Usher’s News & Analysis, Mar. 14, 2020

Well, everyone who’s not living under a rock or who has had time enough to check the news now knows:

Donald Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus pandemic

It’s quite clear that the federal government and the states intend to take the country into lockdown. It’s understandable that people are anxious as to whether they’ll have what it takes to make it without too much pain and suffering. However, I believe that for the vast majority of people, if they find themselves really up against it, just contacting the authorities and neighbors will bring required relief.

Unfortunately, not all governmental bodies have the same such ideological bent. There will be some who are allowed to fall through the cracks, as is the case even when there is no lockdown.

Utter hogwash, totally false propaganda, ahistorical, zero proof:

Did the CIA write this? It sure sounds like it. Syria’s war turns 9: How barbarity, confusion and indifference helped Bashar Assad prosper

Syria was getting better, not worse, until the fake “Arab Spring” there brought in the terrorists by the tens of thousands, who were heavily backed by Turkey and, yes, the CIA.

This is the very least that should be done immediately. More should follow as needed. As I mentioned yesterday, feed the children. Many of them have been getting much of their nutrition at schools, which are being closed all over the place.

… guarantee free tests for all Americans, including the uninsured, and provide two weeks of paid sick leave for those affected by the health crisis, Pelosi said.

It will also provide up to three months of paid family and medical leave and strengthened unemployment Insurance for those facing layoffs amid the health and economic crisis.

The aid package will also strengthen food banks, seniors’ meals and the food stamps program, known as SNAP.

Nancy Pelosi, Trump administration reach deal on coronavirus aid package

This is how it’s done.

Dem Rep. Katie Porter, in tense hearing, gets CDC chief to commit to free coronavirus testing

This is an example of identity politics ruining things.

Identity politics is a misunderstanding of the order of operations. First you meet everyone’s basic necessities of life through real democratic-rule before turning to examining each individual’s other desires.

Joe Biden will rah-rah identity politics while remaining a neoliberal and so-called “liberal” interventionist. It’s divide and rule: the game since the beginning and still obviously being played.

‘It Was Like Pulling Teeth’: AOC Backed Away from Sanders Campaign after Joe Rogan Endorsement

“Coronavirus — this is their new hoax,” the video shows Trump saying at a campaign rally in South Carolina.

The president did not say “this is their new hoax” immediately after he said “coronavirus” in his original comments, as the ad makes it appear, but rather made the hoax comment several sentences later. Trump was still talking about the coronavirus when he said the “hoax” part of the comment, but it was in reference to the media and how it covered his impeachment trial.

The Post takes issue with the edit, saying that it is misleading. Trump has misled about his administration’s response to the coronavirus, the Post claimed, “But that does not excuse this kind of video manipulation. This is a clear example of deceptive editing, specifically what we label ‘omission.'”

The next claim the Post fact-checks is a video of Trump hugging an American flag, which is paired with audio of the president saying “the American dream … is dead.”

But, the Post explains, Trump promised to bring back the American Dream immediately after he said “the American dream is dead,” which the Biden campaign left out.

Biden ad fact-checked: Campaign gets ‘four Pinocchios’ over video ‘trickery’

So, this is not an experiment, but it will be a huge learning experience.

The last time the U.S. government mandated large-scale quarantines was more than 100 years ago during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19 ….

Rarely used in modern times, quarantine laws give public officials wide-ranging powers

If it works, it will be better than vaccines by far. If it works, we should work on perfecting the techniques so we can shutdown viruses before they get going.

“The government does have sweeping powers to combat communicable disease but there are limits,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Stanley told McClatchy News officials have a set of guidelines to follow when it comes to making these decisions — it has to be overwhelmingly in the public interest, rooted in rational, scientific ends and done by the least intrusive means possible. There must also be a mechanism to challenge it.

Officials can’t, for example, use COVID-19 as an excuse or pretext “to achieve illegitimate ends” like shutting down a protest or discriminating against certain groups, he said.

Hodge said these types of measures aren’t designed to be punitive, they’re protective — and they don’t “trip any constitutional safeguards when done right.”

Coronavirus vs. Constitution: What can government stop you from doing in a pandemic?


“What I am proposing is an immediate, emergency, temporary universal basic payment that goes directly to every adult American in this country to help them in this dire situation where most Americans in this country, they’re working paycheck to paycheck, struggling just to get by and don’t even have a buffer to think about,” Gabbard said. “We need to put the well-being of the American people first right now and invest in them.”

Gabbard pitches ’emergency, temporary’ $1,000 payment to every adult as coronavirus outbreak spreads

Of course, she’s said before that she’s more than open to making such payments permanent. I’ve been for paying everyone a living wage since I first heard of the concept, which was back when The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was talking about it.

If elderly people are discouraged from going to shop at a grocery store, where they may brush up against someone who has the virus, why isn’t there as much concern about elderly people going to polling places on March 17?

