April 4, 2020

The Trump dump

Trump Elevates Unqualified Judge as a Reward for Defending Kavanaugh
Trump 'severely mentally troubled' and must resign from coronavirus response, mental health group warns

Trump talk - The models show hundreds of thousands of people are going to die and you know what I want to do? I want to come way under the model.The professionals did the models and I was never involved in a model. At least this kind of a model

Forbes thinks Trump's net worth is down $1 billion


The change in number of cases in past week
  • Globally up 80%
  • USA up170%... Most cases of any country
  • United Kingdom up  148%
  • Spain up 73%
  • Germany up 89%
  • Iran up 57%
  • Italy up 30%
  • Korea up 6%
  • China no change
[The Chinese figures are questioned by a number of sources]

 Death rate
  • Worst: Italy is worst at 12,9%
  • Global 5.3%
  • USA 2.6%
  • Spain is second at 9.4%
  • United Kingdom: 8.6%
  • Iran's death rate is 5.7% - down a bit
  • Germany is  1,3%  - steady
  • Of major states, only Washington has a death rate over 4%
  • Michigan and Pennsyhlvania are down slightly
  • Louisiana, Michicgan, and Georgia are over over 3%
  • Top states remain New York and New Jersey


Coronavirus compared to SARS, Ebola, Swine flu 

Americans overwhelmingly approve $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill

Jared Kushner’s family real estate company, which owns and manages thousands of apartment units, continued its aggressive eviction practices and debt collection lawsuits as Americans wait for government relief. Well into the coronavirus crisis, which has led to skyrocketing unemployment, court records show properties owned by Kushner Companies are still filing new eviction lawsuits.

Dealing with the future by learning from the past

Sam Smith - A time of crisis like this can bring back some old values and skills that we had been taught were no longer important in a time of modern media and capitalism.

For example, what are farms'  new role in a time like this?

Beyond providing food, there's something else to be gained from farms. Farming was built on a model that emphasized skill, cooperation and multi-tasking in a way not seen in a typical corporation. These are skills that we are going to need in a big way these days.  For example, you can own a farm, but to run it well you're going to need help you not only pay, but respect, work well with and rely upon.

And like these times, we can not longer escape reality by clever marketing. Reality is all around us. Just like at a farm. I was taught this early in summer work  When I was 13 I helped to move a house and about the same time helped jack up a 120 foot barn to put more rocks under it. Both these incidents remain in my mind because they showed the triumph of skill over talk, a quality necessary to successful farming. Nelson Mandela, for example,  credited cattle farming rather than universities as his inspiration. Moving herds around, he explained, had taught him how to lead from behind.

The other place where I discovered skill and cooperation leading power was as an officer on a Coast Guard cutter. All 50 men on our ship, regardless of their rank, were essential to our work and while one might have more authority than others, you were still highly dependent on them, leading to a spirit of mutual assistance.

I was reminded of this with the firing of Captain Brett Crozier of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Like a good captain would, he put his crew first with his plea for help. The Navy Secretary, Thomas Modly - despite having once been a Navy officer himself - acted as he might in his former job as managing director of PricewaterhouseCooper - and dumped Crozier. It is worth noting that the crew cheered the captain Molby had fired.

Such qualities as skill and cooperation soar in times like these. It was a matter I addressed back in 1994, in my book Shadows of Hope:
The question we ought to be asking is not what a failing system should be doing but whether such a system can do anything except to make matters worse, all the more so by trying to do something about it. The problem is similar to that illustrated by President Eisenhower's bumbling agriculture secretary Ezra Taft Bensen. When Bensen announced that he would be working day and night on the farm problem, another politician wisely commented, "I wish he wouldn't. He was causing enough trouble when he was just working days."

Ironically, we have come to our present unhappy state in no small part because of our willingness to turn over individual and communal functions to the very systems we now ask to save us.

Functions formerly performed by community, family and church have now been assumed not only by government but to an increasing but unappreciated degree by the private corporation. Consider the modern shopping mall, a common contemporary replacement for a town business district. Although these complexes clearly serve a public function (and are often built with considerable public concessions), they are in fact controlled by a single corporation.... The village square has thus been privatized....

There is also the economy that Hazel Henderson calls the counter-economy -- the non-monetarized economy -- which she says is "still invisible to most economists and policy makers. It is based on. . . altruism, volunteering, community and family cohesiveness, cooperation, sharing, respect for the environment and the rights of future generations, and conservation of all resources -- human and natural." The economic effect of this economy is enormous. For example, the UN's International Labor Organization, studying the role of women in the nonmonetarized segment of the economy, has reported that women globally work 47 percent of all productive hours, but receive only ten percent of the world's wages and own only one percent of the property.
We have been forced into a time when public relations, clever systems, corporatism and technology won't save us. We need to rediscover some of the earlier values and techniques used in times not as purportedly clever as ours were meant to be.  We need cooperatives more than corporations, skill more than slogans, and decency over just winning.

