Monday, March 30, 2020

The Hidden Goodies in CARE, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020

$2.2 trillion. $2,200,000,000. Eight zeros. That’s an amazing spending bill, even for Congress. It’s 5x greater than President Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Bill. . The times call for it. This is the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression. The American economy has collapsed in the space of a couple of weeks. The world’s economy is in intensive care. Parts of our major cities look like Post-Apocalyptic America. 3.2 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. This week is probably just as bad. All because of a microscopic virus. Emergency action was needed, and more may be needed in upcoming weeks and months. President Trump is not President Hoover. President Trump and the Republicans had a few objectives. First, buy time. Keep the employers, large corporations and small business alike, alive, afloat so jobs will be available when America restarts the economy. Memo to our Democratic Socialists: without employers, there will be no jobs!!! It will be Venezuela! Second, just as critical, is helping the American workers thrown off work and their families, who have lost their jobs and usually their health insurance. Speaker Pelosi had a different agenda. In the words of Rahm Emanuel, “No good emergency should go to waste.” She is interested in pushing her social agenda, including the Green New Deal and Planned Parenthood. $2.2 trillion, $2,200,000,000, actual $6,200,000,000, is too good to resist. The media focuses on the major payments, loans and loan guarantees, unemployment compensation and extensions. Supplemental appropriation bills are like Christmas trees. The trick is to find the hidden ornaments. The evil is in the details. Pure politics for Speaker Pelosi. Anything less than a billion dollars in this bill is petty cash. Even a few billion is an accounting error. But it adds up! The good of CARES. $250 billion for extended and expanded unemployment benefits. A new program t cover gig workers. $300 billion for households for households. $349 billion in loans for small business. Emergency grants up to $10,000 each for small business, with a total allocation of $10 billion. Payments of $1,200 to persons making $75,00 or less, with payouts scaled down up to $99,000. $500 billion lending fund. $130 billion to hospitals, which are on the front lines of fighting the virus. It may not be enough! $20 billion for Veterans’ Health (long overdue). $22 billion for commercial airlines, cargo airlines, and contractors for maintaining employment ($8 billion for the cargo carriers). $22.5 billion more for employees $3 billion for airport service and contract workers. Another $48 billion for the nation’s farmers and nutrition programs. $4.3 billion for Centers for Disease Control. One other feature: The President, Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Congress, and their families are barred from participating in the program. Here’s the Pork. $150 billion to states to cover the Covid-19 expenses, but without tight strings. $1.32 billion for community centers responding to the virus. $25 million to the Kennedy Center, certainly a national institution, but nothing directly for the performing arts or museums elsewhere. Another $7.5 Million for the Smithsonian. $75 million each for the National Endowment of the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, but even if the National Endowments distribute every cent of it, many of the nation’s cultural institutions, large and small, will perish, as well an unknown number of non-profits. Nothing directly for them. $359 million for refugee resettlement $150 billion for states for Covid-19 expenses. $10 billion for the postal service. $50 million Legal Services Corporation, lawyers are srvivors $25 million for public transit, with a paucity of riders. $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (never heard of it before) $1 billion for Amtrak. $400 million in grants for election security, which means mail in voting, same day voting, etc., but not ballot harvesting. $100 million for rural broadband. $99 million for the Department of Energy. $65 million for NASA. $37 billion for the Forest Service. Speaker Pelosi even stuck $25 million in CARES for the House of Representatives for salaries and expenses. One estimate is $600 billion is going to government. President Obama would be proud. Boeing sought $60 billion, but will only be able to apply out of a $17 billion national security loan fund, which might be open to GE and a host of other suppliers in the airline manufacturing industry. Boeing wants to give no concessions in exchange for $. “Boeing doesn’t get it.” The company only needed one year to destroy all the goodwill and credibility built up over a century. Incidentally, Boeing had paid out in share buybacks from to the 757Max crashes. Here's how not to aid the American people: $10.8 billion for three international organizations, The African Development Fund, The African Development Bank, and the International Development Association. A measly $500,000 for a water project in Utah. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer gloated in striking $3billion to replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Senator said it was . The Democrats hate fossil fuels, big coal, big oil. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader are experienced negotiators. They understand you have to give something to the other side. Speaker Pelosi want even more next time. The good news. No matter how much was porked into CARES, much of it is going to the people and businesses which need it. Second, President Obama repeatedly told us his $831 billion 2009 Stimulus bill was for shovel ready jobs. That was one of many political lies, including “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and “If you like your insurance company, you can keep your insurance company.” He said laughingly on June 13, 2013 “Shovel ready wasn’t as …uh…shovel-ready as we thought.” His Stimulus program was to prop up the unions, especially the teacher unions.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Never-Trumpers Are Now Dumping on President Trump Over the Coronavirus While the President Navigates Unchartered Waters

The Never-Trumpers Are Now Dumping on President Trump Over the Coronavirus While the President Navigates Unchartered Waters No matter what President Trump does, it’s wrong. Overreact, underreact, he’s wrong. The reaction has become instinctive. Think of it as a political Jack in the Box – it just keeps jumping up. Wind the Never-Trumpers up, and they spring up with bile. Gail Collins in the New York Times on February 27 wrote let’s call it Trumpvirus instead of coronavirus: “If you’re feeling awful, you know who to blame.” Ben Rhodes, the Obama media-manipulator, says we’re in a dystopian nightmare.” Vice President Joe Biden, who doesn’t know where he is and confuses his sister with his mother, criticized the President’s Coronavirus plans as “severe shortcomings.” The Washington Post called him “besieged.” The Never-Trumpers suffering from the Tramp Derangement Syndrome are besieged by their hatred. He initiated the ban on China travel on January 31. Senator Schumer criticized the ban on February 5. The purpose was to keep out, or at least delay, the entrance of the virus into the United States. The President initiated a travel ban on most of Europe four days ago. He was panned. Many countries as of today have imposed travel bans. They include Argentina, Austria, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Netherlands, Peru, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Germany is imposing borders on its adjoining neighbors. The list will be growing rapidly. China, Italy and Spain have imposed total lockdowns. Hoboken has a mandatory nighttime curfew. Pandemics have struck the world in the past: the plague, Spanish Flu, HIV, Sars, MERS. All are different. No clear protocol or roadmap exists to combat Covid-19, spread by globalization. We are learning a new vocabulary, especially social distancing and community spread. President Trump is navigating unchartered seas. The modern global world has not seen such a rapidly spreading, virulent virus. Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom, has closed. Police have closed Bourbon Street. March Madness is cancelled. College and pro sports are basically gone from TV. The Washington Monument is off-limits. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is shuttered. Apple and Nike are closing stores. Starbucks is cutting back. Graduations have been cancelled. Schools will be distance learning. 1932 witnessed a run on banks. 2020 is experiencing a run on toilet paper and supermarkets. ?????? Ski slopes are closing while the snow is falling. America’s economy will take a major hit. The first goal was to contain the virus inside Asia, or at least slow its spread in the United States. The President did that with the travel boycotts. American would be in worse shape today without the travel boycotts. Most epidemics have a bell shaped curve. China is on the downside of the curve. The United States is on the rise. The hope is to slow the rise and flatten the curve, thereby reducing the exposure and especially the death toll. A major result of slowing the spread, starting with the China Travel Boycott, is to increase preparedness for the inevitable contagion with training, medical supplies, facilities, and test kits. The Administration is holding two briefings daily, keeping the public informed. Experts are providing information and answering questions. The President is present at several of them. The Never-Trumpers don’t recognize or understand that, regardless of the “static” in the media and Congress, President Trump gets things done. They will fight the virus as well or better than any country, with the possible exception of Singapore. The Never-Trumpers will not still themselves.`

