If you haven’t gone vegan, both human and nonhuman blood is on your hands

So there was thunder and lightning and even some significant rain today in Pittsburgh. But it wasn’t the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay, which tracked north into central New York (figure 1).
ecan
Fig. 1. 72-hour gif of Eastern Canada satellite photographs, two hours apart.

The weather I saw today came from the west, in a front that seemingly materialized from nowhere. It does look like Fay diverted some airflow to make it all possible.


Pandemic

So do you remember when nonhuman animal flesh (“meat”) plants started closing, Donald Trump ordered them to reopen, and workers expressed reluctance[1] and kept getting sick anyway?[2] That’s part of the story[3] of this recent spike in cases.[4]

But did you listen when I told you to go vegan?[5] If not, both nonhuman and human blood is on your hands.

CBS News, “U.S. sees another record-breaking day with more than 63,000 coronavirus cases,” July 10, 2020, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-cases-usa-63000-daily-record/

Lauren Hilgers, “How Two Waves of Coronavirus Cases Swept Through the Texas Panhandle,” New Yorker, July 10, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/dispatch/how-two-waves-of-coronavirus-cases-swept-through-the-texas-panhandle


  1. [1]Ann Colwell and Rob McLean, “Meat plant workers to Trump: Employees aren’t going to show up,” CNN, April 29, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/29/business/meat-processing-plant-workers-reaction-executive-order/index.html; Taylor Telford and Kimberly Kindy, “Trump to order meat plants to stay open in pandemic, person familiar with action says,” Washington Post, April 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/28/trump-meat-plants-dpa/
  2. [2]Taylor Telford, “The meat industry is trying to get back to normal. But workers are still getting sick — and shortages may get worse,” Washington Post, May 25, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/25/meat-industry-is-trying-get-back-normal-workers-are-still-getting-sick-shortages-may-get-worse/
  3. [3]Lauren Hilgers, “How Two Waves of Coronavirus Cases Swept Through the Texas Panhandle,” New Yorker, July 10, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/dispatch/how-two-waves-of-coronavirus-cases-swept-through-the-texas-panhandle
  4. [4]Agence France-Presse, “Fauci warns U.S. is “knee-deep” in coronavirus first wave,” CBS News, July 7, 2020, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fauci-warns-us-knee-deep-coronavirus-first-wave/; Talal Ansari, “Texas Governor Rolls Back Reopening as U.S. Virus Cases Hit Record,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-latest-news-06-26-2020-11593159630; CBS News, “U.S. sees another record-breaking day with more than 63,000 coronavirus cases,” July 10, 2020, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-cases-usa-63000-daily-record/; Annie Gowen, Arelis R. Hernández, and Lori Rozsa, “Young people urged to take virus more seriously as pandemic worsens in U.S.,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/young-people-are-driving-a-spike-in-coronavirus-infections-officials-say/2020/06/27/3654638c-b7b4-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html; Thomas Heath and Hannah Denham, “Dow tumbles 730 points as covid-19 flare-ups force states to push back reopening,” Washington Post, June 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/26/stocks-markets-today-texas-coronavirus/; Jeet Heer, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, July 9, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1281071726596521984.html; Chelsea Janes et al., “Surge in virus hospitalizations strains hospitals in several states,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/surge-in-virus-hospitalizations-strains-hospitals-in-several-states/2020/07/08/12855e5e-c135-11ea-864a-0dd31b9d6917_story.html; Christina Maxouris, “Officials say states like Arizona and Texas reopened too quickly after soaring Covid-19 cases,” CNN, July 6, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/health/us-coronavirus-monday/index.html; Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey, and Yasmeen Abutaleb, “With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-trump-leading-the-way-americas-coronavirus-failures-exposed-by-record-surge-in-new-infections/2020/06/27/bd15aea2-b7c4-11ea-a8da-693df3d7674a_story.html; Lisa Shumaker and Brendan O’Brien, “Record spike in new coronavirus cases reported in six U.S. states as reopening accelerates,” Reuters, June 16, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-idUSKBN23N32O; Meg Wagner et al., “Fauci, Redfield testify on Covid-19 reopening as cases rise,” CNN, June 30, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/webview/politics/live-news/covid-19-school-work-reopening-testimony-06-30-20/h_cc7cf09eae87064e72f75af30984acd3
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Nonhuman animal flesh, race, capitalism, and the novel coronavirus,” Not Housebroken, May 26, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/05/26/nonhuman-animal-flesh-capitalism-and-the-novel-coronavirus/

Tropical Storm Fay

I haven’t been keeping records, but so far this summer in Pittsburgh has been hot, humid, and relatively rain-free. Yesterday was the first day I really started seeing some thunderstorms, but even then, the rain was really relatively light. A flash flood advisory went out but came to nothing.

This is in stark contrast to what I remember of last summer, where it seemed like every day we had horrendous thunderstorms and a deluge. It seemed like every day we had severe weather warnings, flash flood warnings, or at least one of the two.

But Tropical Storm Fay has formed (figure 1):
ecan
Fig. 1. 72-hour gif of Eastern Canada satellite photos, two hours apart.

