Open Thread

Taking into consideration what Democrats are saying and doing in the aftermath of Trump’s re-open plan, I can only conclude that the Democrats have war-gamed this out and figure that the more pain there is, the better for them. They seem determined to shut down as much of the economy as they can and keep it shut down for months. They know – they must know – this will be catastrophic. Not just in economic losses, but in lives lost…people who have nothing to do and are fearful are subject to all sorts of maladies; and as things stay entirely concentrated on Coronavirus, other health care needs are kept to the side, which will also cause death. Democrats want all that – they want everyone perfectly miserable so that they, the Democrats, can ride to their rescue in November.

Would it work? Meaning – if they got their way, would it ensure Trump’s defeat? I’d have to suspect as much…we’re miserable enough as it is, but if we lacked all hope then lots of people probably would turn on Trump. But Trump is not a fool – and so he’s offering hope. I think people will grasp it.

Watching Biden interviews – and they’re all done in extremely friendly circumstances – is getting painful. You start to feel sorry for the old man – he’s clearly not mentally or physically up to the task and was only propelled to the nomination because the Powers That Be felt that Warren or Bernie would have been a certain disaster. The real question: how is this guy going to compete with Trump? The Energizer Bunny of Presidents? And as for the Tara Reade accusations – the MSM is doing Biden no favors by suppressing it…it just means that for a lot of middle of the road voters, they won’t hear about it until Trump tells them. At length. In debates and on TV commercials. Trump will make Biden’s handsiness an issue – with reams of video to back up the claims that Biden is a weirdo.

Beef processors are having some trouble – and it is bad news as we rely on beef. Buuuuut…they are largely having a trouble because they are dependent upon illegal labor. Make things better and I’ll bet they could attract high quality labor…sure, I’d pay an extra buck a pound for my steak, but I’m ok with that. And it would only be until someone really got into the nitty gritty of it all and found a faster, cheaper way of getting it done. Competition isn’t a panacea – what sometimes has to happen is a rap on the knuckles to concentrate the mind.

RSM – maybe this bug isn’t as deadly as we thought?

35 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Cluster April 18, 2020 / 8:52 am

    … if they got their way, would it ensure Trump’s defeat? I’d have to suspect as much…we’re miserable enough as it is, but if we lacked all hope then lots of people probably would turn on Trump.

    And this is where I think the media and the “powers to be” have it wrong. I think the ruling class and the chatter class have completely lost touch with who real American people are. Unlike metro millennials stacked on top of each other in large urban areas most Americans, including myself, do not look towards government and media for hope or direction. I consider all of them to simply be employees who should be working for and at the direction of us. The American people will decide when to go back to work and I think that time is coming very soon. The American people are wise and respectful and understand the early public restrictions and had no problem complying but at some point the issue becomes over hyped and the restrictions become too authoritarian and the American people will revolt … that’s who we are. There is not a chance in hell we will be locked down for another month. Will not happen and for those who serve us, ie: government and the media, they had better realize that pretty soon … for their own good.

    Joe Biden does have early dementia and it’s hard to believe that his family and the DNC are going to throw him into the arena knowing this, but this is who they are. They will seek power at all cost even if it destroys their loved ones. Think about that. I am torn between wanting to be sympathetic towards old Joe or wanting to impale him upon the political stake. After 50 years in government Joe still has no core principles as he will say anything and take any position he has to to get elected so I say we wrap the Bernie/Pocahontas/AOC+3/ and the entire lunatic left faction around him and politically burn them all to the stake. Expose their condescending authoritarian tendencies, highlight their incompetence, force Joe t. o defend their manufactured issues of climate change and gender fluidity. Ask him layered and complicated questions during the debate and watch him melt.

    Let’s make the left pay for their decision to nominate a pre dementia candidate. They are both cruel and incompetent and now is the time to shove it down their throat

    • jdge1 April 18, 2020 / 9:12 am

      The only thing that makes any sense to me as to why the left keeps pushing Biden as their nominee, has more to do with who is selected as his running mate. IF Biden were elected president, I can easily envision a situation where his presidency would be cut short thereby moving the VP up. So why not just nominate whoever the VP selection would be to run for president? It’s likely too late in the game and I’m guessing that person would be near impossible to get elected on a national stage. By tagging on Biden’s coat tail, the VP could slip into the presidency by default.

