25 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-10-20

  1. We can’t forget these folks.


    “Doctors, nurses, clinicians and healthcare providers have never shied away from sacrifice. Across the country, these heroes are putting themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis to save lives, flatten the curve and stem the tide of this virus.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is creating an unprecedented strain on our nation’s healthcare system. Every day, we see news reports of emergency rooms stretched dangerously thin. But beyond the headlines, there is a ticking time bomb in our healthcare system that could devastate healthcare providers and patients for years to come.

    Even though we are in the teeth of a crisis, overall patient volume has plummeted. Government officials have issued mandates canceling scheduled and elective care. Doctors are experiencing a massive decline in routine check-ups, non-emergency surgeries and other preventative care that keep their practices in business. Much like Main Street America, non-emergency doctors are closed for business.

    Counterintuitively, emergency departments are also seeing lower volume than usual. COVID-19 cases are surging, but patients are battling a virus that often requires multiple days of care. Duration and intensity of care have spiked but overall, emergency rooms are seeing fewer patients. Of the patients they do see, a higher portion are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid, all of which reimburse for care at a loss to providers. Emergency departments are proud providers of the social safety net, but the loss of volume creates real challenges to long term viability.

    If Congress doesn’t act, this will cause long-term damage to the American healthcare system and disrupt the ability of doctors to provide care to patients once COVID-19 has passed. Facilities will close. Doctors will lose their jobs. The safety net will be gone.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And we shouldn’t forget these folks either.

    I know I’m critical of the media, but my criticism is mostly for the MSM giants, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and the like. Local media for the most part is still doing a valuable and needed service. Especially now in the midst of this outbreak, they are providing details that are crucial for folks about what’s happening in their locality. There are exceptions, but for the most part, they do the job right.

    And they need help if they’re to continue to do so.

    You’ll wanna sit down for this next part, because it’s quite shocking.

    I agree with Democrats here. There. I said it. 🙂


    “Democrat Senators Push for Local Journalism Bailout as Part of Coronavirus Relief”

    “The country is at a standstill. Ad revenue is drying up. Local media outlets, already struggling, are suffering as a result.

    Nineteen Democrat Senators are pushing for a bailout of “local journalism and media” in any upcoming Coronavirus relief legislation.

    In a letter addressed to Senate leadership, they urged, “any future stimulus package must contain funding to support this important industry at such a critical time. Such a provision should be tailored to benefit aid recipients who make a long-term commitment to high quality local news.” (Full letter embedded at bottom of post.)

    WRIC reports:

    Virginia senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine joined colleagues in a letter calling for funding to support local journalism and media to be included in any future COVID-19 relief packages.

    “The current public health crisis has made the already vital role of local news even more critical,” wrote the senators.

    The senators warn that the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes impacts advertising funds and profits, could destroy regional and local news outlets. This is happening even as communities have become increasingly reliant on their news reporting during the public health crisis.

    “Local news is in a state of crisis that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the senators wrote. “For over a decade, there has been a steady succession of local outlets closing down, reporters being laid off, production schedules cut, and resources tightened as the growth of social media and technology platforms has concentrated critical advertising revenue in the hands of a few. But the current public health crisis has made this problem worse. As many communities have shut down local restaurants, entertainment venues, and other non-essential businesses in an attempt to “flatten the curve,” local papers and local broadcasters have lost even more of the advertising revenue they rely on from these businesses. Communities across the country have seen the further decimation of this important industry as local publications have stopped printing and laid off staff in the last few weeks.

    Many Virginia newspapers have implemented pay staff cuts and furloughed staff to deal with the financial impact of the spread of the coronavirus.

    Lee Enterprises Inc., which owns several major papers across the state such as the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Daily Progress in Charlottesville, said employees will have to take a pay cut or furlough equivalent of two weeks pay.

    Gannett Co. Inc., which also owns several Virginia papers including the News Leader in Staunton, announced employees who make more than $38,000 a year must take a week of leave on a rotating basis.

