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?

Open Thread

China has a debt problem:

China’s consumer loans are shrinking at an unprecedented pace after a decade of breakneck expansion, a blow to the government’s strategy of relying on spending as a growth engine amid the worst public health crisis
in a generation.

The net balance of consumer loans – made up of short-term and credit card loans from banks and online lenders – plunged by a quarter in the first two months of this year to 7.4 trillion yuan (US$1 trillion), according to data published by the People’s Bank of China. Some microlenders are staring at 20 cents on a dollar in bad loans.

China is fundamentally weak because China’s government does not have the consent of the governed – it is really as simple as that. Governments like that of China can, for a while, make things seem to work – but only seem. China is a honeycomb of bad debts, corrupt deals, crime and poverty masked by showpiece cities. Not only did China’s economy take a massive hit from the virus, it is going to keep on taking hits as foreign nations move their supply chains out of China. People are at last awake to how dangerous it is to have their supplies come out of China because of the sort of government China has. We’ll see how China weathers the storm…but it will be a very difficult time for them.

Related: Bloomberg killed a story about the corruption of China’s ruling class. One of the most astonishing things about Coronavirus is how it revealed the extent of China’s corruption of American institutions. They’re all bought, to one degree or another. Our supposed Expert Elite betters seem to have one thing in common – they’ll sell their country out for a few bucks.

Obama finally got around to endorsing Biden.

Don Surber’s plan to reopen America.

Ace rips into the New York Times over their stealth-editing of a Biden story at the behest of the Biden campaign. The story, of course, was about the sexual assault allegations launched against Biden. The bottom line is the accusation is far more credible than that made against Kavanaugh – but the MSM is determined to cover up for Ol’ Joe…because he’s a Democrat, and there’s an end on it.

Rumor mill has it that AG Barr is still rolling steadily along on the investigations with Brennan said to be a large target. We’ll see.

Open Thread

Either the doomsayer models were wrong – or President Trump has had a great victory over the virus. The MSM will say that NY Governor Cuomo saved the day…as part of the DNC backup plan to dump Biden (which can only happen, I think, after Bernie quits…which is why he may not quit).

We’re all wondering how in heck an agent of the Chinese government – disguised as a reporter – gets admitted to the White House press briefing. Mostly because it is redundant given how slavishly the American MSM parrots Chinese propaganda. Make no mistake about it, with a wave of Xi’s hand a gigantic amount of American media company wealth could disappear. How loyal are the corporate bosses to America vs Their Money? I think you know the answer.

With Corbyn out, it is now thought that Labour will pull back from the evils Corbyn introduced – especially the ever more explicit anti-Semitism. Mark my words: they’ll try to downplay it and the British MSM will cover it up, but the anti-Semitism is a requirement to be a full-on Labourite these days. The calculation was made: there’s a huge future, electorally and financially (especially financially) in playing up to Islamists…and the price demanded is anti-Semitism. Anyone thinking that things will change with Labour – except for the worse – is whistling past the graveyard.

Don Surber points out the MSM’s kamikaze run against hydroxychloroquine. Never has TDS been more stark – simply because Trump suggested it, the MSM went all-in against it. It does look like it works – at least to some extent, and especially for people with severe cases. What I learned the last couple days if that you go on a ventilator, your outlook is pretty bleak…trust me on this, if I catch the bloody thing and I get bad and go on a ventilator, I want them to throw everything they’ve got at it. And I think that is how most people view the matter. I was pondering how Trump might have hit upon this drug – and then it hit me: we’ve got lots of people who study plagues as part of our national defense strategy. I suspect Trump just asked them, in effect, “what do we have on the shelf that might work on this?”. When they came back with the answer, “hydroxychloroquine”, he said “go for it”.

We were told our hospitals would be overwhelmed and we’d be stacking bodies like cordwood. Well, it hasn’t quite been like that – as is seen by the lack of video on the MSM showing overwhelmed hospitals and stacked up bodies. But, never one to despair, CBS looked around and found a video of a person who says she was a nurse who had to quit because there was no proper equipment at the hospital. The CBS tweet got 23 thousand retweets and 8 million views. You know how this ends, right? Of course you do: its all bullsh**. Turns out she barely works as a nurse and seems to spend a great deal of time doing some sort of modelling on Instagram. She was provided the proper equipment but, on her first day on the job, insisted she be allowed to break protocol…and when told she couldn’t, she walked out…right to her video camera to make something which was almost certain to go viral and provide massive fame to someone who clearly wants to be famous. CBS News did not check out the background of the lady…but did add dramatic music to her tearful video. Yes, the MSM is the Enemy of the People.

