Monday, April 6, 2020

Biden-Linked Firm Tests Messages to Undercut ‘Medicare for All’ - Bloomberg News

The survey, commissioned by the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way, found that primary voters start off favoring the government-run health care system by a margin of 70% to 21%, but can be persuaded to oppose it. The study showed that Democrats are most swayed by the arguments that the program would impose a heavy cost on taxpayers and threaten Medicare for senior citizens....
There you go with where Biden and the people in control of the Dem Party are at - even if 70% support M4A the goal is to manipulate then into changing their minds. Whose interest does this serve? If it's not obvious to you, check the profits of those making bundles of cash out of our medical system. And Biden's insistence on attacking medicare for all  - he is not talking about the costs over the past two weeks because that looks so lame -- so he talks about Italy - and let me point out that Italy was overwhelmed due to the massive influx but it has a better health care system than we do - in fact most advanced countries do - but it was the delay by the government in Italy - not the health care system.

Fundamentally Trump and Biden support our system and Bernie does not. How many hospitals have been closed in nyc alone? There are so many private urgent care in my neighborhood all competing for profit. Bernie didn’t win enough people over but the pandemic is doing it for him. People in Italy don’t have to worry about getting medical bills while here people will. E slaughtered as hospitals try to get money out of people with no money. The irony is that hospitals are actually cutting staff in some cases. Bernie in retrospect didn’t go far enough. We need nationalizatiion of certain aspects of our health care system. The supply chain issue where China controls 90% is due to policies of Clinton bush Obama/Biden. Trump in his own asshole way challenged these ideas and got elected by exploding them. So in these times our guy Biden will be one of the main proponents of a system that has screwed us all. I will vote for him but if he wins I have no faith he can solve this. Hopefully we and our pensions survive until 2024 when we get another shot.

Also see: https://nypost.com/2020/04/03/joe-biden-again-rejects-medicare-for-all-despite-coronavirus-crisis/

Biden-Linked Firm Tests Messages to Undercut ‘Medicare for All’

Updated on


  • Candidates split on system that abolishes private insurance
  • Claims about cost seen as most effective with voters
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-23/biden-linked-firm-tests-messages-to-undercut-medicare-for-all

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Europe Supports Workers in Crisis While We Fiddle (Dems too) - If Biden "Wins" He gets the boobie prize - a ravaged economy that can't be fixed

In the United States, the coronavirus has already provoked millions of layoffs. While the $2 trillion rescue package signed by President Trump sends extensive relief to American workers and businesses, France and other European Union countries are deploying a more encompassing state-led approach in the event that the epidemic takes months, rather than weeks, to contain.
“There’s a very different strategy in Europe than in the United States about how to manage this recession,” said Patrick Artus, chief economist of Paris-based Natixis Bank. “The idea is to have no layoffs or company closures, so that when the coronavirus is finally under control the economy can start right back up.”
 ----
When Germany shut down public life to halt the spread of the new coronavirus last month, Laurenz Bostedt, a freelance photographer, watched as one contract after another was canceled, until his entire expected income had disappeared.
On Tuesday, 5,000 euros, or about $5,400, landed in his bank account, just three days after he had submitted an application for immediate assistance. The citystate of Berlin had pledged on March 19 that money would be distributed quickly to self-employed people and small- business owners who were unable to cover their basic expenses.
To the shock of many Berliners, hardened by regular stacks of paperwork from the city’s bureaucracy, it was. On Thursday, just five days after the application process opened, Berlin’s government said it had already paid out more than $1.4 billion to more than 150,000 self-employed individuals or businesses with fewer than five employees.
 Here are two interesting articles from the NYT illustrating what is happening in France and in Berlin where the city government put money in peoples' pockets in DAYS. Their economies might have a chance. Ours? Zilch. Do you see big ideas like these coming from the Dems or Joe Biden? I do from Bernie Sanders but that ship has sailed and for all you Bernie bashers at some point - maybe 5 years into the depression even if Biden wins ( and what exactly does he "win"? A ravaged economy that he can't fix.

But a real question that Trump and others on the right are attacked for raising - imagine a total crash of the economy leading to civil unrest. There is a point where risks have to be taken. We can't just live this way for months. Let's get over the crest first. But schools should remain closed for the rest of the year. And a warning to the gripers over the Easter vacation: If budget crashes, imagine massive layoffs in the schools with curtailed school days - why not run online classes with masses of kids and one teacher - pay them a 10% bonus and they will do it on a dime and the UFT leadership will cheer.

