Slog AM: Unemployment Reaches Historic High, Cheesecake Factory Rent-Strikes, New Orleans Buckles Under COVID-19 Infection Rate



President Nicolás Maduro indicted! Only a matter of time before they come for Sawant.


Yes, Boeing will get money as its a huge employer with hundreds of related industries and nearby businesses that depend on it.

All businesses, large and small, should be treated fairly. That includes Trump properties too.

If we consider the assembly line worker and a maid at golf resort equally deserving - we need to keep their employers afloat.


@2 so nice to see you're finally embracing socialism. Welcome aboard!


@4: I've always been aboard as capitalism and socialism have a symbiotic relationship and have never been mutually exclusive.


5 So at which theoretical point do you depart from the foundations provided by Adam Smith?


@2 - so why don't we give the money directly to the assembly line worker at Boeing and the maid at the golf resort... directly? Cut out the con-artists at Boeing and Trump. who will just take a big skim off the top if they get to handle the bail-out money as middle-men?


@7 - Personally, I never considered Adam Smith as a foundation. Just an economic theorist like Marx or Keynes.


@8 - perhaps not, but we can get along fine without the likes of Boeing.


10 You are a TOTAL moron, then. Confirmed.


Speaking of Socialism
Let's just take over Ownership of Boeing
they've proven to be incompetent with their worship of Money over Safety; and run it like their only (real) competitor: Airbus.

We gotta Bail Out Boeing
who just spent their massive Tax Cuts
on stock Buy Backs and are now "out of Money"?

Why throw OUR Good money after Bad?
Let's take a stake and when Boeing's back
on its landing wheels, they can pay US back.

But ONLY if Boeing's largest Stakeholders --
it's Union Employees -- are guaranteed at least
one-Half the seats on Boeing's (inept) Board of Directors.

Let We, the People turn a Negative into a Positive.
The timing could NOT be Bettter.


Boeing is the largest exporter in the Country. Bringing money back into the Country rather than the other way around. It brings more money back home than auto's, IT and the whole Entertainment business.


Didn't even know the name of the REM drummer from the crappy era, though I am sorry to hear of his passing. I'd imagine Dave Segal would've had a good deal more to say of Bill Berry who manned the kit during their heyday.


@14 Yeah, we need Boeing for national defense reasons. The company doesn't deserve a dime but we have to keep them afloat anyway.


Why didn't he show the buffalo? The threat remains existential. It's like reporting by Hitchcock.


First: are you fucking kidding me with the reopening of schools? They can't manage to convince the old people to die so now they're going after the children? Or do they just intend to use the children as vectors to kill off as many teachers and parents as possible?

MA just closed their schools until May 4th. Oregon schools are closed until the end of April. These the best (MA) and worst - next to dead last (OR) school systems in the country and they are both on the same page. WA, what the fuck are you doing?!

As for the stimulus package - still just words until the House votes and Trump signs it and actual actions begin to take place:

4 GOP senators one being Lindsey Graham, held up the package because they believe too much unemployment insurance will make people quit their jobs and not work so they can get a big money grab from UI (clearly he does not know how UI works or how one goes about being able to collect it), but corporations that have been totally irresponsible in managing their companies (like Boeing) get to tens of billions of dollars, just cuz! I mean Boeing literally made airplanes they knew would fall out of the sky, did not give one fuck, and put them out there into circulation and only when their planes started, I don't know, actually falling out of the sky, did they hit a snag with all of their planes being pulled.

Working people out of jobs > go back to work and die for us please, you can't get too much money because you will be come lazy fucks.

Corporations that mismanage their entire reason for being - hey here's tens of billions of dollars, feed from the trough, see you next time! I mean airlines have feasted on $65 BILLION in taxpayer funds, never using it to shore up their businesses, make flying better or easier or more pleasant, pay their employees more or have a reserve fund for this kind of situation >>>> spent it ALL on stock buybacks and CEO pay and making the few rich even richer, and they're getting a big fat wad of taxpayer cash because they asked for it? People are vilified and shamed if they don't have a savings of any kind, but corporations, who already got one huge treat from Trump with the tax cut scam, now get more money, because why?


Yay, more money for boeing to spend on stock buybacks since no one is buying planes.
WA schools can figure something out. When my parents worked for Wards Cove we all flew up to Ketchikan before the school year was over (for fishing season) and my brother and I still completed our assignments. We used mail and fax.


@20 -- "I am very, very, very concerned about a $500 billion that will go out to the corporate world without — let me underline, without — the accountability and transparency that is needed.

We do not need, at this moment in history, to provide a massive amount of corporate welfare to large profitable corporations.

I think as many of you are aware, you have industry like the — industries like the airlines industry, among others, that have provided for stock buybacks, billions and billions of dollars for stock buybacks.

They spent all their cash rewarding themselves and their stockholders. And lo and behold, today they need a major bailout.

So, the concern here is: A, do we trust the Trump administration to effectively decide which company will get the loans or the grants? The answer is, no, I do not.

Do we think that these loans and grants during a political season will be used to benefit the president’s election prospects?

Absolutely, I do."

--Sen. Bernie Sanders

Still on OUR Side.

Tons more at:


After this mess is over and things start returning to normal, big ass billion dollar companies like Boeing should be required to have cash reserves to weather a financial downturn for at least a year. There is no excuse to be giving these companies a fucking handout from taxpayers because they couldn't plan ahead. We knew this was coming.

Meanwhile everyday workers are being given a pittance while being shamed from the senate floor and told that they shouldn't expect UI to cover their full paycheck because there will be no incentive for them to go back to work. People's basic needs are treated as a luxury but companies with 10-digit profit margins get help without any strings or lectures from Lindsay Graham. This country is fucking disgrace.


I want to express my appreciation for NBC Montana reporter Deion Broxton on a few fronts:
* Knowing how to keep his head while a herd of bison was approaching him.
* Having the good humor to share his moment of peril with the world.
* Last but not least, correctly referring to the animals as bison and not buffalo.

Regarding the infographic about the $1,200 being insufficient... I'm sure this guy thinks he's so clever and has such a wonderful point. Of course, $1,200 is insufficient for many individuals. But insufficient is still better than nothing, and it's sure as hell a lot better than holding out for some kind of relief that would be sufficient, a gambit which might in the end fail and which, even if it succeeded, would make it take longer to get relief out to Americans.

And it's not like the Senate bill stipulates that, now that we're giving lower-income individuals up to $1,200 each, we're never-ever giving them anything ever again. Ideally, we would have something like a three-month means-tested UBI (universal basic income). Well, there's a wonderful aspect to the way the calendar works. The other two of those three months are still in the future, and Congress can still pass further relief.

Yes, I realize $1,200 might not even be enough in the short term. And that's where I want to say "Let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good," although it feels like that truism just doesn't do justice to the shameful lack of perspective of this Ken Klippenstein character.

Another example of how it seems that progressives have internalized the mindset of right-wing trolls. Kinda self-defeating if you'd ask me.


There are epidemiologists who think we shouldn't have cancelled schools in the first place

The epidemiologists in your head?


@24 "After this mess is over and things start returning to normal, big ass billion dollar companies like Boeing should be required to have cash reserves to weather a financial downturn for at least a year. "

But then how will they afford all those bribes... er... "contributions" to the GOP and the massive cash bonuses they will give executives in four months?


@ 20,

Yeah, it's one of the many, many, openly insane hypocrisies of our society that as individuals we're scolded and told that we need to somehow save up three months, six months, even a year's worth of savings to live on in an emergency fund, yet the shameless, lying, CEO kleptocrats at the apex of our eCONomic, business, and political Ponzi scheme are bankrupt and desperate for tax-payer bailouts only two weeks into a financial crisis.


@22: Stock buybacks are prohibited in the Senate bill.


@17 Well if they are so crucial to national defense but are so egregiously managed then they should be nationalized! You can't have it both ways.


21, Fun fact: 100% of children live with adults. I don't know what epidemiologists you are getting your info from but they all sound like idiots.


/Onion classic/

U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic Mutually Shared Illusion

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy ceased to function this week after unexpected existential remarks by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke shocked Americans into realizing that money is, in fact, just a meaningless and intangible social construct.

"It's just an illusion," a wide-eyed Bernanke added as he removed bills from his wallet and slowly spread them out before him. "Just look at it: Meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. Worthless."

According to witnesses, Finance Committee members sat in thunderstruck silence for several moments until Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) finally shouted out, "Oh my God, he's right. It's all a mirage. All of it—the money, our whole economy—it's all a lie!"

As news of the nation's collectively held delusion spread, the economy ground to a halt, with dumbfounded citizens everywhere walking out on their jobs as they contemplated the little green drawings of buildings and dead white men they once used to measure their adequacy and importance as human beings.

The realization that money is nothing more than an elaborate head game seems to have penetrated the entire country."


21, I mean, just stop and think about what you're saying. You think kids should go to school specifically so they get sick, then go home and... somehow not get the adults in their home sick? Instead of staying home in isolation with their families and... somehow get everyone sick? How do you think contagion works?


One other news item that deserves mentioning. The state Department of Health reported "only" nine new COVID-19 deaths yesterday. You can see the trend line in this spreadsheet:

This is a real source of hope. So far the worst day for newly reported deaths has been 15. The thing we should be truly frightened by is if the daily numbers exceed 15 and do so for more than one day. Our best hope--the best sign of good news--is if we can see the death rate stabilize such that it tops out around 15 and it's on the path to go down.


One excellent comment on the NYT article, “Job Vacancies
and Inexperience Mar Federal Response to Coronavirus

Unfilled jobs and high turnover mean the government is ill equipped for a public health crisis, said many former and current federal officials and disaster experts”

“We have two crises: one medical, the other political. The two are intertwined, creating an unmitigated disaster throughout government. It was all so unnecessary -- that one man, Donald Trump, has so singlehandedly dismantled government and staff positions, insisting on controlling everything all by himself on largely partisan impulses is unsufferable.

The man reveals himself at every press conference: demanding praise, hyping lies, pursuing conspiracy theories, demagoguing a pandemic, and attacking enemies as if every medical task force meeting was a political rally.

It's no way to run a country and or manage a major health crisis. If he can't lead, he should delegate authority to those who can do so.” --ChristineMcM, Massachusetts; 3h ago

So much "winning."
Fake 'prez' WAS right:
Getting sick (!) and tired of all the "winning" yet, folks?


"Stock buybacks are prohibited in the Senate bill."

Nope. ONLY for the term of the assistance — plus ONE year. So they are not "banned" or prohibited just delayed for a year or so.

So. No. These fucks will be using that money for bonuses and buy backs eventually.

To the credit of the Democrats they wanted buy-backs permanently banned for any company that accepted assistance. The republicans wouldn't accept it. So they did "This One Neat Trick!"

And you bought it.


27, What's wild is that we have all been conditioned to accept this as the way things work, to the point that our politicians can insult ordinary Americans for needing help to pay the bills, without fear of being voted out for it


@33 Oh. But see, he knows of this one "epidemiologist" (that works in the back of the strip mall by his basement apartment) that said keep kids in schools.

Although course there is no governing epidemiological organization or professional medical body like the WHO, CDC, CERID, NIH/NIAID, AMA, that comes close to saying anything of the sort. Just this one dude he heard about.

I also heard there was one "epidemiologist" who recommended eating Tide pods!


That stimulations package is a perfect example of "raise a turd up a flag pole and see who salutes." It' better than nothing. I guess. Unless Trump is successful in convincing the mouth breathers to "return to normalcy" next week.

Then it will literally be worse than nothing. As we will have given trillions to billionaires for a buy back orgy in a year and still cripple the economy with an exploding pandemic. Mission accomplished, MAGA Plague.


PS. I guess everyone just breezed over the MAGA Neo-Nazi who tried to blow up the hospital because he thought COVID-19 was all a liberal hoax (though he originally was targeting a mosque)? Weird how that slips under the radar, isn't it.


41, You're not even good at trolling, let alone doling out crackpot advice from "epidemiologists." Maybe you should just sit this one out because you're not cut out for any of this.


The first cases in Oregon were adults who 1) worked at a school 2) went to a basketball game at a school, so anyone who believes reopening schools is not going to lead to an increase in cases of COVID-19 is just plain stupid.


@40: Don't you know by now that the criterion for news stories picked by The Stranger staffers for AM Slog are not necessarily the most newsworthy but the more interesting?

You can't derive "under the radar" from arbitrary picks from the news smorgasbord.


@43 You're not even making any sense. The whole point of closing the schools and keeping them closed is flatten that curve. Literally no epidemiological authority agrees with you. WHO and CDC s and every other infectious disease authority say keep the schools closed until we have proof the pandemic is past it's peak. And its not yet. The data is showing not for at least a month or so. UW Hospital is preparing for a peak in the next two weeks. That lasts about two weeks after that.

You invented some bullshit and now you're in retreat. Just admit you're wrong and get the fuck on with your life.

What is it with you people? Being wrong is an opportunity to learn something. Fucking try to learn something. But you fuckers double down on bullshit like your ventilator is connected to the internet or something?


@45 And that "regulation" appears nowhere in the stimulus bill that just passed.


"@33. No. Kids should go to school so they can get an education."

And how well is that going to happen if their parent are in he hospital on ICU's? Or the teachers get sick and can't work?

Jesus Christ. WTF is wrong with you? It's like you've dug your heals in... in your own grave. Give it up.


43, lol this is some serious horseshoe theory right here because you sound like Trump. For starters we're nowhere near the end of this thing - we're literally in the midst of exponential growth across the country and a good week or 2 away from seeing peak devastation in places like NYC, which is already lining up freezer trucks outside their hospitals - and we're a good 12-18 months from a vaccine, so not sure why you're taking a victory lap now.

The only way to level off the curve is by keeping people home, so we spread out the caseload and keep our hospitals functioning. Sending kids to school or whatever harebrained ideas you're floating would cause infections to spike and the secondary effects - loss of productivity due to illness and premature death, crashing the healthcare system, heightened fear and distrust throughout society - would ripple through the economy and dwarf the crisis that we are experiencing right now.

I'm not one to flaunt my credentials but I have an MPH in infectious disease. I'm not an epidemiologist but I went to school for it so I actually know wtf I'm talking about. Feel free to keep talking but do so with the awareness that you sound like a complete fucking idiot.


49, you're aware that data comes from the reality we currently inhabit where schools are closed and people are told to stay home, right?


you're so fucking dumb it hurts


The apocalypse isn't over until the fat lady......


heal thyself, queen


@37 Yes, I've always wondered how Big Biz in the U.S. have managed to be so successful at brainwashing the general public, to such an extent that so many Americans actually believe that it's acceptable for the workers to be living in poverty, while corporate CEOs and upper executives get salaries in the hundreds of millions plus bonuses in the 9 figures, and yet pay less taxes than the poorest of the poor. Because, jobs! As if the corporations in the Scandinavian countries and Western Europe that pay people living wages and benefits are just lies made up by liberals!


If Boeing is so vitally important to the survival of the United States then it should be taken over by the people, as @30 says.

Not stricter regulations. If the nation cannot survive without it then regulations won't mean shit.


They’re talking about opening schools and teaching remotely. Chill out guys.


Bill Rieflin played for more than just REM. He drummed for King Crimson, Ministry, KMFDM as well as working with Nine Inch Nails and many others. He was a fixture in music scene in Seattle for many, many years and will be missed.


@51GermanSausage (since there is a double 51) We are connected to the rest of the country, our borders are not closed against other Americans.

Also, the reason many of the school districts decided to shut down before ordered by Inslee, is because half of the kids were being kept at home by scared parents!

I think the deadline for restarting school is for the school districts to have come up with an online program by that time, not the date to actually open up the schools for students to go in person. We don't yet have enough information about the infection's trajectory to determine the deadline for opening up schools or anything else. Unless you're the Heartless-Moron-In-Chief of course.

The AP tests will be online this year, and the IB tests and State Assessments have been cancelled.



Yes. Well, farms should be taken over, not the farmers themselves.



I'd modify that somewhat to say the government should have public farms. Enough to feed the nation and stockpile grains and such for some amount of time.

People would still be free to own and run their own farms to sell stuff to people.

Same with aerospace. Government should control enough to serve the nation. Anyone else who wants to be in the private aerospace business is welcome to try their hand.


Meanwhile Florida is ground zero. Not just Lousiiana.

Actions not words.

We already have triage plans, and you're NOT going to like what that means. Lack of ventilators respirators masks support personnel (you can volunteer to drive, clean, provide daycare, all are needed) means triage. Triage is how we cope with lack of resources and an overtaxed system responding to a critical event.

No, Trump did not deliver on his promised materials. He stole it for ICE.


@66 Our state (WA) did not get the promised PPE from the national stockpile?


At the duck:
then why the fuck
would we wanna Emulate them?!

Ah -- you must be a trumper.
He's doin' GREAT ain't he?
TEN more terms? Keep
the head alive?


What exactly do corporations need billions for if they are laying everyone off? Serious question. What does a corporation need to exist and how much does it cost? Probably less than 500 billion would be my guess.

They can get 0% loans from the fed now so Do they need this additional cash?


In America farms do a terrible job feeding people. Who the fuck needs all this corn? They do a pretty good job making money, mostly thanks to government subsidies.


They've had the last 40+ years, not to mention a 6-figure salary AND LIFETIME PENSION to fix that shit, so spare us your lame excuses.


Yeah, I think they could do a good job feeding the nation.
We're not the USSR.

Oh, and from your comment @70, the government of the former USSR was never communism.


Many thanks to following spot-on-as-usual regular commenters: kristofarian, iseult, spunkbutter, Original Andrew, Professor History, German Sausage, xina, Lissa, Urgutha Forka, Will in Seattle, blip, pat L, and others who have already nailed it. Agreed and seconded, and kudos for covering the thread so beautifully.

I have only this to add: What the FUCK is wrong with Louisiana and Florida???

@74 Urgutha Forka re: @67 & @70: Forget it. Kokonut Kenny is already dying of MAGAvirus.