind controversial EPA policies returns as agency chief of staff

A former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official who worked on some controversial administration actions is returning to the agency Monday. Mandy Gunasekara, who previously led the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, tweeted a picture of herself being sworn in as Administrator Andrew Wheeler's chief of staff. ...

In her previous role at the agency, Gunesakara helped write regulations to ease pollution controls for coal-fired power plants and vehicle emissions. She was also involved in the Trump administration's effort to leave the Paris climate accord.

The Affordable Clean Energy rule, a replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, aims to give states more time and authority in the implementation of new technology to ease net emissions from coal-fired plants.

House Democrats warn against oil industry bailout

A growing number of Democrats are voicing concern that the White House may pursue broad relief for the oil and gas industry amid sinking prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

Twenty House Democrats sent a letter to President Trump on Tuesday cautioning against dolling out further funds to the fossil fuel industry after the White House announced late last week that the government would purchase oil to shore up the industry.

“Diverting public funds to bail out this industry will do nothing to stop the spread of this deadly virus or provide relief to those in need,” lawmakers wrote in a letter spearheaded by Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.).

“A bailout tells the American public that fossil fuel investors can rely on U.S. taxpayers to cover their bills when the industry’s corporate executives’ risky investments don’t pan out.”

On Friday, Trump announced that the U.S. would buy as much as 77 billion barrels of oil to help the industry as prices slump amid an ongoing trade dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia as well as the coronavirus.

US national parks cause public health concern as visitors flood in

Even as Broadway shows were shuttered and Disneyland was closed due to the Covid-19, most US national parks were open for business on Tuesday, confounding public health officials and worrying park staff who did not want to be exposed to the virus.

National parks have become a haven over the past week as the public seeks places to go during spring break. One park employee reported on Facebook that a visitor center at Big Bend national park was full on Monday with hundreds of people. Another shared a photo of shoulder to shoulder crowds at Zion national park waiting to board shuttle buses. (The park closed its shuttle bus system later in the day.)

The only units in the system that have closed in response to Covid-19 are Golden Gate national recreation area, the National Mall and the Statue of Liberty.

National park staff who were interviewed for this story but requested anonymity for fear of retribution reported that superintendents in charge of at least two parks had requested permission from the Department of the Interior to close their units but so far no approvals have been granted. The Department of Interior did not respond to a request for comment on its park closure policy. ...

Many national parks offer wide open spaces that are ideal for social distancing and are not inherently risky environments during the coronavirus pandemic. However, park infrastructure such as restrooms and trash cans require regular upkeep from staff in order to prevent the kind of rapid deterioration that occurred during the 2018-2019 government shutdown. ...

It may be private concessions operators that finally push the Department of Interior to close parks as coronavirus spreads. On Monday, Eastern National, which runs retail stores in 170 national parks, announced it would no longer provide staffing at those facilities. “Our store staff are unable to maintain the social distancing that the CDC recommends in our store while serving visitors,” wrote Eastern National’s CEO, Kevin Kissling, in a memo sent to national park managers.


Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

The New York Times’ Insidious Ongoing Disinformation Campaign on Russia & Elections

Intercepted podcast: Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill Discuss Coronavirus, the Election, and Solidarity in the Midst of a Pandemic

How to Know If You Should Vote in Person

Closing Polling Places Is the 21st Century’s Version of a Poll Tax

To Defeat Coronavirus, Media Need to Look at Real-World Examples, Not Play ‘Simulitis’

Coronavirus - A Lockdown Is Not Enough

'The Send-People-Money Bids Are Ramping Up': As Trump Signals Direct Cash Payments, Progressives Say Check Size and Who Qualifies Matters

Courts across the US halt as New York’s soldier on

US ramps up sanctions devastating Venezuela’s health sector as coronavirus spreads

Militarism in Time of Pandemic: The Arrogance of the (Ongoing) US War in Iraq

Yemen’s Houthis Report They’ve Seized Province on Saudi Border

Here’s Why the Fed Hasn’t Yet Invoked Its 13(3) Emergency Powers to Stem a Stock Market Crash

Coronavirus Means Zero Hour for the European Union

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The Official Bad Guy Of The Day: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix


A Little Night Music

Elmon Mickle - Lonesome Highway

Drifting Slim (Elmon Mickle) - My Sweet Woman

Elmon Mickle - Short and Fat

Model T Slim (Elmon Mickle) - Oh Babe

Model "T" Slim (Elmon Mickle) - 15 Years My Love Was In Vain

Driftin' Slim - Hoo-Doo Man Blues

Drifting Slim - My Little Machine

Elmon Mickle - Flat Foot Sam

Model T Slim - Take My Hand

Drifting Slim - I Feel So Good


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Comments

Lookout's picture

So much. So fast. So insane.

