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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#14941 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-March-19, 17:56

Noah Smith @noahopinion @bloomberg said:

Trump has mostly bungled this pandemic. But I have to give credit where credit is due. This is a great move.

Quote

President Trump on Wednesday directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to suspend evictions and foreclosures through April as Americans grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus.

https://thehill.com/...nd-foreclosures

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#14942 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-March-19, 18:34

View Postkenberg, on 2020-March-19, 10:07, said:

Interesting but.

Basically, an emergency plan need not lead to a permanent change in the way of thinking.

I particularly like the observation "To my knowledge, there is no classical term for the inverse of a Pyrrhic victory".


I'll be satisfied if, after we get through this, people say "Maybe we really need to listen to experts and more seriously address global warming".


If there is also a stampede toward [adjective of your choice] socialism then so be it, but I sort of doubt it.

Bernie is ahead of his time. I suspect that a lot of the stuff that makes people nervous in 2020 will be commonplace in 2040 and that even the Jamie Dimons of 2040 will wonder why it took so long. No, not a stampede. Things take time.
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#14943 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-March-19, 18:42

We need to help. There are times when the reason for helping a person is simply that they need help, we leave other considerations for later. This is such a time.

Note: This was in response to the post about foreclosures and evictions. I agree with it.
Ken
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#14944 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 06:34

My thinking about Sanders has evolved considerably over the last week.

Late Tuesday I wrote up a post explaining why, given the difficulties and the dangers of voting in future primaries, Sanders should now acknowledge that Biden has won and withdraw his candidacy. But I didn't post it. I thought that posting it would be stating the obvious and I could just wait for a day or so and Sanders would be perfectly able to see it without any advice from me or from anyone.

Ok, I was wrong. Sanders wants concessions. Lacking concessions, he will stay in the race.

If that's the way it goes, I will show up for the Maryland primary, I will cast my vote to be sure that the choice that has become clear is also the result at the convention, but don't expect me to be thinking kind thoughts about Sanders as I do this.

Sanders, by self description, is a revolutionary. The adage for revolutionaries is that you cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs. Sounds good to the guy planning to eat the omelet, sounds not so great to the guy who has been cast in the role of the broken egg.

Added: It has only been since last Tuesday, so perhaps there is still time for Sanders to do the right thing. But time is running out. He needs to think this through and he needs to do so quickly.
Ken
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#14945 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 06:48

From Philip Stevens at FT:

Quote

Once in a generation, maybe once in a century, political leaders must light a bonfire of contemporary preconceptions to confront a shared emergency. This is such a moment. History may ultimately define the 21st-century by the strong geopolitical rivalry between the US and China. For the immediate future the national interests of these two great powers are one. Those of European nations, too.

Washington and Beijing have been heading in the opposite direction. The blame game — tit-for-tat expulsions of journalists and US President Donald Trump’s description of Covid-19 as the “Chinese” virus — signposts a dangerous route to international breakdown. The vital work of epidemiologists and economic policymakers will be rendered useless if the leading powers choose to fight rather than co-operate.

The coronavirus pandemic began in China, has its epicentre in Europe, and is spreading rapidly across the US. It cannot be beaten in one of these regions unless it is defeated in all three. Containing it, and capping the human and economic costs, demands that the centres of global power work hand in hand. Prevailing economic orthodoxies have been rendered obsolete by the crisis. As with economics, so with politics. Closed borders and go-it-alone fiscal stimulus packages do not match the scale of the emergency.

International responses have been fragmented. A global threat has stirred the human instinct to turn inwards. Borders are shut. China sought to conceal the initial outbreak in Wuhan before, belatedly, moving to lock down the affected region. Mr Trump spent weeks in surreal denial, dismissing the virus as fake news or a Democratic party conspiracy before veering back towards the real world.

Europeans seem to have forgotten what it is to be, well, European. Germany’s Angela Merkel could once claim to be the guardian of something called European solidarity — the politician who understood that collective action in a crisis yields better results than unilateralism. Not this time. Germany has gone its own way.

The European Commission has been sidelined as 27 nations operate 27 action plans. Italy’s decision to implement a draconian lockdown to limit the spread of the virus was for the benefit of all. It failed to elicit offers from others to share the heavy economic costs. French President Emmanuel Macron has struggled to conceal his frustration.

The news has not been all bad. Central banks have closely co-ordinated interest rate cuts and quantitative easing to underpin the liquidity of financial markets. Scientists are ignoring borders and ideology in the frantic search for treatment and, eventually, a vaccine. Finance ministers from the G7 have agreed to consult weekly on where best to aim their fiscal bazookas. The “plumbing” of globalisation — the international agencies and bureaucracies that sit below most political sightlines — is largely intact.