Links:
France limits joblessness: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/business/france-coronavirus-unemployment.html

Berlin rapid aid: https://blendle.com/i/the-new-york-times/in-berlin-rapid-aid-payments-to-self-employed-prop-up-creative-economy/bnl-newyorktimes-

Full articles below the break:

Friday, April 3, 2020

Another Teacher Dies of Corona Virus -- A disturbing timeline and possible coverup

Unlike other city agencies, including the police department, the education department has declined to say how many of its employees have died due to the coronavirus or are infected. A principal, paraprofessional, and school safety agent are among those whose deaths have been publicly reported.

Asked Wednesday about why the education department has not confirmed infection or fatality rates, schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said: “You have to keep in mind that the police and fire department are out right now serving the public.” ..... Chalbeat
And teachers aren’t?.... Leonie Haimson

“there is no mechanism” for the department to track how many teachers have tested positive.... Chalkbeat
WTF - they track everything else - too busy with the usual DOE bullshit that doesn't seem to change no matter who is in charge. Here's another beauty:
.... some educators have criticized the department for its shift in policy to no longer confirm coronavirus infections, leaving it to educators to inform each other if they are concerned the infection is spreading within their school community. 

Department officials have countered that because the coronavirus is widespread in New York City, educators were not at greater risk when reporting to school than they were elsewhere in the community.
Double wtf.

I posted the Sue Edelman piece on coverups at the DOE over teachers who were testing positive: Carranzavirus: Sue Edelman, NY Post: DOE, DeB Blood on hands.

Chalkbeat also did a piece on the Brooklyn Tech story on March 19, the last day they had to report as the teacher who died did and got sick March 26.
NYC stopped confirming coronavirus cases at schools, but teachers headed to their campuses anyway
We are the epicenter and one reason was the delay in closing things down by the mayor and the governor, especially the school system, a breeding ground.

Follow the time line here - the teacher went into PS 9K on the third day of teacher training - March 19 and went to the hospital March 26 - so did she get it on the 19th or have it and infect colleagues? And the DOE is hiding data.
A tremendous loss’: Brooklyn third grade teacher dies from coronavirus

Sandra Santos-Vizcaino
PHOTO CREDIT: P.S. 9
Sandra Santos-Vizcaino, taught third grade at Prospect Heights’ P.S. 9, according to the school’s website. She died Tuesday evening.

Lesson from the Seven Samurai so relevant today

I have always been a fan of The Magnificent Seven - a very long western starring Yule Brynner, Steve McQueen and so many other major stars. The
film is based on the original Kurosawa (1954) Seven Samurai which takes place in late 16th century Japan but is based on Kurosawa's vision of turning a classic American western into something very original. So 6 years later, the American version reverted to the western. Both films are worth seeing - of you have about three and a half hours. The Kurosawa version is considered by many to be one of the greatest foreign films ever and had a lot of influence. But in Japan, he was not as popular with critics as he was abroad - though not quite the Jerry Lewis of Japan.
Wednesday night TCM had a Kurosawa feast from 8PM through the middle of the night with three movies. It took me two evenings but I

There are big themes in both versions - in fact, the American version pretty much follows the original's script despite the differing cultures and being 3 centuries apart. Below are some quotes I pulled out that seem very relevant to today:
watched Samurai for the second or third time. (I still have Roshomon and Yojimbo to watch) This time I focused on the acting, especially Toshiro Mifune who is so good - and so are the others. The actors in both films match each other in many ways - even in their look. But Mifune is unique -

Kambei leader of samurai:

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Bernie will take away your healthcare plans - Union Leaders (Mulgrew, Randi) Need to Answer for Opposition to Medicare for All as layoffs and loss of health care mount

As even those with good health care plans are laid off and lose
them, there is a lot to answer for opposing and even mocking Bernie Sanders' single payer ideas that would have protected all those with much loved health plans (Not). As for how he would have paid for it -- where's your God now, Moses?
Remember those much loved health care plans union leaders were defending in their attacks on Bernie? Remember the "how will you pay for that?" arguments by anti-Bernie Dems and union leaders and even some of my friends? Bernie's answer was that in his plan it doesn't make a difference where you work and if fired or laid off or if changing jobs, you still were covered. As for how we would have paid for Single payer --- Triple LOL. Joe Biden's comments about expanding Obamacare are double, triple LOL. And how about paying for Corona virus treatment? And how about the insane world of profit in the healthcare industry which Bernie attacked at every opportunity.

