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As Coronavirus Spreads in the Capitol, Why Can’t Congress Vote Remotely?
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From the Washington Post:

As coronavirus spreads in the Capitol, why can’t Congress vote remotely?

Amber Phillips
March 23, 2020 at 9:56 a.m. PDT

… Congress has a rule: No voting remotely, no matter what.

A bipartisan group of younger lawmakers is trying to change that. For the past four Congresses, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) has introduced a resolution to allow Congress to vote remotely on noncontroversial bills such as naming post offices. Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (R-Ark.) has also joined in recent Congresses to introduce it.

And it has gone nowhere.

But now that Congress is getting to a situation where face-to-face voting could be downright dangerous, it’s possible the centuries-old practice of in-person voting could change. Three members of Congress have tested positive for the virus, and more than two dozen have gone into quarantine after brushes with it, meaning they could miss important votes on bailout packages.

The U.S. Capitol building isn’t terribly spacious relative to the large number of people who crowd into it.

On Sunday, President Trump said he’d support remote voting. Top House Democrats have privately floated it.

In the Senate, there’s a new bipartisan proposal to vote remotely for up to 30 days.

As I’ve long mentioned, the real power players in almost every society rely on face to face contact to a very high degree. Not even having your own TV show is quite as effective: E.g., when Tucker Carlson decided he had to get through to Trump on the threat, he drove to Mar-a-Lago and talked to the President in person.

But it’s time for legislative bodies to vote themselves emergency powers to vote remotely (and authorize subordinate deliberative bodies to do the same). Also, suspend rules against wearing masks on the floor.

In general, everybody needs to be gameplanning for dire scenarios and looking for existing rules that would gum up the works.

But no permanent changes. Put an expiration date on all temporary changes in response to the emergency.

 
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  1. I’d also promote making Congress more like jury duty. “Greetings citizen, Congratulations! You have been selected to represent Ohio’s 15th Congressional district in the House of Representatives for 2022-2024! Please go to soimacongressionalrep.gov to learn how to proceed!”

  2. Steve, stop dealing with these mundane issues around such boring topics like representative government.

    Don’t you know that the real threat to our social fabric from this flu is its damage to feminism?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/03/feminism-womens-rights-coronavirus-covid19/608302/

    Better headline:

    “Flu kills hundreds of thousands, economy collapses: feminism hardest hit.”

  3. Trinity says:

    Coronavirus is a HOAX. Nuff said.

  4. I don’t trust any of those congresscritters as far as I could throw the lot of them. The ONLY possible check on shenanigans (not working well) is that this criminal class be required to be present and accounted for, in public, for all business. No remote voting for any reason at all.

    • Agree: MBlanc46, botazefa
    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    , @njguy73
  5. Daniel H says:

    OT: Now that the Fed has removed all stops to purchasing toxic/worthless assets from Wall Street’s balance sheet what really is the likely fallout from this action. I am most interested in fallout over the next 12 months. Is it possible that the Fed can print to its heart’s desire and remove every unmovable asset from Wall Street’s balance sheet with no negative, untoward repercussions? I have been taught that such actions would immediately lead to unacceptable chaos and consumer price inflation, but maybe our received wisdom is wrong. Maybe the Fed and its Wall Street masters can pull this off without paying a price, and Wall Street will keep their jobs, keep this debt scam going, all the while rewarding themselves with outrageous bonuses for an indeterminate time. This would suck. In a just world, the reckless, corrupt, stupid, wicked should pay a price, a very heavy price, but maybe Wall Street will dodge this one too. I rely on smarter minds than my own to explain me through this.

    • Agree: AaronInMVD
    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    , @epebble
  6. because if you’re allowed to vote remotely, soon lots of people won’t even bother show for routine votes. this kinda defeats the purpose of a deliberative body.

    you gotta be there, period. take it seriously. no slow creep into mailing in your vote from your vacation home. oh, it’s cold in DC this time of year. i’ll just email my votes from California…speaking of that, why do i even bother to go to DC in the first place…

    Sailer, you’re really wacked out on this virus terror man. you’ve been batting like 0.200 on these posts the last two weeks. you’re a career 0.900 batter. take a break or something.

  7. How about the US Congress just adjourn and come back next year? That’d be the silver lining in this Kung Flu panic-fest.

    • Agree: Kolya Krassotkin
    • Replies: @Mobi
  8. moshe says:

    Steve, I am happy that you finally found a religion that you can be truly globalist about. It feels MUCH MUCH better reading about your caring for the health and wellbeing of all human beings rather than reading, well, you know.

    But you are going full religious fanatic here. Please find Catholicism again. Granted it’s been defanged quite a bit and back when it was more gargoylee it wasn’t very sweet but at least we kind of knew where we stood with those guys. This newfound religion, while it irks me far less than the globohomo one, has teeth like no religion since the Church’s few strongholds in the mid 1700s. This new religion came on fast and strong and no one knows where it ends.

    Then again, maybe you’re JUST THE RIGHT PERSON to be among the prophets of the new faith. After all, though no fan of congress or their laws, here you are, worrying quite a bit about keeping government running, as badly as it may.

    If you end up as the Conservative Prophet against the Radical Prophets within this new faith you may yey do a lot of good.

    Chesterton’s Fence is an idea you seem quite comfortable with, even when that fence seems to get in the way of your preferred people or policies. That’s pretty conservative and I like it.

    Still, I can’t help but point out, at least for now, rhat tou have DRANK THE COOLAID and are with wide retinas and a muscle-held smile passing it around to all the rest of us, “drink, drink, it will keep you healthy…”

    Watching a new religion being born is always fun, until it starts to talk and learns to kick. Let’s hope this religion dies too young for any of that.

    A vaccine would do it.

    Fingers crossed!

    • Disagree: Dissident
    • Troll: Alexander Turok
    • Replies: @anon
  9. “The U.S. Capitol building isn’t terribly spacious relative to the large number of people who crowd into it.”

    Compared with the UK’s House of Lord’s chamber, it’s downright comparable to Yellowstone National Park.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  10. Ano says:

    Yes Mr Sailer, as you noticed years ago, in the Age of the Internet, in this interconnected world of ours, it was more and more vital for power players to be ‘based’ clustered in Manhattan, DC, Silicon Valley, inner-city London, etc…

    Yes, The People will be confined, powerless, in their homes, but the legislators will confine themselves in ‘The House’, in huddles in the corridors and back rooms granting themselves ever-extendable ‘temporary’ Emergency Powers over us.

    Yes, there will be a Reichstag Fire, but it will be our Freedoms, not The Capitol, which will go up in flames.

  11. Whiskey says: • Website

    Never happen. Rand Paul infected mostly R. Thus Chucky Schemer is now Senate Majority leader.

    No bailout for anyone, gun confiscation, firing of every White man anywhere, and Removal of Trump.

    Chucky Schemer is very smart. He has the whip hand now and will make Whites pay. Being honorary non White himself.

    You said it Steve. Chucky Schemer is just smarter than everyone else.

  12. excellent report by 60 minutes on Corona
    https://www.cbs.com/shows/60_minutes/video/hV_ZaDwK1BYSWLaeLl6SvvvrsB9J6Upe/stopping-the-virus-the-economic-emergency-a-populist-movement/

    medical science is amazing. In the episode they said a California company was able to create a vaccine against Corona from the DNA sequencing of the virus.

    I do not follow why they cannot inject people with the vaccine right away. It is only fragments of the virus, so would do no harm, correct?

    And why is double blind testing of treatments so important now that there are wearable devices like Fitbit that can monitor people on medication?

    • Replies: @epebble
    , @guest007
  13. Nope. At a time like this we must be sticklers for procedure. The sick ones can be absent and the scared ones sheltering in place likewise, just like regular citizens.

    And if there is no quorum, is that so bad?

    I’d rather worry about grocers, pharmacists and gas station operators than that bunch of plutes and mobsters.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  14. A123 says:

    Face to face meetings and personal relationships used to create more cooperation and less naked partisanship. Given that the rabid, gibbering, TDS plagued DNC is 100% partisan all the time… It probably should be allowed.

    Cut travel costs and operating expenses. Slash each office budget in half and have them stay home 6-8 months/year.

    PEACE 😷

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  15. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    * Wasn’t able to correct, so doing it here.

    Compared to the UK’s House of Commons chamber (where MP’s represent more districts than do US Congressmen, 650 to 435), it’s downright comparable to Yellowstone National Park.

    Now those are definitely cramped quarters.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  16. danand says:
    @Ano

    Yes Mr Sailer, as you noticed years ago, in the Age of the Internet, in this interconnected world of ours, it was more and more vital for power players to be ‘based’ clustered in Manhattan, DC, Silicon Valley, inner-city London, etc…

    Ano, yes it is extremely vital that the nations power players remain clustered in the District (of Colombia). All those lobbyists surrounding the National Mall need to maintain their “intravenous” access to the body legislative.

    “Only 61 square miles in size, Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States, and is also the political center of the country. Of the city’s 610,000 residents, approximately two-thirds are employed by the government, or work as lobbyists or lawyers for large corporations.”

    washington-dc-metro-map

  17. anon[213] • Disclaimer says:
    @moshe

    Steve, I am happy that you finally found a religion that you can be truly globalist about.

    Watching a new religion being born is always fun, until it starts to talk and learns to kick.

  18. @Cloudbuster

    Exactly, Cloudbuster. Take away their cell phones for the day and give them 15 bucks if they stay till 5*. “No, you DON’T need to check your email from your lobbyists constituents! Just read the bill and vote aye or nay, assholes, It ain’t rocket surgery.

    .

    * I was in bad enough financial shape one time in the 1990s to wait around through a DUI jury trial in order to get my $15 after they struck me, as usual, for my college degree. It was kinda interesting, and, no, I really didn’t have much else to do …

  19. Well, how about barring Congress from voting on anything for the duration of the Cohen-avirus scamshow? Order them all to work from home, with no remote voting allowed. It’s the only way to be sure, y’know.

  20. @Whiskey

    It’s about time, Whiskey, that the old GOP took a page off the old-timey-left. They bring the Coronavirus, we bring the clap.

  21. Anonymous[325] • Disclaimer says:

    Disgusting bloomberg.com claiming today that 600,000 lives have been saved by locking down the public instead of just ring fencing the nursing homes.

    600,000!!

    Not a typo …

    So you see where this is headed. Just keep releasing freaky new customized viruses every so often just to get the sheep used to less freedom.

    LESS FREEDOM SAVES LIVES

  22. Anon[120] • Disclaimer says:

    Congress doesn’t want to vote remotely because that means they’d have to learn how to use a computer. The older ones haven’t bothered to learn, and they’re against it for that reason. They make their staffers do all the computer stuff.

    I say it’s time to drag Congress kicking and screaming into the modern age. They can vote using a video hook up that shows their faces as they vote, and have the vote taker ask for a verbal verification if their ‘yes or no’ vote is indeed correct. That ought to work.

    Congress needs to pass a law covering special medical problems like members in quarantine.

  23. Steve-o … if they do that, we’re but one step away from eliminating Congress and doing everything by national e-referenda.

    Besides, those guys and gals make fortunes in their racket, so it is only fair that they literally have skin in the game and their lives on the line.

  24. Anon[120] • Disclaimer says:

    Florida is now imposing a 14-day quarantine on anybody entering the state from New York. That’s pretty funny, since everyone knows which population they’re targeting.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  25. Anon[153] • Disclaimer says:

    I won’t shed a tear if it infects those greedy bastards who are trying to squeeze in every ounce of pork into the stimulus bill to benefit themselves or their cronies. This bill needs to die.

    The only stimulus that should pass is one that extends unemployment benefits for citizens, not trillions to bail out poorly run businesses esp. the two most over leveraged industries, travel and Wall Street. The Travel industry is not only the globalist industry that brought us this pandemic, but is also the biggest employers of cheap foreign labor. If they go under we will have a lot less need for foreign labor and can send them all packing. Less globalism and less immigration, win-win.

    • Agree: Thea
  26. Thatgirl says:

    OT: I’m still waiting for Germany, Australia, Canada, the UK, and France all to become The Next Italy.

    We keep being breathlessly assured by the media that Italy is “ahead” of these countries, all of which have an Italian scenario of death in their future.

    Yet each had 3-5 times as many cases on February 15 (the day the timeline on Worldmeter began). Italy had 3 on that day, the others had between 9-16.

    Why do we take Italy as the template, when it looks very possibly to have been an aberration.

    • Replies: @Menschmaschine
    , @A123
  27. Anonymous[325] • Disclaimer says:

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 19h WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 9h THIS IS WHY WE NEED BORDERS!

    15 day shutdown ends April 1st.

    Love the all caps. Formatting poofters hardest hit. “It’s only tasteful when the New York Times does it.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  28. @Daniel H

    In a recent series of exchanges on this topic here, I was a minority of one (not unusual). The broad consensus is that the Fed can go on creating money out of thin air, entirely without cost. I wish I believed it.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/italy-2/#comment-3770135

  29. @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    Yeah, Womens History Month has really dropped off the radar screen. I really don’t hope this lasts through June, but …

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  30. Do you really want a Congress 24/7 with a quorum ALWAYS available to vote away your civil liberties?

  31. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    FUCK NO.

    Show up, do your job. Just like the rest of the country. Reinforces culpability.

  32. @Anon

    Supposedly all of Hillary Clinton’s email issues were because she never learned how to use a computer properly. And the leaks from her campaign were because one of the top officials fell for one of those phishing schemes.

    Where I work, they have an interesting way to train us how to recognize phishing schemes.

    First, we have to watch a boring video,
    Second, we take an online test,
    Then, the real testing.
    Every once in a while the corporate office sends us test phishing emails. As soon as we get the emails, we have to report them as phishing emails. I don’t know what happens if we fail, but I haven’t missed one yet.
    That way, we are always on the lookout for phishing emails. Nobody wants to get in trouble for failing to report, and everyone gets one.

  33. prosa123 says:

    I recall reading about a crucial vote in the Senate some years back in which a senator who had suffered a near-fatal stroke was brought into the chamber in a wheelchair and cast his vote by blinking an eye. Does anyone have more details?

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Pericles
  34. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Joe Magarac

    Youre stickling ? Dont be a stickler, dont stickle. … Nobody likes sticklers.

  35. @A123

    You may have thought that the Dems were blocking the stimulus package–by refusing to support it, despite repeated GOP concessions. The NYT knows better, and now you do too!

    Pelosi’s come up with a better plan. Obamaphones for all! And…

    The bill proposed by Pelosi, D-Calif., additionally seeks to eliminate debt held by the U.S. Postal Service, require same-day voter registration, pay off $10,000 in student debt per person, mandate that airlines reduce their overall carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050, and force federal agencies to explain to Congress how they are increasing their usage of “minority banks.”

    And, the legislation would provide for the automatic extension of nonimmigrant visas and restrict colleges from providing information about citizenship status to federal authorities.

    Never let a crisis go to waste.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  36. As someone else pointed out, at this point it is the Republicans in quarantine.

    Not sure why that was. Was it because of the CCAP and Mar al Lago meetings?

    But this creates an interesting situation. Right now the Senate is effectively tied, 47 active GOP and 47 active Dems. It takes one sick Republican to effectively give the Senate a Democratic majority since Pence is the tie breaker.

    What does that mean?

    For most bills, there is the weird 60 vote threshold. But for some bills, or confirmations, a simple majority will suffice.

    Long story short — if a Supreme Court justice drops dead, a new one cannot be confirmed.

    • Troll: Trinity
  37. @Ano

    Yes, there will be a Reichstag Fire, but it will be our Freedoms, not The Capitol, which will go up in flames.

    Yes, but as long as We the People are allowed to keep our Shift keys, the Power of Tyranny will never Prevail.

  38. Eagle Eye says:

    But it’s time for legislative bodies to vote themselves emergency powers to vote remotely (and authorize subordinate deliberative bodies to do the same). Also, suspend rules against wearing masks on the floor.

    Here is the CONTRARIAN view:

    On balance, we are MUCH better off without power-grabbing feel-good legislation adopted by council members without the ability to get in each other’s faces.

    Most of the alleged “emergency” measures adopted at various levels in response to the epidemic (which talking heads love to tell us is now “officially” a “pandemic”) fall into one or more of the following categories:

    (1) Simple power grabs to give even more unconstitution power to cops, code enforcement, cities, counties, and even supposedly private companies such as hospitals, utilities, etc.

    (2) Shuffling boxes on org charts to make it look as if one is adopting “tough” action, not coincidentally moving favored staff into more powerful positions and sidelining those more likely to raise independent viewpoints, especially, of course, stale pale males.

    (3) Pointless political posturing, e.g. public announcements that our politicians care about us and take the “situation seriously,” that we are in this together, etc. And of course, the most dangerous talking point of all: “Now is not the time for argument.” I.e. let’s not argue about mere facts, scientific principles, etc. So much more satisfying to emote in public.

    For each “measure” adopted by “elected officials,” the FIRST question to ask is: How will this change the balance of power between government interests and the individual?

  39. Anonymous[141] • Disclaimer says:

    I read twitter w/o an account so I need some help here: Somebody please send @randpaul this excellent account…..

    https://mobile.twitter.com/sigmundfriedri1

    This guy Sigmund Friedrich has a lot of good info and Didier Raoult news from France. Looks like he speaks French too which really helps with the breaking news.

    —Latest is Didier ramped up the treatment to ten days and added dosage changes for certain patients.

    —Also there is drama re France equivalent of our FDA dragging their feet.

    —Also there is a new emphasis on immediacy of treatment because there is lung damage early

    I think Rand Paul (had parts of lungs removed last year) needs to see this guy’s account ASAP…

    Thanks to anybody who can make this happen tonight!

  40. Anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:
    @Cloudbuster

    I’d also promote making Congress more like jury duty. “Greetings citizen, Congratulations! You have been selected to represent Ohio’s 15th Congressional district in the House of Representatives for 2022-2024! Please go to soimacongressionalrep.gov to learn how to proceed!”

    Pelosi’s replacement! Reporting for duty, SIR!

  41. A123 says:
    @prosa123

    I do not recall anything quite that far over the top.

    However, a very sickly Ted Kennedy cast the crucial vote for Obamacare. The fiction about, “If you like your doctor, you can keep you doctor.”

    Obamacare has killed more U.S Citizens than WUHAN-19, by denying prudently rationing life saving procedures.

    PEACE 😷

  42. How about if their IQ is below 115, or their EQ is above 100, they can’t vote at all?

    (EQ = Evil Quotient. Would you venture a guess where Schumer’s is?)

  43. Mobi says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    How about the US Congress just adjourn and come back next year? That’d be the silver lining in this Kung Flu panic-fest.

    If they do adjourn, back up the truck!

    Congress and the Stock Market

    Abstract

    We find a strong link between Congressional activity and stock market returns that persists even after controlling for known daily return anomalies. Stock returns are lower and volatility is higher when Congress is in session. This “Congressional Effect” can be quite large – more than 90% of the capital gains over the life of the DJIA have come on days when Congress is out of session. The Effect varies systematically with the public’s opinion of Congress: returns are lower and volatility higher when a relatively unpopular Congress is active. Public opinion appears to play a fundamental role in market prices. This is consistent with a mood-based explanation that sees Congress as ‘depressing’ the average investor. Alternatively, our results can also be reconciled with rational explanations that view Congressional activity as a proxy for regulatory uncertainty or rent-seeking behavior.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=687211

    • Replies: @Neoconned
  44. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    That’s clever. I’m constantly worried that my dad will fall for one of those things.

  45. @Mr McKenna

    This guy collected the three previous iterations of the NYT headline.

  46. Mobi says:

    In a reasonably calm, civil, cohesive body politic, why not?

    In 2020 USA?

    ‘The Russians hacked it – illegitimate!’ after every other vote seems most likely.

  47. Your legislature – particularly the Senate – appears to be very old on average too (I haven’t looked at the numbers but that’s my hunch so I’m going with it). That increases the danger of them meeting at the moment. Would it be reasonable to make, say, 75 the upper age limit for standing for election?

  48. @Brian Reilly

    They’re barely “phoning it in,” as it is. Telecommuting Congress Critters would be a menace. They’d be calling in from gold courses, brothels, lobbyist offices, or wherever. There would also be the issue of authenticating their remote votes. As in: “That wasn’t me who voted to sell Hawaii to the Chinese, someone must have hacked my Twitter, er, Congress Voter account.”

    Finally, the text of Article II of the Constitution implies in numerous places that Congress is expected to assemble physically in the same location and that individual congresspeople must be physically in “attendance” at that location to vote.

    Section 4
    2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December,5 unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

    Section 5
    1: Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

    4: Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

    Section 6
    1: The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.6 They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
    • Replies: @anonymous
  49. danand says:

    Save the Coastline

    California Governor Newsom is conducting a press conference in which he is now discouraging citizens from heading to the coastal parks.

    Apparently his message on Friday, that people should head out and enjoy themselves in our State Parks, was heard by the wrong audience. Many of the regular visitors and local elites, who think of these parks as “their” oasis’s, were none to pleased over the infiltration last weekend; and gave Newsom an earful. I mean come on, what if these newcomers from the inland were to make beachcombing and wandering thru the redwoods their regular habit?

    Fortunately Newsom was quick to act, or react, buy limiting access. The order has been restored; Malibu & Marin safe once again.

  50. The U.S. Capitol building isn’t terribly spacious relative to the large number of people who crowd into it.

    Pelosi seems like a good canary in the coal mine. If she can get through the next month without going into ICU… Sure, she’s got access to the best medical care in the world, but she’s ~80 years young fer crissake.

    On the technical side, identity management may be the thorniest issue to ensure that our betters can vote remotely. The user base is super low. With only ~450 and 100 senators there could be some cool ways to uniquely identify the bums. Private networks, very strict authentication and authorization stuff. It would be easy.

    // Begin joking
    How about for every vote, they send a physical piece of their flesh? Like a finger or toe. After sequencing the identity would be established (of course, a much smaller sample is needed for sequencing, but they’ve gotta get some skin in the game, the schmucks).
    // End joking

  51. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Allowing remote voting is a Bad Idea. Bad, bad idea.

  52. Trinity says:

    Damn, they need to start calling this the Coronvirus channel or website. Is there any other news in the world. COME ON PEOPLE. Whether it is the (((television))), (((twitter))), (((faceberg))) or whatever, this shit (pun intended) is starting to outlive its shelf life. Are the writers just using this for click bait, or are they really worried? People in the know, ( you won’t see them on (((television))) have already all but claimed this is all bullshit.

    THIS IS A HOAX. NOTHING MORE THAN A TYPE OF FLU BUG THAT OCCURS EVERY YEAR ABOUT THIS TIME OF THE SEASON.

    Are we bored yet, people? Are we afraid? Are we very afraid? lololol.

  53. epebble says:
    @Daniel H

    First thing: They are not planning to purchase toxic/worthless assets. However, they may buy scratch/dent assets that may not do well in open market. (near Junk, if not true Junk bonds).

    Fallout over next 12 months: worst case, mild inflation. definitely below 5%. remember, we have 22 Trillion $ national debt at 0% inflation. If we add $2T to money supply (quantitative easing), the results may be noticeable but not spectacular. Definitely, not disastrous. Definitely not comparable to the disaster of large number of deaths we may be seeing, and the way they may be dying (shortage of medical assets).

    That said, macroeconomics is not an exact science. Some may say it is not even an approximate science. It is a game of building and keeping confidence. If confidence diminishes, all bets are off. If loss of confidence occurs, it may likely be due to medical catastrophe rather than money issues.

    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe
  54. @Whiskey

    Rand Paul infected mostly R. Thus Chucky Schemer is now Senate Majority leader.

    You’d think Paul would have had the sense to do some bi-partisan coughing on the Senate floor before self-quarantining. But, in any event, if Senators really want to attend in person, there are affordable options. . . .

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  55. Oh actually maybe not! Average age of 63 or thereabouts. In my mind the ghosts of Byrd and Thurmond are still stalking the Senate but not in reality.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  56. As Coronavirus Spreads in the Capitol, Why Can’t Congress Vote Remotely?

    Like, say, from Zimbabwe?

    …noncontroversial bills such as naming post offices.

    What about unnaming post offices? Isn’t that controversial?

    But no permanent changes. Put an expiration date on all temporary changes in response to the emergency.

    That should have been done with the 1964 immigration bill and family reunification. That was put in to give a boost to Europeans, whose relatives were already here. And it did, for about a decade.

    Then the rest of the world caught up.

  57. @Anon

    Florida is now imposing a 14-day quarantine on anybody entering the state from New York. That’s pretty funny, since everyone knows which population they’re targeting.

    Well, it isn’t Expos fans anymore. But Bostonians will have to fly, or circle through Montreal, Toronto, and Detroit by land. New York is seriously in their way.

  58. anon[213] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    Supposedly all of Hillary Clinton’s email issues were because she never learned how to use a computer properly.

  59. Polynikes says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    Lol… what fantasy world do you live in? There is no mechanism that can stop a senator from conducting senatorial business. Other branches can’t tell them what to do (and vice versa) when it comes to internal procedure. This includes pandemics. They’ll vote one way or another.

    Or another way of looking at it for our democratic friends: Rand Paul can just threaten to come to the senatorial floor and when Democrats don’t show up they can’t block anything. Neither scenario will happen.

  60. Trinity says:

    To hell with our liberties and Constitution being taken away by YOU KNOW WHO, lets all worry about a run of the mill MANUFACTURED flu bug.

    Can we change the tune now and begin living in a One World Government State, I mean, it looks like all the retards have fallen for this crap, or have they?

  61. @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    LOL. The Atlantic article in a nutshell: “Women will have to spend time with their children. The Horror!”

    • Replies: @Charon
  62. prosa123 says:

    Now that Rand Paul is in self-quarantine he has plenty of time to work on his new side business, the Rand Paul Academy of Unarmed Combat.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  63. Charon says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Atlantic readers don’t mind other women spending time with their children. So long as they’re from Jamaica or Guatemala and cost less than $9/hr.

  64. epebble says:
    @Steve Richter

    They have to be really very careful before injecting anything into healthy people. They have to pass a higher bar than the compassionate use case for experimental medicine. If it causes severe reaction in even 1 in 1000 cases, that will be a major problem. Even with the ordinary flu vaccine, you see lot of warnings.

    • Replies: @Steve Richter
  65. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Ah, you forget the penumbras, heart and lungs of Our Living Constitution.

  66. Daniel H says:
    @Mr McKenna

    The broad consensus is that the Fed can go on creating money out of thin air, entirely without cost. I wish I believed it.

    Bailing out there cronies/masters is a monstrous crime, and yet, it seems, they can get away with it, without cost. We are in hell.

  67. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Compared to the UK’s House of Commons chamber (where MP’s represent more districts than do US Congressmen, 650 to 435), it’s downright comparable to Yellowstone National Park.

    Now those are definitely cramped quarters.

    In 1943, New Hampshire’s lower house had 443 members, more than the US House of Representatives. With less than four-tenths of one percent of the population.

    The state has grown faster than the rest of the country, and had already amended their constitution to limit it to 400 eventually, so the ratio is better today.

    In case you’re wondering, the state has only 24 senators. Only Alaska’s, Delaware’s, and Nevada’s are smaller.

    Don’t know how big their building is, compared to Parliament’s.

  68. Contrary to what conservatives and libertarians will tell you, I think if we’d had straight up direct democracy back in, say, 1950, we wouldn’t be in most of this mess. No way that population would have voted to open the borders and import tens of millions of third worlders. Or allow 20-30 million illegals to wander around.

    The advocates of “representative” government (who are they representing?) also need to face the fact that self-dealing on the part of politicians often does more harm than the so-called mob ever could. Sellouts and traitors are worse than the occasional emotional crowd.

    Of course, in reality basic rights should be protected and a constitution is useful. Also, the issue of WHO makes up the voting population is crucial. But I’m trying to make the point that we haven’t been served by our current system. The worship of “experts” needs to end. The whole mentality of outsourcing political decisions to Really Smart People needs to end.

  69. ” Why Can’t Congress Vote Remotely?”

    Because, it would make sense. Next question?

  70. Anonymous[201] • Disclaimer says:

    Sailer Shock coming to an end?

    • Replies: @epebble
    , @RichardTaylor
  71. @Anon

    Congress doesn’t want to vote remotely because that means they’d have to learn how to use a computer. The older ones haven’t bothered to learn, and they’re against it for that reason.

    Everyone gets ten votes (invalids get whatever they can muster in the digits department).
    Vote every 4-5 years (I are britoid).
    Verify by chopping one finger off at the polling station, and filing it in a liquid nitrogen capsule, if German. Otherwise toss it to the cat.
    Continue until boomer-age, like moi.

    After that? Well, you had your chances innit?
    Wipe yer own arse, paddlehands.

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
  72. How about, congress has to vote in person but their staff is required to telecommute

    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe
  73. @Ano

    The Reichstag fire was set by Marinus van der Lubbe, acting alone. Most historians now accept this as fact.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  74. J1234 says:

    I wonder if Nancy Pelosi is medically involved? (Never let a good crisis go to waste, remember?)

    • Replies: @CCZ
  75. @Hypnotoad666

    Most of them already think they’re Santa Claus. Let’s not encourage it.

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  76. Anonymous[201] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    April 1 being the Fool Day, whom do we trust?

  77. Anonymous[242] • Disclaimer says:

    Senate chamber is very small. But SARS viruses are droplet spread not airborne —– the scientific difference is huge.

    Rand could theoretically infect someone by coughing but to say the whole chamber is in danger is more ignorant nonsense. Get a grip. This isn’t measles or TB. The infection patterns across the world make that obvious but there are still unzers here ready to shoot beachgoers for social crime.

    And if you try to “fact check” me by using CDC …try upping your reading comprehension. Right now on the SARS 2009 info page there are weasel words inserted into every statement on how that virus spread. It’s been 17 years! ……CDC = fog machine.

  78. Thea says:

    It may be too nihilistic of me but I hope this doesn’t pass and our government crumbles.

    The USA really can’t afford to pay American homes $3000 nor can it guarantee income and health care payments for millions of the newly unemployed. Our nation is deeply indebted and manufacturing, the former base of our wealth, is gone. America’s true poverty is laid bare.

    The quicker the house of cards collapses the better.

  79. @Thatgirl

    One reason seems to be the way deaths are attributed:

    But Prof Ricciardi added that Italy’s death rate may also appear high because of how doctors record fatalities.

    “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

    “On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,” he says.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/have-many-coronavirus-patients-died-italy/

    Another more substantial reason seems to be the air quality – Northern Italy has the worst air quality in Europe:

  80. MBlanc46 says:

    Maybe during an epidemic. But we pay ta buggers to be there. The least they can do us to show up. Even if it’s only to vote on the name of a post office.

  81. Alice says:

    right after Sept 11, it occurred to people that maybe Congress should spread out. All sorts of updates to issues like continuation of govt in case of emergency, what to do with absent folks etc. were made. Yet Congress punted this very obvious one, which would have also allowed constituents to stay in closer contact with their representatives.

    Why? who/whom? same reasons will apply now.

  82. @prosa123

    Now that Rand Paul is in self-quarantine he has plenty of time to work on his new side business, the Rand Paul Academy of Unarmed Combat.

    Change unarmed to no, and I’ll consider a donation. I’ve got sons.

  83. Anon[362] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    In two weeks the quarantined GOP senators will be out and able to vote. Meanwhile, if any Democratic senators falls sick or ends up in quarantine, the vote will flip. Two weeks is enough time for anything to happen.

  84. anonymous[302] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr McKenna

    It is kind of like Peter Pan being able to fly. When the audience stops believing, well…

  85. @Trinity

    Ok. Go vacation in Bergamo and report back on your findings. Or New York City.

  86. Hold everything. Late-breaking Emmett Till news!!

  87. Escher says:

    Can’t do any more harm. Not like they read the bills they pass.

  88. Eagle Eye says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    Every once in a while the corporate office sends us test phishing emails. … have to report them as phishing emails. … That way, we are always on the lookout for phishing emails.

    This is a general phenomenon that should be taken more seriously. People asked to watch out for certain rare phenomena will get bored and start slacking off if the number of positives is too low. It makes sense to enhance the positive/negative ratio by adding dummy positives. This probably works even if the watchers know that some positives were only added to keep them on their toes.

    The technique can be further refined by modulating the number of dummy positives dynamically over the course of a shift, a week, a month etc.

  89. Anonymous[368] • Disclaimer says:

    Never let a crisis go to withdrawal from perpetual Afghanistan police action

  90. A123 says:
    @Thatgirl

    OT: I’m still waiting for Germany, Australia, Canada, the UK, and France all to become The Next Italy.

    Tuberculosis [TB] carried by illegal Muslim immigrants spreads easily in warm climates.

    WUHAN-19 plus Islamo-TB is fatal as a combination.
    ____

    The multi-year Fake Stream Media [FSM] cover-up of Islamo-TB spreading into the general population is about warm humid weather.

    The big hits are:
    — Italy and Spain. Lengthy Mediterranean coast.
    — Southern France and Southern Portugal. The Sharia-compliant FSM will intentionally try to avoid or distort these regional numbers that directly correlate disease infested Muslims and pestilence of Islamo-TB.

    Lesser impact:
    — Due to the large number of warm & humid islands, Greece has had decent TB counter measures even during the predation of Mullah Merkel’s German Austerity offensive. While Islamo-TB is more dangerous than local variants, to date it has been contained by the same measures.
    — Germany and Canada have very cold winters that help prevent Islamo-TB.
    — Australia has an illegal problem, but not one that directly links to Islamo-TB.
    ____

    If you want scientific proof, do the math:

    — Poland — Near zero Islam, Near zero WUHAN-19 deaths.
    — Hungary — Near zero Islam, Near zero WUHAN-19 deaths.
    — Czech Republic — Near zero Islam, Near zero WUHAN-19 deaths.
    — Slovakia — Near zero Islam, Near zero WUHAN-19 deaths.

    Perfect mathematical correlation is undeniable to the rational mind.
    ____

    Knowing the number of irrational UR posters, let us look at Iran.

    The death rate is not surprising given that they intentionally spread the disease by licking shrines: (1)

    Shocking footage has emerged of Iranians tempting fate by licking the doors and a burial mound at the Fatima Masumeh Shrine in Qom, the epicenter of the Islamic Republic’s COVID-19 outbreak.

    Journalist Masih Alinejad shared video of the disturbing practice, noting that officials have refused to shut down the religious shrines — while the death toll in the country stands at 66, with more than 1,500 infected.

    “These pro-regime people are licking the shrines & encouraging people to visit them,” he said in a tweet. “Iran’s authorities are endangering lives of Iranians & the world.”

    .

    The article is from March 2. Thanks to bodily fluid exchanges via shrines, Iran’s numbers 2 weeks later are 3,000+ dead, 30,ooo+ infected, and the WUHAN-19 death rate is exponentially accelerating.

    Italy’s vulnerable population of Islamo-TB infected elderly caps the limit of how bad things can get. Iranian degeneracy could exterminate the entire population

    PEACE 😷
    _______

    (1) https://nypost.com/2020/03/02/iranians-licking-religious-shrines-in-defiance-of-coronavirus-spread/

  91. njguy73 says:
    @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    The author of the Atlantic piece does make a valid point. Egalitarianism is only possible in societies where sanitation and other conveniences reduce the time required to clean and cook. I’ve heard it said that Clarence Birdseye liberated women more than Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem combined could ever dream of doing. And if women had any sense of history, the name Ignaz Semmelweis would be as revered as that of Joan of Arc.

  92. njguy73 says:
    @Brian Reilly

    All right. How about this: No Congressperson or Senator leaves the District for any reason until the session ends. Wife having kid? Fuck you, vote. Kid got hit by beer truck? Fuck you, vote. Donor says he’s gonna rip up check unless you do photo-op at his house? Fuck you, vote.

  93. Neoconned says:

    I know that inmy local city politics you must have a quorum for any vote or even discussion to be legal.

    I guess the concept legally is they HAVE TO SEE YOUR FACE TO PROVW ITS YOU DOING THE VOTE….

  94. Anonymous[202] • Disclaimer says:

    April 1 being the Fool Day, whom do we trust?

    Trust no one! It’s a ship of fools.

    Having said that Trump sounded really stoked at the presser today. He is relentlessly pushing the Didier Raoult drug cocktail.

    With any other politician you would assume they had solid inside knowledge before going out on a limb like this. But with Trump it’s hard to tell.

    Think we have to assume he’s got Five Eyes intel that points to a huge impact. There’s a Delingpole story at breitbart that claims the CDC has known about chloroquine efficacy against SARS since 2005 iirc. So maybe Trump thinks he’s holding a straight flush…

    There are other big developments in the mask/respirator/meds supply issue. Trump Team has got some huge players all hands on deck.

    WE ARE NOT ITALY. MASSIVE PUSHBACK COMING AGAINST THE WITCH CORONA.

    • Replies: @Anon
  95. Anon[362] • Disclaimer says:

    A lot of liberals attacking Trump for every single Covid-19 decision he makes. At heart, liberals are trying to hide the fact that their open-borders policy let Covid-19 run wild in this country, and they are a total mass of projecting their own screwups onto Trump. What liberals want is to not work at all and just get welfare payments from Daddy government for life. In essence, quarantine with a mass handout is giving them that. They’re going to be furious when both stop. Liberals don’t want to go back to normal life. They want to go back to the womb where nobody hurts and nobody has to struggle.

    But real life isn’t like that.

    It’s going to get interesting in New York and California, the two states with the most draconian quarantine policies. People not able to work, not able to make payments. You’re going to see the local liberals getting into physical altercations with the normies as everyone’s cash stash dwindles and the normies start breaking quarantine to go back to work. In essence, you have a bunch of liberals who want to be protected against reality, and they refuse to understand that this time, there is no way to protect them.

    The only way to make people face facts is for everyone to feel the pinch. Livelihoods need to be lost, and personal freedom taken away before the majority is faces up to the fact that there’s no way to come out unscathed this time.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    , @anonymous
  96. epebble says:
    @Anonymous

    Many younger folks have expressed hostility towards boomers both here and elsewhere. They should listen to Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick who is so sincere in expressing his desire to make life better for younger people even though it may cost his life. Young folks should understand that many boomers are like him and are only too willing to sacrifice themselves if it helps younger people live a better life. Hopefully, after this pandemic, antagonism towards elders for their real and perceived sins goes away.

    https://www.mediaite.com/tv/texas-lt-gov-says-we-cant-sacrifice-the-country-to-combat-coronavirus-older-people-like-me-will-take-care-of-ourselves/

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @J.Ross
  97. @Anonymous

    I’m guessing it’s about to wind down.

    My guess is that a repeat of the Spanish flu is less likely due to all the sanitary techniques we have available now. And mass communications lets the public put measures in place fast.

    Seems like an early travel ban, social distancing, no handshaking, frequent hand washing and use of antiseptics at stores and other public places would have pretty much achieved the same thing without shutting down the economy. Also, super caution around old (over 80) sick people.

  98. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @epebble

    Like everyone else, some old people are foundationally decent and some are piles of crap on the sidewalk and always were. Occasionally people do change, usually not. Instead of assuming anything about someone because of their age we should look at them as individuals, while not forgetting that there are trends and tendencies.

  99. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    OT:

    Maybe we should start looking at stuff besides corona virus while we’re all at home staying away from coronavirus?

  100. anon[336] • Disclaimer says:

    Allowing Congress to vote remotely is way too easy. The republic was better off when voting was more difficult. Not only should Congressmen and Senators be required to be present for votes, we the people should remove air conditioning from the building and let them get by with fans. If that makes life too tough, call a recess.

    No man’s liberty is safe when Congress is in session.

  101. Anon[362] • Disclaimer says:

    There’s a very important point that needs to be raised here. If we quarantine to the point where we delay Covid-19 until next winter, our body count will be much, much higher. Yes, we will kill far more people.

    Why? Because winter is when people catch other diseases. If you get Covid-19 when you’re already sick with something else, it’ll likely kill you. Every year, about 10% of the population gets regular flu, and that’s not even counting other diseases. When? Usually in winter. 10% of our population is 33,000,000 people. The link below gives you an estimate of the numbers.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-get-the-flu-mos/

    Every year, about 1 million people go to the hospital with pneumonia. Yes, regular pneumonia. When do people tend to get pneumonia? Normally, in winter. Link below gives you an estimate of the numbers.

    https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/top-pneumonia-facts.pdf

    How many people get an attack of acute bronchitis every year? About 5% of the population. 5% of 330,000,000 is 16,500,000 cases. Usually in winter.

    All three of the above are respiratory diseases, and let me repeat, you can’t afford to be sick with any of them and catch Covid-19, or you’re likely to die.

    Add those numbers up, people. 33,000,000 influenza cases, 1,000,000 pneumonia cases, and 16,500,000 bronchitis cases. That’s 50,500,000 people.

    Let me repeat this. 50,500,000 people in this country who will have a pre-existing (but in normal times temporary) condition that is likely to make them die if they catch Covid-19 on top of it.

    The only solution is to get through this pandemic in the warm weather months, when people get more exercise, Vitamin D through sunshine, and eat better and are more likely to survive and acquire herd immunity. In other words, our pandemic HAS to be over by summer. We’ll lose people in summer, but we’ll lose far, far more in winter, and crush our medical system ever worse next winter than anything we can do to it now.

    We’re hoping to get a vaccine that works. Maybe we’ll get one by Autumn. I’ve read one maker say they think they can do it by Autumn. But a huge problem is, even if a vaccine works, will we be able to make 330,000,000 doses of it before winter and get it out to the population before winter? Even if we find the vaccine, the logistics of its manufacture and vaccinating everyone in the nick of time to prevent a holocaust may defeat us.

    We have to get the big wave of Covid-19 over with by the end of summer.

  102. George says:

    Israel has suspended their legislature because, coronavirus:

    Binyamin Netanyahu pulls out the coronavirus card in bid to suspend Knesset
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/binyamin-netanyahu-pulls-out-the-coronavirus-card-in-bid-to-suspend-knesset-8fhw97hrt

    Chaos in Israel’s Knesset as speaker defies top court

    Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/israel-knesset-speaker-edelstein-chaos-high-court.html#ixzz6HaGokH53

    So why not just suspend congress?

  103. @Anonymous

    Seems like a nice Asian girl.

    However, she needs to lay off the beer and get a razor.

  104. @Anon

    liberals are trying to hide the fact that their open-borders policy let Covid-19 run wild in this country,

    Except it is not true. Immigration has caused a lot of social problems, but the Covid-19 spread is not one of them. As Steve has been pointing out for days, globe trotting elites have spread the virus far more quickly than any other vector. American businessmen probably brought it back from China in the first place, and it has certainly entered the US countless times in the past few weeks from the hundreds of thousands of American travelers and students coming back from European hot spots (This is why Trump will get crucified in the end if the disease really takes off).

    It is true that one advantage of Latin American immigrants vs. Asians is that Latin Americans don’t bring new diseases like Ebola or Covid-19. We are all already on the same continent.

  105. wren says:

    We will kill this virus through diversicrats.

  106. anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    The only way to make people face facts is for everyone to feel the pinch. Livelihoods need to be lost, and personal freedom taken away before the majority is faces up to the fact that there’s no way to come out unscathed this time.

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

    • Thanks: Mr McKenna
  107. Neoconned says:
    @Mobi

    Is that a real research paper?

    I’m not denying it….just reads like something from the Onion….

  108. Here’s the problem. This is the most boring “crisis” we’ve ever been through.

  109. J.Ross says:
    @epebble

    Sincerely willing to die in order to uphold open borders, diversity, no fault divorce, modern human resources departments, thought policing, tolerated street terrorism, the end of careers, the fight against home ownership, and the tireless struggle against the Constitution? How about he stays alive but lets all that die?

    • Replies: @botazefa
  110. @Mr McKenna

    Look at that first name, Airickca! The auto suggestions offered Audiovox and Bricks.

  111. @Cloudbuster

    I’d also promote making Congress more like jury duty.

    Given that Congress (and even lesser elective and appointed offices) is the surest road to riches in the US, we should do selection of the winners by sales of lottery tickets. Sure, you’ll inevitably get a Bloombergs and a Steyers who buy en masse, but you’ll still get the odd working-class stiffs with a dollar and a dream.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  112. @Mike_from_SGV

    Yeah, Womens History Month has really dropped off the radar screen.

    Did it? It seems like we are getting a woman’s response to difficulties in the world.

  113. Bitfu says:

    OT: Malaria and Covid.

    I’m sure many have heard that anti-malaria meds are being used to fight Covid. This brief paper shows the negative correlation b/w countries that suffer from malaria and their Covid rates. It’s interesting to see it depicted visually.

    For those interested in going further down the rat hole–cuz, face it, you got the time—do some searches on bats and malaria. It’s an interesting relationship through history.

    Quite ironic (and I don’t write that ironically), that scientists have been researching a connection b/w bats and vaccines for quite some time:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/bat-immunity-over-malaria-parasites-could-could-be-key-to-human-vaccines-says-top-scientist-8864829.html

  114. Remote voting is a very bad idea. i worked as a staff person on Capitol Hill in the 80s and 90s and even then most Congresscritters came to the floor of the House to vote with no idea of what was even being voted on before arriving. The staff generally had one page prepared summaries of the issue and the position that the leadership was taking on it and that’s what the representative generally relied on in casting a vote. There were, of course, some issues about which Members cared deeply and cast well-informed votes, but that was the exception.

    And what about votes in committees, where the most important votes are taken during mark-up sessions? Should we allow remote voting there too? One of the reforms the Republicans made when they took the House in 1995 was to eliminate proxy votes in committees, which was a bad practice. A chairman holding proxies could outvote the other party’s members even if he was the only member of his party present. The only alternative was for the members of the opposition party to leave and then ask for a quorum call.

    And how, for that matter, is the issue of the quorum to be dealt with if remote voting is permitted? Should remote votes count for the presence of a quorum? Should we just dispense with the idea of a quorum?

    And how will we know that it is genuinely the representative casting the vote and that he hasn’t delegated that duty to his chief of staff while he goes on fund-raising, or just naps in the other room?

    If there really were a Plague of Justinian/Black Death scenario, which I think the present COVID-19 pandemic definitely is not, then we should revive Dwight Eisenhower’s idea of a site outside Washington DC (I think it was in western Maryland or West Virginia) where a quorum of Congress could meet in screened facilities to continue to work. If sick members can’t make it to that site, well that’s just too bad. They’re free to resign (fat chance, I admit) and the state in question can use whatever means it’s developed to replace them.

    Another idea would be to move the capital outside Washington DC to a more central location (I’d suggest Kansas City) to be much more convenient to all representatives save those on the east coast, which has far too much influence as it is.

  115. You ask: “Why Can’t Congress Vote Remotely?”
    Answer: Because they are not remotely capable. (Ba-boom!)

  116. On topic, Boris/Rishak’s pledge to pay all employees of shut-down firms 80% of their wages, as long as the firms keep them on the books, is only possible because of RTI, or Real Time Information, which has been compulsory for UK employers and pension providers for about six years now, and requires that HMRC (the tax man) gets a copy, in a special standardised format, of every payroll/pension run, showing earnings for the period and tax paid. So the government know how much you’re paid each month and if that changes.

    HMRC have been paying things like one-off tax rebates back to people and companies for years, so the technology’s there, though they’ll need to set it up for regular payments and the companies will need to cater for regular receipts.. I imagine the cash will go back to the companies, who have all their employees’ bank details. Some IT staff are going to be busy.

    How to access the scheme

    You will need to:

    designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation

    submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

    HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

    HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

    Off topic, a BBC piece on lab-produced fish, a welcome change from the usual “let them eat processed bugs” fare.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51657573

    “Simply put, we are running out of fish,” says Daniel Pauly, a professor of fisheries at the Institute of Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia. “And the situation, the trend line, is getting worse every year.”

    “Maybe centuries ago we could live off hunting for our food but we can’t live off hunting today and fishing is hunting. The notion of hunting in the 21st century to feed 10 billion people is absurd.”

    A handful of start-up firms think they might have the answer. They are experimenting with growing fish “meat” in the lab.

    Mainly based in Silicon Valley with a couple in Europe and Asia, they have developed techniques to extract fish stem cells and grow them into commercial quantities of edible flesh.

    Stem cells are a type of cell, found in embryos or adult creatures – which can grow into a number of different specialised cells. They can grow into the muscle cells which make up most the parts of fish people like to eat.

  117. Svevlad says:

    That makes me think

    Why DO we have such things in the first place? Technology now allows total decentralization. No need for a capital city, even. Do everything remotely!

    This has many benefits:

    1. reduced costs (no need for securing buildings and shit)
    2. the congressmen/senators stay in their communities, no ivory tower bullshit, resulting in them being truly representatives of the people

  118. BB753 says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. With remote voting, we could cut the middlemen, that is, congressmen, err congresspersons, and they don’t want us to realize just how obsolete vote by representatives has become in this century.
    Direct democracy is streng verboten, this is an oligarchy, with our so-called representatives as spokespersons of corporations and masonic lodges.

    • Agree: Autochthon
  119. @Paleo Liberal

    A number of people seem to be upset by this comment, and are arguing the math, or whether this could actually happen.

    The math is correct. Simple arithmetic.

    The point is, in a representative republic with two parties is almost equal strength, missing congressmen and senators can potentially change the party with an effective majority on a temporary basis.

    Some see this as fanciful thinking or a liberal plot or whatever. Not so. It is simple arithmetic of the elementary school variety.

    Steve’s proposal would fix this issue. Simple as that.

  120. Again, Mr. Sailer, I implore you to be sensible: the incapacitation of the federal government is a thing to be welcomed, not prevented!

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  121. guest007 says:
    @Steve Richter

    I doubt if they are doing double blind tests. However, vaccines need to go through at least phases, a Phase 1 safety test and a Phase 2 effectiveness test.

    Gilead has been having problems with compassionate use of revemdesivir because people wanting to be treated are refusing to have their medical data collected for the drug study. That leaves Gilead having to report any suspected adverse event while not getting any useful data.

  122. @epebble

    Even with the ordinary flu vaccine, you see lot of warnings.

    what was shown on the 60 minutes report is they made a vaccine based on the DNA sequencing of the virus. Kind of a chemical soup. So I assume no chance of a replicating virus in the mix.

  123. Pericles says:
    @prosa123

    John McBrain was wheeled in to vote in favor of Obamacare before himself dying. A strangely respected supreme gentleman maverick to the last.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-22/john-mccain-kills-gops-last-ditch-efffort-repeal-obamacare

  124. Pericles says:
    @Anonymous

    What in God’s name was that?

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Reg Cæsar
  125. I am astounded no one has brought this up as a Republican strategy on the stalled bailout bill. 5 Republicans are quarantined, so if they could vote the Dems would be helpless. Why not demand this and push it on TV? I just don’t understand how our lawmakers think. What am I missing?

  126. Pericles says:
    @Mr McKenna

    Born 15 years after Till died. I wonder how they were related? Muh granmaws wuz a cousin a Emmit’s half-brutha’s side piece? Not even a third generation holocaust survivor.

  127. @The Alarmist

    No, a rich guy can afford several million lottery tickets, while a poor man can only afford one. You could literally buy the office.

  128. Interesting article by Nobel Prize winner who got the prediction right about China. He thinks we’ll be ok. Also, he mentions that Italy has a strong anti-vaccination movement which made flu season worse in general.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/nobel-prize-winner-shares-some-good-news-about-the-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-03-23

  129. @Cloudbuster

    A random selection from 5th grade drop outs would yield a better and more intelligent Congress person than my representative (Shelia Jackson Lee).

    • Agree: Cloudbuster
  130. We seem to like to punish our elected representatives by paying them so little. Senators and Congressmen only make $174,000 per year. Presidents only make $400,000. That means most of these guys are taking a step down to run for office.

    One idea would be to build housing in Washington DC similar to college dorms but with more rooms for a family for them to use at no cost while they are in office. This would allow them to not be forced to carry two houses on such a meager income. The housing would be one to two metro stops to the Capitol so they could concentrate on work or the people’s business and not be distracted. The cost to the public to build 535 units would be an enormous investment when considering what their time is actually worth.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  131. @Mr McKenna

    They’re doing it.

    Market is limit up green as I type this.

    Risk off!

    BTFD !!!

  132. But it’s time for legislative bodies to vote themselves emergency powers to vote remotely (and authorize subordinate deliberative bodies to do the same).

    If Congress is going to remote voting, why not just cut out the middle man and have every citizen vote, instead?

    We’d get way better laws, especially on core issues like immigration.

    And we’d spend less money and do it with way less graft and without the giant sucking parasitic Potomac blob.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  133. @Cloudbuster

    Granted, but the rich guys will just buy-off the poor guys who get the office. Why not at least have some of that lucre flow through the treasury?

  134. botazefa says:
    @J.Ross

    He’s a staunch republican, mot remotely liberal.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  135. @Mr McKenna

    Oscar Wilde — ‘One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.’

    • LOL: HammerJack
  136. Anon[875] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Indeed, US is not as White and Christian as Italy. Worst parts of Italy are better in terms of disability and life expectancy than most of Mongrelia. People say hello to each other. Priests give away their respirators.

    In contrast, your children and your parents hate you. You reciprocate, by placing your bet on imaginary Five Eyes espionage intel.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  137. epebble says:

    have every citizen vote, instead?

    What makes you think that will work out better? Democratic party has won popular vote in every election after 1988, except in 2004. 2004 was a war year aberration.

    Republican party hold on power at national level is advantaged by the structure of Senate, use of Electoral College for presidential election (and may be some Gerrymandering). Direct democracy means dictatorship by Democratic party. Just California will out vote bottom 10 states (in population).

  138. Anon[313] • Disclaimer says:

    USA Today backgrounder on problems, possible solutions, to remote voting. Complete text, probably best to edit down, Google for the URL. I’m on a tablet.

    ——

    Rules Committee says remote voting not a likely solution

    A report from the House Rules Committee released Monday found that moving away from live voting on Capitol Hill could prove difficult.

    “Implementing remote voting would raise serious security, logistical, and constitutional challenges,” the report found. It cited risks from “enemy states” or “bad actors” who could try to break into and meddle with any online system, as well as the fundamental changes it would mean for how Congress operates and centuries of tradition.

    A move to remote voting might make sense, but it would require lengthy study, the report said.

    “This change cannot be implemented overnight, and likely cannot be accomplished in time to address the current crisis,” the report concluded. Remote voting would also require a rule change, which would itself have to be voted on in person.

    The report said proxy voting “is likely the best of the options available under the circumstances.” That would allow a lawmaker to permit another member to cast their votes for them for a certain period of time. But, as with remote voting, it would require lawmakers to vote on a rule change and could face constitutional challenges.

    Committee Chairman James McGovern said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked him to begin work on the report last week because lawmakers “on both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns regarding traveling and congregating en masse as this pandemic continues to spread across the country.”

    The Rules Committee report suggested that simpler solutions would be to move to pass legislation under existing rules. For example, Congress could approve measures by unanimous consent, which does not require the lawmakers to be physically present. The downside of this approach, the report notes, is that a single member could object and derail the legislation.

    Another option would be to have members vote in shifts to limit their exposure to one another. The problem with that approach is that it would not allow those who are ill or under quarantine. to vote.

    – Will Cummings and Christal Hayes

  139. In all seriousness, how would we be worse off if large numbers of democrat and republican congressmen died from COVID-19? Who cares whether they vote online, therefore, or infect each other?

    Likewise, how would we be worse off if congressmen then infected their staffers? Quite few of them are elderly, and many are not even middle-aged, so they would generally recover just fine.

    And again, if staffers died, how would we be worse off? I lived in DC and dealt with these people both socially and professionally. By no means ALL bad folks, of course. Nor did I have a complete sample. But I worked with them, partied with some of them, and even rented a house to various staffers of both parties for many years. And yeah they WERE, disproportionately, arrogant people straining to be part of the elite and sincerely believing they can run the lives of us ignorant people out in the hinterlands.

    Don’t vote online, congressmen. Keep huddling together, please. Bring your spouses and staffers in to the huddle too, while you’re at it. See, we care about your lives as much as you care about ours.

    Edit: “but I mean that in a good Christian way.”

  140. @AnotherDad

    You’ve got an increasingly strong point there, AD.

    If we don’t want to risk going that far, or can’t get that done, how about these three measures:

    (1) authorize congress to place issues on the ballot for a binding national referendum:

    (2) more important, authorize a majority of state legislatures to place an issue on the ballot for binding national referendum. They’d sometimes do this because they’re afraid to take the heat for voting on an issue themselves, and that’s fine, give it to us, assholes.

    (3) most important, authorize the people ourselves to submit signed verifiable petitions directly to DC to place an issue on the ballot for binding national referendum.

    We would likely have a serious crackdown on illegal immigration, including a wall and troops on the southern border. Mandatory prison time for executives and owners of corporations that knowingly hire illegal aliens instead of Americans.

    With binding national referenda, we’d also have other economically, culturally, and environmentally prudent measures to slow the increase in our population: a reduction in legal immigration, perhaps a moratorium or reduction of the H1B visa program, an end to chain migration (I.e. endless “family reunification” invasion), and end to birth tourism “birthright citiezenship.”

    Of course, the people nationally would also vote to repeal federal prohibition of marijuana and raise the minimum wage. Including Yours Truly.

    The establishment in our NON-representative government, media, universities, and corporate and financial elite would be HORRIFIED and offended. Another way to tell we’re doing something right for the people.

  141. @Prof. Woland

    As for the president, if he can’t get by with 400 grand and free housing / meals / utilities, screw him and don’t run for the office.

    As for congressmen, why can’t their spouses work or live with family back at home, if $175,000 isn’t enough to get by well in an expensive city like DC? The rest of us have to do it, and usually at far lower household incomes, trying to get by in LA, San Diego, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Miami and other expensive cities. Tough shit for them.

    Again as for congressmen, I wouldn’t mind a higher salary, such as $250,000**, but then in return

    (1) they have a lifetime ban on lobbying and on working for any law firm or business contracting with the federal government,

    (2) they have the same medical insurance as all US Citizens get and not be allowed to buy additional insurance or care, with mandatory prison time and loss of office if caught doing so (now there’s an incentive to to take care of us),

    (3) they are exempted from NO laws whatsoever, whether antidiscrimination or freedom of information act or whatever,

    (4) they have a lifetime ban on honoraria and “speaking fees” and “book deals”, which are often just after-the-fact bribes.

    ** I was going to say “indexed for inflation”, but on second thought, Hell no. Are taxpayers’ salaries and wages guaranteed indexed for inflation? Maybe their salaries should go up at the same rate as the median (not mean) American household income.

    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
  142. @Cloudbuster

    You’re right, cloudbuster. How about give one congressional “lottery ticket” to every non-felon U.S. Citizen age 25 and over who filed a federal income tax return in the previous five consecutive years?

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  143. Anon[407] • Disclaimer says:

    Re objections about security and hacking: Can’t they just phone in their votein? Votes are public, so it will be immediately obvious if a legislator’s vote on the government website differs from his real vote.

  144. anon[104] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pericles

    What in God’s name was that?

    Just another day in the Golden State, why do you ask?

  145. @Roderick Spode

    Nevertheless, it was a “crisis” that was exploited.

  146. MB says:

    I think not only is this voting thing over rated, it’s all going to be moot shortly.
    That’s because Bernie has won the virtual Nov. election, Joe and Donald notwithstanding.

    “Because” of the Great 2020 Panic Pandemic/Run on ToiletPaper, other wise known in media pidgin speak as The 2nd Coming of the Banking Bailout Black Plague, Congress will vote on and pass a bill to give a pittance money to every taxpayer as a sop for giving even more bribes money to Wall Street, the big banks, airlines etc. and the Donald will sign it.

    IOW boys and girls, it’s win/win for one and all: Bernie, the Bernie bros and the govt./corporate ho’s. What’s not to like?

    None of us thought we would see it in our time and now that it is, we still hemming and hawing about the finer points.
    But if we were really serious and halfway healthy and sane, we’d quarantine Washington DC from the rest of America and let them amuse themselves by voting any old way they wanted.
    The more the better.

    Instead we going to get to find out how many rolls of Charmin on the street it’s going to take to buy a six-pack of panic vaccine.
    All the while our ruling betters will do themselves one better and award themselves a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for outrunning the run on Cottonelle Ultra Soft.

    The sooner Congress locks down and self isolates at home with no phone, no lights, no TV, no innernet, no press coverage whatsoever, the better off we all will be and the same goes for our mainstream lick spittle media.

  147. @Anonymous

    I don’t know what’s more disturbing, your underdressed gook, or your overdressed spook.

  148. @Pericles

    What in God’s name was that?

    Why, the female Archimedes! 尤里卡!

    The result of our encouraging more women into STEM.

  149. @Paleo Liberal

    I wish employees were also tested for their vulnerability to fake “if you get sent a video called xxx, do not open this video, it will wipe your phone, empty your bank account and cause your children’s hair to fall out” type messages which ping round social media.

    Yesterday I was sent such a fake warning, one which two years ago my wife and all her friends were passing onto each other, by an NHS consultant. Coronavirus is generating a climate of hysteria.

    In other things that should cause a climate of hysteria, most NHS nurses still don’t have masks, there aren’t enough to go round and they’re reserved for the staff most likely to come into contact with coronachan.

  150. @botazefa

    Republicans staunch and otherwise zealously support all the evils J. Ross enumerated.

    You are making a distinction without a difference. Donald Trump, for example, is thrilled about open borders, and crows he will flood the nation with more invaders than ever before, but he will do so “leeegally” – which makes him *%#! all different from Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi, who are okay with its being done “illegally.”

    You are arguing the fellows who murder with knives are superiour to the fellows who murder with brickbats. It’s a preposterous fiction you entertain.

  151. CCZ says:
    @J1234

    Where is Joe Biden? Last seen March 14 (live stream). Joe’s not acting very presidential.

  152. @Anon

    White fertility rate in the USA far higher than in Italy.

    Median white age in the USA lower than in Italy.

    Church attendance by non-elderly white folks in the USA not as pitifully low as in Italy.

    Priests in Italy having deviant unhealthy unhygienic “sex” with each other just like priests in the USA, as far as we can tell, and by definition doing nothing to perpetuate their families or their nation. How nice that a few of them allegedly donate ventilators in between living off the unearned income and benefits of their useless Sinecures and perpetuating a systematically corrupt (and anti-white) institution.

    In the towns where my family lives in the USA — and that includes a wide variety of regions, Mid-Atlantic, New England, Midwest, Mountain west, and Southwest— they report, and we experience, that the European-American people (and most people) typically say hello to each other and care about their neighbors and communities, on balance. The majority of the country is not manhattan or DC or downtown Los Angeles quite yet, thank God.

    I am proud of my italian heritage and look forward to taking our children to visit what is left of actual Italian culture and people in Italy someday. But I wouldn’t brag on Italy, If I were you, either in absolute terms or compared to the USA in the aspects you’re touting.

  153. @RadicalCenter

    Actually, those are all very good ideas. My beef is with your second paragraph

    As for congressmen, why can’t their spouses work or live with family back at home, if $175,000 isn’t enough to get by well in an expensive city like DC? The rest of us have to do it, and usually at far lower household incomes, trying to get by in LA, San Diego, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Miami and other expensive cities. Tough shit for them.

    I live in the Bay Area and you cannot have two houses and live on that little money, especially if you are trying to attract any sort of talent. That means candidates in my area cannot run for office unless they are wealthy (or they are married to someone who is). This is a problem with Federal jobs in general if you live where I do even if a progressive income tax means we pay up the ass. Another problem is that being a Senator or Congressman is not just another job. It sounds great if their wives work but in reality, I would rather they looked after the kids and homestead so he can go work 12 + hours per day. It is not a 9-5 job.

  154. @epebble

    Definitely not comparable to the disaster of large number of deaths we may be seeing, and the way they may be dying (shortage of medical assets).

    Can you explain how the deaths of 20% of the over 60 group is a disaster?

    Deaths among the under 60 crowd would only be, what, 0.1% at the most and of those most are over 50.

    Much as it would pain me emotionally to lose the person, it does not seem a disaster in the aggregate.

  155. @Not My Economy

    How about, congress has to vote in person but their staff is required to telecommute

    oooh, that’s good. also, lobbyists, etc., have to telecommute, so there are only congressmen, security and building maintenance folks there. no one else.

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