Hurricane COVID-19: GOP’s Fiscal Restraint Pisses into the Winds

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Before going further, let’s take a look at the weather by the numbers.

COVID-19 confirmed cases: 5,064,072 — new cases confirmed at a rate of 55,000/day

COVID-19 deaths: 162,623 — new deaths at a rate of 1,000/day

Unemployed: 31.3 million people were receiving some form of unemployment compensation as of Friday.

Evictions: 23 million people nationwide are at risk of being evicted or are now at some state of eviction.

This is Hurricane COVID-19, continuing to wreak havoc not on any one or two coastal states but the entire nation.

Imagine an enormous hurricane wiping out the lives of more than 162,000 Americans spread across every state.

Imagine a storm so big it destroys housing for AT LEAST 23 million Americans — at least, because this number may not include the affected family members.

Imagine a hurricane wiping out food for millions of children, many of whom rely on getting at least one meal a day from school.

This is not a single three-day blow with a limited range and a one-time demand for economic resources.

This ongoing hurricane will require everything we can throw at it for the next 12 to 18 months — until a vaccine and/or drug therapy can be developed, tested, approved, and distributed.

Concerns about fiscal restraint have NO place in the face of this rolling disaster. This is not a situation where reflexive conservative retrenchment to anti-tax small government will work.

Reflexive conservative decision-making has already failed this nation.

This includes stupidity like Sen. Ted Cruz’s nasty sarcasm on Twitter demeaning the most vulnerable in our society, the working poor and the dwindling middle class, tweeting, “Why be so cheap? Give everyone $1 million a day, every day, forever. And three soy lattes a day. And a foot massage.

Say that to the faces of families who’ve lost love ones, families wondering how they’ll keep a roof over their heads, or parents who wonder how they’ll feed their kids today and tomorrow — honest, hard-working Americans who’ve lost their jobs only because Trump and his political party have failed to take action necessary to stem COVID-19.

~ ~ ~

We’ve had more than a day to digest the White House’s feeble attempt to change the subject and redirect attention away from the GOP-led Senate’s refusal to meet to hammer out a rational economic aid package.

The Democratic Party-led House made a good faith effort to project what Americans would need based on conditions they saw and passed the HEROES Act in mid-May.

It has been sitting, waiting for the GOP-led Senate to catch up; it took TEN WEEKS to come up with a counter in the form of the HEALS Act, offering only a third of the aid HEROES Act offered while stuffed with gifts to donors and spending pork.

Democrats have been able to see this pandemic for what it is, with clear eyes. If they’ve failed it’s for lack of imagination when it comes to the obstinacy of the opposition party when it comes to facing reality.

If Democrats have failed it’s for assuming Republicans would hit bottom and eventually do the right thing.

But they haven’t. The Republicans have ensured that aid to date has been corrupted with lack of oversight and accountability, doled out to political supporters.

~ ~ ~

The White House knows things are going to get worse. They are not only unwilling to deal with the challenges accumulating over the last two months under Hurricane COVID-19, they are unwilling to plan ahead for a worsening crisis they have fomented.

Instead, inadequately qualified chief of staff Mark Meadows thinks more PR will fix the COVID crisis.

The administration has refused to work toward an effective national strategy though one is possible as other countries have proven. Their refusal is deepening the emergency.

Instead of working in good faith, they let their Bronx Colors boss spew more lies — Trump told reporters last evening that the Democrats had called, “…They’d like to get together” — when the truth is neither Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer called.

Today Mnuchin indicated he wants a deal:

… Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, on a conference call with governors on Monday, said action by Congress remains the administration’s “first choice.”

Mnuchin and Vice President Mike Pence urged the governors to reach out to congressional leaders and push for legislation, according to audio of the call obtained by AP. …

Mnuchin needs to get on the phone and call his GOP peeps in the Senate, not state governors. The governors are over a barrel and need the money the House Democrats have already allocated $915 billion in direct federal aid to state and local government in the HEROES Act they passed more than two months ago.

It’s NOT the Democrats who are the problem and the states know it.

Jesus Christ, what a bunch of hacks working for this administration. They just don’t get it; they are unable to lead in the face of this massive ongoing catastrophe.