A sustained, successful effort against the pandemic — and we are talking about a process lasting a year or more — will depend above all, however, on global leaders maintaining the trust of their citizens. Public confidence is a vital ingredient in every countermeasure. Borders cannot remain closed indefinitely. It is no use suppressing the outbreak in one region only to see it reimported from another.

The obvious framework for international co-operation is the G20 group of industrial and emerging nations — a gathering that reaches across North and South, East and West. The group played a leading role in the wake of the 2009 financial crash in persuading financial markets of the seriousness of political intent to stabilise the global economy. Prodded by India, the present G20 chair Saudi Arabia has called for a “virtual” summit of the bloc.

There will certainly be a role for the G20. But co-operation across so disparate a group will be possible only if the most powerful nations first establish a foundation. It is not too late to create such an inner steering group. As a starting point it would include Mr Trump, China’s President Xi Jinping and, from Europe, say, Ms Merkel and Mr Macron.

There are some things these four leaders can do immediately. Washington and Beijing could begin by calling a halt to the war of words. A second step would be to put to one side all their present trade disputes — suspending punitive tariffs and countermeasures. Mr Trump may need some persuading, but it should not be beyond the wit of his advisers to present such a move as a generous response to the assistance Beijing is now offering other governments.

For Mr Xi, the simple fact of the quartet would offer testimony to China’s leading role in global governance. For Ms Merkel and Mr Macron it would provide an opportunity to re-establish the EU’s coherence and relevance. And, yes, Mr Trump would also have something to gain. The rapid spread of the virus across the US has already debunked his claim that throwing up barricades is an inoculation against this disease.

Even such small moves may look impossible against the world’s present retreat into antagonistic nationalism. But there is still time. The fight against the pandemic is about to get harder. The world is facing an emergency. Self-interest demands collaboration. Whether in China, the US or Europe, political leaders cannot ignore this simple fact.

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#14946 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 07:14

From staff at NYT:

Quote

Trump administration’s plea to states: Keep mum about unemployment stats.

The Trump administration is asking state labor officials to delay releasing the precise number of unemployment claims they are fielding, an indication of how uneasy policymakers are about further roiling a stock market already plunging in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In an email sent Wednesday, the Labor Department instructed state officials to only “provide information using generalities to describe claims levels (very high, large increase)” until the department releases the total number of national claims next Thursday.

The email, which was shared with The New York Times, noted that the reports were monitored closely by financial markets and should therefore remain embargoed. “States should not provide numeric values to the public,” wrote Gay Gilbert, the administrator of the department’s Office of Employment Insurance.

Ms. Gilbert has worked at the Labor Department under presidents of both parties, and there has been no indication that she was urged by political appointees to make the request. But President Trump has privately expressed irritation at the dire predictions of some of his advisers, most notably when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers that unemployment could reach 20 percent this year.

Some states that received the guidance from Ms. Gilbert found it disturbing. It prompted at least one governor’s office, which shared the message on the condition of anonymity, to seek an opinion from the state attorney general about whether the state had to temporarily withhold the information.

In another state, lawmakers got a preview of the staggering numbers that are being withheld for the moment. In a private conference call Thursday with elected officials and union leaders, a top Pennsylvania labor official was blunt about the depth of the economic crisis, according to someone on the call.

Robert O’Brien, the state’s deputy secretary of labor and industry, said the government had been overwhelmed by a flood of unemployment insurance claims — 180,000 in the last few days. He said that was far more than the state usually gets in a whole month.

The situation may be even more dire in Washington State, the first center of the contagion in the United States. State officials there would only say they are seeing an “even more dramatic increase this week” after unemployment claims soared 150 percent last week.

The federal numbers released Thursday morning were already alarming: 281,000 people nationwide applied for unemployment insurance last week, up from 211,000 the previous week. They were apparently only a grim preview of what is to come.

It blows my mind that the U.S. government, in 2020, thinks this way about disclosing data that everyone needs to inform their decision making, as if not disclosing data is not a gazillion times worse. Combine this with the stuff coming out on Senators Burr, Loeffler and others, which is truly puke-worthy, and you can see how people might start questioning their faith in government.
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#14947 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 07:56

View Posty66, on 2020-March-20, 07:14, said:

From staff at NYT:


It blows my mind that the U.S. government, in 2020, thinks this way about disclosing data that everyone needs to inform their decision making, as if not disclosing data is not a gazillion times worse. Combine this with the stuff coming out on Senators Burr, Loeffler and others, which is truly puke-worthy, and you can see how people might start questioning their faith in government.


