24 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-18-20

  1. Since the press continues to get it wrong, completely on purpose for partisan reasons, some reality.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Trump wants to send checks, some others have additional ideas.


    “Trump wants to send Americans checks ‘immediately’ in response to coronavirus, Mnuchin says”

    “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that the Trump administration wants to send checks to Americans “in the next two weeks” in an effort to help people cope with the economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    “We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin said during a press briefing from the White House. “Americans need cash now, the president wants to get cash now. I mean now—in the next few weeks.””


    Going big…


  3. The Dems continue to play politics as usual….



  4. Other ideas….


    “Three Bold Economic Proposals for Virus Response”


    “Income Tax Suspension for Middle/Lower Brackets: Cutting the payroll tax is a good start, but it is not nearly enough. For all but the highest income brackets, there should be zero federal taxes collected for an indefinite time. Give the secretary of the Treasury (or even the Federal Reserve chair) control over when regular tax rates resume. For the time being, give every working-class American a substantial raise by suspending taxes. Rather than having government engage in industrial policy to try to determine where money should flow, let the workers decide. Flush with new cash immediately in their pockets, we can count on American earners to spend.

    Double Unemployment Insurance Payments: Since the 0% tax rate will not immediately assist those suddenly out of work, temporary assistance to the displaced must grow massively. Like the tax suspension, this temporary benefit should revert to prior policy once taxes resume for middle- and lower-income citizens. Think of the hard-working Americans being let go right now from restaurants alone. They deserve our help, and our economy will need them when this crisis abates.

    Suspend Student Loan Payments: Not just the interest but the principal as well. Many young Americans struggled to deal with student debt even during the amazing jobs market of the Trump boom. With this shock to our economy, a temporary reprieve — a near-term debt jubilee, of sorts — makes sense. Let us encourage young generations to persevere through the crisis. We need their creativity.I


  5. The Code Red……


    “Trump: You’re Damned Right I Called The Code Red On The “Chinese Virus””

    “Of all the complaints about the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, griping about accurately noting its origin is easily the dumbest. The offensensitivity over the use of “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus” has skyrocketed lately, to the point where people are accused of racism for using a standard identification for epidemiological events. They didn’t call it the “Spanish flu” for decades after the 1918 pandemic because of racism, and “Wuhan” or “China” in this instance is even more accurate than “Spanish flu.” Does anyone remember the West Nile virus, or that MERS stood for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome?

    One reporter asked Donald Trump to address complaints over attaching a “stigma” to China by his use of the term at today’s presser. Trump fired back that China’s attempts to push a conspiracy theory about the US military as a source for the flu is the stigma that he intends to answer by this use:”

    “Let’s also not forget that the government of China is a large part of the problem that we face today. “We are in this crisis,” Jim Geraghty wrote at National Review yesterday, “because of the decisions of the Chinese government.” Identifying them as the problem isn’t racist, it’s realistic:

    As a country, we’ve got our hands full right now. But while we’re sitting in various forms of self-quarantine, we — and a lot of other people around the world — will have a lot of time to read about the Chinese government destroying samples and suppressing information about the coronavirus in December… And the Chinese government’s attempt to silence doctors warning others about the disease. …

    And the Chinese authorities spending January “denying it could spread between humans — something doctors had known was happening since late December — and went ahead with a Chinese Lunar New Year banquet involving tens of thousands of families in Wuhan.” Doctors say that in Wuhan, people who had no connection to that Hua’nan market were among the first showing the symptoms — suggesting that from the beginning, Chinese authorities should have understood that human-to-human transmission was already happening. …

    Even today, prominent Chinese citizens who criticize the government’s response suddenly disappear. The Chinese government is much more effective at stopping the spread of information about the coronavirus than stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Pardon me, the “Wuhan virus.”


  6. The Dems show who they truly serve……


    “Joe Biden and the Democrat Party’s Incestuous Relationship with China”

    “Desperation has set in among the Politburo in China as their deliberate mishandling and obfuscation of the Chinese Coronavirus outbreak has threatened, and in all likelihood derailed, their grandiose plans for global hegemony. In what can only be described as one of the most ham-handed propaganda efforts in recent memory, China is now trying to deflect blame onto the United States for the Coronavirus outbreak that has been recently categorized as a global pandemic. Further, they are unabashedly claiming that any criticism of their “valiant” efforts to stem the spread of the virus or using the nomenclature of Wuhan Virus or Chinese Coronavirus is racist and xenophobic.

