Depression, Not Recession is Looming

I think America will recover from the coronavirus much faster than the economic calamity that is befalling the country. I think we passed recession months ago and are now headed into a 1920's style depression. For more technical explanations, see Axios here . I don't know how the economy bounces back after this. This is not like fighting a world war -- it seems like Americans will soon be fighting a domestic economic battle, for food, shelter and other basics of life. [More...]

It is frightening to grasp what is happening to the restaurant, hotel and entertainment industries. The cooks, servers, dishwashers -- their jobs wiped out all over the nation in one or two days. Same for the thousands of workers responsible for late night TV, reality tv and rock concerts -- truckers, stagehands, electricians, lighting, sound people, personal assistants, producers and make up artists, all out of work. And retail workers at the thousands of businesses closed.

There are societal casualties as well. The criminal justice system is at a standstill. All courts, state and federal here, have ceased holding hearings with a few public safety exceptions and all jury trials. Lawyers can't get into jails and prisons to see clients. Even the Federal Defender's office is closed, with all of them working remotely from home.

When courts resume, they will be overloaded and overwhelmed. Personally, I think the U.S. Attorneys office and local District Attorneys should start dismissing all non-violent crimes (like drug crimes).

And yes, I blame Donald Trump for treating the virus as a "Democrat's Hoax", failing to ensure we had enough testing kits, and eliminating the office that Obama had set up to deal with emergencies like this. He didn't know about it, he says. That's because he isn't really in charge, he delegates everything to his cronies who he puts in charge of important government agencies.

A very sad part about this whole mess is that Americans have nowhere to turn to feel safe -- to feel assured because an experienced grownup is in charge who wants the best for America --to feel like we have someone we can trust when he tells us we'll be okay. Trump has been wrong so many times, often doing 180's the next day, it's given us whiplash. While we yawn and say "yeah right" or stare at the TV in astonishment when he makes his self-aggrandizing false claims, it's depressing to realize he isn't just the opening act but the main event. That there isn't a real leader behind the curtain who comes on stage when Trump is done giving his schtick, is just frightening.

But this may or may not be the end of Donald Trump. If Americans would wake up and open their eyes, they would see that Trump was asleep at the switch and when he woke up, he had no clue what to do and gave us incorrect and false information about the coronavirus. Now whether he screams "fire" or as he is wont to do, tries to placate us, no one believes him -- he's like the little boy who cried wolf. If he only had a brain that functioned above the sixth grade level.

On a related note, it seems his reelection campaign is going to have to start over, scrapping all the messaging it had planned with it assumed he would run against Bernie.

I have no predictions yet for the election. I appears it will be Trump and Biden, neither one of whom in my view should be on any ballot. Trump belongs in a room in Trump Tower where he can fondle all his gold objets d'art, and Biden belongs in a place for seniors where he can tell and embellish stories about his 40 years in Congress.

< Sanders and Biden Debate Tonight | White House Coronavirus Briefing: "We Have to Save Our Big Companies" >
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    Bailouts (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by jmacWA on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 03:18:50 PM EST
    Should only go to the workers Jeralyn mentions... but you can bet the CEOs and Corporations will try their best to skim as much as possible off any relief their companies get.  Stockholders should have to wait on any increased dividends; bailout money should go to displaced workers not dividends.

    With any luck this downturn will wake up some of the tRump supporters and get them to either stay home, or maybe pull the lever for the Democrat, it shouldn't take more than 10-15% of them to push the Ds over the top since there are less Republicans anyway.  I am not a fan of Biden at all, but I wont make another four years of tRump.

    corporations (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by FlJoe on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 04:32:11 PM EST
    should be allowed to die, aren't they people too?

    Airlines, cruise lines, hotels go bankrupt who cares(unless you own stock)? Once the crisis is over they will be easily reconstituted by a horde of venture capitalists.


    If corporations widely go bankrupt (none / 0) (#108)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 12:39:43 PM EST
    You can probably kiss your pension goodbye.

    Large corporations and their debt are largely owned by pension and life insurance outfits.


    Most Americans don't have a pension. (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 02:06:03 PM EST
    We are stuck with a 401K which is taking the same losses as the pension funds.

    Let me rephrase (none / 0) (#112)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 03:15:33 PM EST
    Most state workers get pensions. Many older private sector retirees have pensions. And you are 100% right in that major corporation bankruptcies would do serious damage to many current worker's 401k and IRA accounts.

    Most (none / 0) (#114)
    by FlJoe on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 03:39:18 PM EST
    pension funds are backstopped, at least partly by the Government.

    I am not advocating for a mass extinction event among corporations but letting some die and throwing  that money directly to the people whose pensions or 401k's are harmed(generally speaking) will in the long run help more.

    I was for the Auto industry bailout mostly because a huge industrial eco-system was on the verge of extinction.

    I'm opposed to bailing out the airlines, mainly
    because there is no danger of that very limited eco-system becoming extinct. The industry is dormant by necessity but they will almost instantly be reconstituted whether or not the current companies survive.


    I will have to disagree with you in part. (none / 0) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 06:56:10 PM EST
    FlJoe: "I'm opposed to bailing out the airlines, mainly because there is no danger of that very limited eco-system becoming extinct. The industry is dormant by necessity but they will almost instantly be reconstituted whether or not the current companies survive."

    You live in the continental U.S. If the airline industry collapsed, you could still drive to your destination(s) or take a motorcoach bus or train. It would likely take you longer to get there and may be an inconvenience, but that option is still available to you mainlanders.

    As not only an island state but also the most geographically remote lands in the world, we enjoy no such options or alternatives out here.

    Nor do we have interisland ferry service, because the channels between most of the Hawaiian Islands (with the exception of the "Lahaina Roads" between Maui, Molokai and Lanai) are some of the deepest and roughest mid-ocean crossings in the world, and ferries are singularly ill-suited to sail these waters.

    As for ocean liners, well, the last regularly scheduled passenger service by Matson Lines between Hawaii and the west coast ended in the summer of 1971.

    Hawaii's 1.4 million residents and our economy are wholly dependent upon the ready availability of air travel. So too, for that matter, are the 700,000 residents of Alaska and the 220,000 Americans who live in Guam and the Northern Marianas.

    Reconstituting an airline that's been grounded by bankruptcy is a lot easier said than done. Airlines are a necessary and even vital component of our nation's present transportation infrastructure. Let's please not be so glib about this issue absent actual experience and facts.



