Jan 292020

Marion Post Wolcott Main Street. Sheridan, Wyoming 1941


Number Of Coronavirus Cases Surpasses SARS (ZH)
Coronavirus May Disrupt Apple’s iPhone Production Ramp Up (R.)
White House Tells Airlines It May Suspend All China-US Flights (CNBC)
British Airways Suspends All Direct Flights To And From Mainland China (BBC)
China Boom Exposes Airlines To Coronavirus Risk (R.)
Viewers Choose Day Time Soaps Over The Impeachment Trial (Turley)
Democrats’ Dubious Impeachment Subtext of Treason (Michael Tracey)
Shoot Article II and Call The Witnesses (Turley)
Trump and Netanyahu Dictate Terms of Palestinian Surrender (IC)
Israel Will Now Officially Become an Apartheid State (Lauria)
Hamas Calls Trump’s Mideast Plan ‘Aggressive’ (RT)
Brexit Britain To Outperform Brussels As ‘Ineffective’ Bloc Gamble Backfires (Exp.)
Human Rights Report To Oppose Extradition Of Julian Assange To US (G.)
Democratic Super PAC Ad Targets Bernie Sanders, Mentions Heart Attack (Hill)
No Points For Saying Anything Good About Russia – Stephen Cohen (RT)



First, we’re getting into faulty territory as far as terminology is concerned. We can call the current virus, “coronavirus”, and I have as well, but we can’t say things like “Number Of Coronavirus Cases Surpasses SARS”, because SARS is also a coronavirus, like MERS. They belong to the same “family”. The current virus is officially called “2019-nCOV”. Not too catchy. Perhaps “Wuhan coronavirus” is a good compromise, but that’s long. Here’s why they have that name:


Coronavirus under electron microscope


At dawn Beijing time, the latest numbers came out, and they said 131 deaths, which would have been another increase of 25, the third day in a row. later it was raised to 132. So over the past 5 days we have increases of 15, 15, 25, 25 and 26.

60,000 people are under observation, 20,000 of which in Hubei. 263 cases are deemed “severe.” Today was the first time that more new cases were reported outside of Hubei province than inside it. It was also the first time that the numbers of increases was over 1,000 (I’ve seen that called a tipping point). There are 19 countries that have reported cases: China, United States, France, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Nepal, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Canada, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Germany, UAE.

A remarkable stsatement came from Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory diseases expert, who said the outbreak hasn’t yet reached its peak, though he thinks the number of new cases will plateau within the next ten days.

But that is very different from what HKU’s faculty of medicine dean Gabriel Leung says. Does Zhong do Beijing damage control? Or will the epidemic fizzle out within a week?

SARS reached its peak after 4-5 months. The episode lasted 9 months. The “2019-nCOV” “Wuhan coronavirus” has already infected more people in one month than SARS during its entire episode.

Leung said his team’s research showed self-sustaining human-to-human transmission was already happening in all major mainland cities and warned that a pandemic might be close. “We have to be prepared, that this particular epidemic may be about to become a global epidemic,” he said. The team’s model predicted the number of infections in five mainland megacities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chongqing – would peak between late April and early May.

At the height of the epidemic, as many as 150,000 new cases would be confirmed every day in Chongqing, because of its large population coupled with intense travel volume with Wuhan. But Leung added that their projections could be too pessimistic as they only took into account lockdown measures in Wuhan and not other health intervention policies.

Compare with Fibonacci:





Already more cases than during 9 months of SARS.

Number Of Coronavirus Cases Surpasses SARS (ZH)

It’s only 8:15 am in Beijing and health officials have already confirmed more than 840 new cases in Hubei Province. That brings the toll to 6,049, including 263 cases deemed “severe.” The death toll has climbed to 132, according to SCMP. Those who have been closely comparing this outbreak with the 2003 SARS outbreak may notice that the coronavirus has achieved an important milestone. Barely a week into global response to the outbreak, the number of confirmed cases has already passed the number of SARS cases reported during the entire monthslong ordeal. Sars infected 5,327 people in mainland China in nine months and killed 349 people, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Another 60k people are said to be under observation across China, with 20k in Hubei alone. Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory diseases expert who spoke with the SCMP on Tuesday, the outbreak hasn’t yet reached its peak, though he thinks the number of new cases will plateau within the next ten days. Back in the US, the Trump Administration is denying reports that it’s considering a total ban on passenger travel between the US and China. Will the fact that the coronavirus has already surpassed SARS – and is on track to achieve some of the more dire projections shared by epidemiologists – shake the market’s confidence? Or will a few soothing words from Jerome Powell save the day?

Read more …

Airlines don’t fly. Borders are closing. What will happen to business? Will we keep importing Chinese products? Will they still export?

Tourism in EU and US will be hit very hard.

But Apple was doing so well, up 86% in 2019. “Apple has bought back $319 billion in stock over the past 7 years, which is greater than the market cap of 490 companies in the S&P 500.”

Coronavirus May Disrupt Apple’s iPhone Production Ramp Up (R.)

Apple’s plan to ramp up iPhone production by 10% in the first half of this year may hit a roadblock as the coronavirus outbreak spreads across China, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on Tuesday. The company has asked its suppliers, many of whom have manufacturing centers in China, to make up to 80 million iPhones in the first half of 2020, the Nikkei reported, citing people familiar with the company’s plans. Apple has booked orders for up to 65 million of its older iPhones and up to 15 million units of a new cut-price model that it plans to unveil in March, according to the report. However, the mass production which is due to start in the third week of February might be delayed due to the virus outbreak, the Nikkei reported.

