Smithfield Foods is closing its Sioux Falls, SD plant indefinitely. It is a massive hot spot:
The plant, which employs about 3,700 people in the state’s largest city, has become a hot spot for infections. Health officials said Sunday that 293 of the 730 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in South Dakota work at the plant.
Let’s get out the (not so) wayback machine, open up the April 9th Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and see what Smithfield was doing last week:
As the rising threat of COVID-19 spread quickly through the workforce of Smithfield Foods in recent days, fear and uncertainty kept pace.
On Thursday, less than 24 hours after state health officials confirmed more than 80 positive cases of the virus at the Sioux Falls meatpacking plant, the company announced its decision to close for three days to clean, sanitize and better equip the plant for social distancing.
But workers say they don’t feel safe, and they don’t feel a $500 “responsibility bonus” offered by Smithfield starting last week to those who do not miss work in April is sufficient compensation for risking their health or, potentially, their lives.
“Because management drug its feet and didn’t act quickly, that’s why it’s a hot spot,” said Kooper Caraway, president of the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO, a labor federation that represents local unions, including the Smithfield United Food and Workers Union. “And we’re seeing the cases go up every day. No matter what the latest numbers are, I promise you there’s more than that.”
Read that whole story. The locker rooms were tight quarters, the company’s sanitizing efforts were terrible, and the workers knew the score. I have family in Sioux Falls, and they tell me that a lot of Smithfield employees are Latinx and Nepalese immigrants, many of whom live in close quarters in apartments near the plant. Put together a $500 “come to work sick” bonus with a dense community and the 293 cases are probably the tip of the iceberg.
By the way, it should surprise nobody that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a crazy-eyed Sarah Palin wannabee, is the fucking worst. Today, like the walking MAGA hat she is, she’s in Sioux Falls announcing a trial of hydroxychloroquine at a Sioux Falls hospital. At the same time, the mayor of Sioux Falls is begging her to announce a shelter in place order. South Dakota has only ordered shelter in place for over-65 and those who have pre-existing conditions. Bars and restaurants are still open, but there’s a ten-person limit. Since Jesus had 12 disciples at the last supper, Kristi was going to make the limit a dozen, but ultimately she decided to play it safe and only go for 10.
But, ultimately, hoocoodanode that this COVID-19 thing would sneak up on us like that? Jared will send 100 ventilators and some PPE over to South Dakota, the standard red state allotment, as their hospitals fill up with sick people. Then they’re on their own.
I’ve seen the workforce for the processing plants in Storm Lake, Iowa (Steve King country) and they’re similarly staffed and doubtless working and living in similar conditions. Guessing the “It will never find us here in flyover country” sense of immunity is eroding. Clearly Obama’s fault.
A living personification of the This is Fine dog comic.
Gov. Noem needs to participate in that clinical trial.
Since the workers belong to a union, Republicans will treat them as sub-human and expendable.
@MattF: and many of them are from immigrant communities and so expect ICE raids to follow and then blame “those people” for bringing cv19 to the homeland.
@debbie: can’t. No heart.
What’s really crazy is, hydroxychloroquine isn’t showing much in the way of results, while remdesivir is showing some possible efficacy. If this was pure-D “let’s protect Dear Leader by finding a cure” it’d be wiser to cast aside his “good feelings” (which, remember, come from a man who doesn’t understand that bacteria and viruses are different, doesn’t realize a “flu shot” only protects from the *actual flu*, and doesn’t realize that permanent US residents coming back from China can carry a virus just as easily as foreign nationals can) and test something that might work.
I keep thinking that the Rs will find some way to soft pedal this, and praise Trump’s “wise, prudent leadership” and keep finding… um. Well, horrible, horrible news, but, clear evidence that the Rs still don’t have any flippin’ idea what they’re doing, so they’re unlikely to pull a rabbit out of this hat (and if they did, it’d likely have tularemia…).
There are times I just so wish that the people who caused this mess were the ones to suffer, but alas, innocent people are suffering, and dying, because the GOP decided they were cool with a lying, bigoted, xenophobic, incompetent who neither understands, nor cares to understand, the responsibilities of the Presidency, as their Presidential candidate. It seems they would prefer tens of thousands dead, with tax cuts and well-purchased judges, than having saved lives and wealth via competent actions by a Democratic President.