Now we see a cone of silence with the only words that Bernie should drop out, not that he was so correct. And in the midst of this Biden says he still would veto a Single payer bill but Bernie is expected to drop out.

And also in the midst of this are attacks on Bernie supporters who might
not rush to Biden, people forgetting that the very reason Bernie attracted so many young people is precisely because of his medicare for all plan. So fagetaboutit - Like there is no burden on Biden to move in their direction - that this is only about Trump.

As for our own union leaders who defended the current system of health care, they may think UFT members are fairly well protected in terms of health care. Well let's think of the massive budget cuts and layoffs coming in the fall and how many UFT members will lose their much loved health plans whereas they would still be covered under Bernie programs.

Hey, you anti-Bernies - you have a lot of splainin to do.

Instead of calling for Bernie to drop out you should hide your faces in shame.

Listen - I do believe Bernie's rhetoric and refusal to vary his argument and be more nimble in his responses. His self-branding himself as a democratic socialist is not even accurate. I heard Noam Chomsky call him an Eisenhower era Republican and Chomsky asked "why would you use the word "socialist" in this country  when at most you are an FDR traditional Democrat?

Jacobin:

There’s Never Been a Better Time for Us to End Private Health Insurance Than Right Now

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Do People Bloomberg Stiffed Deserve Sympathy?

Bloomberg is so much like Trump - and stiffing people is the quintessential Trumpian action. So these people signed on under the promise they would be paid until November.
 Some affected employees, including people who had left stable jobs to work for Mr. Bloomberg, as Ms. Wood did, expressed frustration publicly, in spite of the confidentiality and non-disparagement agreements they had signed. They said they would not have accepted the work had they known its true terms.
This item in the NYT article says:
Despite the campaign’s promises of continued employment, the field organizers had signed at-will contracts, indicating they could be terminated at any point.
So they trusted a sleaze ball. And left other jobs for a guy who many of them didn't support in the first place. I know I should be sympathetic but excuse me if I'm not. Below two articles - The Hill and the NYT. Decide for yourself.

Ex-Field Organizers Sue Bloomberg Campaign, Claiming They Were Misled

Former campaign workers for Michael Bloomberg filed two proposed class-action lawsuits on Monday, arguing they and thousands of others were tricked https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/us/politics/bloomberg-employee-lawsuit.html


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Carranzavirus: Sue Edelman, NY Post: DOE, DeB Blood on their hands - Where was UFT?

One after another, sick Brooklyn Technical High School teachers called union chapter leader Nate Bonheimer last week, to tell him they’d tested positive for COVID-19. By Friday, five of them had shared the devastating news. But after being notified about each one, the city Department of Education still ordered the 6,000-student school’s 350 staffers to show up for work last week, saying the building had been cleaned... NY Post,  ‘Blood on their hands:’ Teachers say de Blasio and Carranza helped spread coronavirus
March 21, 2020 |https://nypost.com/2020/03/21/blood-on-their-hands-teachers-say-de-blasio-and-carranza-helped-spread-coronavirus/
How far did the virus spread due to de Blasio and Caranza?

UPDATE: Read Eterno's take which goes way further than I do:

WHERE OH WHERE WAS THE UFT LAST WEEK WHEN SCHOOL BUILDINGS WEREN'T SAFE?


I'm very proud of Nate Bonheimer who last year took on the massive task of chapter leadership of the largest school in the city. Nate has put himself on the line publicly when it should have been the UFT doing this and protecting Nate from reprisals.

In fact Nate approached me at the March 11 UFT Del Ass and hinted at what was going on and asked me to put him in touch with Sue Edelman of the NY Post who has become the go-to reporter for teachers who have a story. In some ways Sue has replaced the UFT leadership which seems to go along with the code of silence.
“The DOE did not close the school for any of the cases,” said Bonheimer, who worries that inaction exposed others to the dreaded infection.

The city failed to follow a March 9 directive by the state Education Department that “requires an initial 24-hour closure, in order to begin an investigation to determine the contacts that the individual may have had within the school environment.”

DOE did not attempt to identify close contacts, Bonheimer said. “They did not alert the people who needed to know the most to protect themselves, their families and everyone else they came into contact with.”