April 3, 2020



Poll: Almost one in four small businesses are two months or less away from closing permanently

Play it again, Sam:Oh Mama

From our overstocked archives:

The Phoenix Jazz Band with Sam on piano & vocals, Bob Walters on trumpet, Jimmy Hamilton on clairnet, Paul Hettich, bass


A Ventilator Stockpile, With One Hitch: Thousands Do Not Work

82,000 Health Care Workers Volunteer for New York

Massachusetts reports 78 nursing homes are turning into funeral homes

Thoughts of Jared Kushner: “The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Kushner said. “It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.”

De Blasio: NYC can 'only get to Monday or Tuesday' with current ventilator supply

The US continues to outpace every other country in coronavirus cases as the pandemic spreads.
There are more than 245,000 confirmed cases in America. That is twice as many as the country with the second-highest number of cases: Spain at 117,000.
Videos show sailors sending off ousted USS Roosevelt commander with cheers

Funniest things left in grocery stores

U.S. sheds 701,000 jobs, ending a record-long hiring streak


The change in number of cases in past week
  • Globally up 103%
  • USA up 259%... Most cases of any country.
  • Spain up  109%
  • Germany up 110%
  • Iran up 81%
  • Italy up 43%
  • Korea up 8%
  • China up 1%
[The Chinese figures are questioned by a number of sources]

 Death rate
  • Global 5.1%
  • USA 2.5%
  • Worst: Italy is worst at 11.9% 
  • Spain is second at 9.0%
  • United Kingdom: 8.6%
  • Iran's death rate is 6.2% - steady
  • Germany is  1,3%  - steady
  • Of major states, only Washington has a death rate over 4%
  • Louisiana and Georgia are down slightly
  • Louisiana, Michicgan remain over 3%

April 2, 2020


 Rachel Maddow MSNBC “Roughly 280 million masks in warehouses around the U.S. were purchased by foreign buyers on Monday alone, according to Forbes. A FEMA spokesperson said the agency ‘has not actively encouraged or discouraged U.S. companies from exporting overseas’.” -Politico

A regional EMT group has issued new guidelines almost unthinkable even days ago -- if someone's in cardiac arrest and you can't revive them in the field, don't bring them to the emergency room

Asian countries face possible second wave of coronavirus infections

Wealthy New Yorkers hiring limo drivers to pick up their letters and parcels and take them to the Hamptons

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot join to create an emergency fund for the arts and artists in Illinois

Booze sales surge during coronavirus outbreak

Pentagon looking to provide up to 100,000 body bags for potential civilian use

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told POLITICO on Tuesday it was "shortsighted" for California leaders to abandon a $200 million emergency preparedness effort he initiated in 2006 to deal with a future pandemic, as the state now scrambles to prepare for a surge in coronavirus cases.

White House Economists Warned in 2019 a Pandemic Could Devastate America

Judge Blasts Wisconsin Governor, Republican-Controlled Legislature For Holding Primary During Pandemic

US coronavirus deaths top 5,000, with 1,000 in one day

New England Patriots plane returning from China with over 1 million N95 masks

Texas governor exempts churches from stay at home rule

Residents in Texas city can face $1,000 fine for not wearing 'some form of covering over their nose and mouth' 

The Rap Sheets of the Big Ventilator Producers

The Maine State Police department said in a Facebook post Wednesday that they've received recent reports of drivers with out-of-state plates being confronted and harassed. Some of these vehicles are likely to be operated by people who are essential workers working in Maine, according to state police,

A prestigious scientific panel told the White House Wednesday night that research shows coronavirus can be spread not just by sneezes or coughs, but also just by talking, or possibly even just breathing.

Carnival still has 6,000 passengers on ships at sea

Word: Cockwomble

vImage may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'Cockwomble (noun) A person, usually male, prone to making outrageously stupid statements and/or inappropriate behaviour while generally having a very high opinion of their own wisdom and importance. Oh, Scotland. The English language is forever in your debt.' 



Milwaukee normally has 180 voting sites; because of coronavirus, fewer than 12 polling places will be open April 7

Pentagon Asks to Keep Future Spending Secret

In March gun background checks up 41%

All Iowa voters to get absentee ballot request form

What If a Shrinking Economy Wasn’t a Disaster?

