Yeah…we’re here home alone socially distancing ourselves and I gotta tell ya it ain’t a whole passle o’ fun…nope, not at all.
The good news is that the weather is nice and warm, we got plenty of food and booze, Amazon is still delivering, and we still have more boxes to unpack. The bad news is that we’re getting kinda bored with doing nuttin’ and depressed with the news.
We ordered a china buffet and hutch for our stemware and good china from Amazon the other day…it was the one Connie liked best and was supposed to be delivered April 21…it was coming all the way from Atlanta ya know. Well…it arrived today…we unpacked the top hutch portion after looking at the damage to the shipping boxes, and discovered about 8 cracks in the wood…looks like it got smashed or fell over or something on the way from Malaysia to here. Neil filled out an Amazon return/refund page, repacked the top into the shipping box, and UPS will be here tomorrow to pick it up. She found another one she likes…although not quite as well…at Rooms To Go so we’ll order that one instead.
So…let’s see what the headlines have today…sorry it’s mostly political and/or virus related but apparently if you get elected as a congress critter or if you’re either in the media or a talking head you’re required to have a lobotomy and completely ignore any actual facts in order to support your political position or assign blame for the whole corona and the associated economic issues thing.
I rewrote this from what I originally said…as you know we’re not strong supporters of the President but (a) we did think he was better than the alternative, (b) he’s not doing as bad as his opponents say or as great as his supporters say, and (c) he did win. He might not be the best spoken President we’ve ever had…but then again that depends on which side of the political spectrum you’re on.
The President has sort of been back and forth on how serious he is taking this…at least according to the media…but to a large extent he is doing what one expects the President to do…trying to maintain calm, ensure the people that we’ll get through it, and letting to a large extent the medical establishment do their thing.
His latest suggestion…that we end the social distancing thing and get back to business by Easter…well, we can’t really do it that soon but he is correct when he says that we can’t make the cure worse than the disease and refers to the numbers of folks that die each year by flu, auto accidents, and several other causes of deaths as compared to the numbers of corona related deaths. Yeah…I know it’s not quite the same since auto accidents aren’t contagious but as a nation it is a fact that we so far have had limited numbers of deaths compared to other causes and the impact on the economy and markets due to everything being closed is significant. Will the economy eventually recover. Sure…but it will take awhile. Will some people die from the corona…sure they will but we simply don’t know how many that will be and we have no idea how many folks have been infected and recovered.
The President is getting blamed for the limited number of tests being done…and in reality that blame is not deserved. There have been fewer tests in the US than South Korea for instance…but that is a result of the CDC and FDA decisions on how to test for this virus. Those organizations are led by what Connie calls Ivory Tower Elitists who are believe that good enough is not actually good enough when better is available. So…instead of developing a simpler, faster, easier to conduct for this virus they developed a very precise DNA analysis test that simply takes longer and can only be performed by a limited number of laboratories due to the limited number of clean rooms and sophisticated instruments that are required. There isn’t anything wrong with that approach on the surface…but in this case maybe better is the enemy of good enough when good enough is much quicker. All that is water under the bridge though…and the decision on what test to develop did not come from the White House…it came from the doctors that run the CDC and FDA.
In any event…wide testing would not really help as much as the media hype would have you believe. One could easily have a negative result even if one had been infected yesterday as the test would not be accurate that quickly…or one could be negative and then get infected on the way home when one went into Starbucks. What a wider number of tests would likely show is that the virus has been more widespread than the number of cases currently being reported…but would show great numbers of people who have antibodies but who had either minor or minimal symptoms…or perhaps no symptoms at all as has been the case in some “positive” results. What these numbers would do is decrease the “death rate” from the virus as that number is determined by dividing the number of deaths by the number of cases…and if you make the denominator smaller the percentage goes down.
I think that what the President is trying to do is get us to not over react to the issue. Yes…it is contagious and…Yes, it is serious. However…it is also not the zombie apocalypse and we’re not all going to die.
Should we get everything back to normal by Easter…surely not and I can’t help but wonder if he is trying to just move us forward and tell us we’ll get through this but doing it in his normal blustery way.
Nope though…according to the media…it’s all his fault and I saw a NY Times article this morning with some scary looking charts. These charts show that if we have social distancing for 2 weeks and then stop the total number of infections will be 128 million…with an appropriate scale to make the peak tall and skinny looking. Then the side by side chart shows what will happen with 2 months of social distancing…only 14 million total infections. It looks scary…but there are no actual facts behind these charts. The Times “created this interactive model with epidemiologists”…but given the Times unfailing opposition to the President and blaming him for everything since his election…it’s not hard to believe that they picked “experts” who agree with them.
Their charts aren’t wrong…they’re just one possible outcome based on a particular set of assumptions made by an unknown set of experts that just might possibly be designed to get the conclusion the Times wants and produce those scary graphs. It is also possible that they are 100% correct…but given the political divisions in the US in the 2020s and the hatred for the President that liberals and most of the media have I don’t believe the Times has a pure and honest motivation here.
Our friends in the media…on both sides…are likewise stupid. Each of them is slanting their coverage…including their facts…to support their political leanings.