      • Amazona April 20, 2020 / 10:17 am

        jdge1, I think you have nailed it. It is too late to bring in a new candidate, and let’s face it, any potential presidential candidate deemed to have a snowball’s chance in hell of being nominated has already been vetted by the Dems and made a run at it. They put up the best they had, and we all had a chance to see how pathetic that list was. Now all they can do is try to slip a ringer in, using poor old Joe as a stalking horse and diversion. Stacy Abrams? Come on. Not only is she so dramatically unqualified she radiates incompetence, she is also unpleasant, unlikable and unintelligent, and a serious whiner. She has only two “qualifications”—she is black, and she is female. Personally, I think choosing her would such a blatant effort to pander to the”black vote” it would offend a lot of black voters by assuming all they care about is skin color. He’s more likely to try Hillary, who at least has a national following, demented as it is. Though Comet Hillary is trailing a long tail of corruption and pending felony charges, so is Joe and the Dems don’t seem to care about that with him, either. I think the most likely choice would be Cuomo, and he is problematic for many reasons. It’s just that he has come across as better than usual in the last month or so.

        No, there is literally no one on the Dem side better than Joe, so all they can do is try to ramrod him through with a VP they can present as an acceptable president, without admitting that is what they are doing, and hoping they can plaster over that person’s deficiencies.

  2. jdge1 April 18, 2020 / 9:05 am

    A study done by an associate professor of medicine at Stanford University found 2.5 to 4.16 percent of the subjects tested possessed antibodies to COVID-19. What that translates to is somewhere between 50-80 fold more infections that what’s being reported. For example, in Santa Clara county there have been approximately 1,833 reported cases out of nearly two million people. The study suggests between 48,000 and 81,000 people in the county had/have the virus. If this is correct, and I suspect it’s a lot closer to reality than what’s being reported, the percentage of deaths drops dramatically. I simply do not trust any reported or stated numbers related to COVID that appears to falsely amplify the reality of the situation. Why would someone do this? Media – sensationalizing things sells, politicians – elevates self-importance and political clout/power, businesses & health industries – follow the money. It’s all about power, control & wealth. Once the people realize they’ve been hoodwinked, the damage will have already been done and the perpetrators will have walked away.

    As Mark and others have pointed out, the democrats are more interested in scoring point and taking Trump down, than doing what’s best for their constituents, our nation and ultimately the world. Looking at the current landscape we are left to project how this might play out. It’s difficult to even guess at much of it with leftist politicians in control of many aspects of our hopeful recovery. Hope we find an effective way to make this a blaring cinder block around their necks come election time. There’s really no other way defeat the cancer that’s infected the nation with leftist politics.

    • Cluster April 18, 2020 / 9:28 am

      I was just reading that article and thought much the same. Covid-19 is just another strain of the cold/flu virus yet it has been amplified into something much bigger. I suspect the death toll attributed to the virus is inflated by at least 30% and I also believe that the vast majority of Americans are either already immune to it, or if infected will have mild conditions.

      There is something much more nefarious going on.

  3. Retired Spook April 18, 2020 / 11:00 am

    In the midst of mountains of bad news, I’m happy to report some good news. At 10:54 PM EST last night my wife and I became great grandparents for the 2nd time — a little girl.

    • Cluster April 18, 2020 / 1:22 pm

      Congrats!!! Did they name her Corona? LOL

    • jdge1 April 18, 2020 / 5:15 pm

      Welcome to grandparenthood (again) !! Keep the good news coming.

  4. Cluster April 19, 2020 / 9:32 am

    The Left is aggressively advocating a “universal basic income” as something they hope comes out of this “pandemic”. And here we thought it was just about protecting peoples lives.

    • Retired Spook April 19, 2020 / 10:15 am

      The sad thing is that many young people just starting out think that’s a marvelous idea.

    • ricorun April 19, 2020 / 3:26 pm

      I honestly don’t understand that “universal basic income” idea. That would just cause a readjustment of the supply/demand curve in such a way that it would have essentially no impact but to increase the burden on federal taxpayers. By the same token, I don’t understand this $1200 gift to essentially everyone on the federal tax roles. I mean I understand that it’s intended as a quick, emergency fix, but it’s an awfully expensive, shotgun approach that does little to target those that really need it. I mean, I certainly don’t need it, but I got it. I’m not going to give it back, of course, and it’s probably pointless to even try. I suppose I’ll just donate it in a way that is more targeted to some that really need it. But the whole notion is just so bizarre and so extreme leftist that I don’t understand how it was passed.