    While their attempt to implicate the United States may appear on the surface to be absurd, the reality is that much of it will fall on fertile ground previously tilled and seeded over the past 25 years with vast amounts of money and investments.

    An end-product of China’s infiltration of the American media and education establishment is the almost immediate regurgitation of China’s racist and xenophobic argument by the American mainstream media and the predominantly left-wing professional class. Hollywood and the entertainment cabal, already awash in Chinese capital and desperate for access to the Chinese market, has refused to criticize China’s handling of the Coronavirus focusing instead on President Trump. It is almost a certainty that when the pandemic recedes there will be nothing produced that is even remotely critical of China.

    The European Union is now China’s largest trading partner and investor. They are beginning to exert increasing influence in nations such as Italy and throughout the continent. Which is why the European Union refused to initiate a travel ban from China during the entirety of the Coronavirus outbreak, leading to Europe now being the global epicenter of the pandemic as well as the source of the bulk of the infections in the United States.

    With this overall backdrop the Chinese leadership is confident that their near clownish propaganda efforts will succeed. Their only obstacle is the re-election of President Trump, who is the only world leader in the past 25 years to understand what animates the Chinese and to stand up to their intimidation tactics.

    The establishment of the Democrat Party believes they have a solution to that obstacle in what appears to be the inevitable nomination of Joe Biden.

    Joe Biden, in his days in the Senate, was very partial to China, as he voted against all legislation aimed at curtailing China’s ambitions. In 2007 he opposed the idea of applying any tariffs on China despite their obvious unfair trade practices and theft of proprietary technology that was causing the loss of millions of American manufacturing jobs. America’s dependence on a communist regime for materials and goods, such as pharmaceuticals, continued to grow unabated. However, it was as Vice President that he became wholly enamored with the country and its leadership.

    For example, while in China, Biden, in August of 2011, approved of and defended China’s grotesque one-child policy, which brutally used forced abortions to implement the law. (In that same year Biden was given the assignment, by Barack Obama, to be the point man on China due his close personal relationship with Xi Jinping, currently President and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

    Joe Biden never missed an opportunity to downplay China’s threat to the United States. In May of 2013, in a commencement speech he assured those concerned the Chinese are “going to eat our lunch” that they had nothing to be concerned about as China had immense problems and an inability to think differently. In May of 2014 Biden described China as a nation incapable of producing innovative products and ideas. Two weeks after declaring his 2020 candidacy, Biden, in Iowa, said,

    “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man…they can’t even figure out how to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not competition for us.”

    In December 2013, Biden flew to Beijing on Air Force Two with his son Hunter on an official trip, ostensibly to discuss tensions over disputed territories in the East China Sea. Joe and Hunter were ushered into a red-carpet meeting with a delegation of various Chinese officials. Hunter remained with the delegation while his father met with President Xi Jinping. During these meetings Joe Biden struck an extremely conciliatory and friendly tone with the Chinese leadership — much to the dismay of America’s allies in the region.

    Ten day later, Hunter’s two-year-old company, Rosemont Seneca, signed an exclusive $1 Billion (later expanded to $1.5 Billion) deal with the state-owned Bank of China, creating an investment fund called Bohai Harvest, with money guaranteed by the Chinese Government. As Peter Schweizer, who was the first to unveil these conflicts of interest, wrote in his book Secret Empires “the Chinese Government was literally funding a business that it co-owned along with the son of one of America’s most powerful decision makers” That is what it looks like to be “compromised by a foreign power.”

    Anyone who has dealt with the Chinese Government or an entity controlled by the government can attest that any foreign business transaction with China always has a requisite or implied quid pro quo that oftentimes does not involve monetary considerations. Once entangled in this web it is nearly impossible to escape — as many businesses and nations, throughout Africa and Europe, much to their chagrin, have experienced. It would be naïve to believe that Joe Biden is not embroiled in this labyrinth of expectations and demands.