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Vice President Biden and Covid-19: Emulating Governor McKinley's 1896 Front Porch Campaign

The Democrats have a problem. Everyone knows Biden is a potential gaffe a minute. Many also suspect he is losing it, onset dementia. The fear is he cannot survive a rigorous 9 month campaign. His handlers kept him muzzled much of the primary season. Press conferences were non-existent. His recent outbursts and forgetfulness are alarming. He swore at questioners, introduced his sister as his wife, and claimed he would never take guns away after being on tape earlier saying he would. Even Senator Sanders hopes the former Vice President will commit a fatal gaffe before the Democratic National Convention. Assuming Joe Biden wins the Presidency, the critical question will be the Vice President nomination. The FBI cabal and Democrats three years ago were consumed with the 25th Amendment as a means to remove President Trump office on grounds of incapacity, even before he assumed office. So great is the anti-Trump animus that the Democrats will nominate and perhaps elect a man well-past him time to the Presidency. How do they muzzle Vice President Biden? Simple! They emulate Governor McKinley’s successful 1896 Front Porch Campaign, masterminded by his campaign manager, Ohio industrialist Mark Hanna. McKinley met with delegations of visitors on his front porch while the Democratic nominee, mercurial Williams Jennings Bryan, crisscrossed American with his Cross of Gold speech. Bryant was a silver advocate while McKinley believed in the gold standard. Governor McKinley gave over 300 front porch speeches. Governor McKinley was scared of going on the stump. He said “I have to think when I speak.” It was meant as a jibe at Bryan, the smooth talking orator. Joe Biden doesn’t always think before he speaks. He can’t compete against President Trump on the stump. He gets very argumentative and vituperative with attendees. He needs to be muzzled. He also hopes Covid-19 cripples the Trump Campaign by limiting the President's rallies. Both the President and his core are energized by the rallies. The Coronavirus, Covid-19, may be a pandemic, which may claim thousands of lives in America this summer and fall, but it is a panacea and Godsend to the Biden Campaign. Large gatherings are to be avoided. That means large campaign rallies. Vice President Biden can sit back and criticize the Trump Administration, and thus President Trump, for the inevitable mistakes in fighting the virus., not necessarily from the front porch, but in front of focus group, highly edited videos and ads. The Vice President can sit back, hoping the Coronavirus sufficiently damages the American economy to elect him President. Yes, Biden live will almost be an optical illusion before November 3, 2020.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Senator Chuck Schumer Finally Crossed the Line in Threatening Supreme Court Justices

Abortion is the litmus test for Democratic politicians. Pro-life Democrats are muted. The Supreme Court battles over Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were over abortion. The mantra is unrestricted abortion. No compromises. Almost anything goes in preserving Roe v. Wade and its progeny. Senator Schumer on the steps of the Supreme Court in front of a pro-abortion rally hosted by the Center for Reproductive Rights yelled and pointed at the Court: I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell you Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions That is a threat, a fairly direct threat aimed at the two most recently confirmed justices. This what you would expect from a third world tyrant, not the Minority Leader of the United States Senate. Chief Justice Roberts released a statement rebuking the Senate Minority Leader: This morning , Senator Schumer spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court while a case was being heard inside. Senator Schumer referred to two members of the court by name and said he wanted to tell them that ‘You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You will not know what will hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions. Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous. All members of the court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter. Justin Goodman, spokesperson for Senator Schumer, escalated by accusing the Chief Justice of bias: “For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Senator Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes.” President Trump did not threaten the two justices. He said they should recuse themselves for bias. Justice Sotomayor wrote in a dissent last week: “Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited court resources.” The Justice Department has every legal right to appeal to the Supreme Court when lower courts have issued nationwide injunctions, that are constitutionally flawed. The Justice Department often has no choice but to often seek emergency relief from the Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor not withstanding. Justice