Sunday, April 19, 2020
Covid-19 continues to dominate the news, as it will for months (or
maybe years) to come. You can subdivide the pandemic into two essential
topics: public health issues, and economic consequences of fighting the
pandemic by shutting down a big part of the economy. Unemployment in
the US has surged to about 20%, and despite wild talk about reopening
businesses, it looks like those numbers have yet to peak -- not least
because infections and deaths continue to rise. The US has more deaths
than any other country in the world, and the number of deaths has blown
past previous markers like the number killed on 9/11 and the larger
number of Americans sacrificed in the post-9/11 Bush Wars (sure, Obama
and Trump have extended them, but the initial decision rests clearly
with GW and his "Vulcans").
A third dimension has started to appear: the struggle for control
of the political narrative around the pandemic. The Democratic Party
primary campaign has ended with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren
endorsing Joe Biden, who won
Wisconsin 62.93% to 31.78% over Sanders, and
Wyoming 72.18% to 27.82% -- both states that had favored Sanders
over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Still, Biden has been all but invisible
during the crisis, so virtually all of the political maneuvering has
been by Republicans: Trump denies any responsibility for mishandling
the crisis, and vows to re-open the economy real soon now; supporting
him are the "protesters" who have turned out for various photo-ops
demanding an end to state lockdowns. (The Michigan protest has been
clearly identified as funded by the De Vos family, and I expect the
others will be linked to other billionaire donors. The placards are
blatantly tied to Trump, some so extreme you have to doubt it's been
officially sanctioned -- although with Trump it could be.)
Some Democrats would like to blame Trump for the whole crisis --
at least one article below refers to the "Trump plague," and many
point out various failures to recognize the pandemic early and act
decisively to stop or at least mitigate it. I don't see much point
in singling Trump out -- I doubt any president would have grasped
what was happening much faster or moved much more decisively, as
most of the problems I've seen look to me like they have much more
systemic roots. Of course, it is fair to note that Trump and his
minions have made the system more fragile and inept than it already
was. The desire to wring every ounce of profit out of the economy
has left us with fragile supply chains and woefully inadequate
public support. (I'm surprised not that the "national stockpile"
is inadequate but that such a thing exists at all.) Then there's
the fact that we don't have universal health care, and that private
insurance is tied to employment. And there's a dozen other things,
most tied back to a system designed not to do what people need but
to make money off those needs, dumping waste as it goes.
What you're welcome to blame Trump for is having a blathering,
careless idiot at the helm of the federal government. If you weren't
embarrassed by that before, you certainly should be now. He may not
be to blame for the economy collapsing, but he's petty enough to
want credit for attaching his name to relief checks. He may not be
to blame for thousands of people dying, but he still wants credit
and praise for . . . well, beats me, but you better be nice to him.
I'm not sure when or why the media decided we need to hear from the
president every time a news story breaks, but Trump is one president
who never has anything enlightening or comforting to say.
Another thing: Laura suggests you watch
Vic DiBitetto, the man with a plan.
Also: I've cut way back on links to
New York Intelligencer after running into a paywall. I saw my first
warning a few weeks back, and decided at that point to stop clicking on
articles by Jonathan Chait and Ed Kilgore, as I usually wound up arguing
with them anyway. Missing Eric Levitz and Sarah Jones, but still seems
pricey for my taste. I cut way back on
The Atlantic a few months ago, and Foreign Policy a year or two
back (no link handy; as I recall, even more expensive for even less
value). At this point, I don't know what I would do if
Vox starts to tighten the screws: they're my first go-to each week,
and far and away my most valuable source. I should also note that while
I don't spend for web access, my wife subscribes to a bunch of things,
and I sometimes piggyback on her accounts. She's the true news junkie
in the family. Without her, I doubt I'd bother finding any of this.
Some scattered links this week:
Describing Trump strains the imagination: "Hence the need for
metaphor. And yet, here again, nothing really works." Maybe you're
trying too hard to pin too much on Trump personally. Sure, it's hard
to express how hideous he is in person, but nearly every appearance
offers graphic examples. If you must reach for words, how about the
late John Prine's line: "some humans aren't human"? Still, Trump does
virtually nothing by himself, beyond signing papers put in front of
him, speaking and tweeting blather, and occasionally barking out an
order or plea that some underling may act on if it suits them. Trump
doesn't lead his administration so much as, having staffed it with
the usual array of hacks, flacks, and lobbyists, he simply averts his
gaze as it rots away, entertaining graft at every level, because that's
the American (or at least the Republican) way. Sure, in some sense
Trump is ultimately responsible for the bad things done in his name,
but it's not like he's capable of understanding or caring about the
people affected. The problem with focusing so much on Trump is that
any other Republican president would be overseeing pretty much the
same administration, because the contempt and corruption pervades
the party and is celebrated by its propaganda network. Some people
may desire having a front man who is better at faking competence and
concern, but Trump at least is true to his own lies.
Here are 10 books on Palestine to read while social distancing:
- Rashid Khalidi: The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of
Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017 (2020, Metropolitan)
- James J Zogby: Palestinians: The Invisible Victims (2018,
- Ali Abunimah: The Battle for Justice in Palestine (2014,
- Noura Erakat: Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine
(2019, Stanford University Press)
- Edward W Said: The Question of Palestine (1992, Vintage)
- Marilyn Garson: Reading Maimonides in Gaza (2018, Mondoweiss)
- Josh Ruebner: Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker
Israeli-Palestinian Peace (2013, Verso)
- Steven Salaita: Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic
Freedom (2015, Haymarket)
- Howard Friel/Richard Falk: Israel-Palestine on Record: How the New
York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East (2007, Verso)
- Omar Barghouti: Boycott, Divestment, Sanction: The Global Struggle
for Palestinian Rights (2011, Haymarket)
Arria added a second list:
Here are 10 more books to read on Israel/Palestine while social
- Ilan Pappe: Ten Myths About Israel (2017, Verso)
- Mohammed Omer: Shell Shocked: On the Ground Under Israel's Gaza
Assault (2015, OR)
- Noam Chomsky: Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and
the Palestinians (updated edition, 2015, Haymarket)
- Sean Jacobs/Jon Soske, eds: Apartheid Israel: The Politics of
an Analogy (2015, Haymarket)
- Gideon Levy: The Punishment of Gaza (Verso, 2010)
- Ben Ehrenreich: The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in
Palestine (2017, Penguin)
- Audrea Lim, ed: The Case for Sanctions Against Israel
- Susan Abulhawa: Mornings in Jenin (2010, Bloomsbury USA)
- Edward W Said: Out of Place: A Memoir (2000, Vintage)
- Max Blumenthal: Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
(2014, Bold Type Books)
I haven't read much on Israel recently, at least in book form --
looks like the most recent book in my
Recent Reading is Gregg Carlstrom: How Long Will Israel Survive?
(Oxford University Press, 2017), at -45, although I've read several dozen
over the last 20 years (I identified 68 from my list, excluding a probably
larger number of books on the Middle East, Islam, and US wars and business
there). Of the twenty above, I've read 4 (Josh Ruebner: Shattered Hopes;
Ilan Pappe: Ten Myths About Israel; Max Blumenthal: Goliath;
and a previous edition of Noam Chomsky: Fateful Triangle. I've read
other books by Rashid Khalidi, James J Zogby, Edward W Said; also Pappe,
Chomsky, Blumenthal. I should point out that the main reason my readings
diverge from lists like this is that I've focused much more on Zionism
and the Israelis, on America's deeply troubling relationship with Israel,
and on what (if anything) can be done to end the conflict. Scanning
through my list, here are twelve books I recommend:
- Ariella Azoulay/Adi Ophir: The One-State Condition: Occupation
and Democracy in Israel/Palestine (2012, Stanford University Press)
- Max Blumenthal: Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
(2013, Nation Books)
- Richard Ben Cramer: How Israel Lost: The Four Questions
(2004, Simon & Schuster)
- Robert Fisk: Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon (1990
, Nation Books)
- John B Judis: Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of
the Arab/Israeli Conflict (2014, Farrar Straus and Giroux)
- Ilan Pappe: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006, One
- Trita Parsi: Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel,
Iran, and the United States (2007, Yale University Press)
- Avi Raz: The Bride and the Dowry: |Israel, Jordan, and the
Palestinians in the Aftermath of the June 1967 War (2013, Yale
- Shira Robinson: Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of
Israel's Liberal Settler State (2013, Stanford University Press)
- Tom Segev: One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the
British Mandate (2001, Picador)
- Sandy Tolan: The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the
Middle East (2007, Bloomsbury)
- Idith Zertal/Akiva Eldar: Lords of the Land: The War for Israel's
Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007 (2007, Nation
I tried just listing ten books, then thought I had to add Pity the
Nation (which, being on Lebanon, I had excluded from my 68). One can
make a good case that Zionism was rotten from the start, but for me the
eye-opener was the 1982 invasion and long-term occupation of Lebanon,
which is much (but not all) of what Fisk covers. Another book that is
not specifically on Israel/Palestine but provides essential background
is David Fromkin's A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman
Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (1989). I read
Maxime Rodinson's Israel and the Arabs (1970) and Anouar
Abdel-Malek's Egypt: A Military Society (1968) when they were
fairly new, but didn't get serious about Israel until around 2000,
when I started with general histories: Benny Morris: Righteous
Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict (2001), Avi
Shlaim: The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2000),
and the Tom Segev book above. The above list, and much more,
followed. I omitted a few books that especially influenced me
on the suspicion that they're dated, such as: Norman Finkelstein:
Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (1995);
Tanya Reinhart: Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948
(2002); Baruch Kimmerling: Politicide (2003).
Also on Israel:
Here's what we all have in common with Trump: As near as I can tell,
a tendency to blame someone else. But isn't Trump the President? Doesn't
"the buck stop here"?
Trump's been searching, mightily, for a suitable nemesis. For weeks now,
our entertainer-president has been auditioning various characters for
the role of pandemic super-villain, veering from one to the other and
back again. He's tried China. He's tried the governors. He's tried, of
course, the media.
Want to know what desperation looks like? Trump has even tried inciting
a popular rebellion against the World Health Organization (WHO) . . .
Trump is a guy who needs to blame somebody for everything, in good
times or in bad. "I don't take responsibility at all," Trump famously
told reporters in one of his first pandemic briefings. Those words should
one day be chiseled into the gaudy marble lobby of the Trump Presidential
Library. It's the family crest.
The rise of digital feudalism in a multipolar, unstable world.
Why coronavirus conspiracy theories have spread to quickly.
Straggling in a good economy, and now struggling in a crisis.
Includes quotes from Joseph Stiglitz, like "We built an economy with
no shock absorbers. We made a system that looked like it was maximizing
profits but had higher risks and lower resiliency."
Fauci acknowledged a delay in the US coronavirus response. Trump then
retweeted a call to fire him.
Into the maw: "How Obama-era economics failed us." Review of Reed
Hundt's A Crisis Wasted: Barack Obama's Defining Decisions, by
a minor member of Obama's transition team, and Firefighting: The
Financial Crisis and Its Lessons, by the troika that sought to
save the banks (while throwing out the economy) in 2008-09, initially
under GW Bush (Ben S Bernanke, Timothy F Geithner, Henry M Paulson Jr).
Florida's economy is collapsing under COVID-19, and only Republicans are
to blame: Explains how Rick Scott, when he was governor, gutted the
state unemployment system to make it the least generous in the nation,
a legacy which continues to make unemployment insurance near worthless,
even when it's never been more essential.
'Unbelievable' timing: As coronavirus rages, Trump disregards advice
to tighten clean air rules.
Trump donors get $569 million contract to build 17 miles of border wall.
The plague of Jared Kushner. "The problem is, he doesn't know anything
about COVID-19, just like he doesn't know anything about immigration reform
or Middle East peace."
Emran Feroz/Mohammad Zaman:
The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped the war in Afghanistan.
Lisa Friedman/Coral Davenport:
EPA weakens controls on mercury.
First, the coronavirus pandemic took their jobs. Then, it wiped out their
health insurance. If only one could come up with a system that didn't
tie health care to people's employment!
The largest Arctic ozone hole ever measured is hovering over the North
Coronavirus is exposing how foreign crusades bled America's domestic
No country has beaten the coronavirus yet. Asking people "how are
you doing compared to your parents?" Some better, many not so well.
Trump's denial of his coronavirus failings will be "one of the biggest
propaganda battles in American history."
'I am the portrait of downward mobility': "Today's 40-year-olds on
the lives they've led, and now this."
The plague of Donald Trump.
If the US Postal Service fails, rural America will suffer the most.
Why Bernie Sanders lost and how progressives can still win:
"7 takeaways from a conversation with progressive data expert Stan
McElwee." A fair muddle of ideas, some sensible, some less convincing --
I'm not opposed to "the trifecta of progressive policy issues that
resonate most with these voters (and voters in general)" -- aggressive
pharmaceutical reform; a job-creating clean; ambitious paid family
leave -- but that sounds like small potatoes to me. My own theory
why Sanders lost is that he should have moved to the center, putting
more emphasis on his personal integrity and commitment, but instead,
with most other Democrats moving left, he felt the need to stake out
ground even further left. He was mostly successful in claiming the
left, as was clear when he pulled decisively ahead of Warren, but
that made it hard to pivot center (in part because Warren hung in
until it was too late). Second, he didn't bother to expose how weak
his opponents were (especially Biden, who epitomized forty years of
Democrats selling their base out for political expediency). Perhaps
Sanders expected them to stalemate and/or collapse while he gradually
built his lead and claimed the nomination (not unlike Trump's path in
2016), or maybe he just eschewed that "killer instinct." Either way,
Mike Bloomberg's $500 million ad blitz wrecked any chance Buttigieg
and Klobuchar might have had, as well as his own candidacy (and that
of fellow billionaire Tom Steyer), leaving Biden (who had failed in
Iowa and New Hampshire) as the default choice for everyone who still
doubted Sanders/Warren. Then coronavirus hit, further campaigns and
elections became unviable, and Biden locked up the nomination without
getting tested head-to-head.
One McElwee point I'd like to quote:
Running on a maximalist policy agenda creates a massive expectation
gap between what you can achieve and what you say you can achieve.
When you promise something and deliver, you build power. When you
promise something and bring home half or a quarter, you deflate hope
and create cynicism.
My greatest fear about a Sanders presidency is that he'd find that
what he really could deliver, given that we would still be stuck in
a profoundly corrupt and crippled political system, would turn out to
be very small compared to what he clearly saw the need for. Still, I
didn't consider that a fatal flaw, because I expected him to continue
to fight for things he believed in, and to make clear that shortfalls
are not for lack of effort in his part. As long as people respect his
effort and integrity -- and with Sanders' track record, you clearly
should -- I think he'll come out stronger. Especially compared to a
"moderate" who aims for half-assed compromises and can't even deliver
them. Some more "post-Bernie" links:
Political savant Rachel Bitecofer: Democrats face "major disadvantage"
going with Biden: This interview is old (March 12) and dated, and
I don't really buy her argument that Biden cannot appeal to Obama/Trump
voters (sure, he doesn't have Sanders' populist pitch, but he's a lot
more "like them" than Hillary was, or Trump is, and I think that's been
proven by the margins he's racked up in states where Sanders handily
beat Clinton in 2016). Still, worth scanning for other insights, most
not very complimentary to the voters she studies. E.g.:
Donald Trump is basically doing what Democrats are incapable of. Donald
Trump understands that the American voter is disengaged, disinterested,
thinks about images and stories and not about policy in a serious way,
and is highly subject to emotion. Donald Trump and his team feed that
Bernie-izing Biden: "Now that Sanders has endorsed Biden, here's a
realistic plan for moving America to the left."
The foundations of American society are failing us: "The unequal
impact of the pandemic and economic collapse are forcing us to rethink
the assumptions of our system."
The tyranny of decorum hurt Bernie Sanders's 2020 prospects.
An open letter from to the new new left from the old new left: By
former leaders (1960-69) of Students for a Democratic Society, concluding
"we who now write this open letter all know that we must work hard to
elect [Joe Biden]. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment." At least one
"new new leftist" pushed back: Daniel Finn:
An open letter from SDS veterans haranguing young socialists to back
Biden was a bad idea. One thing I didn't like about the SDS letter
was their willingness to relitigate voting for Humphrey against Nixon
in 1968. In retrospect, Nixon looks pretty awful, but at the time HHH
was an integral cog in LBJ's war machine, and had given us no reason
to think he might change course. On other issues, there was still a
lot of overlap between the parties, even if you recognized that they
were not equally bad. I was too young to vote in 1968, and I don't
recall having a preference. In 1972, when we finally did have a clear
choice, it was the hawkish/conservative/mainstream Democrats who made
sure McGovern lost to Nixon (even post-Watergate). Parties have become
much more polarized since then, so much so that it makes sense for me
to vote for someone like Joe Manchin over someone like Susan Collins
in party labels alone. So I have no qualms about voting for Biden over
any Republican (not just Trump), and would advise any "new new leftist"
to do the same. On the other hand, I'm too old to worry much about
climate change much less building a truly equitable socialist polity
and economy, so maybe I'm not the best person to be lecturing young
people on the world they hope to reform.
Trump's unspoken factor on reopening the economy: Politics:
May be "unspoken," but he's not very subtle about it. Not sure
he even does want to reopen, but if he gets the Democrats to stop
him, he can blame them later, and if slowing him down saves lives,
he'll never concede that. Lots of people see lots of things through
the lens of their politics, but few more obsessively than Trump.
I literally wrote The Case Against Joe Biden. But I've got some
free advice for him.
Rural areas think they're the coronavirus exception. They're not.
How the rich reacted to the bubonic plague has eerie similarities to
today's pandemic: Especially the ones who think of themselves as
the modern incarnations of feudal lords?
Theodoric Meyer/Elena Schneider:
K Street is booming. But there's a creeping sense of dread. As
Congress is anxious to spend money to float the economy (for R's to
re-elect the president, for D's to help those most in need), lobbyists
are trying hard to steer that money toward their clients.
MAGA world finds its coronavirus scapegoats.
Don't fear the anti-Biden socialist: "A wave of concern over the
DSA's refusal to endorse the Democratic nominee reveals a substantial
ignorance about who does and does not vote -- and why."
What we've lost in the plague -- and what we've gained: A chance to remake
The price of the coronavirus pandemic: "When COVID-19 recedes, it
will leave behind a severe economic crisis. But, as always, some people
The preëxisting condition in the oval office: "From the start, the
Trump Administration has waged war on science and expertise, making a
great nation peculiarly vulnerable to the foreseeable public-health
calamity of the coronavirus."
As Trump and McConnell mock clean energy, the industry could soon lose
a half-million jobs.
Trump finds his own dumb endless war.
Trump's dangerous "LIBERIATE" tweets represents the view of a small
minority. Some more links on anti-shutdown protests:
Trump wants to talk about anything but his coronavirus response. His
attacks on the WHO show it. More on Trump vs. WHO:
Trump just declared victory over the coronavirus. Here's why that's
Florida Gov. DeSantis declared WWE an "essential service." His explanation
doesn't make much sense. Rather than torture the concept of "essential"
by trying to apply it to WWE, maybe there should be a second axis where
activities are evaluated as dangerous/harmless regardless of how frivolous
they are. The two axes are pretty independent: there are some things that
are so essential that we're willing to accept (while trying to mitigate)
danger, like hospital care; on the other hand, why try to prohibit things
that can be done safely, just because they seem silly? Personally, I never
noticed that WWE went away, and have no interest in it ever coming back,
but as long as I never have to watch it, there's no reason I should keep
other people from enjoying it (if, indeed, that's what they do). On the
other hand, I can think of other "inessential" services that I'd like to
see re-open, assuming they can be done safely. Dog grooming, for one.
Trump's video of coronavirus actions accidentally reveals how he mishandled
things in February: "The propaganda package basically skips from January
to March. That's not an accident."
Trump's latest coronavirus press briefing featured one of his most
memorable meltdowns yet.
Trump sent Arizona a fraction of the ventilators it sought. Republicans
still framed it as a big win. I got an email from my Republican
Congressman taking credit for the "stimulus" checks the government will
send out once Trump gets them branded to his satisfaction. Democrats
are probably trying to claim credit too, but the hypocrisy is all the
more glaring when Republicans hog the credit.
The pandemic has exposed America's clean water crisis.
How Anthony Fauci became America's doctor.
Joe Biden racks up another big endorsement: Elizabeth Warren: One
day after Obama, several after Sanders, making her one of the last
prominent Democrats to come around and kiss the ring.
McKinsey to work on Trump's coronavirus plan and New York's 'Trump-proof'
plan: "The NY and NJ governors hired McKinsey to 'Trump-proof' their
coronavirus plan, which may prove difficult as the firm is also working
Anti-Corbyn Labour officials worked to lose general election to oust
leader, leaked dossier finds. Curiously, this seems to be about
the 2017 election, where Labour did better than expected, rather than
the 2018 election which ultimately forced Corbyn to resign.
Trump hobbles foreign aid as coronavirus rips around the world.
FEMA's coronavirus rumor control webpage sidesteps Trump's lies.
We are probably only one-tenth of the way through this pandemic.
Why France has 4 times as many coronavirus deaths as Germany:
"Germany followed the playbook for saving lives. France didn't."
Germany did a lot more testing and contact tracking, and were also
much quicker to move patients to hospitals instead of waiting for
symptoms to become severe.
12 experts on how the US should hold China accountable for the
coronavirus: Why is this even a discussion? And what makes Americans
think they have the right to pass judgment on China? Not everyone here
is stupid. For instance, Jacob Stokes says, "The US response should focus
on establishing the facts surrounding the virus's origins and China's
early missteps in a credible, impartial, and scientific manner." But he
also says, "I generally favor taking a tougher line toward China on a
range of policy issues, from its assertive military behavior to its
human rights crackdown and abusive trade practices." That helps explain
why he's directing his "credible, impartial, and scientific" study at
China, and not proposing a broader framework, which would look at early
missteps in the United States, Italy, Iran, Spain, and everywhere. After
all, the objections he has to China are points that can objectively be
directed against the US. Most of the other "experts" fall into line with
US hostility toward China, taking the pandemic as an excuse to flout
long-standing prejudices against Chinese government and industry. It is
sad that American regard for international institutions like the UN is
so low (even among Democrats) that hardly any "expert" takes seriously
the possibility of addressing worldwide problems collectively.
How President Emmanuel Macron bungled France's coronavirus response.
The Democrats' terrible health care solution for the newly unemployed.
Democrats are pushing for an expansion of COBRA, which saddles the newly
unemployed with a high-priced continuation of their previous employer's
(generally lousy) plan.
South Dakota's governor resisted ordering people to stay home. Now it
has one of the nation's largest coronavirus hot spots.
The "experts" don't know everything. They can't. Given that Republicans
in general (and Trump most of all) have a long record of disparaging and
discrediting science, it's almost a given that Democrats would respond to
a pandemic crisis by declaring their unbounded faith in science. However,
scientists are only beginning to figure out this particular virus, and
have lots of unanswered questions, as this piece points out. One point
I'd like to add is that the fact that Trump is willing to share the mic
with Anthony Fauci suggests that even he (or at least his staff) hasn't
totally given up on science -- it's just taken an exceptionally immediate
threat to personal safety to force that concession. (Of course, as the
anti-lockdown demonstrations have proven, the right still has its share
of anti-science cranks, who continue to insist that their deep-seated
political beliefs are the only things that matter. Trump's tweets show
that he's with them in spirit, even as he is forced to appear somewhat
more rational in his daily briefings.)
New unemployment filings are so high only the Great Depression compares.
There were 5.2 million new unemployment filings for the week, down from
6.6 million last week and 6.9 million for the previous week. As nobody is
finding new work, the effect is cumulative: the total since the depression
started is 22 million. I haven't seen anyone recast these figures as a
percent of employed. One employment figure I've seen is 158 million (not
clear exactly when in 2020). Take 22 million from that and it looks like
unemployment has risen 14.9% over 4 weeks. Add the previous unemployment
rate of 4.3% and you get 19.2%. Yglesias says "experts believe somewhere
in the range of 12-15 percent" unemployment, but also thinks everyone is
undercounting. My weekly calculations of filings against dwindling
employment work out to be: 2.2%, 4.4%, 4.4%, 3.6%.
The PPE shortage is America in a crisis -- here's a realistic plan to
March's record-breaking collapse in retail sales, explained. "Retail
sales fell 8.7 percent in March, the largest-ever decline on record."
Three theories for why the stock market soared along with unemployment
Eleven concrete steps the government can take to avert economic
Li Zhou/Ella Nilsen:
Liberal challenger Jill Karofsky wins a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme
Court: "She won despite the voter suppression marring Wisconsin's