    Nonetheless, Joe Biden is perhaps the ideal candidate for a party whose propaganda arms, the mainstream media and Hollywood, openly shill for the Chinese Communist leadership. Whose primary financial backers, high tech and Wall Street billionaires such as Michael Bloomberg, have major financial and manufacturing ties to China. Whose most dedicated foot soldiers are true believers in authoritarian socialism. And whose common enemy is Donald Trump and his America First populist movement.”


  7. Universal income, paid sick leave, forgiving students loans — is this the Republican party or the Democratic Socialists platform??

    Note on the Liberty tweet you posted — almost all govt run health care systems use private production of equipment, drugs etc — its just regulated more tightly. The fact South Korea used a private company to manufacture the kits is not unusual — that’s the norm in gov’t healthcare. Very few countries try to directly control the means of production.


  8. Again,…….

    “This is exactly what South Korea did! Even though they have a universal healthcare system they realized it was too overburdened and inefficient to accomplish what the private sector could do and have done remarkably well.

    What part of that are you having trouble grasping?


  9. If you have a refund coming, file and get your money back. If you owe, take your time.


    “IRS to delay the April 15 tax payment deadline by 90 days”

    “Most Americans can get a three-month reprieve to pay their income taxes for 2019, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday in a press conference.

    The IRS will postpone the April 15 tax deadline by 90 days for millions of individuals who owe $1 million or less and corporations that owe $10 million or less, he said.

    To be sure, Americans still have to meet the April 15 deadline if they are expecting a refund or are requesting a six-month extension, but they can defer payment for up to 90 days beyond that.

    “We encourage those Americans who can file their taxes to continue to file their taxes on April 15 because for many Americans, you will get tax refunds and we don’t want you to lose out on those tax refunds,” Mnuchin said. “We want you to make sure you get them.”

    “All you have to do is file your taxes,” Mnuchin said. “You’ll automatically not get charged interest and penalties.””


  10. I guess it’s only bad when Trump does it…..

    Or they’re finally getting a good dose of reality.


    “The European Union Will Close Its Borders In Response To The Coronavirus Spread”

    “The member nations of the European Union have agreed to close the bloc’s borders for 30 days in response to the coronavirus spread, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said member states “agreed to impose an entry ban” into the bloc with only nationals of European Free Trade Association countries and Britain exempt, the Straits Times reported.

    “That should apply for 30 days. Germany will implement it immediately,” Merkel, the leader of Europe’s largest economy, added.”


  11. Think there’s still a place in the Democrat Party for pro-life voters and candidates?

    Well slap yourself and get a grip, there isn’t. If they won’t back a loyal candidate like him, they could care less about puny little you.


    “IL Pro-Life Democrat Lipinski Defeated in Primary by Far-Left Newman

    Lipinski served eight terms.”

    “Illinois Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski, who served eight terms for the state’s 3rd District, lost his primary to far-left Marie Newman on Tuesday.

    Newman challenged Lipinski in 2018 but lost by two points.

    The so-called progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) targeted Lipinski. Newman wants Medicare for All, universal child care, and a wealth tax.

    He was one of the conservative Democrats in the House since he’s pro-life and voted against Obamacare.

    The 2020 race was just as close as 2018. Newman emerged victorious, 47% to 45%:

    The businesswoman from LaGrange ended nearly four decades of Lipinski family control of the Southwest Side and southwest suburban congressional seat. The congressman’s father, William Lipinski, served from 1983 until 2005, when he engineered the appointment of his son.”


  12. ———–

    Old Joe is a little slow…..


  13. I pick on the guy, deservedly so. But when he’s right, I’ll admit it.


    “Cuomo: You Know Who’s Doing A Good Job On NY’s COVID-19 Outbreak? Trump”

    “Perhaps this crisis might produce a better environment for cooperation after all. This statement might have been seen as a simple process-smoothing sop from Andrew Cuomo to Donald Trump, but Cuomo sounds pretty sincere — and detailed in his praise. In his press conference updating events on the COVID-19 outbreak, Cuomo emphasized that he and Trump have always had a good working relationship, and that Trump has been “fully engaged” in the coronavirus containment efforts in New York.

    “We’re fighting the same war,” Cuomo said of Trump, and “we’re in the same trench.” That’s quite a change of pace from the partisan bickering of the past few weeks:”


    If only more Dems would do so.


