May 3, 2020
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Rags and Bones

by Jonathan Wallace


An interesting feature of future histories of Coronavirus Time will be the use of the pandemic to advance unrelated agendas, like abortion bans and voter suppression. Wisconsin's Republicans forcing African Americans in Milwaukee to line up unsafely to vote is a horrific classic, but our Governor Cuomo's cancellation of the primary to aid Biden is also an example. (I was just retained as part of a team to challenge Cuomo's decision.)

Trump is more or less constantly using the Pandemic as an excuse, to roll back environmental regulations and ban immigration.

Ethical Spectacle of the month

This is of course the right wing, unmasked, unsocially distanced protesters swarming the Michigan statehouse with their AK47's. There is a Weimar-like element: contemplate a polity so weakened that this is permissible. You would think it should be possible to recognize strong gun rights without tolerating AK's in a government building.

Late Capitalism

I broke my Pixel phone screen. Verizon won't repair it. Staples has been bribed by Apple only to fix IPhones. The nearest facility Google recommends is an hour drive away--in a much more highly infected part of Suffolk County, as it happens.


The pandemic has highlighted our extreme fragility, revealing the United States, which continues to trumpet its own exceptionalism, as having the resources and chaotic politics of a Third World nation. Someone posed the question of whether we are even a "failed state": it seems appropriate to ask the question of what, in Trump Universe, is a federal government for?