    State workers (none / 0) (#115)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 05:58:51 PM EST
    ... were not employed by corporations and aren't affected by a corporation's bankruptcy.

    But nice try at backpedaling.


    Agreed. (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 08:22:07 PM EST
    My wife and I are fine financially, and really don't need a $2,000 check. But we know plenty of people here in Hilo who do. The assistance should be specifically targeted to help folks like them, and not given to those with means like us. If we do get checks courtesy of the U.S. Treasury, we'll likely donate the funds to the local food bank.

    Not to worry. You aren't (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 08:33:54 PM EST
    getting a dime uner GAoP Senate plan. But, unfortunately, families who don't earn much aren't either.

    UPDATE: Back to the drawing board. (none / 0) (#124)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 07:59:23 PM EST
    Senate Democrats just blocked an attempt by their GOP colleagues to insert a placeholder bill containing their corporate wish lists. Notably, five Republicans abstained from voting in support McConnell's effort.

    According to Sen. Chris Murphy (D-HI), "Republicans walked away from negotiations last night, and this morning showed up with no real funding to save hospitals, no real funding to save states, and a slush fund and no-strings bailouts for corporations. This is $1.5 trillion. Do it right."

    Please call or email your Democratic senators and thank them for holding the line here. If you have Republican senators, call or email their offices to tell them that we can't and won't accept a tone-deaf stimulus bill that prioritizes the pervasive greed of billionaires and multi-national corporations over the real and immediate needs of America's families, labor force and first responders.



    With a provision (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by KeysDan on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 10:25:55 PM EST
    to permit the Secretary of Treasury to keep secret the companies given money for six months (until after the election).  Could be cronies or even Trump properties.

    What is happening to people is mind-blowing (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 04:58:29 PM EST
    As is the knowledge of how fragile the whole system was.

    I'm mostly afraid that the solution to the economic crash is going to be to let everyone back out and just accept that we have to deal with the sick people. And it might be a legitimate approach - instead of bailing people and companies out, put the money into medical capacity and finding life saving treatment.

    I don't have any answers and I don't know who to trust to say what the best approach is. I take that back - I do trust Hillary Clinton in the situation.

    what is Hillary's position? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 05:16:21 PM EST
    I would trust it as well.

    Hillary says: (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 08:03:02 PM EST

    • Free testing
    • Fee waivers
    • Emergency sick leave
    • Quarantines
    • Cancellations
    • Giving a damn

    Is the way to get it under control. She also says that tough measures like Cuomo has taken are what is going to have to be done.

    I think I have recovered from COVID-19 (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 07:02:30 AM EST
    When I was ill, the lack of testing was very upsetting, not knowing if I was a danger to others. Then I found out Johns Hopkins is harvesting plasma from recovered donors, because that has helped some of the most vulnerable, and I am a universal plasma donor. But you need a positive test, at least you did last week, maybe antibody test is coming soon. And now, as I am feeling fine and my old self, knowing you have recovered places you in a position to help others a little more freely. Watch a baby for a couple of hours for someone who needs a break. The lack of testing is socially crippling. Man I hate Trump.

    Seriously. (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 02:48:43 PM EST
    We had to do church on Facebook Live today. I saw a lot of lonely comments. The priest cannot visit anyone because of the virus. The priest cannot even go to the hospital. No one can help anyone because of the virus. We're all sitting in our houses by ourselves or with our families. So many people want to help others but don't want to risk giving them the virus or possibly picking up the virus and giving it to their family or others. It all boils down to no testing as you say.

    This week we are starting "limited testing" here in GA. We are weeks behind states like CO and MN. We are so screwed. I would not be surprised to see GA have one of the largest death counts in the country. Kemp must know this because he has been refusing to do anything and has passed the buck on closings to mayors.


    My husband's father has begun (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 07:20:35 PM EST
    Hospice in Morrisville PA

    None of us can visit him

    Hard times


    This is the story (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 07:58:23 PM EST
    at my father in law's retirement home. Nobody can visit him unless he is on his deathbed. Nobody can visit anybody. It's not just our family. He was doing okay with this until they quarantined him to his room and he is having to sit in his room 24/7 and the staff brings him his meals. His meals were a big social event for him where he got to talk to his buddies. He can't play his weekly card games. I know this sounds like small potatoes to a lot of us but hanging out with his buddies was keeping him going. I wonder how many are just going to give up now and pass away from getting tired of just sitting in their room for days on end.

    I am so sorry (none / 0) (#125)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 08:01:27 PM EST
    Thanks (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 08:09:28 PM EST
    I hope your hubby is holding up over all this with his father. Hospice is wonderful. And hospice workers are used to having families in to help a lot. I'm sure this is also incredibly hard for the workers too.

    This whole thing makes me sick. I alternate between being scared and being angry.


    I talked to my CA cousin last night (none / 0) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 08:03:59 PM EST
    Her mother my aunt is 92 and lives alone in a little farm town in the Central Valley. She and her husband live north of SF in a real hotspot so they went down and are staying with her.  They are not letting any of the other siblings visit.  They decided to just go stay with her.  Not even her nurse is coming anymore.

    rules just changed at the care home (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 08:24:18 PM EST
    in Northern California (Ukiah area of Mendocino County) where my 96-year-old mother "lives." She has no memory and almost no mental functioning from advanced Alzheimer's. Yet (sadly, truth be told) she is physically pretty well. They just changed the policy from visiting ok if you first wash you hands, visit privately (away from other residents) and stay only ten minutes, as it was last week, to no in-person visits at all except when/if death is imminent. My mother cannot benefit from phone calls, videochat, email, etc. My sister, who lives nearby, was visiting several times per week, holding her hand, bringing great-grandchildren or pictures thereof, etc. Now a very sad situation has turned almost unbearably sadder.

    So sorry. (5.00 / 4) (#136)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 08:28:09 PM EST
    That is so heartbreaking. (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by leap on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 09:30:27 PM EST
    I'm so sorry you are going through this.

    Peter, I'm so very sorry (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 24, 2020 at 10:49:06 AM EST
    This is not only hard on the family, it's even harder on the patients.
    Social isolation is a real thing that can cause vulnerable people to, basically, give up, and can hasten their deaths.  Even those in the depths of dementia can respond to people visiting and caring about them, even if they don't recognize them.  Humans have evolved to be social beings, and human contact is important.
    (And, I don't mean to imply any criticism of the care facility, I'm sure it's excellent, but having family coming on a regular basis does help keep the staff on their toes.)
    It's just a horrible time for all.  We will all get through this, eventually.

    I would be very surprised if it were true (none / 0) (#113)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 03:21:22 PM EST
    that clergy would be prevented from making hospital visits, if they wore the same gear that the nurses are wearing and were willing the take the same degree of risk.

    In a life (none / 0) (#116)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 06:20:00 PM EST
    or death situation they probably would be allowed but apparently not recommended for routine visits since the clergy could bring the coronavirus unknowingly to a patient.

    My brother in law is currently in ICU with pneumonia. When my sister in law took him to the hospital the staff would not let her go any further than the waiting room and if the waiting room got where people waiting couldn't be 6 feet apart they had to leave. Fortunately it was a nice day and so she just went and sat outside.


    Father-in-law hospicing (none / 0) (#121)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 07:21:54 PM EST
    We will not be allowed to visit until his final hours to better protect the staff.

    If you believe the reporting (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 05:27:46 PM EST
    There is not enough medical supplies and equipment on earth to deal with the number of sick people when you let everyone back out.

    It's not a matter of money they simply don't exist and can't be manufactured on the scale needed.

    Things like respirators


    Triage (none / 0) (#85)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 07:34:37 AM EST
    Who Gets Care as Hospitals Fill Up?

    March 21, 2020 at 8:24 am EDT By Taegan Goddard 3 Comments

    New York Times: "Medical leaders in Washington State, which has the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the country, have quietly begun preparing a bleak triage strategy to determine which patients may have to be denied complete medical care in the event that the health system becomes overwhelmed by the coronavirus in the coming weeks."

    "Fearing a critical shortage of supplies, including the ventilators needed to help the most seriously ill patients breathe, state officials and hospital leaders held a conference call on Wednesday night to discuss the plans... The triage document, still under consideration, will assess factors such as age, health and likelihood of survival in determining who will get access to full care and who will merely be provided comfort care, with the expectation that they will die."

    Agreed. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 05:40:50 PM EST
    It is not so much that Trump was asleep at the switch as that he removed it.  The disbanding of the Pandemic Response Unit of the NSC scrubbed away the organized rapid response expertise.

     However, Trump had another switch--actually, an alarm bell. From the briefings he sensed the danger to himself and his re-election prospects so he swung into the kind of action he knows. Trickery and deceit. He launched a propaganda effort to convince his supporters and friendly media types that the pandemic was a hoax. A hoax promulgated by Democrats trying out a new impeachment tactic.

    But, the virus did not yield well to MAGA rallies, lawsuits and claims of rigging.  The virus does not do emails. Although, never too late to call it by a nasty nickname..China virus.

    Trump is now trying to catch-up on the pandemic and to do something about the economy. The only way to deal with the economy is to address the cause: effectively address the direness of the pandemic .Mobilize every federal resource to assist states and local governments. Until the coronavirus is satisfactorily managed, fiscal and monetary interventions will be, at best, an amelioration to the economy.

    A Depression would be even worse than that in the 1930s. Not even able to sell apples or pencils on the streets. But, I do hope that Trump and the Republicans will agree to lessen the suffering of the workers, with grants and expanded safety netting. Airlines, Cruise Ships etc., need taxpayer strings attached. No buy backs, loans-- generally, not grants.  And, the steps and amounts  need to be substantial.  No half-steps will do the job.


    Warren (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 07:58:57 PM EST
    had some really good points when it came to the businesses. Like you say no stock buy backs with the bonuses and no executive bonuses for a period of time. The last thing we want is another example of the CEOs using tax payer money to give themselves million dollar bonuses.

    Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) told a group of well-connected "Tar Heel Circle" donors from his home state during a luncheon at Washington's posh Capitol Hill Club:

    "There's one thing that I can tell you about this [COVID-19 coronavirus]: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history. It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic."

    But publicly, Sen. Burr never offered a similar warning, Trump continued to downplay the threat until a few days ago, and other Republicans mindlessly parroted Fox News propaganda like the stooges they are.

    May there be a special place in Hell for the GOP.

    On Feb 13, Senator Burr (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 08:29:41 PM EST
    sold between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his holdings in 29 separate transactions.  The VIP meeting was Feb 27.

    Sen Kelly Loeffler too (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 08:38:48 PM EST
    lets not forget about her.

    A week or so before the market began to tank.

    When the official partyline was still that there was no need to panic.


    A net worth of 500 m (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 09:17:17 PM EST
    And she still just had jump all over this crisis/opportunity.

    Tell me money isn't like crack to some people.


    third one -- (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by leap on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 11:53:11 PM EST
    Ron Johnson. Surprise surprise.

    Wonder who else is going to appear from the shadows? Damned corrupt Greedy Old Party needs to curl up and die.


    Diane Feinstein, Democrat (none / 0) (#76)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 08:17:18 PM EST
    Is on that list of Senators. She is practically a DINO IMO. I am no fan of Diane Feinstein.

    Except no. While DiFi's husband did sell (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 09:04:01 PM EST
    jointly owned stock in the same general time frame, as Fox gleefully pointed out, it appears that he sold a stock that was dropping, and sold it at a loss. They (she) did not profit off inside information by selling high a stock that was about to drop.

    OK Peter. I take you at your work. (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:27:11 PM EST
    Can I still not like Diane Feinstein? I think her best days are behind her. Time to move on. She is in her 80s.

    Yes, after her (none / 0) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 09:49:19 PM EST
    briefing on the Coronavirus.  But, to be fair, the newest senator, appointed by the infamous Gov Kemp, also purchased stock during that period---stock in a telework software company.  And,too, the stock sold was jointly owned with her husband who is the CEO of the NY Stock Ecchange.

    Loeffler and her husband (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 12:23:10 AM EST
    made a total of 29 stock transactions starting in mid-Febuary, all but two of which were sales.

    I'm pretty sure Keysdan was being snarky. (none / 0) (#43)
    by vml68 on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:54:22 AM EST

    Yes, (none / 0) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 11:26:37 AM EST
    and the two buy transactions were for stock in Citrix, a Telework software company, which has seen a small bump owing to the stay in place work environment. The stocks sold subsequently took a bath.  

