The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

A Brief Note on the New Covid “Stimulus” Bill

So, the bill that looks likely to pass is 900 billion. One $600 check, $300/week in UI improvement (this is the real good thing in the bill) and some miscellaneous good stuff, along with a variety of pork.

It’s a bad bill, totally inadequate to the circumstances. In the new year, millions of Americans will become homeless. It’s hard to say exactly how many, but ten million would be a low end estimate.

There is insufficient support for States and cities, so there will be a round of savage austerity cuts in the new year, given the complete refusal to actually tax rich people.

In many ways, 2021 is going to be WORSE than 2020 for Americans. About a third of small businesses will likely go out of business, the big winners like Amazon will not hire enough people to make up for it, and the end result will be a shittier economy than in 2019 concentrated in fewer hands.

Meanwhile, in London, England, a new Covid strain has appeared that is twice as contagious as the original.

None of this was remotely necessary. Proper support for small business and people would have cost less than the financial crisis bailouts (and could mostly have been done through the Fed for “free”), while the pandemic itself could easily have been crushed in about six months by simply following the same playbook that places like Vietnam used, a playbook that is simply “follow the textbook.”

But, in the US, the UK, and Canada, and I suspect a lot of other nations, Covid-19 has been a huge boon to the rich, vastly increasing their wealth and power. So, well, why save lives and jobs? I know I’ve said this repeatedly, but it’s a point that bears repeating.

You’re getting scraps, while the rich feast, and the politicians tweet selfies of themselves getting vaccinated before ICU nurses and doctors.

It’s how this part of the world runs. But not how it has to.

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Fundraising Finale


Trump Outflanks Dems from the Left


  1. rw95

    At least you have healthcare up in Canada, and something resembling a functional government.

    Why so many of us Yankees still want to come up to Canada. I know I do.

  2. different clue

    Canada needs to build a Beautiful Wall while Canada still has time.

  3. js

    It wasn’t a small stimulus bill in the spring. The expanded and increased unemployment plus the $1200, but mostly the unemployment kept the economy alive at all. However, as for states and cities, Mnuchin sequestered the Feds Cares money part some of which would have gone to cities and states, it’s now going back to offset the latest “stimulus” it seems. So the cities and states get little Fed help but Wall Street still does.

    If neither the Fed can as per the latest stimulus law, nor Congress will, bail out cities and states they just are bankrupt and will lay off people and cut services. Meanwhile there seem many out there that are angry but haven’t the slightest clue what to be angry about. They direct their rage at cities and states for not providing people money to live on during coronavirus outbreaks and shutdowns. But these cities are often billions of dollars in debt from the pandemic and have no way to even deal with that much less give people money on top of it. This could only come from the Federal government or the Fed or possibly a few wealthy states could try to do it via issuing currency but not cities. And Congress, and yes it was Republicans pushing it, has at this point blocked both federal avenues probably permanently. Many pine for a functional federal government or develop fantasies about what such a government would do, but we aren’t there. I mean keep up the faith whoever fights the good fight on the electoral politics front, but in plain terms: the U.S. doesn’t have a government at the federal level, in the sense more functional countries do at all. It has a weird void and a bunch of loathsome representatives of the void, but it’s not functional as a government.

  4. Hugh

    It doesn’t have to be this way, and in a season of peace and goodwill, I would like to be more positive, but on the left and right I see too many people more invested in their delusions and conspiracies than in uniting and building something better.

    As for the covid bill, it extends but cuts back on relief in both time and size. Most of the funding for it isn’t new money. It took nearly 9 months from the original CARES Act to get cobbled together, and it is a mindboggling 5,593 pages long to do less in relief. Both the product and the process are persuasive arguments for why everyone associated with this bill should be fired. .

  5. I don’t see where it will do me any good.

    Throw the dog a chicken bone.

  6. nihil obstet

    Most Americans have no idea about the powers of levels of government. It’s all just “government”, with some sense that they’re like different departments. This may hurt the huge swing to Republican control of states and localities over the last ten to twelve years, as those things which cities and states do are no longer done.

  7. Stirling S Newberry

    This is what we voted for. Deal with it.

  8. bruce wilder

    The political system is remarkably unresponsive to popular will or need and is highly resistant to reform: there are very few salient voices advocating for sense and vanishingly few politician-champions of the People emergent.

    I am not sure a populist electoral majority is even possible. Programs like M4All poll well, but are adamantly opposed by the leadership and Congressional majorities of both Parties. Just arguing for progressive policy futilely seems to erode the brains of some people and the “tribalist” narrative propaganda sucks in others. I have followed the MMT attempt to circumvent deficit madness progress into doctrinaire stupidity. Cries of “racism” from the idpol left paralyze thought and organizing; I think it was a major factor in deflating Sanders the second time around.

    I was unusual in 2020 in choosing not to even vote at (for the first time in my adult life!) Turnout was supposedly near historic peaks. To elect the neoliberal dishrag over the orange satan! And, change nothing! People turned out to vote for nothing but the same nothing. What is that about?

