Tuesday Open Thread

“It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

38 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    The relief for small businesses is not starting out well. My company uses Wells Fargo. Friday evening you could not sign up for it with them. Sunday morning you could, and I did.

    I just got this reply

    Due to high demand, we are not able to begin your application at this time, but you remain in our queue based upon when you submitted your initial interest.

    Because Wells Fargo is targeting to distribute a total of $10 billion to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and nonprofits

    So first off, signing up less than 36 hours after it opened and we’re not in the first tranche. And as of Monday morning you can’t even get added to the queue anymore.

    Second, the legislation is for companies up to 500 employees, but Wells Fargo is limiting it to companies up to 50 employees.

    It’s looking like the small business loan project is going to help a random small subset of small businesses. Very small subset.

    • Duke Cox says:

      Can you fully identify who occupies that subset?

    • itlduso says:

      First, Treasury is already seeking $200 billion more.  There is no way that anyone will be left out.  Imagine the political outcry if anyone didn’t get a loan because their bank was slow, etc.  This program is essentially paying the full salaries for 2 1/2 months for every employee in a business with fewer than 500 employees.  How much is that?  $1 Trillion? $2 Trillion?

      Second, Wells Fargo Bank sucks.  It’s too late to change banks for this program because most, if not all, banks are only working with existing clients.

      Third, as noted you will get your money and so will I, whether we deserve it or not. Question: Do you anticipate a 50% or more reduction in revenues due to the crisis? If not, then why should taxpayers give you a massive tax break for merely serving as a conduit to pay your employees? I’m not saying you shouldn’t take the tax breaks, just sayin’.

    • davebarnes says:

      You will be happy to read this.

      When It Comes to Coronavirus Relief, Some Companies Are Both Small Businesses and Big Ones


    • JohnInDenver says:

      And isn't Wells Fargo the bank that announced they were "out of money" for the loans?

      Wells Fargo's status as one of the nation's largest small business lenders means the bank closing the loan window on the SBA PPP has profound ramifications for Main Street businesses ….

      Banking regulations, doncha know. 

  2. gertie97 says:

    Wells Fargo is evil and its incompetence worthy of a Trump cabinet post.

    Good luck, David.

    • Duke Cox says:

      I couldn't agree more about Wells Fargo. I did business with them for a few years. I would not, today.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Unfortunately we need a bank that can handle wires to/from anywhere in the world. That's the really large banks. And from talking to others, they're all problematic.

        We've stuck with Wells because why change to get a different set of problems at another bank?

        • Duke Cox says:

          Indeed…When it comes to the Big Five, they are distinct, but not different. 

        • itlduso says:

          Do you anticipate losing 50% or more of your revenues in the next six months?

          • DavidThi808 says:

            What do you get when you cross a Duck with a Rhino? Fuck if I know.

            It could drop to zero, it could be OK. Our sales cycles is mostly 2 – 6 months and so we may not see for a bit. But we've already had some prospects pause things.

            • itlduso says:

              So, let's be clear about the tax benefits that you will receive assuming you are the owner of the business.  First, you will receive 21% of your W-2 wage capped at $100,000.  That equals $21,000.  Then, you will get your marginal tax rate (Fed and CO) on 2.5 months of your entire payroll, excluding yourself and also capped at $100,000 per employee.  For example, if your monthly payroll = $20,000 times 2.5 = $50,000 times 29% (24 Fed + 5 CO) = $14,500.  So, in this example you personally will get a $35,500 after-tax benefit.  And, you don't even know if your business will be significantly adversely affected.  You are merely being a conduit to pass the $50,000 on to your employees.

              Yet, you want to whine about the process.  Oh, boo-hoo.  Or, as Bill Maher would say, "What a whiny, little, b"

              • DavidThi808 says:

                Wow, you sure have a lot of pent up hatred for small business owners. Or for me at least.

                If you read my original post, my primary concern is not for me, it's for the large majority of small businesses that will be left out of this. We're at least on the list.

                As to how my company will do, I'm betting everything I have that we will get through this ok and not laying anyone off as I want to do the best as I can for my employees and my customers.

                Will we get through even if we don't get assistance, maybe. Maybe not. Will we get through only if we get the assistance, maybe. Maybe not. Will we not survive even with the assistance, maybe. Maybe not.

                So I'll take any help I can get to improve our odds. And to do the best I can by my employees and my customers.

                And you're a dick.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          "….can handle wires to/from anywhere in the world….."  I use 1st Bank for wiring money. Have not had to receive wired money, but I suspect they could do it.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            So very early on in the history of the company we were using 1st Bank as they were also my personal bank. And I walked in one day with a check from a company in the PRC, in dollars.

            They did not want to take it. They finally did telling me it would be months to process (it took 2 weeks). And the manager suggested I switch my business account to one of the large banks. So we did.

  3. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Perry Bacon at 538.com "Did Sanders Blow It For The Democratic Left? Or Was The Nomination Always Out Of Reach?"

    The article is a survey of structural and strategic reasons why Biden eventually won the nomination over Sanders and Warren. It seems inevitable in retrospect after the Party establishment swung heavily to Biden on the eve of South Carolina. But, remember when Warren was leading, and how difficult it has been for Biden to gin up excitement.

    Notably, Biden and the "Center Left" of the Party has moved dramatically to the left: free college (not just free community college), Medicare buy-in or Public Option, is now a central plank for the Democrats. Certainly the COVID crisis is proving to everyone that tying your Health Insurance to your employer is not just stupid, but non-viable. The left flank of the Party to thank for those policy shifts, not just leaders like Warren and Biden, but also the demands of the young and demographics. 