Lack of skilled ventilator operators

Although this story deals mainly with the problem in NY state, the lack of skilled ventilator operators throughout the country is not getting enough attention

The City -Hospitals around New York and the nation are scrambling to get their hands on as many ventilators as possible to treat a rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 patients.

But even if New York got the 30,000 ventilators it might need to combat an onslaught of seriously ill patients, the state could be caught with too few respiratory therapists, who manage the machines that move air in and out of patients’ lungs.

Roughly 7,500 New Yorkers are licensed to work as respiratory therapists and respiratory therapist technicians, according to the state Department of Education.

That leaves New York with more limited access to ventilator personnel than all but one other state in the U.S., as a share of population, with just 38 therapists and technicians per 100,000 people, according to THE CITY’s analysis of the American Association for Respiratory Care data.

Only Minnesota has fewer. For New York City, the figure is even lower, at 32 professionals per 100,000 people.

“Overall, we just don’t have enough therapists,” said Claire Aloan, an associate professor and program director of the Department of Respiratory Therapy Education at SUNY Upstate Medical Universi


Lowering the Bar - “This is not a lawsuit,” L.A. Superior Court Judge Barbara Meiers said in court on January 31 (Law360), which wasn’t a good sign for the plaintiff at all. Syed Husain had sued his ex-girlfriend for fraud and breach of contract, claiming he spent lots of money on her during their relationship only to have her break up with him. His lawyer insisted that a 2018 promise she made was detailed enough to be enforceable, but the judge appeared to disagree. “Counsel, please, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Meiers said, which is one of the statements upon which I base that conclusion, along with, “Maybe he’s a fool, but that’s not a basis for a lawsuit.” The judge granted a motion for change of venue that, for some reason, the defendant didn’t withdraw when she heard how things were going.

21 state AGs call on Trump to stop rolling back unrelated regulations during COVID-19 crisis

Polls: Public approval

Five  poll average 47% -up 5 points this year. Up 7 since Mar 1

40, 39, 37, 38, 32%  Five poll average 37% - down one  point this year

48, 49, 50% approval. 49% three poll average

Data of the day

Shahnawaz Aging Age Researcher - After 40+ years of research involving a brute force method of data collection, here are the results of the correlation between age and years



The change in number of cases in past week
  • Globally up 106%
  • USA up 221%... Most cases of any country.
  • Spain up  132%
  • Germany up 114%
  • Iran up 87%
  • Italy up 51%
  • Korea up 8%
  • China up 1%
[The Chinese figures are questioned by a number of sources]

 Death rate change during same period:
  • Global 5.1%
  • USA 2.4%
  • Worst: Italy is worst at 11.9% 
  • Spain is second at 9.0%
  • Iran's death rate is 6.2% - down a bit  
  • Germany is  1,3%
Alan McQuillan has analyzed the totals by per capita death rate. First Italy, followed by Spain, Switzerland, Iran, UK, Sweden, Ireland and USA.

  • Death rates in Washington and Louisiana remain over 4%
  • New York has the most deaths, 38% of all American deaths.

April 1, 2020

Andrew Cuomo outlines the ventilator problem well

Guardian - At his daily press briefing in Albany on Tuesday, Cuomo described a “bizarre situation” in which every state buys its own ventilators, pitting them against each other in bidding war.

“You have 50 states competing to buy the same item,” he said.

“We all wind up bidding up each other and competing against each other, where you now literally will have a company call you up and say, ‘Well, California just outbid you.’ It’s like being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was making matters worse, Cuomo added.

“How inefficient! And then Fema gets involved and Fema starts bidding. And now Fema is bidding on top of the 50. So Fema is driving up the price. What sense does this make?

“The federal government, Fema, should have been the purchasing agent: buy everything and then allocate by need to the states. Why would you create a situation where the 50 states are competing with each other and then the federal government and Fema comes in and competes with the rest of it?”

Without attacking Trump directly, the governor added: “Anyone could’ve told you a lot of these things … did you really have to learn that 50 states shouldn’t compete against 50 states, and then Fema shouldn’t come in late and compete with 50 states? It’s not like you had to go to the Harvard Kennedy school to learn this.”

Recovered history: Top White House official in charge of pandemic response exits abruptly

Washington Post May 10, 2018 - The top White House official responsible for leading the U.S. response in the event of a deadly pandemic has left the administration, and the global health security team he oversaw has been disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton.