Laughter is curative. You might enjoy this clip...(5 min)

A dispatch from isolation; can I offer y'all some shit talk in this troubled time?

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

CB's picture

@Lookout

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Lookout

thanks for the laugh!

why that's better than watching the penguins explore the shedd aquarium. Smile

have a great evening!

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4 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

Biden, his surrogates, and the DNC can go FUCK OFF after IGNORING advice from the CDC and telling seniors in Florida to go out and vote in the middle of a global pandemic. I've never been as angry as I am now, or as disgusted by their nakedly self-serving ambition.

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13 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

snoopydawg's picture

@Anja Geitz

let the country down because he didn't tell people to stay home earlier. Yeah she's getting hammered for her stupidity. As is Perez for holding the voting in low income senior housing. Gee I guess they don't care if those voters are still around come November. Another reason why I think the fix is in for Trump's second term.

Sorry I'm not clear here. Hillary is busy tweeting this.

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8 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

Anja Geitz's picture

@snoopydawg

For blaming Bernie for "encouraging" his supporters to go out and vote by remaining in the race, while the truth of the matter is that Bernie was the ONLY candidate advising everyone to follow the CDC's guidelines to stay home. But hey, what's truth to the Biden team when lying is so much more expedient.

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9 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

joe shikspack's picture

@Anja Geitz

yeah, every time you think that they would be afraid to go lower for fear of people seeing them for what they are, they go lower.

the question is, when will people sanction them for being a collection of shitweasels and monsters?

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8 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@joe shikspack

A lot of us here have said repeatedly that the answer to that question was probably when things got so bad, and effected EVERYONE, people would finally hold those in power accountable. Well, guess what, I think that moment is here.

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9 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

joe shikspack's picture

@Anja Geitz

i am completely amazed at how low they can go without the public giving them the heave-ho.

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

calling races when polls haven’t closed? With all chaos today how are polling reports nearly complete when states that went for Bernie took weeks? I will never accept legitimacy of these elections and will act accordingly. Democracy in this country is a complete sham.

OFFS! I can't believe how many people liked this tweet. I kinda laid into the guy who wrote it.

MOAB closed down its recreational and hotel industry because it only has a 17 bed hospital. The updated national parks system is saying that people can't camp closer than 200 feet from anyone else. Guides have closed their businesses too. So it might sound fun to get back to nature, but it's not going to be easy or tolerated.

Trump is outdoing the democrats. He's open to sending people money and just put a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions while democrats are offering small businesses low interest loans and other things that need to be much more. But I think that is just one more ruse. Democrats don't care if Trump is reelected we know and ByeDone will never be president so they are propping Trump up and making him look good. IMO of course.

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10 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

Trump is outdoing the democrats. He's open to sending people money and just put a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions while democrats are offering small businesses low interest loans and other things that need to be much more.

i wonder how long it will take people to realize that the democrats are taking a dive to throw the fight?

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

on Twitter and people are eating it up. I think more people are opening their eyes to this kabuki two step dance. It's taken too long for many, but at least they are getting there.

I love this.

Wait what? You mean that the president has power to do this? Well golly gee.

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10 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

the worst part is that trump doesn't have to go too far left, historically speaking, to make the current dem party look like crap.

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10 users have voted.

@snoopydawg
which scumbag rental property owner/manager or bankster wants to be the first to file the papers to challenge it? Will local sheriffs who enforce eviction orders defy Trumpolino or the court that approved the eviction?

Trump, as usual, is going for the PR win. Even if a rental property owner or bankster gets a injunction within 24 hours.

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1 user has voted.
Azazello's picture

@snoopydawg
Intelligence sources say every room in the Kremlin is stacked floor to ceiling with TP.
The Russians are trying to sow discord, and dirty butts.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

they're just preparing to wipe out their enemies.

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4 users have voted.

@joe shikspack She would give me quarters to plug the jukebox if I would dance!
GAWD!

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2 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Azazello

dirty butts. I'm surprised that people are just now seeing it. But you know who else thinks Russia is doing this? One guess. It has become beyond pathetic there with their Russian phobia. Just imagine if they talked about Israel that way.

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6 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

snoopydawg's picture

Here's a fun blast from the past.

I don't know why this is making the rounds again on Twitter but it is.

