News Update-Day 33

Are you still scared?

I’m not seeing anybody face to face, but my anxiety is greatly reduced. The facts are hard to synthesize…Garcetti and Newsom say self-quarantining is flattening the curve, but more people died in L.A. yesterday than ever before. But you don’t have to read the papers from cover to cover every day, you don’t need to be glued to the news to have an idea of what’s going on. It’s clear, it’s here and you’ve got to stay home. For how long? WHO KNOWS!

But into this vacuum has seeped analysis.

The big story was in yesterday’s “New York Times”:

“He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus – An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.”

You might see this as preaching to the choir, the leftist cabal, but as I’ve written previously, the “New York Times” sets the agenda for the country, it’s tossed up on TV and people react to it. Rachel Maddow embellishes it, Fox News tears it apart.

But yesterday…

Chris Wallace confronted the panel with this story.

Then all hell broke loose.

Trump excoriated Wallace, and then Fox host Jedediah Bila bit back at Trump:

“Enough with the 3rd grade name-calling. Chris is doing his job. The news should not be any president’s friend, ally, or buddy. If it bothered you when Obama complained about Fox News, but you’re silent on this complete nonsense, then just stop. Seriously. Enough.”

But it didn’t matter. The right was calling for Wallace’s head. How did I find, out? Wallace was trending on Twitter. Although I listen to Fox News more than a bit, I do not watch any channel’s Sunday shows, they’re all spin, news is almost never broken.

And then Trump tweeted Fox’s call for Fauci’s head, and today the White House denied Fauci was on the chopping block. Then again, everybody else has been subject to the chopping block, the only person who’s been immune is Trump himself, and maybe his son-in-law Jared Kushner, because when your back is against the wall, family is everything, it’s about all you can rely on.

But irrelevant kerfuffles right? No one’s opinion is being changed here.

But today the “Los Angeles Times” piled on:

“‘It all could have been different’ – Trump administration disbanded team of pandemic experts”

This front page article blames Bolton.

But what’s interesting is we’re in the post-impeachment world. In other words, these stories are not being revealed to achieve a specific goal, rather they’re analyzing what happened, before the government does, which it always does, way too late.

So, once again, now that we’re all on the same page, now that spring breakers are not at the beach, now that we all know the consequences of interaction, the story has shifted.

But there are still facts.

The first sailor from that ship just died. You know, the one where the captain was relieved of his duties.

Now there are no mea culpas in the government, certainly not in Trump’s administration, but Brett Cozier is living in today’s world, where you make your own story, because the system no longer works. That’s today’s America, nobody abides by the rules, because they just don’t work. Supposedly, Cozier didn’t follow the chain of command. We can argue whether his statements were leaked or not, but where does sympathy lie when someone dies?

In other words, it’s everybody for themselves in America today. If you’re obeying orders, you’re a chump, no one else is.

Then there’s the chloroquine story:

“Small Chloroquine Study Halted Over Risk of Fatal Heart Complications – A research trial of coronavirus patients in Brazil ended after patients taking a higher dose of chloroquine, one of the drugs President Trump has promoted, developed irregular heart rates.”

Once again, do I think all this is going to change the hearts and minds of the Trumpsters? Absolutely not.

Then again, the DNC is out of touch with reality.

Rachel Bitecofer has gone on and on how it’s a waste of time to try and convince those who voted for Trump to come back to the Democrats. Ain’t gonna happen. This flow was established over years, it just wasn’t Trump. It was NAFTA and the Democrats’ focus on corporations as opposed to workers. In other words, the Democrats can only win if they get out the vote.

But they’re doing a piss-poor job of that.

The Democrats still believe the war is fought on TV and in the newspapers, when the truth is it’s fought online, where the Republicans are so far ahead it’d be funny if so much weren’t at risk. Donald Trump has 76.9 million Twitter followers. Joe Biden has 4.8 million. It’s like the difference between Drake and your local bar band. And one thing’s for sure, the bar band isn’t gonna get bigger unless it broadens its focus, plays in other locales, ties up with an entity that can bring the message to millions. But Joe Biden keeps making videos no one sees in his basement and posts an opinion piece in the “New York Times” that is so inconsequential it’s laughable. It’d be like the police chief speaking to the academy when there’s a riot outside. GO WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE!

But the Democrats don’t know how to do this. Because the DNC is run by oldsters who think they know technology, but don’t. Just because you’ve got an iPhone and a Facebook account, that does not mean you’re social media savvy. Here’s the dividing line…if you don’t know how to launch Zoom and go into Gallery View, get out of the way.

But Mark Cuban has 7.8 million Twitter followers, and he’s on TV seemingly every night. People know more about Cuban than they do about Biden, and Cuban is talking about running.

Now Cuban is not a Democrat. And if he does run, who does he negatively impact?