I don’t really expect any of that to come our way. I think it won’t make it past central Pennsylvania. But it’s interesting nonetheless.

The previous issue saw updates right up through 5:56 am this morning (July 10).


We are apparently not yet at a New York City in March level of crisis

Updates

  1. Originally published, 11:25 am.
  2. July 9, 10:39 pm:
    • The Wall Street Journal article on eastern Oklahoma being American Indian land has been updated[1] and the Washington Post also has an account account than the one I saw earlier.[2] The reservation land apparently does not include Tulsa after all, but adjoins it and the ruling applies only to the treaty with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, although treaties with other tribes are similar; these claims could amount to nearly half the land in Oklahoma (figure 3). Also, I had the part about which courts should have had jurisdiction wrong: These proceedings should have occurred in federal courts.[3]
    • The Washington Post story on the Supreme Court’s ruling on financial records has also been updated. It seems the Manhattan prosecutor will not obtain immediate access to Donald Trump’s financial records. A battle in the lower courts likely lies ahead.[4]
    • Matt Ford dismisses fears[5] that Donald Trump might refuse to leave office if he loses the election.[6] Ford relies on state governors and secretaries of state certifying election results[7] where others understand state legislatures as appointing or failing to appoint electoral college delegates.[8] I see a difference here but honestly don’t know how realistic it is or how much it amounts to.
  3. July 9, 11:09 pm:
    • I almost forgot. . . . You remember that sign I described on the outskirts of Duquesne? For the last couple or so weeks, it’s had a new message (figure 1):
      IMG_20200709_185558
      Fig. 1. Photograph by author, July 9, 2020.

      The Republic of China is Taiwan so I think s/he means the People’s Republic of China, that is, mainland China, which has been a state capitalist regime for decades now. Welcome to southwestern Pennsylvania, where batshit crazy is, I guess, the thing to be.

  4. July 10, 5:56 am:
    • Something I apparently missed from the day before (July 8) is that Allegheny County has issued new rules[9] that replace the old rules[10] forbidding indoor service at bars and restaurants. The new rules will be in effect for two weeks and allow outside service at these establishments.[11] A lot of people, myself included, have thought we’re inevitably heading back to Governor Tom Wolf’s yellow phase, but the Allegheny County orders are likely meant to forestall that. The question is whether the case counts will drop. So far, we really can’t say with any conviction that they have (figure 2).[12]

Pandemic

FireShot Capture 206 - Allegheny County reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 12 hospitalizatio_ - triblive.com
Fig. 2. Screenshot taken July 10, 2020 by author of Allegheny County COVID-19 daily case count chart from the Tribune-Review, July 9.[13]

In places where COVID-19 cases are spiking around the U.S., we are apparently not yet[14] at a New York City in March level of crisis.[15] But it’s bad[16] and yet the Trump administration is pressing to fully reopen schools both at the K-12 level[17] and the post-secondary level[18] even as psychopaths already congregate to spread the disease.[19]

1. I try not to be a downer but it’s difficult to view what is happening in the United States as anything other than a massive and unnecessary disaster. The pandemic is spinning out of control as in no other nation on earth & Trump opposes any serious solution.

2. First and foremost there will be a massive human cost of the dead and also (never forget) those scarred for life with chronic conditions. Beyond that, there is no path to real economic recovery unless pandemic brought under control.

3. There’s a global impact as well. Even assuming most other nations get this under control, the fact is the American consumer is the engine that pulls the global economy. There will be no full recovery without USA, meaning a poorer world for years to come.

4. Even if Biden wins in November, he doesn’t assume presidency until January 21, 2021. Will it even be possible to bring things under control by then? And he’ll preside over country with 30-40% population Trumpized, wary of masks, conspiratorial.

5. Maybe someone can talk me out of this but I really don’t see anything but a very rocky road for USA for the foreseeable future.[20]

So, gee, I wonder why this is already not ending well.

While we’re on the topic of things that don’t end well, remember that rally in Tulsa? The one that Donald Trump scheduled despite medical advice to the contrary and that attendees were supposed to sign a waiver against liability for COVID-19 for?[21] The one that filled the arena to less than one-third capacity,[22] a showing that Trump blamed protesters for[23] and social media users claimed credit for[24] but can likely be attributed to Trump’s white supremacist idiocy?[25] Yeah, that one. Well, it “‘likely contributed’ to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Wednesday [July 8].”[26]

Chelsea Janes et al., “Surge in virus hospitalizations strains hospitals in several states,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/surge-in-virus-hospitalizations-strains-hospitals-in-several-states/2020/07/08/12855e5e-c135-11ea-864a-0dd31b9d6917_story.html

Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/trump-schools-cdc-pence/2020/07/08/8a52d400-c14b-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html

Sean Murphy, “Health official: Trump rally ‘likely’ source of virus surge,” Associated Press, July 8, 2020, copy in possession of author

WTAE, “Allegheny County issues new 2-week order prohibiting indoor dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants and bars,” July 8, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/allegheny-county-issues-new-mitigation-order-covid-19-coronavirus/33249080