It's always about Trump. We tend to forget that. His deal is always about projecting an image, manipulating perceptions. Always and forever.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#14948 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 08:12

We should all be chilled to the bone that OAN is given credentials to the White House Press briefings and it being used by Trump as a propaganda arm:

The WaPo reports:

Quote

Yet this Trump broadside against the media was worse than his routine claptrap. That’s because it came in response to a frightening question from reporter Chanel Rion with One America News. There will be no abridging this humdinger:

TRUMP: OAN, very good.

RION: Yes, sir. Thank you. I have two questions --

TRUMP: Thank you very much. They treat me very nicely. Go ahead.

RION: -- do you consider the term Chinese food racist --

TRUMP: No.

RION: -- because it’s food that originates in China or it has Chinese --

TRUMP: No, I don't think it's racist. I don't think it's racist at all.

RION: And on that note, major left wing news media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese Communist Party narratives, and they're claiming you are racist for making these claims about Chinese virus. Is it alarming that major media players, just to oppose you, are consistently siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals, and Latin gangs and cartels? And they work right here at the White House with direct access to you and your team?

TRUMP: It amazes me when I read the things that I read. It amazes me when I read The Wall Street Journal which is always so negative, it amazes me when I read The New York Times, it’s not even — I barely read it. You know, we don’t distribute it in the White House anymore, and the same thing with The Washington Post. Because, you see, I know the truth. And people out there in the world, they really don’t know the truth, really don’t know what it is.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#14949 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 08:54

Trump didn't even seem to understand the question when a reporter asked what he thought of a WH official calling it "kung-flu". I got the feeling that he's never heard the term "kung-fu" or doesn't know what it refers to. How can someone so incredibly ignorant be President?

#14950 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 10:27

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-March-20, 07:56, said:

It's always about Trump. We tend to forget that. His deal is always about projecting an image, manipulating perceptions. Always and forever.

If it were only but Trump, we could be optimistic that this stuff might end soon, maybe even this year.
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#14951 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 10:30

By touting old malaria drugs as "the answer", Donald Trump has finally emerged from his chrysalis state to his true form: Snake Oil Salesman.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#14952 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 10:30

View Postbarmar, on 2020-March-20, 08:54, said:

Trump didn't even seem to understand the question when a reporter asked what he thought of a WH official calling it "kung-flu". I got the feeling that he's never heard the term "kung-fu" or doesn't know what it refers to. How can someone so incredibly ignorant be President?



Oh, I agree. Even though my knowledge of kung-fu is about zero, I still agree.


I was going to say that I had never seen a kung-fu film but I checked the wik and found

"In the west, kung fu has become a regular action staple, and makes appearances in many films that would not generally be considered "Martial Arts" films. These films include but are not limited to The Matrix Trilogy, Kill Bill, and The Transporter."
I did see Kill Bill 1 and the first Matrix movie. I cannot recall for sure which one I thought was more atrocious but I certainly never saw Kill Bill 2 or any of the Matrix follow-ups.

With Trump it is partly ignorance but partly something else. He is not really given to conversation, he expects deference. So when someone asks a question, his reaction is "Hey, you need to be kissing my butt, not asking some stupid question that I don't want to talk about". So he doesn't think, he sees no reason to think. Thought would indicate that he takes the other person seriously, and he does not. In the back and forth that Winston quotes, he makes this lack of interest very clear.

Ken
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#14953 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 10:35

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-March-20, 10:30, said:

By touting old malaria drugs as "the answer", Donald Trump has finally emerged from his chrysalis state to his true form: Snake Oil Salesman.

This is not as ridiculous as it sounds, "On 17 February, the Chinese State Council announced that chloroquine phosphate — a structural analogue of quinine, originally extracted from the bark of cinchona trees — can be used for treating COVID-19 patients. This anti-malarial also has broad-spectrum antiviral activity and regulatory effects on the immune system. Clinical evaluation of chloroquine phosphate in more than ten hospitals across several provinces in China has shown that it alleviates the symptoms for most patients and expedites virus seroconversion." from https://www.nature.c...1477-020-0628-0
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#14954 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 10:54

View PostCyberyeti, on 2020-March-20, 10:35, said:

This is not as ridiculous as it sounds, "On 17 February, the Chinese State Council announced that chloroquine phosphate — a structural analogue of quinine, originally extracted from the bark of cinchona trees — can be used for treating COVID-19 patients. This anti-malarial also has broad-spectrum antiviral activity and regulatory effects on the immune system. Clinical evaluation of chloroquine phosphate in more than ten hospitals across several provinces in China has shown that it alleviates the symptoms for most patients and expedites virus seroconversion." from https://www.nature.c...1477-020-0628-0




From your article:

Quote

The epidemiologist Nanshan Zhong, who is credited with discovering the SARS coronavirus in 2003 and is advising on the management of the COVID-19 outbreak, has said that chloroquine phosphate is not a highly effective cure


From as different article:

Quote

Writing in the journal Antiviral Research, French scientists Franck Touret and Xavierde de Lamballerie urged caution, noting that chloroquine had been proposed several times for the treatment of acute viral diseases in humans without success, including HIV.