~ ~ ~

This is the threshold of an economic depression the likes of which this country has never seen. We don’t have anywhere near as much agriculture as we had in the 1930s during the Great Depression; many families simply eked by if they could keep their farms (though they did have different forms of federal assistance from a more competent government).

We are a service economy now and people can’t afford services which aren’t absolutely essential. They can’t afford the risk of services which put them in contact with other people too closely. Re-opening businesses like gyms and hair salons and restaurants doesn’t make the risks go away, nor does it change the fact most of us have had to reduce our spending because we may or have already lost our jobs.

Invest in the care of the Americans who need it. They will plow that money back into the economy. It keeps the rest of the economy moving until a vaccine or a drug therapy is available.

Failing to do this simple thing — take care of the American people by ensuring domestic Tranquility, providing for the common defense of their homes, promoting the general Welfare until we can beat back the disease — is like failing to heed the forecast of this massive Hurricane COVID-19 once again.

Parody of NOAA Hurricane Dorian map marked in Sharpie by Trump. Used here under Fair Use.

This is an open thread.

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79 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    FYI, I forgot to note what time today I took the COVID-19 numbers.

    As of 7:00 pm EDT:

    Confirmed cases: 5,083,857
    Deaths: 162,816

    The excess deaths add approximately 25% more to the reported COVID-19 deaths so far.

  2. P J Evans says:

    Cruz should consider giving everyone $1200 a month, up to an annual household income of 100K. It would be cheaper than he thinks, and do more for the economy than whatever the WH and McConnell will allow.
    Withholding money from people without jobs won’t bring back jobs, and it won’t restart the economy: it will just kill people, including a lot of GOP-T voters.
    The economy isn’t Wall Street or the billionaires, it’s people with lower incomes, who spend money because they have to: Main Street, Anytown, USA.

    • Raven Eye says:

      See…What Cruz understands — and we don’t — is that when the government writes a check to “those people” they cash it, and then they take the currency and shred it or burn it. None of that money goes back into the community’s economy. Nobody else sees one nickel of that $600 or $400.

      /s

  3. silcominc says:

    So Rayne, trump spews bullshit Saturday night which eats up several press cycles and today his EPA removes Obama limits on methane and other gases that are heating the planet. What I do not understand is what their end game is? Is it to kill us all? If they do that, who will fetch their drinks and whatever else they wish?

    Also, it seems to me pretty clear that they do not intend to allow us to have a fair election in November and I am at a loss to understand what we can do (those of us who don’t own guns). Seriously, it is getting pretty bleak for those of us who love and fought for our country.

    • Marinela says:

      It is becoming obvious that WH, and GOP senate will not address any of the COVID-19 issues, to make it harder for Joe Biden, after he wins, to govern and fix the economy. They expect that by early next year their inaction will lead to unbearable crisis just in time for Biden to take the fall for it.
      GOP, in current incarnation, excels at obstructing when they are not in power.

      • Rayne says:

        I don’t think that’s the case because they didn’t do that in 2008 before the crash when McCain was running for office.

        I genuinely believe they want to kill as many lower income and elderly voters as possible for two reasons: the lower income especially in blue states vote for Democrats, and the older ones are either more likely not voting or drawing down on Social Security and Medicare.

        It’s political genocide and economic cleansing the GOP are choosing by failing to do anything.

        • Marinela says:

          They didn’t expect Obama to win. Now, they don’t expect Trump to win re-election.
          And yes, the reasons you listed are in the mix.

          The GOP party accelerated it’s transformation towards demagoguery, anti-immigration, racist and cultural wars, it is not the same as it was just few years back.
          The accelerator is Trump, but it was going that direction anyway.

        • silcominc says:

          Rayne, your spot on. That is exactly their plan – remove the undesirables (to them) and the frail. Just like the Nazi’s – scary.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There are several candidates for why Trump and his followers do what they do. For starters, money now for corporations and the wealthy is always better than any consequence later, and it decreases the odds that meaningful consequences will follow.

      Chaos is what Trump creates, sometimes by design. It’s inescapable. Chaos, overreaching, and blatantly illegal moves are his STOP. What’s new is the scale of the chaos and the pillaging. Creating so many targets turns the GOP and its patrons into a school of fish. It makes it harder for a responsible government to focus on any one problem, which means more individual fish might get away with their loot.

