Reason Roundup

The Senate's COVID-19 Relief Bill Is a Crony Capitalist Dream

Plus: COVID-19 in prisons and jails, Trump campaign threatens TV stations, state disparities in new coronavirus cases, and more...

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Unanimous corporatism in Congress. After a day of performative fussing and fighting over partisan particulars in the COVID-19 relief bill, U.S. senators last night passed—96 to 0—the $2 trillion spending measure largely unchanged.

The part getting the most attention is the direct payments: $1,200 each for single Americans who made under $75,000, dual-income married couples who made under $150,000, or single-income heads of household who made under $112,500 in annual adjusted gross income in 2019. Pro-rated amounts will go to single filers making up to $99,000 and couples making up to $198,000. Families get an additional $500 for each child age 16 and under. (More details here.)

But the 880-page bill is brimming with bailouts for government-favored corporations, too.

"Do you trust politicians to make investment decisions with your children's future?" tweeted Libertarian Party Chairman Nicholas Sarwark, who has been fiercely critical of business bailouts. "Each American would be the hook for over $6,000 in debt for these 'investments,' but it's the businesses that will receive the rewards. Say no to socialist bailouts of corporate cronies."

Libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.) has also been hitting this theme. "Neither Congress nor the Treasury secretary should be picking winners and losers," Amash tweeted on Tuesday. "Corporate welfare is not only unjust but also reflects government conceit. Only consumers, not politicians, can appropriately determine which companies deserve to succeed."

If Democrats and Republicans are going to spend $2 trillion, "then the best way to do it, by far, is a direct cash transfer that otherwise keeps government out of the way," he wrote yesterday. "That's the bottom line for me."

After the Senate's vote last night, this is Amash's pinned tweet:

The Libertarian Party has been appealing to the House to fix the Senate's mess:


FOLLOW-UP

Coronavirus in prisons and jails. As of yesterday morning, "New York City's Department of Correction reported that 75 people in the city's jail system have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and that 37 of them are facility personnel," writes Reason's Scott Shackford. "This is a dramatic increase since the weekend, when officials reported 17 workers and 21 prisoners were infected." But carceral systems across the country continue to drag their feet on recognizing the huge risks posed to prisoners, staff, and communities at large.

Meanwhile, overseers of federal prisons are fighting inmate petitions and judge orders concerning temporary transfers to home confinement during the pandemic. Reason's C.J. Ciaramella tells the tale:

A Maryland defense attorney says the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is refusing to release one of his clients into home confinement earlier than scheduled, despite a judge's order to do so. Meanwhile, federal prosecutors in Maryland filed motions today in that case and a similar case opposing inmates' petitions to be transferred from a halfway house to home confinement.

Last Friday, a U.S. District Judge ordered Erica Cook, a federal inmate currently residing at a halfway house in Baltimore, to be released into home confinement following an emergency motion for her immediate transfer. Cook was scheduled to be released into home confinement on April 22.

However, Cook's attorney, Brian Stekloff, says the BOP hasn't budged to move Cook since the judge's order, and today the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider the order.

The motion notes that "residents in halfway houses typically live in close quarters with many other people, just like in nursing homes and prisons [and] eat, socialize, and participate in programming in common areas, just like in nursing homes and prisons. Similarly, workers and residents frequently come and go from halfway houses, potentially carrying with them any diseases or viruses to which they were exposed."

Immigration authorities are also needlessly putting people at risk:


FREE MINDS

Top-down doesn't work in a pandemic. Officials shouldn't overlook the fact that different states, regions, and communities in the U.S. have different needs when it comes to stopping the spread of the new coronavirus, as J.D. Tuccille wrote here yesterday. Here's more evidence to bolster the case that one-size-fits-all solutions won't work—and, less happily, that internal travel controls may be on their way:


QUICK HITS

  • The Trump campaign is threatening TV stations for airing an ad critical of his statements about the outbreak:
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture reversed a rule requiring families picking up free school lunches to bring all children with them, a measure that unnecessarily put kids at risk of COVID-19 infection and sent a mixed message over directives to stay at home.
  • The Libertarian Party's nominating convention is in limbo.
  • The World Health Organization's external relations officer is fearmongering about vaping and COVID-19:

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221 responses to “The Senate's COVID-19 Relief Bill Is a Crony Capitalist Dream

  1. Unanimous cronyism in Congress.

    Why is it I’m never a crony?

    1. Why is it I’m never a brony?

      1. Why is it I’m never a dron–uh, never mind.

      2. I just bought a brand new BMW after having made $6375 this past one month and just over 12k last 4 week. This is the best and most financially rewarding job I’ve ever had. I actually started this few Weeks ago and almost immediately started to bring home minimum 74BUCKS p/h… Read More

    2. Because you’re employed. Unemployed are making a lot from this bill.

    3. Miss Porter’s School didn’t cover that?

    4. Do you make over $95k/yr?

    5. It looks like they’re only giving money to poor people directly.

  2. Hysteria outside NY City region, Commifornia, and Washington State seems to be dying down.

    Americans deciding what they will be doing this weekend.

    1. I wish.

      We have fewer than 100 infections statewide, and they’ve just closed schools for another 2 weeks.

      Counting spring break, the kids are out of school for 5 weeks.

      Just enough time to kill the strongest economy the world hade er seen.