    “Local journalists have proven themselves to be valiant first responders during this pandemic, exposing themselves to a dangerous virus in order to get the story to the people,” said PEN America’s Washington director, Thomas O. Melia. “They are ‘essential workers’ as many executive orders on staying at home at the state and local level have explicitly noted. The sector as a whole is suffering gravely as the nationwide shutdown has accelerated their loss of revenue. This is why we at PEN America support Senator Blumenthal’s initiative to urge Senate leaders to include specific targeted stimulus relief for local journalism at this critical time.”

    “Last month, Professor Jacobson blogged about the coming media carnage. Having a penchant for seeing these types of things in advance, he wrote:

    Given the pervasive distrust of media, particularly national mainstream media, news that the Wuhan coronavirus crisis is hitting news media hard may not garner a lot of sympathy. But the hardest hit is at the local level, not the names you know and love/hate.

    Don’t cheer this pain. It will empower the largest corporate behemoths, the heart of the mainstream media, who are the most likely to survive and to take even more market share. The same goes for those with billionaire bankrollers, like the far-left The Intercept.”


  3. “WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirms he is Beijing’s useful idiot”


    “With these words, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus showed just how ridiculous his organization has become: “We don’t do politics in WHO.” Because if the coronavirus pandemic has proved one thing, it’s that the WHO does indeed do politics.

    Tedros’s statement to the media on Wednesday was designed to push back against President Trump’s condemnation of the WHO on Tuesday, when Trump threatened to cut U.S. funding for the WHO. That was a very legitimate request from Trump in that the United States provides the WHO nearly 10 times the annual funding that China provides. America is a top stakeholder in this organization. And Trump has good reason to doubt we, and the rest of the world, are getting an adequate return on investment.

    It was the WHO, after all, which idiotically advised against China-focused travel bans, even when the evidence in favor of such a ban became abundant and overwhelming. It is the WHO which has decided its current mission is to defend China’s response to the early coronavirus outbreak, rather than orchestrate a global effort to counteract the virus.

    So, you might have expected Tedros to show a bit of humility. Instead, China’s proud attack poodle went for the jugular.

    Resorting to not-so-original sound bites, Tedros asked that world leaders “please quarantine politicizing COVID.” And he added, “If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it.” Then, seemingly forgetting China’s effort to hide the facts and lie about the human transmission rates, Tedros endorsed Beijing’s platitude public relations narrative. We’re all friends, you see. “Please work across party lines, across ideology, across beliefs, across any differences, for that matter. We need to behave. That’s how we can defeat this virus.”

    He wasn’t done.

    Tedros also blamed Taiwan for racist insults leveled against him. Racism is obviously outrageous, but this particular attack on Taiwan is quite interesting for two reasons. First, because China isn’t exactly a huge fan of Taiwan. Second, because the WHO has actively sidelined that small island nation, even though Taiwan has responded to the coronavirus with extraordinary skill. Last Saturday, a WHO official absurdly pretended not to hear a question related to Taiwan’s success.

    This really says it all about Tedros’s WHO.

    The basic point is quite simple. As my colleague Tiana Lowe documents, Tedros has responded to the coronavirus not as a chief medical officer, but as a cheerleader for communist China. Whenever China’s interests have conflicted with the world’s, Tedros has fallen into line. He is what the Russians would refer to as a useful idiot. Nothing more, nothing less.”


  4. And in other news…..

    “One Of The Greatest Travesties In American History”


    “Don’t hold back — tell us how you really feel. Attorney General William Barr’s interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham airs tonight, but they’re teasing out a blockbuster statement from Barr over Operation Crossfire Hurricane. John Durham’s investigation will finish soon, but Barr’s seen enough to call it a travesty with “no basis” for opening the probe in the first place. Barr says the effect of the probe, if not its explicit intent, was to “sabotage the presidency”:”

    “BARR: … to be frustrated, because I think what happened to him was one of the greatest travesties in American history. Without any basis, they started this investigation of his campaign. And even more concerning actually is what happened after the campaign, a whole pattern of events while he was president, so I — to sabotage the presidency, and I think — or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency.