I’d say the Republicans. But I’m not sure. But today Mark Cuban is trusted more than Donald Trump, and Biden isn’t even in their league.

The DNC pulled a fast one on Bernie Sanders. Everybody folded their efforts into the losing Biden and he beat out Bernie. Fine, but was Joe the person to put all that effort behind? I mean they would have been better off with Klobuchar or Buttigieg, at least they’re living in 2020. But so scared of Bernie, the insiders who are actually outside the public discussion, rallied around the wrong guy. This is what happens when you panic. If Amy or Pete were making pronouncements about Covid-19, people would be listening, especially to Amy, who is still in Congress. But the Democrats freaked out too soon. Especially in a world where Sanders’s platform no longer looks left field. Last night John Oliver featured an EMT without health insurance. His job doesn’t offer it and the ACA is too expensive. Is this the guy you want coming to your house? And in a time when people are worried about running out of cash, the giveaways are to the corporations and Wall Street titans.

“Too Big to Fail, Covid-19 Edition: How Private Equity Is Winning the Coronavirus Crisis – Private equity has made multibillionaires of executives like Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman (net worth: $17.5 billion) and Apollo’s Leon Black ($7.5 billion). Thanks to the $2 trillion bipartisan bailout bill, the industry’s coronavirus losses will belong to all of us.”

Bottom line: hedge funds control pension money, and that can’t be lost, so the funds have to be bailed out. As for you? You’re on your own!

But it gets even worse!

Turns out we had the wrong story about fracking, we’ve been debating the environmental issues when we should have been debating the financial issues:

“Coronavirus May Kill Our Fracking Fever Dream – America’s energy independence was an illusion created by cheap debt. All that’s left to tally is the damage”

The fracking boom was a scam. Sure, oil was produced, but at a loss, CONTINUOUSLY!

Meanwhile, the oil producing nations agree on an output cut and the stock market still drops. You can read all about it in the “Wall Street Journal,” whose editorial page has been in a fight with Trump. Which is like the Koch Brothers being in a fight with the Mercer family.

In other words, it appears that business has little loyalty to Trump. Trump’s true constituency is the people. But the people are broke and dying in this pandemic. And therefore, Trump’s approval ratings have gone down.

But that doesn’t seem to matter to anybody other than Trump. And Trump is still fundraising like a machine, it’s astounding how much cash he’s hoovering up. As for Biden? He’s looking to the corporations to kick in, nobody else cares. Unless you’re rich and have something to lose, you don’t want to give Joe anything.

Trump has a bizarre charisma.

Biden barely knows what day it is, he looks more like Grandpa Simpson than a Presidential candidate.

So that’s the world we’re living in.

Oh, one more thing, if you’re not scared already. You must, and I mean YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST, read Paul Krugman’s opinion piece from last Friday:

“American Democracy May Be Dying – Authoritarian rule may be just around the corner.”

This explains the election in Wisconsin. Be afraid, be very afraid. It was all about getting a Republican Supreme Court judge elected. The Republicans figured city folk would vote against him, so they only had five polling places open in Milwaukee, instead of the usual one hundred and eighty.

Meanwhile, the latest studies say that voting by mail doesn’t hurt the Republicans at all. And even nitwit Georgian governor Kemp allowed the state’s primary to be delayed.

So, what have we learned here?

Most people are not paying attention. Now that they feel safe inside, they’re tuning out the news, especially anything that involves pointing fingers, that isn’t relevant to them today.

And we’ve also learned that nothing sticks to Trump.

And that despite all this news, the Democrats have no plan to defeat Trump in November other than Trump himself. There’s no agenda, no platform that people know about, that resonates.

We are in the midst of a giant sea change in American culture. The retirement of the baby boomers and the subsequent power of the millennials (Gen-X, once again, has lost out, being skipped over).

Unfortunately, Trump is more in tune with the millennials than Biden. He understands it’s a fast-moving culture where the truth is buried by the next event and the most important thing is to keep your name in the online scuttlebutt.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are running on old political theories. That people want gradual change and young people don’t vote. It might actually work this time, but it’s hard not to sleep with one eye open.

And when it comes to business as usual…are you willing to go to a restaurant, are you willing to go to the office? Ultimately, the end of self-quarantining will be decided by the people, not the government. Just like they had to be convinced to stay home, they’ll have to be convinced to go out, and that won’t happen instantaneously, no one wants to die.

And they keep dying.

Some, like Boris Johnson, recover.

But, triage is now even being done in the United States, if you’re over seventy with a preexisting condition, good luck.

So both parties and business depend upon you being ignorant, easily swayed with disinformation. So now is the time to educate yourself.

But in a country where lying is de rigueur and facts are fungible, don’t expect a sea change in public sentiment. People still believe they’re going to win the lottery.

The odds of getting the coronavirus are much higher.

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