Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Double Standards of Leaders During the Coronavirus

Quiz Question of the Day? Which Nixon Administrator said “Judge us not by what we saiy but by what we do,” and how much time in jail did he spend?” Answer: Attorney General John Mitchell – 19 months (Watergate) Double standards are endemic in life. We understand the rich, the powerful, the leaders can ignore or work around the rules, but that doesn’t make it right. Covid-19 has bought out the best in most people, but then there’s a few glaring exceptions. Let’s start with Illinois which is always a unique laboratory on public official misbehavior. Governor J.B. Pritzker, the $3.4 billion heir to the Pritzker fortune, lock-downed the state. He refused on April 29 at a press conference to answer a question about his wife flying to the $12 million family estate in Florida. He said a few weeks later that his wife and children actually left before the shutdown was in effect. He then added they went to the Wisconsin farmhouse to take care of the farm animals after they returned from Florida. That’s traveling during the shutdown. He explained in light of protesters in front of his house: “There are threats to my safety, and their safety.” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot visited a hair salon the day after the shutdown went into effect. She posted in defense: “I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye.” She earlier said “Getting your roots done is not essential.” Then we have Illinois’ neighboring Michigan. Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued some of the most inexplicable lock-down restrictions, such as you could shop at Walmart or Target, but not purchase paint, garden supplies, or furniture. No more than two persons could be on a boat but no motor boats and no fishing off boats. Then we have her travel restrictions. Her stay at home requirements said stay at home:, except for a specified list of emergencies or essentials; absolutely no driving to second homes, such as in Northern Michigan. Marc Mallory didn’t get the message. He phoned Tad Dowker of Northshore Dock LLC in Northern Michigan. He asked Tad he could get Marc’s boat out for Memorial Day Weekend. Tad said no; it was against the rules. Marc responded: “I am the husband to the governor. Will that make a difference?” Tad said No and posted it on Facebook before before pulling it off. Governor Whitmer then used what’s becoming the most common justification among our political leaders saying her husband meant it as a joke. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio is always good for the inane. Mayor De Blasio, the early barely noticed drop-out from the Presidential race says “I live in the regular world,” just a regular person whose police detail drives him 12 miles every morning from Gracie Mansion to a YMCA Gym in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. He went to the Gym a few hours before Governor Cuomo shut the state down. He explained “I need exercise to be able to stay healthy and make decisions.” New York City is better off when he doesn’t make decisions. Regular people use mass transit in New York City. Let us take note of the CNN/MSNBC reporters and crew who criticize President Trump for not wearing a mask, but who also don’t wear masks when off camera. Finally we cross the pond to Dominic Cumming in the UK, a unelected political strategist. He was an architect of the Brexit campaign and of Boris Johnson’s landslide win as Prime Minister. Dominic serves as the major advisor to Prime Minister Johnson. Dominic took off on a 260 mile jaunt to his parent’s house in Durham, England. His explanation was that both he and his wife had the virus. He wanted to arrange for the care of his 4 year old child with his extended family if both he and his wife perished. What a noble thought – thinking of his child while putting his parents, the grandparents at great risk. How completely thoughtless! England is not an undeveloped country. It has modern technology, such as landlines and cell phones (I now because my AppleX was stolen in London two summers ago). He could text, facetime, skype or messenger. But No. He had to go in person. He also forgot to tell his boss, the Prime Minister who was suffering from the illness. He said “I don’t regret what I did,” explaining he needed to secure child care for his child in an exceptional situation Dominic Cumming is a political genius?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Joe Biden: Than You Ain't Black!

Joe Biden: If You can’t Figure Out You’re for Him or Trump than you ain’t Black Yes, Joe Biden popped up out of the basement and uttered a Bidenism to Charlamagne tha God, the host of the Breakfast Club: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Oops! His staff quickly issued an explanation; he meant it as a joke. Later he said “I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.” Of course he got flack. People know their skin color as much as they know anything about themselves. They understand their skin color. It probably won’t affect the November voting by itself, but Sleepy Joe backed himself into a box. He has said he will nominate a woman as his running mate, and anointed next president. The pressure is on him to nominate an African American woman as his woman mate. So much for Senator Amy Klobuchar, who would probably have the most crossover appeal. His statement was just another politically incorrect Bidenism, bordering on racism. So what now: What about “If you have trouble figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, than you ain’t a woman.” Here’s what the then Senator said about Senator Obama’s race for the Presidency: “I mean, you got the mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” As for his fellow Delaware citizens, he said “In Delaware the largest growth in population is Indian-American, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin’ Donut unless you have a slight Indian accent, I’m not joking.” Here’s the classic Bidenism that received little publicity “I may be Irish, but I’m not stupid. He can still say “If you have trouble figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, than you ain’t a Hispanic.” Or “If you have trouble figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, than you ain’t a Native American.” Why can’t he good all the way: “If you have trouble figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, than you ain’t an American.” He has a seemingly infinite number of stupid comments left to say before November. He can’t control what he says. That’s his problem. Even while Joe Biden is sequestered in his basement, he still utters Bidenisms. Think of when he’s released! Even the mainstream media will be unable to ignore them. Remember Joe Biden at a campaign rally a few months ago said he was running for Senator. Joe said a few months ago poor folks are just as bright and just as talented as white kids, and then added “wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.” Here’s some non-racist Bidenism: “We must choose truth over facts.” Don’t forget he created a new phrase ‘economic intercourse.” He once said to a questioner: “I think I have a much higher IQ than you.” The candidate slips into self- aggrandization: he claimed to have graduated in the top ten percent of his law school class. In fact he was 76/85; the top half of the bottom 10%. He explained the misstatement: “I exaggerate when I’m angry, but I’ve never gone around telling people things that aren’t true about me.” That gets us to the Breakfast Club statements by Biden. He added to the “you ain’t black comment” this gem: “Take a look at my record, man. I extended the Civil Rights Act for 25 years. I have a record second to none. The NAACP endorsed me every time I’ve run. Take a look at the record.” The NAACP quickly issued a correction of his puffery; The NAACP said it never endorsed Joe Biden because it “never endorses candidates for political office at any level.” His remark on the coronavirus is timeless: “We have to take care of the cure, that will make the problem worse, no matter what.” He said on the Obama economic plan: “ If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there’s still a 30 percent chance we’ll get it wrong.” Then comes his math problem. His comment on Senator John McCain is a classic: “Look, John’s last minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word, JOBS, J-O-B-S.” A few months ago he said at a campaign rally “I’m running for Senator.” Senator Biden dropped out of his first run for the presidency because he plagiarized a speech by a British politician. He mentioned this year that he had an Op-Ed in U.S. News on January 17. It was in USA Today on January 29. What are the odds he didn’t know because a staffer wrote it? He has a classic statement on President Trump: “I just can’t figure the guy [Trump] out. It’s like, I don’t know. It’s like watching a Yo-Yo. I suppose I shouldn’t have said it that way.” Joe said it: “I may be Irish, but I’m not stupid.”