Ginsberg in 2016 called candidate Trump a “faker.” She added “I can’t imagine what this place would be – I can’t imagine what the country would be – with Donald trump as our President.” She also said “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.” The President said the two should recuse themselves because of pronounced bias against the president and his Administration. He did not threaten them! He criticized Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who’s presiding over the Roger Stone case, in a tweet: “Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure? How did she treat crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking!” The President was accused of interfering with the fair administration of justice. No president should comment on judges in pending cases. President Trump should have learned that lesson from his comments on District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel of San Diego, who was handling the Trump University litigation. He said the rulings were unfair. He said Judge Curiel “happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that’s fine.” “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest.” (because he’s Mexican)(Judge Curiel was born in Indiana) “I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater.” Judges stick together. Federal district judges on the West Coast, and elsewhere, started to immediately decide against the Trump Administration in case after case, irrespective of the Constitution and federal statutes. It was personal. They questioned his motives – usually a judicial No No. “I have a judge in the Trump University civil case, Gonzalo Curiel (San Diego), who is very unfair. An Obama pick. Totally biased – hates Trump.” Effective threats have been made in the past, but not directed by name at specific justices. Chief Justice Roberts was known to be opposed to ObamaCare. A publicity campaign was unleased, claiming that an overturning of ObamaCare would destroy the credibility and integrity of the Supreme Court. He switched, twice, to affirm the statute. The political hypocrisy and intolerance of the modern Democrats, the left, and the mainstream media are obvious. They excoriated President Trump for his criticism of Justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor and District Judges Curiel and Jackson. They claimed a violation of the separation of powers, interfering with the independence of the judiciary. Most of the “pundits” who excoriated President Trump have been strangely silent on Senator Schumer. Once again their hypocritical double standards rise to the top. Not all though – The Washington Post, Professor Lawrence Tribe, ABA President Judy Perry Martinez, spoke out against the Senator’s remarks. President Trump tweeted, he always does, Senator Schumer brought great danger to the steps of the United States Supreme Court.’ The President’s right. There’s enough “nut jobs” out there on both on all sides of the political spectrum who get incited to violence, such as James Hodgkinson who severely wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner, a Congressional aide and a lobbyist practicing in Alexandria, Virginia for the annual Congressional Baseball game. President Trump never threatened the jurists. Senator Schumer did. The Senator walked his words back – slow walk is a better term. He said he “shouldn’t have used the words I did.” He added: “I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language.” Senator Schumer may be from Brooklyn, but he was educated at Harvard. He’s smart enough to know better. He also blamed it on his passion for abortion rights. I would have expected his comments from his predecessor Senator Harry Reid. Senators, judges and Presidents have freedom of speech. They shouldn’t necessarily exercise it. Sometimes the words use are improper, unprofessional, bad form, thoughtless, or incendiary.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Reflections on Super Tuesday: Americans Don't Want a Socialist

Lessons From Super Tuesday: America Doesn’t Want A Socialist Maine and Texas are too close to call as I write this blog, but it doesn’t matter. Many lessons emerge from Super Tuesday, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Democracy can be messy. You just don’t know how voters will vote or predict the upsets.. America doesn’t want a socialist. Progressive does not equal progressive. Massachusetts and Minnesota are progressive, usually solidly blue states. Joe Biden won them, as well as Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia. That’s quite a cross section of America. The Vice President led in pre-season polls, but was fourth in Iowa and New Hampshire. He had no money. He gave limited campaign rallies and press conference. His handlers were keeping Joe on a short leash. In short Joe Biden was dead man walking. Senator Sanders was running away with the nomination. Feel the Bern! The Senator had an army of young supporters. He was the authentic candidate. He’s the same socialist, communist loving, USSR honey mooning radical as in the 1960’s. He still loves Fidel Castro. That’s not a winning issue in Florida. Most Americans didn’t like the Berm. More lessons: 1) Senator Sanders won New Hampshire and proceeded to praise Fidel Castro and Cuba, not to mention Hugo Chavez and Venezuela. Polls show a large percent of the voters decided in the past two days. They heard the Senator praising Castro. 