One infected teacher was so torn by the secrecy he took it upon himself to personally let all his students know his condition.
Does the UFT also have blood on its hands?
I mean, why does Nate feel he has to go to the NY Post to expose a story like this? Mulgrew should have immediately demanded Tech and other schools be closed.
The information freeze started March 10, when Carranza, in an email obtained by The Post, told administrators not to alert city health officials about COVID-19 cases among students or staff.
“At the moment, there is no reason for any school to call [the Health Department] to report potential or confirmed cases,” Carranza wrote, repeating the statement later in the same email.
Carranza said DOH would get test results from labs, and school personnel should help “by keeping their phones clear.”
March 10? Wait a minute. There was a UFT Del Ass on March 11. I was upstairs watching on TV and many not have paid enough attention but did anyone here Mulgrew talk about this information freeze from the DOE? And it's not only Brooklyn Tech:
At the Grand Street campus in Williamsburg, which houses three high schools, a teacher returned from a trip to China over the February break. Despite reports of the outbreak, the teacher did not self-quarantine, but returned to teach kids in all three schools Feb. 26 through Feb. 29, a staffer said.
The teacher then became sick and stopped working. The school was not closed, and employees were not notified, insiders said.
Up to four other staffers have since become sick, they said.
The teacher did not return a message, but a relative said Friday, “He’s very ill, and so is his entire staff,” before declining to comment further.
Grand Street campus is not far from PS 147 where I taught.
Last Thursday — after Grand Street teachers worked three days in a row in the building — the principals sent a joint letter saying that “members of our school community” had self-reported positive COVID-19 tests. It did not say how many members or give other details. “Unfortunately, the DOE suspended keeping track of positive cases,” a teachers’ union official told a staffer on Tuesday. The DOE would not comment on the Grand Street or other cases.
A teachers' union anonymous official? The no guts no glory UFT which should have blasted this news and demanded the closing and told teachers to stay out for their own safety instead of whining about the Taylor Law.

Another school:
At the Jamaica High School campus, which houses three schools, Carlos Borrero, principal of the High School for Community Leadership, blasted a robocall to parents the Sunday before schools closed for students, reporting the school had “one confirmed” case and another “preliminary positive” case identified over the prior two days — while students attended. One was a teacher, Borrero said. Asked about the announcement last week, the DOE would not give details.
“The city is no longer confirming information about individual cases due to the volume, but we support any school that wants to notify their community of a self-confirmed case,” said DOE spokeswoman Miranda Barbot.
And another - which I heard about on FB - maybe the most outrageous of all:
At the Grace Dodge High School campus in the Bronx, a teacher self-reported a positive COVID-19 test on Thursday, March 12, staffers said. The DOE did not close the school the next day, when kids still attended before de Blasio announced that all schools would close for students starting March 16.

Teachers received a form letter from Carranza confirming a staffer had tested positive, saying the building was “disinfected.” The school was not closed while teachers worked last week.
“We asked when students and parents would get notification, and they still haven’t gotten it,” a teacher said. The DOE had no comment.

At the Bronx’s Alfred E. Smith campus which houses three high schools, teachers reported for three days of training on remote-teaching to begin next week.

“Ten minutes before the end of the last day, the union rep walked through the hall and said, ‘You’re free to leave,’” a teacher said. She asked why.
As custodians arrived in Hazmat suits, the union rep replied, “There’s coronavirus in the building.”
Hazmat suits while teachers were left in the building all day.
I'm sorry and I know there are many people at the UFT who are trying their best. But when in this article alone we have 4 schools where orders to close upon reports of positive tests were ignored, there is no escaping a failure of leadership where teachers and chapter leaders should know that their reports to the union would be made public to put pressure on the city to do the right thing. I love Sue Edelman and cheer her on but the UFT leadership should take the lead and not tail - put Sue out of business - don't worry Sue - I know they won't because covering for De Blasio and Caranza is never off the table.

The full article below:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Tulsi Gabbard, Called Russian Asset by Hillary Clinton, back Biden - meaning Biden must be favored by Russians

Remember all those attacks on Tulsi by the Dem establishment? And remember how Tulsi sort of defended Bernie when Warren accused him of claiming a woman can't win? I was surprised when she endorsed Biden because she backed Bernie in 2016 and also seemed close to Bernie but I think Bernie distanced himself a bit from her and didn't really stand up for her when she was attacked so this is a sort of payback.