The abrupt departure of Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer from the National Security Council means no senior administration official is now focused solely on global health security. Ziemer’s departure, along with the breakup of his team, comes at a time when many experts say the country is already underprepared for the increasing risks of a pandemic or bioterrorism attack.

Ziemer’s last day was Tuesday, the same day a new Ebola outbreak was declared in Congo. He is not being replaced.

Pandemic preparedness and global health security are issues that require government-wide responses, experts say, as well as the leadership of a high-ranking official within the White House who is assigned only this role.

... The personnel changes, which Morrison and others characterize as a downgrading of global health security, are part of Bolton’s previously announced plans to streamline the NSC.

Surviving misery and fear

Sam Smith - The virus crisis  periodically raised in my mind the question: have I ever been through something like this before? Three cases came to mind:

First, was my bout with prostate cancer three decades ago. One thing that sticks in my mind was driving by a fast food restaurant in my neighborhood and thinking that my life was over. And then, minutes later saying to myself: "This is my life now. I've still got to live it." A moment to remember.

The other thing I recall is coming out of surgery and being told by the doctor that they had to give me extra anesthesia. Why, I asked.. "Because you were talking too much politics." Even at the peak of this dismal experience, I had apparently found refuge elsewhere.

Then there was the time six decades ago, with the draft was in full swing,  that I applied for Coast Guard Officer Candidate School. At that time all CG officers had to have top secret clearances and my investigation  concluded that my father, who had been in the New Deal from beginning to end,  might be sympathetic to communism. It wasn't true at all, but it was only six years after Joseph McCarthy had been finally censored and so it was still not strange to be asked, "How many Communist books have you read?"

I fought the charges successfully and went to OCS, graduating second in the class among reserves. I would serve as public information officer for a CG district, aide to an admiral, operations officer of a cutter, and executive officer of a reserve unit.  But none of this erased the horror as a 23 year old having to prove yourself not a traitor. It would so impact me that I even turned down jobs at the NY Times and the Washington Post in part because I was afraid that this issue would rise again. The irony was that I became an alternative or "underground" journalist, led to the left in part by the pain of what I had experienced.

Five years later I started a community newspaper on Capitol Hill in Washington, only  it was called the Capitol East Gazette because it served not only those  close to the Capitol but a larger area that was in total 70% black. I was inspired by a former staffer of Saul Alinsky who was organizing our 'hood and we even got a grant from a local Lutheran Church.

But  a year and a half later, Martin Luther King was assassinated  and our 'hood became the target of two the city's largest riot areas. I would later joke that too many of our readers wanted to burn down too many of our advertisers but it was for me, like the city as a whole, a total disaster.  Our living room had smoke from the fires four  blocks away and the store on the corner near my office was smashed. .

We had tried to make our community better but too late.

I tell these stories merely as my own examples of what we all live through: moments we had not anticipated or known how to handle. And I tell these stories to encourage you to think of your own and to remember that you did survive them and will again. Living through madness is part of the price of being human.

Federal court approves winner-take-all in state electoral count


US medical workers hit by pay cuts at height of coronavirus

28 percent of Americans say they've already lost wages due to coronavirus

Poll: Trump's coronavirus bounce fizzles

Scotland drops plans to suspend jury trials during coronavirus crisis 
New CDC data shows danger of coronavirus for those with diabetes, heart or lung disease

New York prisoners offered $6 an hour to dig mass graves

Federal inmates to be confined to cells for two weeks amid coronavirus outbreak 

Using bad music to move people inside

USPS warns it might have to shutter by June as $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package provides no funding

Poll: 57% of voters say US political system works only for insiders with money & power

Attendance At Public Events May Not Recover Post-Pandemic: Study

Variety - In a survey of 1,000 consumers in the U.S., 44% of respondents said they would attend fewer large public events, even once they are cleared by the CDC, with 38% saying they’d attend about the same number … And 47% agreed that the idea of going to a major public event ‘will scare me for a long time.'” (They’re most leery of theme parks and indoor concert and sports venues.) –

Word: Mass transit

Jeff Tumlin, San Francisco's new transit boss - “Almost no matter what you want to do with cities, transportation is the fastest and most cost-effective way of achieving your goals. If you want to reduce CO2 emissions, if you want to advance social equity, if you want to foster small business success, if you want to increase land value, if you want to increase public health, if you want to reduce fatalities and injuries—transport is the place to do it.”

Berlin Distributes €500 Million to Artists and Freelancers

Google bans ads critical of Trump coronavirus policies

Protocol -  As coronavirus spread around the world in February, Google decided to ban most nongovernmental advertising about the outbreak in an effort to defeat misinformation, fraud and scams. But Democrats say the Google ban does something else: It allows the Trump administration to run ads promoting its response to the crisis while denying Democrats the chance to run ads criticizing it.