Madasyn Lee, “Allegheny County reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 12 hospitalizations,” Tribune-Review, July 9, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-158-new-coronavirus-cases-12-hospitalizations/


Oklahoma

FireShot Capture 203 - Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rule_ - www.wsj.com
Fig. 3. Screenshot by author of Wall Street Journal map, July 9, 2020, showing Five Nations claims.[27]

Speaking of Tulsa, the Supreme Court upheld Muscogee (Creek) Nation claims to some of the eastern half of Oklahoma, including territory adjoining Tulsa. It only applies to the treaty with the Mucogee, but treaties with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole tribes are similar. The immediate practical effect is to call into question an awful lot of court proceedings that apparently should have occurred in federal courts.[28] But of course the implications go far beyond that and it’s going to be awfully interesting to see how this plays.

Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003

Ann E. Marimow, “American Indian Lands Include Eastern Oklahoma, Supreme Court Rules,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003


Donald Trump

A Manhattan prosecutor has the right to seek Donald Trump’s financial records for a grand jury investigation and Trump has no right to “presidential immunity” in these cases. Which means they’ll probably be under wraps until after November. But the Supreme Court sent the separation of powers question over congressional subpoenas for the same or similar information back to the lower courts.[29] It’s a defeat for Trump, but a defeat neatly deferred until after the election, and which some will therefore call a victory.

I guess we can look forward to Joe Biden pardoning Trump if indeed Biden wins this November. Because as Barack Obama demonstrated,[30] that’s just how the Democrats roll.[31]

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court says Manhattan prosecutor may see Trump’s financial records, denies Congress access for now,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-trump-tax-returns-financial-records/2020/07/09/8f274352-c1e2-11ea-9fdd-b7ac6b051dc8_story.html


  1. [1]Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  2. [2]Ann E. Marimow, “American Indian Lands Include Eastern Oklahoma, Supreme Court Rules,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  3. [3]Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  4. [4]Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court says Manhattan prosecutor may see Trump’s financial records, denies Congress access for now,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-trump-tax-returns-financial-records/2020/07/09/8f274352-c1e2-11ea-9fdd-b7ac6b051dc8_story.html
  5. [5]Matt Ford, “Fear of a Forever-Trump Administration,” New Republic, July 9, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/158415/trump-refuses-to-step-down
  6. [6]Max Boot, “What if Trump loses but insists he won?” Washington Post, July 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/06/what-if-trump-loses-insists-he-won/; Timothy E. Wirth and Tom Rogers, “How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President,” Newsweek, July 3, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/how-trump-could-lose-election-still-remain-president-opinion-1513975
  7. [7]Matt Ford, “Fear of a Forever-Trump Administration,” New Republic, July 9, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/158415/trump-refuses-to-step-down
  8. [8]Max Boot, “What if Trump loses but insists he won?” Washington Post, July 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/06/what-if-trump-loses-insists-he-won/; Timothy E. Wirth and Tom Rogers, “How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President,” Newsweek, July 3, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/how-trump-could-lose-election-still-remain-president-opinion-1513975
  9. [9]WTAE, “Allegheny County issues new 2-week order prohibiting indoor dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants and bars,” July 8, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/allegheny-county-issues-new-mitigation-order-covid-19-coronavirus/33249080
  10. [10]Andy Sheehan, “Allegheny County Closes Bars, Restaurants, Casinos And All Activities That Involve Over 25 People For One Week,” KDKA, July 2, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/07/02/allegheny-county-bar-restaurant-casino-closure/
  11. [11]WTAE, “Allegheny County issues new 2-week order prohibiting indoor dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants and bars,” July 8, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/allegheny-county-issues-new-mitigation-order-covid-19-coronavirus/33249080
  12. [12]Madasyn Lee, “Allegheny County reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 12 hospitalizations,” Tribune-Review, July 9, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-158-new-coronavirus-cases-12-hospitalizations/
  13. [13]Madasyn Lee, “Allegheny County reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 12 hospitalizations,” Tribune-Review, July 9, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-158-new-coronavirus-cases-12-hospitalizations/
  14. [14]Chelsea Janes et al., “Surge in virus hospitalizations strains hospitals in several states,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/surge-in-virus-hospitalizations-strains-hospitals-in-several-states/2020/07/08/12855e5e-c135-11ea-864a-0dd31b9d6917_story.html
  15. [15]Ariana Eunjung Cha et al., “Faced with a crush of patients, besieged NYC hospitals struggle with life-or-death decisions,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/new-york-city-hospitals-coronavirus/
  16. [16]Chelsea Janes et al., “Surge in virus hospitalizations strains hospitals in several states,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/surge-in-virus-hospitalizations-strains-hospitals-in-several-states/2020/07/08/12855e5e-c135-11ea-864a-0dd31b9d6917_story.html
  17. [17]Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/trump-schools-cdc-pence/2020/07/08/8a52d400-c14b-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html
  18. [18]Bloomberg, “Harvard and MIT sue ICE to halt new student visa guidelines,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-08/harvard-and-mit-sue-ice-to-halt-new-student-visa-guidelines; Karin Fischer, “As MIT and Harvard Sue, Colleges Scramble to Respond to New Federal Policy on International Students,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-MITHarvard-Sue/249142
  19. [19]David Benfell, “The psychopathy of the spike in COVID-19 cases,” Not Housebroken, July 7, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/07/the-psychopathy-of-the-spike-in-covid-19-cases/; David Benfell, “The expendable worker,” Not Housebroken, July 8, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/05/the-expendable-worker/
  20. [20]Jeet Heer, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, July 9, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1281071726596521984.html
  21. [21]Oliver Milman, “Trump campaign asks supporters to sign coronavirus waiver ahead of rally,” Guardian, June 12, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/12/trump-rally-supporters-sign-coronavirus-waiver
  22. [22]Andrew Solender, “Turnout At Trump’s Tulsa Rally Was Just Under 6,200–A Fraction Of The Venue’s 19,200 Capacity,” Forbes, June 21, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2020/06/21/turnout-at-trumps-tulsa-rally-was-just-under-6200a-fraction-of-the-venues-19200-capacity/
  23. [23]Eugene Daniels, “Trump campaign blames protesters for disappointing turnout at Tulsa rally,” Politico, June 20, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/20/trump-rally-tulsa-coronavirus-reset-2020-campaign-330248
  24. [24]Taylor Lorenz, Kellen Browning, and Sheera Frenkel, “TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally,” New York Times, June 21, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/21/style/tiktok-trump-rally-tulsa.html; Donie O’Sullivan, “TikTok users are trying to troll Trump’s campaign by reserving tickets for Tulsa rally they’ll never use,” CNN, June 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/politics/tiktok-trump-tulsa-rally-trnd/index.html
  25. [25]Yashar Ali, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, June 21, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/embed/1274547228619636738.html; David Benfell, “Donald Trump’s humiliation: A million expected for a 19,000-seat venue; less than 6,200 show up,” Not Housebroken, June 21, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/06/21/donald-trumps-humiliation-a-million-expected-for-a-19000-seat-venue-less-than-6200-show-up/
  26. [26]Sean Murphy, “Health official: Trump rally ‘likely’ source of virus surge,” Associated Press, July 8, 2020, copy in possession of author
  27. [27]Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  28. [28]Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  29. [29]Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court says Manhattan prosecutor may see Trump’s financial records, denies Congress access for now,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-trump-tax-returns-financial-records/2020/07/09/8f274352-c1e2-11ea-9fdd-b7ac6b051dc8_story.html
  30. [30]Glenn Greenwald, “Obama’s justice department grants final immunity to Bush’s CIA torturers,” Guardian, August 31, 2012, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/31/obama-justice-department-immunity-bush-cia-torturer; David Johnston and Charlie Savage, “Obama Reluctant to Look Into Bush Programs,” New York Times, January 11, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/us/politics/12inquire.html; Elizabeth Holtzman, “Statutes of Limitations Are Expiring on Some Bush Crimes,” Nation, March 20, 2013, https://www.thenation.com/article/statutes-limitations-are-expiring-some-bush-crimes/
  31. [31]David Benfell, “Bipartisan ‘meritocracy’ and ‘vote Blue no matter who,’” Not Housebroken, February 6, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/02/06/bipartisan-meritocracy-and-vote-blue-no-matter-who/

Conspiracy theories and the coronavirus

Pandemic

The cartoon, featuring a large group of people, drinking and not wearing masks (figure 1), reaches me via a Telegraph newsletter.
unnamed
Fig. 1. Cartoon, apparently by Peter Schrank, via the Telegraph, July 6, 2020, fair use.

Apparently the problem with bars and COVID-19 spikes is not limited to the U.S.[1] or Allegheny County,[2] but is international in scope, at least including Britain.

I picked up a couple of passengers yesterday, who were ducking across the county line to an open bar (they’re currently closed in Allegheny County[3]), who insisted that the cause had to be the the anti-racism protests that sprang up in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd. I hear shit like that the hospitals are inflating the case counts to get funding. I hear lots of shit.

I have previously commented on a crisis of illegitimate authority, in which because authorities have abused their authority, they are not believed even now when we need to believe them.[4] And the problem is compounded in southwestern Pennsylvania, particularly among the age group of my passengers yesterday, by the collapse of the steel industry.[5] But at some point, when people are dying, you have to draw a line. People are supposed to be adults and part of that entails leaving fantasy behind, even if it means maybe you shouldn’t be going to that fucking bar.

I’m seriously tempted to start asking people who float various conspiracy theories like these whom they’re trying to persuade, me or themselves? Because an awful lot of people would have to be lying for these ‘theories,’ which they’re pulling from their asses, to be true.

Christina Maxouris, “Officials say states like Arizona and Texas reopened too quickly after soaring Covid-19 cases,” CNN, July 6, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/health/us-coronavirus-monday/index.html


  1. [1]Talal Ansari, “Texas Governor Rolls Back Reopening as U.S. Virus Cases Hit Record,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-latest-news-06-26-2020-11593159630; Annie Gowen, Arelis R. Hernández, and Lori Rozsa, “Young people urged to take virus more seriously as pandemic worsens in U.S.,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/young-people-are-driving-a-spike-in-coronavirus-infections-officials-say/2020/06/27/3654638c-b7b4-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html; Thomas Heath and Hannah Denham, “Dow tumbles 730 points as covid-19 flare-ups force states to push back reopening,” Washington Post, June 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/26/stocks-markets-today-texas-coronavirus/; Claire Lampen, Hannah Gold, and Amanda Arnold, “Everything to Know About the Coronavirus in the United States,” Cut, June 24, 2020, https://www.thecut.com/2020/06/which-states-have-coronavirus-and-how-do-you-minimize-risk.html; Christina Maxouris, “Officials say states like Arizona and Texas reopened too quickly after soaring Covid-19 cases,” CNN, July 6, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/health/us-coronavirus-monday/index.html; Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey, and Yasmeen Abutaleb, “With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-trump-leading-the-way-americas-coronavirus-failures-exposed-by-record-surge-in-new-infections/2020/06/27/bd15aea2-b7c4-11ea-a8da-693df3d7674a_story.html; Meg Wagner et al., “Fauci, Redfield testify on Covid-19 reopening as cases rise,” CNN, June 30, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/webview/politics/live-news/covid-19-school-work-reopening-testimony-06-30-20/h_cc7cf09eae87064e72f75af30984acd3
  2. [2]Samson X. Horne, “Allegheny County reports 90 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily total for county,” Tribune-Review, June 27, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-highest-daily-total-of-coronavirus-cases-at-90/; KDKA, “‘For The First Time…Allegheny Co. Led The State In The Number Of New COVID-19 Cases’: Allegheny Co. Officials Ban On-Site Consumption Of Alcohol At Local Bars,” June 28, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/28/allegheny-co-highest-case-numbers-bans-on-site-drinking/; KDKA, “Allegheny Co. Health Officials: Spike In New Coronavirus Cases Linked To Bars, Not Protests,” June 29, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/29/spike-in-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-bars-not-protests/; Madasyn Lee, “Allegheny County exceeds highest coronavirus case total with 96 new cases,” Tribune-Review, June 28, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-exceeds-highest-coronavirus-case-total-with-96-new-cases/; Andy Sheehan, “Allegheny County Closes Bars, Restaurants, Casinos And All Activities That Involve Over 25 People For One Week,” KDKA, July 2, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/07/02/allegheny-county-bar-restaurant-casino-closure/; John Shumway, “‘People Don’t Care’: Recent Jump In Allegheny County Coronavirus Cases Linked To People In Their 20s, 30s,” KDKA, June 23, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/23/jump-in-allegheny-county-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-young-people/; Maria Simbra, “‘It’s Negligence’: Young People Hosting Coronavirus Parties, Betting On Who Gets Infected First,” KDKA, July 3, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/07/03/coronavirus-parties-young-people/; Teghan Simonton, “61 new coronavirus cases reported in Allegheny County, highest in 2 months,” Tribune-Review, June 26, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/61-new-cases-of-coronavirus-reported-in-allegheny-county-2-deaths/; Teghan Simonton, “83 new cases of coronavirus in Allegheny County, no new deaths,” Tribune-Review, June 29, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/83-new-cases-of-coronavirus-in-allegheny-county-no-new-deaths/; Teghan Simonton, “Allegheny County tops 230 new coronavirus cases,” Tribune-Review, July 2, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-tops-230-new-coronavirus-cases-no-deaths/; Megan Tomasic, “505 new coronavirus cases, 3 deaths reported in Pa.,” Tribune-Review, June 28, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/505-new-coronavirus-cases-3-deaths-reported-in-pa/; WTAE, “Masks are now mandatory in all public spaces in Pennsylvania,” July 1, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/masks-are-now-mandatory-in-all-public-spaces-in-pennsylvania/33026253
  3. [3]KDKA, “‘For The First Time…Allegheny Co. Led The State In The Number Of New COVID-19 Cases’: Allegheny Co. Officials Ban On-Site Consumption Of Alcohol At Local Bars,” June 28, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/28/allegheny-co-highest-case-numbers-bans-on-site-drinking/; KDKA, “Allegheny Co. Health Officials: Spike In New Coronavirus Cases Linked To Bars, Not Protests,” June 29, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/29/spike-in-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-bars-not-protests/; Andy Sheehan, “Allegheny County Closes Bars, Restaurants, Casinos And All Activities That Involve Over 25 People For One Week,” KDKA, July 2, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/07/02/allegheny-county-bar-restaurant-casino-closure/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “The pandemic and a crisis of illegitimate authority,” Not Housebroken, May 14, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/05/12/the-pandemic-and-a-crisis-of-illegitimate-authority/
  5. [5]Jason Togyer, “Fear and Loathing in the Time of Coronavirus,” Columbia Journalism Review, March 25, 2020, https://www.cjr.org/special_report/mckeesport-year-of-fear-covid-19-pandemic.php

Lawyers urge Trump to rescind sanctions and travel bans for International Criminal Court