She received support from leftists and people on the right - sort of my recent theme -

Left Meets Right in Populist Movements - the fight is between the people and the elites

Here's one article from The Guardian with links to others below:
Gabbard ran as a progressive, anti-war candidate, frequently stressing her experience as a member of the Hawaii national guard. Her campaign speeches largely focused on the ills of American wars overseas, with Gabbard promising to redirect money from the military budget to social programs.
As her campaign failed to gain momentum, however, Gabbard and her supporters increasingly criticized the media for failing to provide her with enough airtime – although the congresswoman never approached double figures in national polls.
Gabbard was seen as a rising star in the Democratic party when she became a member of Congress in 2013, and was appointed a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee.
She resigned that position, however, to endorse Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in 2016, and continued to chaff against her party when she met with the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, in 2017, later questioning the consensus that Assad was behind a chemical attack that killed dozens of people.
Despite backing Biden over Sanders, Gabbard thanked the Vermont senator in her announcement.
“I want to extend my best wishes to my friends Bernie Sanders, his wife Jane, Nina Turner and their many supporters for the work that they’ve done,” Gabbard said. Turner is the national co-chair of Sanders’ 2020 campaign.
She continued: “I have such a great appreciation for Senator Sanders’ love for our country and the American people and his sincere desire to improve the lives of all Americans.”
Gabbard’s moves became increasingly unorthodox in recent months as she strived for exposure.
In January Gabbard sued Clinton for $50m in retaliation for Clinton suggesting the Hawaiian was a Russian asset, months after Gabbard filed a $50m lawsuit against Google for allegedly suspending her campaign’s advertising.
Ahead of the New Hampshire primary, Gabbard held a Fox News interview where she defended Donald Trump’s decision to fire the key impeachment investigation witnesses Lt Col Alexander Vindman and EU ambassador Gordon Sondland.
A day later Gabbard appeared on the conservative Fox News network with Sean Hannity, a friend and informal adviser to the president who has promoted conspiracy theories about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the dead DNC staffer Seth Rich.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Left Meets Right in Populist Movements - the fight is between the people and the elites

Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming | Nick Hanauer--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2gO4DKVpa8

It’s over, the fight from the right against the left. Now the fight is between the people and the elites.......Eduard Limonov, Russian Writer and Dissident, Dies at 77
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/books/eduard-limonov-dead.html
I hadn't heard of this fascinating Russian, Eduard Limonov, who bounced from left to right and back and forth, which sometimes I find myself doing to my utter confusion. I do read NYT obits religiously, which are so informative about people we wouldn't necessarily know about. So at the end of the obit this quote struck me.

Exactly what I've been thinking - a sort of merging of some on the left with some on the right over key economic issues --- this wing of the left plays down the social and identity issues. It is no accident that Bernie appeals to a segment of Trump supporters - economic populism resonates with whatever we call the working class today - which is not the classic white guy doing industrial work but also a growing segment of the gig economy.

I also am a fan of the daily broadcast of the Rising web broadcast on TheTune into "Rising" weekdays, starting at 10:30 a.m. (ET). Follow us on YouTube: hill.cm/xgu24G9 where lefty Krystal Ball (@krystalball) · Twitter and righty Saagar Enjeti @esaagar seem to line up with each other on so many issues. They even have a book out:

The Populist's Guide to 2020 - Amazon.com


They explain what is behind their politics here: (Sorry videos didn't work - check out their web site).

Now if you dig a little on Saagar, a Trump supporter, there is a lot to be disturbed about too but let's just focus on some surface stuff. I'm pretty aligned with Krystal, though some of the attacks on non-Bernie Dems go over the line. But it is a fascinating listen.

Krystal and Saagar have brought some clarity to me on why I, coming from the left, have so disliked the Dem party establishment. The traditional left dislikes the Dem party altogether and the furthest fringes mock Bernie and AOC for not being socialist enough - so we are covering wide territory.

While the Dem corporatists won this time, as the NYT piece yesterday almost gloated about - must read - and I will have a follow up on this article later -- https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/us/politics/bernie-sanders-progressives-elizabeth-warren.html?fbclid=IwAR1ADh-awimNjQeA5f7zjSw0gDWdreACpvM5_yn5zE19tUZmM1LRqcrt87c

Krystal and Saagar don't see that as lasting, especially with the acceleration by the virus - she says they are coming for them with pitchforks fairly soon. They also emphasize economics over identity - which is also where Bernie has been coming from and also explains his weakness with Blacks where identity often trumps economics - which is understandable due to the level of racism. The left hasn't found a way to blend the two effectively.