      • Cluster April 19, 2020 / 4:02 pm

        I never received any stimulus and don’t expect to. In fact I will be sending in my tax payment next week and happy to do it. I want to be one of the few Americans actually putting money into this country and not taking from it.

        Re: universal basic income …. do you have any idea what the “basic income” would be for someone living in San Francisco? I can tell you it’s a hell of a lot more than $15 an hour.

        UBI is simply a preposterous idea designed to appeal to the ignorant so they vote Democrat.

  5. Cluster April 19, 2020 / 12:35 pm

    Here’s the current Arizona numbers

    Total Cases: 4,929
    Total Deaths: 184

    Phoenix is a city of just over 5 million people and we can’t sustain losses like this so it’s a good thing that we have shut down causing nearly 100x the number of dead to be unemployed and about 20x the number of dead to lose their small businesses and livelihood.

    Good call


    • ricorun April 19, 2020 / 3:40 pm

      First of all, it is my studied opinion that anyone who lives in Phoenix is probably better off dead (/SARC — lol!). But I take your point. The thing is, it’s more about who might die than about who already has. And the fact is that it will always be that way. And the other fact is that people will keep dying as long as this virus is not quelled. Current numbers in any one spot on the globe, no matter how good, do not guarantee anything in that regard unless you can guarantee that infected people will not invade your “space”, however that is defined. And that, it seems to me, is the dilemma we currently face. How do you do that? It seems to me that, at present, there is no way to do that effectively.

      • Cluster April 19, 2020 / 3:56 pm

        … it’s more about who might die than about who already has. And the fact is that it will always be that way.

        Really? Using this logic shouldn’t we all just stay home all the time? You have a much better chance of dying in a car accident in AZ then you do from the flu virus. Should we all stop driving?

        How about if we all just let the scared and the sick people stay home and the rest of us will live our lives?

      • Cluster April 19, 2020 / 3:58 pm

        Rico, I will also remind you that you and Casper were afraid to come to AZ because our immigration laws. I only wish illegal immigrants felt the same lol

      • Amazona April 20, 2020 / 9:29 am

        …people will keep dying as long as this virus is not quelled…. and you know what? People will keep dying even if it IS “quelled”.

        The only serious long-term danger I can see from this particular corona virus would be if it were to keep mutating into different and more lethal forms. Otherwise, I think it will become just another of the viruses tested for—Influenza A, Influenza B, COVID-19. It will kill some people, just as A and B do.

        I think that the real key is developing methods to treat it. Once it can be treated people—except for the hysterics—will be more comfortable going out and about, as they will have some degree of confidence that if they do get sick something can be done about it.

        The thing is, we already have treatments proved to be effective—-and the Complicit Agenda Media are working hard to convince the public that we don’t. That tells me that panic is a desirable outcome for the Left. It has so many benefits for them.

        (1) It contributes to anger at Trump. Fortunately, this is probably only among people who already hated him, but it does keep that hatred and suspicion amped up.

        (2) It contributes to a belief, in some, that the government must be more powerful, have more control, so they can feel safe. This control ranges from national ID (supposedly just proof of antibodies) and economic dependence on the State (guaranteed income). Some think we should be micro-chipped like cocker spaniels so we can be scanned to prove we are acceptable.

        (3) It is leading to a police state mentality in which people are judging each other based on whether they wear masks or not and declaring that those who don’t “must be held accountable”. That sure sounds like the prelude to vigilante mobs to me. We have people doing things like the note left on the porch of the elderly and ill woman after her daughter left groceries for her on her porch, snarling “No friends No family No visitors We will call the police”. Just imagine that kind of Nazi-Germany thing in our country just three months ago!

        (4) To sum it up, it contributes to the fragmentation of our society that is so necessary for the triumph of Leftism. They have been working to splinter our society for years, accelerating this in the past decade, first trying to turn the two genders against each other and then inventing other genders to join the fight, pushing the old Class Warfare thing, trying to convince the stupid and gullible that our president is a puppet of a foreign nation, etc. This virus is an opportunity they clearly do not intend to let pass without using it to the max.