The coronavirus outbreak has so far killed more than 100 people and infected over 4,500 in China, stranded tens of millions during the Lunar New Year holiday and rattled global markets. Apple’s shares rose about 86% in 2019, outperforming a 29% rise in the S&P 500 index. The stock closed down nearly 3% at $308.95 on Monday as coronavirus fears dragged down high-flying U.S. chip and technology stocks. Cupertino, California-based Apple, which raked in more than $142 billion in iPhone sales in fiscal 2019, has introduced lower priced smartphone variants to woo budget conscious shoppers and check declining sales of its biggest product category.

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They will regret not having done it already. Note: this concerns flights to all of China, not just Wuhan.

White House Tells Airlines It May Suspend All China-US Flights (CNBC)

White House officials have told U.S. airlines the Trump administration is considering suspending flights from China to the U.S. amid an escalating outbreak of a new coronavirus that has infected thousands of people across the world, people familiar with the matter said. The Trump administration is looking at a variety of measures to contain the fast-spreading virus, U.S. health officials told reporters on a conference call Tuesday. White House officials called executives at major U.S. carriers on Tuesday, telling them that a temporary ban on China flights is on the table, according to people familiar with those conversations. As of Tuesday evening, the Trump administration had not taken that step and there was no guarantee that it would do so.

Two of the people said the White House told them it doesn’t immediately plan to ban China air travel, but administration officials are constantly evaluating the situation. United Airlines, which has the most service of the U.S. airlines to Hong Kong and mainland China with about a dozen daily flights, on Tuesday announced it would cancel dozens of flights next month to Hong Kong and mainland China as the outbreak worsens. The Chicago-based airline said it has experienced a “significant decline in demand for travel to China.” United and its rivals Delta and American are waiving cancellation and change fees for travelers booked to China.

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More will follow. No choice. No customers.

British Airways Suspends All Direct Flights To And From Mainland China (BBC)

British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China because of the coronavirus outbreak, the airline has said. It comes after the UK Foreign Office advised against all but essential travel to the country. The virus has caused more than 100 deaths, spreading across China and to at least 16 other countries. Hundreds of foreign nationals have been evacuated from the city of Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak. The UK government is arranging to evacuate Britons from Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province, with up to 300 British people thought to be in the area. Australia plans to quarantine its 600 returning citizens for two weeks on Christmas Island – some 2,000km (1,200 miles) from the mainland. Japan, the US and other EU countries are also repatriating their citizens.

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Boeing can’t catch a break. They don’t deserve one.

China Boom Exposes Airlines To Coronavirus Risk (R.)

Margins at many carriers remain narrow, economic growth has been fragile amid a U.S.-China trade war and there are fears that the return of the 737 MAX, expected mid-year, could lead to overcapacity and push down fares. Airbus and Boeing orders have fallen from the peak levels of 2013 and 2014. The epidemic is particularly concerning to the industry because China is the world’s biggest outbound international travel market and the second-largest domestic aviation market. The country accounts for about 25% of global sales for airplane manufacturers Airbus and Boeing. About 450 million more passengers fly to, from and within China per year compared with a decade ago, according to the IATA.

For Chinese airlines, the biggest of which are state-backed, the impact of the new coronavirus has been swift. On Wednesday, 23% of departures from Shanghai Hongqiao airport had been canceled, according to FlightRadar24, compared with 8% at the more internationally focused Shanghai Pudong airport. Mike Boyd, head of U.S.-based aviation consultancy Boyd Group International, said that he had forecast airport traffic in China to rise 8.1% in 2020, but that he now sees traffic growing at less than half that rate. “It is a real slam,” he said. Cathay Pacific, already battered by a fall in demand because of anti-government protests in its home market of Hong Kong, said on Tuesday evening it would cut flights to mainland China by 50% or more through the end of March.

Read more …

“For viewers, the result is the equivalent to watching professional wrestling with the same fake matches but without the thrill of an occasional pile driver.”

Viewers Choose Day Time Soaps Over The Impeachment Trial (Turley)

In the 1960s, many of the Senators heard the anti-war slogan of “what if they held a war and nobody came?” This week, they finally learned the answer . . . at least in holding an impeachment. Senators have expressed surprise at the empty seats in the Senate gallery. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said he was “really surprised . . . because this is kind of historic.” It is but the members are increasingly making history alone. Not only are spectators sparse, but the television audience has been declining to the point that, by the second day, the networks quickly switched over to shows in greater demand like The Young and The Restless.

Of course, there was a time when impeachment actually involved real trials. The trial of Andrew Johnson had dozens of witnesses. While the rage and partisanship was if anything greater in 1868, the trial itself was more substantive and deliberative. The Clinton trial abandoned that model at the insistence of Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) who opposed any witnesses and even wanted a summary vote without a trial. Only three depositions were allowed and then live testimony was blocked. For viewers, the result is the equivalent to watching professional wrestling with the same fake matches but without the thrill of an occasional pile driver. If the two teams are going to pretend to have a match, Schiff could at least pretend to hit Sekulow with a chair. The game – and ratings – changer may be the chance of witnesses which increased with the leaking of the material from the book of John Bolton.

While a Bolton appearance might “jump the shark” like Happy Days, it would add precisely what is missing in his ratings flop: drama. The size of the viewing audience should not matter, but it does because there is no real effort to try this case to a verdict. The arguments are tailored for public consumption, not jury deliberation. Edward R. Morrow once noted that “If we were to do the Second Coming of Christ in color for a full hour, there would be a considerable number of stations which would decline to carry it on the grounds that a Western or a quiz show would be more profitable.” This is not the Second Coming. It is more like the hundredth retelling the same scripted narrative. That is why viewers prefer to see how Pamela on The Bold and the Beautiful is going to kill Donna in the cabin while a bear is circling outside. Why? Because they do not know who will win: Pamela, Donna, or the bear. Now that is a drama.