The change in number of cases in past week
  • Globally up 111%
  • USA up 265%... Most cases of any country.
  • Spain up  157%
  • Germany up 129%
  • Iran up 80%
  • Italy up 53%
  • Korea up 8%
  • China up 1%
[The Chinese figures are questioned by a number of sources]

 Death rate change during same period:
  • Global up slightly to 5%
  • USA is up slightly to 2%
  • Worst: Italy stable at 11.7% Spain is second at 8.9%
  • Iran's death rate is 6.4% - down a bit  
  • Germany is 1.1% - down a bit 
Alan McQuillan has analyzed the totals by per capita death rate. First Italy, followed by Spain, Switzerland, Iran, UK, Sweden, Ireland and USA.

  • Death rates in Washington, Georgia, Michigan and Louisiana remain over 4%
  • New York has the most deaths, 40% of all American deaths.
  • Death rate down slightly in California

March 31, 2020

Federal Appeals Court Lets Texas Resume Abortion Ban

Bits From the New Epstein Book: Jacko, Trump, Prince Andrew, and the CIA

When the wrong becomes the norm

The Trump dump

Trump Wants Praise From Governors He Can Use in Campaign Ads

NPR - "I know South Korea better than anybody. It's a very tight — do you know how many people are in Seoul?" he asked. "Do you know how big the city of Seoul is? Thirty-eight million people," Trump said,"That's bigger than anything we have. Thirty-eight million people, all tightly wound together."

That's incorrect. Seoul has a population of nearly 10 million. The population of South Korea itself is roughly 51.5 million.

Trump to CBS: “I haven’t heard about testing in weeks. We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world. We’ve got these great tests and we’ll come out with another one tomorrow that’s, you know, almost instantaneous testing. But I haven’t heard anything about testing being a problem.”

Chris Hayes takes on own network over broadcasting live Trump propaganda

Federal Judges Block Texas and Ohio Coronavirus Abortion Bans


Megachurch Pastor Who Flouted Virus Rules Arrested

COVID-19 and the ‘New Normal’ in Criminal Justic

FDA Urged To Let Women Obtain Abortion Drugs By Mail During Coronavirus Outbreak

What is a ventilator anyway?

Coronavirus Prompts Instacart and Amazon Strikes Over Health Concerns 

12 percent of at-home workers skip video due to lack of clothes

MIT researcher says droplets carrying coronavirus can travel up to 27 feet

States Struggle to Prepare for Voting During Pandemic

More deaths now in U.S. from coronavirus than 9/11 terror attacks

New US measures threaten civil rights amid coronavirus pandemic 

 DC mayor threatens jail time for leaving home during coronavirus

Whole Foods Employees Are Staging a Nationwide 'Sick-Out'

Trump rolls back biggest U.S. effort to combat climate change

Authors Battle Internet Archive Over ‘National Emergency Library’

NY Times - With libraries and bookstores closed across the U.S., and with teachers searching for materials to use for remote teaching, the Internet Archive decided to lift all restrictions on access to the 1.4 million books — many still under copyright — that it has digitized. Teachers and academics are very pleased; authors and publishers, on the other hand, call the move a “copyright grab” that robs them of royalties and breaks the law.

Trump likes to attack women

Polls: Biden's lead widens

Biden  poll average 10%, up  9 points this year
Sanders Five poll average 6% up 12 points this year

Note:  Biden's average is affected by a Siena poll giving him a strange 25 point lead. Without this, Biden still has a 6 point lead over Trump.

Virus stat of the day

Post image 


The change in number of cases in past week
  • Globally up 94%
  • USA up 217%... Most cases of any country.
  • Spain up  138%
  • Germany up 113%
  • Iran up 80%
  • Italy up 47%
  • Korea up 4%
  • China up 1%
[The Chinese figures are questioned by a number of sources]

 Death rate change during same period:
  • Global up slightly to 4.8%
  • USA is up slightly but remains a low 1.9%.
  • Worst: Italy 11.4% and getting worse. Spain is second at 8.6%
  • Iran's death rate is 6.9% - down a bit 

  • Death rates in Washington and Louisiana remain over 4%
  • New York has the most deaths, 41% of all American deaths.  In fact, if you include New Jersey it comes to just over half of all the nation's deaths.
  • Georgia is third with a death rate of 3.4%
  • Death rate down slightly in California and Florida
  • Death rates up slightly in New York, Washington, Michigan Louisiana, and Illinois.