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7 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

mimi's picture

"It depends on everyone": The text of Angela Merkel's TV address
TV speech by Angela Merkel about Corona

Berlin Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the citizens in a TV address to show solidarity and discipline in the face of the corona virus.

In a previously unprecedented television speech, Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to the citizens' reason and discipline in view of the corona pandemic to deal with the danger. Each and every individual must now adhere to the rules, she emphasized. The full text translated into English:

"Dear fellow citizens,

the corona virus is currently changing life in our country dramatically. Our idea of ​​normalcy, of public life, of social interaction - all of this is being tested like never before.

Millions of you cannot go to work, your children cannot go to school or the daycare, theaters and cinemas and shops are closed, and, perhaps the hardest thing, we all lack the encounters that are otherwise taken for granted. Of course, in such a situation, each of us is full of questions and worries about how to proceed.

I am addressing you in this unusual way today because I want to tell you what guides me as Chancellor and all my colleagues in the Federal Government in this situation. That is part of an open democracy: that we also make political decisions transparent and explain them. That we justify and communicate our actions as well as possible so that it becomes understandable.

I firmly believe that if all citizens really see it as YOUR job, we will pass this task, so let me say: it is serious. Take it seriously too. Since German unity, no, since the Second World War there has been no longer a challenge to our country where our common solidarity is so important.

I would like to explain to you where we are in the current epidemic, what the federal government and state levels are doing to protect everyone in our community and to limit economic, social and cultural damage. But I would also like to show you why you need it and what each and every one of you can contribute to it.

Regarding the epidemic - and everything I tell you about it comes from the ongoing consultations of the Federal Government with the experts from the Robert Koch Institute and other scientists and virologists: Research is under high pressure worldwide, but there is still no therapy for the corona virus another vaccine.

As long as this is the case, there is only one thing, and that is the guideline of all our actions: to slow down the spread of the virus, to stretch it over the months and thus save time. Time for research to develop a drug and a vaccine. But above all time so that those who get sick can be cared for in the best possible way.

Germany has an excellent health system, perhaps one of the best in the world. That can give us confidence. But our hospitals would also be completely overwhelmed if too many patients were admitted in a very short time who suffer from a severe course of corona infection.

These are not simply abstract numbers in statistics, but that is a father or grandfather, a mother or grandmother, a partner, they are people. And we are a community in which every life and every person counts.

I would first of all like to take this opportunity to address everyone who works as a doctor, in the nursing service or in another function in our hospitals and in general in the healthcare sector. You are at the forefront of this fight for us. You will be the first to see the sick and how severe some courses of the infection are. And every day you go to work anew and are there for the people. What you do is tremendous, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

So: It's about slowing the virus on its way through Germany. And here we have to rely on one thing: it is existential: to shut down public life as far as possible. Of course, with reason and judgment, because the state will continue to function, the supply will of course continue to be secured and we want to preserve as much economic activity as possible.

But anything that could endanger people
But we have to reduce everything that could endanger people, everything that could harm the individual, but also the community. We have to limit the risk that one infects the other as much as we can.

I know how dramatic the restrictions are already: no more events, no trade fairs, no concerts and for the time being no school, no university, no kindergarten, no play in a playground. I know how hard the closings that the federal and state governments have agreed upon affect our lives and our democratic self-image. There are restrictions that have never existed in the Federal Republic.

Let me assure you: for someone like me, for whom freedom of movement and movement were a hard-won right, such restrictions can only be justified in absolute necessity. They should never be taken lightly and only temporarily in a democracy - but they are indispensable at the moment to save lives.

That is why stricter border controls and entry restrictions to some of our most important neighboring countries have been in force since the beginning of the week.

It is already very difficult for business, large companies and small businesses, for shops, restaurants and freelancers. The next few weeks will be even more difficult. I assure you that the Federal Government is doing everything it can to cushion the economic impact - and above all to save jobs.

We can and will use whatever it takes to help our entrepreneurs and workers through this difficult test.

And everyone can rest assured that the food supply is secure at all times, and if shelves are cleared for a day, they will be refilled. I would like to say to everyone who is out and about in the supermarkets: it makes sense to keep stocks, by the way, it has always been. But with moderation. Hamsters, as if there will never be anything again, are pointless and ultimately completely unsound.

And let me also express my thanks to people who are rarely thanked for. Those who sit at a supermarket checkout or fill shelves these days are doing one of the hardest jobs currently available. Thank you for being there for your fellow citizens and literally keeping the store going.