  14. ————


  15. Here’s a nice demonstration of modern ingenuity, and corporate greed. Not to mention a window into why medical costs are completely out of hand.


    “Update, March 18th 3:30PM ET: A group of Italian volunteers distributed 3D-printed versions of a vital medical device — but it’s unclear if the original manufacturer threatened a legal crackdown. As we reported earlier, Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Romaioli used their 3D printer to create unofficial copies of a patented valve, which was in short supply at Italian hospitals. Business Insider Italia quoted Massimo Temporelli, the Italian professor who recruited the pair, saying that the device maker threatened them with an infringement claim.

    But in an interview with The Verge, Romaioli denied they’d received threats. He said the company had simply refused to release design files, forcing them to reverse-engineer the valve. “I talked to an operator who told me he couldn’t give me the files, but after that we didn’t receive anything from the original company — so I can assure you we didn’t get any threat,” he said. “They said they couldn’t give us the file because it’s company property, but that’s all.” While earlier reporting said the original valve cost over $10,000, Fracassi also told Fast Company that this number was inaccurate.

    Temporelli gave The Verge a more ambiguous account of the call, which he says he wasn’t directly involved in. “The group we asked for the files refused and said it was illegal” to copy the valves, he said. He stopped short of calling the statement a threat. “Let’s say the risk to be sued exists since they bypassed a patent, but that’s it.”

    Neither Romaioli or Temporelli would name the manufacturer involved, but for now, it doesn’t seem to have taken action against the unofficial valve-makers. And they’ve emphasized that both devices serve a purpose: the official product is the better long-term solution, but for now, hospitals can use this cheap alternative to fulfill a sudden, drastic demand.

    The original article follows below.

    A medical device manufacturer has threatened to sue a group of volunteers in Italy that 3D printed a valve used for life-saving coronavirus treatments. The valve typically costs about $11,000 from the medical device manufacturer, but the volunteers were able to print replicas for about $1 (via Techdirt).

    A hospital in Italy was in need of the valves after running out while treating patients for COVID-19. The hospital’s usual supplier said they could not make the valves in time to treat the patients, according to Metro. That launched a search for a way to 3D print a replica part, and Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Romaioli, who work at Italian startup Isinnova, offered their company’s printer for the job, reports Business Insider.

    However, when the pair asked the manufacturer of the valves for blueprints they could use to print replicas, the company declined and threatened to sue for patent infringement, according to Business Insider Italia. Fracassi and Romaioli moved ahead anyway by measuring the valves and 3D printing three different versions of them.

    So far, the valves they made have worked on 10 patients as of March 14th, according to Massimo Temporelli, the founder of Italian manufacturing solutions company FabLab who helped recruit Fracassi and Romaioli to print the replica valves.

    “[The patients] were people in danger of life, and we acted. Period,” said Fracassi in a Facebook post. He also said that “we have no intention of profit on this situation, we are not going to use the designs or product beyond the strict need for us forced to act, we are not going to spread the drawing.”


  16. AJ– the quote you cite is an opinion but its based on a false premise. The author thinks the South Korea health system was forced to go to the private sector because its overwhelmed but almost all gov’t health care system use the private sector for production. The South Korean use of the private sector in this instance is the norm, not the result of any problems.

    In Canada, even the actual service provision is private, its just a single payer system. My doctor is an independent proprietor. The labs are private corporations and outside the hospitals, diagnostic centers are privately owned. However, in each case there’s one customer — the provincial gov’t — who regulate and manage to keep prices low yet provide universal coverage to those who need it.

    As for inefficient — the US system is the most expensive per capita yet doesn’t provide universal coverage and produces below the median OECD medical outcomes. Its an amazing system if you are rich but as an overall health care system its inefficient


  17. Trudeau was under huge pressure to close the border esp in Ontario where over 50% of the new cases came from the US not China or Europe. However, Canada needed to work with the US to close the border in such a way that trade continued. And of course March Break family vacationers could return. Senior citizens who spend the winter in Florida are being told by their private insurers to go back to Canada — they are afraid of the losses they would absorb if their elderly clients were to get ill. Some insurers are offering incentives for them to leave starting with premium refunds and even cash to cover travel plans

    I’m not quite sure border closures will accomplish much given the virus has already crossed borders. The Chinese now claim foreigners are bringing the virus back to China and thus they need to tighten the border. The claim is laughable — I’m quite sure they are vastly under reporting the illness bc they are afraid of a populist backlash. The lack of transparency, however, can have strange results. In Iran, many people think the numbers are actually exaggerated and its attempt to gain sympathy and greater control. The old Imams have very little credibility and this crisis will make it worse.

