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Cartoon: La Chancla

Daily Kos - Thu, 03/26/2020 - 03:27

We are not sacrificing our abuelas for the stock market or Trump’s re-election.

Categories: Politics

Late Night Open Thread: Life’s Little Tragicomedies

Balloon Juice - Thu, 03/26/2020 - 01:10

The post Late Night Open Thread: Life’s Little Tragicomedies appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

$2.2 Trillion Coronavirus Rescue Bill Passes Senate Unanimously

Kevin Drum - Thu, 03/26/2020 - 00:56

After all the last-minute posturing and outrage, not a single senator opposed the coronavirus rescue bill:

The sprawling legislation, which passed 96-0, would send checks to more than 150 million American households, set up enormous loan programs for businesses large and small, pump money into unemployment insurance programs, greatly boost spending on hospitals, and much more.

On Monday it was a $1.8 trillion bill. Then it was $2 trillion. Now it’s $2.2 trillion. That’s $400 billion casually tacked on over the course of four days. The Senate literally took the entire annual cost of the Obama stimulus program and tossed it into the pot as a sort of sweetener to buy votes.

This is especially impressive because I can’t find a reliable source to tell me exactly what that $400 billion is for. I mean, sure, it may not seem like much in the great scheme of things, but it still represents 25,000 tons of hundred-dollar bills. That’s a lot!

Categories: Politics

Matt Gaetz gets obliterated after going full ‘Florida Man’ with racist, uninformed coronavirus tweet

Daily Kos - Thu, 03/26/2020 - 00:50

There are all kinds of issues one might have with the coronavirus emergency relief bill. However, one of those issues is obviously not going to be earmarking money to go to medical facilities that are dealing directly with COVID-19 cases. But that is exactly what Florida Man Matt Gaetz did on Wednesday, when the congressman decided to try and score some racist dogwhistle points with fellow faux-fiscal conservatives. 

Categories: Politics

Senate passes $2 trillion economic stimulus plan

Daily Kos - Thu, 03/26/2020 - 00:22

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the legislation known as the CARES Act; this is the third phase of economic relief to an American economy battered by the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic that has left more than half of the nation under orders to stay at home. The record-breaking, $2 trillion plan passed 96-0 just before midnight on Wednesday. 

The House of Representatives is expected to take up the bill first thing Friday morning, C-SPAN reports.

The bill’s passage was slowed by the so-called Sasse Amendment, named for the Nebraska senator, who, along with a handful of other Republicans, insisted that people making low wages—South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham used nurses as an example—would be “incentivized” to choose the “supersized” unemployment benefits over work. The Sasse Amendment failed to pass, 48-48. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin voted for the amendment, while Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado voted against. 

Why wasn’t the vote 100-0? Two Republicans—South Dakota’s John Thune and Kentucky’s Rand Paul—have tested positive for COVID-19, while Utah’s Mike Lee and Mitt Romney are in quarantine.

Read a roundup of Daily Kos’ coronavirus coverage here.

Senate Republicans are an immediate danger to the people of this nation. Please give $3 or more to the Daily Kos nominee fund, and help Democrats take back the Senate …. and send Lindsey Graham home for good.

Categories: Politics

What Do We Call a Deliberately Engineered Recession?

Kevin Drum - Thu, 03/26/2020 - 00:19

Heather Long writes about the $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill:

The good news is the majority of the money is going to laid-off workers, small business owners, hospitals and state and local governments. The bad news is it won’t be enough to stop a recession. And it’s an open question whether the nation can avoid an economic depression, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 1930s.

I continue to be a little perplexed about this. Is it really a recession if it’s caused by the government stepping in and literally ordering businesses to reduce their output? Technically, I suppose so. GDP goes down, employment goes down, and consumption goes down. Those are all the markers of a recession.

And yet . . . help me out here. It’s not the same thing, is it? Or am I missing something? It almost seems as if there ought to be another name for a deliberately engineered economic slowdown like this one that will end just as soon as the government orders it to end. Take this, for example:

It’s apparently true that real estate investors are in panic mode right now, but it’s not so much because the value of real estate has truly plummeted; it’s only because deals are frozen due to government lockdown orders.¹ Nobody wants to buy while the coronavirus lockdown is in effect, which means that technically markets are in freefall. This is bad news for those who are unlucky and have to sell right now, but for most real estate owners it doesn’t mean anything much at all. There might be some footnotes that have to be added to their balance sheets, but they’re temporary and affect nothing. They just have to ride it out for a few months. In a real recession, you’d be afraid that your holdings have lost value forever.

So what do we call this? A fauxcession? A coronacession? A pandemicession? Any ideas?

¹There are probably exceptions, of course. For example, the chart suggests that the value of senior housing is down the most, which makes sense. It’s all a bit ghoulish, but if the coronavirus ends up killing a lot of the elderly, then there will be less demand for senior housing and its value will decline.