    I am beginning (none / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 10:07:25 PM EST
    to wonder if there are any Republican office holders, Cabinet members , or senior staff who have not unloaded holdings.

    Which happens to be a felony (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 10:49:27 PM EST
    under an insider-trading law enhancement enacted in 2012 (who was President, then, I wonder?), called the STOCK Act.

    Richard Burr (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:44:56 AM EST
    was one of just three senators who voted against the STOCK Act.   And, the only one of the three still in the senate.  

    AG Barr is surely on this.


    Per SEC Rule 10b5-1, ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:28:43 AM EST
    ... if Sen. Burr and the other senators possessed material nonpublic information the presumption is that they traded based on that information, unless they can demonstrate a prior order or plan to sell the securities.

    ... the same story.

    UPDATE: The story gets even worse. (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 08:34:27 PM EST
    It turns out that Sen. Burr apparently offloaded between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his stock holdings on Feb. 13 in 29 separate transactions, after receiving confidential briefings from U.S. intelligence officials about the looming threat posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Publicly, he was still reassuring everyone in his capacity as Chair of the Senate Committee on Intelligence that everything was okay.

    UPDATE No. 2: Let's make that ... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 01:14:10 AM EST
    "There is no calamity greater than lavish desires.
    There is no greater guilt than discontentment.
    And there is no greater disaster than greed."

    - Lao-Tzu, Chinese philosopher (604-531 B.C.)

    ... between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his stock holdings on Feb. 13 in 33 separate transactions.



    One wonders how much (none / 0) (#16)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 08:45:13 PM EST
    stock was dumped by others in the Tar Heel Circle, after Burr's (very) private dire warning.

    This was public information before these sales... (none / 0) (#82)
    by SomewhatChunky on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:19:48 PM EST
    Lots of information about this virus was widely available in the press well before these sales.  This was widely known to any informed investor who cared to know it.  Any of us could have acted on it.

    I'm not excusing the behavior of these Senators.  Actually, I spend more time kicking myself for not acting on what I read.   But there are always these kind of stories out there.  It's hard to tell what will become the real issues.

    Here's two specific examples of detailed articles in a major newspaper - in this case the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal:

    "Act Now To prevent An American Epidemic", Jan 28, 2020
    "Stop a US Coronavirus Outbreak before it Starts", Feb 4, 2020

    Both by Dr Borio and Dr Gottlieb, not some random WSJ columnist.  Dr. Borio is a vice president at In-Q-Tel and was director for medical and biodefense preparedness policy at the National Security Council, 2017-19. Dr. Gottlieb is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a board member of Pfizer. He was commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, 2017-19.


    ... there is a vast world of difference between reading a couple of Wall Street Journal op-eds written by two former members of the U.S. public health services who are no longer in positions of authority, and receiving a confidential and up-to-date national security briefing from the U.S. Intelligence Community on the subject of the Chinese government's attempts to cover up the true extent of the COVID-19 epidemic in their country.

    I agree (none / 0) (#130)
    by SomewhatChunky on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 03:46:56 AM EST
    I agree.  As I said, I am not making excuses for the Senators.  I think it is pretty clear what they did.  It is wrong.

    However, I just referenced two articles.  There was tons of information about this available in the same time frame.  

    This is a legal blog.  I'm not a lawyer, but I think it would be pretty difficult to make an insider trading case when this information was clearly in the public domain.


    Shrinking government (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 06:27:28 PM EST
    to drown it in a bathtub, letting the private sector and the investor class take care of things "efficiently" and lead us by the nose..

    How's that workin' out right now, Free Market f*ck-heads?

    These neo-liberal visionaries will be the death of us all.

    The daily Trump propaganda (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by desertswine on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 12:49:33 PM EST
    circus has come on.  In frustration I tuned into Channel 3 which is showing The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.  I am soooo relaxed.

    I am (none / 0) (#87)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 01:01:36 PM EST
    Totally over entertained.  My new TV service includes some new streaming services I purchased a couple more, Netflix and Hulu, and Sling is currently free.

    I have been checking the news a few times a day just to keep track but I am avoiding it almost entirely.  

    I agree with the growing consensus.  They should absolutely stop running that shi+ show live every day.  It's pointless.  Anyone with two brain cells left to rub together will not watch a daily one hour+ Trump campaign commercial.  And those who do will be more scared and learn nothing


    My artist daughter (none / 0) (#88)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 01:02:21 PM EST
    and I always used to joke about Bob working on a painting for six months and it looking exactly like the ones he did in twenty minutes.

    Look out.... (none / 0) (#89)
    by desertswine on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 04:05:59 PM EST
    Bob Ross marathon.    Might as well, its like a sedative.

    William Burroughs said (none / 0) (#90)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 04:27:50 PM EST
    any state induced by drugs can be achieved by other means.

    Watching a hockey game with the sound off while listening to Edgar Varese's Deserts is an interesting experience too.


    the other day I heard (none / 0) (#97)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 04:28:24 AM EST
    Joe Biden's voice on the tv (it was a replay of something he said during his last debate with Bernie) and I could feel my blood pressure rise and immediately changed the channel. Now that I watch so many streaming services instead of cable, I never know where I'll end up when I change the channel -- this time I ended up on a five year old episode of Beat Bobby Flay. I must have watched for 15 minutes before I asked myself what I was doing watching this show I had no interest in. Like you, I definitely calmed down though.

    Today was my birthday... (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by desertswine on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 11:18:06 PM EST
    We went out to eat... NOWHERE.   Because all the d..n restaurants are closed.  This is a sad state of affairs.  Trump, Nazis, disease, economic disaster, right-wing coups..  "We can't stop here, this is bat country!"

    Happy belated B'day, Desertswine. (5.00 / 6) (#102)
    by vml68 on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 10:07:18 AM EST
    Stay safe, stay healthy and you can celebrate at a restaurant when things get better.

    Thank you... (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by desertswine on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 11:32:38 PM EST
    I never thought that I would live this long.  I'm looking forward to a nice dinner at Paisano's.

    I'm sorry I missed this (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 01:18:18 PM EST
    Happy Birthday, ds.

    You're a good man, Charlie Brown.


    In case you hadn't (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 01:38:34 PM EST
    heard, the government is now reccomending that people stop eating bats.

    I had to laugh at this... (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 01:46:05 PM EST
    Israeli mom venting at "distance learning."

