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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

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How Far Will the U.S. Economy Plunge During Lockdown?

How Far Will the U.S. Economy Plunge During Lockdown?
by Wolf Richter • Apr 21, 2020 •

Three times deeper than the Great Recession?”
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.


No one has ever been through an economy where enormous shifts have occurred, from one day to the next, shutting down part of the economy but also generating sectors that are vastly more vibrant than ever before. Monthly or quarterly economic indicators leave us in the dark because they lag too far behind and are at the moment largely useless. What we need is high-frequency data – daily and weekly that track this shifting economy in near-real time.

For example, there has been an enormous boom in ecommerce – but we won’t get ecommerce data for Q1 until mid-May and for Q2 until August. Best Buy reported last week that its online sales had surged by 250% but that it would furlough 51,000 hourly store employees as stores were closed to customers, allowing only for curbside pickup. That duality that is now widespread impacts the economy in strange ways.

Grocery store and supermarket sales – which are normally the epitome of slow and steady growth tied to inflation and population growth – are suddenly booming. Kroger reported a 30% surge in “identical retail supermarket sales without fuel.” ............(more)

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/04/21/how-far-will-u-s-economy-gdp-plunge-during-lockdowns/




Donald Trump's weird tales: His call to "liberate Virginia" is even worse than you think

Donald Trump's weird tales: His call to "liberate Virginia" is even worse than you think
Trump's call to "liberate Virginia" from gun safety echoes one of the craziest, nastiest lies of his presidency


(Salon) The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, is back on Donald Trump's grievance radar. This time it's for supporting a series of common sense gun safety proposals working their way through the newly Democratic-controlled legislature in Richmond.

By way of background, you might recall how the commonwealth's governor was previously attacked by Trump after Northam bungled a remark regarding hospice or palliative care for infants born with catastrophic, terminal diseases and birth defects.

Trump, always fascinated by grisly storytelling and always drawn to concoct outrageous lies, framed what Northam had said as though the governor, as well as Democrats at large, wanted to allow parents to randomly and electively murder their newborn babies. The way Trump continues to describe it in his rallies and on Twitter is that Democrats are fine with parents bringing their perfectly healthy children home from hospitals, placing them in cribs and then killing them somehow, just because, we assume, the parents have decided — whoops! — they didn't want children after all, you know, after nine months of expense, physical discomfort and existential stress.

Obviously Democrats are proposing nothing of the kind, and have never proposed anything close to that psychotic delusion, which could only have emerged, like an "Alien" chest-burster in language form, from Trump's tormented and sociopathic brain. The law he's describing actually allows for humane intervention, when it comes to terminally ill newborn infants. Democrats merely want to ensure parents can decide to forgo extreme life-preserving medical techniques in order to spare terminally ill newborns who may be in severe pain. Northam, despite his fumbled language, was simply saying that parents can authorize palliative care for their newborn infants who are clearly going to die. That's it. .............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2020/04/21/donald-trumps-weird-tales-his-call-to-liberate-virginia-is-even-worse-than-you-think/




Why are Americans so servile to a clown president?


Why are Americans so servile to a clown president?
OPINION 11:30 AM BY HEATHER MALLICK TORONTO STAR


Why are Americans so obedient, so servile? That isn’t the image they hope to show the world but there they are, a herd of sheep in Trump’s presence, baaa-ing approvingly.

“Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure,” Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of Americans in 1830. Again, why?

Donald Trump stumps up to the podium every day and makes a fool of himself. He spouts nonsense for hours thus replicating his now-dead campaign rallies, lying, talking nonsense, insulting women, shouting at men, threatening to fire government staff for disagreeing with him, planning vengeance on Democratic governors, pronouncing words wrong and adding numbers incorrectly, sending crude racist remarks over to China, and making his terror and neediness plain.

“Look at me,” he says, the way toddlers do when they step over the kitten rather then squashing it, “I did it!” ........(more)

https://www.toronto.com/opinion-story/9956635-why-are-americans-so-servile-to-a-clown-president-/




Donald Trump's Virginia stories


Donald Trump's weird tales: His call to "liberate Virginia" is even worse than you think
Trump's call to "liberate Virginia" from gun safety echoes one of the craziest, nastiest lies of his presidency


(Salon) The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, is back on Donald Trump's grievance radar. This time it's for supporting a series of common sense gun safety proposals working their way through the newly Democratic-controlled legislature in Richmond.