      The chaos and target rich environment might make it harder for Dems to get things done and to move government in a progressive direction. It makes setting priorities and assembling the staff and resources to tackle them harder. It increases the scope of potential disagreements among Democrats – and potentially creates more lines of attack for an angry, defensive GOP. Then there’s the overriding problem of Trump’s personality: if he can’t win, he will tear up the game board so no one else can play.

      • Marinela says:

        Regarding:
        if he can’t win, he will tear up the game board so no one else can play.

        GOP is doing the same calculations, GOP and Trump are in locked steps about burning everything down.

        It is going to be extremely hard for democrats to govern after Trump and this GOP.

      • posaune says:

        Right on the mark. Trump’s mind runs on chaos. Can you imagine the internal “noise” he fields every minute?
        What we see is probably 10% of his internal dialogue. Bent on destruction.

        • Wajim says:

          Internal dialogue? With what, his “conscience”? Sociopaths don’t get what Shakespeare first recognized as self-dialogue in the early plays, to the fine point of Hamlet. Can you even imagine the stream of disconnected, Fox-addled gibberish? I’ll bet I’ve had hallucinogenic dreams that make more sense than his self-talk.

    • Rayne says:

      First, we’ve been able to see Trump’s game plan with every single cabinet appointment. No appointee has been a positive for their role — Betsy DeVos doesn’t believe in public education, for example. Every single appointment including poor judicial nominees should have been protested by everyone left of center. No GOP member of Congress should go unaware of how they have failed with every appointment. We’re stuck with them for now.

      Second, stop consuming fossil fuels. This is the perfect time to reevaluate your entire life and consumption patterns. I don’t think the average American realizes how close we are to making the fossil fuel industry crash because our consumption changed so dramatically because of the pandemic. But it’s time to wake up and finish the job. You’re worried about greenhouse gases? Then do all you can to stop consumption.

      Fracking’s break-even price is $60-65/barrel. Just look at it now. Run these bastards into the ground — and those bastards include Koch Industries.

      Stop using Uber and Lyft. They are means to perpetuate oil consumption at higher rates than public transportation. Demand your state+local government switch to electric public transportation.

      Third, find out how your state+local government are handling the election. It’s volunteers who staff the polls and they need more help because of COVID. Insist on state+local government providing more secured drop boxes to accommodate drop-off ballots since Trump is undermining the Post Office.

      Fourth — and this should have been at the top: This country was founded by people who said Enough with this Undemocratic Bullshit and fought back against an autocrat. Decide if you are going out fighting or if you’re just going to whine and give in. Because those of us who are going to fight back with/without guns don’t fucking have time for whining. Lead or follow, but get out of the way if you’re just going to whine and roll over.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump hasn’t trapped the Dems into doing anything. They might trap themselves, but it would not be owing to Trump. And if you told Trump that, in chess, the queen is the most powerful piece, he would say you’re lying.

      • P J Evans says:

        I’m not sure Trmp knows the difference between chess and checkers. Or, if he did, he’s probably forgotten it.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The only things he would know is the phrase, “King me,” and that pawns are meant to be sacrificed. But he couldn’t tell which game they’re from.

    • Rayne says:

      Take the time to look at the body of work by Philip Elliott whose work you shared with that URL. He’s pro-GOP.

      It’s up to us to pay attention to what we’re consuming and who’s dishing it out. Don’t share his work unless you are willing to thoroughly take it apart.

      Now go read up George Lakoff on the “truth sandwich.”

  4. Ken says:

    It’s actually quite simple. Their boss, Putin, wants to make the U.S. as weak as possible. These quislings are succeeding at this task. Mission Accomplished.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your sixth user name; you’ve used variants of Ken, Ken Scott, Sundog or some combination. We have other members named “Ken” or “Kenneth” so pick a more unique variation and stick with it. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      If they screw up too badly, they’ll hurt Putin’s interests. It would be interesting to know how much commercial property Putin, like other oligarchs of all nationalities, controls. The COVID shutdown has been bad for oil, by reducing consumption. But it’s also triggering some profound changes to commercial property values, and I have no inkling where (or how much) commercial property Putin’s interests control. Kushner’s interests have probably also been damaged by the lockdown; Lady Karma is a bitch with a wicked sense of humor.