    Belated (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 05:13:42 PM EST
    Happy birthday!
    Stay safe and well.  {{Hugs- now more virtual than ever}}

    Random thoughts (2.00 / 1) (#23)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 12:08:52 AM EST
    Not sure truckers should be included in those who will lose jobs.  Currently any trucker that wants to work can get work.  They are working overtime to deliver stuff as fast as they can.

    The US has plenty of ability to produce food and what I will call basic needs stuff like soap, toilet paper, and had cleaner.  The current problem is that some folks are hoarding with way more toilet paper than they will ever need.

    Just a personal pet peeve but I would be overjoyed if all the cruise lines went out of business.  Every year they are fined millions of dollars for environmental violations like dumping garbage, bilge oil, and other bad stuff; they view it as a cost of business.

    I do thing there will be economic discontinuities in lots of places.  For a long time the US has been dissed as being too materialistic and crass.  So things like eating out every night, going to shows, displaying your wealth with status symbols (often with the debt associated with living beyond your means) going away does not bother me at all.

    On the other hand a lot of what I call productive people will have little trouble finding work.  Auto mechanics, plumbers, electricians, and folks who make things will are a few examples.  I also suspect there will be a shift to what I call health care jobs.

    As the Capt noted there are simply not enough doctors, nurses, other health care workers, and the machines they need are simply in short supply; even if we wanted to treat and test more folks the supply is not enough for the demand.

    One of the biggest things I see happening is a huge reduction in what is sometime called globalism.  Lots of bipartisan support for a bill to reduce drugs we currently buy from China and India and produce them in the US.  One problem with ventilators is that the boards to control them are now all produced in China and China needs all they can produce for internal needs.  Musk for one says he will try and start producing them, and 3M is switching some of their resources to produce masks.  While the prices will be higher than what China could charge the supply will be more secure.

    Another change I see will be more secure borders.  Not just in the US but around the world borders are being closed and I suspect countries will not go back to more open borders.  No question there will be an economic cost and a change in migration patterns.

    Just as an aside when I was in Mexico in November and December the peso was about 18 to the dollar; now it is over 23 to the dollar.  My cruising friends report similar stronger dollar exchange rates all around the world.

    Maybe the biggest change will be how the US and the rest of the world views China.  Today they claimed no new corona virus cases, but kinda backtracked to 35 new ones.  Does anyone (not just in the US but world wide) think China is coming clean with how they handled the pandemic in it's early stages.  There are real attacks on oriental looking folks in Europe as a result of China being blamed for ham handed actions to force easy travel   from China to Europe (and Italy in particular).

    To repeat There is a Chinese curse which says 'May he live in interesting times.'

    "Oriental looking folks" (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 12:22:33 AM EST

    No wonder Asian Americans have been driven into the Democratic Party.  


    oriental is a deprecated term (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 04:14:33 AM EST
    that has not been used for years. The word has been replaced with "Asian". No one goes out for "oriental" food any more, they go out for Asian or fusion food or Thai or Malaysian or Vietnamese or Chinese, but not "oriental."

    NBC News on word "Oriental" (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 04:20:04 AM EST
    Article here

    The term Asian American, however, signaled a shared and interconnected history of immigration, labor exploitation and racism, as well as a common political agenda. It was also a pushback against the pejorative word "Oriental."

    "There was a recognition that the term Oriental was a Eurocentric term that geographically referenced the East relative to Europe," said Karen Umemoto, director of UCLA's Asian American Studies Center, which was co-founded by Ichioka in 1969. "Many of the stereotypes of Orientals and Orientalism was part of the project of imperialist conquest -- British, and later, American -- in Asia, with the exoticization of the Oriental as well as the creation of threat and fear, as evidenced in the yellow peril movement."

    The U.S. Census first used the term Asian American in 1980, according to Paul Ong, a professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA who has also served as an advisor to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. It was only in 2016 that the U.S. government formally banned the word Oriental in federal law, instead requiring the use of the term Asian American.

    Agreed... it's Depricated (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by jmacWA on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 06:54:11 AM EST
    When was the last time you were referred to as Occidental?  In my 68 years, I don't remember anyone ever calling me occidental.  

    Not that I can remember, at least not on purpose (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 09:19:15 AM EST
    only by occident.

    Groooaaaan! (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by vml68 on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:53:01 AM EST
    That's a dad joke :-)

    Looks like your (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:38:09 AM EST
    spell check failed you there....

    ... "occidentalis," meaning western or westerly. Likewise, the Latin term "orientalis" means eastern or easterly.

    When I was a biology major at the University of Washington, one of the core requirements for most all science majors was a linguistics class in Greek and Latin roots. Thus, or so the idea was, whenever I'd see the name Pecia Orientalis, I as a biologist should therefore immediately recognize its reference as the eastern spruce tree.

    But honestly, were you to ask me what species of squirrel was running around in my mother's back yard and I responded with its Latin name Sciurus griseus occidentalis rather than the more common "western gray squirrel," you'd more than likely shoot me a "WTF?" look and wonder what planet I was from.

    In everyday English, the use of Latin-based nomenclature has pretty much (and thankfully) gone the way of spoken Latin.



    What did I miss (2.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 01:02:41 AM EST
    Probably the least significant thing in my post and you think it is worthy of a comment.

    All of a piece (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:40:35 AM EST
    Your post was very much nationalistic and anti-immigrant, anti-globalism, etc.



    Are they inscrutable, too? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 01:55:38 AM EST
    "I'm not racist! I'll be the first to say it, it's not their fault they're colored!"
    - Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Conner), "All in the Family"

    The most insidious aspect of latent racism is that it's been so embedded in our psyche from our upbringing and experience that oftentimes, we're not even aware when we've given offense.

    Because here's the rub - it doesn't matter what you think you said but rather, what the other person heard you say.

    I daresay we've probably all been guilty of latent racism at one time or another, so you're hardly alone.

    But the good thing is that latent racism can be unlearned and overcome with conscious effort and greater awareness on your part. So, when someone points it out, consider it part of your unlearning experience.



    You can define things any way you want (2.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 02:03:42 AM EST
    Problem for you is from Websters online


    of, from, or characteristic of Asia, especially East Asia.

    I learned the definition of oriental from the dictionary.  Probably most educated folks learn definitions the same way.  Do you have any source claiming oriental is racist; or do you just make things up as you go along to insult people you don't agree with.