    The body politic’s Id has been increasingly exposed as the last remnants of the frontal lobe has been eaten by billionaire parasites and the decay of the internet into the Land of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. Purely imaginary “scandals” and moral panics overwhelm real ones regularly now and have for some time if your political memory extends to Whitewater and WMD, birtherism and Collusion with Russia to interfere in elections.

  9. Ché Pasa

    The Chaos is elemental now.

    And no, “we” did not vote for it, Sterling. Get over it.

    So who should be first against the wall when the Revolution comes? Hm? My bid is for the entire Democratic Party consultant class one and all. That won’t fix very much, but it will be somewhat satisfying.

    The relief package, what little we know of it, looks to be just enough to stave off chaotic collapse a little while longer, but not enough — not nearly — to preserve, protect and defend the vast majority of the Rabble. We’ve been hearing “We’re Doomed!” for so long, we don’t even listen any more. But this time… welcome to Eternity.

    The death toll from the virus is appalling, or it ought to be if fewer people were in denial. And then with all the associated mortality — people with chronic conditions not getting treatment, people who can’t afford even minimal health care, various consequences of having had COVID, etc. — I wouldn’t be surprised if the overall excess death toll in the US so far this year isn’t closer to a million than not, and ultimately will push 4-5 million before the virus is controlled. Even though most of the casualties are among the old, sick, poor, brown and black “surplus” population, it’s not enough for the Overpopulation crowd, not nearly. Something closer to the Black Plague is necessary, no?

    The rightists are more and more up in arms, and what they will do, once they’ve burned down a few state capitols and vowed to storm Washington in their multitudes is anyone’s guess. We’ve already seen that electeds yield instantly when threatened with armed insurrection from the right. Will they do so again? Of course they will.

    But the problem is that the Orange Menace still squatting in the White House with his buzzing cloud of sycophants, yes men, droolies, and toadies is apparently hot to test the real limits of his power to prevail. There should have been an intervention years ago. There wasn’t, and now it may be too late. If he goes completely berserk, will anyone step in to call a halt? Nah. Why should they when they’re already prepared for what is inevitable at some point anyway.

    And I’m still not convinced there will be a Biden regime to excoriate for its failures.

    Pray for the best, prepare for the worst.

  10. while the pandemic itself could easily have been crushed in about 6 months by simply following the same playbook that places like Vietnam used, a playbook that is simply “follow the textbook.”

    I get it that you really believe this, but I sure don’t. The Vietnamese have the lowest rate of obesity in the world.

    In the US, we not only have people that fit the standard definition of obesity; we also have ‘hidden obesity’, viz., people with fatty livers, probably due to sugar consumption, that doesn’t ‘show’. See talks by Prof Robert Lustig for more details. Sugar is now added to 80% of food in the US.

    In 2017, sugar consumption in the US was 32.9 kg; in Vietnam, it was 10.3 kg.

    Hmm, let’s get some other data points:

    UK 33.6
    France 37.1
    Spain 31.2
    Italy 29.9

    Japan 15.2
    Cambodia 18.2
    China 6.55
    South Korea 21.4

    Also, one can see in a glance that Vietnam’s latitude is friendly towards healthy vitamin D levels. All of Vietnam is basically at or below Florida’s topmost latitude.

    Although I don’t know, for sure, I can’t believe their diet is anywhere near as bad as ours, even ignoring the differences in sugar consumption. Hence, I expect their microbiome to be in much better shape, than ours. Why should this matter? Well, here’s some fascinating new research:

    “Active Vitamin D Levels Linked to Gut Microbiome”

    The researchers were surprised to find that microbiome diversity was closely associated with active vitamin D, but not the precursor form. Greater gut microbiome diversity is thought to be associated with better health in general.”

    Recent studies have linked to COVID-19 cases with vitamin D, suggesting adequate levels of vitamin D have reduced complications. However, the largest randomized clinical trial to date, with more than 25,000 adults, concluded that taking vitamin D supplements has no effect on health outcomes, including heart disease, cancer, or even bone health.

    “Our study suggests that might be because these studies measured only the precursor form of vitamin D, rather than active hormone,” explained Kado. “Measures of vitamin D formation and breakdown may be better indicators of underlying health issues, and who might best respond to vitamin D supplementation.”

    The men who participated in the study live in six cities around the United States. Men who lived in San Diego, California, got the most sun, and they also had the most precursor form of vitamin D. However, the team found no correlations between where men lived and their levels of active vitamin D hormone.

    “It seems like it doesn’t matter how much vitamin D you get through sunlight or supplementation, nor how much your body can store,” Kado said. “It matters how well your body is able to metabolize that into active vitamin D, and maybe that’s what clinical trials need to measure in order to get a more accurate picture of the vitamin’s role in health.”

    “We often find in medicine that more is not necessarily better,” Thomas added. “So in this case, maybe it’s not how much vitamin D you supplement with, but how you encourage your body to use it.”