Coronavirus is the Real World, and It Came Knocking

New York City has turned in a disaster area for Coronavirus. It is overwhelmed with cases and hospitalizations – and it is overwhelmed because it simply wasn’t prepared. Let us pause for a moment and review some salient facts:

The 2020 fiscal year budget for New York City is $92.5 billion. That’s about $11,500.00 in government spending for each person in the city. That is quite a lot of money, don’t you think?

Prior to the crisis, an N95 mask could cost less than one dollar. One dollar. So, for 8 million dollars out of the 2020 budget, NYC could have provided a mask for every man, woman and child in the city. After spending that 8 million dollars, NYC would still have $92,492,000,000.00 left over. If you want to have your eyes glaze over, you can read the entire NYC budget – I went through it a bit and found millions of dollars being allocated for such crucial things as replacing the skylights in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and providing illegal immigrants funds to defend themselves against deportation.

In addition to that, the directory of New York City is handy for you to see what the city is up to – among many, many other things, they have:

NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Policy and Programs
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Four different listings for housing departments
New York City Commission on Human Rights
New York City Loft Board
New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

And on and on like that – and, rely on it, these things are staffed to the gills with people who make high salaries and get excellent health and retirement benefits. None of these things, though, provide a mask for a nurse working a Coronavirus ward. What is a city government supposed to do? Easy:

Water supply.
Police protection.
Fire protection.
Waste disposal.
Maintain public thoroughfares.
Non-Police/Fire Emergency services.

That’s pretty much it. Anything beyond that isn’t necessary for the city to function. That you might want to have it do other things is all well and good, but the purpose of the city is those six things – and only after those six things are completely done do you have anything left over for additional wants. New York City – like most governments – has got this all backwards. They act as if their primary function is to provide economic opportunity, to end bigotry, to make art – to do just about anything but what the government is supposed to do. The city has been living in a world of make-believe – a world in which the bad things simply won’t happen and so the crucial things can be slighted in favor of fashionable vanities.

Coronavirus has changed that. The real world does, indeed, exist and it is very insistent that we deal with it.

I’m not here just to knock New York City – as worthwhile as that exercise is – but the whole attitude of a world which has been whistling past the graveyard. It isn’t, after all, New York City’s fault that it can’t just make masks in the city. New York used to be a manufacturing powerhouse…but various taxes, regulations and trade policies over the years moved that capacity out of New York. And out of the United States, of course.

What Coronavirus is teaching us is that we have to act like adults and do the important things – and only after the important things are done can we spare any thought or effort to other desires. We have to build back our manufacturing capacity. We must stockpile the necessary equipment for emergencies. We have to make sure our transportation system is durable. That our water supplies are secure. That, at need, we can live for an extended period of time without one thing coming in from outside the United States. In other words, we have to start being adults, again. Cruel as that might seem.

One of the crucial parts of getting back to reality is to directly ask the people in charge just what the heck did they think they were doing? DeBlasio can be raked over the coals – and should be – but he’s not the only one out there spending money trying to keep immigration laws from being enforced. He and a host of others – including many Republicans – have prioritized all sorts of useless garbage over the necessities of American survival. To put it as bluntly as I can: because our leaders have had us spending on trivialities, Americans are dead of the Coronavirus. It is that one for one here, guys: because if we had been as prepared as possible for this – and had acted like adults at the first sign of trouble – many people now dead would still be alive. And many who are going to die wouldn’t. The vanity project of having a green new deal in your home town might have produced a glowing editorial, but it also produced a corpse. Or dozen.

And we had better get serious about this soon – because Coronavirus, by all historical standards, is mild. This is the alarm in the middle of the night waking us up to the threat…and if we don’t take it seriously, then we will pay a very high price in blood.

Day 15 of Lockdown

Plague. Earthquakes. And, now, a comet. Whomever is opening up the seals of the apocalypse really needs to cut it out.