Ellen Nakashima and Carol Morello, “Lawyers urge Trump to rescind sanctions and travel bans for International Criminal Court,” Washington Post, June 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/lawyers-urge-trump-to-rescind-sanctions-and-travel-bans-for-international-criminal-court/2020/06/29/0ef0c476-ba15-11ea-86d5-3b9b3863273b_story.html


source on www.washingtonpost.com

Archived at 2020-06-30 10:47:15

Lawyers urge Trump to rescind sanctions and travel bans for International Criminal Court

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discusses a Trump administration executive order on the International Criminal Court during a news conference with Attorney General William P. Barr, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and national security adviser Robert O’Brien on June 11. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

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Ellen Nakashima and 

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Ellen Nakashima

National security reporter

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Carol Morello 

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Carol Morello

National reporter focusing on foreign policy and State Department

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June 29, 2020 at 12:05 PM EDT

A group of 175 legal scholars and lawyers specializing in international law have urged President Trump to rescind his authorization of sanctions and visa denials for International Criminal Court staff members investigating war crimes in Afghanistan, including those allegedly committed by U.S. forces.

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Poor, poor, spoiled-rotten babies

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 20, 10:34 pm.
  2. June 21, 4:23 am:
    • It appears there was a campaign on TikTok to reserve tickets for Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa that would never be used. The campaign, reported by CNN in a story that appears to be several days older than the dateline (judging from the URL, it would have been June 16), was not expected to succeed as it is routine that many more “RSVP” for these events than can actually attend and the rallies usually fill arenas anyway.[1] I do not and suspect I will never have the pieces put together to say that this campaign was indeed the cause of Trump’s disappointment[2] but the TikTok users, joined by Korean pop music fans, are claiming success.[3]
  3. June 21, 10:25 am:
  4. June 21, 2:53 pm:
    • Yashar Ali has what I think is a very useful analysis of Donald Trump’s rally failure,[4] which I have included in an update to my new blog entry (from the 10:25 am update).

Police

Atlanta police have responded to a murder charge against the officer who killed Rayshard Brooks with various labor actions, including a sick-out and refusals to leave their precincts.[5] This underscores a point I have previously made that police refuse accountability and so cannot be trusted with weapons.[6] I would say now that they cannot be trusted with authority over others, period.

We can now identify four essential features of policing as currently practiced:

  1. A unique license to use even lethal force against other human beings;
  2. the use of this license to enforce laws passed by mostly wealthy white men against other human beings;[7]
  3. a nearly-unanimous refusal of accountability for the use of this force;[8]
  4. and that this license colors any other tactics police may use, effectively reducing them to the potential for even lethal force.

In sum, all this amounts to is a response to so-called ‘disorder’ (as understood by mostly wealthy white men[9]) with effectively unregulated violence in which the perpetrators, both at the legislative and enforcement levels, generally refuse to recognize there is a problem.

I have updated a recent blog post accordingly and, as well, to account for Zak Cheney-Rice’s article,[10] which I had not seen before writing that post.

Will Pavia, “Atlanta police stage sick leave protest over murder charge,” Times, June 19, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/angry-police-in-sick-leave-protest-over-murder-charge-trf6btshv

Zak Cheney-Rice, “Why Police Abolition Is a Useful Framework — Even for Skeptics,” New York, June 15, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/police-abolitionist-lessons-for-america.html


Pennsylvania

KDKA, “Report: Pennsylvania’s State Economy Has Some Of The Most Racial Inequality In The Country,” June 17, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/17/pennsylvania-economy-racial-inequality/


Donald Trump

Eugene Daniels, “Trump campaign blames protesters for disappointing turnout at Tulsa rally,” Politico, June 20, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/20/trump-rally-tulsa-coronavirus-reset-2020-campaign-330248

Donie O’Sullivan, “TikTok users are trying to troll Trump’s campaign by reserving tickets for Tulsa rally they’ll never use,” CNN, June 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/politics/tiktok-trump-tulsa-rally-trnd/index.html

Aruna Viswanatha, “Judge Denies Justice Department Request to Immediately Block Bolton Book,” Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-denies-justice-department-request-to-block-bolton-book-11592663539

Yashar Ali, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, June 21, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/embed/1274547228619636738.html

Taylor Lorenz, Kellen Browning, and Sheera Frenkel, “TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally,” New York Times, June 21, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/21/style/tiktok-trump-rally-tulsa.html

Andrew Solender, “Turnout At Trump’s Tulsa Rally Was Just Under 6,200–A Fraction Of The Venue’s 19,200 Capacity,” Forbes, June 21, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2020/06/21/turnout-at-trumps-tulsa-rally-was-just-under-6200a-fraction-of-the-venues-19200-capacity/


  1. [1]Donie O’Sullivan, “TikTok users are trying to troll Trump’s campaign by reserving tickets for Tulsa rally they’ll never use,” CNN, June 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/politics/tiktok-trump-tulsa-rally-trnd/index.html
  2. [2]Eugene Daniels, “Trump campaign blames protesters for disappointing turnout at Tulsa rally,” Politico, June 20, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/20/trump-rally-tulsa-coronavirus-reset-2020-campaign-330248
  3. [3]Taylor Lorenz, Kellen Browning, and Sheera Frenkel, “TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally,” New York Times, June 21, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/21/style/tiktok-trump-rally-tulsa.html
  4. [4]Yashar Ali, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, June 21, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/embed/1274547228619636738.html
  5. [5]Will Pavia, “Atlanta police stage sick leave protest over murder charge,” Times, June 19, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/angry-police-in-sick-leave-protest-over-murder-charge-trf6btshv
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Time to take the guns away,” Not Housebroken, January 6, 2015, https://disunitedstates.org/2015/01/04/time-to-take-the-guns-away/
  7. [7]Herbert J. Gans, The War Against The Poor: The Underclass And Antipoverty Policy (New York: Basic, 1995); Jeffrey Reiman, The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, 7th ed. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2004).
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Time to take the guns away,” Not Housebroken, January 6, 2015, https://disunitedstates.org/2015/01/04/time-to-take-the-guns-away/; Zak Cheney-Rice, “Why Police Abolition Is a Useful Framework — Even for Skeptics,” New York, June 15, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/police-abolitionist-lessons-for-america.html; Will Pavia, “Atlanta police stage sick leave protest over murder charge,” Times, June 19, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/angry-police-in-sick-leave-protest-over-murder-charge-trf6btshv
  9. [9]David Benfell, “A constitutional oligarchy: Deconstructing Federalist No. 10,” Not Housebroken, June 7, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/22/a-constitutional-oligarchy-deconstructing-federalist-no-10/
  10. [10]Zak Cheney-Rice, “Why Police Abolition Is a Useful Framework — Even for Skeptics,” New York, June 15, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/police-abolitionist-lessons-for-america.html

Donald Trump, the petulant raging narcissist-in-chief, must do his homework

Racism

There is a new blog post entitled, “Be careful what you ask for.”

Jason Okundaye, “Abolish Whiteness,” London Review of Books, June 16, 2020, https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/june/abolish-whiteness


Unauthorized migrants

The Supreme Court has, in essence, informed the Trump administration that it must do its homework.[1]

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court rules against Trump’s attempt to end DACA, a win for undocumented ‘Dreamers’ brought to U.S. as children,” Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-rules-against-trump-administration-attempt-to-end-daca-a-win-for-undocumented-immigrants-brought-to-us-as-children/2020/06/18/4f0b6c74-b163-11ea-8758-bfd1d045525a_story.html


Pandemic

Though the data is “proprietary” (really? for a government health agency?), it appears that Pennsylvania is making some progress against the pandemic.[2] The trouble here is that nobody has hermetically sealed borders. The rise in other states[3] remains a serious threat.

KDKA, “Gov. Tom Wolf: CDC Says Pa. Is 1 Of 3 States Where Coronavirus Cases Have Declined For More Than 42 Days,” June 17, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/17/gov-tom-wolf-pennsylvania-coronavirus-cases-decline/


Recession

AnnaMaria Andriotis, “Americans Skip Millions of Loan Payments as Coronavirus Takes Economic Toll,” Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/americans-skip-millions-of-loan-payments-as-coronavirus-takes-economic-toll-11592472601


  1. [1]Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court rules against Trump’s attempt to end DACA, a win for undocumented ‘Dreamers’ brought to U.S. as children,” Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-rules-against-trump-administration-attempt-to-end-daca-a-win-for-undocumented-immigrants-brought-to-us-as-children/2020/06/18/4f0b6c74-b163-11ea-8758-bfd1d045525a_story.html
  2. [2]KDKA, “Gov. Tom Wolf: CDC Says Pa. Is 1 Of 3 States Where Coronavirus Cases Have Declined For More Than 42 Days,” June 17, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/17/gov-tom-wolf-pennsylvania-coronavirus-cases-decline/
  3. [3]Lisa Shumaker and Brendan O’Brien, “Record spike in new coronavirus cases reported in six U.S. states as reopening accelerates,” Reuters, June 16, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-idUSKBN23N32O

The capitalist god is still getting its human sacrifice

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 11, 7:08 am.
  2. June 12, 5:07 am:
    • My mother has been convinced I am confusing ACT UP! with another group in the below, but one of the articles she sent me confirms my recollection. In San Francisco, there are two ACT UP groups: ACT UP Golden Gate, which succeeded in pushing for more research, and which I’m guessing Gregg Gonsalves hails from, and ACT UP San Francisco. The latter does indeed deny that HIV causes AIDS and this idea has been banging around since the 1980’s, well before when I encountered it in the 1990’s along Market Street, probably very near where ACT UP (both groups) meet today:[1]

      Why has denialism sprung up? Actually, it’s a revival. The deniers’ main claim, that HIV does not cause AIDS, has circulated like a rumor since the 1980s—based largely on the work of one Berkeley biologist, Peter Duesberg. The theory has been so thoroughly repudiated by the science that it now resembles more fantasy than hypothesis.[2]


Pandemic

My recollection of ACT UP! in San Francisco is of folks who denied that HIV was responsible for AIDS, who accordingly resisted using condoms, and who glued conspiracy theories about AIDS to streetlight poles. So I’m more than a little surprised to see an alumnus from this group as an epidemiologist working on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. But here Gregg Gonsalves is, in a New York Magazine interview, seeking to help today’s protesters navigate the pandemic.[3]

We’re at a moment of conservative backlash to public-health professionals. They accuse you [Gregg Gonsalves] and others of hypocrisy for backing the protests against police brutality while advocating shutdowns and social distancing. I want to ask you first what you think about the premise implied here — that the pointy-headed public-health people have been bossing people around. 