    I’d like to see country by country data comparing their population’s active vitamin D levels vs. per capita covid deaths….. Recall the Sophia Reina hospital study that found that treating with calcifediol form of vitamin D, that can be utilized by the body within a day, led to ZERO deaths and only 2% admission to ICU. (Though they also got standard of care treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin).

  11. Stirling S Newberry

    “And no, “we” did not vote for it, Sterling. Get over it.”

    Yes, you (plural) did. You just sold out M4All for trivial things. Thus you got conservative in charge.

  12. @Stirling S Newberry
    Not really. We voted for some fiction presented to us by the media. We voted for a kindly old “Uncle Joe” that would rescue us from the evils of capitalism and from the brutality of police. We naver gave any thought to what either of those things meant, admittedly, but the media made them sound really good. The media did not say it was going to be this.

  13. Stirling S Newberry

    “Not really. We voted for some fiction presented to us by the media”

    No. That not the way it played out. You can have your own opinions but not your own facts. Go back to ranting with your peers. Bye.

  14. Ten Bears

    Get adequate sleep is a recommendation to add to wearing masks, social distancing, and frequently washing hands as a way of fending off the virus in the first place:

    ~ Sleep is sometimes likened to a sort of anti-inflammatory cleansing process; it removes waste products that accumulate during a day of firing. Without sleep, those by-products accumulate and impair communication (just as seems to be happening in some people with post-COVID-19 encephalomyelitis). “In the early stages of COVID-19, you feel extremely tired,” says Michelle Miller, a sleep-medicine professor at the University of Warwick in the U.K. Essentially, your body is telling you it needs sleep. But as the infection goes on, Miller explains, people find that they often can’t sleep, and the problems with communication compound one another. …

    Russel Reiter, a cell-biology professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, recommends melatonin as a standard treatment for COVID patients. But Asim Shah, a psychiatry and behavioral-sciences professor at Baylor College of Medicine, recommends a more behavioral, less medicinal approach:

    The general recommendation is that getting your body’s melatonin cycles to work regularly is preferable to simply taking a supplement and continuing to binge Netflix and stare at your phone in bed. Now that so many people’s days lack structure, Shah believes a key to healthy pandemic sleep is to deliberately build routines. On weekends, wake up and go to bed at the same time as you do other days. Take scheduled walks. Get sunlight early in the day. Reduce blue light for an hour before bed. Stay connected with other people in meaningful ways, despite being physically distant. ~

    Bingo on the obesity, met, probably the number one underlying cause. While a small percentage of the seemingly robust have been struck in some pretty devastating ways, generally it seems the robust, the health conscious, the alcohol/chemicals/drug free, the fit, do not seem to be as susceptible to infection. That in and of itself could be an artifact of non-reporting, but as a generality, outside of other outstanding medical problems it is the unfit impacted the most. Handful of vitamins in the face of all that is about as effective as a ‘vaccine’ in July. Not to diss on vits and supplements, I’ve been takin’ ’em since the hippie days, pretty scientific about it, like alcohol chemical drugs and everything else that follows as best as possible free, diet ‘n exercise, it’s something I’m hesitant to … ahhhh, impress on the unprepared. Too much can be as bad as not enough.

  15. GlassHammer

    “You just sold out M4All for trivial things.” – Stirling S Newberry

    How anyone can look at the 2020 election results and conclude that there was fertile ground for progressive ascendancy is beyond me.

    The hill to climb was much higher than thought, the people blocking it were more numerous than thought, and the people pushing it were fewer than thought.

    It was/is stunning that in a time where more people than ever have a desperate need for politics based on material needs we said “No thank you I will take slogans and identity politics please.”

  16. Z

    Our rulers give us nothing but horrible choices and then hold us responsible for the horrible choices we make.

    The only way out of this rigged game is to topple the table.


  17. Seattle Resident

    @Che Pasa

    I could see a Biden administration, but a very emasculated one given the partisan split in Congress and his own reluctance to be aggressive with executive orders, which he’ll have to use to achieve a minimum of government function. Trump will probably keep blustering until just before a guard comes to remove him from the White House at which time he’ll secretly fly out to Mar a Lago to golf.

    I don’t see that kookoo dream team of Sidney Powell and Giuliani keeping Trump in with all their legal battle losses. However, if the “Yosemite Sam” MAGAS found a way to keep their great white father in the White House, you’d get millions of non-Trumper voters marching on DC, and not just the BLM and BLM adjacent groups. It will be a shitshow regardless of whether he leaves or not.

  18. anon

    I’ve said the same thing since early this year when everyone keeps saying that they can’t wait for 2020 to be over. I knew that the clock turning midnight on December 31st won’t change a single thing except bring us closer to when all the moratoriums will end. At that point millions of people will be permanently unemployed as well as transient with no secure home. Even though the real estate market is at an all time high, I expect all of it will come crashing down in a similar fashion as the last great recession when home owners and landlords at the end of their rope will be forced to sell or foreclose on their property. The outcome of 2020 will only be felt towards the end of 2021 into the early to mid-2020s. This is going to be a rough decade and 2020 is only the beginning.