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Fast and loose with terminology. Not a great idea for lawmakers.

Democrats’ Dubious Impeachment Subtext of Treason (Michael Tracey)

Less than 72 hours before Donald Trump was impeached last month, the House Judiciary Committee released a behemoth 658-page report outlining the rationale for the final articles produced by the Democratic majority. It would be interesting to conduct a secret ballot asking members of Congress — and indeed, members of the media — to confide whether they actually read the report before the vote took place. [..] Even if the Senate trial fails to result in a conviction (as is exceedingly likely) the long-term implications of what the House of Representatives has already ratified by way of its impeachment vote in December are highly ominous. For instance — and the fact that this has been overlooked is especially mind-blowing — the first article alleges that Trump “betrayed the Nation.” Grave stuff.

No president has ever been impeached for “betraying the Nation” before. What does this mean, exactly? The Judiciary Committee report helpfully provides a definition of the relevant terms. In a section describing what they believe constitutes “impeachable treason,” the Democratic majority writes, “At the very heart of ‘Treason’ is deliberate betrayal of the nation and its security.” There’s that phrase: “betrayal of the nation.” According to the drafters of the impeachment articles, then, Trump has been effectively impeached for treason — except the drafters presumably recognized that inserting the word “treason” in the actual text might prove a tad controversial. So instead they just heavily insinuate it, and confirm that they are charging the president with treason in supporting materials that few will ever read.

“Such betrayal would not only be unforgivable,” the report’s explication of treason reads, “but would also confirm that the President remains a threat if allowed to remain in office. A President who has knowingly betrayed national security is a President who will do so again. He endangers our lives and those of our allies.” This language is then imported into the impeachment articles almost verbatim: “Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.” So let’s be clear on what was done here. The Democrats set forth a definition of treason in their lengthy impeachment report, and then inserted that same definition into the final impeachment articles — except without using the actual word “treason” in the text.

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A.k.a. Call Article II and Shoot The Witnesses.

Shoot Article II and Call The Witnesses (Turley)

Famed economist John Kenneth Galbraith once described politics as “the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” Those words could not more aptly describe the choice now facing the House managers who lost this case before it began. Not because of the Republican majority but because of its own historic blunder in rushing the impeachment forward on an incomplete record. It now must make a choice between the disastrous in simply staying the course to certain acquittal or the unpalatable in admitting the blunder and offering a compromise. Thus far, the suggestions of a compromise has centered on an unlikely horse trade of a witness like former National Security Adviser John Bolton for Hunter Biden.

However, such a compromise does not address the separate institutional concern of some senators, which likely includes the four swing senators. For them, the threshold issue is not the inclusion of witnesses in the Senate but their omission by the House. This week, a key Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), indicated that she was not inclined to call witnesses that the House failed to pursue in its rushed vote. The decision is now with the House managers. They can either just grab the face time on national television or they can move to deal with its blunder and try to resuscitate this case. It might be able to do so but it will have to offer more than a witness swap.

A better compromise might be found in the two articles themselves. To put it simply, it may be time to dismiss Article 2. The obstruction of Congress article was dead on arrival but its dismissal could allow the Senate to go on the record in opposition to the House handling of this impeachment. It just might be enough to open a path for witnesses on Article 1 and abuse of power. The House destroyed any chance for an obstruction article when made an impeachment by Christmas its overriding priority despite warnings that it would effectively hand over an incomplete case to not just the other house but the opposing party.

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The UN should scrap its articles on self-determination in protest.

Trump and Netanyahu Dictate Terms of Palestinian Surrender (IC)

Flanked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but no Palestinian leader, President Donald Trump unveiled “a vision for peace” in the Middle East on Tuesday which permits Israel to annex much of the occupied West Bank immediately, offering the Palestinians only local control in isolated Bantustans surrounded by Israeli territory. As many Israeli political observers noted, the timing of the announcement, just hours after Netanyahu was indicted on corruption charges in Jerusalem, looked like an effort to boost the prime minister’s bid to win reelection in March, his best hope for avoiding prison.

The release of the 180-page plan — which was drafted by aides to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and an old family friend of Netanyahu — was staged as a celebration, and acted as a dual campaign rally, with the American president and the Israeli prime minister boasting of all they had achieved for Israel to a room filled with far-right supporters of the Jewish state, including Sheldon Adelson, the Republican and Likud megadonor who spent millions of dollars to elect both leaders. Trump, who intervened in a previous Israeli election campaigns on Netanyahu’s behalf — by recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights last year — gave the embattled prime minister a podium at the White House to detail conditions imposed on the Palestinians which sounded like terms of surrender.

To start with, Netanyahu said, the Palestinians would be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, cede the entire Jordan Valley, disarm Hamas, and abandon the hope for both the return of refugees who fled homes in what is now Israel and for a capital in Jerusalem’s Old City. [..] Crisis Group analyst Tareq Baconi observed, “The plan sets out parameters that are impossible for Palestinians to accept, and effectively provides Israel with a blueprint to sustain the one-state reality that exists on the ground.” That sentiment was echoed by Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group that monitors the occupation. “What the Palestinians are being ‘offered’ now is not rights or a state, but a permanent state of Apartheid. No amount of marketing can erase this disgrace or blur the facts,”

Read more …

An invitation for violence.