    I hope you are not suggesting I need to unlearn the Websters dictionary definitions.


    Here's an additional (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:09:09 AM EST
    "noun. Definition of Oriental (Entry 2 of 2) 1 dated, now usually offensive : ASIAN
    especially : one who is a native of east Asia or is of east Asian descent"   (Emphasis mine.)

    You only looked at the the top of the Google page, you apparently didn't check the website your cited definition came from.


    Second entry (1.00 / 4) (#50)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 11:59:18 AM EST
    is called second entry because it is not as well accepted as the first entry.  So my definition is more acceptable according to the link.

    Get over it (1.67 / 3) (#51)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 12:27:55 PM EST
    What is perfectly acceptable at one time is horribly racist years later. The big benefit to that is by adopting the new PC lingo you can show how morally superior you are to those that used or use terms that are now unPC.

    Give it a few more years and the second entry will become the first, and the old first will have added "archaic"


    The name of the former Northwest Airlines ... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 11:24:07 AM EST
    ... (since merged with Delta Air Lines in 2010) was Northwest Orient, which reflected a conscious rebranding decision by the carrier in 1950 to market its status at the time as the largest U.S. airline serving east Asia. There was a good reason why the airline eventually dropped the "Orient" portion of its name in 1987, in another conscious marketing decision.

    Over the years since the end of the Second World War, Japanese Americans had become a fairly influential demographic in the U.S. west. They had long bristled at the use of the term "oriental," and they now began publicly voicing their objections. Even the company's '70s-era commercial jingle now sounds terribly dated and racially stereotyped.

    Regardless of whether or not it meets with your approval, modern American society is both dynamic and multi-cultural, and the English language can and will evolve accordingly to reflect the times in which we live. We don't refer to African Americans as "colored people" or "darkies" anymore, either. Like "oriental," those once-acceptable terms in majority-white American parlance are now considered dated race-based pejoratives.

    So, please take a hint, and don't double down on ignorance.


    Every dictionary (1.00 / 2) (#49)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 11:57:40 AM EST
    I know of, including Websters, has employees who's job is to keep up with which words are in general usage and which words should be removed from the dictionary since they are no longer being used.

    Since oriental is still in the mainstream dictionaries it is obviously in general use.  As I posted below I have no problem with folks having to go to their safe space if something offends you but lets not pretend the word is not in the dictionary and by implication in general usage just the way I used it.

    What worries me more is the point I was making is that a group of people were being attacked since they were being associated with problems caused by the corona virus.  While China was very heavy handed in forcing Italy to accept direct flights from China to Northern Italy long after they should have been stopped these attacks were not limited to individuals from China, who may or may not be to blame, but to any one who looked like they were from China.

    There have even been isolated attacks in the US, and other countries as well.  The bigger point is the corona virus has changed how we look at people from other countries and increased the call for stronger border control.  Many countries have closed their borders or greatly limited entries to people they view as safe.  Even if this means a hit to the world economy it is likely to get worse before it gets better; no matter how much big business and the globalist don't like it.


    ragebot: "Since oriental is still in the mainstream dictionaries it is obviously in general use."

    ... only to once again roll snake eyes.


    And, some of your best (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 05:29:48 PM EST
    friends are "Orientals," right?

    Rugs are oriental. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 08:22:27 PM EST
    People are not.

    An oriental (none / 0) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 11:07:32 AM EST
    is a rug.  They are walked on.

    Funny thing (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 06:28:02 PM EST
    Or maybe not.  Having a hard time telling these days.

    A while back I was talking to an antique dealer I know who wondered allowed how long it would be proper to call the oriental rugs.


    Here (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 08:07:51 PM EST
    NEW YORK -- Here at Persian Gallery New York, we often refer to our antique decorative carpets by the more traditional term, "oriental rugs."
    In an interesting editorial that was recently published on the carpet industry website, RugNews.com, editor Lissa Wyman makes the point that the term "oriental rugs" is antiquated, and no longer accurately reflects the hand-woven carpets that are popular today. (To see the original article, click here)

    Being "oriental rug" dealers, this article raises the question, should we abandon the use of this phraseology? Should the usage of term "oriental rugs" be phased out, in favor of the phrases, "antique decorative carpets," "hand-woven carpets," or the terms mentioned in Ms. Wyman's article, "neo-traditional" or "transitional" carpets?

    Like anything else, the answer depends on whom is being asked the question



    Years ago those same rugs (none / 0) (#78)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 08:39:47 PM EST
    we're called Persian carpets, but that name seems to have disappeared.  My collection of Persian carpets is up to about twenty now and I also have two nice carved Chinese carpets.

    Love love my Persiam, Kashmir, (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 08:59:21 PM EST
    and assorted carpets. But, physical therapist daughter says get rid of them. No way. So beautiful.

    Typical (none / 0) (#34)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 08:19:56 AM EST
    glibertarian BS, all pro big business and anti regulation until its in your backyard.
    Just a personal pet peeve but I would be overjoyed if all the cruise lines went out of business.  Every year they are fined millions of dollars for environmental violations like dumping garbage, bilge oil, and other bad stuff; they view it as a cost of business.

    What did I post that was (none / 0) (#48)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 11:45:34 AM EST
    big business.

    I (none / 0) (#60)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 02:57:22 PM EST
    thought you were the one extolling the virtues of the fracking industry, if not  I apologize.

    Looks like some folks are gonna need a bigger (none / 0) (#47)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 11:44:11 AM EST
    Why is anyone here wasting their time (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by vml68 on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 12:35:58 PM EST
    trying to educate Ragebot or appeal to his better nature.
    His history of comments on similar subjects have shown that rather than avoid using a term most people will find offensive (specially when it will cost him absolutely nothing to do so), he will double down.

    Some people refuse to evolve, it is only a matter of time before Darwin/nature has their say.


    That is the problem (none / 0) (#54)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 01:22:03 PM EST
    You need to get out more.  While most people you hang with may think using the term oriental people is offensive that does not mean most people think it is offensive.

    It is acceptable as the the first definition in the Websters dictionary shows.  If you live in an echo chamber where everyone is triggered by the same thing you get a distorted view of the reality.  If you get out in public and use the term oriental it will hardly raise an eyebrow.