  5. graham firchlis says:

    Rayne, you’ve been spot on with your analyses of the Trump-McConnell gang behaviours. Enlighteng and entertaining.

    But to view their behaviors as clueless or without a plan is imho mistaken. They are smart, well-informed as to thier means and objectives, and as a coherent group they’ve been in steady ascent since Brown v. Board.

    For them, catastrophy is a feature, not a bug, and this pandemic is a gift, an authoritarian’s dream. Health care system collapse, economic collapse, starvation, panic all around, rioting ensues.

    Trump wins, hop and a skip to a federalized National Guard and suspension of habeas corpus. Relief? The packed courts, or Barr’s DOJ?

    Biden wins, still time to make it all worse, then fall into obstruction and propaganda mode as Marinela observed.

    It is going to be a long hard slog at best.

    GOTV.

    Please, protest peacefully. Violence feeds the beast.

    • Rayne says:

      They most certainly are clueless because McConnell et al only know how to obstruct transactionally. Their plan is not governance; because they are in a position to govern this means they have no plan.

      If they continue to kill Americans the way they have while they take their homes and food from their mouths they will set off the equivalent of a contemporary French Revolution demanding liberty, equality, fraternity.

      You would do well to ask yourself if older white men are whom we should be listening to at this point when they have failed this society as a whole. That goes for lectures on civility as well.

  6. P J Evans says:

    On voting during the Civil War, from Ruff Station (Smyrna), GA:

    Nov the 3rd/64 Last Night and to day My self and Clinton and Kelly have been on patroll duty Walcked 22to Miles Last Night it Was dark as Pitch And rained all Night and also the rain has Fell steady all day to day to day there Was A vote taken on the Presidential Candidates the Result Was For Lincoln 163 votes A Hundred and sixty thre votes For Littel Mack the unready 6 votes

    Even during war – this was the 41st Illinois Volunteer Infantry, many from the Decatur area, so it’s not surprising they back Lincoln.

  7. graham firchlis says:

    The GOP aren’t interested in governance within the New Deal Great Society majoritarian structure. They aim to disassemble it, imposing a soft tyranny of the wealthy.

    They have made great strides since 1980, while Americans have become, in the words of Ming the Merciless, ‘satisfied with less.’ Resisstance requires a mass movement with clear actionable objectives. Haven’t seen that from the Left since anti-Vietnam War days. In a pandemic, the task is exponentially greater.

    Violent revolution is so very unpredictable. Far more failures than successes.

    As an unreconstructed ’60s Berkeley egalitarian, I see no valid reason why anyone’s experiential opinion should be considered less-than or somehow invalid on the basis of gender, race or age.

    • graham firchlis says:

      Oh and of course the gay rights movement, a case study in the benefit of clear, relatable, actionable objectives.

  8. Nehoa says:

    Would recommend listening to Ezra Klein’s podcast with Stuart Stevens. He just published, “It Was All A Lie”. He thinks the current GOP is going to die because it has no plan, no empathy, just nothing to offer. Like the Soviet leadership at the end. Just nothing.
    I did take issue about one thing he said in the podcast. He said that despite the public actions of many GOP politicians, many were still at core decent people. They would help you fix your flat tire, be good neighbors. What came to mind is how well Rand Paul’s neighbor thought of him. Lol.

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      I have a feeling these “decent people” would resemble George Zimmerman more than Mister Rogers if someone without Lily white skin had a flat tire within a 4 mile radius of their house.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I listened to him on Charlie Sykes’ “Bulwark” podcast, and a Lincoln Project podcast. (It’s summer, I like to walk…) He enjoyed campaigns: the thrill of winning had a deep pull for him. Many of these campaign ‘strategists’ were in it primarily for the adrenaline, the money, and the cache.

      He makes an interesting point that for the ‘traditional’ GOP campaign managers, a Steve Bannon, a Stephen Miller, a Corey Lewandowski was anathema. A legit campaign manager could not, would not, hire such ‘damaged people’. (I thought that as good a synopsis as any, but it definitely underscores that Trump’s campaign was a horse of a different color, paid for in part by the Mercers.)