By way of background, you might recall how the commonwealth's governor was previously attacked by Trump after Northam bungled a remark regarding hospice or palliative care for infants born with catastrophic, terminal diseases and birth defects.

Trump, always fascinated by grisly storytelling and always drawn to concoct outrageous lies, framed what Northam had said as though the governor, as well as Democrats at large, wanted to allow parents to randomly and electively murder their newborn babies. The way Trump continues to describe it in his rallies and on Twitter is that Democrats are fine with parents bringing their perfectly healthy children home from hospitals, placing them in cribs and then killing them somehow, just because, we assume, the parents have decided — whoops! — they didn't want children after all, you know, after nine months of expense, physical discomfort and existential stress.

Obviously Democrats are proposing nothing of the kind, and have never proposed anything close to that psychotic delusion, which could only have emerged, like an "Alien" chest-burster in language form, from Trump's tormented and sociopathic brain. The law he's describing actually allows for humane intervention, when it comes to terminally ill newborn infants. Democrats merely want to ensure parents can decide to forgo extreme life-preserving medical techniques in order to spare terminally ill newborns who may be in severe pain. Northam, despite his fumbled language, was simply saying that parents can authorize palliative care for their newborn infants who are clearly going to die. That's it. .............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2020/04/21/donald-trumps-weird-tales-his-call-to-liberate-virginia-is-even-worse-than-you-think/




Front-Runner for Country's Dumbest Governor to Reopen Essential Bowling Alleys, Nail Salons Friday


from Vanity Fair:


Front-Runner for Country’s Dumbest Governor to Reopen Essential Bowling Alleys, Nail Salons Friday
Brian Kemp seemingly asked for a list of the businesses where people are in closest proximity, a key factor to spreading COVID-19, and said, Let’s start with those.

Approximately two weeks ago, Georgia governor Brian Kemp made a name for himself when he announced on the steps of his state’s capitol that he was a massive imbecile. Sure, he didn’t use the exact words “Citizens of Georgia, I’ve gathered you here today to announce that I’ve tested positive for an I.Q. of less than nine,” but he might as well have. Because it was then—on April 2, 2020!— that Kemp revealed he had only just learned that asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus could spread the disease. Despite his office being located roughly 6.5 miles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and children having known for at least a month how the virus could be transmitted, Kemp told reporters: “Those individuals could’ve been infecting people before they ever felt bad. But we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours.”

Kemp was overwhelmingly criticized for his astonishing lack of knowledge about the disease and, obviously, rightly so. But apparently, instead of laying low for a while, listening to experts, and taking the steps necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 in his state—where cases have continued to rise—he’s decided to double down on his image as a wildly ignorant politician who doesn’t avail himself of easily accessible information, listen to public health experts, or take the necessary steps to avoid reopening the economy too early and causing an even greater spike in cases. Because not only is he allowing some companies to get back to business on Friday, he seemingly asked for a list of the places where people were most likely to contract the disease and said, Let’s start with those:

Kemp announced on Monday that gyms, hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, and bowling alleys will be allowed to reopen in the state on Friday—even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise. During an afternoon press conference, Kemp said that the statewide shelter-in-place order will expire on April 30, however he urged the “medically fragile” to continue to hunker down until May 13. The announcement comes even as top health officials maintain that the best way to prevent further spread of the virus at this stage of the pandemic is to continue enforced social distancing.

As of Monday, Georgia has recorded over 18,301 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and at least 637 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker…. The governor, who cited the pandemic’s heavy toll on the state’s economy, said that some restaurants and movie theaters can reopen on Monday as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines. He also gave the greenlight to churches to hold in-person services.


As Axios noted earlier today, there is wide consensus that places like hospitals and grocery stores are obviously “essential” businesses, but others, like World Wrestling Entertainment, crafts chain Hobby Lobby, and Bath & Body Works, seem to fall in a gray area. Hair salons and nail salons, where people must be within inches of one another (if not touching) and gyms, where people sweat all over everything, seem like less of a great idea to reopen from the get-go. .............(more)

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/04/brian-kemp-georgia-bowling-alley




Lockdown-defying pastor does something entirely predictable......


On Monday, WAFB News reported that an arrest warrant has been issued for Tony Spell, the controversial Louisiana pastor who has defied lockdown orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The warrant accuses pastor Tony Spell of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the Central Police Department says,” stated the report. “Police in Central say Spell allegedly backed up a church bus into the direction of a person protesting in front of his church Sunday. Video of the alleged incident shows the bus coming to a stop just short of where the protester was standing.” ........(more)

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/04/lockdown-defying-pastor-charged-with-assault-for-allegedly-driving-his-bus-toward-a-protester/




Why are Americans so servile to a clown president?