    For those of us who held on to our office jobs in 2020, the year wasn’t that bad as long as we were able to keep safe from the virus. Most people who are upper middle class or wealthier ended up saving more money than ever before. As a working professional, I didn’t have to pay my student loans, I saved money by not having to commute to work everyday, and I paid off my car loan. I even got a raise and a bonus. I now have less debt and more savings than I did last year, and will continue to save and wait until the real estate market dips to buy. I imagine that is what most high earning professionals have done this year. They are saving and investing and will be the winners if they are able to stay healthy and alive through the pandemic. The wealth will runaway with more wealth when everything crashes. The wealth gap will become wider than we have ever seen in modern human history.

  19. Eric Anderson

    #CapitalismKills needs to become the new Kilroy.

    We need to paint the walls of this nation with the message.

  20. Stirling S Newberry

    Claude Brasseur is dead.

  21. dbk

    I think we need to wait a bit as more specifics of the bill, beyond that 1-time $600 stimulus payment and $300 p.w. for 11 weeks – I don’t envy the people tasked with reading/digesting the bill in its semi-entirety (who’s going to spend Christmas week reading and taking notes on more than 5,000 pages?). There’s also COVID-19 aid to states (for vaccine roll-outs and delivery, I assume), to schools (pandemic protection, etc.), small businesses, gig workers/freelancers (continuation of PUA). There’s $25 billion for rental assistance for those threatened by eviction (drop in the bucket). And the moratorium on evictions will continue until January 31.

    But there must be legions of items we have as yet no inkling about concealed in those 5000 pages – not all of them directly related to the pandemic/relief.

    No direct aid to states/municipalities to address budget shortfalls caused by pandemic shutdowns of the economy, though, that’s certain.

    Yes, it could have been different, but it is what it is now -a mostly-unmitigated disaster.

  22. Chicago Clubs

    >This is what we voted for. Deal with it.

    Whaddya mean, we gave you the choice between a wet shit sandwich and a dry one. You chose a shit sandwich, now eat it!

  23. Z

    Ha ha, another one of Sloppy Joe’s tortured, tough decisions … he cares so much! … that always punishes the working class while warming the bellies of his sponsors who in turn give the four decade long amphetamine fiend the dopamine ping he’s so desperate for by patting him on the back and telling him what a wise and savvy politician he is led to the latest “stimulus” bill’s size being cut in half:

    Scranton Joe’s at it again. He never forgets who to f*ck over …


  24. Ten Bears

    I don’t much care who voted for what, it is what it is.

    Deal with it.

  25. DMC

    I didn’t vote for anybody. Remember that Hobson’s choice is no choice at all.

  26. Willy

    Did metamars finally say something plausible?

    American citizens have covid at a current rate of 5.6% of the general population. Vietnam, .015%. Looking worldwide, the rate does seem lower in the more sunshine nations, with enough malnutrition that the BMI index is quite low compared to the Dunkin Donut nations.

    So we try comparing apples to apples. Norway (.82%) and Sweden (3.8%). With all the unmasked in Sweden, this seems a strong variable. But it’s still a far higher rate than Vietnam.

    Does the Vietnamese state monkey with the stats? Or, do the Norweigians take their Vitamin D with lutefisk consumption being a possible variable?

    Hold on a sec. I see French Polynesia, Bahrain, and Panama with higher incidences than even Sweden of discredited herd immunity fame. Are they fatter? Too many scientific variables already. And then “science” with its WHO and Fauci and microchip vaccines, has been discredited by the evangelicals, who put their faith in God and the MAGA rallies. I’m starting to suspect that there is much to consider. Is there a medical specialist in the house?

  27. Hugh

    Most of us did not choose this society. Nor did we vote for it. We were born into it. As citizens, we have social duties and responsibilities to each other and society. But officially prescribed powers to effect positive change, like voting, have been largely stripped from us. The electoral college, the Senate, gerrymandering, throwing people off voter rolls, reducing polling sites, voter ID laws, the duopoly make it harder for people to vote, restrict their choices, and make some people’s votes count more than other people’s. Some of this dates back to Framers of the Constitution. Some of it is more recent. But as Emma Goldman observed a century, if voting changed anything, they would make it illegal. We live in a country run by and for a ruling class. Voting lets that class blame us for their choices. The problem is they have become too greedy and evil. What we have to grapple with is that it has all become unsustainable. Think about it. In only a desperately sick society would a babbling psychotic like Trump hold any post of importance, let alone the Presidency. But pulling our view further back, it is crooks and murderous idiots row after row, level after level, as far as the eye can see.

    It would be nice if we could just vote them out, but we can’t. We never could. Rather our choice is being reduced to: we can go die in a ditch or they can hang from lamp poles. It didn’t have to be that way, but it is, I am afraid, the only choice we will be left with.

  28. Eric Anderson

    Revolutions begin with graffiti, Hugh.

  29. mago

    Diez osos: Don’t feed chicken bones to dogs. They can splinter and choke the dog, jab the throat.