Friday, May 15, 2020

Republican Mike Garcia Won a Democratic Congressional Seat in California

California’s 25th Congressional District starts in eastern Ventura County (Simi Valley) and winds through Northern Los Angeles County into the Antelope Valley. It’s been reliably Republican for decades until 2016 when Hillary Clinton carried it by 5% over Donald Trump. Democratic registration exceeds Republican by 6.6%. Many of the newcomers are Hispanic. Katie Hill, the Democratic candidate defeated Steve Knight, the Republican incumbent, by 7% in the 2018 midterms. Six Republican districts switched Democratic in 2018. Most of the Republican candidates went to bed on election night believing they won by comfortable margins. Then came the ballot harvesting returns, the modern equivalent of ballot stuffing with late returns in Chicago and Landslide Lyndon Johnson’s Texas Senate election. Ballot harvesting, allowed only in California. allows individuals, in essence party operatives, to collect the absentee ballots and present them in bulk at the voting booth. Obviously the Democrat operatives troll for votes in dorms, nursing homes and Democratic neighborhoods. We can assume they assist voters in filling in the absentee ballots. We can also assume absentee ballots for Republicans disappear. Katie Hill ran an outstanding grassroots and media campaign in 2018. She exuded empathy. She emphasized being a team player and working with others. That was a Democratic theme in the 2018 midterm elections. Of course, Representative Katie Hill and the other new Democrats voted as a block with everything Speaker Pelosi wanted. It was just a campaign ploy. Representative Hill resigned last year because of a sex scandal (leaked photos). Her seat opened up. The two contenders were Democratic State Representative Christine (Christy) Smith and Republican Mike Garcia. Representative Smith recycled Katie’s Hill ads, running the same theme. She works with both parties to increase accessibility and affordability. She will work with both parties to protect pre-existing conditions and drive down drug costs. Accessibility and affordability were two of her main themes as she surrounded herself with nurses, doctors and firefighters, as well as teachers. Other themes were “America’s Hurting,” because of Covid-19 and “Together We Care,” which includes her handing out supplies to homeless encampments. And yet they seemed packaged! Polls must have shown her in trouble because right after the positive empathetic ads were the negatives with ads trashing President Trump and Mike Garcia: 1) Donald Trump put America at risk with Coronavirus; 2) Mike Garcia s Trump’s Choice for Congress; Mike Garcia wants to destroy the Affordable Care Act; and on Twitter “Donald Trump Wants This Guy in Congress. Help Me Stop Them Both.” So much for working together. It’s what President George W. Bush would call a “mixed message.” The media praised Assemblywoman Christy Smith as a “centrist.” A centrist in modern California Democratic politics is far to the left of most Americans. Representative Elect Mike Garcia ran a far different campaign. He allied himself with President Trump. His TV ads had two themes: 1) The California he came back to after his Navy Service has deteriorated from the California he left. He wants to bring it back. In essence, he said, but didn’t use the words, “Make California Great Again.” Don’t bring Sacramento’s disfunction to Washington. 2) Assemblywoman Smith twice voted to raise taxes in only 1½ years in the Assembly. Mike Garcia’s father emigrated from Mexico to California. Mike could not be portrayed as an older, out of touch white male. Instead Mike Garcia can serve as an inspiration to Mexican Americans of the American Dream working. Mike entered Annapolis after high school. He became a Navy aviator after graduation, flying F/A-18 Hornets in 30 missions over Iraq. He left the Navy and joined Raytheon in the Antelope Valley. One more subtlety. Christy Smith projected warmth and empathy, including bring food to the homeless. Bringing alms to the homeless is not a winning issue in California today. Voting by mail was encouraged. Only 11 voting booths were available until last week when the state opened up a 12th booth in heavily Democratic Lancaster. The Republicans, including President Trump, accused the Democrats of trying to steal the election.1` Hugh Hewitt, my Chapman colleague, once wrote a book: “If it’s Not Close: They Can’t Cheat. Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends On it.” The final vote wasn’t close. Mike Garcia won with 54.9% of the vote, 95,088 to 78,234 the first time since 1988 a Republican captured a Democratic Congressional seat in California. The Democrats’ public reaction: It’s not a big deal – they’ll win the seat back in November with a larger voter turnout. If they believe that, they’re delusional.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Coronavirus Wisdom Of Governor Andrew Cuomo

The Coronavirus “Wisdom” of Governor Andrew Cuomo New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was informed of the acute shortage of ventilators. He had an opportunity to purchase 16,000. Instead he created a task force to ration the use of ventilators. February 26, 2020, Governor Cuomo bragged about New York being the “front Door” of visitors from around the world. He forgot about Los Angeles and San Francisco. March 2, 2020: The Governor bragged: “Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers – I speak for the Mayor also on this one - we think we have the best health care system on the planet right here in New York. So, when we’re saying, what happened in other countries versus what happened here, we don’t even think it’ll going to be as bad as it was in other countries.” He continued: “We are fully coordinated, and we are fully mobilized, and we are fully prepared to deal with the situation as it develops.” Let us not overlook: “Our operating paradigm has always been, prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.” March 8 Governor Cuomo on Maria Bartiromo’s Sunday Morning Futures said we should avoid “shutting everything down for two weeks’ as China did. He added: Remember what we’re really trying to do here is avoid the massive disruption of closing everything down for two weeks, the way China did, the way Italy is doing. And we’re trying to protect the vulnerable populations for which this coronavirus could be really dangerous, senior citizens, immune-compromised.” To protect the senior citizens March 25 Governor Cuomo orders nursing homes to accept patients with Covid-19, causing the virus to spread like a wildfire through the patients and staffs of New York nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The roof caved in. New York City and Westchester County were swamped with Covid-a9 cases. March 20 Governor Cuomo pleads for doctors and nurses come to New York to help out. March 23, 2020: “Many people will get the virus, but few will be truly endangered.” As of May 13, 2020 the New York City death toll is 22,013 with about 5,300 in nursing homes, New York has ¼ of the nation’s reported cases and fatalities. The Governor explained New York has more cases than California “because we welcome people from around the globe. We have people coming here, we have people who came from China, who came from Italy, who came here from all around the globe.” They also come to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. April 6, He requests President Trump to send the USNS Comfort, a 1,000 bed hospital ship, to New York City April 22 He says to those unemployed New Yorkers who wish to return to work: “You want to go to work? Go take a job as an essential worker.” The problem is easing in New York. It doesn’t need all the ventilators. The USNS Comfort is pulling out. Is Governor Cuomo gracious for the non-resident medical personnel who came to New York’s rescue, many of whom undoubtedly contracted the disease? Hell no! He gave them a Bronx Cheer! May 1 A no longer thankful Governor Cuomo announces those that came to New York for 14 days or more, must pay New York income taxes – that means city and state income taxes. It will also apply to the income they might still have been paid at their regular job during this period. So much for I Love New York. Andrew Cuomo – the man the Media pushes to succeed Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Coronavirus "Wisdom" of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The “Wisdom” of AOC On Coronavirus Emergencies can bring out the best in people. Rise to the occasion; help your neighbors; be a good Samaritan; show love. And then there’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has stooped to new levels of idiocy. Here’s some of her bon mots on responding to Covid-19 “It’s utterly irresponsible to put him (Vice President Pence) in charge of U.S. Coronavirus response.” Nationalize the (medical) supply chains Not that the FDA, CDC and HHS did such a great job at the beginning of the pandemic! Environmental Racism is a preexisting condition She tweeted on the plunging oil prices: “You absolutely love to see it,” but then deleted it. AOC always goes back to the Green New Deal: “Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline This alone w/low interest rates means it’s the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy. A key opportunity.” Failure to implement the Defense Production Act could cost the lives of thousands of people Demanded Coronavirus reparations to minority communities: ”Covid deaths are disproportionately spiking in black and brown communities.” Inequality is a comobility. Why? “Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. are underlying health conditions.” Suspend rent payments: “We’re essentially rewarding and offering preferential treatment to landowners and folks who are more wealthy, and we’re not offering this same kind of relief to renters.”` She demands $2,000/person and $1,000/child monthly payments to everyone, regardless of immigration status. The checks currently going out are in her view inhumane relief checks A recent, but certainly more to come: Her fellow Democratic Socialists have the responsibility to create conditions for a general strike. She’s asked her constituents to refuse to go back to work when the pandemic is over. “When we talk about the idea of reopening society, you know, only in America does the President tweets about liberation – does he mean go back to work. When we have this discussion about going back or reopening, I think a lot of people should just say ‘No’ – we’re not going to do that.” “We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so we could put food on the table and not feel any sort of semblance of security in out lives.” Note carefully, she blocked Amazon from bringing 25,000 high paying jobs to her Congressional district. Note carefully, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is asking others to make sacrifices, but she’s keeping her $174,000/year Congressional salary. She’s not going to sacrifice. Note carefully she resides in a luxury D.C. apartment and shops at the Whole Foods downstairs. AOC is just another example of “Do as I say; not do as I do.” She pontificates well, but leads a different life. Friday was a new tweet. Jet Blue flew three jets over New York City at 2,000’ for an hour to thank first responders and healthcare workers. The three banners said: “I love NY,” “NYPD,” and “FDNY.” She is so full of hatred that she can’t celebrate a good deed. Instead she tweeted ”Nothing like a corporate PR campaign that burns jet fuel at low altitudes over vulnerable communities dying from a respiratory virus that compounds on our preexisting and disproportionate exposure to air pollution to show healthcare workers we care.” Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez really graduate cum laude in economics and international relations from Boston University?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Bye, Bye, Biden

The Democrats are in a pickle. They are being hoisted on their own petard on Vice President Joe Biden and the #MeToo Movement. They pillowed Judge Brett Kavanaugh on an uncollaborated claim of a drunken teenager assaulting Professor Christine Blasey Ford decades and decades earlier. No contemporaneous testimony supported the claim. No one else saw it. The judge quite likely wasn’t even there at the time. No matter, the judge had to be destroyed to keep him off the Supreme Court. I don’t absolutely know what might or might not have happened between that night, but I believe based on everything that was disclosed nothing happened between the professor and the judge. Professor Blasey Ford clearly believes something happened and that it was the judge. No facts back it up. I don’t know what happened between Senator Biden and Tara Reade his assistant, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Both the Judge and Senator deserve due process and the presumption of innocence – the presumption of innocence that the Democrats and media would not afford Judge Kavanaugh. Obviously, regardless of what may or may not have occurred, no political statute of limitations exist. One reason for statutes of limitation is that evidence gets stale over time and memories fade. Three Democrats, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, on the Senate Judiciary Committee sought the Democratic nomination for President. They never gained traction, but now eagerly endorse Joe Biden in hopes of being anointed Vice President. Good Old Joe exudes empathy. He is effusive. He loves to hug, touch, and kiss. Eight women have complained. Ms. Reade alleges his touching went way too far. The powerful progressive wing of the Democratic Party doesn’t want Joe. He’s not progressive or reliable enough. They’re making a mistake. They don’t understand Good Old Joe. He’s a weathervane with few deep values. He will go the way the wind blows. The Democrats view Joe Biden the way Republicans viewed Senator John McCain in 2008. He may be the nominee by default, but the conservatives lacked enthusiasm for Senator McCain, For good reason. Senator Obama would have defeated any Republican because of the economic collapse. Senator McCain ran a diffident campaign. Vice President Biden, campaigning from his basement, is not inspiring confidence in Democratic circles. The New York Times and Washington Post want President Trump out of office. Yet, they’re questioning Joe Biden on the accusation. They also don’t want him as President, or even the nominee. Here’s Vice President Biden on Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh: “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is true.” He said in September 2018 that any woman’s accusation of sexual assault should generally be proven to be true. Unless the accused is Governor Bill Clinton or Senator Joe Biden. Of course it’s political. The grounds were sexual harassment, but the underlying fight was over political control of the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade. Joe Biden recently amended his statement to be listen to the accused and then verify. Speaker Pelosi says she believes him and there’s nothing to talk about. She’s echoed by many Democrats, but not all! Many have stayed silent. There’s contemporaneous verification. Tara told many at the time. One more fact: Joe Biden entered the Senate in 1973 when the sordid legacy of Senate harassment of women was hanging on (cf. Senators Chris Dodd and Gary Hart). Joe Biden is still the presumptive nominee. He has not yet technically cliched the nomination. The DNC tried to give it to him by cancelling the New York Primary. A judge just ordered the primary on June 23. He could still lose. If not Good Old Joe, then who? Senator Elizabeth Warren? Senator Bernie Sanders? Secretary Hillary Clinton? Senator Amy Klobuchar? Governor Andrew Cuomo? Michelle Obama? Mayor Pete? AOC is not yet qualified.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Interpreting the Coronavirus Numbers

3,419,784 cases and 243,355 deaths have been recorded globally as I write this post. The United States recorded 1,127,712 cases and 66,075 deaths at this point. The numbers reflect recorded cases and deaths. They do not accurately count the total number of exposures or deaths. Studies in Los Angeles, New York and Silicon Valley show a much high multiple of infected persons, keeping in mind even the recorded numbers show asymptomatic persons with one accepted theory that 80% of infected persons are asymptomatic. The initial screening, such as in airports, was for fevers. If you did not have a fever, you passed screening and were not counted as being infected, even if you were asymptomatic. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of asymptomatic persons spread the disease globally. Second, many early cases were treated as regular flus or related illnesses. Third, many countries don’t have the means to diagnose or treat covid-19 patients. Many victims suffer or die at home. Fourth, some countries, led by China, are underreporting cases. We know the virus originated in Wuhan, Hebei Province in China. We know cell phone carriers in Hebei Province dropped 2 million cellphone accounts in early 2020. China says the carriers were simply consolidating accounts. We also know the 7 Wuhan mortuaries were cremating bodies 24/7 and that Hubei Province brought in 40 mobile crematoriums. Yet China is listed only as ninth in countries reporting cases, trailing the United States, Spain, Italy, U.K., Germany, France, Russia and Iran. We also know the Iranian government received a report two weeks ago saying the number of actual cases and deaths were at least double the reported number. Iran’s stats are based on patients entering hospitals. North Korea continues to report zero cases. The numbers are important in determining the lethality of Covid-19. If we take, for example, 243,355 ÷3,419,784 = 071%, that is 7.1%. That is a high lethality rate. Estimates to date have ranged from .05-4%. The death rate for the normal flu is .1%. Scientists may need a year or two, especially with widespread anti-body testing, to calculate the true lethality of the virus. If it turns out to be exceedingly low, perhaps reflecting that of the regular flu, then the world made a great mistake in shutting down, creating global economic chaos. Even though these numbers re imprecise, they are revealing about the virus risks. The risks are greatest in cramped working or living conditions, people with preexisting conditions, and the elderly. Let me emphasize that every life lost is a needless loss. No one should have died of Covid-19 because China mishandled Covid-19 once China’s doctors diagnosed the new virus. Let me note from a personal perspective I fall into two of the high risk categories: older with preexisting conditions (asthma). Here’s what we do know, about 28% of the reported cases and 29% of the reported deaths are in New York. Most of those are in New York City and surrounding communities. In short, New York has been struck the worst, and has been leading the U.S. in the need to lockdown the country. Over 20,000 deaths, some in New York City, have occurred in nursing homes and assisted livening facilities. Over 97,000 positive tests have resulted in these facilities. A large percent of the New York cases is disadvantaged minorities. Task forces have been established to study the problem. Here’s my theory: A large percent of New Yorkers live in cramped housing. Many of the economically disadvantaged minority residents have poor diets, eat junk food, and receive inadequate medical care. Many have pre-existing conditions, especially high blood pressure, asthma and cardiac conditions. They commute to work in crowded busses or subways. They are the victims of preexisting inequity. As of Thursday, 17% of California’s cases and 44% of deaths were in these facilities. The results for Orange County, with 3.2 million residents, is 17% and 44% respectively. Half of California’s cases and deaths are in Los Angeles County. Nations, states, counties, and cities that have experienced low infection rates so far are not in the clear. Singapore received kudos in initially containing the virus. Through testing, contact tracking, quarantines, and travel restrictions Singapore held the count to 1,000 by the end of March. Singapore now has seen about 17,500 cases. Contagion reached into the foreign worker dormitories with the residents clustered in tight, up to 20/room, dorms on the outskirts of the city. All it takes is one asymptomatic carrier to spread the virus.