Israel Will Now Officially Become an Apartheid State (Lauria)

Within hours of the so-called Trump peace plan on the Palestine-Israel question being revealed on Tuesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would propose the first phase of West Bank annexation to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday. Netanyahu sprang into action after the plan, which he essentially created, was unveiled by Trump with Netanyahu at his side at the White House. It was the final piece of a strategy that only a U.S. administration as slavishly pro-Israel as Trump’s could give Netanyahu. First the Israeli prime minister got the U.S. on Dec. 6, 2017 to recognize all of Jerusalem, including Arab East Jerusalem, as Israel’s capital with the move of the U.S. embassy there, something every previous U.S. administration had refused to do. Then on March 25, 2019 Trump recognized Israel’s illegal 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights.

Just three months ago Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared expanding Israeli colonies on the West Bank as legal, a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention, which says: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The last piece Netanyahu needed was Tuesday’s much-awaited “peace plan” from the most anti-Palestinian administration in U.S. history. Even The New York Times‘ coverage admitted the plan was strongly biased towards Israel and that Netanyahu was in on the secretive plan all along. The operation was run by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, whose family are close personal friends with Netanyahu. It is a plan being imposed on the Palestinians rather than arising out of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations as past U.S. administrations tried to do.

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“Trump’s statement is aggressive and it will spark a lot of anger…”

Hamas Calls Trump’s Mideast Plan ‘Aggressive’ (RT)

Hamas has brushed off US President Donald Trump’s proposal on Jerusalem as “nonsense.” The group rejected his peace plan altogether by calling his statement “aggressive,” adding that it would only spark “anger.” “Trump’s statement is aggressive and it will spark a lot of anger,” Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters. Zuhri particularly slammed the US leader’s proposal on the future of Jerusalem, calling it “nonsense.” He added that the city will always be a land for the Palestinians, and that they would oppose Trump’s deal. Zuhri particularly slammed the US leader’s proposal on the future of Jerusalem, calling it “nonsense.”

He added that the city “will always be a land for the Palestinians”, and that they would oppose Trump’s deal. Trump’s speech contained conflicting messages, with him first declaring that Jerusalem would be Israel’s “undivided” capital, only to then say that Eastern Jerusalem will be turned into the capital of a newly formed Palestinian state if Palestinians accept his deal. He even vowed to open a US embassy there.

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Says Steve Keen. Not sure I would agree. For this to happen, Britain being successful, Boris would need to create some kind of unity in the country that does not today exist. But he’s much more likely to create more austerity, and divide it even more.

Brexit Britain To Outperform Brussels As ‘Ineffective’ Bloc Gamble Backfires (Exp.)

The European Union and Britain are expected to begin trade talks once EU leaders agree on a mandate in the weeks after Brexit on January 31, 2020. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Monday insisted the EU27 will hold the cards in the negotiations but economist Steve Keen said the bloc is likely to avoid any new “gambit” to secure an agreement and avoid the fall out of Britain leaving the EU. Speaking to RT News, Mr Keen said: “The whole reason the European Union was doing this ever since the Brexit vote is because they were trying to stop the vote going ahead. “Now, with Boris’ success in the election, they know that particular gamble is no longer workable, they have to make some sort of arrangement over the long-term.

“And they’ve got the hope the UK does worse and pleads to come back into the fold sometime down the track.” Mr Keen continued: “But I think that’s wishful thinking. “The European Union is a very poorly designed, ineffective trade bloc and it’s likely to do less well rather than better than the UK over time.” Speaking to the BBC, Irish Taoiseach Varadkar insisted the size of the European Union will play a significant role when the time comes to strike a Brexit trade deal with the United Kingdom in the coming months. Mr Varadkar said: “I think the reality of the situation is that the European Union is a union of 27 member states. “The UK is only one country. And we have a population and a market of 450 million people. The UK, it’s about 60. “So if these were two teams up against each other playing football, who do you think has the stronger team? So long as we’re united.”

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Why would Britain feel compelled to listen to the Council of Europe’s parliamentary arm? They’re leaving the EU in 2days.

Human Rights Report To Oppose Extradition Of Julian Assange To US (G.)

Julian Assange’s detention “sets a dangerous precedent for journalists”, according to politicians from the Council of Europe’s parliamentary arm, who voted on Tuesday to oppose the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to the US. The words of support for Assange and implicit criticism of the UK government will be contained in a final report produced by the Labour peer Lord Foulkes for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which focuses on upholding human rights across the continent. Assange is being held in London’s Belmarsh prison prior to an extradition hearing that will begin in February. A US grand jury has indicted him on 18 charges – 17 of which fall under the Espionage Act – around conspiracy to receive, obtaining and disclosing classified diplomatic and military documents.

Foulkes had drafted an initial report – Threats to Media Freedom and Journalists’ Security in Europe – that will now contain amendments referring to Assange tabled by a number of European parliamentarians. One of the amendments backs the recommendation of the UN special rapporteur on torture who called last year for Assange’s release and for extradition to the United States to be blocked. The other states that his possible extradition to the US “would set a precedent and threaten journalists’ freedoms in all member states”.

Foulkes told the Guardian that campaigners and supporters of Assange had written to him while he was writing the report, which addresses media freedoms and threats to journalists in countries including Russia, Turkey and Malta, and asked that he consider including an amendment mentioning Assange. As a rapporteur for the assembly, he said it was not his role to do so but that colleagues from other states had done so. He added: “I was in favour of him being sent back to Sweden when there were allegations against him to face that, but as far as the US is concerned I think there would be deep concerns if he were to be sent there.”

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The Democratic Majority for Israel PAC. Let’s get uglier.