  30. Ten Bears

    Indeed, that was my point, what they’ve thrown us.

  31. different clue

    ” This is what we voted for” . . . ignores the open-view conspiracy between Obama, Clyburn and the other “moderate DemNom” wannabes which engineered the premature removal of Sanders ( the M4A choice) from the Primary process. Leaving that basic fact out leads to the sort of deeply shallow analysis which expresses itself in trite cliches and bromides like ” this is what we voted for”.

    What sort of deeply shallow intellect would offer such a deeply shallow analysis? The sort of deeply shallow intellect which once commented here that Cambodia invited its own bombing during the Nixon period, and studiously ignored requests to explain that statement, and has studiously ignored such requests even unto this very day.

  32. Hugh

    BTW Trump who bailed on the covid relief bill negotiations now says the bill is a disgrace, whose pay outs are way too small. Those way too small payments are, of course, exactly what McConnell and Congressional Republicans have been playing hardball to achieve. This is another case of Trump saying he doesn’t like the result despite his near limitless power over those same Congressional Republicans.

    In other news, Trump is tuning up the old pardon machine with pardons for some corrupt Republican Congresscritters and some of the Mueller small fry who other than this would already be rightfully forgotten.

  33. Hugh

    I should add that Trump also pardoned four Blackwater guards, one who was serving a life sentence, for the Nisour Square massacre where these guards opened up on Iraqis for no particular reason, killing 17. If you are an unregenerate felon and tied into Trump, this is your very special Christmas.

  34. Z

    Trump is calling for Congress to increase the survival checks from $600 to $2000. His signature is needed to pass the bill so he can play hardball about it if he wants.

    Nancy P the Speed Queen, an enemy of the working class, is looking for a way out of it of course and countered by saying she’ll call for a vote on it by unanimous consent which would allow any single House member to essentially veto it. She apparently could suspend House rules instead and require 140 votes to derail it.

    If Trump holds to it, it’s a masterful political move that has the potential to benefit the working class for once if he can get the House and Senate to cave on it.


  35. Z

    Apparently even if a House Republican objects in the unanimous consent the democrats could still bring it to the floor for a vote and pass it.


  36. sbt42

    @Ten Bears: I was wondering how long it would take before someone would try to correct you.

    Personally I think you hit the nail on the head with that one.

  37. someofparts

    My sister recently got covid and seemed to get over it pretty smoothly. She is old, and drinks a fair amount, but she also bikes, plays golf and is smart about what she eats. She stays fit and would never let herself gain weight. Her experience seems to bear out some of the things people in this thread have pointed out about the role of co-morbidities in causing bad covid outcomes.

  38. BlizzardOfOzzz

    If you are an unregenerate felon American boy sent to die in a mid-east shithole by your Zionist psychopath leadership, then condemned by the same and tied into Trump, this is your very special Christmas.

    Fixed that for you, Hugh.

  39. NR

    Blackwater mercenaries weren’t “sent” anywhere, they chose to go to Iraq for the money. And while they were there, some of them committed actual, literal war crimes. Including the guys Trump just pardoned.

    One of the Blackwater contractors continued shooting civilians in the crowd even as his colleagues shouted over and over for ceasefire. One had to pull a gun on him to force him to stop. One of the people he shot was a mother clutching her infant.

    Anyone who condones Trump pardoning this guy supports illegal murder and war crimes.

  40. anon

    Trump outflanks the “left” again by demanding $2000 stimulus checks for every American. It’s sad, really. I hope he vetoes this bill. If he had demanded this before the election he probably would have won.

  41. Hugh

    Z, if Trump was serious, he could have intervened in the negotiations, quietly or with a public statement. Whinging about it now is a way to throw shade on McConnell and Senate Republicans and make himself look good without actually changing anything, –because it still looks like he will sign the bill.

  42. Z

    Actually Hugh, Trump was making noise about a $2000 payment when the bill was being negotiated but supposedly got told by his staff to keep out of it because it would endanger the deal.

    As far as Trump quietly intervening, c’mon, you don’t truly believe he is capable of that, do you?

    Maybe he is full of sh*t, as usual. He hasn’t really kept much of his word on the good things he had promised except keeping us out of wars (though he has supposedly used a lot more drones than even Obama).

    If he pulls back on it at this point and signs the bill without it he’s going to look like a complete clown on his way out though and you’d expect a little more showmanship from a former reality TV star than that.


  43. Hugh

    anon, I am a broken record on this but Trump has a personality disorder. This means that he does not make decisions the way normal people will or even the way normal people imagine a narcissist would. So yes, if Trump had shown a little leadership on the coronavirus, faked a little empathy, or worked a smidge on relief plans, he would be preparing for his second term. But to do this, he would have to make some of this about someone other than himself. However, his disorder demands it always has to be about him even if the consequences are self-destructive or harmful to others. It’s why it is a disorder.

    So his most recent relief proposal is not about helping anyone, or as I say serious. It is about making himself the center of attention for a moment and scoring some points off people he dislikes because they crossed him (in his mind anyway).