2) The Democrats were running on identity politics. The two surviving candidates Biden and Sanders are old white males and career politicians. Sanders is 78 and Biden 77. 3) The Black vote helped Biden in South Carolina and the other Southern states, but so too did the White vote in those states. 4) Once again, money alone can’t win it. Governor Jeb Bush had $100 million entering primary season four years ago. Secretary Hillary Clinton outspent Donald Trump 3:1. Trump won. 5) Tom Steyer dropped between $150-250 million and Michael Bloomberg $500-600 million so far. Steyer’s out and Bloomberg is reconsidering. 6) Likability still counts. Bernie is Bernie and Joe is Good Old Joe. They are who they are. 7) Democrats want to defeat President Trump. The odds are better with Biden than Sanders 8) If Biden wins the nomination, then once again the Democrats will have nominated an ethically challenged candidate 9) Can either Biden or Sanders make it through the next 8 months? 10) I’m sorry Senator Klobuchar didn’t gain traction. Will she be the VP nominee? 11) And then there’s Senator Elizabeth Warren, who came in a resounding third in her state of Massachusetts. As Dandy Don Meredith used to sing on Monday Night Football, “The party’s over” What will Kate McKinnon do next on SNL? 12) If Vice President Biden wins the nomination, he will be the first since seemingly forever to win without winning either Iowa or New Hampshire, or even coming in second in those states 13) Upset winners in the Iowa Caucus get a close look by Americans. Governor Carter and Senator Obama sealed the deal with the American people after Iowa. Mayor Pete Buttigieg failed. 14) After all the hesitation, the Establishment coalesced on Joe Biden as the anti-Sanders 15) All the criticism of Iowa and New Hampshire, especially Iowa, the two states served their purpose of winnowing the field by providing up close scrutiny of the candidates 16) Michael Bloomberg failed the Governor Rick Perry Test. If the public doesn't know who you are, don't blow your first debate. 17) Both Mayor Buttigieg and Representative Beto O'Rourke admitted to White Privilege - not a winning platform in a majority white country.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Fears of Coronavirus Covid-19: Contagion, Panic, Economics, and President Trump's Reelection

The Fears of Covid-19, the Coronavirus: Contagion, Panic, Economic, Political, and President Trump’s Reelection So much of the Covid-19 risk is still unknown, especially the lethality rate. China is reporting a rate of 3.4%, but the rate is lower outside Wuhan. Iran has a high rate of 5.54% based on 54 deaths out of 978 reported cases . Yet, only 44 fatalities have occurred elsewhere with a death rate of 1.5%. For example, Singapore has 0 fatalities out of 106 cases. 69 made a full recovery and been released from hospitals. China and Iran both have transparency problems. China’s numbers are skewed. The country now reports 87,733 cases with 2,996 deaths. They have changed the method of diagnosing the disease. Their numbers also don’t account for earlier mild cases or all current cases. The Covid-19 virus will go global. It will be labeled a pandemic. It’s impossible to prevent the spread because of its characteristics. The blame lies with China. The party hacks in the city of Wuhan and Hebei Province let it get out of control before taking action. They even muzzled and forced an apology from Dr. Li Wenliang, who first noticed the disease. He has since become a martyr in China, dying from the disease, as have several other health care providers including Dr. Liu Zhiming, director at one of the Wuhan hospitals at the center of the epidemic. China publicly announced the public health problem on December 31, 2019. Here’s what we know about Covid-19. It’s highly contagious, but not nearly as fatal as SARS, MERS, or Ebola. It kills though pneumonia. Most victims get mild cases, which often resemble its cousin, the common cold. Those most at risk are the elderly and those with preexisting conditions. Some people seem to be asymptomatic. 81% of the diagnosed cases in China are mild. The reality is that we do not know with current technology how many victims have caught the disease or are asymptomatic carriers. Singapore announced that it has been able to track the virus through antibodies. The test is accurate for those tested. The virus is dangerous because civilization has developed neither immunity nor vaccines for it. Italy provides a sad example. Diagnosis was delayed in a man who had nether been to China nor been in contact with a known case of the disease. He had transmitted the virus to his pregnant wife and six members of an amateur soccer team before being diagnosed. He was a symptomatic for weeks. He set off an epidemic in Lombardy. Italy as of February 29, 2020 has 1,128 cases with 29 deaths. The virus came to Italy with two Chinese tourists testing positive in Rome on January 31. An Italian repatriated from Wuhan tested positive on February 6. Epidemics, such as in Hubei Province, can exceed the available medical resources. That could also be a problem in the United States. Hubei is the hub of producing of producing masks, bandages, and surgical drapes and gowns. Our medical facilities are currently coping with the flu. The initial screening is for a fever. I was in Singapore February 5-10, connecting through Seoul. The airports and conference center were using thermal scans from a distance. I got stickers that said “I’m cool.” No fever – you’re clear to go. No visible signs, you’re good to fly. The virus has hit 60 countries by today. Iran’s Vice President is in quarantine, having contracted the disease. The only way currently to contain the virus is isolation and quarantine, tracking those exposed. We know that the virus is spreading globally, but the dangers can be minimized. Mask manufacturers are working overtime to supply the demand. However, most of the masks are considered ineffective in fighting the disease, but should be used by those with symptoms. A N95 mask is believed effective if properly used. Knowing that, I still used masks on the airplanes, airports, and subway in Singapore. The masks provide psychological comfort. Panic The public has reacted with panic, similar to the early years of AIDS. However, we know so far that Covid-19 is not the second or third coming of the Plague, or the second coming of the Spanish Flu. Anti-Chinese animus is rising globally. Newport Coast Elementary School in Orange County is rumored to be expecting seven students from China. Dozens of parents are apoplectic, demanding answers and threatening to pull their children out of the school. It has echoes of Ryan White, a 13 year old who contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion. Despite of medical evidence showing he was not a threat to others, many parents and teachers fought his readmission to school. 117 parents and 50 teachers signed a petition seeking to ban him from school. The state ordered him reinstated. He was unwelcome on his return, and subsequently transferred to another community, where he was affirmatively greeted by the superintendent of schools, the principal, and several student who shook his hand. An Asian-American student in the San Fernando Valley coughed. He was attacked by other boys, accusing him of exposing them to the virus. Mindless fear is taking over. People are hoarding products, such as toilet paper, water, rice and ramen, disinfectants, clearing out retailers. Streets are empty in Wuhan and Beijing, but also in Milan and Chinatowns in cities like San Francisco. The Mayor of san Francisco has declared a state of emergency in the city even though no cases have yet appeared in San Francisco. The Louvre is closed. Saudi Arabia has halted pilgrimage to the Holy sites in Mecca and Medina. The schools are closed for a month in Japan. The Olympics may be imperiled. Baseball teams are playing in empty stadiums. It’s serious. Impacts and Economics We are not only in a global economy, but have also exported much of our factories to China. China’s factories went on extended vacations on Chinese New Year. Many have not reopened, while others have trouble ramping up to full production with workers staying home. Apple announced that it will take a financial hit between lost production and closing many of its China stores. Other U.S. companies, including MacDonald’s and Starbucks, have also closed stores in China. Manufacturers are paying the price for their lean and mean, just in time inventory processes designed to minimize inventory costs. Many of the essential parts and chemicals come from China. The supply train has been shattered. Business continuity plans may not work in this situation. The United States is also dependent on China for other products. For example, 80% of America’s antibiotics come from China. The country also supplies 80% of America’s toy market, and a large percent of the nation’s apparel. China’s auto industry is, or was, the largest in the world. 25.8 million vehicles were sold in China in 2019, more than Japan and the United States combined, and more than the EU countries. GM sells more cars in China than in the United States. China is VW’s largest market. Buick and Audi are popular luxury cars in China. Mercedes sells about 700,000 cars annually in China – twice the number in the United States. China’s auto market is closed for business in much of China today. Sales plunged 18% in January. No one’s buying much of anything in China today. The hospitality and tourist industries are in a deep depression in Southeast Asia. Flights have been cancelled. On February 10 the airports in Singapore and Seoul were empty, the luxury stores bereft of customers, the planes full of empty seats and cargo hulls, and hotels slashing rates. The bellies of the planes were no longer carrying cargo. The great airlines of Asia are in economic distress. 250,000 flights have been canceled into, out of, and within China. Airports like Hong Kong, Seoul, and Singapore are empty. One example is Singapore Airlines, which has cut 670 flights in March. Even the Mideast airlines, such as Emirates, have cut flights because of their large business in Asia. One estimate is that the travel industry will incur $100 billion in losses. Singapore estimated a few weeks ago a 25-30% drop in visitor arrivals. That estimate a few weeks ago appears optimistic. The Chinese became the world’s tourists. 3 million Chinese visited America last year, spending an average of $6,500 each. That’s just the United States. They are the big spenders throughout Asia, such as on Singapore’s Orchard Road. Hong Kong’s economy was already in distress because of months of riots. The potential economic impact of the Coronavirus will except business continuity plans. Two pieces of “good news” arise out of the public health and economic disaster in China. First the air quality has substantially improved in China. Second, oil prices are dropping because of a substantial drop in demand from China and in aviation fuel by the airlines. Saudi Arabia has cut production for China by 50,000 barrels daily. Politics President Trump seems headed to reelection 245 days before election day, regardless of who the Democrats nominate. Only an economic collapse can imperil his reelection. An untimely recession can challenge the reelection of President Trump. The Democrats and media will do everything to pin the virus and its impacts on the President. Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer issued a joint statement on Thursday: “Lives are at stake – This is not the time for name-calling and playing politics.” They had an opposite approach two days earlier. The Senator used the words “towering and dangerous incompetence” to describe the President. Speaker Pelosi said “The American people need a well-coordinated , whole-of-government, fully-funded response to keep them safe from the coronavirus threat. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has mounted an opaque and chaotic response to this outbreak.” The Democrats and media damned President George W. Bush by pinning the Katrina debacle on him even though fault lay with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. President Bush refused to answer the charges, staying above the fray. His father lost reelection to Governor Bill Clinton, who pinned a mild recession on the President, who failed to counter the charges. President Trump will vociferously defend himself. The Democrats and media are already slamming the President on the Covid-19. They will crucify the President when the virus inevitably spreads and results in a number of fatalities. Mistakes will be made in responding to the virus, as with the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan. Lessons will be learned from the mistakes. The Democrats and media will excoriate the President. That’s all they know how to do after three years, three years of crying wolf. The Democratic candidates have not listened to their “leaders.” Senator Warren Called the Administration’s response a “mess.” Senator Sanders, who honey mooned in the Soviet Union, loves Fidel Castro and Cuba, and wants to nationalize healthcare, said “We need a President who does not play politics with out health and national security.” Tom Steyer, who just dropped out, said the President’s management “risks a Katrina-level disaster for our country.” Michael Bloomberg in an ad said “The president fired the pandemic specialist in this country two years ago. There’s nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing.” Mayor Bloomberg is on tape saying "We have to deny the elderly care" or go bankrupt. He added: "Go and enjoy. Have a nice one. You've lived a long life." Mayor Buttigeig said the response would be ”based on science’ and “not politics.” President Trump’s restrictions on entry into the United States postponed the inevitable viral entry into the United States, buying time for America to prepare. Vice President Joe Biden, who misspoke about being arrested in trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison, called President Trump’s remarks “absolutely bizarre.” The United States is prepared, as prepared as any nation, but it is not prepared for a widespread epidemic. It is lacking in respirators and quarantine facilities, especially being constrained by the current flu. By way of comparison 68 homicides and Chicago and 52 in Baltimore have occurred so far this year, inly 1/6 into 2020. By way of comparison, 32 million flu illnesses, 310,000 hospitalizations, and 18,000 deaths, including 125 children, have been diagnosed so far this flu season. The Democrats and media would pin that on President Trump if they could.