  6. Cluster April 20, 2020 / 8:22 am

    I will be politically correct this morning and say yes, this needs to be taken seriously and will even pretend that this isn’t just a bad flu season that has been weaponized, which it is. But it is time we think about Americans other than those who are scared or infected. I have a small business to run with all the financial obligations that come with it … leases to pay, utilities to pay, vendors, staff, etc. etc. and I just don’t have the luxury ti sit home. No one writes me a paycheck at the end of two weeks and no government sends me anything. My life is entirely dependent on myself and that is by choice and I share that choice will millions of other Americans who also deserve to have the same deference as those who want to shut everything down and hide. I have thus far been able to survive off of January and February’s business but new business is thinning out so this summer could be rough sledding, and if this persists it could be a killer.

    We have caused major harm to millions of small business owners, some of it irreparable all because the Globalists and the media weaponized a virus. I am tired of being lectured by the millionaire class, and the W2 class on the need to stay at home. To many “employees” both public and private this has been a dream and some are making more money than when they worked. To those of us who pay their wages, it’s a nightmare.

    This is total insanity and we all need to put our big boy and big girl pants on and go back to work.

  7. Cluster April 20, 2020 / 9:01 am

    Kurt Schlicter says it better than anyone could:

    But people aren’t having any more of this Schiff. We’re done. We could deal with it when it looked like a commonsense thing to do, but now it’s just getting stupid. Things are getting better and they are doubling down on the social distance Stasi act. You got police departments tweeting that protest isn’t essential, but apparently being petty fascists is.

    Over it!

    …. And once this ends, it’s time to reevaluate. It’s time to reevaluate all the science people who couldn’t make an accurate model to save their or our lives. It’s time to reevaluate all the globalist jerks who sold us out to China – hi Hoover Biden! And it’s time to reevaluate all the Lil’ Himmlers who enjoyed this all way too much.

  8. Cluster April 20, 2020 / 9:24 am

    Well this seems right doesn’t it?

    Harvard University, already supported by a massive $41 billion endowment, is getting nearly $9 million in taxpayer aid from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the U.S. Department of Education announced.

    A lot of rich people are lapping up the $2 trillion dollar stimulus. And here I was thinking about sending in my taxes this week. Who is the idiot in this scenario?

    This is all a big f***ing joke.

    • Amazona April 20, 2020 / 9:31 am

      That is outrageous. Who is responsible for where the money goes?

  9. Amazona April 20, 2020 / 10:00 am

    I’ve seen a couple of articles that mention this but think it needs more attention: emphasis mine

    “…a new study indicates that Covid-19 triggers in some people something called a cytokine storm, where one’s own immune system goes berserk. This “virus-activated” immune response can be deadly, causing severe respiratory distress and the subsequent shutdown of multiple organs.

    Indeed, how one’s immune system reacts appears to be central to Covid-19′s severity.

    “The virus matters, but the host response matters at least as much, and probably more,” University of Iowa virologist Stanley Perlman told The Scientist magazine last month.

    For some people whose immune systems are compromised by age or for often-subtle genetic or environmental reasons, the normal immune response doesn’t retreat when it should. It goes into overdrive, leading to “a flood of immune cells into the lung.” This has a rapid cascading effect in the body.

    Key to the patient’s survival is their doctors quickly recognizing this is happening. Dr. Randy Q. Cron and Dr. W. Winn Chatham, in a report for Vox, wrote that —

    All Covid-19 patients sick enough for hospitalization should be given a cheap, quick, and readily available serum ferritin blood test. Indeed, elevated serum ferritin values have recently been reported in Chinese hospitalized patients with Covid-19. This is a good first screening tool for the possibility of a cytokine storm syndrome in sick patients with high fevers.

    The question then remains how best to treat a cytokine storm syndrome once it is identified. The treating physician is often placed between a rock and a hard place. Corticosteroids can be powerfully broad immunosuppressive agents, and they are inexpensive and readily available throughout the world. However, it can be frightening for a physician to treat a severely ill, infected individual with such powerful and wide-ranging immune suppression.

    Cron and Chatham pointed out that there are other, more targeted drugs available as well, though trials will be needed to figure out which ones work best for Covid-19.

    In China, coronavirus patients exhibiting signs of cytokine-storm syndrome reportedly are being treated with the anti-inflammation drug Actemra (tocilizumab). Actemra is used in the U.S. for rheumatoid arthritis.”