  3. https://quillette.com/2020/03/25/the-coming-age-of-dispersion/

    Pandemics naturally thrive in large multicultural cities, where people live “cheek by jowl” and travel to and from other countries is a fact of international tourism and commerce. Europe’s rapidly advancing infection rate is, to some extent, the product of its weak border controls, one of the EU’s greatest accomplishments. Across the continent, cities have become the primary centers of infection. Half of all COVID-19 cases in Spain, for example, have occurred in Madrid while the Milan region, with its cosmopolitan population and economy, accounts for half of all cases in Italy and almost three-fifths of the deaths.

    In the US, known cases and deaths are overwhelmingly concentrated in the Seattle area, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and New York. Gotham, with six percent of the US population, now accounts by itself for nearly half of the 18,000 cases in the country. Even the New York Times, a consistent booster for packing people into small spaces, now acknowledges that the city’s high densities are responsible for its much higher rate of infection even than relatively dense but far more dispersed areas like Los Angeles, which is equally diverse and global but still consists largely of single family houses.

    In places like New York, crowded mass transit systems remain essential to many commuters, while suburban, exurban, and small-town residents get around in the sanctuary of their private cars.

    1. ….residents get around in the sanctuary of their private cars.
      Like real Americans!

      1. They are real Americans only if the car has rear wheel drive and a honking huge V8 with dual exhausts.

        1. And Manual 5-speed transmission.

        2. Am I awaited?

    2. Who’s overreacting to “nothing but a cold” now?

      I’m not buying it. Humans, cities, and pandemics have all been around quite a while, and nothing has broken the trend of increasing urbanization of population. It has only accelerated with each technological era. Citing a few individual examples of cities beset by war or famine does nothing to the overall trend.

      Agrarian conservative fantasy.

      1. He’s talking about hyper-dense megacities that act as international travel hubs, not metro areas out in flyover country that tend to be more spread out and dominated by landscapes of single-family homes.

      2. Rome had complete population replacement at least fourteen times since the republic thanks to disease. Outside the elite, most repopulations were alternatively by Northern European or Middle Eastern immigrants, who would disperse into the countryside at the start of the next plague.

        https://science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6466/708

  4. As of yesterday morning, “New York City’s Department of Correction reported that 75 people in the city’s jail system have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and that 37 of them are facility personnel…”

    Prison employees benefit from over-incarceration until they don’t.

  5. The optics on this have to be brutal for the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd, who were no doubt cheering on all of the partisan bickering in the Senate the past few days. There are people in this country who have been rooting for dysfunction and economic chaos. That means that they’re perversely rooting for the virus.

    Am I implying that there are Americans who would rather have President Trump’s reputation damaged by a body count than see him succeed or get re-elected?

    No, I’m stating it outright.

      1. They’re all talking about this to each other–Michael Grynbaum had a hand-wringing piece on it yesterday because the press conferences are pulling in massive ratings.

        And just think, a few weeks ago they were bitching because he hadn’t given a press conference in such a long time.

      2. Whoa. When has the media ever given the president of the United States free airtime?

    1. The optics on this have to be brutal for the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd”

      Optics are also why they’re trying to make airing Trump’s daily briefings into a hate crime, and why they’re lying so hard that he’s lying.

      1. He’s most certainly been lying. That’s not even up for debate.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch7_t2Ri2Zg

        1. You’ve most certainly been lying too. It’s what you do.

        2. He called the virus a hoax right DoL? Want the latest politifact on Bidens PAC?

        3. What the fuck DOL, nothing Trump said in that video was a lie, it was all situation reports based on the facts at hand. You know what is a lie though? The dishonest implication The Recount was trying to force.
          And are you guys really so delusional and hate-filled to think that retard-level propaganda in going to work? If it weren’t for your malevolent hatred and disdain of normal people, you’d realize nobody is going to believe your shit.

          1. “And are you guys really so delusional and hate-filled to think that retard-level propaganda in going to work?”

            Being dishonest is part of his character, and is how he lives his life. So yes, he thinks it will work.

    2. I have seen the same concern from my leftist friends on social media. They’re probably also worried because whenever Biden opens his mouth, gibberish comes out. That would kinda fuck up the argument that voting Democrat in November would put a decisive leader in charge.

      1. Read on Facebook, with regards to reopening after Easter…

        Idiots. In two weeks the shit is gonna look so ugly nobody will say such a thing, and we can remind them what they said today.

        i hate to say it, but i’m counting on this.

  6. Juuuuust to speed up the deportation machine.

    “Go be a potential strain on our overburdened healthcare system somewhere else.”

  7. Has the *government* released the text of the bill?

    1. I see only the House”s, um, stuff.

    2. They have to disinfect every page first. You know, cause every page was touched by 535 different people.

      1. Whatever happened to “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”?

        1. Somebody tell Joe Biden.

      2. Like they actually read the bill? Oh please!

        1. that’s the joke

      3. Considering where their thumbs have been, they may want to disinfect twice.

  8. It’s all about the vaping now.

    1. Just consider the logic here- 40% of the hospitalized US covid patients are 20 – 54. According to census data, 47% of our population is 20 – 54. (29% are 55+ and 24% below 20.)

      So if Covid were just a random, equal opportunity virus, you would expect 47% of hospitalized covid patients to be in that age range. Why aren’t they? Perhaps #Vaping is driving the reduction in risk for those people??!!

      1. Which stat are you using? Because overnight data shows the under 50 crowd at normal percentages. Are you looking at ER admittance rates? Which tell us nothing?

        1. I was just responding to the WHO tweet in the links above. That asshat said nearly 40% of Covid patients were 20 – 54, and that vaping could be “causing” this increase. My point was that if it is causing anything, it is causing less incidence. (I know that is terrible stats, but just using their own logic).

          1. I’m curious as to why anyone is taking the WHO seriously after they botched the communication so badly on how this spread to begin with.

            Maybe if these guys weren’t licking ChiCom micropeen all the time, they might have been able to get out better information.

          2. There are different sets of Hospital data. Just because someone shows up at an ER scared that their cold is Covid would count them as an emergency admittance to a hospital even if they are sent home within an hour. That’s the problem with this statistic, it tells us nothing. Overnight is a better measure, but the media refuses to highlight that one. I have 2 family members who work in admittance at hospitals and both said that the ICU is a higher ratio of older people than normal. It is only 2 data points, but the admittance statistic is worthless.

    1. So the pandemic is over now?

      1. Careful. This is how rumors get started.

      2. it’s pandemic all the time.

        1. He prefers to go by Baphomet these days.

          1. Pan?

            Pan doesn’t go by Baphomet. Why would ‘he’?

            And what would Baphomet be doing while ‘he’ did it? Crying?

            Baphomet’s a bit of a goddy-come-lately, and ‘he’s’ really sensitive about crap like this–why, If you gave ‘him’ the chance ‘he’d’ be as ‘name in vainy’ as fucking Yahweh–and we’re all pretty sick of that already.

    2. yeah, vote for the senile handsy old man instead, like a good feminist

      1. Racism is prevalent amongst feminists, they’ll always support an old white male against the orange minority.

    3. It is heartening to see that it’s only taken Trump’s enemies a mere 4 years to catch on to his strategery of using billions of dollars worth of free media by getting them to report on the outrage of Trump doing and saying things that most people (sadly and stupidly because they’re 100% deplorable racists, Nazi’s, white supremacists and other assorted morons) regard as reasonable and common-sense. Hopefully, Jezebel has the reach and influence to get all the major media sources to repeat this story for 72 straight hours so that every single member of the public has an opportunity to hear the story several times.

      1. Most journalists don’t seem to have a lot of agency if you observe their behavior. They react very predictably to Trump.

      2. Journalists are honestly confused that Twitter isnt the reap world.

        Wapo just tracked down the parents of a twitter user of 400 people to show them the mean tweet their son posted. How they thought this was a good idea is beyond me.

        https://www.foxnews.com/media/washington-post-blasted-for-tracking-down-twitter-users-parents-over-coronavirus-tweet

        1. No nanny state possible without nannies.

        2. “McMillan, a registered Democrat for over 30 years, deleted the tweet amid the viral onslaught he faced from the “alt-left” and “NeverTrumpers.””

          LMAO.

          No surprise that garden gnome Dickless Wilson was snarking about it.

          1. Even better:

            “The report included the responses Fisher received from McMillan’s parents, 78-year-old Jim McMillan and 75-year-old Gloria, who both agreed with their son’s tweet.

            “I have maybe 10 more years to live,” Jim told Fisher. “We shouldn’t sacrifice the economy to save the elderly. We’re on the short list anyway. To screw up my grandchildren’s future over this, what’s the point of that? Why be selfish?”

        3. They say they don’t like being called the enemy of the people, but then go out of their way to act like the enemy of the people.

          They seem confused.

    4. #NothingIsStoppingJoJoFromSniffingLittleGirls

      That coward Biden should be out challenging the virus to pushups and whacking the virus like it’s a dog-faced pony soldier.

    5. The hilarious irony is that if these wine-guzzling goofballs actually turned off the TV and stopped listening to the news, they’d start to chafe against these draconian shelter orders.

    6. In the ancient world 9 out of 10 dogs preferred Jezebel brand.

      1. This comment deserves more love. Would that people here were more Baalish on those kind of references…

  9. Despite claims by the mainstream media and the Democratic Party that the United States was “ill-prepared” to handle the coronavirus pandemic and that actions by Trump administration made us vulnerable, the United States was actually ranked the best-prepared country in the world to handle a pandemic in a study by Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (JHCHS) published in late 2019.

    The United States’ Global Health Security Index score was 83.5/100, the highest overall score of 195 countries. The United Kingdom came in second with a score of 77.9. Italy, which has experienced significant difficulties in handling the outbreak in their country, scored 56.2. Iran, which is also struggling to handle the pandemic, scored 37.7.

    1. 83.5? What is that? Like a B- or something? NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

    2. Numbers are racist!

    3. But see that just shows how badly Trump fucked things up. He was handed the best prepared country in the world by Our Lord and Savior Obama, and he let us become LITERALLY WORSE THAN ITALY.

      (Am I doing this right?)

    4. The results in an actual pandemic are pretty much the only ranking that matters now. And that race is still being run. Might want to hold off awarding the prizes until the first stage is completed

  10. States which have the virus somewhat under control will be green zones. They will quarantine or outright prohibit visitors from red zones.

    THIS WILL NOT STAND. Unless I’m in a Green Zone. Then I’m fine with it.

    1. That depends. How is Philadelphia trending?

    2. Cool. New colors that people can be, and new color privileges that people can whine about.

  11. And what about the airline industry and all those stock buybacks? AOC says that “96 percent of airline profits” went to stock buybacks.

    But the report is misleading. To begin with, Ocasio-Cortez mistakenly interprets this as 96% of profits, not free cash flow. There’s a big difference: Free cash flow is essentially profits minus capital investments. Ocasio-Cortez says that the data shows that airlines spent money on buybacks and “not raising wages or other investments,” but both increased wages and investments are not part of free cash flow. In other words, free cash flow refers to dollars left over after those expenses, meaning that any excess dollars airlines spent on them would only push the 96% number even higher.

    1. Why do we pay attention to that idiot?

      1. She can get you a beer?

      2. Give AOC credit. She is trying to overcome the legacy of dumb blonde jokes.

    2. Buy backs also benefit remaining stock holders. Aoc may be the only economist worse than Boehm.

      1. Well you certainly don’t know squat. Buy backs don’t do anything for remaining shareholders. There is a reason they were generally illegal until the early 1980’s. Because they were in fact a means by which agents could steal from principals by fudging the books and disguising what % of the company a shareholder owns.

        If you already own a share, the price of that share doesn’t matter one whit. Dividends matter. But the price only matters once you decide to a)sell or b)use that stock as collateral to get a loan in order to spend the paper wealth you think you have or c)buy more.

        1. So you contradict yourself in your own posts. Dividends as you say matter. Likewise in buy backs there are less share holders outstanding. It reduces company liabilities which generally help increase price per share. So yes, stock buy backs do help share holders.

          https://www.fool.com/knowledge-center/does-a-stock-buyback-affect-the-price.aspx

          1. There’s a reason warren buffet doesn’t pay out dividends for Berkshire Hathaway.

            “ Dividends and interest are no different than creating a self-made dividend by selling capital. You’re just letting the individual companies’ dividend policy dictate your withdrawal rate, rather than set it yourself. And lately, US companies have been reducing dividends, because of growth ambitions, or returning money through share repurchases rather than dividends, which are more tax-efficient.”
            https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=237288

            1. Dividends are also immediately taxed. Appreciation is taxed when it is convenient for the shareholder.

        2. If you already own a share, the price of that share doesn’t matter one whit.

          What kind of shit is this?

        3. A buyback increases the percentage of the company a shareholder owns. That’s why they are good for shareholders.

          Buybacks are a way of paying dividends that avoids immediate taxation. That’s why shareholders like them and why leftists hate them.

    3. Free cash flow is revenue (not profits) minus expenses, taxes, and investment.

      Without seeing her quote or the actual report, I would say if her point is that airlines should have saved for a rainy day and are undeserving of a bailout, that she is correct. The only metric to look at is $ spent on buybacks, which was pretty ridiculous. American Airlines actually managed to induce negative free cash flow growth during a time of increased revenue and decreased taxes through stock buybacks.

  12. New York City reported 81 deaths Wednesday.

    “From COVID”, one presumes?

    1. There are no other causes of death.

      1. Well, no *significant* causes.

        1. Police chokings don’t count.

          1. Police now carry COVID test kits, so that when someone expires in custody, they can confirm the true cause of death.

            1. Ooh, *kinky*!

            2. “Yep, just as we suspected, the deceased has tested positive for COVID . . . AND methamphetamine!”

              . . .

              “STOP RESISTING!”

            3. “Just sprinkle some covid on him”

  13. Alex Wagner of Showtime’s “The Circus” has released an op-ed urging Democrats to view former Vice President Joseph R. Biden as a “vessel” and an “idea” if they want President Trump defeated at the ballot box.
    The writer penned “Stay Alive, Joe Biden” for The Atlantic this week, which serves as a blueprint for realizing a Democrat as the 46th commander in chief…
    “It’s as if Biden exists primarily as an idea, rather than an actual candidate. Democrats have chosen Biden as their vessel for Trump’s defeat, and that choice is the entire point: The vanquishing matters more than anything else.”

    1. It’s a nice way to say he is an empty suit.

      1. its a nice way of saying he will do whatever he is told to do by his handlers and Pelosi

        1. Pelosi is an empty dress at this point.

    2. As I have held all along, the democratic party nomination is irrelevant. The party elites will designate the “proper” vice-presidential candidate, and somewhere in the DNC files is the 25th amendment certification, waiting for the day after the inauguration.

      1. The party elites will designate the “proper” vice-presidential candidate, and somewhere in the DNC files is the 25th amendment certification, waiting for the day after the inauguration.

        Do you really think that Democrats are going to be in any shape to even have elites after his election?

    3. “The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.”

      That’s a lot to get on a bumper sticker.

      1. Biden: I’ve got it! I’ve got it! The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true!

        In other news, Biden is old enough to have driven his ‘best gal’ to the theatre to watch this at its first release.

  14. The Trump campaign is threatening TV stations for airing an ad critical of his statements about the outbreak…

    It’s for the opposition’s own good! It’s a bad look in the middle of a crisis to actively sow panic and look like you’re hoping for the president to fail. Also, this ad would probably do better closer to the actual election.

  15. Oh, right, there’s still an election happening…

    It’s just been postponed until 2021?

    1. Trump caused this pandemic to steal the election!

      1. Get with the narrative; benevolent Communist China released the virus to assist the responsible democratic socialists in stealing the election.

  16. During her 12:00 p.m. ET hour show on Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell revealed her greatest fear amid the coronavirus pandemic – Donald Trump’s approval ratings going up. She fretted over likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden “having difficulty” getting his message out during the crisis and support for the President “skyrocketing.”

    Turning to former Obama administration official Jim Messina, Mitchell anxiously noted: “There is politics involved. We’ve heard very little from, for instance, the more likely, most likely nominee of the Democratic Party, Joe Biden. He’s having difficulty getting – projecting through this crisis as the campaign goes totally on hold.”

    […]

    We’re also seeing some polls indicating the President’s approval ratings among Democrats and independents skyrocketing to their highest levels yet. Some 60% approval ratings for the way he’s handling this crisis as he continues to hold these briefings. The briefings are working for the President.

    In frustration, she added: “No matter what he says, people seem to be seeing him as a leader, at least more people do.”

    1. “Oh, well. No matter what I say, people seem to be seeing me as a journalist.”

    2. Ahhh Andrea Mitchell….a broad not even Joe Biden would sniff.

    3. Joe Biden “having difficulty” getting his message out during the crisis

      I saw Babbling Biden’s attempt to get his last message out. There’s a reason the dems have him hidden away. I fully expect GCI Biden soon.

    1. You do know that article puts the blame solely on the Federal response to this pandemic, right?

      1. Authorities in Santa Clara County, where more than 2 million people live, were well aware the virus would arrive. They tried to prepare. But without much federal help, they were unable to stop it.
        […]
        As of Tuesday afternoon, the county had reported 375 cases, 30 linked to international travel, 82 to close contacts with the infected and 82 from community transmission. The number of new cases rises each day by double-digit figures. One day saw a jump of 67.

        California would rather spend trillions on choo choos and other stupid shit. Then put all the blame on the federal government?

        Fuck YOU Commifornia!

    1. Think of the JOBS!!

      1. I hear grave digger will be a best new job for 2020.

    2. But if you put up a bullet proof barrier in your convenience store downtown, it’s racist.

    3. Sneezeguards. Don’t cough on the clerk.

  17. We weren’t always dependent on China for medicine, but we are now. For two decades, the CCP has targeted America’s domestic drug manufacturers for destruction, using cartelization, state subsidies and lax safety standards to flood our hospitals and pharmacies with cheap and dangerous Chinese medicine.

    This strategy succeeded in shuttering American factories, robbing our workers of good-paying jobs and our patients of high-quality medicine. Just years after the United States granted China special trade privileges in 2000, the last penicillin plant in America closed down. American factories that made aspirin, vitamin C and other essential medicine closed after that, put out of business by China’s predatory pricing.

    China has come to dominate the world market for basic drugs as a result. A substantial share of all generic drugs we import comes from China, including a staggering 93 percent of all imported ibuprofen. And focusing on direct trade between China and the United States actually understates our reliance, because most of the active ingredients in drugs imported to us from countries like India also come from Chinese superlabs.

    Dependence on our chief communist adversary for essential medicine is an obvious threat to national security. As Rosemary Gibson, author of “China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine,” said in testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission last year, if the CCP cut the world off from its pharmaceutical ingredients, “military hospitals and clinics would cease to function within months, if not days.”

    1. Rosemary Gibson is senior advisor at the Hastings Center and a national authority on health care reform. In 2014, she won the highest honor from the American Medical Writers Association. She is an editor for JAMA Internal Medicine. She has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

      Speaking to journalist Sharyl Attkisson in an April 23, 2018, interview, Gibson warned: “What happens if we have a Fukushima type event or the trade routes are blocked in the South China Sea? Or if there’s a global pandemic? And the United States and virtually every other country in the world is dependent on a few companies in China for the ingredients to make critical antibiotics.”

      Gibson provided a detailed picture of China’s growing domination of the medical drug and equipment market in her 2018 book China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine (co-authored by Janardan Prasad Singh).

      China is now the global kingpin in the supply of key ingredients for many prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements. The Chinese now control most of the active and inactive ingredients for the manufacture of medicine in the world.

      Suppose your blood pressure medication is factory-made in Canada and you feel your supply line is safe. Your health is still in jeopardy because Communist China could choose to ban the export of your drug’s active ingredient to Canada.

      1. The Seattle Times in June 2007 reported, “In less than a decade, China has captured 90 percent of the U.S. market for vitamin C, driving almost everyone else out of business… Chinese pharmaceutical companies also have taken over much of the world market in the production of antibiotics, analgesics, enzymes and primary amino acids. According to an industry group, China makes 70 percent of the world’s penicillin, 50 percent of its aspirin and 35 percent of its acetaminophen (often sold under the brand name Tylenol), as well as the bulk of vitamins A, B12, C and E.”

    2. How people don’t see the potential merit behind strategic reserves.

      There is a decent reason to have some kind of stockpiles on certain things, so you have them when the World distribution system breaks down temporarily.

      1. At some point, you’re like an extreme prepper whose bug-out bag consists of 18 tractor-trailer loads of essentials. And if you don’t think the government can think of at least 400,000 essential items we need to stockpile for worst-case scenario events, you don’t know government.

        1. And they won’t rotate the stock, just throw stuff out when it hits expiration date.

        2. Sure, but simple logistics dictates that if the manufacturing capability is already here, production can be ramped up easier and supplies brought into the chain faster.

          As it is right now, hospitals are taking N95 mask donations from Apple because the latter probably emptied out their warehouse right next to their production plant in China. Having our own production capability would reduce the need for these one-time donations which are largely PR stunts, anyway.

  18. More than a dozen states have restrictions on wearing masks in public.

    I don’t want to jump the gun here, but it’s starting to look a little like government regulations designed for market manipulation or to make government agents’ work more convenient for them might not actually be in the public good.

  19. Beck, Lightfoot On Stay At Home Order: Citations To Be Issued, Parks Could Be Shut Down

    CHICAGO (CBS) — Visibly frustrated with reports of gatherings throughout Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered a stern warning to those who continue to get together during the COVID-19 pandemic: We will shut it down and you may be arrested.

    Get out the pitchforks, folks!

    1. Damn, “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” is a depressing song.

      1. I prefer “Carefree Highway”.

        1. I assumed we were talking about “Loser”.

          1. If my barber doesn’t open back up soon I’m gonna need a haircut from the devil.

        2. Rows of lights in a circle of steel where you place your bets on a great big wheel…..

          1. Rows of lights in a circle of steel
            Where you place your bets on a great big wheel
            High windows flickerin’ down through the snow
            A time you know
            Sights and sounds of the people goin’ ’round
            Everybody’s in step with the season
            A child is born to a welfare case
            Where the rats run around like they own the place
            The room is chilly, the building is old
            That’s how it goes
            The doctor’s found on his welfare round
            And he comes and he leaves on the double
            Deck The Halls was the song they played
            In the flat next door where they shout all day
            She tips her gin bottle back till it’s gone
            The child is strong
            A week, a day, they will take it away
            For they know about all her bad habits
            Christmas dawns and the snow lets up
            And the sun hits the handle of her heirloom cup
            She hides her face in her hands for a while
            Says look here child
            Your father’s pride was his means to provide
            And he’s servin’ three years for that reason
            Rows of lights in a circle of steel
            Where you place your bets on a great big wheel
            High windows flickerin’ down through the snow
            A time you know
            Sights and sounds of the people goin’ ’round
            Everybody’s in step with the season

    2. let out the prisoners so we can arrest people walking freely during a bad government reaction to a minor pandemic

      1. Well, when you put it like that…

  20. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reversed a rule requiring families picking up free school lunches to bring all children with them…

    I’m beginning to suspect bureaucrats might not always put thought into their rule making.

    1. “Hey! NO ONE could have foreseen circumstances like THIS!”

    2. Now child services wait at home to charge parents with abandonment.

  21. EXCLUSIVE: Pentagon virus tests are ‘scarce’ despite assurances; sick troops told to self-isolate

    There is no excuse to allow military folks to get COVID19 and not quarantine any who get sick.

    If our military is not ready to fight during this, we are in deep trouble.

    1. They should fire the guy in charge.

      1. We will fire Trump in 2024. He is going down in the books as the best president in US History.

        1. Best at bailouts.

          1. Getting money back is bad.

            1. Right, retard. All of that $2 trillion is going back to the taxpayers.

              1. Corporations don’t pay taxes?

                1. It’s not like they gave us or corporations a tax cut. They simply increased spending by $2T out of thin air.

                  1. I’m not sure why anyone is surprised that we had a wildly overreactive political response to media panic-mongering about a slightly more communicable pneumonia bug, and the resultant economic and social stress that resulted from it.

                    1. Not surprised, but disappointed. That doesn’t mean I should support what either side has done.

                      And you and Ken harping on this as letting people keep more of their tax money is a way to let your team off the hook for going along with this. That’s not at all what happened, and you should be corrected every time you mention it.

                    2. Where the fuck have I been repeatedly harping on this and demanding that a stimulus bill be passed? Feel free to quote me.

  22. U.S. corporate crisis bailouts may prove bonanza for insider trading, new study warns

    Maybe unreason will do another article on this topic and headline all non-Democrat names.

  23. The Libertarian Party’s nominating convention is in limbo.

    More like purgatory.

    1. The Libertarian Party’s nominating convention is a waste of time.

      1. Another Apathy Club meeting canceled?

  24. WHO once again spreading lies and unscientific speculation in the midst of a pandemic! Maybe trying to deflect attention away from how you failed the world?

    Can we finally disregard WHO outright now?

  25. The U.S. saw 3.28 million initial unemployment claims last week.

    Trump Economy, we hardly knew ye.

    1. Unemployed claims are the biggest! The best!

    2. Well when you promise the unemployed 30k a year to not work like liberals did here…

      Anyone want to take bets on Democrats not asking for extensions to the payments on 4 months? This is 2010 all over again with long term unemployed.

      1. But work is oppressive and unfair and makes lazy people sad.

  26. Washington, D.C. topped the list, reducing its average mobility by 60%…

    I fear they might end up in a bubble.

  27. G-7 countries fail to reach agreement because US insists on saying ‘Wuhan virus’ for coronavirus

    It’s so funny when Lefties try to deflect their idiocy onto others and here’s an example.

    1. “Oh, very well. We’ll call it ‘the G-7 virus’.”

      1. Or the left wing virus? (Given the distribution of most cases globally and nationally)

        1. Maybe just the People’s Virus.

      2. I vote for “Kraut virus”.

  28. Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus, I thought I would offer some suggestions. Here’s the first: thru Thurs 3/5 go see “The Traitor” @FilmLinc. If “The Wire” was a true story + set in Italy, it would be this film.

    — Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) March 3, 2020

  29. “The U.S. saw 3.28 million initial unemployment claims last week.”

    That’s the story of the day, and the very worst part of the coronavirus package is the part that extends unemployment benefits.

    . . . a large portion of the people on unemployment won’t even start looking for another job until their unemployment benefits run out, which means the rest of the economy will be forced to carry their sorry asses even longer. We’re almost certainly headed towards recession, and the sooner those people get back to work, the sooner we’ll clear the other side of the recession, which is to say that extending unemployment benefits simply extends the length (and depth) of the recession.

    Plenty of people don’t look for a job until they have to for the same reason they don’t file their taxes until April 15th. People on the left who don’t believe in moral hazard make creationists, Scientologists, and climate change deniers look like geniuses.

    1. Chicken Little was meant to be a warning, not an instruction manual.

    2. The economy is cratering because consumers are isolating themselves at home rather than going out and spending.

      So the Democrats address that problem by paying people to sit at home and do nothing?!

      I don’t think it’s cynical to assume that the Democrats aren’t even stupid enough to believe that’s a legitimate solution.

      They want to keep voters dependent on them to extend their unemployment benefits come November, which is not only why they wanted to extend the period of time people can receive unemployment but also why they extended unemployment benefits to include gig economy contractors–like Uber drivers.

      The more people they can pay to sit home and do nothing, the more likely they are to keep the House in November.

      1. So the Democrats address that problem by paying people to sit at home and do nothing?!

        The Democrats did this? By my count, yep, every Republican present voted for this in the Senate.

        Even if you claim that the Democrats forced those concessions… if I can’t expect Republicans, who are in the majority, to block bad bills then why do they deserve my vote any more than the Democrats do?

        Similarly, if I can’t expect Donald Trump to veto bad bills then why does he deserve my vote? The veto power is probably the most important check the President has on big government.

        1. The reason you ignore the fact that the Democrats insisted on increasing the length of unemployment benefits and including gig economy workers–and rejected the Republicans’ attempt to keep this about cutting payroll taxes is because you’re deeply and emotionally committed to self-delusion.

          No, because the Democrats insisted and the Republicans compromised doesn’t mean the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats. In fact, it means that if Democrats weren’t in control of the House, we wouldn’t have half this socialist bullshit in this package at all–especially not with President Trump in the White House.

          Why pretend otherwise?

          1. Four Republicans even acknowledged that they recognized the moral hazard of paying people more than they make on their jobs and what that might do to promote unemployment… before the vote. How did they vote again?

            They’re just as guilty of this as the Democrats. You are simply letting them off the hook because they are “your team.” It’s politically convenient for you to blame the Democrats when they are both at fault for this monstrosity of government spending.

            1. Do you know the enemy of good is perfect? You are completely ignoring the attempts by Democrats to block the bill, such as happened on Sunday and Monday? Why?!? Why are you so desperate to ignore where the issue was?

            2. The Senate vote was vetoproof.

      2. The economy is cratering because consumers are isolating themselves at home rather than going out and spending

        blockage

        No, that’s totally wrong. This is a supply side problem: government has restricted production, not demand.

  30. Plenty of people don’t look for a job until they have to for the same reason they don’t file their taxes until April 15th.

    Ex*cuse* me! That’s *July* 15th!

    1. You’re right.

      And now they won’t file until July 15th.

      If I were the emperor of America for a day, the first thing I’d do is pass an amendment requiring that taxes are do on election day.

      Sales taxes are exempt, but all other taxes must be due on election day. First you pay your taxes. Then you vote. Actually, maybe it would be better if you voted on the same form you filed to pay taxes.

      Why are tax day and election day so far apart? All you “democratic socialists” out there, don’t you want them to be on the same day? in the democratic socialist mind, don’t people love paying taxes and voting? Isn’t that what democratic socialism is all about?

      1. And how about each candidate or initiative must include a projected tax bill (per voter) on the ballot?

      2. Silly Ken. You think this is going to help anything?

        What you are ushering in is a world where 50.1% of elligible voters pay 0 taxes.

        1. We already have that. 80% actually.

  31. If Democrats and Republicans are going to spend $2 trillion, “then the best way to do it, by far, is a direct cash transfer that otherwise keeps government out of the way,” he wrote yesterday. “That’s the bottom line for me.”

    Thus is so fucking wrong. Amash for welfare!

    The best solution is eliminating taxes on labor followed by loans. Direct cash payouts are terrible whether corporate or citizen.

    1. The problem is loans have to be paid back, and for people and businesses who already struggle to make ends meet adding a loan payment would make them worse off rather than better

      1. And businesses can die, there is no problem with that. In fact it is a healthy part of the economy. The fact is that when the lockdowns end, people who have been forced to isolate will want to go out and spend. Nobody is going to change their consumer ways. so a short term loan would help in this case. And likewise the loans are zero percent, so they can spread it out over time more easily than an interest loan.

      2. The problem is loans have to be paid back, and for people and businesses who already struggle to make ends meet adding a loan payment would make them worse off rather than better

        So? Both people and businesses obviously need to save more, and maybe work in different industries. Business failures and job changes in response to problems is exactly how free markets are supposed to adapt to changing conditions and risks.

    2. Eliminating taxes on non-existent paychecks won’t help the guy who might crawl through your window after not getting paid for a month.

      1. So this is a protection racket?

      2. My oh my you’re sounding like a liberal more and more.

        The best solution is to stop with the lockdowns. Target them to high risk groups by providing assistance to those entities. Not to shut down the economy.

        But a short term loan followed by repayment through payroll taxes would be preferrable to a 2k loan plus 2400 a month bonus to unemployment checks.

        1. My oh my you’re sounding like a liberal more and more.

          Suck my left nut, asshole.

          The best solution is to stop with the lockdowns. Target them to high risk groups by providing assistance to those entities. Not to shut down the economy.

          I agree 100%.

          In the mean time, stay locked and loaded. Desperate people do dangerous things.

          1. Quick to emotion sweetie.

            1. I’m sorry. Make that my right nut.

            2. He’s in denial that he’s turning into a lefty idiot. That’s why he’s now Squirrel #2.

  32. “The Senate’s COVID-19 Relief Bill Is a Crony Capitalist Dream”

    You say that as if the House bill wasn’t just the same shit, different cronies

    1. Can Amash or someone explain to me how many people who get $2400 instead of $1200 are going to spend the difference on an airplane ticket?

  33. “Libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.) has also been hitting this theme. “Neither Congress nor the Treasury secretary should be picking winners and losers,” Amash tweeted on Tuesday”

    Reason is reporting Amash’s nothingburger tweets again. If it weren’t for his TDS and NeverTrump posturing while a Republican, he would’ve remained a no-name representative.

    At least they just call him ‘libertarian-leaning’ here, because in truth he’s no more libertarian than Cocaine Mitch.

  34. Trump and his ilk are leeches on steroids but you don’t say a word but when some 8-5 guy gets 4 months of unemployment suddenly you’re offended. I fucking hate you Ken.

    1. Fortunately, you’re a fucking worthless piece of lefty shit who has no effect on anything, so your whining is just amusing.
      Fuck off and die.

        1. Fuck off and die.

          1. Get some pussy Sevo.

            1. Fuck off and die. Painfully.

    2. You be sure to let the hatred burn a hole in your guts.

      1. Thank for your concern. I’m well aware of the perils of hate.

        1. The perils of your stupidity seem to have escaped your notice.

          1. Boring

            1. Yes, you’re that also.
              Fuck off and die a slow painful death; exactly what you deserver.

  35. As the country faces unprecedented challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic, one professor says the head of the World Health Organization is partly responsible for the impact the crisis is having.

    In an op-ed for The Hill, University of Texas-San Antonio Professor Bradley A. Thayer and co-author Lianchao Han called out World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhamom Ghebreyesus and Chinese President Xi Jinping for “recklessly handling” the coronavirus crisis.

    “China has misinformed and misled the world, and Ghebreyesus joined this effort by publicly praising China’s ‘transparency’ in battling the spread of the disease.”
    He argues that the pair should be “held accountable.”

    [RELATED: Another professor caught shilling for China]

    Thayer is a political science professor at the University of Texas-San Antonio and Han is the Vice President of the Citizens for Power Initiatives of China, an organization that is “currently constructing a comprehensive timeline to review the Chinese government’s responses amid the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak.”

    The pair assert that “the coronavirus pandemic has shown that Ghebreyesus is not fit to lead the WHO.”

    Thayer and Han accused Ghebreyesus of “politicizing the crisis” and “downplaying the severity” of the coronavirus. They also noted that Ghebreyesus was elected in 2017 without any experience as a doctor, but rather as a “a former minister of health and minister of foreign affairs for Ethiopia” and “an executive member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).”

    Thayer and Han point out that the TPLF has been labeled a “perpetrator” in the Global Terrorism Database.

    1. Wait, you’re telling me there are people that think the WHO have anything to do with world health? They’re just another bureaucratic political organization dedicated to the effort of shifting money from first-world democracies to third-world kleptocracies.

      1. https://twitter.com/CandiceMalcolm/status/1242932058521055232

        The World Health Organization, apparently, doesn’t recognize the state of Israel, refers to the world’s only Jewish country as “Occupied Palestinian Territory” in its regional update on coronavirus.

        So they’re bigoted as well as being incompetent.

        1. Just like any other Davos crowd contraption the WHO is arrogance and ineptitude wedded to bureaucracy and seasoned with their prejudices.

  36. For $2 trillion, we could double the figures below and give every family of four $7,000 per month for three months.

    Bernie Sanders just got a chubby over his next campaign focus – proof that for a mere $2 trillion we could have a guaranteed basic income of $84,000 per year for every person in America. And yet people scoffed at my idea that socialism can allow everybody an above-average income.

  37. https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1243134237773107200

    1/ This is a remarkable turn from Neil Ferguson, who led the
    @imperialcollege
    authors who warned of 500,000 UK deaths – and who has now himself tested positive for #COVID;

    2/ He now says both that the U.K. should have enough ICU beds and that the coronavirus will probably kill under 20,000 people in the U.K. – more than 1/2 of whom would have died by the end of the year in any case bc they were so old and sick.

    3/ Essentially, what has happened is that estimates of the viruses transmissibility have increased – which implies that many more people have already gotten it than we realize – which in turn implies it is less dangerous.

    4/ Ferguson now predicts that the epidemic in the U.K. will peak and subside within “two to three weeks” – last week’s paper said 18+ months of quarantine would be necessary.

    1. These autists are starting to realize that the negatives of the western world’s economies crashing are a lot more dangerous than a bunch of old people and folks in filthy megacities dying from the coofs.

      “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” indeed.

  38. Hey Soldiermedic76, not sure if you’re retired or need some extra cash.

    Army Asks Retired Soldiers in Health Care Fields to Come Back for COVID-19 Fight

  39. How is it a surprise that we are socializing losses when we’ve been socializing gains for so long. Bailouts forever!

    1. We’re not socializing either gains or losses. Both are limited to particular populations based on political considerations

  40. ★Makes $140 to $180 reliably online work and I got $16894 in one month electronic acting from home.I am a bit by bit understudy and work basically one to a few hours in my extra time.Everybody will finish that commitment and monline akes additional money by just open this link….. Click Here  

  41. I have a libertarian streak up my back and greatly appreciate Reason and the libertarian take on things, but quite strongly disagree with the main thrust of the article. It’s a good example of why I appreciate libertarian ideas but wouldn’t want them to dominate.

    No question, now that we’re in Full Panic Mode, there have been and will continue to be lots of blunders. It’s a big country, and we don’t exactly draw our politicians from the top of the deck. Still, now that panic has taken hold — and you can decry it, but you might as well rant at the weather as far as I’m concerned — and the economy is hitting the pause button, I see no choice but at least the overall approach from Congress and the Federal Reserve.

    I’m glad that libertarians are out there taking their shots, I really am. Still, this is one of those times (to me) when at least some forbearance and flexibility is in order. Look at it like building a house: Watch the contractor and his subs like a hawk, but there’s still a house to build.

    God help us.

  42. These business aren’t losing money due to COVID-19, they are losing money due to government mandates.

    Now, one can argue about whether it’s good that they receive money, but calling it a “bailout” or “crony capitalism” is wrong.

    (One thing one can’t argue about is that Amash is an idiot, as he keeps proving.)

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