Congress…they’re not any better. The Senate wrote a recovery bill…and since the House Democrats wrote the last one the Senate Republicans wrote this one. Nothing wrong with that in my view…but to hear the Democrats talk this is an abomination of the first magnitude. However…most of what the Senate wrote was actually related to the virus crisis…and the Senate Democrats had some valid objections…for instance they wanted the loans to business to have limitations to prevent using the funds for stock buybacks, bonuses, or other things that benefited the corporation and stockholders at the expense of workers. Mr. McConnell added these during negotiations…which rightfully he said.
Then Ms. Pelosi got irritated…and she came back to town and almost torpedoed the Senate negotiations when she had her caucus write a House Democrat plan…which reads like the progressive wish list. Green New Deal, mandatory same day voter registration, mandatory diversity requirements on corporate boards and executives, money for PBS, money for Planned Parenthood…their list went on and on. As President Bartlett on “The West Wing” used to say…they didn’t want to let a good crisis go to waste but instead wanted to load up this must pass bill with pork and far left demands…and then when the Senate rightfully refused to go along with all of the non virus related expenses it would be the fault of Republicans…at least that is what Democrats and most media would have proclaimed.
Talk about trying to politicize a must pass bill. I understand that the progressives have a wish list…just like the conservatives have one that includes 2nd amendment rights, protection of the border, and cutting back on illegal immigration…which the other side prefers to call “undocumented” and ignore the fact that they are in fact in violation of the law. I also understand that neither side likes the other side’s wish list…but then I also understand that both sides have some valid concerns on many of those issues.
Unfortunately…I also understand that neither side is really interested in compromise, doing their job, and moving the country forward. It’s much more important to belittle the other side, spout inflammatory rhetoric about the leadership on the other side…and let’s not forget it’s all the President’s fault.
Shouldn’t the corona virus bill…um…address the corona crisis and not be blatantly politicized to try an end run to get crazy demands passed?
On to the election…it is starting to look like Bernie the Socialist…who at least admits that his plan will result in vastly increased taxes on everybody…has peaked out and won’t be the nominee…if he was the President would win reelection in a landslide comparable to Dukakis in 80whatever it was because the folks between center-right and center left…which is at least half of the total voting population I think simply won’t vote for what he wants.
Mr. Biden is now evaluating his choices for VP and has stated he will choose a woman. Immediately the calls went out demanding a “woman of color” be the choice…regardless of competence…the failed Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams appears to be the consensus there despite having no real experience and given Mr. Biden’s age he need a VP who is ready to govern on day 1. Me…I think that he would get a lot of votes if he chose Condoleezza Rice…she’s a woman of color, is reasonably centrist so would help him pull in center voters…but (a) she’s too smart to accept, (b) she has a good job already, and (c) since she’s a Republican Mr. Biden would be crucified by his party…particularly the far left part…even though her selection would demonstrate a willingness to compromise with the other side. She’s far more qualified than Ms. Abrams is though…and since historically candidates run to the fringes during the primary and back to the middle in the general election…she would be a decent choice IMO. Heck…back in the days of the 1700s there was not a VP on the ticket…just the two Presidential nominees and several losing nominees were asked to serve as VP by the winner…something to think about maybe. But…nah…common sense appears to be mighty uncommon these days.
I saw several articles today claiming that Ms. Warren is the “obvious” choice…but she’s not for the same reasons that Bernie was not the correct choice…way too far left to get elected just like the way too far right candidates failed to get the nomination in 2016.
I don’t know what Mr. Biden will do…I’m not on his list of advisors…but I hope he resists the demands of the far left and stays away from the wacko crowd.
Connie and Neil will have to evaluate his positions as he gets closer to the general…and also the prospects for single party control of the government before deciding what to do. Me…I think it would be dangerous for either side to have both the Presidency and control of both houses in Congress…there’s way too much room for political novices to do things that appear good for their party in the short term but are both bad for the party in the long term (removal of filibusters by the Democrats for judge nominees for example) and bad for the country as well. The US remains a primarily center-right country but the vast center geographic portion of the country is essentially ignored by at one party since CA and NY are the only states that really matter ya know…what they think and say should just go since they clearly know better than those rubes in Iowa what the country needs.
A few shots we got since last week.
This is the worst of the 6 or 7 cracks in the top hutch portion of the “going back to Amazon” china cabinet.If it had just been one or two…even the worst ones would have been pretty easy to fix with a little wood glue but there were just too many. After we thought about it…we figured that whatever other one Amazon shipped us to replace this one would have been in the same container on the same ship and gone through the same shipping issues…and while it would likely have different damage we figured it would be pretty similar overall…hence the return/refund. Rooms To Go will unpack it while they are delivering it and we’ll be able to reject the delivery if it is broken a lot easier.
Double Crested Cormorants…these are juveniles as evidenced by the white breast an orange throat…adults are pure black and the males have 2 crests that give them their name.
It was really, really calm one morning so Neil got a couple of reflection shots of our pond from our neighbors back yard. First one is pretty much straight out of the camera and the second one got the HDR treatment to punch up the color, sky, and contrast.
OK…let’s get on to interesting things found on the net…some virus related and some not.
Where did the man-bun come from?
Green New Deal capital punishment.
Most dangerous mammal on the planet.
People are stupid…and it ain’t just Americans…stupidity knows no borders.
This was taken last fall at a climate change protest in Paris where women threw their clothes in the air…stupid photographer I think.
And my personal fave today.