Now to what is the most urgent thing for me today: All government measures would be ineffective if we did not use the most effective means of preventing the virus from spreading too quickly: and we are ourselves. Just as indiscriminately, each of us is affected by the virus everyone can help now. First of all, by taking seriously what it is about today. Don't panic, but don't even think for a moment that he or she doesn't really matter. Nobody is indispensable. All count, it takes all of our effort.

This is what an epidemic shows us: how vulnerable we all are, how dependent on the considerate behavior of others, but also: how we can protect and strengthen one another by acting together.

It depends on everyone. We are not doomed to passively accept the spread of the virus. We have a remedy for this: we have to keep a distance from one another out of respect. The virologists' advice is clear: no more handshakes, wash your hands thoroughly and often, at least one and a half meters away from your neighbor and ideally hardly any contact with the very old, because they are particularly at risk.

I know how difficult it is to get what we are asked to do. We want to be close to one another, especially in times of need. We know care as physical closeness or touch. Unfortunately, the opposite is true at the moment. And everyone really has to understand that at the moment only distance is an expression of care

The well-intentioned visit, the trip that should not have been, all of this can mean contagion and should really no longer take place. There is a reason why the experts say: grandparents and grandchildren should not come together now.

Those who avoid unnecessary encounters help everyone who has to deal with more cases every day in hospitals. This is how we save lives. This will be difficult for many, and it will also depend on: not leaving anyone alone, taking care of those who need encouragement and confidence. We will find other ways to stand by each other as families and as a society.

There are already many creative forms that defy the virus and its social consequences. There are already grandchildren who are recording a podcast for their grandparents so that they are not lonely.

We all have to find ways to show affection and friendship: Skype, phone calls, emails and maybe writing letters again. The post is delivered. One hears of wonderful examples of neighborhood help for the elderly who cannot go shopping themselves. I am sure there is a lot more that we can do as a community and we will show that we do not leave each other alone.

I appeal to you: abide by the rules that will apply now. As the government, we will always re-examine what can be corrected, but also: what may still be necessary.

This is a dynamic situation and we will remain capable of learning so that we can rethink and react with other instruments at any time. We'll explain that too. Therefore I ask you: Do not believe rumors, only the official messages, which we always have translated into many languages.

We are a democracy. We do not live from coercion, but from shared knowledge and participation. This is a historical task and can only be accomplished together.

I am absolutely certain that we will overcome this crisis. But how high will the victims be? How many loved ones will we lose? We largely have it in our own hands. We can now, resolutely, react to each other. We can accept the current restrictions and stand by each other.

This situation is serious and it is open.

That means: It will depend not only, but also on how disciplined everyone follows and implements the rules.

Even if we have never experienced anything like this, we have to show that we act heartily and sensibly and thus save lives. Without exception, it all depends on everyone and therefore on all of us.

Take good care of yourself and your loved ones. Thank you."
(ala / dpa)

I translated the German text with Google Translate.

The speech covered lots of things that have been discussed and said here in various essays. Some of you see Chancellor Merkel as weak. She is member of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which is somewhat equivalent to the US Republicans party.

I don't comment about her, because I don't care anymore to which party one belongs. I consider some politicians in all of German parties acceptable, others not at all.

Make out of it what you like. Judge for yourself. She is trustworthy, imho, tends to sit things out rather quietly, but has her own mind. And sometimes she shows it and sometimes she quietly mocks things, if you watch her grinning and her eye movements.

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joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

it looks like a good speech, calm, reasonable and responsible. it's what i'd expect from a politician with a real person inside. Smile

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8 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

Resistance my ass, the bitch gotta go, she makes tRumpolini look good, it has to a feature not a bug

https://www.commondreams.org/

Refusal by Pelosi to Consider Universal Cash Payments in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic 'Maddening,' Say Progressives

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9 users have voted.

tRump amerika's last president

voting in ameriKa is an illusion

I'm fairly sure that the R's have finally figured out
that the D's are no longer necessary

snoopydawg's picture

@ggersh

No bug. Hopefully more people will wake up to this dance.

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6 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

ggersh's picture

@snoopydawg it's up to the people to do the later, cuz the dance we weren't invited to

John F. Kennedy
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

[Remarks on the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress, 13 March 1962]”

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5 users have voted.

tRump amerika's last president

voting in ameriKa is an illusion

I'm fairly sure that the R's have finally figured out
that the D's are no longer necessary

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

heh, pelosi has a challenger from the left on the ballot in november. i would imagine that he's taking notes.

