Friday, April 03, 2020

Friday Night

Rock on.

I'm Happy

Youse need to catch up.


I was worried but then I realized the House will return in just 17 days. Surely nothing could get exponentially worse by then.

Pass This (Or Equivalent) Or We're Fucked



The 2008 was, in the beginning, a financial crisis. That's a polite way of referring to the fact that it was a crisis caused by every institution of our financial system levering up bets 1000x by borrowing from each other and then all somehow simultaneously taking the exact same side in a bet. Even I'm not entirely clear on how that can happen, but basically that happened. One way or another the banks did need to be bailed out, though that didn't mean that their shareholders and executives needed to be bailed out, or that after they were bailed out there was no need to bail out people who were losing their homes, but, ah, well, nevertheless. Bail out the banks, let several million people lose their homes, give a few bucks to everyone, and wait 7 years for the recovery. Good job, everybody!

But it didn't break the country. This is going to break the country.

Bringing The Band Back Together

The Scariest Jobs Chart returns.


When minority reporters and others from nontraditional-for-elite-newspapers backgrounds (no school near Boston!) argue that their personal experience gives them a necessary and useful perspective on the subjects they are or should be covering, elite editors scream BIAS at them, but when "our" friends and relatives are getting sick and dying...

No self-awareness.

Predictions Are Hard, Especially About The Future

Nobody has a perfect crystal ball, though people with prominent platforms and microphones should resist the temptation to pretend that they have a superior one that they can consult. We, as readers of the fine blog Eschaton, are savvy consumers of the news and know that the people on the teevee generally know even less than what they say, but I am sorry to say that most people don't. And while Fox News is obviously a uniquely bad vector for mass spreading of bullshit, it isn't exactly the only one. Totebaggers and readers of the political desk of the New York Times are often getting a different brand of bullshit, though one which is not necessarily less damaging.

But, anyway, the problem isn't that some people "got the pandemic wrong" a month ago. It's that the message went out through conservative media that downplaying the coronavirus and painting it all as some big liberal conspiracy to make Trump look bad, instead of a mounting body count, was the the talking point. It wasn't that people made wrong predictions, it's that they are all willingly in service of bullshit even as the death count soars.

Team Good Guys

But that sense of paralysis—of not knowing how or whether to criticize the president for not taking the warning signs seriously enough back when he could have limited the spread of the coronavirus—is also the inevitable result of decades of capitulation and learned helplessness. A generation of Democrats have ceded ground to the other side at every crisis point, somehow coming to believe it would be either gauche or counterproductive to try to take advantage of one.


The Biden campaign was premised on Trump’s special unsuitability for the job and Biden’s supposed special fitness to put us back on our former track. There were no larger issues at play. Now, instead of spending every day in an empty Target parking lot demanding to know where the tests Trump promised weeks ago are, Joe Biden is (I am not making this up) planning to try to call the president to give him some leadership tips.

Before he faced a truly national crisis, Trump was, to Joe Biden, a “threat to this nation … unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime.” Now that he’s simply another incompetent Republican president whose inept disaster preparedness and response will kill untold thousands, we have, apparently, the promised return to normalcy.

Morning Dread

It's what for breakfast!

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Thursday Evening

It really is Friday Tomorrow. Seems like just yesterday it was Friday.

Killing Our Citizens To Own The LIbs

I get the earlier stage of denial, some, but what the fuck.
Hours after Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order Wednesday, he quietly signed a second order to override restrictions put in place by local governments to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The second order states that new state guidelines that take effect Friday morning “shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19.” In other words, local governments cannot place any limitations that would be more strict than the statewide guidelines.

The Scale Of The Problem

It's big, folks, and occupying time arguing about where the income phaseout for a $1200 check should be and then buggering off for a month... I have to say it, my friends, and I do not say this lightly: that's some malarkey!

Oh, Elon

Elon got a lot of press for promising to build ventilators, then he got a lot of press for promising to provide them (but not necessarily build them), then he got a lot of press for delivering some "ventilators" which are... not. They're BIPAP machines generally for home use to treat sleep apnea and while they can be used to aid people with respiratory distress generally, they are not the type of ventilators hospitals have a shortage of (you could have one delivered tomorrow to your home for a grand or less), and certainly no *substitute* for those ventilators which there is a desperate shortage of, and even in normal times cost a hell of a lot more than a grand.

Keep trying to tell people he's a con man...

What If We Try Turning It Off And Then On Again

Ultimately what we have to do, but turning it on again is not going to be easy...

But Thinking Makes It So

Wolfers is a "team D" economist. Sure we just had the entire job loss of the Great Recession in 2 weeks, but maybe it'll just reverse itself quickly!

Economists not yet clear on the consequences of shutting down the entire fucking country.

We are so doomed.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

6.6 million new lucky duckies.

Sounds like a big number? Not much of an economist anymore, but "big" seems right.

Wow Who Knew

Evil AND stupid. It is almost always both.

Morning Bridge

To a new thread.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Wednesday Night

Rock on.

Con Man Knows His Marks

Doesn't even need to be a good con man because they are the easiest marks.

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy.