• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 6/4 – Next Wave of U.S. Job Cuts Targets Higher-Paid Workers, COVID Policy Based On Suspect Data

    by Daily Digest

    Thursday, June 4, 2020, 7:14 AM


U.S. manufacturing activity crawls off 11-year low (tmn)

The ISM said its index of national factory activity rose to a reading of 43.1 last month from 41.5 in April, which was the lowest level since April 2009. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in manufacturing, which accounts for 11% of the U.S. economy. May marked the third straight monthly contraction.

Still, the first increase in the ISM index since January mirrored improvements in regional manufacturing surveys in May and suggested April was the nadir for economic activity. A survey on Monday from data firm IHS Markit also showed stabilization in manufacturing conditions in May.

Next Wave of U.S. Job Cuts Targets Millions of Higher-Paid Workers (Sparky1)

Nonfarm payrolls are projected to have dropped by another 8 million—reflecting the continuing impact of lockdowns and the start of the second-wave impact—after a record decline of 20.5 million in April. ADP figures on Wednesday, however, showed private payrolls fell by 2.76 million in May, suggesting Friday’s decline will be smaller than expected.

Gilead’s remdesivir could see $7 billion in annual sales on stockpiling boost: analyst (Sparky1)

The estimate comes a month after Boston-based Institute for Clinical and Economic Review suggested a price of $4,500 per U.S. treatment course for 10 days.

Remdesivir is yet to win a formal U.S. approval and Porges said commercial sales of the drug could begin later this year. He expects government stockpiling to begin late next year and said half of the forecasted sales of nearly $7.7 billion in 2022 could come from stockpiling contracts.

When we go back to eating out, more of us will pay with our phones (Sparky1)

“The handling of cash creates consumer concerns about the spread of viruses,” Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in an open letter in early May describing the company’s plan to reopen. He noted that Starbucks is adding new features to its app to include voice ordering through Siri and more opportunities for rewards. The app already shows which restaurants have mobile order and pickup so that customers can plan their visits and manage expectations before they get to the store.

Police brutality prompted the protests. In some cities, the police response only proved the protesters’ point (tmn)

It’s a fast-moving situation, with dramatically different scenes unfolding in different cities, and even — at times — on different blocks. Some officers have garnered praise for showing solidarity with protesters by kneeling beside them, or for defusing tensions by talking face-to-face with demonstrators.

“That’s what people in the community want. They really want to be joined with their police department. They want to feel a sense of trust,” says Cedric Alexander, a CNN law enforcement analyst and former president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

Black Lives Matter activism is working (tmn)

And needless to say, while some police killings represent abusive, illegal, or at a minimum, avoidable behavior, sometimes the police kill someone because they could be a bona fide danger to the public. That’s why the deaths of unarmed suspects have been a particular focus of activism.

Here, too, we see a large (albeit slightly unsteady) decline.

Police Brutality and Black Health: Setting the Agenda for Public Health Scholars (BM)

Certainly, excessive use of physical violence constitutes brutality. But as others have noted, brutality goes beyond physical force. It includes emotional and sexual violence as well as verbal assault and psychological intimidation. Bandes argues that the term “brutality” conveys more than police misconduct: “It is police conduct that is not merely mistaken, but taken in bad faith, with the intent to dehumanize and degrade its target.” We argue for these more expansive definitions of brutality but also believe that police actions that constitute brutality and that dehumanize and degrade occur even in the absence of conscious intent.

Remember Ozarks’ Memorial Day “Zero-Ducks-Given Pool-Party”? Well, COVID Was There (Mark F.)

The person — who health officials won’t identify — was also seen at Shady Gators and Lazy Gators and Buffalo Wild Wings over the holiday weekend.

Missouri officials have been reopening the state’s economy – on Monday — casinos were opened for the first time in months. However, health officials recently called the Backwater Jack’s pool party “reckless behavior” in a statement, saying it “endangers countless people and risks setting us back substantially from the progress we have made in slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

Exclusive: Coronavirus began ‘as an accident’ in Chinese lab, says former MI6 boss (PS)

In an interview with The Telegraph, Sir Richard Dearlove said he had seen an “important” new scientific report suggesting the virus did not emerge naturally but was man-made by Chinese scientists.

The apparent discovery will raise the prospect of China paying “reparations” for the death and economic catastrophe wreaked upon the world, the former intelligence chief said. It comes as Beijing faces growing pressure to explain precisely how coronavirus first began to spread late last year.

Surgisphere: governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company (Bryan)

The World Health Organization and a number of national governments have changed their Covid-19 policies and treatments on the basis of flawed data from a little-known US healthcare analytics company, also calling into question the integrity of key studies published in some of the world’s most prestigious medical journals.

Nobel winning virologist – SARS- COV 2 lab created, mutating into less deadly disease (Carla T.)

We knew this last January when the Indian study was released. But we now have confirmation from the virologist who discovered the HIV virus. It definitely came from the Wuhan lab – BUT the Wuhan lab was funded by the US government and by Bill Gates’ Foundation and partly staffed by American scientists. We have yet to discover who exactly released this deadly pathogen from the lab.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 8:22am



    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 171

    Latus Rectum

    FWIW, the caption below was from a cartoon that appeared in a ZH article a few days ago:

    "And so, while the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors, we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit"

    From "Stocks Are Going Parabolic For All The Wrong Reasons: The Fed Made A Massive Mistake"



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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 10:49am



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2064


    Let’s experiment with defunding the police


    I say we run an experiment in defunding police in the US and if we like the results we can expand the experiment to other cities. So here’s my proposal: reduce police budgets by 70% (and put the difference in anything the politicians want) in the following cities - Minneapolis, San Francisco and Philadelphia. At the end of each year, a blue ribbon panel appointed by politicians will create a report about the results and their recommendations for the next year, and make all that available to the public. Then a public vote is held about whether to continue the experiment and whether to modify it based on the recommendations of the blue ribbon panel.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 11:03am


    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 2134


    oh my


    I think your proposal has a great deal of merit.  But I think it is missing a few extra factors which would help the project even more:

    1) outlaw private security [called, "eating your own dog food"], and

    2) execute strict gun control laws, so private citizens no longer have the right to own a firearm.

    So defunded police, no legal firearms, no private security.

    What could possibly go wrong?

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 11:42am



    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jul 21 2016

    Posts: 753

    Defunding police experiment

    thc0655, Interesting concept, but could you please clarify:

    * your hypothesis;

    * your variables of interest;

    * your inclusion/exclusion criteria for the cities in your study (e.g., size, population demographics and socioeconomic characteristics, voting patterns);

    * details for your control group of cities for comparison;

    * the significance of your study and how the results may be used.


    PS, Most US cities and states are expecting huge. multi-year pandemic/economic-related fiscal deficits that will necessitate significant cuts to law enforcement, education, health and human services, infrastructure and more, regardless of the "experiment" thereby tainting its results.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 12:59pm


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    Posts: 233

    thatchmo said:

    I totally get Tom's point.  I think the experiment would be more interesting/meaningful/real if Dave's point #2 were eliminated.  Hope we don't have to find out....Aloha, Steve.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 3:14pm



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2064


    Defunding police clarifications

    Of course I suggested defunding police in three cities by 70% as a sarcastic joke, but I did bother to offer it because there are apparently serious people who want to try it as the article above indicates (though The Guardian predictably implies the idea has more support than it actually does).  As Sparky1 pointed out, because of the Honey Badger Shutdown, municipal and state budgets are going to be under tremendous strain and will probably have to cut police budgets to some extent anyway. But wouldn't it be interesting for a few cities to try defunding their police?  As long as I didn't live anywhere nearby, I'd be fascinated and follow it very closely. I think if we were to try the experiment that we'd have to let the politicians and the voters of each city take the initiative to defund their own police rather than having that imposed on them from the outside. That's where I think the whole idea is a farce: even in the most liberal, police-hating locale probably no more than 50-60% of the politicians and no more than 30% of the voters would sign on for such an experiment where they live.  So it's all just an academic thought experiment.

    I picked Minneapolis as one city to defund its police because they are so worked up there over the Floyd killing they might actually vote for it if we hurry up.  I picked San Francisco because there are strong cultural and political currents there and have been for at least 50 years that are "anti-police."  (Watch Clint Eastwood in "Dirty Harry" and tell me your response isn't, "How quaint." Back in 1971 the portrayal of the anti-police culture in SF was done in a way that was cartoonishly over the top and exaggerated, but in 2020 reality is even more extreme.) Furthermore, there are no gun shops in SF and getting a permit to carry is impossible unless you're wealthy and a celebrity.  I picked Philadelphia because it is ruled by Pennsylvania state law on guns which are much less restrictive than CA and therefore provides a different petri dish, even though the politics are very similar (very "anti-police").

    To DaveFairtex's point about also outlawing private security, I don't think that would be a good idea.  Clearly, the wealthy would hire private security, throw up walls around their houses and subdivisions, and/or simply move out of the city. After a year of that, let them try to avoid the people's wrath for pushing the defunding of police while using their wealth to insulate themselves from the effects. I'd love to see that.

    In any place that defunded their police, crime would have to go up, stay about the same, or go down. My personal hypothesis is that crime would skyrocket and that would seriously discredit those who were in favor of it. I'd love to see that.

    If cities experience severe budgetary cuts because of the Honey Badger Shutdown, we may be able to see the effects on crime of large police budget cuts that fall something short of whatever "defund the police" means.  Maybe that will be evidence enough for us. Perhaps we could try some "creative" initiatives after police budgets are slashed. I offer these suggestions tongue-in-cheek again:

    1. Divert certain 911 calls to alternative sources of help instead of sending the police: Black Lives Matter, Soros's Open Society Foundation, Antifa, the local psychiatric network, or any organization that wants to volunteer (churches, civic associations).  Let's start with domestic disturbances, quality of life issues (barking dogs, disturbing the peace, drunk and disorderly, neighbor disputes), illegal parking issues, counterfeit money, retail theft, landlord/tenant disputes, child custody issues, mentally ill or suicidal persons, and drug offenses. You would find police officers extremely relieved to not have to address those issues and have someone else take care of them.

    2. When someone calls 911, ask the caller what race and gender of police officer they would like to respond to their call.  If the kind of officer they want is not available, they would have to wait until one becomes available.

    3. Do not accept any calls in which the caller is reporting something bad about a person of color, a female, or any other minority. First, the report is probably not even true.  Second, the risks of something bad happening is too great considering how violent and out of control local police are. Just instruct the caller to go to the nearest police station (or go online) to file a police report.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 4:55pm



    Status: Platinum Member

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    Posts: 2064


    Double standards on virus lockdowns

    Paul Joseph Watson calls attention to the double standard in Britain regarding virus lockdowns. Politicians and health officials demand the public stay home to stop the virus and they send the police to strictly enforce the rules. On the other hand, the politicians and health officials are praising the British protesters without masks or social distancing over an incident that happened in America. (Language warning.)

    I hate double standards. Don’t you?

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 5:18pm



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2409


    Speaking of Defunding the Police

    NYPD has suggested a $1+ billion reduction in the police budget for next year.

    And this comes as the protestors and the looters and the vandals (separate groups) gather downtown to get the night rolling.

    It is almost like someone WANTS things to get REALLY BAD.  Even BADDER than they are.

    And no HCQ for anyone, "for safety."

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 5:24pm


    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 635


    Defunding the police

    If the cities you mention volunteer to experiment with defunding the police, I’m fine with that.  I will fight tooth and nail to keep the police force intact in my home town.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 5:57pm



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    Joined: Jan 25 2018

    Posts: 23


    50% cut

    My view of the resulting finances caused by the Fed/Treasury is that 50% of money value available to the public, either as consumers or governments, is "going away" and defunding is going to be the topic of the decade.

    The wealthy, through these "markets" are going to siphon off the other half of value, and spirit them off to their private vaults/islands/floating fortresses, or wherever.  An interesting topic on its own.

    People are going to end up having to choose between salary reductions or layoffs, and if deflation creates some pricing benefits, the former might be preferred.

    For police and nearly all public officials, I wonder if pensions can/will be negotiated as bankruptcies loom, and the threat of losing your job now dictates reducing a future paycheck.

    Cash flow is going to be king, and I don't envy that position for the Fed/Treasury.  At some point, the cash that they are able to deal themselves will be essentially valueless.

    "slowly at first, then all at once..."

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2020 - 12:55am



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    Joined: Sep 03 2008

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    defunding police

    Dave's Thesis of Humanity: a structure of authority will always exist once the group of humanity becomes large enough.  (n >= 2).  If such a structure does not currently exist, it will either arrive from the outside, or it will arise organically.

    That's because nature abhors a vacuum.

    So if we defund one group of people called "the police", another group will move in to take over that function.  We may not call them police, but for sure they will either arise, or appear from elsewhere, and they will take over at least some of those "police functions", the most critical of which involves using lethal force to enforce the rules.

    Moreover, if "new police" are not explicitly funded, they will find ways of funding themselves.  Most likely, the price tag will be substantially higher than what we currently pay.

    Here's a wild thought: are all these people talking about defunding the police undercover operatives for the Trump 2020 campaign?

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