    So if this article is correct (and I have seen several other references to a “cytokine storm”) then the test referenced here should be able to predict this potentially lethal reaction. It’s “a cheap, quick, and readily available” test.

    The article goes on to talk about possible treatments of this sudden attack on the body by its own autoimmune system, and mentions one drug that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

    “Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake”.

    Another drug routinely prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis is hydroxychloroquine, which is also the go-to drug for lupus.

    “Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs”.

    So, marching through these various pieces of information, I speculate that IF ill patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were routinely given the “cheap, quick, and readily available serum ferritin blood test” to determine if they were at high risk for developing a cytokine storm reaction and then given, at that time, a medicine already known and in common use to treat other immune system overreactions, the likelihood of a lethal reaction would be substantially reduced.

    We already know that patients given hydroxychloroquine soon after diagnosis seldom need to be hospitalized and show rapid recovery. This is, evidently, without first testing for immune systems ready to “go berserk”.

    My conclusion is that if I could be confident that the health care providers where I live would immediately treat me with hydroxychloroquine upon diagnosis of COVID-19 I would, in spite of being in a high-risk age category and having one contributing factor (high blood pressure) be comfortable in risking exposure to the virus.

    Lots of words, I know, but it seems to me to be a logical approach to calming the current hysteria.

    And it appears to me that the biggest stumbling block to enacting this kind of approach is the ferocious resistance of the Left to acceptance of the use of this drug. Which takes us back to the earlier analysis of why the Left resists any reasonable effort to control the panic and restore the nation to its former success. (Success under Trump—that is the key here.)

  10. Amazona April 20, 2020 / 10:19 am

    High point of the week: Trump telling CNN “you people are so pathetic”.

    • Cluster April 20, 2020 / 4:50 pm

      I hope he keeps it up. I just heard a group of morons on MSNBC scolding protestors and actually questioning their right to protest during these “times” and these are supposedly American journalists!!!!

      Most of the American media is HORRIBLE and they need to be called out by all of us. And Fox is no exception. Did you see Christie Wallace this weekend on Fox News Sunday? I didn’t but I read enough to make me cringe. I stopped watching Christie quite a while ago

      • Retired Spook April 20, 2020 / 5:02 pm

        We ditched Fox News Sunday as well and started watching Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo. I think I’ve said this before, but she’s one of the few TV commentators who allows her guests to talk without interrupting them every few seconds. she also seems to be better informed than most of her contemporaries.

      • Cluster April 20, 2020 / 7:30 pm

        I have kind of given up on going to Drudge too. He’s just a panic peddler. Click bait all over … nothing substantive anymore

  11. Retired Spook April 20, 2020 / 1:11 pm

    Anyone else following the markets today? Oil has plunged to under $5.00/barrel

  12. jdge1 April 20, 2020 / 3:10 pm

    Lowest gas prices locally were at about $1.65 yesterday a good chunk of which is NY taxes. While this may be good short term for prices at the pump, I suspect if this continues it will force drilling to shut down as well, potentially causing problems on the other end when (if) we come out of this lockdown.

    • Cluster April 20, 2020 / 3:15 pm

      Oil just closed at a negative $37 – how many of you still believe this is a pandemic?

      • Retired Spook April 20, 2020 / 4:40 pm

        Here are some of the oil-related headlines at MarketWatch:

        U.S. oil benchmark crashes below $0 a barrel to mark historic plunge

        Oil market in ‘super contango’ underlines storage fears as coronavirus destroys crude demand

        U.S. gasoline prices drop to more than 10-year lows in some states

        4 oil-related industrial stocks to buy as the price of crude plummets

        These U.S. oil companies are most at risk in the danger zone

        Oil can trade negative on the CME’s exchange as May contract plunges below zero on NYMEX

        ‘Books will be written about today’ — Oil’s incredible plunge leaves people shocked, searching for answers

        Interesting times.

      • Cluster April 20, 2020 / 4:44 pm

        And it’s all by design

  13. jdge1 April 20, 2020 / 3:16 pm

    Treatment options already exist. And this article highlights only some of them. Why does government still persist in draconian shutdown?

    jdge1, I tried to fix your link but ended up with the same loop-back to the top of the blog. Maybe Mark can take a look at it.//Moderator

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