Their major target is often the Democratic corporate elites - clearly they lean toward Bernie as sort of a bridge favoring the working class.

Must watch videos where the left meets the right - a few short segments worth viewing from yesterday.


A typical assault on the Dem leadership - here for being behind Trump - Saagar claims Republicans showing more leadership protecting workers than Dems. Krystal and Saagar BLAST Pelosi for holding up cash to workers .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZo_Ei0xJNQ

Another assault on the Dem leadership from the left: Michael Brooks issues DIRE warning to Establishment Dem -- Michael Brooks describes how Republicans have managed to propose solutions better for the working class than Democrats.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nas5d5EeAHc

Krystal is crystal clear on advice to Bernie to preserve the movement by not battling for a lost cause - she says he has the most leverage at this point by not running and organizing. 
Krystal urges Bernie to Drop Out Now as he can be more effective in leading the movement. She points to the presidency not being that much of a prize at this time... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O78XUDVzENI&t=130s

Here they talk to Airline union president Sarah Nelson:  Flight Attendants Union President: No airline bailouts, we need worker relief

Saagar Enjeti: Celebrates the DEATH of libertarianism
An insightful piece from the Saagar on the right -- so interesting with his attack on libertarianism. Saagar Enjeti: Celebrates the DEATH of libertarianism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clMafIdh1Ts
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If you want to see a slice of politics you don't get on FOX or MSNBC - watch Rising every day -- I just listen to the audio on my phone by going to The Hill site and click on Hill TV.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Norms Buzz for Wednesday March 18, 2020

I've been fairly lazy about writing this blog. The problem has been so many
things to write about I can't decide and by the time I do decide the moment has passed. So I will try to do a morning piece on a variety of issues.

Beware the Ides of March (15) - and so it has come to pass. Did you know that March 15 was tax day in ancient Rome? Was Brutus using the assassination as a tax dodge?

And what about bad luck on Friday the 13th?

So we have been sheltering in place - sort of - in Rockaway after we spent a few days in the city last week and even went to a Broadway show last Tuesday night after going to the half price ticket line and finding no line at all for the first time ever. I didn't come back to Rockaway by ferry until Thursday - and I used the subway on Wednesday after going to the Delegate Assembly and taking a stained glass class at the UFT earlier that day. So if I did get contaminated I figure a week more. My brother and sister in law took a ten day cross Atlantic cruise and ended up in Barcelona with a return by air last Saturday morning, a few hours after the ban went into effect but they landed on Saturday and Global Pass got them through the passport check without the big crowds. They had to be checked I think they may have gone to some military base and then were released to go home and hibernate for 14 days.

My wife cancelled Passover which would have put 30 people in our house. Now we will have to live off massive briskets.

We have a tour of Baltic States scheduled for May 31 and are hoping that gets cancelled. We are still stuck for the air fair from Finair and for the costs of the visas to Russia.

The virus has subsumed everything and I see a dismal decade ahead. 20% unemployment will be lucky.

Having a second crisis just a dozen years after the last one - is that a sign of late stage capitalism decay?

A couple of articles in the NYT in Tuesday's (March 17 - St. Patrick Day or so they say) and Politico today struck me as worth commenting on.

Top Court Rules _______ Can Bypass Term Limits -- NYT - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/world/europe/russia-putin-president-for-life.html - Putin until 2036.

I left Putin's name out because I've been saying that if Trump gets re-elected and wants a third term the court may be so stacked that he gets it. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the virus being used to try to mess up the election - and in fact if Trump actually does somethings right will be used to argue for his re-election - don't change horses in mid-stream. (See the Politico article below.)

My fears which I hope to expound upon in the future is that Biden wins and is left with a ruined economy like Obama was and then gets blamed for the ruined economy and a slicker more civil version of Trump demagoguery gets elected in 2024 - think Victor Orban in Hungry - or Charles Lindbergh in 1940 in Roth's must read and watch on HBO - Plot Against America. Trump haters are in for a very real politic experience when he's gone where attempts to rally and demo will be met by troops.

Cuomo Si - the ever abrasive and suddenly apt governor cuomo - was the headline in Tuesday's NYT. On line the headline is:
This is sort of funny because I agree and I used to be a big Cuomo hater, especially due to his backing of charters and attacks on the teacher union - but our union did something right - ran a big campaign against him and for the last election he was more amenable. The union seemed more ambivalent about running against the IDC candidates but I think they did have some effect in eliminating them and had a big effect in winning back the state Senate for the Dems.