Why are Americans so servile to a clown president?
OPINION 11:30 AM BY HEATHER MALLICK TORONTO STAR


Why are Americans so obedient, so servile? That isn’t the image they hope to show the world but there they are, a herd of sheep in Trump’s presence, baaa-ing approvingly.

“Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure,” Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of Americans in 1830. Again, why?

Donald Trump stumps up to the podium every day and makes a fool of himself. He spouts nonsense for hours thus replicating his now-dead campaign rallies, lying, talking nonsense, insulting women, shouting at men, threatening to fire government staff for disagreeing with him, planning vengeance on Democratic governors, pronouncing words wrong and adding numbers incorrectly, sending crude racist remarks over to China, and making his terror and neediness plain.

“Look at me,” he says, the way toddlers do when they step over the kitten rather then squashing it, “I did it!” ........(more)

https://www.toronto.com/opinion-story/9956635-why-are-americans-so-servile-to-a-clown-president-/





The Darwin Awards committee is putting in lots of OT......


Demonstrators gathered in Pennsylvania on Monday to demand that that the stay-at-home order be lifted as the coronavirus pandemic peaks in the United States.

According to reports, hundreds of protesters showed up in Harrisburg. Many of the demonstrators failed to wear protective gear or follow the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.

“Jesus is my vaccine,” a message on one truck said. One man came to the rally bearing a wooden cross on his back.

Other signs claimed that COVID-19 is a government “false flag” operation. ......(more)

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/04/jesus-is-my-vaccine-hundreds-of-protesters-gather-without-protective-gear-in-pennsylvania/




Trump Bungles Hit on Cuomo and Shatters Own Wrongness Record on "1917" Pandemic


(The Intercept) It was amateur hour at the White House on Sunday, as the president’s effort to neutralize criticism of his failure to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic was undermined by his A/V team, and he mistakenly referred to the 1918 flu pandemic as something that happened in 1917 for the 24th time in the past five weeks.

As he did last week, Trump took took time out of what was supposed to be a briefing to update the American people on the public health emergency to screen clips of a political rival, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, praising aspects of the federal response to the crisis. The aim was not to inform or reassure the public, but to settle a personal score.

When the first clip, of remarks from Cuomo earlier on Sunday, began with the sound turned down, Trump mocked his own tech team from the stage. “No sound?” Trump asked. “Other than that, it’s a good clip — he’s a nice looking guy,” he added sarcastically. ..............(more)

https://theintercept.com/2020/04/20/trump-bungles-hit-cuomo-shatters-wrongness-record-1917-pandemic/




Trump and the astroturf protests: An ugly, cynical new strategy to divide America


from Salon:


Trump and the astroturf protests: An ugly, cynical new strategy to divide America
Stoking divisions and driving a new explosion in the pandemic: Republicans think they can win through sheer chaos

Heather Digby Parton
April 20, 2020 1:55PM (UTC)


President Trump's daily coronavirus briefing rallies aren't even attempting to be relevant to the ongoing pandemic anymore. To the extent it even comes up, it's entirely Trump bragging about anything that's gone right and blaming others for everything that's gone wrong. If you want to know the latest information about the emergency, you'll need to look elsewhere. These are Trump campaign rallies done for the strict purpose of energizing his base.

If you're reading this, you have probably read and heard vast amounts of reporting revealing the overwhelming failure of the Trump administration in this crisis. Just this weekend we learned that CDC officials were actually embedded with the World Health Organization in January and repeatedly alerted the U.S. government about the coronavirus outbreak, which completely undermines Trump's attack on the organization.

Unfortunately, the foot-dragging and the errors continue. The testing that everyone but Trump acknowledges must be in place before the economy can come back to life is still not available. Hospitals and first responders are still in dire need of medical equipment and protective gear. If the Trump administration pushes people back out of their homes prematurely, there's an excellent chance we'll have another outbreak well before we've recovered from the first one.

It's now obvious that will happen, at least in some places. In Jacksonville, Florida, officials opened the beaches and people flooded back out, with no masks and in close quarters. All over the country there have been small but vocal protests during the last few days, demanding that governors open their states immediately. ............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2020/04/20/trump-and-the-astroturf-protests-an-ugly-cynical-new-strategy-to-divide-america/




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