  44. Hugh

    Z, he doesn’t care, he isn’t serious, he doesn’t do what his staff tells him, and he doesn’t think things through. He’s a lot simpler and more primitive than that. And yes, he is full of s__hit.

  45. anon

    Hugh, I realize that there is always a motive when Trump does the right thing. It’s not because he cares about Americans. The decision serves a purpose on his end, but that is true for nearly every politician’s decision making process. My guess is that Trump is saying $2000 checks for Americans because of the Georgia runoff election.

  46. js

    Trump had 4 years to deliver on his fake “man of the people” shtick, and all we got was a runaway pandemic and a tax cut for the rich. He could have even have been bad in other longer term ways and annoyingly got reelected if he was only capable of delivering much of anything to people. He could have even tried to get the 2k to win the election and didn’t.

    At this point I would be DEEPLY skeptical of any bill with the 2k that could be passed, because what is the poison pill, are the R’s going to get their horrendous liability protection once and for all in it? Then it’s not even worth it at that point IMO, that just pure corporate slavery with a bribe.

  47. Ten Bears

    Thank you sbt. I tend to forget Ian has more of an international, a cosmopolitan, following and Americanisms are at times lost, to say the least. Moreso modified Muirkanisms.

  48. Stirling S Newberry

    Everyone knows that there should be more bailout for the poor. But Emporer McConnell does not want that – and all who cover the Senate need the Emporer’s blessing. It would “ruin all the careful work done.”

  49. Ché Pasa

    The $2000 demand at this point is good politics. I suspect McConnell will yield on it if he gets his sacred corporate liability protection, which Schumer has already suggested was possible in the “next round”. So why not now?

    The Dem consultant class and chatterati are split. They know they’ve been outmaneuvered by a clown-conman — again — and they have no counter except yet more austerity and deficit emergencies and nonsense. They can’t win this one.

    There are a lot of other things in Trump’s demand, but if he gets the $2000 (which I believe was originally Bernie’s proposal a month ) he might actually leave office with a favorable patina.

    It won’t make him good, but it might get him to leave with something like grace. (Well, nah, but in a chaotic situation, you never know….)

  50. Klv

    > Stirling S Newberry :
    > Everyone knows that there should be more bailout for the poor.
    > But Emporer McConnell does not want that – and all who cover
    > the Senate need the Emporer’s blessing. It would “ruin all the
    > careful work done.”

    In September, Democrats could have had a $2 trillion covid relief bill (I think they wanted $3 trillion at the time) . With their infinite wisdom they said no (to $2 trillion). Now Democrats were asking for $2 trillion, and then Dear Leader Biden stepped in and suggested that $900 billion was just about right, and bingo, $900 billion it is. Don’t blame Republicans. Choices have consequences. 80+ million voted for Biden, now suck it up.

    Republicans discover the “horrors” of deficits only when Democrats are in power. I bet you Trump would have no problem with $2000 per person check from Uncle Sam, as long as his signature and picture are on the check. Small price to pay.

  51. Stirling S Newberry

    “In September, Democrats could have had a $2 trillion covid relief bill”

    The Emporer of the Senate would have “Kiss My Ass.”

  52. S Brennan

    The DNC’s waterboys/pompomgirls will bury this MOA story with bullshit comments [their form of censorship] but…it’s worth a read as it names names:

    December 23, 2020
    Deficit Hawk Joe Biden Sabotaged Pandemic Relief Efforts

    The recent negotiations about a pandemic relief bill are a preview of Joe Biden’s presidency.

    Turns out that President-elect Joe Biden had sided with the ‘moderates’ who favored not to send any check. He thereby successfully sabotaged those Democrats who were pressing for a bigger one.

    New York Times, December 21

    [T]he agreement on a new pandemic aid package showed the ascendance of moderates as a new force in a divided Senate and validated President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s belief that it is still possible to make deals on Capitol Hill.

    “I’m glad we forced the issue,” said Senator Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, were leaders of a monthslong effort to break the impasse over pandemic aid even as the virus exacted a growing economic and health toll on the country.

    Mr. Biden on Sunday applauded the willingness of lawmakers to “reach across the aisle” and called the effort a “model for the challenging work ahead for our nation.” He was also not an idle bystander in the negotiations.

    With Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate far apart on how much they were willing to accept in new pandemic spending, Mr. Biden on Dec. 2 threw his support behind the $900 billion plan being pushed by the centrist group. The total was less than half of the $2 trillion that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, had been insisting on.

    …Trump continues to demand $2,000 checks.

    NBC, December 22

    President Donald Trump is demanding lawmakers raise the second round of stimulus checks to $2,000 per person, from $600.

    “I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said in a video posted to Twitter Tuesday night.

    While the president did not outright threaten a veto of the $900 billion Covid relief bill, he did call it an unsuitable “disgrace.”