Democratic Super PAC Ad Targets Bernie Sanders, Mentions Heart Attack (Hill)

A Democratic super PAC is expected to release a new ad campaign Wednesday that targets Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the heart attack that he suffered late last year. The ad from Democratic Majority for Israel features six Iowa voters and argues Sanders would be unable to beat President Trump in November, The New York Times reported. “I like Bernie, I think he has great ideas, but in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, they’re just not going to vote for a socialist,” a male voter says in the ad, according to the Times. “I just don’t think Bernie can beat Trump.” Another voter highlights the heart attack that Sanders, 78, suffered while on the campaign trail in Las Vegas at the beginning of October.

“I do have some concerns about Bernie Sanders’s health considering the fact that he did have a heart attack,” the person says, according to the newspaper. PAC president Mark Mellman told the publication that the goal of the ad is to highlight concerns that some Democratic voters have about Sanders’s electability, asserting the senator was in a “uniquely bad position” to defeat Trump. “For many months people were saying he really didn’t have much of a chance, but you have to look at the data now and say he does have a realistic chance of winning Iowa and potentially the nomination,” he said. “This is the point at which there could be room for someone else to make their case and have a better candidate emerge.”

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I don’t think Schiff “misunderstands” Russia or Putin. I think he wants war. And Trump won’t deliver.

No Points For Saying Anything Good About Russia – Stephen Cohen (RT)

US Congress heavyweights like Adam Schiff deeply misunderstand Russia but keep on bashing Moscow because it has become “politically advantageous” in Washington, Russia researcher Stephen Cohen said. “Being highly-critical of Russia is good politics in the United States,” Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton University, told the Grayzone’s Aaron Mate in an interview, uploaded online on Monday. “Nobody ever gets any points for saying anything good about Russia – and only rarely for advocating any kind of partnership with Russia.” Cohen said that “politically it’s advantageous to a lot of people to bash Russia,” and even some of the “progressive” Democratic Party candidates in the 2020 presidential race employ rhetoric, which is hostile toward Moscow.

“It has become an American way of life to blame Russia when things go wrong. Of course, sometimes Russia is to blame, but not all the time. And yet that’s become part of our discourse.” The US Democratic Party’s lead impeachment manager, Representative Adam Schiff, has invoked Russia a lot during the trial in the Senate. Democrats want to oust President Donald Trump because they believe he briefly suspended military aid to Ukraine while trying to pressure Kiev into investigating the dealings of his chief 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Sending weapons to Ukraine serves America’s “abiding interest in stemming Russian expansionism,” Schiff argued.

Cohen, however, said that shipping weapons to Kiev would effectively amount to the US turning its back on Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky’s efforts to resolve the conflict with Russia through peaceful means. Instead, he thinks Washington should focus on encouraging the neighbors to negotiate. “If Zelensky had full American backing for his peace talks with Putin – that would help him a lot.” Speaking on the Senate floor, Schiff accused Moscow of trying to undermine the faith in democracy and government institutions around the globe. Cohen argued that the congressman misunderstands what Russian President Vladimir Putin actually “sees as his own historical mission,” and it is almost the opposite of what Schiff attributes to him.

According to the researcher, Putin’s chief ambition is “to rebuild Russia from the disaster into which it fell in the 1990s” after the collapse of the Soviet Union. “The last thing Putin wants is instability. He’s trying to build economy at home and economic relations with countries abroad because he sees that as a way to modernize Russia.” Speaking on the Senate floor, Schiff accused Moscow of trying to undermine the faith in democracy and government institutions around the globe. Cohen argued that the congressman misunderstands what Russian President Vladimir Putin actually “sees as his own historical mission,” and it is almost the opposite of what Schiff attributes to him.

According to the researcher, Putin’s chief ambition is “to rebuild Russia from the disaster into which it fell in the 1990s” after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The last thing Putin wants is instability. He’s trying to build economy at home and economic relations with countries abroad because he sees that as a way to modernize Russia.

Read more …




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Home Forums Debt Rattle January 29 2020

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    Marion Post Wolcott Main Street. Sheridan, Wyoming 1941   • Number Of Coronavirus Cases Surpasses SARS (ZH) • Coronavirus May Disrupt Apple’s iPh
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle January 29 2020]


    ““For viewers, the result is the equivalent to watching professional wrestling with the same fake matches but without the thrill of an occasional pile driver.””

    Impeach the Fuckah!


    “Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. In China, in the eighth century, it entered the realm of poetry as one of the polite amusements. The fifteenth century saw Japan ennoble it into a religion of aestheticism–Teaism. Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.”

    from The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura. I correlate Kakuzo with, say, C.S. Lewis or G.K. Chesterton, a person who takes ancient traditions and codices and relates them to modern times in language as luminescent as the original scriptures and sacred secular texts they build on.


    ““The system of multilateral cooperation, which took years to build, is no longer allowed to evolve. It is being broken in a very crude way. Breaking the rules is becoming the new rule,” he said.”

    from Putin warns of financial crisis , an almost two-year old article. From the damage of war-by-sanctions to the folly of trade protectionism in an economy dependent upon globalism (which sucks but that’s what we’ve made and mostly still believe in), he’s right.

    This is nothing new to most readers here, but I find it a useful restrospective anchor.

    While I appreciate Trump’s willingness to avoid antagonizing Russia, I personally see him as the USA’s Empress Dowager.

    Dowagess emperor

    I am surprised to see no photoshops of Trump’s face under the Dowager’s headress. The internet is slacking off, it seems.


    With Twitter as the silk screen from behind which she directed her “puppy emperors”. Oh, it’s a convoluted metaphor, but these are convoluted times.

    For example:

    Real or photoshopped, this image seems apt:



    Apparently, it’s real:

    Bojo no go

    I take that as a signal to retreat into my Platonic cave.




    Never mind. Stupid robots. The internet and digitech in general are already broken but the announcement has not yet been made.