      Actual governing tends to be mundane and doesn’t pay nearly as well as being a strategist at the national level. IIRC, he made around $20,000,000 running Romney’s campaign.

      What I respect is the way that he gives an historical perspective to the GOP, tracing its roots to racism and the Southern Strategy. IOW, he sees Trump as a culmination, rather than an accident. I give him credit for facing some disturbing facts. We all need this information if things are to improve going forward.

      =============
      FWIW, Stevens does not talk about the financial underpinnings of the GOP, but it sure appears that Bush links to oil (Houston, US oil industry, Saudi links) and petrodollars underlie much of the GOP and the social and economic structures that upheld it. If people aren’t using oil and buying guns, that’s two more nails in the GOP coffin.

      • Marinela says:

        Regarding the Mercers, are they still donating to Trump campaign now?
        What happened to the investigations in their involvements with Trump campaign?

      • ducktree says:

        Travel back in time a few generations and you’ll find the Bush family forebears were already greatly profiting in an earlier extraction industry – The Dark Passage.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            There are many sources, but I found Craig Unger’s 2004 “House of Bush, House of Saud” to be extremely enlightening.

            Unger claims that most of his material is open source, and what he collects in that volume is historically significant: you see how the Bush/petrodollar/Saudi connection propelled many problems in the world today.

            In case you did not realize that GHWB was a former Dir of the CIA, that turns out to be have some big implications for petrodollars and national diplomacy. The Bushes aligned US foreign policy with the Saudi’s, which helps explain why Iran disdained: demonizing Iran meant the Saudi’s could control the narrative, as well as the price of oil. And GHWB was an oil man.

            The book also highlights how Brent Scrowcroft, who passed this week, viewed Dick Cheney as such a danger to the nation that he began quietly, bureaucratically, going after Cheney. (Scowcroft and GHWB went back decades.)

            There are a lot of good resources, but Unger is a great start.

  9. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    Pleasantly surprised that Schumer and Pelosi didn’t agree to liability shields/swords for companies, I expected them to capitulate. Suspicious of why they didn’t and suspect it has more to do with GOP dysfunction, but maybe they are capable of the bare minimum when they need to be

    • Rayne says:

      Why would they give up liability when they need workers’ votes AND they have almost nothing else to assure businesses have skin in the game to reduce contagion?

      It’d be one thing if they offset it with tax credits for capital improvements to business facilities like shields at work stations and improved HVAC systems but that would have been less likely to assure protection on a timely and uniform basis compared to retaining business liability.

  10. d4v1d says:

    “what a bunch of hacks working for this administration. They just don’t get it…”

    Let’s say the quiet part out loud! they *do* get it. This is intentional (so were opioids, while I’m talking out loud). And that biker superspreader event in SD loading up on coronavirus… wanna guess what they’re up to, or do I need to say that out loud too?

      • P J Evans says:

        I read that the Lakota were allowing trucks through their checkpoints, but not bikers and tourists.

        • Rayne says:

          Gee, where do bikers, tourists, and truckers buy food and gasoline in South Dakota?

          How do you think the Diné in Arizona got COVID-19? The virus doesn’t respect borders or checkpoints.

          • graham firchlis says:

            Where do the bikers shop?

            Sturgis turns into a gigantic popup mall, where you can buy anything and everything. Everything. If you need more, Rapid City is 30 minutes down the interstate. No need to enter any of the nations just to shop.

            • Rayne says:

              Look, any place where residents of South Dakota cross paths with tourists and interstate transportation is a point where the virus can be spread. You can say there’s no need to enter tribal lands but if the interstate traverses them, COVID can go with the truckers. And if truckers stop at stores/restaurants/gas stations outside tribal land where bikers and locals stop, they can pick up the virus there.

              Again, how did the Dine’ get COVID? The location of the highest concentration of cases happens to be where state and federal highways (I-40 & US-160) cross tribal lands.

          • graham firchlis says:

            How did Covid19 enter Navajo country?

            Appears tribe members brought it in and spread it themselves. [Navajo Times has a running series under ‘Corona virus updates’ with details.]

            The three first cases were reported mid-March, two tribal members in their 40s who reported recent travel off the rez, and a 62yo minister. All three attended a large church gathering in the village of Chilchimbeto along with others from across the Navajo Nation. The virus spread from there.