You know, if only. If only the public-health people had been in charge. And that’s not just Republicans. Bill de Blasio was basically giving the hand to his department of public health; public health was marginalized even by ostensibly one of the top Democrats in the country. At the federal level, they all serve at the president’s pleasure. There were some very tough choices to be made, and often what the science says is not palatable to our leaders. Even now. In Connecticut, we’d love the governor to release people from prison, and he doesn’t want to do it. If we think about the inability of Governor Cuomo to confront the nursing industry, if we think about the meatpacking plants.[4]

The pandemic is not over[5]—the articles today emphasize that[6]—but as I have said repeatedly, we have refused to support people through the lockdown,[7] and naturally, the cops are making everything worse with their usual asinine response to protests.[8]

The capitalist god is getting its human sacrifice.[9] And it isn’t just the elites who don’t care.[10]

Alexis C. Madrigal, “America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic,” Atlantic, June 7, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/06/america-giving-up-on-pandemic/612796/

Irin Carmon, “An Epidemiologist’s Lessons From the ACT UP Era, for Today’s Protesters,” New York, June 10, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/is-it-safe-to-protest-during-a-pandemic.html


  1. [1]Jim Nelson, “The AIDS Deniers,” Gentleman’s Quarterly, June 16, 2017, https://www.gq.com/story/the-aids-deniers
  2. [2]Jim Nelson, “The AIDS Deniers,” Gentleman’s Quarterly, June 16, 2017, https://www.gq.com/story/the-aids-deniers
  3. [3]Irin Carmon, “An Epidemiologist’s Lessons From the ACT UP Era, for Today’s Protesters,” New York, June 10, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/is-it-safe-to-protest-during-a-pandemic.html
  4. [4]Irin Carmon, “An Epidemiologist’s Lessons From the ACT UP Era, for Today’s Protesters,” New York, June 10, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/is-it-safe-to-protest-during-a-pandemic.html
  5. [5]Joel Achenbach et al., “Coronavirus hot spots erupt across the country; experts warn of second wave in South,” Washington Post, May 20, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/coronavirus-hot-spots-erupt-across-the-country-experts-warn-of-possible-outbreaks-in-south/2020/05/20/49bc6d10-9ab4-11ea-a282-386f56d579e6_story.html; Joel Achenbach, Rachel Weiner, and Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Study estimates 24 states still have uncontrolled coronavirus spread,” Washington Post, May 22, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/study-estimates-24-states-still-have-uncontrolled-coronavirus-spread/2020/05/22/d3032470-9c43-11ea-ac72-3841fcc9b35f_story.html; Irin Carmon, “An Epidemiologist’s Lessons From the ACT UP Era, for Today’s Protesters,” New York, June 10, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/is-it-safe-to-protest-during-a-pandemic.html; Emma Farge with Peter Graff, “WHO warns of ‘second peak’ in areas where COVID-19 declining,” Reuters, May 25, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-who-peak/who-warns-of-second-peak-in-areas-where-covid-19-declining-idUSKBN2311VJ; Alexis C. Madrigal, “America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic,” Atlantic, June 7, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/06/america-giving-up-on-pandemic/612796/; Reis Thebault and Abigail Hauslohner, “A deadly ‘checkerboard’: Covid-19’s new surge across rural America,” Washington Post, May 24, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/24/coronavirus-rural-america-outbreaks/
  6. [6]Irin Carmon, “An Epidemiologist’s Lessons From the ACT UP Era, for Today’s Protesters,” New York, June 10, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/is-it-safe-to-protest-during-a-pandemic.html; Alexis C. Madrigal, “America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic,” Atlantic, June 7, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/06/america-giving-up-on-pandemic/612796/
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The lessons of this recession will carry a high price

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 5, 2020 at 10:49 pm.
  2. June 6, 2020, 10:18 am:
  3. June 6, 12:25 pm:

Recession

There is a new blog post entitled, “Tipping point.”

[See update for June 6, 10:18 am.]

Kriston Capps, “What Happens When the Eviction Bans End?” CityLab, May 29, 2020, https://www.citylab.com/equity/2020/05/pay-rent-eviction-ban-coronavirus-housing-crisis-landlord/612277/

Eric Levitz, “Why the Shockingly Good Jobs Report Might Be Bad News,” New York, June 5, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/unemployment-jobs-report-congress-bls.html

Eli Rosenberg, “Unemployment rate drops to 13 percent, as the economy picked up jobs as states reopened,” Washington Post, June 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/05/may-2020-jobs-report/