    Hoo boy. Assuming that the full context of these remarks isn’t significantly more nuanced, that goes a lot farther than Barr has gone in the past in criticizing the FBI. Washington Post analyst Aaron Blake notes that Barr had openly disagreed with Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ assessment that no evidence existed of political motives behind the probe. This appears to be a full embrace of Donald Trump’s accusations that the whole investigation was a witch hunt aimed at driving him out of office:

    Before we even get the report from U.S. attorney John Durham, who is examining the origins of the Russia probe, Barr has declared this to be a historic scandal. … “The inspector general’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Barr said at the time. He added that Horowitz’s report amounted to “malfeasance and misfeasance” and “a clear abuse of the FISA process.”

    Barr added in an interview with ABC News at the time that it was a “travesty” and said that “the greatest danger” to our government is using government assets “to spy on political opponents, but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of the election.”


    Some of us have been saying this all along.


  5. And the other shoe is about to drop on the completely fictional Steele Dossier of Lies.


    “U.S. intelligence has decided to declassify several redacted footnotes from a recent Justice Department report that will expose more problems with the FBI’s investigation into President Trump’s campaign, including that agents possessed evidence their main informant may have been the victim of Russian disinformation, Just the News has learned.

    The previously redacted footnotes are likely to raise new concerns that the FBI ignored flashing red warning signals about the informant Christopher Steele and gave a false picture in briefing materials supplied to Congress.

    The declassified sections from Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December review of FBI FISA abuse could be made available to key Senate and House committees as early as the end of this week, according to people familiar with the effort.

    The unredacted footnotes are expected to provide new data points in the timeline showing when the FBI learned, or should have suspected, that its key evidence suggesting Trump was colluding with Russia was erroneous and how high up those concerns were known, the sources said.

    The new information “will make clear the FBI possessed information at multiple levels that undercut the evidence it was using to sustain a collusion investigation” and will be specific enough to renew a debate in Washington over “whether the FBI intentionally ignored red flags or simply was blinded by ambition from seeing them clearly,” one source with direct knowledge said.

    The evidence could also raise new questions about whether statements made to Congress during the Russia probe were false or misleading, and whether the intelligence community’s official assessment that Vladimir Putin was solely trying to help elect Trump was contradicted by some evidence in FBI files, the sources said.

    The declassification was prompted in part by a letter sent in January by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., that requested four footnotes from the Horowitz report be declassified.”


  6. “Robert Gates Makes a Damning Case Against Joe Biden as Commander-in-Chief”

    Old Joe’s “been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue for the past four decades.”


    “Robert Gates is the epitome of a moderate political thinker, public servant, and lifelong specialist in international security. After a lengthy career appointment as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, he served as deputy director of the CIA under President Ronald Reagan, deputy national security adviser and, later, director of the CIA under President George H.W. Bush. Gates served for two years as President George W. Bush’s secretary of defense and two-and-a-half more years in the same office under President Barack Obama.

    Here is a man with no appetite for bombast. Here is a judicious national security establishment figure firmly aligned with the Bushes, Jim Baker, and Brent Scowcroft. Here is someone who is hard to imagine wearing a MAGA hat but is surely a patriot committed, in his own manner, to American greatness.

    Gates is a Republican and is certainly no liberal, but his reputation for moderation, pragmatism, and managerial talent was such that Barack Obama wanted to retain him for a long stint as secretary of defense. It wasn’t the easiest of tenures, but for two and a half years, Gates worked diligently and as smoothly as he could with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the rest of the Obama-Biden national security team.

    It is therefore a matter of grave alarm—at least a DEFCON 2 and possibly DEFCON 1, the ultimate state of alert—when Gates, that most centered of centrists, asserts that Biden has “been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue for the past four decades.”