They added that finding the right dose was crucial because "chloroquine poisoning has been associated with cardiovascular disorders that can be life-threatening."


As usual, Trump is overselling to make himself look good. Like a snake oil salesman. ;)
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#14955 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 11:09

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-March-20, 10:54, said:

As usual, Trump is overselling to make himself look good. Like a snake oil salesman. ;)

Perhaps the interesting thing would be to check the stock trading patterns of those Pharma companies whose drugs are touted to be good during the briefing. I haven't checked the price behaviours but it seems likely that the share prices of companies whose drugs are named by the President see a spurt. Decent enough to benefit from, if one knows the info in advance.
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#14956 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 11:17

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-March-20, 10:54, said:

From your article:


From as different article:



As usual, Trump is overselling to make himself look good. Like a snake oil salesman. ;)


It's not a cure, it's a treatment of the symptoms which seems to be fairly effective.

It's also comparatively cheap. a few dollars a tablet.
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#14957 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 14:26

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-March-20, 10:54, said:

From your article:


From as different article:



As usual, Trump is overselling to make himself look good. Like a snake oil salesman. ;)

Please have some respect B-) The Dear Leader should be addressed as Conman in Chief, or Grifter in Chief. He worked his entire life to be the best at what he does, so address him with his official title.
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#14958 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 14:37

View PostCyberyeti, on 2020-March-20, 11:17, said:

It's not a cure, it's a treatment of the symptoms which seems to be fairly effective.

Chloroquine can be deadly if overdosed. Except for anecdotal reports, there have not been any peer reviewed studies that have shown it to be effective, and if effective, better than any of a number of other drugs. E.g. favipiravir has had some good preliminary results for some patients (again, not a peer reviewed study).

And there are other treatments being considered.

Seattle nonprofit to start immunotherapy trials for coronavirus

Quote

The Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) will "enroll approximately 100 patients diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection causing a moderate to severe pneumonia. Participants will be provided with infusions of Celularity’s...product, which is based on a critical immune cell known as a 'natural killer' (NK) cell."


Hopefully one or more treatments will prove to be effective before it is too late.
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#14959 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 14:49

View Postjohnu, on 2020-March-20, 14:37, said:

Chloroquine can be deadly if overdosed. Except for anecdotal reports, there have not been any peer reviewed studies that have shown it to be effective, and if effective, better than any of a number of other drugs. E.g. favipiravir has had some good preliminary results for some patients (again, not a peer reviewed study).

And there are other treatments being considered.

Seattle nonprofit to start immunotherapy trials for coronavirus



Hopefully one or more treatments will prove to be effective before it is too late.


Paracetamol is deadly if overdosed as are many things, including stuff I take daily. There are very few peer reviewed papers on coronavirus because it's so new. Gathering the info and getting it reviewed takes time. Favipiravir is not I believe licensed outside Japan and appears very dangerous if not used correctly. It is also orders of magnitude more expensive than Chloroquine.

The immunotherapy drug is 2 years away. The language coming out of China for Chloroquine and Faviparivir is similar, Chloroquine should at least be trialed here (which Faviparivir can't be atm) as in the right conditions it's perfectly safe as it's been licensed for years.
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#14960 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2020-March-20, 16:54

I saw a statistic that said about 30% of employed Americans do jobs that can be done from home. (I would guess it's roughly the same in Western Europe.)

A bunch more work in health care and its supply chain. Some work in food and its supply chain. There are a few other odds and ends that have to be kept running. (But some of the work from home is supporting other work that can't be done for a while, so it will stop.)

This means, if we're shut down for more than a couple months, we should be at 50% unemployment or thereabouts. Otherwise, there would be people unnecessarily going to work and spreading the disease.

I don't think anyone's ever dreamed of circumstances where we're trying to keep unemployment at 50%, but here we are. If the worst case happens, we'll all be improvising as to how to keep society running, and how to return it quickly to something more sustainable once the whole thing is over.

If the worst case assumptions about what we need to do to contain coronavirus are true, there will be more people who say that 150 million dead worldwide is better than everyone staying at home with 50% unemployment for 2 years. I hope most people are better than that.
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