OTOH, if it isn’t the End, that comet might be quite the light show in the sky – no danger to Earth as its closest approach will be 72 million miles…but if high estimates prove correct, you’re going to see it very bright in the night sky with the naked eye.

The Kennedy Center – basically, a welfare program for the rich – got $25 million from the Stimulus and then canned the workers. Rep Scalise wants to rescind the grant. That’s fine, but we really aren’t getting anywhere unless the directors of the Center are flogged.

More talk of Democrats dumping Joe for Cuomo. Can’t see it as other than a disaster for the Democrats – the only alternative to Joe is Sanders. Cuomo hasn’t even entered the race…the DNC works some crooked deal to put Cuomo on the ticket and the Bernie Bros will revolt. I doubt it would happen, anyway – and not because Biden would be opposed. He likely doesn’t even know where he is most of the time: but his handlers are licking their chops at the amount of patronage they’ll be able to dispense in Biden’s name and they won’t want Cuomo to barge in and mess up the program.

New York City is being hammered while Las Vegas, so far, is getting off lightly…perhaps gambling and whoring isn’t as much an affront to God as being largely in favor of infanticide, as New Yokers – by their votes – seem to be? Just a thought.

The Great Facemask Debate goes on. As for me: from what I’ve learned, most transmission is via being in close contact with the infected for a significant period of time or literally touching the virus (on a person or surface) and then touching your face. This is why hand washing and social distancing are so important: from what I can gather, if you do the washing and distancing, your chances of catching the disease fall remarkably. But, for anyone who does have to go around people…wearing a mask seems to be an effective way of not touching your face, which would help.

China simply rebroadcast MSMers and American Democrats as part of their propaganda effort. Seriously, that’s all they did: the MSM and the Democrat Party are broadcasting Chinese Communist propaganda. I only hope they got paid for it – I don’t want to think some of my fellow Americans are stupid enough to do that for free. We woke up one fine morning to discover that a pandemic exposed how much of America China has purchased.

Related: backlash against China grows. China really screwed the pooch on this one – I’m with those who theorize that China knew what sort of problem they had back in December and made the conscious choice to ensure the whole world got the same problem.

Open Thread

So, had my first work from home day.

Plus: when I suddenly wanted a hot dog, I went and got one. Getting up half an hour later and immediately being home after work.

Minus: Dull.

Still don’t know anyone who has caught Coronavirus – and I’ve lots of friends and family in hot zones. Also rather surprised at how relatively lightly we’ve got off in Las Vegas. It can change, of course, but we went into lockdown 9 days ago and we’re at 350 cases and 10 deaths so far. The number of Chinese and other foreigners who come through this town is very large, so I really expected us to be hammered by it. I mean, look at New York! But, also, we didn’t have our leaders and health people telling us to get out there and hug a Chinese because Orange Man Bad. That might be the difference.

There is a theory that warm weather will abate the virus – we’ll find out in about a week as we’re supposed to get up into the 80’s with dry weather.

The stimulus bill is hot garbage, for the most part and they will have to re-work it in the near future. Be that as it may, it will at least provide some help for those dislocated by the virus. Seems there’s a bi-partisan consensus that every corporation and special interest group out there should be showered with cash but regular folks just aren’t smart enough to handle it.

Some Democrat rumblings about scratching Biden and putting Cuomo on the ticket. This is not an indication of a party which likes its chances in November. I’m thinking that absent a real virus meltdown in the USA (increasingly unlikely at this point), Trump will win rather easily, and likely get the House back into the bargain. Huge amount of time until election day, but Trump has done well and the Democrats got nothing.

The biggest problem with the virus is that we don’t know what its all about – the Chinese data has to be discarded as entirely untrustworthy. Italy and Spain are terrifying, but there seems to be local reasons for how bad it is there. Other places are not bad at all. Until we know the real rate of infection and mortality, we’re rather stumbling in the dark. And this is why it is wise to socially distance…but as we get better numbers and learn what the real threat it, it will be time to start reopening the economy.

Open Thread

Well, I’m officially work from home, now. Got all the stuff I need; so, one less thing to worry about.

The Democrats, in my view, really messed up on the stimulus…not that the GOP plan is all that great, but trying to lard up the program with abortion and green new deal stuff was an act of political idiocy I don’t think we’ve ever seen in human history. But, they did it – and I think it is because they are in a closed-loop: they simply don’t get much information which isn’t a mere variation on Orange Man Bad.