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9 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

@joe shikspack I wonder how rigged the vote will be? Smarmy ass bitch really needs to lose/retire.

Sorry for the language, actually not, but she's followed her heinous to the darkside

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5 users have voted.

tRump amerika's last president

voting in ameriKa is an illusion

I'm fairly sure that the R's have finally figured out
that the D's are no longer necessary

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

how rigged the vote will be. i note that it is taking california an awful long time to count the primary votes for sanders.

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4 users have voted.

@ggersh
His name is Shahid Buttar Pelosi wouldn't get out alive if she had to debate him. Chances are never good for a first time candidate running against a long-term incumbent but a well run campaign -- maximize public exposure and impress many voters, even those that will vote for Pelosi in 2020 -- can set up a more viable second attempt in 2022. (Too many run once and are never heard again.)

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Marie

is that pelosi is not in tune with her constituents and does not reflect their interests.

if what i've heard about the progressive leanings of her constituency is true, it might be easier to kick her out than it might seem.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I agree wholeheartedly with one of the Beths

Bernie when did you stop beating your wife? Idiots. I'm sure having fun on Twitter tonight.

Hey did you hear about our earthquake this morning? A 5.7 that was very loud. Do earthquakes usually make noise? It sounded like a very strong gust of wind and then it shook. I guessed 5.8. So close.

Umm hey guys? Can you explain why they would do that?

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9 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

Anja Geitz's picture

@snoopydawg

But Biden yelling at voters and telling them they're full of shit? Atta boy, Joe!

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11 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

snoopydawg's picture

@Anja Geitz

I've been tweeting that to people who are too stupid to be voting. Joe threatened to slap one guy and pokes his finger on people's chests, but Bernie said fuck to someone and the media is going insane with it.

The background on this is Bernie was talking about getting help to us and one person asked if he's dropping out. Then another person asked the same question and then this guy who is whining about Bernie saying f'ck asked him again. Beth is right. He should have said that long time ago.

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7 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

@Anja Geitz
always get it wrong. This will play well with the public.

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4 users have voted.
CB's picture

@snoopydawg
These guys were training for Chinese opera.

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3 users have voted.
CB's picture

battle against COVID-19. The Chinese came together as one nation and put everything they had into the battle - and won. Unlike China, the US is not prepared or willing to fight this battle on a national level.

The US just surpassed Korea in the number of cases today, 8,827 with 136 deaths (50% higher). The cases in the US are now increasing at a higher rate than in Europe which had started two weeks ago. I figure they will surpass France tomorrow and Germany in a few days.

https://ncov2019.live/

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@CB

yeah, but we're a big country with plenty of room to bury the "surplus population."

isn't it wonderful how the government shows us it cares?

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5 users have voted.

@CB
is interesting. Am only partway through the information that's available and it wasn't without missteps by Korean health and government authorities, but looks to me as if they learned quickly and made the appropriate corrections.

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4 users have voted.
CB's picture

@Marie
They can offer their expertise to the world - if the world will listen.

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5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Thanks for the news and blues.

have a good one.

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7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

good to see you, anyway. have a great evening!

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5 users have voted.
Shahryar's picture

There's something fishy about this covid19. It might be that it's overhyped or maybe it's real and created.. I dunno. But it plays into the hands of the wrong people so neatly.

Edit: spell check changed overhyped to overjoyed. That's an odd one.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Shahryar

yeah, i know what you mean. i was just reading an article in newsweek about the possibility of martial law being imposed.

among other things, it says ominously:

On February 1, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper signed orders directing NORTHCOM to execute nationwide pandemic plans. Secretly, he signed Warning Orders (the WARNORD as it's called) alerting NORTHCOM and a host of east coast units to "prepare to deploy" in support of potential extraordinary missions.

so, yeah, it all smells kinda fishy. on the other hand, i don't have reason to doubt that the virus is a real thing. whether it is a naturally occurring event, a weaponized naturally occurring event or a wholly manufactured event - well, i have not enough information to discriminate between the options.

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9 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

It’s difficult for me to imagine that it is a wholly human-manufactured event, when I think about the compromised state of the earth. I think the reality is a reflection of the unhealthy interaction between both, and the discord between the two.

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

well, i cannot rule out the virus being manufactured. i don't think that it is based upon what i've read, but i can't rule it out, either.

not too far from where i live there is this place called fort detrick. it's a place where some really smart, talented and competent people research bioweapons. it's not the only u.s. installation like that. i strongly suspect that they have the capacity to manufacture something like covid-19. i just don't know if they did and/or if they did, somebody chose to release it into the wild.

so, given the means and the opportunity exist, the question is motive. motive, in my opinion, is the weak part of the argument for a manufactured pandemic.

so there's my $.02 on that.