    Dr. D

    Am I wrong or is 132 of 6,000 (known) cases 0.02% death rate? I think given the choice, you should jump at Corona instead of contracting the common cold. So what’s driving this still?
    Is it “Harvard Chemistry Chair & Two Chinese Nationals Arrested For Lying About China Ties, Smuggling “Biological Material” ?


    So as we saw, Bill Gates foundation has Coronavirus test, a month or so later, Corona smuggled from Harvard/Canada to China and caught. 30 days later, a real corona just like the two in question accidentally and coincidentally runs the Corona epidemic as tested. Huh. Funny ol’ world.

    Next: so far as anyone can prove, Wuhan is not dangerous. So…we have China, with labs, testing such things, doesn’t want to be embarrassed when it comes out they not only were doing it, but exposes/pressures their thousands of compromised ‘agent’ types, in Harvard and in Feinstein’s office? Now that makes some sense at least. U.S. services say “You broke it, you buy it: clean it up quick or we’ll start talking.” China starts taking drastic – and somewhat weird — actions. The real, dangerous corona is forestalled, and the excuse to crash the economy (instead of pointing at runaway compounding interest) is a squib. Nice try though.

    Following yesterday’s gloves, also note there are 3-4 sizes. And possibly latex v. nitrile. So at 200/box x 4 sizes, I think you’ll find 100,000 gloves would be average in the smallest hospital known, and possibly no more than one shipping container. But hey! Journalists asking questions? Nevah! Give me any big number that sounds exciting and I’ll print it.

    British Airways Suspends All Direct Flights to and from Mainland China (BBC)”

    At the same time – and I hate to bring this up – AOC was at a Bernie campaign and said Bernie signed on to 100% open borders, erasing the departments, no border guards at all. No door, No wall, No one testing, no one stamping passports, NOTHING. And Bernie is the DNC front-runner, which kind of makes it official party policy. So everyone from Wuhan is fully, totally welcome to fly to Nebraska, buy a house, re-align the census and Congress, elect our politicians, and we won’t even know.

    …I can NOT see how that is a winning campaign. Who are they talking to? I mean, they were campaigning IN MEXICO the other month, but surely they still think there are SOME existing citizens who go to the polls. …No clue.

    Anyway: Vote YES! to Wuhan. Open borders! Import some today! Bad timing, man.

    “It would be interesting to conduct a secret ballot asking members of Congress — and indeed, members of the media — to confide whether they actually read the report.”

    Don’t be ridiculous, everyone knows Congress and the Media are illiterate. They didn’t issue a comic book, so…

    unlikely horse trade of a witness like former National Security Adviser John Bolton for Hunter Biden.”

    This could not possibly be more foreseen and expected. If they fall for this trap, I don’t know what to say. Weren’t the other 500 traps since ’16 a warning? Even this minute, Kelly is out there saying “Oh golly! Don’t throw Bolton in the briar patch! Anything but Bolton who we salted with fake intel, to get Hunter under oath! Ow, ow!” YGTBKM.

    Trump and Netanyahu Dictate Terms of Palestinian Surrender (IC)”

    Since Gaza is the world’s largest open-air concentration camp, forgive me if I don’t like the plan to make more.

    Israel Will Now Officially Become an Apartheid State (Lauria)

    Yes, and the most officially racist state on earth. You must be proud. Maybe it’s better for it to be open and official though, so we can stop 50 years of idiotic denials. Not just racist, but violent and theocratic, like their good pal Saudi Arabia.

    shipping weapons to Kiev would effectively amount to the US turning its back on Ukrainian”

    So apparently if you ship arms you’re Russian, and if you DON’T ship arms, you’re Russian. If you help, you’re Russian and if you leave you’re Russian. If you break treaties you’re Russian and if you make treaties you’re Russian. Newsflash: You’re Russian! RussiaRussiaRussia! Who knew a nation the size of New Jersey was running the U.S. and setting elections worldwide! If only Karl Rove and John Podesta could access this technology that controls all minds, all matter, all nations on earth! Who knew a mere $10,000 could throw every election into disarray? If only I’d racked a credit card and taken over the world myself! Cleverly, they’ve surrounded themselves with U.S. nukes and military bases! No one will suspect when they finally push their own button and nuke themselves from Belarus! Hahaha! Then they’ll see!

    …Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter what I say, or how illogical it is, it is still believed without the slightest hesitation. That’s what happens when in your religion, logic is your arch-enemy. The crazier it is, the more counterproductive, the better they like it.

    Dr. D


    Posting for this job in Wuhan last month:

    “Dr. Peng Zhou (周鹏), Ph.D., a researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Leader of the Bat Virus Infection and Immunization Group. Some more on Zhou’s background from the Institute (google translated):
    He received his PhD in Wuhan Virus Research Institute in 2010 and has worked on bat virus and immunology in Australia and Singapore. In 2009 , he took the lead in starting the research on the immune mechanism of bat long-term carrying and transmitting virus in the world. So far, he has published more than 30 SCI articles, including the first and corresponding author’s Nature , Cell Host Microbe and PNAS . At present, research on bat virus and immunology is continuing, and it has received support from the National “You Qing” Fund, the pilot project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the major project of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
    Below is a list of several recent papers published by Dr. Zhou
    • Dampened STING-Dependent Interferon Activation in Bats
    • Fatal swine acute diarrhoea syndrome caused by an HKU2-related coronavirus of bat origin
    • IFNAR2-dependent gene expression profile induced by IFN-α in Pteropus alecto bat cells and impact of IFNAR2 knockout on virus infection
    • Immunogenicity of the spike glycoprotein of Bat SARS-like coronavirus
    • Bat severe acute respiratory syndrome-like coronavirus ORF3b homologues display different interferon antagonist activities”

    But that is a total coincidence and is not suspicious at all.