On the other hand, why would anyone think that student housing is down 30 percent in any real sense of the word? When the pandemic ends, there are going to be just as many students as there were before.

Categories: Politics

COVID 19 (To The Tune Of 'Come On Eileen')

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 23:00

Ha! Open thread below...

Categories: Politics

Seth Meyers via Webcam: Trump Wants to Reopen America as Coronavirus Pandemic Accelerates

Little Green Footballs - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 22:40

Seth takes a closer look at the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak and the president and some his allies saying we should care more about the stock market than saving lives.

Categories: Politics

Trump sends cease, desist letter on ad featuring one giant sound bite of his mad coronavirus musings

Daily Kos - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 22:03

Donald Trump is angry. The Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA assembled an ad that features the sound bites of Trump and Trump only, and guess what? Turns out he’s an unhinged maniacal liar who’s gotten everything about the coronavirus wrong. That may not be news to you, but it is apparently news to Trump. And his dangerously factless musings on the coronavirus over the past several weeks have not worn well. 

So on Wednesday, a Trump campaign attorney released a cease and desist letter demanding that TV stations across the nation pull the ad immediately. “On behalf of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., President Trump’s principal campaign committee, this letter notifies you that your station is airing a patently false, misleading, and deceptive advertisement,” wrote Alex Cannon, special counsel to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. “Because [the] ad’s central point is deliberately false and misleading, your station has an obligation to cease and desist from airing it immediately to comply with FCC licensing requirements, to serve the public interest, and to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.” Um, yeah, the ad simply regurgitates all Trump’s falsehoods on the virus, sound bite by sound bite. So if it’s “patently false” and “misleading,” that’s because Trump narrates the entire thing in his own words. 

But you know what this all means, right? You absolutely must watch it below and share it far and wide.

Categories: Politics

See The Difference Social Distance Makes

Balloon Juice - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 21:33

I have been thinking about writing another post about modeling the coronavirus epidemic, and one of the things I have wanted is an interactive model, so that people can see for themselves how social distancing helps.

And here it is!

I know most folks here are aware, but it may be revealing to see just how much of a difference social distancing can make.

Martin had a post up today on modeling and will have one tomorrow. I’ll be writing another post too, but for now just check this out.

Open thread!

The post See The Difference Social Distance Makes appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Please Take Care of Yourselves

Balloon Juice - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 21:29

I know lots of you suffer from anxiety related issues, and I do as well, and earlier tonight I gave myself one hell of an “OMG I GOT THE RONA” anxiety attack. The proximate cause of said attack was spring allergies causing drainage which has given me a little chest cold combined with an active imagination and a fear that I may have killed my parents by giving them the virus.

At any rate, after they are gone, you remember how bad they were, but boy howdy nothing prepares you for when you are in the midst of one. It just sucks.

So please, y’all, take care of yourselves.

The post Please Take Care of Yourselves appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Jacob Collier Seems to Be Getting Funkier: "In My Bones" (Feat. Kimbra & Tank and the Bangas) [VIDEO]

Little Green Footballs - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 20:58

Here's the second single from Djesse Vol. 3, featuring the almighty Kimbra and Tank and The Bangas' iconic wonderhuman Tarriona “Tank” Ball.

Directed by Raul Gonzo.

Listen! Stream! Buy! ➡

Listen to Djesse Vol. 2! ➡
Listen to Djesse Vol. 1! ➡


© Hajanga Records

Categories: Politics

Seattle NPR station does the right thing—quits airing Trump's coronavirus disinformation briefings

Daily Kos - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 20:35

An NPR member station in Seattle announced Wednesday it would no longer air Donald Trump's coronavirus task force briefings live, but instead monitor them for "the latest news" on the coronavirus and then report back. "We will continue to share all news relevant to Washington State with our listeners," KUOW Public Radio tweeted Wednesday morning. "However, we will not be airing the briefings live due to a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time."

More of this please. Much much more of this—a news organization actually taking seriously its responsibility to disseminate sound, factual information to the public on a matter where having the facts can mean the difference between life and death.

Categories: Politics

The Right Would Smear The Left Even If A Giant Meteor Was Headed Toward The U.S.

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 20:31

I think this is sensible:

White House officials expressed growing alarm on Tuesday about the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, advising people who have passed through or left the city to place themselves in a 14-day quarantine....

About 60 percent of the new cases in the country were in the New York City metropolitan area....

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said they were very concerned about people from New York City spreading the virus.

“We are starting to see new cases across Long Island that suggest people have left the city,” Dr. Birx said. “We can have a huge impact if we unite together.”

All of which might engender empathy in a normal human being. Not our president, of course.

read more

Categories: Politics

COVID-19 news: States scramble for medical supplies as administration response continues to falter

Daily Kos - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 20:30

The Senate continued negotiations throughout the day on a stimulus bill negotiated by Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Republicans. Efforts were complicated when Sen. Lindsey Graham and other Republicans held a presser to declare that the unemployment insurance being proposed to assist laid-off workers during the crisis was too generous; after the bill's presumed (eventual) passage, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to recess the Senate until April 20th, indicating Republicans intend no further emergency actions as the pandemic unfolds.

A roundup of the day’s other major COVID-19 news:

Categories: Politics

Trump Campaign Threatens To Sue After Hard-Hitting Coronavirus Ad Airs

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 20:00

The Trump campaign are big babies, like Fat Head himself. But they know if any of this criticism sticks with Trump's cult-like base he's toast in November. That's why they're calling out the lawyers.

Source: Bloomberg

The Trump campaign asked TV stations in swing states to take down an ad featuring the president calling coronavirus a “hoax” that his allies say is misleading.

The ad from Priorities USA shows the curve of U.S. cases growing from Jan. 20 to March 22 while featuring audio of Trump downplaying the threat during that time. “The coronavirus,” Trump says at the beginning, before a second clip plays, “this is their new hoax.”

The Trump campaign says the president was describing Democrats’ efforts to politicize the coronavirus, not calling the virus itself a hoax.

Fact-checkers at the Washington Post called a similar ad from the Biden campaign misleading, noting that the full comments from Trump at a campaign rally compared “politicizing the coronavirus” to the investigation into Russian interference and his impeachment.

read more

Categories: Politics

Concerts Tonight: Jimmy Buffett (2015 from Key West) and Pete Kartsounes (Live Acoustic Grateful Dead)

Balloon Juice - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 19:39

Live Concerts Tonight:

Jimmy Buffett – 8pm Eastern

 Jimmy Buffett and Pete Kartsounes (live acou

Pete Kartsounes – 10pm Eastern

Pete Kartsounes, a singer/songwriter is doing a live acoustic Grateful Dead set tonight at 7 pm Pacific Time (10pm Eastern)

More concerts tonight?  Add them in the comments!

Note: For those of you who have asked for open threads at the same time as  COVID posts, his should sandwich nicely between two COVID posts and the Wednesday version of the Military Life post – Moving, from Leto’s perspective, that will be up at 8pm.

Open Thread.

The post Concerts Tonight: Jimmy Buffett (2015 from Key West) and Pete Kartsounes (Live Acoustic Grateful Dead) appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

In Case You're Wondering Why Florida Got All The Supplies They Requested...

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 19:01

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

On March 11, Florida requested a cache of emergency supplies from the federal government to protect its medical workers against the novel coronavirus.

Three days later, the state got everything it wanted.

Other states had only tiny slivers of their requests fulfilled, including some that had asked for them earlier than Florida. Oregon and Oklahoma received only about 10%; New Jersey got less than 6%.

This disparity has not been lost on the states that feel shortchanged in their requests from the Strategic National Stockpile, a trove of supplies managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Officials fear that hospitals will be overwhelmed by far more patients than they can safely treat if the current pace of infections continues. This month, officials estimated that if the outbreak lasts a year, the U.S. could need 3.5 billion of the N95 masks that protect health care workers. The national stockpile had only 12 million N95 masks and 30 million surgical masks on hand when the crisis began.

read more

Categories: Politics

Tha Carter

Balloon Juice - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 18:48

Ending the lockdowns isn’t going to happen. Next week we will probably have 2 or 3 thousand people die in New York City, which is horrific, and we’ll also probably have a continue decrease or at least stabilization of deaths in Italy, which is great. Obviously, fight like hell to keep the lockdown going, because we are talking about millions of lives here. But I just don’t see how these fuckers are going to end it.

As much as I hate to heh indeed David Frum it’s hard to improve on this commentary on Trump’s higher (but still shitty) approval ratings:

If any of us is still alive in November, we can pick up a lot of seats.

The post Tha Carter appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Small business owners plead for help as Republicans hamper coronavirus relief bill

Daily Kos - Wed, 03/25/2020 - 18:14

Senate Republicans are trying their best to block a coronavirus relief bill on account of—get this—an assumption that minimum wage workers will enjoy unemployment too much if they’re assisted. MSNBC anchor Katy Tur has taken to Twitter to try to educate the ignorant. “As congress tries to come to an agreement, I’ve asked some of the small business owners I know to send me messages telling lawmakers about what they really need,” she tweeted Tuesday.  

Matt Kliegman, a co-owner of both Black Seed Bagels and The Smile in New York City, responded first with salient advice for lawmakers, telling them to "stop deluding themselves." The Smile employed 120 workers before New York became an epicenter for the coronavirus, Kliegman told Tur. That company now has no workers. And while Black Seed had 135 workers pre-coronavirus, it now employs only 12. "Our industry has suffered an enormous amount of layoffs just in the last couple weeks," he said. "I read a statistic that last week alone, our industry has laid off nearly one million people. Those employees need help."

Categories: Politics