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

being closed and how timely it was. China is accusing us of creating the virus and unleashing it during one of our military exercises.

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3 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

absolutely put me off from eating dinner. The toxicity is hard to disguise with sweeter flavours.

At the moment, it’s a little like everything is passé, and only the present matters. All the best to you and all of us. I trust you are hunkering down as comfortably as possible with loved ones.

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4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

we are isolating here. so far we are well and moderately happy.

i hope that all is well for you and yours and you are similarly hiding from the virus.

have a great evening, sorry about dinner. Sad

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4 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@joe shikspack
like some political mis-fits are, then those researchers wouldn't have understood what they researched over. There is no motive in my mind, virologists and researchers, who are working in laboratories would on purpose produce and release those viruses.

The insanity is to develop bio and chemical weapons to begin with.

The second insanity would be to speculate about if they did or did not.

The third insanity would be to speculate about this on internet social media. Just my two peanuts worth of sanity.

The headline of CB's comment: "For those who like a little conspiracy theory..." I would say needs immediate disinfection. No sane person would like conspiracy.

Don't speculate. Wash your minds with soap. Geez. Read. Nap. Read again. Nap again.

P.S. I wonder what is happening in NYC. Have you heard about Mark in Queens? He has little kids and with not knowing what is shut down in NYC (Schools, Kindergardens?) and him I believe an independent musician, who might suffer under less gigs or so, I wonder if he and his family are ok so far or not. Can he give us a report on what's going on in Queens ? I am thinking about him and his family.

Hunkering down in bed is the new thing. I kinda like it. Smile

Take care of your loved ones, family, friends, neighbors. Have a good ride into Friday.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Shahryar

Fishy. I so agree with you on this. The latest update says that 114 people here have died from the virus while tens of thousands of people have died from the flu this year. Add in the 24 veterans who kill themselves every day and I'm not seeing what the big deal is. Yeah things might change next week and more people will have died, but is that any reason to do what is being done? The global economy is crashing because so many people are out of work and whomever is driving the stock market is freaking out.

Read this and let me what you think.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/pandemic-invention-disease-called-fear/570...

There was a mock run on what would happen if the coronavirus happened here last October. Whenever I see that there was a drill happening on the same day of an event my false flag meter goes off. 9/11, the Boston bombings, the London subway massacre, etc.

Gawd I hate being this cynical.

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6 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

CB's picture

@snoopydawg
30,000 die from it.
If the same number get COVID-19 then deaths will be greater than 300,000.

South Korea has handled the COVID-19 virus exceptionally well.

REGION | CONFIRMED | DEATHS | RECOVERED | SERIOUS
United States 8,865 138 8 60
South Korea 8,565 91 1,947 0
(12 hrs ago the confirmed US was under 8,000)

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1 user has voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@CB

Did you read the article? Thoughts?

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2 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

CB's picture

@snoopydawg
like China and South Korea.

As far as malevolent actors using this as an opportunity - "never let a crisis go to waste".

From your link:

Many reading this will already be familiar with the ambitions of the controlling deep state ‘elite’ and will know that a pre-planned phase of social and economic chaos is a key factor in their attempted roll-out of totalitarian New World Order. We are now in this phase. It’s success depends upon a large body of people following the instructions passed down by the political puppets of the deep state and by the cowardly repetition of these instructions by the main stream media.

One thing we can be sure of. There are about 6 billion people on the face of the earth that this corporate ruling 'elite' would prefer not be 'dirtying' up the place.

But the "New World Order" has yet to go global. It's core still remains America, Europe and Israel. Men like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin appear to have no intention of joining this cabal and that is why they need to be destroyed. Everything these two do shows they are working for a multi-polar world. They also work for their peoples benefit - in education, health and other programs of social uplift. This not hard to discover.

I'm getting too tired to continue. We'll have to continue this conversation later.

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7 users have voted.
CB's picture

@snoopydawg
All conspiracies are theory until the facts are revealed.
Interesting timeline from the Durand.

Coronavirus: The Plot Thickens
Researchers have greatly advanced their understanding of viral evolution since H1N1 a decade ago and finding patient zero is now more science than art.

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snoopydawg's picture

@CB

Rest well and we'll take this up tomorrow.

ICYMI folks. We can all use a hug.

As I said thank Dawg for my Charlie!

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope