Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 16, 2020

How Can Trump Still Win The Election?

Yesterday the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet lambasted Trump and called on Americans to not reelect him:

The Trump administration's further erosion of the CDC will harm global cooperation in science and public health, as it is trying to do by defunding WHO. A strong CDC is needed to respond to public health threats, both domestic and international, and to help prevent the next inevitable pandemic. Americans must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics.

Today the Financial Times adds to the onslaught. Its not paywalled page 1 report on Trump's reaction to the pandemic is pretty devastating and adds some juicy details:

Again and again, the story that emerged is of a president who ignored increasingly urgent intelligence warnings from January, dismisses anyone who claims to know more than him and trusts no one outside a tiny coterie, led by his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner – the property developer who Trump has empowered to sideline the best-funded disaster response bureaucracy in the world.
“Jared [Kushner] had been arguing that testing too many people, or ordering too many ventilators, would spook the markets and so we just shouldn’t do it,” says a Trump confidant who speaks to the president frequently. “That advice worked far more powerfully on him than what the scientists were saying. He thinks they always exaggerate.”
It was Trump who chose Robert Redfield to head the CDC in spite of widespread warnings about the former military officer’s controversial record. Redfield led the Pentagon’s response to HIV-Aids in the 1980s. It involved isolating suspected soldiers in so-called HIV Hotels. Many who tested positive were dishonourably discharged. Some committed suicide.

A devout catholic, Redfield saw Aids as the product of an immoral society. For many years, he championed a much-hyped remedy that was discredited in tests. That debacle led to his removal from the job in 1994.

“Redfield is about the worst person you could think of to be heading the CDC at this time,” says Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist who has reported on epidemics. “He lets his prejudices interfere with the science, which you cannot afford during a pandemic.”

One of the CDC’s constraints was to insist on developing its own test rather than import a foreign one. Dr Anthony Fauci – the infectious disease expert and now household name – is widely known to loathe Redfield, and vice versa. That meant the CDC and Fauci’s National Institutes of Health were not on the same page.

Besides the insider fighting there is the question if and how Trump might manage to win a reelection. It's all about the economy one might say but there will also be other factors. Trump will certainly follow Steve Bannon's advice and blame everything bad that has happened on China:

Economists say a V-shaped recovery is unlikely. Even then it could be two Vs stuck together – a W, in other words. The social mingling resulting from any short-term economic reopening would probably come at the price of a second contagious outburst. As long as the second V began only after November, Trump might just be re-elected.

“From Trump’s point of view, there is no choice,” says Charlie Black, a senior Republican consultant and lobbyist. “It is the economy or nothing. He can’t exactly run on his personality.” Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, had a slightly different emphasis: “Trump’s campaign will be about China, China, China,” he says. “And hopefully the fact that he rebooted the economy.”

I find it unlikely that the economy will be halfway back by November. The states are opening up too fast and without the abilities to control a further spread of the epidemic. The infection numbers in Texas and elsewhere are rising. Some states will have to shut down again when the casualties mount.

The 'blame China' strategy might work though because Trump can also use that against Biden and his family.

But will it be enough to win?

Posted by b on May 16, 2020 at 18:04 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b... as poorly as trump is doing, i suspect he will still win in november... the reasons - no real competition from biden and a country that is very divided....

interesting about the religious influence from redfield and how him and fauci aren't on the same page.. that can't help... further consolidation of the erosion of leadership from the usa we are seeing on full display as we continue to move forward... i really feel covid 19 is a game changer for the planet.. we aren't going to bounce back from this quickly and the ramifications will be with us for a long time... i hope i am wrong...

Posted by: james | May 16 2020 18:14 utc | 1

Pretty easy.
He can still speak actual words, out loud, in front of people.
The other one, not so much...

Posted by: Joshua | May 16 2020 18:28 utc | 2

I give Trump a better than 50% chance of winning. First the electoral college means Biden needs to lead by 12% nationally to actually tie. But even if he does the Republican controlled states still have laws allowing them to pick Republican deligates even if the people vote for Biden overwhelmingly. The years of Republican voter suppression will go nuclear this year. Expect some states to have massive turn out but few people actually able to vote. The "never vaxer", "open it up and kill 2 million Americans" Republicans will stand in tight lines to vote for Trump, Democrats given the choice between dying and voting will be less likely to line up. Trump just fired another inspector general on a Friday night. The leavers this administration are willing to pull are unlimited as Trump knows him and possibly his family are going to face long term house arrest in their gold plated mansion if they lose.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | May 16 2020 18:29 utc | 3

By forcing on Americans this appalling choice of two dull-witted and uninspiring geriatrics in the 2020 presidential election, it's almost as though folk behind the scenes want to make democracy so repulsive it loses its appeal to the electorate.The USA really has become a kakistocracy.

Posted by: Syd Walker | May 16 2020 18:29 utc | 4

You forget it’s not a contest between Trump and a rational adversary. It’s Trump v Joe Biden. The finest candidates America can produce. Even worse than Trump v Hillary.

Posted by: Ken | May 16 2020 18:35 utc | 5

1/Yes Trump could win. And so could Biden. Voting for either should be impossible for anyone with any kind of sense of social responsibility.
There is a good chance that the Green party will be running a socialist and anti-imperialist candidate.
His winning is very unlikely but there is a very good chance of totally discrediting the duopoly as the basis for spending the coming years, of intense crisis and struggle, campaigning against capitalism and demanding reforms including the guarantee of a basic income and full employment; free medicare for all; an end to homelessness; repeal of anti-union legislation; reform of the electoral system, including mandatory paper ballots and automatic voter registration...(name your policy!)

2/b is probably right in predicting a second wave of infection in the Fall. This could push the country close to Mad Max territory as fear of the virus and the ruling class's stubborn refusal to accept the need for compromise-a distinguishing feature of the class running the Empire- and obsessive belief that xenophobic and anticommunist propaganda will overwhelm opposition arising from unemployment, lack of medical facilities and fear of dying.
Times have changed. It is idle to suppose that the coming election will be just one more in a succession of empty windbaggery and bipartisan 'patriotism.' That is the 'patriotism' of watching the Dow as hundreds of thousands die cruel and horrifying deaths.

3/From Walden Bello: a warning about Trump and the forces that he represents.
"...the center-left’s thorough-going compromise with neoliberalism in the North along with progressive parties and states going along with if not actively adopting neoliberal measures in the South tarnished the progressive spectrum as a whole—even though it was from the non-mainstream, non-state left that the critique of neoliberalism and globalization initially issued in the 1990s and 2000s.

"It is a dark legacy that must be decisively pushed aside if progressives are to connect with the mass anger and ressentiment that are now boiling over and transform it into a positive, liberating force.

Advantage: Far Right
"Unfortunately, it is the extreme right that is currently best positioned to take advantage of the global discontent, because even before the pandemic, extreme right parties were already opportunistically cherry-picking elements of the anti-neoliberal stands and programs of the independent left—for instance, the critique of globalization, the expansion of the "welfare state," and greater state intervention in the economy—but putting them within a right-wing gestalt.

"So in Europe, you had radical right parties—among them Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France, the Danish People's Party, the Freedom Party in Austria, Viktor Orban's Fidesz Party in Hungary—abandoning parts of the old neoliberal programs advocating liberalization and less taxation that they had supported and now proclaiming they were for the welfare state and for more protection of the economy from international engagements, but exclusively for the benefit of the people with "right skin color," the "right culture," the "right ethnic stock," the "right religion...."

Posted by: bevin | May 16 2020 18:41 utc | 6

"A devout catholic, Redfield saw Aids as the product of an immoral society."

That's probably not wrong.

Posted by: Dirk | May 16 2020 18:48 utc | 7

who cares. One idiot or another does not seem to make a difference. Things need to start happening locally now. As the federal government continues to fail we need to double down on self sustainability (local) in order to feed and shelter our citizens. Federal politics is a waste of precious energy.

Posted by: So | May 16 2020 18:57 utc | 8

We are circling back to the same situation as in 2016 - a really bad option versus a worse option. Biden is, himself, not really an option. Like Reagan, he is a face for what lurks unseen behind him.
The real power of this virus is not its ability to infect or kill (and I don't know who to believe about the "science" anymore) - it is its ability to serve as cover for so many other agendas. You have States locked down, or not, along party lines. For some, people aren't visibly dying in sufficient quantities to justify such an extreme (by Western standards) lockdown. For others, we'll never be locked down enough to be fully safe and, of course, it's "better to be safe than sorry." But in life none of us are ever truly safe. It pays not to be a fool, of course, but it's hard to tell who the real fools are in this.

Posted by: Activist Potato | May 16 2020 19:08 utc | 9

No, it won't and therefore he will continue to escalate relations with China, if 'necessary' until war.

Posted by: Pnyx | May 16 2020 19:09 utc | 10

The country is demoralized; and most people who have reflected on the situation are aware of the brokenness of the political system. The time at home in isolation, combined with the self-serving response of the political class, has only focused their attention. While Biden remains the presumptive standard bearer, and not yet officially nominated, there is the theoretical possibility of replacing him with someone else. But the moral deficit of the Democrats' party leadership makes it incapable of self-reflection or reform.

The bi-partisan consensus in Congress is aimed at serving their corporate patrons and handing out more billions to the freaks on Wall Street and the K-Street Lobbyists who write the laws they pass. They are traditionally supposed to write the laws they pass. It is not clear that those who are running Biden will change their mind about him. There is Tara Reade's accusation that Biden sexually assaulted her, and this scandal will be dogging him; it threatens to cast a shadow on his campaign for president.

What are the people to do with two addled men who are chosen to compete for the office of president? Both parties are wedded and committed to the ordained catastrophe. God help us.

Posted by: Copeland | May 16 2020 19:19 utc | 11

Like the Evil Queen herself proclaimed...."what difference does it make"

Hey at least we have the option of Gandalf look-a-like Vermin Supreme who won the Libertarian New Hampshire and Massachusetts primaries. Maybe the Greens can run a Mr Rogers look-a-like and the slate will be complete.

Posted by: sad canuck | May 16 2020 19:24 utc | 12

“How Can Trump Still Win The Election?” Pretty simple. With the help of the Demoncraps. Ever since the last election, their supposed alternative policy comprises just two elements: Russian collusion and Orange Man Bad. As if that were not enough, they have selected uncle “sleepy joe” to run against Trump.

Now we’ll have a choice between Dotard and Retard, both with a preference to grab them by the p*$$y. What am I going to do? Vote for the Green Party, as I have been doing since 2000. Not sure who their candidate is, or even if they will field a candidate. If not, then I could write in Vladimir P. But my wife is afraid that if I do so, then they will hunt me down.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | May 16 2020 19:28 utc | 13

Well, if Biden is the Dem candidate and dies from coronavirus just before November, Trump might win, I suppose.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 16 2020 19:41 utc | 14

One does have to remember that it was the Obama administration that started the pivot to Asia, not the Trump administration. China bashing is not specific to Trump any more than Russia Bashing or Iran bashing.

Both parties are controlled by the same corporate financial fascists and the future is pretty clear irespective of which party's candidate gets in. So let's stop this greater, lesser evil nonsense, and realize that there is only one evil, the corporatist government in the US

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | May 16 2020 19:44 utc | 15

Biden can't return things to normal, because Trump is a normal U.S. President. That's the problem!

Posted by: carl | May 16 2020 19:49 utc | 16

Why do you assume there will even *be* an election in November?

Posted by: Helena Cobban | May 16 2020 19:53 utc | 17


It has been speculated that a strain of COVID-19 was spreading in the US as early as the summer of 2019, causing among other an outbreak in Virginia in July 2019 and thousands of cases of the unexplained "vaping illness". (We may call this strain "COVID-18" for now.)

Genetic study of the known virus strains give no support for this theory. The phylogenetic trees constructed from the online genomes show that all infections can be traced back to two strains isolated in Wuhan: the reference strain Wuhan-Hu-1 found at the seafood market, and another strain labeled as H3 or H4 that is believed to be the ancestor strain of the reference strain. Much of Europe has "Clade G", an offspring of Wuhan-Hu-1 that may have came from Shanghai with the first German COVID-19 patient who was diagnosed on January 28, 2020.

None of the genomes in the databases are consistent with a pre-Wuhan existence of COVID-19. One explanation is that an earlier strain existed but it has been overtaken by more transmissible newer strains from Wuhan. A similar effect is seen in Europe as Clade G overtakes earlier, slower spreading Wuhan strains.

Another explanation might be that the RT-PCR tests in use do not pick up earlier pre-Wuhan strains.

Americans were very reluctant to start testing, and even forbid doctors in Washington state from analyzing samples taken from likely COVID-19 patients in January. A conspiracy theory would suggest that American knew that a domestic strain of SARS-CoV-2 was spreading among the US population but did not want it to be identified. The German PCR test promoted by the WHO was banned from the US as it would have picked up the earlier strain. Instead a new test was developed by the CDC specifically to distinguish between the earlier strain ("COVID-18"), and COVID-19. To disprove this theory one would have to analyze all existing samples from 2019. But as I said, this is a conspiracy theory without any support in any of the published data.

A third explanation is that the outbreak started in Wuhan and no previous human strain of COVID-19 ever existed.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 16 2020 19:53 utc | 18

Elections in the Presidential races are decided by the undecided, independents mostly.

The choice is for who Biden picks for VP versus Trump.

People will see Biden won't last a year in the WH. His wife, a doctor, will talk him down, the VP will move up, and Pelosi will come in as VP, per the Constitution.

So, who he picks for VP is who the choice is versus Trump.

Do you want some woman with no experience in managing anything (all the choices available so far) plus Pelosi as VP or do you want more Trump who knows how to get an economic recovery under way?

So, common sense (all that American voters have) indicates that they have to stay with Trump.

It wasn't his fault the pandemic came to the US. It wasn't his fault the CDC screwed up. He put the best scientists on the job and they have blown the situation. He has never overridden any of their recommendations. Birx and Fauci are doing it their way.

Should he have begun a shutdown and mitigation earlier? Birx and Fauci didn't recommend that.

No one knew the virus was so infectious. The US reacted to the hot spots very quickly. Washington state, New Rochelle NY, and then boom! it was moving everywhere.

Trump was catching hell over shutting down incoming Chinese. The same people then blame him for not shutting down all foreign travel.

He made some late decisions if you look at the perpetual chicken littles who were screaming (Navarro) that China was waging biowar.

What the US did that was a bad strategy, was to give in to Republican dogma of states over central government. He should have said, regional strategy, not state borders. Too much room for virus spread.

China locked transportation in and out of Hubei, Wuhan, Shanghai and Beijing. That's a model that works and should have been used.

Test temperatures of all travelers. 14 day quarantine for all travelers. That's what China did. And they are still doing it.

Trump did what his best medical advisers told him to do.

They waited. And now they blame China. And one another.

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 16 2020 19:55 utc | 19

It is Biden vs. Trump because it is completely irrelevant and does not matter: the tens of thousands of creeps with power in the US will remain no matter who wins and that includes all other possible and hypothetical candidates as well, none of whom show any suggestion that they would have what it takes to make a difference on the level and with the scope required (nor can anyone be expected to have such power and fortitude).

I'm not saying anyone anywhere in the power structure is necessarily a creep but I am saying that along with "whatever sounds nice or is popular" they're all used as cover for those that are.

The US is a failed "state"/"nation" with nukes, simple as that. Similar to the USSR only worse. This is not new, it is why many voted for or supported Trump in the first place: a hail Mary. Trump didn't deliver and now there's even less point to the "elections", the US will continue falling into oblivion.

All of this explains why "US politics" is a non-topic nearly everyone ignores (I sure don't blame them, I do too; there's nothing there).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 16 2020 19:57 utc | 20

Trump will probably be reelected for one very simple reason: he makes sense for the USA of the time.

Steve Bannon is also correct when stating the most sound electoral strategy for 2020 is the anti-China one.

If I were the USA, I would do as follows:

1) Strategic objective: destroy China.

2) Tactical objective: create an anti-China "arc of freedom" in order to encircle China and thus bring it to submission through economic war.

3) Other tactical objectives: consolidate American hegemony in Latin American and the European Peninsula (i.e. Europe minus Russia); keep the status quo in Africa; militarize and begin to build American hegemony in the Transaustralian Oceania (i.e. "South-East Asia").

To reach its main tactical objective, the USA's most promising outcome would be if Russia collapse after Putin's death. In this sense, Trump's/Bannon's strategy is also very sound: play nice with Russia, always consider it an inherent ally, reinforce their Christian cultural identity and their white racial common identity; wait for Putin to retire or die; help put a pro-American (Yeltsin II) in power; open Russia to another IMF ransack.

With Russia firmly in American control, China would be closed off Eurasia and would be essentially reduced to an Asian power. The BRI would be certainly over. Those infrastructure projects in the Heartland (i.e. Central Asia) would be cancelled and dismantled. China's supply chains would be disrupted to almost beyond repair. With Japan and Transaustralian Oceania in hands, China would certainly starve.

Next, it would be time for classical hybrid wars in China proper, culminating with the usage of HK and Taiwan as beach-heads to destroy China's social fabric. This would reduce China to a sea-based Third World nation, away from its peasant heartlands in Central China, thus in entirely American domination. By this time, Tibet would be probably lost, cutting Central China's second main water supply, resulting in mass starvation and emigration from the Chinese heartlands. The new centers of this new China would be Taiwan and HK, which, to maintain their local hegemony, will have to reinforce American domination daily, so as to keep the Mainland economically down (the same way the Brazilian elites in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo act as American envoys and keep the "hinterland" at African levels of subsistence).

But Rome wasn't built in one day, and, to achieve all of this, the USA must begin by enforcing embargoes and denying local markets to Chinese enterprise. Hence Trump's "trade war" against China. The American people certainly understands that, and support Trump wholeheartedly in his endeavor against China. In this sense, Trump (Bannon?) is man of his time, the ideal leader for the USA of the 21st Century. If I were Trump, I would escalate right now by freezing and seizing Chinese assets in USD, thus inducing a series of bankruptcies in China, impoverishing its people and adding more fuel for a future regime change.

Then I would apply whatever lawfare necessary to expropriate and bankrupt Huawei, thus ending, in one blow, China's technological dominance aspirations in mass markets. A persecution of Chinese notable individuals in American territory would sent the right message both to the micronations around the world and to the far-right-wing people in America - the base which is willing to fight China to the death.

The far-right will play an essential role here, as they will serve, at the same time, as the praetorian guard to impose order in the USA and as cannon fodder in foreign wars to be waged in the Western Pacific. I would also enhance Christian education and ideology, by massively increasing fund to Christian churches and schools. I would also elevate Christianity to status of official science, and ban "pagan" theories such as Evolution (Natural Selection), Modern Synthesis (Neodarwinism) etc. My focus would be on the rapturist variants of Christianity, as it would give me a legitimate claim on the Levant (Israel as the Promising Land) and open a lane to the elevation of the USA as a literal world empire.

Australia would become an important outpost for this new, transformed American Empire, as it would serve as the base of operations against China through Oceania and SE-Asia. A new round of military spending should happen in the Northern coast, centered at Darwin. That Australia is already culturally American and is already under American control will accelerate this program.

The New American Empire would be much more West Coast, Pacific-oriented empire - in opposition to the old, Atlantic-based version of the 20th Century. In this sense, Australia and Japan would rise in importance at the same time Western Europe begins to decline. The Eastern Front would be secured cheaply and soundly with the domination of Russia and by the natural barrier presented by the desert areas of Central Asia and Siberia.

Posted by: vk | May 16 2020 20:05 utc | 21

It isn't a question of Trump winning, but rather one of the Democrats losing. The Democrats have chosen once again to lose, but they made that "noble sacrifice" to prevent a social democrat from winning. If the public could stop demanding more than the Democrats are ideologically capable of offering then maybe they could start winning again.

It's all the voters' fault, so the Democrats are punishing them by offering them Biden.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 16 2020 20:07 utc | 22

Imagine you’re out in the woods with a friend you trust in the dark. You know there’s a horrible monster out there stalking you, and suddenly you hear it in the distance coming crashing towards you. It has picked up your scent and it will be upon you in moments.

You turn to run, but your friend grabs you and won’t let you move. He falls to the ground grabbing your legs screaming “No! No! We must stay here! We mustn’t move an inch!”

Who do you need to fight first? The monster? Or your “friend”?

That’s why I focus so much of my criticism on the Democratic Party instead of the Republicans. Ultimately they’re the party which could actually allow for positive changes to be made to the world, but instead they keep moving further and further into the warmongering totalitarianism they once purported to despise in George W Bush.

Relying on either head of the two-headed one-party system to make meaningful changes simply is not working, and will not ever work. No institution that would so warmly rehabilitate and welcome a bloodthirsty monster like Bush is going to help humanity one iota. In fact, its sole purpose is to do the exact opposite.

Reason 1. It shows how little Democrats care about the lives of human beings overseas.
Reason 2. It shows that Trump-era Democrats are Bush-era Republicans.
Reason 3. It shows how the amnesia-inducing effect of mass media news churn makes it difficult to retain perspective.
Reason 4. It shows the glaring difference between fact and narrative.
Reason 5. It shows that the system is simply not working.

Posted by: carl | May 16 2020 20:10 utc | 23

>Dr Anthony Fauci – the infectious disease expert and now
>household name – is widely known to loathe Redfield, and vice versa.

I call B.S. on this FT gossip. PubMed shows they have co-authored five journal articles, including one from a few weeks ago. Fauci, Redfield, and Birx have all been best buds for decades. Redfield and Birx have co-authored three dozen articles.

Fauci recently further consolidated his position on the "Task Force" by the addition of his boss NIH Director Francis Collins, who has been missing in action since the beginning of the epidemic. Will the NIH Director now become the face of the NIH, or will we all get to publicly see his subservience to Fauci, the person who really runs the place?

I hope people will keep digging into the history and connections surrounding these people. They are as corrupt as the rest of the DC Dunces and Beltway Bandits.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | May 16 2020 20:14 utc | 24

carl @ May16 2020 20:10

Except you don't fight your friend if you can just escape without doing so.

Fighting the Democratic Party is a fool's errand.

We need genuine independent Movements for Democracy, Anti-War, etc.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 16 2020 20:16 utc | 25

@21 Sunny Runny Burger

Disengagement should be the priority for Eurasia. The US "market" is imploding and all they can do is pay for real goods with monopoly money conjured from thin air by the US Fed. Only the very foolish would tie themselves to this disaster. Russia is the model. Sell the treasuries, import substitute anything coming from the unreliable 5-eyes, develop food and energy sufficiency, develop a lean and lethal military to provide credible deterrence. Then wait for it all to implode a la the USSR. I hope the US goes home as quietly as the USSR did when it failed. MAGA it is....make america go away.

Posted by: sad canuck | May 16 2020 20:20 utc | 26

Breaking O/T Mt Qomolangma

While MoA busying debating facts and conspiracy theories’ Covid-19 and elections history is in the making. A Chinese team of surveyors accenting Mt Qomolangma (surveyed 8,844.43m (29,017.16 ft 9 October 2005), expected to reach the summit 22 May depending weather conditions. This third Chinese surveyors. From starting point altitude 5,200 to five base camps, 5,800; 6,500, 7,028, 7,790 and 8,300 meters. Huawei and China mobile participation installed the world first 5G world’s highest 5G communication towers, top of the world.... the summit moving northeastwards

Since 1949, Chinese surveyors have conducted six rounds of scaled measurement, scientific research on Mount Qomolangma and released the height of the peak twice in 1975 and 2005, which was 8,848.13 meters and 8,844.43 meters respectively.

Eat your freaking heart out - Trump and Pompeo. I'll be updating progress MoA open threads..

Posted by: JC | May 16 2020 20:26 utc | 27

Imo this isn't about Trump. It's two bunches of Brits doing a Pot Calls Kettle Black/ drive-by smearing exercise, aimed at the US in order to deflect attention from their own careless disregard for expert opinion.

Unlike Trump, who can always walk away from Yesterday's bs, the Brits love their own bs so deeply that they end up marrying it.
White Helmets, anyone?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 16 2020 20:36 utc | 28

I haven't heard much recently about what people in middle America, otherwise known as fly-over country, think. Particularly to what extent they're affected by the coronavirus crisis. If they see it as a couple of cases at the other end of the state, Trump's idiocies may pass them by.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 16 2020 20:38 utc | 29

Telesur reports,. another one bites the dust.

"Brazil's health minister Nelson Teich abruptly resigned Friday after less than a month on the job...
"...Teich, whom the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, had criticized as being too timid in the push to reopen the economy and advocate the use of anti-malarial drugs to fight the virus, submitted his resignation....
"...Teich had increasingly disagreed with Bolsonaro's insistence in broader use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the COVID-19, which the minister has resisted due to a lack of scientific evidence.
"Teich's resignation comes a day after Brazil reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases in the country, totaling 13,933 deaths from the virus."

Posted by: bevin | May 16 2020 20:44 utc | 30

Wrong question. Correct question: do TPTB still want Trump to play the act of President going forward? Answer: YES, because they have arranged for the DNC to nominate a weak Biden, and because with Trump they can continue to exert their power to enforce neoliberal economic policy while the Parties pretend to be in conflict and government agencies pretend to be at odds with him as a means of maintaining his acquiescence. The joke is on those of us who assume this is a democratic process.

Posted by: norecovery | May 16 2020 20:47 utc | 31

@ 32 laguerre.. if pat langs site commentary is any example of fly over country, i would say trump is going to do fine.. these freaks love rolling in their own shit..

Posted by: james | May 16 2020 20:49 utc | 32

Does it matter who is at the helm of the Titanic? Congress has already issued the list of who gets to be in the lifeboat, and you ain't on that list.

Posted by: El Cid | May 16 2020 21:08 utc | 33

In case anyone misses this amusing nugget from an earlier comment:

>> Trump knows him and possibly his family are going to
>> face long term house arrest in their gold plated mansion
>> if they lose.

Posted by: oglalla | May 16 2020 21:12 utc | 34

i'm not sure it will make a significant difference on foreign policy, or domestic policy. at the moment biden seems to be in the lead via a "stay in the basement" strategy. i have no idea if that will work in the end.

the republicans are all in on blaming china for u.s. problems, and the democrats are stuck on russiagate, so i guess a trump victory makes a war with china more likely, and a democratic victory makes a war with russia more likely (i would think they would wind up being allies against the u.s. in either case).

the donors run the system in either case.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 16 2020 21:23 utc | 35

The battle between the heartland rednecks and the coastal elites (GOP vs Dems) to decide who will lead the anti-China crusade for the rest of the century begun:

Bannon’s Work With Wanted Chinese Billionaire Began Shortly After He Left White House

Posted by: vk | May 16 2020 21:25 utc | 36

part 2:

Wikileaks - Hillary Clinton: "We discovered Japan"; "We" are going to "ring China" with the US military; and... all in

The Chinese should not delude themselves with the 2020 elections.

Posted by: vk | May 16 2020 21:29 utc | 37

I thought The Lancet was a medical journal. Dabbling in politics like this is not going to help one bit the fact that"expert" opinion is so distrusted. I suspect it will not be long before doctors and medics are regarded with the same contempt as mainstream media "journalists".

Posted by: Tsar Nicholas | May 16 2020 21:31 utc | 38

Posted by: james | May 16 2020 20:49 utc | 35

I quite understand that you've had your troubles with the Colonel, he called me a commie European too. It's a long time since I read him, but he's the real Virginian, right-wing but a man of the coast. Do small-town Kansans read him? I'd be surprised.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 16 2020 21:32 utc | 39

Trump lost the popular vote last time by 2.9 million votes.
He should be able to win again, with the current electorate, and control of the election process.
Late stage capitalism was never going to be fun.
Both capitalists-- Trump is a bit more of a "rape and scrape" repug.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | May 16 2020 21:33 utc | 40

Important editorial:

Headline (not the URL)China's countermeasures ready for prolonged 'war' with US: Global Times editorial

Posted by: vk | May 16 2020 21:39 utc | 41

I will not rule out the Democrats taking the WH. Biden may just be sidelined by Cuomo. In any case, Americans habitually select dunces and they do vote pocket book issues. Mike Bloomberg is ready with his check book to underwrite anti-Trump ads.

Once again it will be The Economy nearing depression levels: These $trillions of relief packages are for Wall Street: saving the banks, Insurance and Pension funds while handing Blackrock, the Trillionaire, more commissions. Paint the tape green, distracts from the economy.

U.S. has a service economy. On main street, the true numbers of Unemployment is 39.6% with several years to crawl out.

These are very sobering annualized numbers from The Fed's model estimate for real GDP growth in the second quarter of 2020 forecasts the economy shrank by a record:
Fed Nowcast:-31.8% and GDPNow:-42.8%.

More than 50% of companies will not re-open. You can't operate a restaurant at 25% capacity and expect to survive.
Yes, Trump has his base but all this "Blame China" wears thin. You can't flog that horse forever; and he is rather disliked. Independents are embarrassed; farmers are hurting; manufacturing, what little there was and the service industry have collapsed.

On the propaganda blame game front, China is fighting back with warnings to cease or else they will retaliate.


Oh. Who knew Mike Pompeo was being investigated by the IG?
Another probe by Dems:US Foreign Relations Committee Starts Probe Into Trump's Firing of State Dep't Inspector General - because he was investigating Pompeo for using department staff for personal tasks.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 16 2020 21:48 utc | 42

how can trump win?

electoral college - cause fuck the popular vote it has no meaning.

gerrymandering - cause fuck your individual choice it has no meaning.

vote suppression tactics - cause fuck you if you are not white, evangelic, with economic anxiety, then your vote don't count, like for realz and shits n giggles your vote won't be counted

the question is not can he win, the question is will he and his posse of grifters and criminals give a fuck and will they give up easily - or as they said with the Hand over from Obama to the orange shitshow - will they 'peacefully' hand over the presidency from the Orange menace to Humpty Dumpty.

For what its worth, the US is fucked beyond believe, up to the gills in religious humbug because reality is to scary to even contemplate, with an educational standard so bad they don't even know New Mexico is a state in the US, without any earning capacity - due to lack of skills and lack of opportunity, but armed to the teeth privately and on a country level with nukes, and breeding like rabbits to 'outbreed' the other. Yei! USA USA USA - fuckwits the lot of them.

We shall all feel better know, discussing why the orange pile of vomit might get to play president for Fox News and the Onanists Network.

Fucking oath, but what is happening now was clear to many of us already in 2016. but her fucking emails, right?

Posted by: Sabine | May 16 2020 21:54 utc | 43

I'm with Tsar Nicolas in comment 41. The Lancet is supposedly a well-respected peer reviewed medical journal, with an impact factor of 59, among if not the highest in the world. WTF are the editors of this so-called scientific, evidence-based, medical journal doing telling the American people who they should put in the White House in the next election? It defies rational thought, and leaps off the page to the casual reader. Now, I'm not a great proponent of the intelligence of the average American, but one thing we should have learned from the 2016 election is that the US voter distrusts and despises the mainstream media just for this kind of behavior. The mainstream media in effect delegitimized itself with its constant support for and assurances that HRC would win the election. The Lancet now voluntarily places itself among the scum of the media by jumping willy-nilly into politics? Please don't mistake my dispassionate point as any kind of support for Trump. Finally, it's disappointing that B would also place this quote front and center, citing the "the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet" calling on Americans not to reelect Trump, the brazen interference in US politics seemingly sailing right over B's head. Maybe the Brits are trying to get back at the US for Obama's interference in the Brexit vote?

Posted by: frankie p | May 16 2020 22:07 utc | 44

The ATTACK CHINA approach seems idiotic at first glance, which fits with Trump, however the last four years of Russiagate are even more idiotic, more irresponsible, and have have less evidential support plus Communist China, as an up and coming monster economy with its own aspirations, presents as a much more obvious Thucydides Trap. And despite his protestations to the contrary, Biden's time in DC alone (since 1973, first as a US Senator) means he was important in pushing through the offshoring of American jobs, manufacturing and high tech innovative industry to China. "Joe Biden was a driving force behind giving China “permanent normal trading status” in 2000". Trump has been fighting a trade war against China since he entered the Republication primaries; it is one of the few real differences separating the two.
As to Covid-19, I lived for four years in Singapore and watching them follow basically a US Public Health manual from the 1950s and succeed so strikingly is expected but really speaks poorly of the US, particularly NY, which spread the virus to most other states through sheer incompetence. In Singapore (and Taiwan, and Japan, and Vietnam and South Korea, and other Far Eastern countries plus Australia and New Zealand) the average age of death (of only 21 victims) is 77.2+/- 1.2 years, all with co-morbidities. This is what the US should look like. Instead we have NY "locking down" and threatening to sue Rhode Island for trying to keep the virus out of their state. As it turned out, virus- spewing New Yorkers were responsible for outbreaks across much of the US. By policy, they sent infected patients to nursing homes, wiping out much of their populations (40% of Covid-19 deaths in the US are nursing homes, where the population is less than 5%; these are our most vulnerable people, but were targeted by NY's lockdown). NYC begged for federal help and the DOD set up a Field Hospital and a Hospital ship for treating COVID-19 patients; they went largely unused. NY did not want "help" they wanted MONEY. In what should be a major scandal, they demanded pulmonary ventilators which they received, yet used only 5% of those acquired. The NY physicians and support staff did not know how to use ventilators, and as a result >88% of those who went on the machines died (these are life saving instruments in China and Italy and in some US cities, where they were used sparingly but carefully). NY physicians recently "discovered" proning, which had been used for over two months in China and Italy (and probably elsewhere). Their clinical trials for treatments successfully used in China and Italy focused only on serious cases; by the time covid-19 has turned serious, the virus is gone and you are dealing with an overactivated immune system, which does not respond to antivirals and other other treatments which would have had to be used prophylactically. As a result Asian countries have covid-19 death rates of 0-10 per million; NY has a death rate of 1417 per million (it's not the virus but rather the incompetence that is killing people!) While some states have excellent Governors and Public Health departments, the Democrats are talking about replacing Creepy Joe with Gov. Cuomo, who while woefully inadequate in the pandemic, is photogenic and LOOKS like a President!

Posted by: michael888 | May 16 2020 22:12 utc | 45

drawbacks for biden--the dnc pissed off a lot of bernie supporters (i was one, but i am very, very disappointed by his recent behavior, maybe he was a sheepdog fromt the start) to the point they are leaving the democratic party. biden is apparently slipping into dementia. finally, he is credibly accused (by the standards the democrats supposedly uphold) of sexual assault.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 16 2020 22:15 utc | 46

Posted by: Laguerre | May 16 2020 21:32 utc | 42

I quite understand that you've had your troubles with the Colonel, he called me a commie European too.

You took it as an insult or as a compliment?

Posted by: hopehely | May 16 2020 22:32 utc | 47

Petri Krohn #19

Thank you I will keep that in mind.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 16 2020 22:40 utc | 48

Trailer Trash #25

I call B.S. on this FT gossip. PubMed shows they have co-authored five journal articles, including one from a few weeks ago. Fauci, Redfield, and Birx have all been best buds for decades. Redfield and Birx have co-authored three dozen articles.

Thank you Trailer Trash, I would support your call of BS. Citing FT is like citing the Grauniad - they are both pure propaganda weapons. The FT is a total pos rag that is entirely devoted to the permanent state narrative. It is run by global elite scumbags and infested with fawning stenographers.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 16 2020 22:53 utc | 49

Is anyone sure there even will be elections

Whitney Webb pointed out in January an Israeli company Cybereason based out of Boston conducted election simulations named Operation Blackout with Us intelligence agencies. Apparently hackers took down power infrastructure, took over vehicles and other stuff that caused martial law , messed with 911 call systems, and canceled elections. I am sure more simulations are planned. Maybe we do better next time.

Another Israeli company with investments from Peter Theil , the late Epstein and former Israeli Prime Minister and close Epstein associate Ehud Barak is Carbyne. They are selling digitized 911 system that helps first responders better process incoming emergency calls using information sources including live video streaming, voice over IP, and location detection. On Carbyne911’s leadership team is former Unit 8200 commander Pinchas Buchris. He is also an adviser to Cybereason

Trump signed an EO looking into protecting the power grid (we haven't been doing that for 20 years?) on May 1 . Remember last summer there were short blackouts within 1 months in LA, Bay Area and NYC. All had innocent explanations. This followed more extensive blackouts in Venezuela that was blamed on hackers. Wonder who did that.
In August London and .much of the UK also had significant blackouts

Meanwhile a whistleblower named Bright, who is also connected with Gates warns of the Darkest Winter from the 2nd wave of COVID

Hopefully elections happen but with Biden the only choice why bother. Besides social distancing and covid fears will cut turnout in urban areas by half or more. Thats the Dems base.

Trumps in for 4 more years. Maybe forever. Corona may have made him King. Ivanka next in line of succession

Posted by: Pft | May 16 2020 22:56 utc | 50

He can cheat better than the Dems do. But I'm not convinced there is going to be an election. I know, it's in the Constitution, but how long has it been since that mattered about anything? If there is an election, since we did elect Trump already, I'd say anybody can get elected. Look at the corp of loser candidates we've been getting all along. Bob Dole. Bush I & II. Clinton I & II. Obama. Each and every one a self-serving elitist, and none too bright despite what they claim. Mondale. Dukakis. Jerry Ford didn't need to get elected did he?

Posted by: Bemildred | May 16 2020 22:57 utc | 51

Sabine #46

Wow thank you Sabine, I get it and fully agree. Apart from the three parties Repugnants, Greens and Democrazis, there is now a very large space for an Independent candidate with blunt dialogue, challenging debating capacity and compassionate wisdom.

They are few and far between. (I pine for Jesse Ventura to rise again)

I am not including Bernie Sanders in that class as he is better described as independent in the sense that a turd is independent upon exiting the bowel.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 16 2020 23:04 utc | 52

@ 42 laguerre.. reading the comment section is how i get that middle america is behind trump.. i could be reading it wrong, but it doesn't really matter about his dynamic with me or you in me saying this... my take is subjective and i could be wrong.. he was giving you a compliment, but most people don't see it that way, lol...

Posted by: james | May 16 2020 23:15 utc | 53

>In what should be a major scandal, they demanded pulmonary
>ventilators which they received, yet used only 5% of those acquired.
>Posted by: michael888 | May 16 2020 22:12 utc | 48

I have been wondering just how many ventilators they ended up using. Do you have a reference for the 5% figure? I recall that Trump doubted that 30,000 ventilators would be needed by New York. He was actually correct to question the predictions? Too funny.

Nursing homes were bleating that Cuomo was forcing them to take infected patients, but he dances to their tune, while shedding crocodile tears for dead elders. Pssss, don't tell anyone, but now he is pushing a law to stop families from suing negligent nursing homes. Whatta guy!

Nursing Homes Face Lawsuits over Coronavirus Deaths
In New York, the state hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order giving broad immunity from civil liability to doctors and nurses in health care facilities. In April, the state legislature moved to explicitly define the term “health care facility” to include nursing homes.

Oh, are we supposed to be commenting on the presidential election? Does anyone still care? I expect Trump will win. Personally, I think that calling Trump "human garbage" is an insult to garbage. That said, he is doing a stupendous job at smashing up Uncle Sam's China Shop. He is the best empire-wrecker we could ever wish for.

Maybe another four years of Trump Chaos will be enough to shrink the Empire's power down to the point where the rest of the world can breath a little easier.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | May 16 2020 23:16 utc | 54

@22 VK
Nice write-up! I think you have outlined the Western Strategy to maintain Anglo World Hegemony quite well. I have little doubt Russia and China are fully aware of this strategy and have a number of interesting ways to counter it, and currently have a slight advantage.

Care to do the opposite and lay out your version of China/Russia strategy for completion of a multi-polar world? I have my own ideas but would love to hear some others.

Posted by: Jason | May 16 2020 23:17 utc | 55

When asked which party I am affiliated with, I reply: I dont drink coke OR pepsi. If it is not clear that demublicans and republocrats answer to the same pay masters then I cannot help you. Given that, it's quite a bit like what one commentor said above: who do you want to keep leading the anti-China crusade. It seems like the fix is in, and Creepy Uncle Joe does not seem slated to win. But in the end who cares? The Orange One was bailed out by the banksters, and casino magnates a few times and based on his behaviors (see: MIGA) it's pretty clear that he makes a pretty good pawn. He acts as a gate keeper for the rednecks too stupid to know better and energizes the lefties to hate. Pretty fuggin brilliant when ya think about it as a pendullum: Obama to alienate one sector and then swing to the right! What i find particularly brilliant is how Trump has been a catalyst for engendering hatreed in the so called left wing liberals...something StarWars-ish about it.....

Posted by: Chevrus | May 16 2020 23:24 utc | 56

>investigating Pompeo for using department staff for personal tasks.

"We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal", and bomb and kill, but that's OK, 'cuz it's official policy. But sending the wrong person to pick up dry-cleaning is the real crime. Way to go, Dummycrats...

Posted by: Trailer Trash | May 16 2020 23:26 utc | 57

for Trailer Trash, May16 20:14 and uncle tungsten May 16 22:53

interesting background on the FT from John Helmer

Posted by: cirsium | May 16 2020 23:42 utc | 58

Red Ryder #20

or do you want more Trump who knows how to get an economic recovery under way?

Keep off the cool aid Red.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 16 2020 23:43 utc | 59 hangout much?

Posted by: Chevrus | May 16 2020 23:44 utc | 60

cirsium #59

interesting background on the FT from John Helmer

Thanks cirsium, I did read that. IMO Quoting FT is like passing round used toilet paper for a new try. (Pardon all for my escatological references today)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 16 2020 23:47 utc | 61

Time for a third party candidate, I choose Charles Manson, so what if he's dead, the president is just a figure head like a Queen and good ole Charlie represents what the US is all about.
As long as we have intelligence agencies willing to stage a soft coup and congress willing to back them the effort to vote is wasted energy. The only thing Charles doesn't have compared to the other presidents is the body count, but no ones perfect.

Posted by: Tobi | May 16 2020 23:49 utc | 62

@norecovery 34:

Exactly right, and stated with precision.

It does not matter at all who is POTUS. It doesn't even matter if there is an actual POTUS. Ths position has been smoke-and-mirrors ever since 22 Nov 1963.

Furthermore, the elective process is clearly not democratic at all, but the irony is that no election is democratic. None whatsoever. The elective process is, and always has been, aristocratic, because it allows for selection of a leader only from that pool of candidates who most hunger for power. Plato himself (a lover of aristocracy) nevertheless admitted that the worst that can happen to a society is for its offices to be held by those who crave them most. The philosopher Emile Chartier (aka the mononym Alain) corroborated this when he said that what characterises an honest man is not wanting to rule over others, and hence it is the least generous among us who take advantage.

Hence, election selects only those who crave power and subjugation, and these psychopaths are exactly the wrong people to be anywhere except institutionalised.

It was 508 BC when Cleisthenes proposed (and won approval for) changes to the Athenian constitution, wherein public office was filled by allotment, which has since come to be known as sortition: everyone takes a turn, randomly.

Before the reader scoffs in derision, please read some history. Sortition actually worked in Athens, until the Persian invasion and subsequent machinations within the Delian League placed Athens on the road to Empire, with obvious inescapable consequences.

Voting has always been aristocratic. And the late stage of voting is always the most corrupt.

Posted by: Theophrastus | May 16 2020 23:51 utc | 63

If Trump avoids a hot war with China and doesn't sever relations until mid- to late-September, he'll likely win. There're two wild cards, IMO: very low voter turnout combined with heavy voting for 3rd parties, and the introduction of a new international trading currency as the dollar's forced to walk the plank. If you haven't read Shadowstats headlines, I suggest you take the 3 minutes and do so as what began as the Great Recession in 2008 will continue and perhaps become Great Depression 2.0--just look at the GDP Chart and remember that the vast majority of economic gains occurring since 2008 went to the top 10%, that current real unemployment's close to 50%. I also predict that we'll see more small business and personal bankruptcies in the second half of 2020 than during all of 2009 since they didn't get bailed out. Although Biden and Obama are responsible for the Great Recession, Biden might eke out a victory if the economy goes as far South as it very well might.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 16 2020 23:55 utc | 64

I agree with whatever Karl Live says because that guy gets it, and he's not afraid to die.

Posted by: Leviathan | May 17 2020 0:03 utc | 65

karlof1 #65

Biden might eke out a victory if the economy goes as far South as it very well might.

Yes, it is probable that Biden could win. What an abject thought, but then another ignominious insult for president would be expected. TRAGIC that every President since 1963 has been either a klutz or a stooge. Sigh.... I think I will mix a batch of cool aid and get back to the mushrooms.

I get the terrible sense of being a rabbit dazed in the headlights some nights. On the bright side though, I guess the Eastern team are just gazing at this and thinking - "please, don't anybody interrupt them, just sit quietly and watch - and pass that bottle of Arak here for a swig".

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 17 2020 0:12 utc | 66

Currently on Global Times main page, there's a short cartoon video entitled "When Pompeo meets science" that tells a whole lot of truth and is part of the Media Boxing that's now escalating as China refuses to be humiliated ever again. I'm sure we'll soon hear allegations that China plans to interfere in the election. But the biggest player to interject is clearly Obama as he comes close to charging TrumpCo with Treason:

"More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they're doing … A lot of them aren't even pretending to be in charge."

I'd say Obama's pinch-hitting for Biden on the Pandemic issue. I wonder how hard he'll push.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 17 2020 0:14 utc | 67

Nixon was neither a klutz nor a stooge. That's why the CIA got rid of him.

Posted by: lysias | May 17 2020 0:17 utc | 68

This is something funny I learned which I think fellow MoA folks might like. There is a play on words in the Russian language. The word "Democracy" can easily become "DERMOcracy." Dermo means "shit." It was a bit of a joke going through the former Soviet Union from what I can gather back when it went down in the early 90s.
I am a subject of the dermocracy here in the USA. I have absolutely no hope. I just wish they would blow it all up and save me the trouble of suicide.

Posted by: lex talionis | May 17 2020 0:17 utc | 69

uncle tungsten @68--

In a comment that got eaten by the Cloud I opined that the only winners will be Russia, China, and ASEAN, SCO, EAEU, CSTO, and BRI affiliated nations as they're exiting Neoliberalism and will soon make the dollar walk the plank. As for me, I'm not much for the Arak; I'll stick to my stouts, zinfandels, pinots, and the occasional daiquiri.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 17 2020 0:22 utc | 70

Sorry b but u dropped the ball on this big time, u want to bash america and trump so bad u bought into fo lies book line sinker, I have 4 nurses in may family and a doctor, the cdc who and government wanted to make trump look like an idiot but he called their bluff, and they told me all hospitals are at 30% occupancy at worst of covid and now no one wants look stupid so the story is now if we did not social distance and put 30 mill on unemployment there would of been millions dead which would not happened of covid even been noticed, they are firing nurses or docs that are speaking out

Posted by: Bob | May 17 2020 0:23 utc | 71

But of course they made sure every asshag sold stocks and got bailouts, the longer this farce goes on the more working people are gonna get hurt. I am a Cnc machinist and must got laid off friday😔

Posted by: Bob | May 17 2020 0:25 utc | 72

Mind you, everything changes if either Donald Trump or Joe Biden catches convid-19 between now and the election.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 17 2020 0:32 utc | 73

All the 4 nurses in my family tested negative for covid, and there husbands, and children. 2 of there worked in a covid ward, but cant talk about it non disclosers signed they can lose jobs

Posted by: Bob | May 17 2020 0:36 utc | 74

It looks like US citizens will be asked to choose between a toddler and a person with dementia as their "leader" this fall.
Mental competence may be required to vote but it's apparently not needed for the job of President.
What a colossal embarrassment. It's beyond ridiculous.
I guess George Carlin was right:
"This is the best we can do, folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage In - Garbage Out."

Posted by: Mark Mosby | May 17 2020 0:42 utc | 75

@ Posted by: Jason | May 16 2020 23:17 utc | 56

For China, the best scenario is to return to the peace state of the 1990s-2000s. Capitalism will collapse over its own weight, so time is in China's favor. However, it must break free from the natural cage that encapsulates it from the open Pacific Ocean, so the conquest of the South China Sea is a must - with or without war with the Americans. The Chinese know that and they are already working on it as we speak.

Russia wants to remain a sovereign State. If that's true, then an alliance with the USA at the cost of China is inconceivable. But then, a new Yeltsin could emerge, so I don't know to which degree Putin does represent Russia.

If I were Russia, I would do the imaginable and the unimaginable to return to the USSR. You can keep the damn tricolor, you can keep the damn double-headed eagle with a Saint George picture on it. You may keep your damn Orthodox Church (for a while). But the socialist system must come back (with the due reforms, otherwise it will collapse again, as it did in 1991). That's the only long term solution I can find for the survival of Russia without it being relegated to second-rate status (which, sincerely, may be ok to the Russians, as they were a second-rate empire for most of the 19th Century, until they lost to the Japanese and slipped to third-rate empire status, only to lose whatever dignity it had left in WWI to finally collapse for good).

If both Russia and China are socialist, it won't matter who's the power of Eurasia, as socialism doesn't suffer from the infamous "Thucydides Trap" dilemma the capitalist system suffers from.

Posted by: vk | May 17 2020 0:45 utc | 76

When anything goes and nothing matters (a James Kunstler quip) lunacy has no limit regarding what Democrats might do.
Example: Could Hillary Clinton replace Joe Biden at the DNC? (with Obama as running mate?)

Posted by: Mark Mosby | May 17 2020 0:49 utc | 77

Posted by: Helena Cobban | May 16 2020 19:53 utc | 18 Why do you assume there will even *be* an election in November?

Good point.

It is *way too soon* to be "calling the election." And irrelevant even if one does call it correctly. Either party will put morons in charge who are actually controlled by elites around them and even more shadowy figures behind them. And *all* of *those* people will not give a rat's ass about the public safety or dead bodies anywhere.

Trump botched the initial response to the virus and he will botch the re-opening of the economy and likely lose the limited control of the virus we have now (the curves are still going up, up and away...) Botching things is all he can - he's even crappy at real estate as he nearly went bankrupt at least once. Anyone who thinks he's going to do anything right is delusional.

Biden is a basket case by all accounts. Which means he will led around by the nose by whoever is his Vice President and/or Chief of Staff, just like Trump is led around by the nose by Ivanka and Jared and assorted other figures.

The only thing I care about is getting that second $1,200 stimulus check. I give that even odds since not even Trump wants to be thought of as giving the finger to his "Deplorables" and the Democrats want to hype that in their election ads. But the parties will fight tooth-and-nail over a lot of other provisions in the HEROES bill.

This is when being an anarchist is pleasurable - watching morons fight over the right to be subservient to someone.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 17 2020 0:51 utc | 78

Joe Biden: "We're in the middle of a pandemic that has cost us more than 85,000 jobs as of today. Lives of millions of people, millions of people, millions of jobs."

Posted by: Mao | May 17 2020 0:51 utc | 79

Posted by: Mark Mosby | May 17 2020 0:42 utc | 77 Mental competence may be required to vote but it's apparently not needed for the job of President.

I'd say US elections demonstrate that mental competence is *not* required to vote. In fact, it's detrimental to the system. As we anarchists say, "If voting could change the system, it would be illegal" and "Don't vote - it only encourages them."

"I guess George Carlin was right: "This is the best we can do, folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage In - Garbage Out."

George was almost always right. He basically despised human beings (albeit perhaps less so than I do), and if one isn't willing to go that far philosophically, one understands nothing.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 17 2020 0:57 utc | 80

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee, again bizarrely used the term “intercourse” when discussing President Donald Trump’s response to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

“The pandemic is the president has no intercourse whatsoever with the rest of the world on dealing with these things,” Biden said during an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday.

Biden then recounted the Obama administration’s response to the 2014 Ebola crisis by mistakenly referring to the deadly illness as the “coronavirus” outbreak, before quickly correcting himself. “Barack Obama led on the corona — I mean, excuse me — in the pandemic that occurred when we were in office. It was kept in Africa. We organized the world, we put things together.”

Biden first used the term “intercourse” during a Monday interview with CBS4 Miami, when asked if he would restore funding to the World Health Organization, which President Trump halted in response to its actions with China at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

“If, in fact, for example, we solve the problem in the United States of America and you don’t solve it in other parts of the world, you know what’s going to happen. You’re going to have travel bans, you’re going to not be able to do, have economic intercourse around the world,” the former vice president said.

Biden’s Friday comment came as the presumptive White House nominee broke his silence on the accusation of sexual assault against him from former Senate Staffer Tara Reade, claiming that the alleged 1993 incident “never happened.”

Posted by: Mao | May 17 2020 0:58 utc | 81

vk @ 22

"My focus would be on the rapturist variants of Christianity, as it would give me a legitimate claim on the Levant (Israel as the Promising Land) and open a lane to the elevation of the USA as a literal world empire."

Please explain how subscribing to the crackpot rapture cult belief system confers actual legitimacy in the real world?

Posted by: Paul | May 17 2020 1:04 utc | 82

What business does Lancet have to suggest who the Americans should vote for? After the MSM, are the scientific journals becoming presstitutes as well? Who’s next?

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | May 17 2020 1:10 utc | 83

I know this isn't directly related to the theme of the post, but I can't believe I let it pass and I must put it here now. It's an absolute gem, must read by everybody, from May 12th 2020:

Germany's shock court ruling against the ECB challenges the stability of the euro zone

I'll play the "optimist" and state that this is just a blunder: the German Supreme Court (Federal Constitutional Court) is just marking its territory to appease its "electoral base" and is more than happy if the ECB simply ignores its ruling and everything just quietly dies out.

However, this represents a much bigger political problem for the EU-EZ than meets the eye.

Before this year, political rebellion by member-states were quite common in the EU. However, they mostly came from insignificant members - we have our rebels of the week in Poland and Hungary, but there were other problematic micro-States in the past - and Germany could quietly put them back (read: bribe) in line behind the curtains. An example of this were the MECs who voted down the Greek "rescue package" (they completely changed their opinion after some weeks, in the second vote) and the Belgian farmers from Valonia who apparently were able to paralyze an European regulation bill (they also quickly reached an undisclosed deal, allegedly after direct negotiations with the Belgian government). Long story short, dissent in the EU has always existed and they were never a significant problem. The closest to serious being when Denmark voted against membership - but a second referendum quickly solved the issue (the risk, though, was there).

But now the dissent comes from Germany itself. This is embarrassing, as I don't think the German Government will be able to bribe the German Supreme Court. This is not your daily EUR 50,000.00 bribe some random Finish MEC. Besides, the interests of the German State align with the interests of the EU itself, so dissuading the German Supreme Court would defeat the purpose of bending the ECB.

This may also represent a potential polarization of Germany, between the traditional neoliberals (centered around the political party AfD and the more conservative faction of the CDU) and the neokeynesian troupe centered on what is left of the SPD and the "establishment" faction of the CDU.

That the EU (EZ) is in the gutter goes without saying. The European Dream is more than dead by now.

This imbroglio has already resulted in at least one reply:

German court ruling on ECB bond buying "laughable", Société Générale chair says

Yes, one of SG's top cat (Lorenzo Bini Smaghi) is pissing over the German Federal Constitutional Court.

Finally, there's this hilarious excerpt in the article, that sums the EU's existence as a whole:

In a statement issued Sunday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The recent ruling of the German Constitutional Court put under the spotlight two issues of the European Union: the Euro system and the European legal system.”

Oh, so now there's a contradiction?

Funny how, when money-capital is involved, the law suddenly becomes an "issue". Rule of Law who?

Posted by: vk | May 17 2020 1:21 utc | 84

@ Posted by: Paul | May 17 2020 1:04 utc | 84

It would give me the legitimacy of an army of at least 15 million of religious fanatics under my absolute control who I could send to wage my wars in China and elsewhere.

Posted by: vk | May 17 2020 1:23 utc | 85

I don't even know where to start when it comes to how much is wrong here. The Lancet has published anti-white articles, so it's "prestigious' only in the sense that the NYT is--only if we continue to flatter in that way. All part of a legacy Establishment that needs to die off--or probably rather be killed of, since it will not relinquish power voluntarily. Ever.

If one doesn't understand by this point that the Donald relishes being despised by "foreign elites", then ... well then one is just as tone-deaf as The Lancet is. And it's not just any Johnny Foreigner, but the Brits, a pathetic has-been country, one of the few to have a per-capita mortality well above that of Trumpistan; why, pray tell, should American voters turn to them for advice?

Trump, and by extension what is broken in the US, can only be understood if you account for how he campaigned as a populist and governs as a Zionist. The idea that one part of the transatlantic establishment will clarify this for another is of course laughable.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | May 17 2020 1:27 utc | 86

But it will be enough if corporate Democrats nominate Joe Biden. Besides his policy and age disabilities, there is no going back to the old normal that he promises. The Western Empire is dead. Until the transmission of coronavirus ends in the USA, UK and Russia, these nations will be quarantined by all the nations that have controlled the contagion. No transfer of paper money, people or goods unless tested and proven to be virus free.

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 17 2020 1:40 utc | 87

Another reason why time isn't in the USA's favor:

Saying Goodbye to the Dollar

Posted by: vk | May 17 2020 1:55 utc | 88

vk, #22

Your screed relies on a couple of tenuous assumptions.

1 That the Russians are so stupid as to not be putting in place plans to continue the trajectory Putin has set them on. That nation has been put through the furnace and on the available evidence has come out very well hardened and tempered. Good luck with your assumption that they will collapse on Putin's death, which will need to happen in very short order, due to assumption 2

2 The USA has become a festering cesspit of competing ideologies and agendas that are fundamentally incompatible and it is headed inexorably towards internal conflict. The assumption that this internal conflict can be avoided until the empire can be re-established upon Putin's death is, from this southern hemispheric perspective, the dictionary definition of "ambitious".

Once the internal conflict begins it will spiral out of control and result in an entity that is incapable of exporting anything except a source of endless mirth for those of us who have had to endure the self agrandizing excrement about it's exceptional goodness and "democratic values while watching our politicians whore any residual wiff of integrity to the whims of its psychopathic leadership and their Zionist masters. Those asshats will be dealt with accordingly.

Posted by: eagle eye | May 17 2020 1:57 utc | 89

You're all arguing about which of the two idiots is the less idiot. It is necessary to argue whether there are any idiots on the American power Olympus at all.

Posted by: Francis | May 17 2020 3:20 utc | 90

The Democrats vs. Republican charade is only for fans of Professional Wrestling.

Fake political differences for a fake American democracy--and those suckers who believe in this fakery.

All factions of the American Empire from Trump to Biden to their political supporters like Steve Bannon are scum.

They all deserve to hang from a lamp post.

The joke is that the 2020 US Presidential "election" is really about one thing:

Donald Trump and Joe Biden competing for the "honor" of being the last president of the former United States of America.

A pox--or Coronavirus--on both their houses.

Posted by: ak74 | May 17 2020 3:26 utc | 91

To all those who still dare to campaign for The Donald here, I dedicate you these words by honorable comrade Julio Anguita "El Califa", former head of PCE ( Spanish Communist Party ) and former major of Cordoba, who died yesterday of a stroke. When he left politics returned to his old job as professor, renouncing his official pension as deputy, living always an austere life. Time indisputably proved him right about the warnings he made about the gaps and imbalances in Maastricht, the EU, and the euro system, and the consequences of which we continue to suffer today.

"When someone is defending who exploits him, the 'markets' or the corrupt political class, he has reached the lowest level that a human being can reach: bless the club that hits him, kiss the boots that tread on him."

"One does not eat from dignity, but a people without dignity kneels and ends without eating"

Historic speech at PCE party where he advanced nowaday world, the evils he enumerates are common to us all, but may be are felt most accutely in the US

He advanced also the betrayal by the fake "socialists" sold to transnational corporations and capital:

Anguita gives a resounding 'no' to Maastricht for being the alibi for González's "antisocial policy"

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 17 2020 3:32 utc | 92

I honestly believe that there will not be an election.

The fix is already in and the suggestion of a cancelled election has already been leaked to the populace.
The virus will get worse (supposedly) and the election will not be able to take place, for your own good of course.

Trump and his zionist backers finally have their hand on power and, they will not be letting it go.

Don't be surprised that I'm right followed of course, by a nice hot war with China where the US blocks the Sth China Sea.

Posted by: tacky | May 17 2020 3:43 utc | 93

Red Ryder and VK showed their true colour by posting pro trump anti china narrative..

as usual these trolls hang around MoA pretending until their obligation called them to prop up western narrative ..

Posted by: milomilo | May 17 2020 3:57 utc | 94

Australia would become an important outpost for this new, transformed American Empire, as it would serve as the base of operations against China...

Posted by: vk | May 16 2020 20:05 utc | 22

Australians have a tradition of fighting in the vanguard of the Empire, most notably at Galipoli, but now they do not seem to be enthusiastic. USA will not replace the Chinese market. Another example is Brazil. The government can be ultra-pro-American, yet businesses have to trade with China, sorry Mr. Trump. I do not see how American Empire can get "transformed".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 17 2020 3:57 utc | 95

James and everyone who visited Col Pat Lang in his blog SST

the only way you can post in SST is to become subservient to the old Col who live in a dream world of the might Confederate / Southern honor and glory.

Look at the commenter “walrus” from australia , he begin as a critical person against american neocon but after watching other critical poster get banned or insulted by the col , now he post pro US narrative..

it is sad really , SST is trump supporter filled with trump cultists

Posted by: milomilo | May 17 2020 4:01 utc | 96

Anyone here who posted nonsense about Australia become vanguard of freedom and democracy in this age is obvious troll.. australia cannot exist without economic cooperation with the region. No , US WONT BUY AUSTRALIAN COAL AND BEEF , but china will buy it if australia stop acting like US state dept operatives..

Australian economy will crash hard if they continue their anti china policies.. No one will buy their coal and beef and their mining industry will collapse..

US dont care if aussie economy collapsed..

Posted by: milomilo | May 17 2020 4:04 utc | 97

Trump will be the “hillary” in this election , he will lose the election..


hillary confident she would win and yet she lost to incumbent trump due to ppl throwing their lot in a new president , turned out trump acted like tantrum addled baby and turned off MANY ppl who voted trump. Also trump war mongering turned off voters who want less US foreign brush wars ..

People will voted for anyone but trumo just because they already saw and lived under trumo administration chaos. Anything will do even joe biden with his nasty streak of history.. I mean ppl voted trump knowing his bad history too..

trump lost the election already , just like hillary

Posted by: milomilo | May 17 2020 4:09 utc | 98

"The mainstream media that's selling "BS." ..."If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you do read it, you're misinformed,"

~ Denzel Washington

Posted by: Francis | May 17 2020 5:13 utc | 99

Posted by: milomilo | May 17 2020 4:09 utc | 102

trump lost the election already

To whom? Alzheimer?

Posted by: Francis | May 17 2020 5:16 utc | 100

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