Older adults are most vulnerable to the coronavirus, and they typically make up more than half of the workers who staff polling places. In 2016, “56 percent of poll workers in the country were 61 years old or older, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and Florida officials say workers are dropping out in huge numbers.”

… Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, was asked during a press conference about whether states should delay their primaries.

“That’s a tough question, and I’ll tell you why,” Sanders replied. “Elections are the bedrock of our democracy, and we don’t want to be delaying elections on a willy nilly basis. On the other hand, if my memory is correct, in states like Ohio, and in many other states, schools are being closed down. The NBA has ceased the season. Broadway is now shut down. So there is obviously now a growing concern about bringing people together and spreading the virus.”

“I think the answer to your good question is this is an issue, where the doctors and the scientists and the public health officials are going to have to be weighing the risk. I don’t think there’s anybody out there, no matter what your political view, who wants to see people become infected because they are voting,” Sanders added.

Another reporter asked Sanders a follow-up question related to what the impact on voter turnout may be if the primaries are held during the outbreak.

“We are told right now that we should stay away from other people. That we don’t want to see the virus being spread. And in state after state, schools are being shut down. Large functions are being shut down. But your point is an additional point, which I think is right,” Sanders answered.

“If child care centers are being shut down, and they are, if schools are being shut down, and they are, what are parents supposed to do? What do they do? Well, they’re going to have to stay home and take care of their kids. Can you go out and vote when you’re staying home and taking care of your little kids? The answer is you can’t.”

Sanders concluded, “Elections scheduled for Tuesday have to balance things. Rescheduling elections is not something that we do lightly or should do lightly. On the other hand, at this particular moment, it is absolutely appropriate that public officials, governors, etc, listen to public health officials, and your point is also important to make sure that everybody who wants to vote has the right to vote and that may not be the case today.”

Dismissing Heightened Coronavirus Risks, State Officials Plan To Hold March 17 Primaries

This is a great idea.

‘Spillway’ for Electrons Could Keep Lithium Metal Batteries From Catching Fire

The 77-page bill addresses septic tanks, municipal wastewater treatment, stormwater runoff, farm fertilizers and more.

Florida Passes Bill to Combat Blue-Green Algae Blooms

The newer building codes use standards that specifically help structures better withstand high winds. The new codes, published by the International Code Council, will be more consistent with local building standards.

Texas Insurance Department: New Building Codes to Strengthen Coastal Properties

EARN IT Act threatens end-to-end encryption

The secret funding of the ADAS studies was uncovered by a German transparency campaign group, LobbyControl. In December, LobbyControl revealed two pro-glyphosate German studies that were partly funded by Monsanto and published in 2011 and 2015 without the funding being declared.

“This is an unacceptable form of opaque lobbying,” said Ulrich Müller at LobbyControl. “Citizens, media and decision-makers should know who pays for studies on subjects of public interest. The studies also used very high figures for the benefits of glyphosate and for possible losses in case of a ban. These extreme figures were then used to spin the debate.”

Revealed: Monsanto’s secret funding for weedkiller studies

Repos works differently than QE. Under these repurchase agreements, the Fed offers to buy securities, and if there is not enough demand for cash, or not enough collateral to cover this much cash, then the repo auction will be undersubscribed.

As Everything Bubble Implodes, Frazzled Fed Rolls Out Fastest Mega-Money Printer Ever, up to $4.5 Trillion in Four Weeks

It’s not working because the banksters can’t figure out what to do with the extra cash. Everything is going down, and they think that’s going to continue for the foreseeable future (Covid-19/Wuhan). That the Fed didn’t anticipate this going in is no surprise.

Krystal Ball: What Bernie needs to do RIGHT NOW

Krystal gives Aaron Maté credit for telling her the idea.

Yesterday, I wrote:

If the Covid-19/Wuhan virus lingers and the US shuts down quite a bit to slow and stop transmission, pickup and delivery jobs will need plenty of temporary workers. So, all you young, healthy people who don’t want to just sit around, start lobbying for work. You could get a nice income boost, especially if you’re ready, willing, and able to put in overtime. All you companies that could benefit by picking up and delivering, start looking into longer-term delivery-vehicle rentals and equipment to outfit the temp workers. Maybe some of the buildup will turn permanent too.

Of course, volunteering is terrific so long as the government steps up to keep the volunteers from going under financially.

By the way, today, my neighbor, who’s a middle-aged fellow and who’s been a great neighbor for years, knocked on my door to check on me. He asked me if I’m okay, if I need anything, and to simply knock if I do. He volunteered to get me whatever at the grocery. Let me tell you, he carries his groceries from the store back home.

He was glad to see I’m doing fine. I reciprocated concerning knocking if he needs anything and mentioned an easier way of stocking up (ordering online and getting it delivered), though everywhere is experiencing shortages, delays, and at least some rationing. I believe that will be ironed out just as soon as the suppliers get the hang of this new normal at least when epidemics, endemics, and pandemics are declared.