    Dictionaries go to great lengths to keep up with the current usage of words.  Saying things are changing is one thing, but keep in mind for the majority of folks things like this stay the same.  I understand some folks get triggered by some things and often they are the loudest voices in the room.  On the other hand most folks just ignore them and go their own way.

    But I keep going back to the bigger point of my original post that there will be a major shake up in border security and how the US sources more critical products in country instead of buying into the globalism argument and getting something like 98% of our basic drugs from China and India; not to mention lots of critical health care stuff; masks being a great example.

    Instead of arguing over silly word usage you need to start addressing the bigger issue of how the world will change in terms of border security and location of manufacturing; not how PC some terms are.


    You might want to take your own advice. (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by vml68 on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 03:13:25 PM EST
    You need to get out more.

    Most people = other white wingnuts like you?

    does not mean most people think it is offensive

    While, you might see things in terms of PC/not PC, I just see it as being kind and respectful to your fellow human being. Like I said, it costs you nothing to use a different word but by arguing and insisting that your terminology is correct, you reveal yourself for who you are.
    Also, I hate to disappoint you but dinosaurs like you don't trigger me, I just feel pity for you.

    The next time you are in a hospital, don't forget to thank the "oriental" and "negr0" doctors for their service. I am sure they will appreciate it.


    Or the "colored" (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 05:36:47 PM EST

    "If you get out in public and (none / 0) (#67)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 05:36:10 PM EST
     use the term oriental it will hardly raise an eyebrow."

    Uh, no.

    I have not heard anyone use the rug term in California in decades--not even the wingnuts.   Of course, there are millions of Asian Americans here.

    Not sure where it is where you use the rug term without offense.


    Yeah, the rug term (none / 0) (#84)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 10:40:44 PM EST
    is used all the time. My son's in that biz.

    It kind of a lazy catch-all for any rugs from Kazakhstan to Timbuktu.


    We seem to experiencing (none / 0) (#17)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 09:05:31 PM EST
    shortages of both milk and eggs here.  I hope it is only very temporary.  I can't understand why. I know that cows and chickens don't get the virus.

    My daughter is a nurse who's been working in the icu at the hospital.  She visited me today but wouldn't get out of the car for fear of passing the disease to me.  So we spoke in the driveway for a while with me standing a few feet away.  I gave her some eggs.

    Sure, of course (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 08:16:48 AM EST

    Most Approve of Trump Response to Crisis

    March 20, 2020 at 6:53 am EDT By Taegan Goddard 146 Comments

    A new ABC News-Ipsos poll finds 55% of Americans approve of the President Trump's management of the coronavirus crisis, compared to 43% who disapprove.

    Trump's approval on this issue is up from last week, when the numbers were nearly reversed.

    Unendurable, (none / 0) (#62)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 03:19:49 PM EST
    but unsurprising.  The "optics" of the Trump Pandemic are better, turning on a dime ---from hoax to hokey.  Daily TV reality shows that, at least, bring on Dr. Fauci for Trump mop ups and an opportunity to check out Dr, Birx's latest scarf ensemble.

     And, stimulus packages are in the air. Cash on its way. And, no avalanche of sickness and death, yet.  All wrapped up in a rally around the flag pole, wanting against better judgment to trust the president.  But, realizing we have go into this pandemic with the president we have not the president we deserve.  

    As with wars, as they drag on, likely get worse and the incompetence becomes even more glaringly apparent,  approvals will, once again, be at the hoax level or worse.


    That might be scarier (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 06:29:45 PM EST
    Or at least as scary as the virus.

    I mean seriously.  After what he has done for weeks and his approval goes up.

    That is some Twilight Zone shi+


    It's a start (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 06:31:38 PM EST
    Trump's Words on Pandemic Used Against Him

    March 20, 2020 at 4:52 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 206 Comments

    This new ad from a Democratic super PAC is brutal.

    Greg Sargent: "The group is set to air digital spots in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin -- the three `blue wall' states Trump cracked in 2016 -- that document an extensive array of times that Trump minimized coronavirus, falsely downplayed the threat it posed and absurdly hyped his own handling of it."

    One good anti-Trump ad (none / 0) (#75)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 08:09:42 PM EST
    could show him awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Limbaugh and then playing the tape of Limbaugh announcing over the airwaves a couple of weeks ago "this is the common cold, folks!"

    If those numbers are correct (none / 0) (#81)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 09:07:50 PM EST
    then it's just a further example of how completely misinformed (or stupid) the American public really is. This administration's response is a complete $hit$how.

    I've been watching the daily presser just to see how completely insane orange jesus is going to get. That spectacle is a sad $hit$how. Peter Alexander threw the moron a complete softball. Gave him an opportunity he didn't deserve and his response was to attack. To hell with fitness to be POTUS, he is unfit to breathe.

    Please, please relieve us from this nightmare. "By any means necessary."


    It's crazy to think (none / 0) (#35)
    by CST on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 08:42:56 AM EST
    The restaurant industry is finally dead but I really don't see how it recovers from this.  The pressures of thin margins and high rents were already there, throw this on top and it may never come back.

    I feel fortunate because my job is fairly recession proof but even we are pulling back.  Can't do traffic counts or hold public hearings anytime soon.

    I honestly can't imagine what the world is going to look like if this goes on much longer.  Every job is on the line.

    All true (1.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 12:32:05 PM EST
    This is a perfect time to raise the minimum wage!  It won't cause any significant layoffs or reduction in hours. A small increase in bankruptcy will be hardly noticeable.

    It's a perfect time to introduce (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by CST on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 02:22:24 PM EST
    Universal healthcare and ubi.

    Increasing the minimum wage should have happened years ago.


    What We Don't Know (none / 0) (#55)
    by RickyJim on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 01:26:14 PM EST
    I try to keep abreast of latest knowledge on COVID-19 by reading everything I can find by epidemiologists and medical professionals on the subject.  Here is a list of questions which I think are very important but nobody seems to know the definitive answers at present.

    1. Can you be infected a second time after recovering?
    2. Is the number of people testing positive for the virus (not necessarily showing symptoms) uniform among age groups?
    3. Why do the symptoms get more severe with increasing age?
    4. What are accurate statistics by age groups for contagion (R number), severe symptoms, death.

    My guess is that when we know the answers, the panic will subside since I doubt that the current public policy of assuming the worst possible scenario in all cases is correct.

    RickyJim: "I doubt that the current public policy of assuming the worst possible scenario in all cases is correct."