    Dr. D

    Your tunnel vision reminds me of the old monks who would read scrolls by the light of a single incense stick. The ember lights up one Kanji at a time before passing into darkness.



    I think it’s more like 2% mortality rate Dr. D, and that’s 2% of a very small test sample of possibly dubiious provenance. Even test samples acquired with impeccable data hygiene have much wider error boundaries than larger test samples.

    2% of a billion people is 20 million people.

    Then there’s the time factor: how fast/how many people die. (Like the old cyberpunk t-shirt that asked How Fast? How dense? regarding data transmission.)

    Then there’s the cost to those who didn’t die, the myriad connections between the living, the dying and the newly dead.

    Then there’s how many people are laid up how long to keep from dying, and how many don’t die but recovered seriously weakened.

    (Regarding that, here is a pretty good short someone wrote recently that uses this as its central plot pivot.)

    The Spanish Flu is estimated to have had a 10-20% mortality rate.

    Some context a la conspiracy thought motifs:

    “To maintain morale, wartime censors minimized early reports of illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.[10][11] Papers were free to report the epidemic’s effects in neutral Spain (such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII).[12] These stories created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit,[13] thereby giving rise to the pandemic’s nickname, “Spanish flu”.[14]”

    The problem with conspiracies isn’t that they aren’t common or insidious or secret or… the problem is that meanwhile, life is going one and life at best is difficult unto death. Meddling ruling elites’ worst sin is that while they’re creating havoc they’re inadvertantly breeding havoc via their incompetence, inciompetence which results from, if nothing else, the fact that they’re too busy screwing the pooch to notice the problems occurring while they screw said pooch, some of which they are directly responsible for, many even most of which are simply the result of ignoring the facts until the facts no longer ignore you.

    The problem with consistently paranoiac explanations involving hidden puppet masters is that it assigns responsibility for events that said puppet masters are unaware of and to which they often fall prey themselves. (Like King Alfonso above.)



    “Scientists offer several possible explanations for the high mortality rate of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some analyses have shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm, which ravages the stronger immune system of young adults.[15] In contrast, a 2007 analysis of medical journals from the period of the pandemic[16][17] found that the viral infection was no more aggressive than previous influenza strains. Instead, malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, and poor hygiene promoted bacterial superinfection. This superinfection killed most of the victims, typically after a somewhat prolonged death bed.[18][19]”

    Sometimes we just don’t know, but I’ll make this prediction: a major public health awareness PR program is likely in our near future. LIke they had in the 1920s, when my Mum was deeply indoctrinated with the importance of washing hands suystematically and throughly, etc.


    “Your tunnel vision”

    I think it’s usually best to address whom you’re talking to by name when speaking in a group discursive forum. Since I’m the only poster so far, I tend to assume it’s me, which only adds to my WTF is he talking about?

    I’d hoped the image posted would help, but it’s unavailable.

    So I light a Kanji and caress the darkness…


    Oops. The story staked upon the Spanish flu epidemic:

    The Paper Doll Golems


    The story cites 1915 but, well, fiction is fiction (even when it’s journalism). I think they meant 1925, since it is set some time after the epidemic that it mentions.


    “2019-nCOV” “Wuhan coronavirus”

    Let’s look at the response organizations. Is there a link with the preplanning and the execution.

    Who was involved in the planning? Names of the enablers

    Event 201
    The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019,

    What did they discuss?
    Selected moments from the October 18th Event 201 Exercise (Length: ~12 minutes)
    These five segments include discussions among high-level leaders of global businesses, governments, policy and public health. (Length ~3 hours)

    Segment 1 – Intro and Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Discussion
    Segment 2 – Trade & Travel Discussion
    Segment 3 – Finance Discussion
    Segment 4 – Communications Discussion and Epilogue Video
    Segment 5 – Hotwash and Conclusion

    If you are short of time, At the very less LISTEN TO Segment 5 – Hotwash and Conclusion
    Now, find out, are the knowledgeable players of the planning also the same people doing the execution of controlling this pandemic?

    The International Health Regulations, or IHR (2005), represent an agreement between 196 countries including all WHO Member States to work together for global health security.
    Through IHR, countries have agreed to build their capacities to detect, assess and report public health events. WHO plays the coordinating role in IHR and, together with its partners, helps countries to build capacities.
    IHR also includes specific measures at ports, airports and ground crossings to limit the spread of health risks to neighboring countries, and to prevent unwarranted travel and trade restrictions so that traffic and trade disruption is kept to a minimum.


    I’m not as smart or knowledgeable as the participants/enablers of any of those people attending. I’m also glad that I don’t need to make the decisions.
    As I’m typing, the World Health Organization is giving a news conference

    Dr. D

    @ WES was the answer.

    You are correct: 6,000 / 130 = 0.02 which is how to express 2%.

    2% of 6B = 120M. If I can only math correctly this time.

    What we don’t know is the alternative, that 300,000 people have it because how would you test more than 6k unsymptomatic people? Then the numbers shift magnitudes again.

    John Day

    Larry,from Medina Texas, traveling between homesteads in Southwest Australia and Thailand, where wife Timi originates, has coronavirus protections in place for ride and arrival, including masks, wipes and vitamin-D.
    “Bu-Hao” is the Chinese word-of-the-day, according to Larry.
    Hao is “good” or working properly, and Bu is a negation, so not good, or not right.
    The translation he provided was profane.
    Disgust or disapproval appears to be implied.