A recent poll showed Trump’s overall support rising and especially giving him high marks on handling the virus and the economy – it was the sort of poll number that would make him invincible if it holds to November. But the odd thing I saw in it was that Trump’s support among GOPers and Independents on the virus was about the same (around 60%) while his support among Democrats was sub 30%. Theoretically, everyone is getting the same sort of news, right? Well, I guess not: Democrats are clearly getting a set of information which is widely at odds with what GOPers and Independents are getting…and I think this is largely a function of GOPers and Independents tuning out the MSM while Democrats still follow every word of it. If you only watched CNN and MSNBC, you would believe that we’re days away from bodies piled up in the streets and 30% unemployment for a decade.

Now, it’ll be interesting to see what happens if, in the event, we don’t have bodies piled up in the streets and the economy makes a brisk recovery through the Summer. How will our Democrats square that with what they watch on the news? If it finally does penetrate, then Trump may win in an epic landslide.

Be that as it may, no one can really predict what is going to happen in November – though that hasn’t stopped our Experts from proclaiming that Trump is doomed. The situation is entirely fluid and while Trump is getting good poll numbers, now, a major change for the worse in a week or two would likely knock him down. Until it all happens, we won’t know what will happen. But I’m suspecting as bad as the virus might get, it won’t be a catastrophe and, also, as bad a hit as the economy is taking, it won’t take us long to get back out of it. And with Biden – who looks like he’s aged ten years the past month – leading the Democrat charge, I’m liking our chances in November.

Parishoners bought their ill priest a respirator. Priest found out someone else needed it and gave it up. The priest has now died. No greater love…

The Dow rose 2,112 points and so we’re back in Obama’s economy again – we’ll be in Trump’s if it drops tomorrow, for those keeping score at home.

The virus is not a flu – and you should familiarize yourself with the symptoms. Still, after all we’ve learned, the prime markers seem to be fever and a very bad cough. But it can also start with other symptoms and you can actually start to feel better before getting very much worse. Stout hearts, though: most people who get it survive and most who die have underlying conditions. If you have underlying health conditions, I really do suggest you barricade yourself at home and ride this out.

Trump wants to re-open the economy as fast as possible and in general I agree: we can’t stay locked down for a very long time. I think it should be a phased re-opening. As we get better numbers on how many are infected and what the real mortality rate is, we’ll be able to assess the actual danger and start letting up on the restrictions. Overall, oldsters should probably be the last to come out – and everyone who is work from home had probably better stay there for at least a couple months.

Lockdown Thoughts

Allergy season is in full swing in Las Vegas – and its a bad one; things are coated in pollen. This means I’ve got a headache, runny nose and a cough…so, every five minutes or so I’m worrying “am I sure this is allergies?”. Tiresome, to say the least.

But, I did check CDC for symptoms of Coronavirus – and if you haven’t, the primary symptoms are fever, coughing and shortness of breath. If you get real bad shortness of breath, confused or turn a bit blue, that’s when its time to go to a doctor. The word is that the oldsters are in the highest risk – especially over 65. I’m under 65 – and in pretty good health overall.

How are the lockdowns going with you? I’ll be heading to work from home as soon as I get this odd device which allows me to prove remotely that I work for my company…it was shipped out a while back ago, but it hasn’t arrived. I’ve noticed the mail isn’t exactly a thick packet any longer, either. I suspect that transport capacity has been commandeered for medical and food deliveries. Be that as it may, I’ll eventually be work from home and for a good while, too. And there’s nothing to do in Vegas as everything other than necessities are closed. So, we cleared a much larger vegetable garden this year than usual.

I still view this is an overreaction. But, that’s a horse well outside the barn: the reaction is what it is and it will have its effect. The primary effect, outside the virus, is the crushing of the economy. I expect 20% unemployment in a month or two. But I also expect us to roar back once this thing clears. The direct payments of money to people will be a great psychological help…and it will result in a fairly large pool of unused money once we’re allowed to go outside again. In the end, this pricking of the Dow price may be a blessing in disguise…everyone was wondering how long the market could keep surging like that. Well, that’s one less worry…it’ll probably drop a bit more before its over but when its time to go back to work, it’ll have no place to go but up. Do not look at your portfolio…and I’m thinking if you haven’t sold by now, don’t sell at all…wait for the rebound.