Villago Delenda Est
The invisible hand here is the coronavirus.
Hadn’t thought of that. Thanks!
At least 293 out of 3700, so at least 8% of the working population. That gives a sense of the contagiousness of the disease. I wonder if they tested everyone, or just the ones who felt ill. This would be one of those instances where we would really like to test every single person who worked at the plant.
Another horrific episode for those living the shit life. It remains of the Russian generals asking the troops to charge the Germans lines some without a weapon or be the shot on the spot or if they dared to run back.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Problem with shelter in place is a food procession plant is an essential business. The failing of the State of South Dakota is not forcing the plant to take the proper measures to ensure worker safety.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@John Revolta: That’s odd, the Chines are taking this mess very seriously in my experience.
So why hasn’t anyone asked Trump or the governor is they are taking hydroxychloroquine? I mean it’s great and obviously safe right.
What a joke: Trump’s Council to Reopen America is comprised of Jarvanka, Meadows, Mnuchin, Kudlow, Lighthizer, and Ross.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: I suspect they were not an ethical plant in any way. I shudder to think of the hygiene rules they flouted.
@debbie: no she needs to be in a show trial with the rest of the criminal Republicans
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@debbie: I have outrage-fatigue just thinking about all the things the lumpenmittel aren’t outraged about, but the way country just collectively shrugs about Princess Grifterella and TrustFund Gilligan still baffles me.
Did not know this. Interesting twist.
It should be clear by now that the Republicans are a personality cult, and praising the perspicacity of Dear Leader is more important than taking rational political actions. That’s not to say they won’t do anything smart- Trump doesn’t dictate everything, and he does sometimes display some shrewd political instincts- but when he does want to do something stupid, they’ll all go along rather than contradict him.
@debbie: Bright side – Laffer apparently didn’t make the cut!
Peter Navarro wasn’t invisible when he showed all of his ass to 60 Minutes. Tried te bet the show it hadn’t done any previous shows on pandemics and preparation.
Meanwhile I’m proud to see West coast governors (CA, OR, WA) announcing a regional agreement to coordinate their efforts going forward. It’s one step towards ignoring the federal government entirely.
Some wag has dubbed them The Seven Scamurai. Let’s try to make it stick as a nickname.
@Roger Moore: The Seven Scamurai. I am laughing. That is wit.
Put morons with zero leadership skills in charge and what the hell would you expect?
The entire republican party long ago has abdicated it’s ability to even play human. They are being led like moronic sheep to slaughter. And thinking that standing nuts to butts sucking up each other’s moronic concepts of sheep like following is normal.
@Jinchi: A perfect example of why reopening the economy, whatever the hell that means, is so foolhardy. And Trumpov’s task force to do that? No economics or medical experts, just failed cronies.
8 man shell
Wow, she’s got some Michelle Bachman-level crazy eyes.
What is up with that? Is it a remnant of some kind of plastic surgery or something?
@BR: Yes, absolutely. Cuomo did a presser with his East Coast neighboring governors, and it was fact-filled and educational. Lots of considerations to assess in taking different actions.
Contrast that with: der Trump’s fanciful claims (OK lies) and podium-grabbing.
The governors look great. Would be fine if JB Pritzker (Illinois) and Tony Evers (Wisconsin) added Mike DeWine (R-Sanity- Ohio) for some attaboys too. Andy Beshear from Kentucky, for sure.
Am I missing any governors from the midwest and centralish states who have responded sanely and competently?
The three Pacific states have enormous clout and you’re quite right, their coordination can become a powerful force for righting the badly listing national ship. Guessing the combined population is north of 50m and the combined economies are an even greater fraction of the nation’s as a whole.
Minnesota’s? (Tim Walz, don’t know anything about him.)
@Roger Moore: I do agree, the Republicans *could* be smart. The thing is, Trump holds the major levers of power that matter right now, and he’s dumb as a post, and won’t admit he was, is, and will be, wrong about this.
And it’s interesting. If they’d been willing to admit that the President did something wrong, really, horribly wrong, almost, but just not *quite*, deserving of being removed, they’d have plenty of ground to maneuver. Instead, they played the “hoax” card during impeachment. They’re all in on “Trump is good and wise”, and I’m not sure they can reverse themselves. I don’t think anyone with the wisdom to steer a clear course through this will get listened to at this point.