    ... on the basis of well-established statistical public health modeling, than to underreact on the rationale of wishful thinking.

    Responsible and sound public policy development, especially in the realm of public safety and public health, dictates that you always plan for emergencies based upon worst case scenarios which will hopefully not occur.

    When government fails to do so, then citizens and residents are left to the mercy of chance and the elements, and what might have been an otherwise manageable emergency can very quickly devolve into a real catastrophe. (See New Orleans, September 2005.)

    Always remember that the operative word in the term "once-a-century storm" is neither "storm" nor "century" but rather, "once." That is, an event of considerable and sufficient magnitude only has to happen once, for it to then wreak enormous havoc and destruction upon both people and property. One's chance for survival increases accordingly with proper advance planning and preparation to mitigate such an impact.

    A pandemic is the medical equivalent of a perfect storm.


    Italy's (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 20, 2020 at 04:14:47 PM EST
    death rate is about 8 percent. South Korea at 1.1 percent.  Studies are underway to determine the higher death rate in Italy. So far, it seems to be co-morbities.  Elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease (one or more). All seen in an older population. Although the US is a younger population than Italy, it appears, due to Trump's political motivations,the sluggish and incompetent response, the US will be more like Italy than South Korea. But, hopefully, more like 2 percent.

    Wow (none / 0) (#91)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 05:23:47 PM EST
    Sadly, the more we learn about the coronavirus pandemic, on both the medical and economic sides, the worse the best-case scenarios become.

    Why it matters: Some readers tell us they think virus coverage has been overly dramatic. So we wanted to share with you the consensus of what the most clear-eyed, serious, optimistic people are saying, as a way to focus our minds.

    Tens of thousands of Americans die, we have double-digit unemployment for months, countless businesses die, retirements are wiped out, and the nation is saddled with once unimaginable debt.

    That, folks, is the best case scenario we're facing.
    That's if we're lucky -- and doesn't even mention the lost graduations, honeymoons, weddings, and other important missed milestones.

    there's a lot more if you want to hear it

    And if that doesn't depress you (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 06:31:04 PM EST
    This does not frighten me in and of itself (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 07:11:29 AM EST
    These plans are in place to protect the democracy, not take it over. But in hands of the Class of 86 West Point Mafia, it could be a concern. And Espers is also a 1986 graduate of West Point. The class is running DC right now, and they are corrupt AF.

    Exactly my point (none / 0) (#101)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 10:03:22 AM EST
    This crisis is scary but it's not the scary part.  The scary part IMO is what could be done with these powers on the wrong hands.

    Does anyone believe we are in the right hands.

    Trump understands distraction while you do the real shi+ while everyone is to busy to notice better that anyone.


    I'm an optimist but (none / 0) (#103)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 10:19:23 AM EST
    The virus is scary.  Very scary.  It's also survivable.  But the perfect storm of a stupid low information public mixed with a corrupt majority in the senate and a packed Supreme Court all run by an insane autocrat surrounded by some of the worst people on earth who can only really be expected at this point to use the virus scare for personal agendas, that  scares me.

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by FlJoe on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 02:03:55 PM EST
    this could easily be their "Reichstag fire".

    I left out (none / 0) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 10:28:07 AM EST
    The worthless governmental mouthpiece mass media.

    There are enough top Generals (none / 0) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 11:46:14 AM EST
    That have the public trust and troop trust to challenge them I think we are okay. Eaton, Clark, Hertling, even Powell (just a list off the top of my head of faces recognizable to many Americans) would fight them.

    I am no Mark Milley fan either, but he does not like any of the West Point Mafia.


    Frum yer comment (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 11:54:38 AM EST
    To godz ears

    I'm not a head (none / 0) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 07:18:14 PM EST
    in the sand type of person but this makes me want to be.

    And the Barr Justice Department's idea (none / 0) (#94)
    by Peter G on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 09:00:54 PM EST
    Anything (none / 0) (#105)
    by KeysDan on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 10:41:24 AM EST
    out of Barr should be considered malevolent.  Surely he knows   any such legislation is doomed by the Democratic House.  So, he either is.depending on trickery and deceit to get such measures as indefinite detention of citizens snuck into town, or it is a deliberate attempt to increase already high anxiety so as to weaken immune systems and impair the ability to fight disease, or to otherwise do harm through political control.  A Dominionist mobilization.

    If Barr really wants to be of help, he could join Trump with one of his greatest crisis hits, throw paper towels and rolls of toilet paper to the crowds.


    Hawaii Gov. David Ige ... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 21, 2020 at 11:47:38 PM EST
    ... may not have the authority to shut state borders, but he's done the next best thing today by ordering a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all airline and cruise ship passengers who are arriving at our seaports and airports from outside the state.

    The order goes into effect at 12:01am on Thursday, March 27, applies to both residents and visitors alike but exempts interisland travel for obvious reasons, and will remain in force for the duration of the emergency.

    Our COVID-19 numbers are indeed increasing increasing, but at a slower rate that states on the U.S. mainland. Further, all but one of the 48 people who've tested positive thus far have been either visitors or returning residents, and the one exception was a hospitality industry employee who interacted extensively and closely with visitors.

    Very aggressive testing by the Hawaii Dept. of Health and medical providers strongly indicates that so far at least, the coronavirus's primary vector into the state appears to be arriving visitors and returning residents, and that inter-community transmission of coronavirus in the islands isn't really occurring. That could change, of course. But for right now, that's good news.

    Aloha a mālama pono.

    Donald, are they doing any (none / 0) (#100)
    by fishcamp on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 08:11:51 AM EST
    type of testing for inter island flights?  



    No, but the aircraft are being ... (none / 0) (#119)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 07:20:10 PM EST
    ... thoroughly cleaned at regular intervals rather than just overnight, which has lengthened the turnaround time for the B717 aircraft at the gates. Prior to the crisis, Hawaiian Airlines could offload and load passengers and baggage from their interisland jets in less than 30 minutes. Now, every fourth flight segment requires a 90-minute layover at HNL to clean and disinfect.

    Oops, I must correct myself. (none / 0) (#122)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 22, 2020 at 07:23:43 PM EST
    Interisland passengers are being scanned at security checkpoints for body temperatures. If you have even a slight fever, regardless of reason, you're denied entry into the secured areas of the airport and are effectively grounded.