    3D printing is the manufacturing of the future/present — and it will make patent enforcement even harder.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. HRW,

    “Trudeau was under huge pressure to close the border esp in Ontario where over 50% of the new cases came from the US not China or Europe. ”

    Don’t think that’s accurate. Of the 172 cases you have, 32 in one area alone are community transmissions, not from outsiders..



    From 2 days ago….


    “Canada to close borders to most noncitizens over coronavirus
    The travel ban will not apply to US citizens – an exemption that immediately raised some questions and concerns.”


    They weren’t immediately concerned, and took no action for two more days. That’s not what you would do if the majority came from the US, we would have been first.

    Even Google shows no hits blaming the US for Canada’s cases, or tying it to US visitors, so if you have something, feel free to share it.


  19. Personally, I worry more about our southern border. Mexico is in no position to deal with this in any way. That’s really bad news for folks in the US on that border, Texas, Cali, NM, and Arizona. They could be overrun by refugees.


    “Mexico Is Dangerously Unprepared For The Inevitable Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

    The disease is going to spread fast in Mexico, where a weak and corrupt state has made almost no preparations.”

    “As much of the world goes into various stages of lockdown because of the Wuhan coronavirus, Mexico is in denial. The government’s response thus far has been to downplay the risks and carry on with life as normal. Mexican officialdom has taken almost no steps to contain the virus or prepare for an outbreak, despite a warning last week from the deputy health minister that a widespread outbreak is inevitable and that community transmission could begin there in a matter of weeks.

    When that happens—not if, when—things are going to deteriorate very quickly in Mexico. The outbreak will almost certainly affect the entire country, cripple the economy, and threaten to bring down an already weak and corrupt government.

    As of Saturday, there were only 41 confirmed cases in Mexico, where the disease was first detected at the end of February, about a month after it was detected in the United States. But there are likely many more infections across the country. Francisco Moreno Sánchez, head of internal medicine at the ABC hospital in Mexico City, said last week “there must be many more cases” in Mexico and that the government is taking the risk of an outbreak too lightly. The effects of an undetected outbreak, he added, will be “brutal.”


    “Why Mexico’s Unpreparedness Should Worry Americans

    Meanwhile, testing for the virus is virtually nonexistent. Only about 500 tests have been performed nationwide, with just 32 sites in the entire country capable of testing for the disease. For now, testing is limited only to those people who have a direct connection to someone who has traveled to a high-risk country and those who have been in contact with a confirmed case.

    Then there is the border, where sprawling migrant camps housing thousands of people have sprung up in recent months along the south side of the Rio Grande. The Mexican government has more or less abdicated responsibility for these camps, which are largely at the mercy of criminal gangs and cartels and dependent on nonprofits and charity groups for basic things like food and medical care.

    One such camp in Matamoros near the Gateway International Bridge across from Brownsville, Texas, is housing an estimated 3,000 people. The concern there right now is that volunteers from the United States, who bring food and other supplies into the camp daily, will introduce the virus and cause an outbreak.

    Given the lack of medical facilities, to say nothing of basic amentities like running water, an outbreak at one of these migrant camps could be disastrous. One aid group issued a rule last week forbidding volunteers from entering the Matamoros camp if they have traveled from areas where the virus is present or if they have been on an airplane.

    All of this should be of great concern to Americans, especially those who live in states bordering Mexico. Why? Because while the coronavirus might get introduced to parts of Mexico from the United States, once an outbreak takes off in Mexico, there will be no way to control it. An uncontrolled outbreak south of the Rio Grande will put communities in south Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona at risk, especially cities that see tens of thousands of people cross back and forth over the border every day, like San Diego or El Paso.”


    Secure the border. Even shutting down travelers is insufficient, given the numbers of illegal crossing attempts daily. With a severe outbreak in Mexico, those illegal crossing attempts will multiply exponentially.


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