    Okay Hugh/Willey, get those pompoms out and give it the old “Trump=Hitler => QED, Biden is the lessor evil” cheer one more time. And hey guys, since were replaying Obama redux for the next twelve years…how about a big shout out for some 3-letter agency sponsored war…don’t worry, you can type your way all they way through the war, comfortably cocooned in your home.

  53. Hugh

    Klv, what happened to that $2 trillion “deal”? Trump announced it a month before the election and it disappeared into the ether because he never followed up on it. It wasn’t serious. Look how long and to what absurd lengths Trump has gone to try to steal an election he lost. Compare how quickly that relief bill evaporated and it did because it was a throwaway proposal. It was not even on the level of a sparkle pony giveaway. As Stirling points out, Trump had not bothered to clear the deal in advance with “Let them die in a ditch” Mitch. And it is not like Trump hasn’t come to an agreement with the Democrats one day which he has repudiated the next.

    For something to be real, especially with Trump, there needs to be quick, substantial follow up by him. Otherwise it’s just words.

  54. Klv

    > Hugh
    > Klv, what happened to that $2 trillion “deal”? Trump announced it
    > a month before the election and it disappeared into the ether because
    > he never followed up on it.

    I don’t remember that this is how things went down. Democrats decided to play hardball, gambling that Trump is desperate for a deal so they get to name the price. The price was substantial federal aid to states/cities most affected by covid-19. Given that states/cities most affected were Democratic strongholds, Mitch McConnell didn’t feel like cutting a $1+ trillion check to NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.

    If Pelosi/Schumer really wanted a deal, they could have scaled back aid to states/cities (which they are getting a pittance anyway) and sat down with Trump, and explained to the stable orange genius that this is a good deal for him personally, since he gets to parade around boasting how he is putting money is peoples pockets. Bolsonaro in Brazil saw his approval spike 20% when sending checks to people; Democrats were probably afraid that Trump will also get a lot of mileage out of direct payments to people.

  55. Z

    Of course our rulers hate populism with a passion – doing what is popular – what the majority of the people want and ironically it is particularly the democratic party politicians who are most opposed to it on a personal and institutional level … even more so than their dancing partners across the aisle, the republicans, as we saw in the 2016 and 2020 primaries … because it creates the annoyance to them of constructing layers of lies and complexities since they have to pretend that they actually represent the working class and poor while they lay the heavy boot of capital on our necks.

    And you got to know that Creepy Joe, the doped up pimp to the working class and poor in this country for over four decades, is working hard behind the scenes again trying to rein this in and put a wrap on this bill with the $600 payment, just like his old boss did with the Obamacare bill when the democrats had to use reconciliation to pass it and the public option became viable, which Obama had secretly dealt away while still deceitfully posturing that he was a proponent for it.

    Creepy Joe wanted the bill to stay small and the U.S. citizens needy so that he could do a make a deal with his republican pals in the Senate once he came into office. And he’s all disappointed now because he was all worked up and about to spit in his palm and do his old reach across the aisle act and give “Let Them Eat Shit” Mitch a robust handie and then toss Triple Chin Mitch’s semen in the desperate U.S. workers and poor’s face in the form of a little bit more of short-term relief in exchange for a load of long-term SS and Medicare cuts. It’s what this bastard has been doing his whole entire political career: f*cking the working class and exploiting our precariousness that he played a large part in creating so that he can portray his betrayals to the working class as rescues.
    The Biden Administration is going to be a complete disaster from Day One. You watch! He’s not like Trump or Obama who had a base of fervent supporters. He’s halfway out on his feet as it is and he neither has the skin color, charisma or Teflon of Obama. He also doesn’t have a blank slate for a past record that the Head PR Man for the Point Zero One Percent had for citizens to hope and imagine, and project, that he might actually work for them. Creepy Joe is what he is and it’s what he’s always been: a doped up pimp to the working class and poor of this country and they’ll get their fill of his bullshit real quick. They’ve seen this act before and it’s not going to play well again.


  56. S Brennan

    I have a comment being held up, in it, I point to MOA blog for an accurate take on the Stimulus Bill [from a Trump hater who has not lost his effing mind]…if folks want to take a brake from the ceaseless cheerleaders of all things followed with a

  57. Hugh

    Again, Klv, this was 6 weeks before a Presidential election. Nothing was going to get done. The R3publicans didn’t back Trump’s proposal, and it wasn’t like they suddenly found a backbone. They knew it wasn’t real because Trump wasn’t leaning on them, and the Democrats neither believed nor trusted him and weren’t going to give him a bunch of free PR before the election on something he could turn around and slam them over or walk away from.

    The bottom line is that Trump, McConnell already had had 5 1/2 months since the covid relief CARES Act had been passed and 4 months from the House-passed HEROES Act. If they were interested in something before the election, they had at least April through June, three months, to get it done. So when there was a time to act, Trump and the Republicans were nowhere to be found. Then when Trump was down in the polls, the election in a matter of weeks, then Trump wanted to do something. It doesn’t pass the smell test.