Yeah, I’ve been scared for my mom out in West River but moreso my father-in-law who has COPD and works at a casino/hotel in Deadwood. Thankfully Deadwood shut down weeks ago whether MAGA-Kristi told them to or not.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: He’s implying that it’s their fault, that if the plant was run by Heartland Americans then the workforce would be healthy.
8 man shell
Heh, I remembered when that happened and RWNJ’s were flooding my facebook feed with posts about how the evil Chinese were going to start exporting all the hogs to China or some such nonsense.
Yeah, as if it makes sense for a country like China to transport pork thousands of miles instead of just raising their own.
Together WA/CA/OR are about 20% of the country’s GDP. And as a country would be the fourth largest economy in the world after the US, China, and Japan.
@BR: I’ve been waiting for that to happen- from there, it’s just a short jump to an alliance with the NY/NJ/Conn group. I’ve been hoping Whitmer would do something similar with Dewine (one of the rare Republicans without his head up his ass), Pritzker, and Evers.
@BR: Add some other large, Democratically governed states (NY, NJ, Mich, Ill., Va, Col., etc) and you have a pretty significant chunk of the nation’s GDP.
@BobS: How could I forget Governor Whitmer of Michigan! My bad.
We have some wonderful governors in the pipeline.
They should schedule for same time as Trump’s
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: That’s not a product of them being Chinese, but how they view their national economy. Protecting the workers isn’t really their goal – China has such an abundance of highly mobile eager workers that employers there haven’t faced scenarios where they cannot hire as US firms have encountered. So their decisive action is to protect the economy and their place in the global economy. But they have a long-term view – will their place in 2025 be improved or worsened by a given action, where we are governed by the same desire to protect the economy but ours is a short-term view – will the next quarterly report be good or bad.
Lots of Chinese companies, particularly those operating in the US lean toward the same US short-term approach. It might be fair to say they are more greedy and less willing to make the sacrifices needed to achieve that long-term objective, which is why they moved interest to the US. Further, those US operations are likely still managed by US upper management with some Chinese oversight. Was this a capital acquisition or one with management – wanting to run the US operation in coordination with their other businesses toward a global objective?
By comparison, there are US businesses that look a lot more like Chinese firms. Apple received a lot of criticism for their cash hoard and relative inactivity with that money but following the company I came to understand they viewed it as an endowment or capital requirement as an insurance company or bank must maintain -, a reserve of money they can tap into to keep operations going.
So, Apple can weather even a long-term loss of revenue (years) without having to lay off staff or stop investing in new products. Even their part-time retail workers have health insurance and are continuing to get paid as if they were still booking regular hours, even though Apple closed all of the US stores before any state lockdowns went into effect. Rather than argue they are essential, the nations 12th largest retailer volunteered to not be essential, because to them, protecting those employees so that they can reopen fully staffed and trained ASAP is more important than trying to drag out a few dollars of sales against increasingly difficult odds during a quarantine, laying everyone off, and then thinking they can rehire and reopen quickly. It’s basically the view the Chinese government took (which you can also see in how they structured their safety net here), not necessarily Chinese companies.
Apple goes the other way because their competitors take the short view, in part because our government encourages it. It’s a way for them to differentiate their approach and find opportunities. It’s part of their culture that Steve Jobs put in place. Its worked pretty well so far.
Consider how differently this pandemic might have played out if it happened in 2018 when Trump didn’t have a reelection front of mind (note the Chinese government didn’t have that concern). That’s not a knock on democracy, rather our cult of personality, fundraise off of impossible fantasy policy ideas version of democracy. A parliamentary system at least has the benefit of advancing at least a slightly coordinated ‘here is how we will govern’ as opposed to ‘here is how I will govern’.
@BR: @Elizabelle: @trollhattan:
I am relieved more than I can say with this tri-state coordination. It’s very good to see the Eastern Governors doing much the same thing. If one of the things that is “changed forever” is a de facto regionalized nation (a la the Articles of Confederation), it’s going to be very interesting to see how the coordinated (Blue) states carve their own (and their residents’ own) destinies.
I think that, unless Democrats not only sweep everything in November but also come out running before January, the regionalization will be difficult to reverse.
Look at Trump pretending he’s actually in charge of something as he claims he’ll be the one to determine when the economy reopens and not the governors.
The Governors are all … You have no power here
@HumboldtBlue: From your link:
Tim Walz (D, Minnesota) don’t know anything about him.
Below replacement in many ways.
Colluded (with Klobuchar’s help, I think) to bend and break applicable law to grant indefensible permits for sulphide mining on the upstream boundary of a protected wilderness to a bad-actor mining company owned by an overseas consortium.
IMHO, not a particularly good Democrat in any other respect, either.
Minnesota’s Democratic Farmer Labor party is weird and has a unique history, but the state that gave us Wellstone and Humphrey can do much much better.
Walz did figure it out and act fairly decisively against COVID-19 on 27 March. (SF Bay Area counties pulled the trigger on 16 Mar, Gov. Newsom imposed it on the entire state 19 Mar)
@debbie: Not to be confused with their law firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe
There’s an online petition to recall Michigan governor Whitman. I don’t know anything about Michigan law except that the laws about recall changed under the previous governor, but I doubt that a change.org petition has any legal effect. The petition appears to be objecting to the stay-at-home order; most of the mentions to it are in right wing sites like Redstate.
@debbie: Nobody will go to work for this maladministration anymore, not even people who may agree with its goals, because they’ve seen where it gets you. So they’re stuck with rotating the same cast in and out of every job.
A Ghost to Most
@Ksmiami: We’re going to give them a fair trial, followed by a first class hangin’.
@BR: Curious how I-5 has become the bit of infrastructure that the alliance appears to be centered around. The closest urban center in CA to Oregon is arguably 4-5 hours, yet Reno and Vegas where 99% of Nevada’s population live both sit pretty much on the CA border and Nevada, with a Dem governor, didn’t make the first cut.
I think that really speaks to the power of controlling the west coast ports to the nation. It’s a huge bit of leverage.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
It seems to me that essential businesses should be able to “draft” in some form all those not in essential businesses. It can’t be the case that among the 10% of the poorest of us shoulder the burden to keep the 60% wealthiest of us alive.
It is weird how they didn’t include NV, but NV is a much smaller state so I guess it makes sense.
Trump can “re-open the economy” all he wants.
No one but MAGA idiots is going to go to a movie or a bar until there’s a vaccine or a cure. Are you going to get a haircut before you and your barber know that neither of you is infected? Is Disney World going to open because Trump says it’s OK?
Counterpoint: I’m told that people are already eagerly pre-booking trips on cruise liners for next year. I’m guessing that the prices are very low, and that the customers have an optimistic idea of when it’ll be safe.
It’ll be interesting to watch the occupancy at Mar A Grifto and the Trump Doral over the next year.
@germy: how about the Post Office?
This is a fascinating point. From Jobs’ perspective, the standard American corporate model forced him out, squandered Apple’s nearly decade-long head start in user-friendly personal computing, and nearly destroyed his company. No wonder he set things up to make sure that wouldn’t happen again.
@Elizabelle: Does Colorado count as a “central-ish state”? Jared Polis is doing a pretty damn good job, and getting very little recognition for it, imho.
@John Revolta: Yes, Smithfield is a wholly-owned Chinese company. But they will no doubt be lining up for taxpayer-funded handouts.
I believe it was Smithfield that fought a union organizing movement for like a decade. They lost. Then came the sale to China if I am right.
Now the question is whether they can close the plant, declare bankruptcy, then put up a meat plant with another name using the same location and facilities. Workers are just another kind of creditor, right, with special protections for accrued payroll but not for pensions?
I think I know the answer to the bankruptcy question. On the other hand, there might be one hell of a consumer boycott against the successor company in this shell game.
@Jinchi: The article said:
It doesn’t sound to me like they tested everyone. The point was that 40% of the people who have been diagnosed work at the plant.
@Origuy: I suspect this has to do with trying to wound her in light of the mentions as a possible VP for Biden. Never to early to start the smear campaign for the GOPers.
@joel hanes: A lot of those cruise lines will be out of business before those great deals mature, good luck getting your deposit back. It’s remarkable to me the amount of denial people still have about the potential long term impact of the virus. There is so much we don’t know, such as how much immunity we can get and how long it will last, or even the mechanisms of how the virus acts in the body. We don’t know if a vaccine will truly work for a quite a while, if ever. I currently see a better than even chance of us muddling along with rolling lock downs for at least the next couple of years as this thing subsides and then explodes again, especially since we can’t seem to find our asses with our own hands with regards to mass testing. No one will want to invest in travel, mass live entertainment, etc. until those issues get resolved. We’re going to have a hard enough time keeping things like food production and our online services going, especially with a depressed economy. There is no good answer right now except to say we’re all in this together, but too many people still need to get that in their thick skulls.
@CaseyL: “And that, girls and boys, is how the new United States of America came to be.”
@Miss Bianca: Yes. Jared Polis has been great.
I am enthused about our Democratic governors, and the sane GOP ones (DeWine-OH, Hogan-MD, Baker-MA).
Credit where credit is due, especially because negative news usually leads.
Was Nevada excluded? Or did they just not want to join. All the other mountain-west states are bat-shit crazy MAGA land like Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. So NV would be the only other west coast state that might actually join up. Otherwise you have to leap across to Colorado and maybe NM which is small and poor and no as economically relevant.
@Ocotillo: Bring a recall on, a-holes. Hopefully this year. Which side is it going to mobilize more in this basest of elections? (Hint: starts with a D).
Recall also started Feb. 14 for new Dem Nevada governor. Maybe he doesn’t want to fly to close to the hot blue sun of California et. al.?
The cruise ships aren’t going anywhere. Once the dust settles they will reorganize and be back in business. Might be different owners. But there will still be the same cruise ships sailing around. The deeper pocketed ones will probably just buy up the weaker ones at fire-sale prices and there will be more consolidation in the industry as a result.
8 man shell
I’ve been wondering about how this period of (mostly) national quarantine is going to change the way we live in the future.
As in — of you were in the habit of getting your nails/eyebrows/whatever done every few weeks and then you couldn’t do it for a couple of months, how many of those people are never going to go back?
I mean, habits really form behavior. Will people who haven’t eaten out in a restaurant in a couple of months be less likely to go in the future now that they have (hopefully) learned to prepare quick meals at home?
My neighbor borrowed my ramps and creeper and changed his own oil this weekend. “That wasn’t so hard” was his verdict. Indeed. I wonder if that change will stick in the future?
Ahh, yes. The punishment battalions. Made up of soldiers that wanted to clear their names instead of getting shot for some infraction.
“Lock your arms and walk across this minefield.”
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
The idea of regional blocks really is intriguing. There is a lot they could do if they worked together, from coordinating healthcare policy to setting environmental standards. Imagine if they worked as a block to lower drug prices for their state health exchanges. They could also put a stop to bidding against each other to have companies move into a state. One way to get around the near stranglehold Moscow Mitch has put on good policy is for the states to work together to make it happen anyway.
@8 man shell:
You’re joking, right?? Smithfield sent so much pork to China last year they ran out of freezer space.
Moderators- I misspelled my Nym.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@Kent: The fact that NM is small and poor is exactly the reason it would benefit from joining with the West Cost block.
Back in the early sixties lunched with a Japanese-Brazilian family. Big money. BIG. They had recently purchased a second-hand ocean liner for use as the family yacht.
@Kent: Fingers crossed some of the ludicrously large ones get turned into floating hotels or something.
A Ghost to Most
@Miss Bianca: Indeed he has. Not much of a camera hog, though.
@sdhays: He had that view in his first tenure there, but it manifested differently. He always had this romantic view of how computers could help people and society and he was always building toward that vision, even though it was always planted very far in the future. Early on he had this very cutthroat approach toward current products (and even employees) that could be sacrificed to take the next step toward that goal.
When he returned, he still had the same romantic view, but it had been rendered a lot more pragmatic after being ground up a bit as you note. When he returned to Apple, he internalize the lessons a bit differently. That decade-long head start that Apple believed they had was lost because management became dependent on outside agents to control their future, while they internalized bits and pieces that weren’t structurally critical to their survival. When Motorola and IBM decided they weren’t interested in making the kinds of processors Apple needed, Apple was fucked, and there wasn’t much they could do about it because they invested elsewhere, trusting they were big enough to keep those agreements (they weren’t).
So the new culture kept that long-term romantic goal, toned it back by being less internally destructive – no more pirate flags flying over the building the Mac team was in – and focused it on the goal that if Apple wanted to be the one to realize that goal, they’d first have to survive long enough to see that day. So from then on, Apple’s first mission is to itself – we will control the critical aspects of our business – we will design the processors and even though we can’t produce them, foundaries are nearly a commodity business. Same with assembly, they can pay Foxconn to deal with all of those complications, and if they can’t, they’ll just hire Wistron or Pegatron or someone else. Again, those are largely commodities now. And rather than get caught in a finance trap – the US auto bailout had to be a government bailout because only two US entities had enough cash to finance GM – the feds and Apple. None of the investment banks or hedge funds had that kind of cash on hand. Even though the feds wanted a private bailout, nobody else had the money – and for Apple at the time, it would have been all of it.
So this approach means that when Apple’s suppliers get in trouble, as happened after the Japan tsunami, Apple can be the government – they flew in the next day with as many Yen as they could get their hands on and handed it to their suppliers, telling them to get their employees taken care of so they could reopen – and they would supply Apple first. And it worked. Those businesses opened far faster than others because they didn’t have to wait on the Japanese government for assistance (who is normally quite efficient at that kind of thing, but Apple was faster yet). Apple’s investment in solar and wind looks to a lot of people like a hippie CA PR thing, but Apple is their own power company – they have a commercial license to sell energy which also means that in a situation like this, Apple not only doesn’t need to pay that part of their utility bill, they might be making money off of that surplus power. Its a way to eliminate future costs using current capital – something the federal government could learn a thing or two about given where interest rates are now.
If you look at their approach, it’s all about owning the technology and infrastructure that is critical to their success and will ensure they’ll still be around in 10, 20, 50 years, and outsourcing all of the stuff that isn’t a risk. It was telling when Apple created their own health care clinics for their employees. Tells you what they think of the US healthcare system.
I heard on some economics show that the Alaska cruise circuit would normally be starting soon. A guest on the show speculated that the part of the industry that relies on smaller ships might do better in the future than the big ship companies.
@HumboldtBlue: Ouch! that one’s gonna leave a mark and Dr. Fauci hasn’t changed his tune in 15 years thru 3 presidents
Yep, all of that. A lot of these cruise lines are owned by the same company anyway. For example, Carnival owns Princess Cruises, Holland America, Costa Cruises, P & O Cruises, etc.
See Who Owns My Cruise Line? A Guide to Cruise Line Parent Companies
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Not yet (precedent grants broad leeway) but eventually expansion of the variety of these moves bumps up against Article 1 section 10 of the Constitution (emphasis added).
Wow. That must have been big money. When I teach a tax course, I try to introduce a little levity by talking about the difference between the rich and the super rich. I note that, for example, superstar athletes can have big contracts, but generally cannot afford a yacht. As a rule of thumb, you need to be a billionaire to afford the operating costs of a yacht.
Just listened to the Black Hawk County, Iowa ( Cedar Falls, University of Northern Iowa) official’s press conference on their Corona virus response. They should be our government’s task force. At least they live in the real world.
comrade scotts agenda of rage
“…or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
Now would seem to meet that criteria.
@Kent: I don’t think they were excluded per-se, but there are a lot of things these 3 western states all have in common. Their governors all play very well together, we don’t really have competing economies, though WA and CA together make up the majority of the US tech sector and a hell of a lot of the retail sector in terms of headquarters.
That means that with good working relationships with company executives, the states can steer private sector responses across the nation (look at the Apple/Google contact tracing initiative – 2 CA companies, that would only be strengthened by the addition of Amazon and Microsoft – 2 WA companies).
Nevada doesn’t really have the same role to play here. There are other benefits – OR and WA were the leaders in vote by mail, something we desperately need to be national by Nov, and CA is in the process of implementing something that I think improves marginally on those efforts – mailing every voter a ballot and letting the voter decide how they want to vote – mail, drop-off, or in-person machine. It’s not in every county yet, but I bet it will be by Nov. So we have that alliance in terms of small-d democratic goals and operations as well.
So there are a lot of reasons to start with these 3 and only these 3, and then invite other states in as they sign onto these goals. If NV commits to vote by mail, let them in.
As much as the economics and logistics of this matter, it can’t be ignored that everything about the federal response as been shaped by the Nov election, including how they intend to let that election play out. Nancy will never get a proper election protection bill past Mitch and Trump. So the states have to do it, and it’s more important than the economics and logistics because if the states can force a properly democratic and safe Nov election, the fed response will have to adapt to that. We don’t need to convince 50 states to get there, we just need to convince 270 likely blue electoral votes to get there.
@Elizabelle: Gather up those guys, plus Northam (D-VA) and Hogan (R-not-batshit-insane MD) & Baker ( R-nbsi MA), then
DE,ME, RI,VT, NH, maybe NC (ETA: and MI) fall into line – and you got a movement.
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: I would note that 13 states currently use CARB environmental standards rather than the federal ones. So, this has been a thing for quite a while.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@NotMax: In much the same way that the 2nd amendment was reinterpreted to convey an individual right, that article could be interpreted as only pertaining to war and military alliances, not administrative, financial, and policy agreements. After all, that is most of its context.
At one time worked with someone from New Jersey whose father was a wheeler dealer with fingers in many pies and surely a multi-millionaire but not super rich in the sense you describe. He had two yachts (smaller one slept 6, larger one, IIRC, 12) and raked in enough from chartering them out to cover upkeep and operating expenses plus bring in a tidy profit. Boats spent half the year moored in Manhattan, the other half in Florida.
@Uncle Cosmo: We need a catchy name for it- the Virus Rebellion?
Isn’t that what they already are?
I wouldn’t want them to actually tie up in some tourist port and become a permanent hotel as that would kill lots of the smaller better local hotels and restaurants.
Plus they are ugly as fuck when you see them in person in port. I lived in Juneau Alaska amid the cruise ships for nearly a decade. Ugh.
@Martin: Doesn’t say anything about what Apple thinks of the US Healthcare System as it pertains to health. It’s more about how that healthcare is paid for. Many companies who have self-funded insurance programs which helps to keep some of the costs down but when you are self-funded and own the facilities to deliver care and the prescriptions you get even more power on negotioning those costs.
My last job was was with Quad Graphics out of Wisconsin. They have their own healthcare facilities and CVS affiliated pharmacy in the Milwaukee area. For us out here in the boonies of Nebraska it wasn’t exactly ideal. And even they got hit by Skreli and his ilk
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Am admittedly fuzzy on the minutia but my limited understanding is that so long as there is not perceived or actual enhancement of state power in relation to the federal government as a direct consequence of the agreement or compact, it’s a go without the Congressional approval. Also that it is accepted that Congress may pass targeted inhibitory legislation after the commencement of the agreement or compact.
And of course new judicial rulings could throw extant interpretation out the window.
I am beginning to think the tax cuts and judges would be optional, too.
Anything to flip off the rest of us.
@debbie: It’s not even third-world at this point. Any self-respecting sub-Saharan country would be in open, armed revolt by now.
I was reading that David Geffen was self-isolating on his yacht, a vessel worth $300 million.
There are yachts and there are yachts.
I’d say the problems with that meat packing plant are less due to the Chinese owners, and more due to Trump changing USDA rules to let them completely self-inspect. There’s no oversight at all anymore, and it shows. I haven’t eaten US pork products since.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@NotMax: After a lifetime of hearing the calls for states rights by Republicans, it would be interesting if Democrats started being real advocates for a collaborative form of states rights and a weaker federal government as a response to Republican malfeasance.
This. China has about four times as many people as the US and less arable land. They can feed themselves on that much land, but it’s hard. As they’ve gotten richer, they have demanded a diet with more meat, and they can’t raise it all in the amount of good land they have available. If they want to increase their meat consumption, they have to import it.
I think the question is about what you think the function of a floating hotel is. The way cruise ships work now is that they move their lodgers from one place to another. Another possibility is that it’s a hotel that can move to where the customers are so it can provide surge capacity to places that have a transient need for hotel rooms.
One natural worry is that the cruise industry will have trouble reestablishing itself in model A, because people will think of cruise ships as floating disease incubators. If that happens, they may be able to repurpose their ships for the second category.
@Martin: Somewhat reminiscent of the Pennsylvania RR of a hundred years ago. Infrastructure built to last, kept operating thru seventy years of deferred maintainance.