    The entire syllabus of Biden’s foreign policy and national security errors is a target-rich environment for the many American Greatness writers with expertise on particular issues. Anyone who makes the case for Biden’s election to the presidency should be made to defend the extremism and demonstrated failure of Biden’s national security record.

    Let’s consider Biden’s fatal flaw when it comes to defending the United States, our allies, and friends, against ballistic missiles.

    During the Reagan and first Bush administrations, a signature issue for the ambitious senator from Delaware was ballistic missile defense. Biden mocked Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, insisting that a program for research and development of effective defenses against ICBMs was a dangerous delusion.

    Following the lead of his mentor, the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Biden said that the research and development of missile defenses was a waste of money because it was a foregone conclusion that effective defenses would be impossible.

    With less than acute logic, Biden also said that R&D for missile defense was “destabilizing.” Why? Well, Biden said, because the program moved in the direction of undoing the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the cornerstone of the Strangelovian “mutual assured destruction” doctrine that encouraged the ever-growing lethality of offensive nuclear weapons on both the Soviet and American sides.

    Think about that for a moment. If R&D for missile defense really had been as useless as an alchemist’s labors at turning base metals into gold, why should that have changed the strategic offensive balance between America and the Soviets?

    Consider, too: Soviet diplomatic pronouncements and propaganda agitated vehemently against American R&D for missile defense. If the Soviets really had believed that Reagan was wasting American defense dollars in pursuit of a delusion, why didn’t they encourage Reagan to keep doing it? Why did they denounce the program so stridently?

    Biden, who has never been regarded as much of a thinker, somehow missed that point.”


    There’s more too.


  7. As is usually the case, Chuck Todd is wrong again. Still.


    “Chuck Todd Is Wrong (Again): There Are Huge Downsides To The Media Being Overly Alarmist
    A good leader should balance what the coronavirus-limited ‘experts’ are arguing for with all other health, safety, security, and well-being concerns.”

    “There are no costs associated with being “overly alarmist” in the face of a global pandemic, “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd claimed on Sunday. His comment encapsulates the attitude of the media and other elites as they drive people and state and local governments deeper into a panic that has resulted in the loss of tens of millions of jobs, the likely permanent closures of hundreds of thousands of businesses, a general inability to pay rent and other monthly bills, a lack of treatment for non-coronavirus health problems, the closure of churches and schools, the exacerbation of disparities by socio-economic status in educational attainment, disruptions to the supply chain, and the destruction of trillions of dollars of American wealth.

    Pushing governors and other politicians to do even more to shut down communities and their economies, Todd asked former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, “Are you surprised that more politicians aren’t erring on the side of caution here? Because there seems to be if you’re wrong about this, boy, is that a bad way to be wrong. If, if you’re wrong and you’ve, and you’ve been overly alarmist, well, nobody’s, nobody extra has died. But if you’re wrong and you’ve underplayed, boy, you’ve got a lot to answer for.”

    Define ‘Caution’

    What Todd portrays as “caution” people should strongly encourage is a radical destruction of systems. Since no one in a position of political authority is arguing for a “let it burn” approach, what Todd portrays as the reckless alternative option is merely the more moderate approach of extreme social distancing and other public health measures such as mask-wearing and continued testing to slow the spread of the virus without closure of nearly everything outside American homes.

    Regardless of your feelings about the unprecedented national shutdown plan, it is the less cautious of the two approaches. Some view that as a feature in the war against the coronavirus, while others are worried it might be a dangerous overreaction.

    Still, Todd unwittingly reveals the political pressure that many leaders face and the fear that many of them feel about being on the wrong side of expertise. If you follow experts, they reasonably surmise, no one can fault you, even if you destroy the economy. Doing anything other than a continued shutdown runs contrary to what many credentialed experts are instructing, so many leaders follow those experts.

    The problem is that the experts who are being listened to so carefully are solely focused on minimizing mal effects from the coronavirus, all other considerations notwithstanding. If that means ending all mammography, colonoscopy and other screenings, so be it. If that means suspending physicals that catch early signs of disease and enable treatment and reversal, so be it. If that means bearing an increase in spousal and child abuse, suicide, and mental health problems, or substance abuse, so be it. If that means setting disadvantaged kids back even further than before the crisis began, so be it. If that means cratering an economy or risking national security, so be it.

    A good leader should balance what the coronavirus-limited “experts” are arguing for with all other health, safety, security, and well-being concerns. Too few realize that. What many are doing instead is claiming that they are following “experts” when really they’re only listening to select few epidemiologists. Some put forth extremist platitudes, such as “you can’t have an economy if everyone is dead.”

    This problem is exacerbated by a media that incentivizes such narrow thinking. Few if any reporters at the daily White House briefings, much less in countless state and local briefings, have pushed political leaders to explain how they’re balancing non-coronavirus concerns with coronavirus concerns. Our media’s general struggle with providing context, predisposition to sensationalism, longstanding near-exclusive focus on New York City, and unbridled irrational hostility to President Trump have all led to much alarmism. And yes, it does have downsides.”


  8. A new low, and for Jennifer Rubin, that’s saying something.

    Trump has broken her.



  9. Don’t sugarcoat it Kurt…. tell us how you really feel. 🙂


    “One particularly terrifying consequence of the Chinese Bat Soup Virus that is not yet getting the attention it deserves is how this situation is making already stupid liberals even dumber, especially when they sound off about economics. In the wake of this pandemic, we’ve been subjected to a series of mind-numbing insights from the pinko blue check brain trust that reaffirms the clichéd but true observation that our elite is anything but elite. Leave it to our liberal betters to take a bad situation and seek to make it exponentially worse.

    For example, Sally Kohn – oh, you know where this is going – offered an astonishing observation just as the Democrats were obstructing the vital relief our small businesses desperately need:

    “I’m really tired of reading how business owners are “forced” to layoff workers. No one made them do that. They *chose* to do that. Not saying it isn’t a hard choice, during a hard time, but to say they were *forced* obscures their agency AND casts owners/CEOs as the victims.”

    If that hasn’t plunged your IQ to new depths, consider ever-dumb Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), who tweeted out this brainstorm:

    “We need to cancel rent until this crisis is over.”

    Wow. Her economics advice is even worse than her relationship advice.

    Okay, it seems like you would not have to explain this to allegedly educated people, but apparently there are still some people who need a lesson in Economics 101. Since I actually own a business, perhaps I have a perspective that C Tier social media personalities and commie grifters could find illuminating.

    Here goes.

    Are you people stupid? What the unholy hell are you thinking? When there is no income, what do you expect a business owner to pay his employees with? IOUs? Monopoly money? Feelings?

    Oh, maybe the boss of that local pizza restaurant that the cough police closed down should just go downstairs to the basement vault in his mansion, pop open the door and take out one of those dozens of big sacks with dollar signs on them that are stuffed with $100 bills and use them to meet payroll. And rent. And insurance. And supplies. And maintenance. And so on. And so on. And so on.

    Because that whole thing about cash flow? No, it’s not a thing. It’s a myth! It’s just an illusion for those tuxedo n’ top hat-sporting fatcats who run the local pet stores and such use to fool the proles into believing that there’s not some bottomless well o’ cash these tycoons can draw upon forever.

    Yeah, these bigwigs are claiming they are running out of money, but Sally sees through their web of deceit! But in a way she is right – it is kind of a choice. Of course, the choice is bankruptcy or layoffs. And either way, those employees are out of a job.

    But the real tragedy would be if people might see “owners/CEOs as the victims” even though they are victims too.

    You wonder if people can be this dumb and then you go on Twitter and yeah, people can absolutely be that dumb.

    Or even dumber, if that’s even possible.”


  10. I listen to NPR on my drive in to work. I am amazed every evening when they talk about, with such shock and surprise, unemployment numbers. What do they think is going to happen when people can’t go out and work? The govt, whether state or federal, says stay home. I thank
    God every day that I am still able to make a paycheck when so many others can’t. But it comes with much stress and worry about possibly bringing home COVID to my family.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. The WHO is flawed, that is certain. But it does not really exist to help wealthy countries such as the U.S., whose own CDC is a much more powerful and well equipped organization. The WHO exists to help those countries with almost no health system at all. The information it puts out is invaluable for such countries. We used their information in West Africa, and funding from the Global Fund paid for the hundreds of malarial tests I took and for the treatment we gave. Yes, they, and the rest of the UN are undoubtedly at a disadvantage with wealthy but unscrupulous countries such as China and Saudi Arabia, who can wield undo influence by using their wealth. Nevertheless, as I have seen for myself, health conditions in developing countries would be far worse if the WHO did not exist.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Well good, then let those countries fund them. They’re useless to us. And what they did to Taiwan for China’s benefit is unconscionable.

    People died because of it. They need to own that.


    “Taiwan accused the World Heath Organization of ignoring its questions at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, part of what it has long described as a pattern that puts it at risk because of Chinese pressure to exclude it from international bodies.

    Taiwan is barred from membership in the WHO under pressure from China, which views it as a province rather than a state. It responded early to the coronavirus outbreak in China, and has had notable success in limiting contagion so far, with just two deaths and 215 cases.

    Taiwan’s government has said that keeping it out of the WHO during the outbreak amounts to playing politics with Taiwanese lives, and it has been denied access to first-hand information. Both the WHO and China say Taiwan has been provided with the help it needs.

    Speaking to reporters in Taipei, the island’s Centres for Disease Control chief Chou Jih-haw said that it written to the WHO and China as early as Dec. 31, asking for information about the newly uncovered virus outbreak in China’s Wuhan city, including whether there was human-to-human transmission.

    “We asked them whether there’s a possibility of human-to-human transmission. We indeed asked them and reminded them of the matter,” Chou said. He said the WHO confirmed it had received the letter but did not respond to it.”


  13. Like I said, people died because of their actions/inactions.


    “Taiwan Vice President Chen Chien-jen revealed last month that his country warned the World Health Organization in late December that China was lying about the novel coronavirus. China had said the virus was not transmittable by human-to-human contact, and the WHO disseminated that lie in mid-January.

    In fact, Chen claimed the WHO ignored Taiwan’s warnings in order to maintain its relationship with China, whose communist government demands the international community not acknowledge Taiwan’s sovereignty.

    Now, Chen’s claims have been corroborated by new reporting.

    In an Economist article detailing the remarkable COVID-19 response of Taiwan — which has thus far seen only 376 confirmed COVID-19 cases and just five related deaths — the London-based news outlet reported that the WHO blatantly ignored Taiwan’s warnings.

    That decision, the Economist declared, cost lives:

    For all that, Taiwan’s performance is remarkable. Even more remarkable is that the country is not a member of the World Health Organisation. The simple reason is that a bullying China refuses it entry. It may not even attend the World Health Assembly, the who’s decision-making forum, as an observer. When Taiwan wrote to the WHO in late December asking whether there was human-to-human transmission in the virus outbreak in Wuhan, the WHO, the body now admits, did not reply.

    Taiwan’s fight against COVID-19 has shown that it can cope outside the WHO, even if there is a cost. But its exclusion causes wider damage. Taiwan’s early understanding of the threat of the coronavirus could have given others advance warning. Taiwan’s inability to disseminate its findings cost lives.”


  14. The Real, those countries do fund them, as they are able. The U.S. is not the largest funder to the WHO, and was already, before any of this happened, 2.5 million in arrears of their dues. The WHO has a budget of about 4.4 billion a year. By comparison, the Emery Healthcare unit in Atlanta alone has a 3.5 billion yearly budget, while the CDC has a budget of 6.5 billion. The people in the countries in Africa, Latin America, Central and Southeast Asia who are most dependent on the information and funding of the WHO number over 2 billion, while the U.S. has only 327 million people.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. In the midst of a pandemic, FOX and Barr decide its time to air old grievances…bizarre. Both have better thinks to do. Instead focus on the here and now.

    A rent/mortgage moratorium is not a bad idea. The Europeans are doing it. The ill effects on the bankers and landlords are cancelled out by the stability it provides to a far greater population. Stability is what is needed right now. I’m not surprised my own gov’t is not considering it. Sure some banks are offering mortgage deferrals but this will only push the expense into the future and will have cost attached to it. Many commercial landlords esp of closed businesses, have essentially given up on collecting rent. For many it makes more sense to forgo two-three months rent than begin eviction procedures and then try to find tenants. My daughter and her boyfriend negotiated discounts to their rent for the next couple of months, but they have a local landlord who owes a few duplexes not a large corporate owner. To make things stable, fair and equitable, a rent moratorium makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Am I missing something, I clicked on your link and not a single quote from Gates. Just some guy rambling on about Biden and ABMs. Btw, Biden was right, creating an ABM system even if not completely successful would override the MAD doctrine that both sides in the cold war agreed to and thus did not attempt to win a real war. The Soviet opposition had nothing to do with Biden. Whether or not an ABM system would work, the intensely paranoid Soviets viewed any change to the acceptance of MAD as an offensive action and were afraid the Americans wanted to engage in a hostile “hot” war. Why provoke the Soviets when the MAD doctrine was preventing war?

    As of concerns of Biden’s competence — the answer is similar to what many Republicans said about Trump, he will surround himself with capable men and women. Biden will be the face. Most leaders have a capable team with team with them who they listen to.


  17. Yes Taiwan did a good job but it has an advantage — its an island.

    To annoy my right wing friends I like to point out how successful the young female socialist Prime Minister of New Zealand has been at containing the corona virus. But yeah its an island — they shut the it down after the first positive test.


  18. The rent waiving may be dependent on the owner’s own financial stability. We waived the rent for our boarder until his job starts up again. But, it’s just a kid living in a room in our house–his rents is small and basically just covers the extra utilities. We can manage without it, but it was very meaningful to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I agree on the island point. But what about Iceland? Did they not shut down? Ireland? I think only a million people live in NZ anyway, and they are very particular with people leaving the airport into their country. The dogs went through our luggage before they let us out into Aukland proper!

    (He found a sandwich in my son’s backpack. My son turned it in!)


  20. This is a quote.

    Note the quotation marks.

    “been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue for the past four decades.”

    And this is not new info. Gates has been saying this since at least 2014. He covered it extensively in his book. The AG author seems to have erred in thinking this was something most folks already knew. He should have provided some links, on that I agree.


    “”I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says of Vice President Joe Biden in his new book coming out later this month. Gates’ assessment of Biden’s boss is only slightly better, depicting an Obama administration with very murky lines of communication on military issues.”

    “Gates, as The New York Times notes in its review of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, served under every president since Nixon, save Bill Clinton. When President Obama took office in 2009, he (somewhat controversially) decided that Gates would stay as defense secretary, a position to which he was appointed by George W. Bush in 2006. (At that confirmation hearing, Gates reportedly thought to himself, “What the hell am I doing here? I have walked right into the middle of a category-five @#$%$#@#$.”)”


    “From The Times:

    Biden is accused of “poisoning the well” against the military leadership.”


    While these criticisms may be new to the left, it’s well documented. It’s been his opinion for quite some time. Maybe you should check out the book for much more details.


  21. Hey if other countries want to give their money to WHO, by all means, waste away. I for one am glad we’re no longer gonna do so. It’s not just this time, their corruption is well documented.

    From 2017…


    “We’ll soon hear condemnation of the administration’s plan for steep cuts in funding of international organizations, as proposed by the White House’s budget blueprint. Cuts to WHO will draw dire warnings about global pandemics and cries for America to do more.

    Global public health is, indeed, critical to American interests at home and abroad, and the U.S. government is the largest contributor to WHO’s approximately $2 billion budget. However, like other U.N. subsidiaries, WHO is plagued by persistent wasteful spending, utter disregard for transparency, pervasive incompetence, and failure to adhere to even basic democratic standards.

    None of these problems are new, but they are worsening, and the latest developments underscore the need for tough love in the form of responsible stewardship of our largesse.

    The May 23 election of Ethiopian politician Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to head WHO is the latest evidence that reform won’t come from WHO itself. Dr. Tedros, as he likes to be called (he has a Ph.D. in community health), is a leader of Ethiopia’s brutal minority party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, a wing of the ruling Marxist-rooted Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. He served the violently repressive regime as minister of foreign affairs from 2012 to 2016, after a stint as health minister.

    Tedros was reportedly elected with 133 of 185 votes in a third-round secret ballot, handily defeating the eminently qualified British candidate, David Nabbaro, M.D.

    Prior to Tedros’s election, the Associated Press published an exposé on WHO’s already infamously lavish spending on first-class airfare and five-star hotels.”

    The AP obtained documents showing that WHO “routinely has spent about $200 million a year on travel expenses, more than what it doles out to fight some of the biggest problems in public health, including AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.”

    This follows similar scandals that prompted a 2015 seminar on accountability, in which WHO finance chief Nick Jeffries said that WHO employees “can sometimes manipulate a little bit their travel.” He admitted that WHO couldn’t be sure that staff travel was booked cost-effectively, or was even warranted.

    Ian Smith, executive director of the director general’s office, reportedly said that the agency often did little to prevent abuses. Moreover, the $803 million WHO has paid for travel since 2013 doesn’t include costs often covered by host countries seeking to curry favor, which are off WHO’s books.”


    More…. from last year….


    “Senior WHO official accused of using Ebola cash to pay for girlfriend’s flight

    World Health Organization launches inquiry after claims of ‘legendary’ corruption, including racism and sexism”

    “An internal inquiry has been launched by the WHO following a series of anonymous whistleblower emails that alleged widespread racism, sexism and misspending.

    The emails, sent to senior management last year, claimed there was systematic discrimination against African staff and that recruitment processes are corrupt.

    Whistleblowers have also alleged that staff misused money intended to fight the Ebola outbreaks in west Africa that began in 2013, as well as an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The author of one email wrote that “corruption stories about logisticians and procurement in WHO [health emergencies department] are legendary”.


    There’s plenty more examples out there. Google it.


  22. Roscuro,

    This is incorrect.

    “The U.S. is not the largest funder to the WHO”

    The US gave $401,108,929 in 2017, the last year the WHO has numbers up for. The next closest is the UK with $163 734 474. The US accounted for nearly half their total voluntary contributions. Granted Trump has ordered all foreign aid (which this is) to be reviewed, and some money may be owed. But the US as cash cow days are over, as they should be, thanks to Trump’s recent actions.



  23. The Real, I should have said the U.S. does not provide the majority of the WHO’s funding. The U.S. may be the largest single donor, but more than 85 percent of the WHO’s funding comes from other sources: http://open.who.int/2018-19/contributors/contributor

    The real value of the WHO is not seen by the average layperson. It lies in guidelines for things like sanitation, clean water, malaria control and treatment, disease prevention programs, vaccine schedules, etc., information that is not otherwise readily available to poorer countries, as healthcare research costs money to access and requires translation for non-Western audiences. I have conceded the WHO has problems, but without it, the work in West Africa would have not had the resources to treat people and save lives.


  24. Interesting article on Iceland and other islands; the main message seems to be testing, testing and more testing and central direction……


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