            In the Hopi Nation, the virus emerged everywhere at once. Spread was likely through the winter season of ceremonial dances, held largely inside kivas crowded shoulder to shoulder. Many dancers travel from dance to dance, along with family/friends support. No way to track the origin, but my experience the winter dances draw far fewer outsiders.

      • graham firchlis says:

        Appears bikers have steered clear of tribal lands. While there are scattered anecdotal reports, I am unable to find confirmation. Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel for the Lakota Peoples Law Project, said on Aug 7 that he had heard no reports. ‘Maybe the biking community is supporting us’. [The Globe newspaper, via NewsMD]

        He also announced formation of a 500+ member rapid response force of armed ex-US military ready to defend the checkpoints, so there’s that.

    • Pajaro says:

      Superspreader events:
      Reopen in person schools: targets educators & students’ families, extends span of epidemic. Opportunity to jam up voting just in time.
      Sporting events: once again targets families. Initial expansive infection wave coincides with vote.
      Broad swath of die-hard supporters refusing to mask, socially distance, gathering in capitals to complain. Again, times the exponential infection wave with voting season.
      Continue to hamper the medical response by chaos in federal support.
      It is carefully planned, purposeful death and illness for thousands of citizens. A war crime, really. Undeclared, at least officially, war. Count me among the fighters when the time comes.

  11. jerryy says:

    Just a thought, if the states have to kick in that $100 per person portion of the $400 unemployment money, it will cost the states 10s and 10s and 10s of millions of dollars.

    Money that the states will not have to be able to pay the sudden postal rate increase Trump is now demanding to mail out voter ballots..

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      The MMT posts here make it really aggrevating that so many states have balanced budget amendments, like mine. This is a perfect example of why those amendments are bs.

      • Ken Muldrew says:

        MMT only applies to entities with their own sovereign currency; US states don’t make the cut.

        • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

          Wouldn’t the philosophy that it’s ok for a state to run a deficit to provide needed services fall under the realm of MMT schools of thought?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Exactly. The proposal attempts several things at once. None of them is about trying to get money to real people, states, and an economy in desperate need of it.

      The proposal is ill-thought out and impossible to execute. It lowers the bar on weekly payouts by at least a third. The states have no matching money. If they did, the payments would pour through state UI schemes comprised of conflicting laws and outdated computer systems, causing massive delays. If it could be rolled out, the money would run out in weeks.

      This is a scheme designed Not to give the needy a bent Roosevelt dime, animated by a Randian belief that if the needy were worth helping, they wouldn’t need help. It is an attempt to hide that the gridlock in Congress comes from the GOP’s refusal to do its job. The neoliberal icing on the cake is that by extending a razor blade instead of a helping hand, Trump is trying to crush hope, and the expectation that government can and should help its people.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        It is an attempt to hide that the gridlock in Congress comes from the GOP’s refusal to do its job.

        Yes, and then wail and moan about ‘both sides need to compromise’.

        On one side:
        Steve Mnuchin, Foreclosure King (google it)
        Mark Meadows, former owner of a sandwich shop and ‘real estate investor’ of Tea Party infamy. (Unclear whether ‘real estate investor’ means ‘flipped houses’ or ‘put money into a strip mall’.)

        On the other side: Nancy Pelosi, decades in Congress who has a deep background in city, state, and federal governments and budgets.
        Also, Chuck Schumer: same depth of background as Pelosi.

        We have two lightweights whining about Chuck and Nancy, setting the scene for Trump to swoop in with a Power Move, no matter how ridiculous.

        The business press that I’ve seen appears to be almost stricken by the spectacle. I don’t read Chinese, but friends from that region report their relatives calling them in dumbfounded disbelief about what is happening in D.C.

        • bmaz says:

          “Chuck and Nancy” have been so fucking pathetic it is sickening. They are both useless and need to be retired to their respective glue farms.

    • vvv says:

      As above, I just read Ms. Wheeler’s contemporaneous play-by-play of the arguments, and she also calls that out, many times.

      • Diogenes says:

        I agree with you 100% that they are deliberately and very consciously making it worse to make the election an election in name only. (Frankly it’s biowarfare . . .)