    It’s likely that all of these campaign-centric factors combined to represent a relatively big barrier to either Sanders or Warren winning the nomination. That said, figuring out which one of these factors was singularly important is really complicated. And in my interviews with Democratic operatives, people tended to highlight shortcomings of the left that aligned with their own preexisting views — more centrist Democrats argued that Sanders and Warren ran on platforms that were too liberal and that those candidates didn’t focus on electability enough, while African American activists said those campaigns did too little outreach to black people, and people aligned with Warren said Sanders didn’t do enough to court the party establishment.

    But NoiseCat, arguing that winning is within the left’s control now, says that progressives need to make some strategic shifts post-Sanders: pushing liberal ideas that also poll well, building closer ties with the party’s establishment wing and doing more to persuade Democratic voters that leftist ideas are both achievable and not electorally dangerous.

    “With Bernie Sanders losing,” NoiseCat said, “the silver lining is we get to define a progressive movement post-Bernie that is not attached to him.”

    • Duke Cox says:

      With Bernie Sanders losing,” NoiseCat said, “the silver lining is we get to define a progressive movement post-Bernie that is not attached to him.

      That is truly an interesting prospect.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        IMHO, it would be helpful to define the movement post-Sanders AND post-those who were his immediate staff. 

        Whoever was advising Sanders that "Medicare for All" was an absolute priority and there couldn't be discussions about how to get it done, but it had to be totally implemented, needs to be avoided as part of the defining group of the progressive movement.  Whoever said there shouldn't be a discussion of how to pay for it ought to be sidelined, too.


        • Duke Cox says:

          There must have been an addendum in Bernies' playbook that read….When the time comes for the campaign to pick a hill to die on…die on MFA Hill. He has a better chance on healthcare than climate change.

      • MADCO says:

        If it comes top down – it will fail and continue to split and weaken the party.

        Which means – either there's room for AOC and others of her demo, or the party will splinter.

    • kwtree says:

      A. The primary is not over. Sanders has not declared Biden the nominee, although Perry Bacon apparently has. 
      B. Sanders didn’t “blow it for the Democratic left”. Sanders’ organization, “Our Revolution”, has supported and nurtured a whole generation of progressive candidates. To answer John in Denver’s question from a while back. 30-40% of these go on to win their races. I don’t know how many of those were against Republican candidates. But some were. 

      In 2017, the Nation reported 27/59 wins of Our Revolution-endorsed candidates – ~ 46%. Our Revolution kept Colorado in the Sanders column by old school grassroots organizing. It brought Joe Salazar to within 4,000 votes of a primary against Phil Weiser, even outspent 10-1. Ballotpedia recorded about a 25% win rate for OR endorsed candidates in 2018, but a 80-90% win rate for ballot initiatives. 

      I’m supporting Lorena Garcia, endorsed by O R, for the US Senate seat.

      538 analyzed a spectrum of advocacy groups: women, veterans, progressives, etc and found win rates of endorsed candidates between 32-100%. Elizabeth Warren endorsed candidates won 100% of their races. 

      In my view (yes, it’s a Bernie ism), Sanders’ legacy of “moving the window” and nurturing the progressive wing of the Democratic party will far outlast his personal political career. Warren Democrats are on the horizon, modeled after Our Revolution’s successes, and will continue pushing a progressive agenda and candidates. 

      The reports of the death of the progressive movement have been greatly exaggerated.

      • Voyageur says:

        why would I care who bernie calls the nomine?  Biden is the nominee, the only question is whether the bernie bots will sabotage him as they did hillary.

        • Duke Cox says:

          C’mon, V. You’re slipping. Not only has your narrative grown thin, pale, and unservicable, your lament about the Bernie Bots has faded into folklore.

          How about telling us Bidens’ position on climate change and how his support for “fracking” will help?

  4. MADCO says:

    Who owns hydroxychloroquine ?

    "…Sanofi’s largest shareholders include Fisher Asset Management, the investment company run by Ken Fisher, a major donor to Republicans, including Mr. Trump. A spokesman for Mr. Fisher declined to comment.

    Another investor in both Sanofi and Mylan, another pharmaceutical firm, is Invesco, the fund previously run by Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary. Mr. Ross said in a statement Monday that he “was not aware that Invesco has any investments in companies producing” the drug, “nor do I have any involvement in the decision to explore this as a treatment.”

    As of last year, Mr. Trump reported that his three family trusts each had investments in a Dodge & Cox mutual fund, whose largest holding was in Sanofi."


    (and about 47,000 other recent sources)

    • Duke Cox says:

      So …now we see why The Evil Orange Ogre has been in NO HURRY to stop the spread of the disease. He profits by its magnitude.

      He is truly despicable. He and a gang of legislators have played this whole thing for profit. The OD is raking in the blood money.


  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    Fucking madman . . .

    Coronavirus Live Updates:

    Trump Threatens to Cut Funding for World Health Organization

    President Trump lashed out on Tuesday at the World Health Organization, creating a new enemy to attack and threatening to withhold funding from the world’s premier health institution even as a deadly virus ravages nations around the globe. 

    “We’re going to put a hold on money spent to the W.H.O.; we’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see,” Mr. Trump said, accusing the organization of having not been aggressive enough in confronting the dangers from the virus. “They called it wrong. They call it wrong. They really they missed the call.”

    In effect, Mr. Trump was attempting to blame the W.H.O. for the very missteps and failures that have been leveled at him and his administration. Public health experts have said Mr. Trump’s public denials of concern about the virus slowed the American response, which included slow testing and a failure to stockpile protective gear.


    . . . I’m serious; not a joke.

  6. Duke Cox says:

    We have lost John Prine… 

    I am out of words.


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