Cuomo is a master political operative and the article makes a point I have been thinking of: 
He wins elections by grinding opponents into dust before they can make it to the ballot box. He governs by transaction, not inspiration, as a dispenser of favors and destroyer of insurgents’ dreams, the purest master of the machine since Lyndon Johnson in his prime.
That is no faint praise. My wife and I have been talking about Cuomo in favorable terms since Trump was elected as the only Democrat who could supersede Trump in terms of viciousness - but he's our vicious guy. Trumpism has turned many people to the left but I find myself torn between turning left towards Bernie or right towards Cuomo. For many this current crisis is just the top of the heap that began with the Nov 2016 election. We expected nothing less than Trump fumbling the crisis -- a smart version of Trump would have seen right away how that could be a threat to his election but this guy never sees beyond the next few hours.

We actually thought Cuomo should have run this time but I am sure he is thinking 2024 no matter who wins because I don't see Biden doing a 2nd term. If Trump wins again Cuomo has a better path than if it's Biden, whose VP will have the head start. Also expect Bernie's successor to be a factor.

I will have a lot to say about the Bernie Biden situation later but my instinct is to stop attacking Biden and in essence putting up Trump ads because as I said last week:

I will say this again and again as a still Bernie movement fan - preserve and build on the movement - and a warning - today's young supporters are often tomorrow's centrist Dems or even Republicans. The sharp line at 45 between Biden and Bernie backers is indicative of people who have reached mid-career and with families. The key is if the younger gen actually reaches stability in their 40s. (Something I intend to explore in the future.)

Don't bury Trump yet
As usual the anti-Trumpers are trumpeting his demise over the virus and how he neglected it. Will they try to pin the blame on him for the deaths? Politico says "not so fast."
ADVANTAGE INCUMBENT? — The coronavirus is laying waste to the presidential primary, postponing elections and canceling traditional campaign activities as a fearful nation hunkers down.
And then there's the general election. The conventional wisdom is that President Donald Trump's uneven, and at times chaotic, handling of this crisis is deeply problematic for his reelection chances. But it may not be that simple.
So far, Trump has taken a beating. The economy is tanking, and just 46 percent of Americans believe the federal government is doing enough to confront coronavirus, down from 61 percent last month, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll . Few people trust what Trump is saying about the pandemic, the same poll found.
But Trump has time on his side, with the coronavirus spreading early in the election cycle. This week, the Republican president adopted a more somber tone, and Democrats are beginning to worry that he could mold the narrative to his benefit. A massive stimulus, including direct payments to Americans, could help him in November.
"The initial mishandling of the coronavirus by the government doesn't mean voters will penalize Trump in November," said Michael Ceraso, who worked for Sanders in 2016 and was Pete Buttigieg's New Hampshire director before leaving his campaign last year. "We know we have two candidates who can pivot this generation's largest health crisis to their policy strengths. But history tells us that an incumbent who steers us through a challenging time, a la Bush and 9/11 and Obama and the Great Recession, are rewarded with a second term."
And that's exactly how some in Trump's inner circle view it. People close to the Trump campaign acknowledge to our colleague, Alex Isenstadt, that the president didn't handle the response well in the opening weeks. But if the pandemic abates and the economy stabilizes by the fall, they see a scenario in which Trump comes out of the crisis framing it as an American comeback story and positioning himself as the leader who navigated the country through a crisis.
Adding to Democrats' concerns is that it could be months before they mount a unified offensive against Trump. In a normal year, the presidential primary would be shutting down by now, with Joe Biden extending his delegate lead and little left on the electoral map for Bernie Sanders to look forward to.
Last night was another disaster for Bernie and his fans. I am reading stuff from the left, right and center and some of the pro-Bernie blogs are not living in the real world. Think of the next steps for the Bernie movement and how to grow it, not shrink it. Maybe more later.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

If you get sick, you still get paid!! -- Shan for Congress Vs Gregory Meeks -

Friends,

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, our campaign will be an entirely digital one. 


So, over the next few days, I will be discussing how the Coronavirus outbreak impacts working people, and highlights the need for structural change in our society. We will discuss a different issue and solution each day. I want everyone to be made aware of how this situation is impacting folks, but also provide hope that with the right