The stimulus is gigantic and will be larded up with pork – but it can’t be overestimated how good people will feel that in this time of crisis they’ve got the money for the necessities. This will have a political effect. Also having a political effect is how tin-eared the Democrats are on all this. They are still stuck on Orange Man Bad when Trump is out there leading doggedly in a time of national crisis. They could jump on board and prove to people that they are about something other than hating Trump…but they can’t manage that trick. I’ve heard unprompted praise of Trump from people you wouldn’t remotely think as prospective Trump voters…they are pleased he’s hammering the fear-mongering press and are waiting for their stimulus checks.

China is a lousy nation we should have nothing to do with – their lies (and the lies continue, I bet: I ain’t buying their story they’ve had no new cases) are what allowed a completely manageable problem to become a global crisis. And those EU-weenies begging for Chi-Com help are just morons, plain and simple. The Chinese can’t help – like all tyrannies, they only look splendid on the surface. Underneath it is a nation where most still live in grinding poverty and prisoners fill the camps. They’ve got a couple showplace cities to wow the rubes of the West while the rest of the country is garbage…and that is why this virus came from there: because they don’t know how to actually deal with something as simple as a flu.

The good news here is that, at last, people are coming around to the view I’ve been harping on for more than a decade: we have to make, mine and grow our own stuff. Having our supply chain outside our control is national suicide. Bring our factories back home…at least to the Americas, where we can keep an eye on them.

Hope you all are healthy and getting through this ok!

Open Thread

My odd work scheduled has me off today and tomorrow; we’ll see if I really have to go in on Thursday. Probably will: even a massive shutdown will still leave a few vital things we must support. But, it’ll be as it is.

I think Democrats and the MSM are getting rather tin eared here: this is a time of national crisis, not a time of Orange Man Bad. We’re busy wondering about our jobs and getting supplies and if we’ll get sick and we want to know if we’ll have our jobs and our supplies and if we’ll get sick…that is pretty much all anyone wants to hear about right now…not DNC hit jobs. We’ll see how it plays out, but I suspect this will be a backfire of epic proportions on the Democrats.

We’re pretty well stocked here, as it turns out: did hit the grocery store yesterday and while they were mostly out of meat, I did hit upon the turkey breast…so, we’ll soon have Thanksgiving in March. We had already secured our corned beef for today, of course! What was dumb was they put out a pallet of water and some people grabbed multiple cases. Come on, people: just take one. Leave something for the next guy. When they happened to put out potatoes as I was passing by, I just grabbed a couple pounds and left the rest.

Hope you guys are all doing well!

How You Taking the Zombie Apocalypse?

MGM and Wynn shut down in Vegas – as it turns out, I work with a lady who has family working at MGM and the rumor was that only 8% of the rooms were booked for next week…so, closing down would make sense.

I’m guessing that after all is said and done, we’ll pretty much be on a national lockdown in a few days, even if it isn’t official. People are scared – heck, even I get a little flutter in the tummy; but I’m mostly worried about people doing stupid things resulting in injury and death.

As for the Coronavirus, itself: still no real clarity on it. Likely because the MSM isn’t being helpful here. If we could really nail down the mortality rate and the most at-risk populations, that would be tremendously helpful…but without such data, fears are able to run free. And running free, they are.

I think that Trump is doing all that can be done but, as we Conservatives know, there’s only so much the government can do. Liberals are going bonkers over it – and I mean seriously nuts: I’ve seen comments where they say that Trump is deliberately letting the disease spread so he can be dictator. I guess that is what comes from TDS…and it is being fueled by malignant actors out there. Seen more than one social media post where someone, who seems on the up and up, is spreading the most alarming news…only to be proven false when checked out. Meanwhile, though, tens of thousands of people repeat the falsehoods on social media and very few, I bet, ever check to see if the story was true, or not. This is the new normal: social media can be a tremendously useful and fun thing, but it is also ready-made for exploitation by con artists…and some of the con artists have networks news gigs.

Keep safe; get yourself two-three weeks worth of supplies laid in and pray for a swift end to this disease.