    I did not see many projection pieces for 2020 or even the 2020s, last month. Maybe I wasn’t looking.
    The 2020s is a crunch-decade. Everything has to change, no matter how you look at it, whatever your worldview, whatever your value-system. We can’t continue exponential growth on a finite planet, and our biomass, humans and domestic livestock, is already some bizarre statistic like 97% of surface mammal & bird biomass. “Conventional oil” production still peaked in 2004-2005. They always knew the tight-oil and gas existed, but were not economically recoverable. Still true-ish. Shale oil is a government supported Ponzi-scheme, that gives the empire an oil-weapon to wield for awhile. “Investors” just have to keep getting dividend checks.

    Pollution and weather-weirding are never out of the news. Those chemtrails we’ve been seeing for 30 years are about to become official government policy. Calcium carbonate (bone-meal) haze will be the new-normal. Good sunsets…

    The globalized economy will have to change drastically, but it can only make tiny little changes, as it has already maxed out, not only the present, but the next 30 years, with promises of dividends to investors and retirees.
    Those promises have been magically monetized into the present day to keep the system spinning, but once the spinning stops, and the dividends stop, the cookie jar will be seen empty.
    The future is empty of your-money-working-for-you.

    Federal Reserve Admits It Pumped More than $6 Trillion to Wall Street in Recent Six Week Period

    That is the task before us, creating an economy that meets the physical needs of young people, who have to work productively, children, who need love, socialization, and preparation to work productively, middle aged people who have to work productively, not retire to luxury, and old people, who should grow vegetable gardens.

    This radical systemic transformation has not been worked out yet. This stuff never gets worked out from the top down, because the interests at the top diverge from the pressing needs of the bottom, and the interests at the top are willing to sacrifice at least the bottom 40% of humans to maintain continuity of control, “ownership”. (See “deplorables”)

    Is the Wuhan coronavirus Goldilocks just-right to disrupt the global financial regime? Just askin’.
    I don’t know if it’s military (Hi, Ft. Detrich, Maryland!), but it’s a form of “war by fire”, as classified by Sun Tzu, if it is.
    Anyway, the virus is spreading globally, but China has a 3 month lead from a calculated origin in October.
    China is hit hard and will be hit hardest, no matter what. Spread within China is assured.

    This Chinese research into bat immune systems and SARS, and EBOLA host-tolerance is very interesting, and they were recently hiring new research assistants to work long hours…
    Recall, RNA mutation regression analysis says this virus started spreading from an original October 2019 case.
    Can China be attacked AND blamed? Is this a Chinese “own-goal”?
    In light of growing speculation, most of it within less than official circles, that the official theory for the spread of the Coronavirus epidemic, namely because someone ate bat soup at a Wuhan seafood and animal market is a fabricated farce, and that the real reason behind the viral spread is because a weaponized version of the coronavirus (one which may have originally been obtained from Canada), was released by Wuhan’s Institute of Virology (accidentally or not), a top, level-4 biohazard lab which was studying “the world’s most dangerous pathogens”, perhaps it would be a good idea for the same Wuhan Institute of Virology to remove the following “help wanted” notice, posted on November 18, 2019, according to which the institute is seeking to hire one or two post-doc fellows, who will use “bats to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases.”

    White Pawn Takes Black Knight. Thanks Tony
    ​ ​Russian intelligence sources have claimed that Michael D’Andrea, head of CIA operations in Iran and who orchestrated the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US spy plane downed yesterday in Ghazni, Afghanistan.
    ​ ​The plane with US Air Force markings reportedly served as the CIA’s mobile command for D’Andrea, who earnt several nicknames including: Ayatollah Mike, the Dark Prince, and the Undertaker. He is one of the most prominent CIA figures in the region, appointed head of the agency’s Iran Mission Centre in 2017. Under his leadership, the agency was perceived to take a more “aggressive stance toward Iran”.

    Charles Hugh Smith says the “Titanic” global financial system has already been breached by the Wuhan coronavirus iceberg, has stabilized, feels ok, has released a few half-full lifeboats, steams on, and is doomed.


    The Black Death turned out to be somewhat favorable to the peasant class when it had passed. Who knows? A plague that primarily killed people my age and older would be a bonanza for everybody else. It would kick the SS can down the road longer, the amount of GDP used to keep geezers alive would be less, a lot of young people would receive an inheritance and pay down debt….
    Yikes! don’t expect much of an effort to cure this once the realization sets in.


    btw, editing online is still risky practice at least from my ancient steampunk PC. With or without the edit log box checked, it works when it wants to and doesn’t when it don’t. I’ll try again below


    Nope. It insists there is a duplicate already posted, but it doesn’t show. It’s corny to say but, Look out for stobor”


    I’ll post it tomorrow, see if the robots can remember to forget what they can’t forget today.


    @ boscohorowitz
    My work around is if it says, “there is a duplicate already posted”
    change the first sentence.


    If the numbers hold ….. there could be a 2% reduction of seniors and therefore, a transfer of their wealth.
    Since the rich are going to be able to travel out by private jets, don’t expect too much wealth transfer.


    If the economic down turn are going to continue to affect the rich then expect that those that can will raise prices to compensate for their lost of income.
    I would also expect increase of printing/liquidity.
    Powell says its too early to tell.


    That people prefer Hollywood’s Soap Operas over Congress’s fake threatre is no surprise at all!

    Hollywood produces real fake stuff!

    Congress produces fake fake stuff!

    Hollywood wants to entertain you! They want to be paid!

    Congress wants you to take their fake fake stuff seriously! Congress already has your money!

    Dumb people aren’t stupid! They want Hollywood’s real fake stuff so they don’t have take it seriously!


    Lier D quotes Lier R
    Lier R quotes Lier D

    Some of these lies should get a round of applause
    Dumb people aren’t stupid!


    Good news
    Corona virus results in less air pollution

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