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If the Dodd committee – and its well-heeled patrons – picking Joe Biden’s VP goes with Susan Rice, it will ensure that the Dems spend four years preoccupied with picking the next president. Never having run for elective office; not having a political network or regional base of support; and probably spending her time backing up Joe and doing the usual, unobtrusive stuff assigned to the average VP, Rice is not likely to make the short list. Which leads the Dems into doing precisely what the anonymous opponents of Kamala Harris claimed they wanted to avoid.

    So, instead of productive succession planning of the sort that used to be done by well-managed corporations, we’ll have another extended free-for-all. That’s not likely to be productive. Nor will it help fix the mountain of problems that Donald Trump will leave in his wake. In fact, it adds to them.

    If the choice is Rice, it suggests that the deciding criteria were a) that Joe have a helpmate rather than competitor/complement inside the WH, and b) that the field in 2024 be left open for the entry of another old white guy. Because there’s no argument that several of the women on Biden’s nominal short list are eminently qualified to be President or Vice President. Biden can partially make up for that by naming assertive progressive women to his most important Cabinet and advisory posts. There is so much to do, it boggles the mind, and men are so emotional, they could not be depended on to do it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Another reason Joe’s handlers would not want too demanding a person as VP is that Joe can’t fire her if she becomes too much to handle.

    • Rayne says:

      OR…Team Biden was worried they would have to deal with replacing a key senator at a time when they needed rapid passage of bills out of Congress.

      If polling suggests Dems are on the bubble to win a Senate majority, losing *any* senator whether Harris/Warren/Klobuchar/Duckworth would be highly problematic AND they’d have to gear up for a fight to win that seat in whichever affected state.

      AND perhaps Biden sees the magnitude of the problem with foreign interference as well as the collapse of relationships globally as something needing more attention than just a Secretary of State but a VP able to help repair the damage.

      Get it through your head that 2024 is wide open and an old white dude doesn’t have a lock on the spot no matter who the VP pick will be. COVID-19 will continue to upend all our assumptions about the future on top of instability the white nationalists will continue to foment as whites resist becoming a minority in this country.

  13. mospeck says:

    Love you Rayne..guess it’s because you are subtle. Your “weather by the numbers” reminds me of those German Ex like Beckmann circa back 1932. My kids have already moved off to the EU. Took me the longest time to get that she is just an understudy for the statue of liberty

    • rosalind says:

      i did a day trip into East Berlin while the wall was still up and went into a record store. a few scattered discs around, and a giant pile of Supertramp “Breakfast in America” records piled high in the middle. This huge freestanding stack that was getting quickly depleted by customers rushing in.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    More bad news for Trump as public interest groups continue to pursue the gross inconsistencies in the financial disclosures relating to his golf clubs in Aberdeen, Turnberry, and Doonbeg. Politico’s latest, “more comprehensive” review of the disclosures for the three clubs includes, “six years of records from three countries.” It has converted pounds and euros into U.S. dollars.

    Politico’s presentation leaves something to be desired, but it seems that in one recent year – pre-Covid-19 – Trump claimed the three resorts brought in about $179 million in revenue. UK and Irish disclosures, on the other hand, put the revenue at $152 million, and net revenue, after expenses, at negative $77 million. I believe that’s called bleeding money. Post-Covid-19, the numbers would be much worse.

    In 2018, Trump claimed in his US disclosures that Aberdeen and Turnberry together were “worth” at least $100 million. UK records, however, indicate that after including debt, the two properties were under water by $80 million. Who’s the lender, and why would they still hold the debt on such money-losing properties? That’s notwithstanding that one of Trump’s spiels would be that the golf clubs are really real estate developments in the making and that the money will soon be pouring in?

    “The left-leaning American Democracy Legal Fund, a self-described government watchdog group, is asking Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.” to look into the matter.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/11/trump-golf-resorts-scrutiny-393223

    • Nehoa says:

      Just speculation here, but I think that Trump was the vehicle for some money from Eastern Europe (dare I say Russia?) to get an asset in the UK, even if not profitable. Money deposited with DB, DB provides loan or equity to Trump org, with default covenants allowing original source of money to claim ownership, and Trump org gets a lucrative management deal. Good for all parties. Just speculation of course. Of course a reputable bank like DB would never do something like that, especially in its private banking department.

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