    BTW Trump just vetoed the Defense Spending bill because he didn’t want bases named for Confederate traitors re-named. Screw the troops, pet his ego. The bill passed with veto-proof majorities. So we’ll see.

  58. Hugh

    OT Trump has pardoned Manafort and Roger Stone. Also Jared Kushner’s father a real sleaze. He went up for tax evasion and witness tampering. In the tampering case, he set up a brother-in-law with a prostitute to shut him up. A real class act. You can see where Jared gets it from.

  59. Stirling S Newberry

    “Bernie Sanders
    Hey, Senator McConnell. The ball’s in your court. Schumer, Pelosi and Trump all want us to pass a $2,000 direct payment for working-class Americans who are facing more economic desperation than at any time since the Great Depression. Leader McConnell, let the Senate vote!”

    It is not a secret as to who is standing in the way. It isn’t Trump. Spending money is ebile says the Emporer of the Senate.

  60. S Brennan

    Not to interrupt the DNCers defending Anybody[D] or, anything[D]..and yes Stirling, that includes you…but a man had something interesting to say about political reality in the USA.

    “AOC has not yet shown much willingness to inflict real political damage on the party establishment.

    A soft, verbal conflict between AOC and Pelosi benefits both sides. The party is able to signal to progressive voters that it has a champion in AOC, but it’s also able to signal to its donors that the party’s leaders will not permit the left to gain a real foothold. AOC and Pelosi both get to look tough, and the Democratic Party gets to look ideologically diverse.

    A hard conflict is much more dangerous for all involved. If progressive Democrats are willing to weaken the Democratic Party to punish it for ignoring their demands, the party establishment will have to work much harder to frustrate their careers. Behind the scenes, people like AOC are offered opportunities to move up if they use their clout among progressive voters to push those voters to be “reasonable” and continue supporting Democrats. Progressive credentials become a currency which these Democrats can trade in for career opportunities. Conversely, if the party establishment is seen to be openly frustrating the careers of popular politicians, it looks corrupt. Progressive voters become less likely to support the party unconditionally, and that creates opportunities for third parties, independents, and even the Republican Party to make inroads into its base.”

  61. bruce wilder

    people familiar with House procedure will know the significance of “unanimous consent” in Pelosi’s famous tweet; she signalled she ain’t doin’ nuthin’ for nobody.

    if the DNC really opposed McConnell, they would have opposed him with a viable candidate able to highlight what a mf he is in the recent election.

    the Republicans are reprehensible, but the Dems offer no alternative and will permit no alternative, at least no alternative opposed to the plutocracy.

  62. Hugh

    Let’s see, Trump completely blew the response to covid. 400 to 500 hundred thousand Americans will die as a result. Republicans stonewalled any action on covid relief for 7 months. Trump never pressed them on it, sat silent as Mnuchin and Senate Republicans put together the bill he now calls a disgrace, and if he doesn’t sign it, the safety net such as it is for tens of millions of Americans will end until into the New Year and possibly into the Biden Administration. Thanks, Donny. One day he pardons some war criminal cBlackwater thugs, the next he vetoes our defense budget. We find that Donny’s buddy Putin has pulled off the biggest cyberattack on the country in years and Dons does nothing, even tries to blame it on the Chinese. But don’t worry Trumpie has it all in hand. Lots more crooks, cronies, and family to pardon and his brain dead supporters will blame it on any and everyone else. Those Democrats, Martians, and Biden I suspicion.

  63. S Brennan

    Hugh’s “commentary” is the equivalent of reading what’s written on bathroom stalls; an endless stream of deceitful untruth, you start to read them then recoil at the odor emanating. Yes, everybody has to defecate but, I wish the DNC would find somebody who would do it only once or twice a day, not a scribe who has dysentery.

  64. Klv


    > We find that Donny’s buddy Putin has pulled off ….

    This obsession with Putin is seriously unhealthy. 1) The people who tell us that Putin done it (e.g. this time cyber/hacking thingy) are the same people who told us that it was a “slam dunk that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction”, or the people who Democratic-majority Senate report (on CIA torture program) said “come from the culture of disinformation”, 2) before you get all self-righteous, remember that the US government is the biggest hacker in the world (before you finish your breakfast, we have already hacked like 20 other governments).

    We have issues – short term (covid, economy, etc.) and long term (climate change, economic inequality, racial disparity in education, employment, etc, etc. etc.). Did Putin cause any of it?

    Just knock it off.

  65. js

    The unanimous consent thing seems a temporary thing, with the House taking up a full vote on
    Monday on the 2k. But neither unanimous consent if they had gotten it nor passage in the House if it is up for a vote as claimed and passes, bypasses the need to pass the Senate. So it dies in the Senate either way? So what actually is the significance of unanimous consent, something to do with timing?

  66. don

    s brennan:

    that you (apparently) take pride in expressing yourself the way you do in this blog. that you are willing to impose on the rest of us the way you do, what in the world goes into the make-up of an individual that you are the result. have some (additional?) self-respect. for all our sakes. otherwise, your contributions are valuable. but at what a cost they come!

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