One of the sad stories of the Covid-19 outbreak is the death of a man in Arizona and the hospitalization of his wife. According to the story, they ingested chloroquine phosphate – one of the chemicals being looked at as treatment against the virus.
It should be noted that neither of them had any of the symptoms associated with the virus. They were hoping the chemical would be a preventative.
In the left-wing media world of Trump-can-do-nothing-right, the President was blamed for this death because he had mentioned chloroquine phosphate as one of the chemicals being looked at by the scientists. The man’s wife even said that they learned of the chemical from Trump at one of those White House briefings. They thought they would try it. I mean, what harm could there be?
The anti-Trump press jumped on the story as another reason why we should all hate Trump. He is killing people. But there is more to the story.
Apparently, the couple noticed that they had chloroquine phosphate in a household product – a fish tank cleaner. That’s right — a product designed to rid the home aquarium of all that mold, algae and what ever else begins to fog up the sides of the tank.
Any death can be viewed as a tragedy, but it is hard to render unqualified sympathy to someone who thinks a fish tank cleaner will made a good medicine. It is even more preposterous to blame the President of the United States – but there seems to be no event that cannot be turned into a criticism of Trump by the press.
It reminded me of a guy who seriously slashed his leg with a Sears lawnmower at a time when I was employed by the company. He sued. He did not win his case. Seems he was trying to trim the hedges by holding the lawnmower over them. It is called a LAWNmower.
There is only one person – maybe two – to blame for the tragic death of the man in Arizona. It is the couple who drank the poison. There is no cure for stupid.
So, there ‘tis.
No sooner did former Vice President Joe Biden all but secure his nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate than did the Coronavirus shove him in the shadow of public attention. Contrary to intuitive thinking, it may not be a bad thing for his candidacy.
We must remember that Biden was not exactly hitting the campaign trail with full vigor in those early Democrat primaries. In addition to his lack of fundraising, he was staying home as much as possible. His strategy of laying in the weeds until South Carolina was obviously a good one.
Even after vanquishing the Democrat presidential field on Super Tuesday, Biden was not out on the hustings as much as traditional presidential candidates – not even as much as the older post-heart attack Senator Bernie Sanders.
Biden, his handlers and most Democrats realized that the former Vice President’s public image is best left to virtual crafting by public relations consultants and communication techies. For too often – when Biden presented himself to the public, it resulted in another gaffe.
Apart from those embarrassing misstatements that have marked Biden’s long, long political career, he is starting to show his age. His current gaffes are not like those past misstatements but more like “senior moments.” It is those pauses on stage, when he looks like he is searching for the rest of the sentence. Even the older Bernie Sanders, appears to have greater mental acuity than Biden.
In that it allows Biden to keep himself out of the spotlight, the Coronavirus may have been beneficial to the Biden campaign. It gives him an excuse to stay out of the public eye – except for short structured appearances on friendly news shows. He is not being vetted.
At this stage in a presidential campaign – and despite the suffocating effect of the Coronavirus — Biden should be communicating to the public as much as possible – holding press conferences, rallies and townhall meetings. Despite the situation, he could be holding virtual townhall meetings and responding to unstructured press questions. But instead, Biden is hunkering down at home under the theory that the less you see of him, the better off he will be.
It may work for a while, but eventually he will have to stop being the marionette of his handlers and present himself in public – at least occasionally. When the presidential campaign season revs up after the Republican Convention, Biden will be facing the guy with the bully pulpit – and a guy who knows how to use it. Biden cannot continue to slump in the far corner of the back pew hoping that the grossly biased media will cast and protect his virtual image.
So, there ‘tis.
NOTE: The statistics reported in this commentary were the official numbers as of March 22.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio can go on his favorite cable news networks and point the finger of blame in all directions – especially at President Trump – but that does not explain what is happening in New York – City and State. It would seem that the greatest failure in America to anticipate and be prepared for an epidemic crisis are the Empire State’s political leaders and public healthcare community.
Why should one city – albeit America’s largest – account for nearly one-third of the victims of the Coronavirus in the entire United states. At the time of this writing there are approximately 41,000 cases of Coronavirus in the United states. There are more than 20,000 cases in the State of New York – with 16,000 of them in New York City (5% of the world). Size alone cannot account for that.
Just across the Hudson River from New York is New Jersey, which has just over 2,000 cases – and it is the state with the second most. That’s right. New York has approximately ten times the number of cases as the second-place state – and is not only an adjacent state, but literally a suburb for a lot of Manhattan workers.
Looking at the statistic another way, New York City – with approximately 16,000 cases — has nine times more cases of the Coronavirus than the entire State of California (1,800 cases). Washington State – where it all seemed to start for America – holds third place – behind New Jersey and ahead of California. New York has about eight times more cases than Washington.
With so many of the initial cases coming from China and Asia, in general, one might think that California and Washington would be two of the hardest hit states. But they do not even come close to New York City, alone. Even folks coming from Coronavirus-ravaged Italy cannot explain New York’s extraordinarily high number. However, it has been reported that the first recorded case came from a woman returning from Iran despite Trump’s efforts to ban travel from there.
With its usual political bias, the elitist east coast (New York) media is very kind to de Blasio. They give him airtime to whine and complain – and point the finger at the Trump administration. They do not ask him the tough questions. They do not wonder if closing the schools too late is a contributing factor. Was he too slow to quarantine? Was his own health department behind the curve? Was there a lack of effective emergency planning?
Rather than perform their journalistic function in a fair and honest way, the press attacks Florida’s Republican governor for not acting quickly enough. The Miami Herald editorialized on what the described as Governor Ron DeSantis egregious failure to act in a timely manner – then and now. It was consistent with the general practice of praising Democrat governors and mayors and criticizing Republicans in those positions – despite the facts.
The media focus on Florida – which is in eighth place in terms of the number of cases (1171) – demonstrates a political agenda. New York under Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo has 17 times that number – and the City of New York under Mayor de Blasio has 14 times that number. To pick out Florida, the press must skip over seven states – all with Democrat governors.
While we can all see the bias in the coverage – if we care to look – but that still does not explain why New York is so far in the lead in terms of cases and deaths. The public – especially New Yorkers – might be better served if Cuomo and de Blasio did more explaining and less accusing.
So, there ‘tis.
I have come to the conclusion that the news media should follow the advice of the medical professionals and self-quarantine – especially the folks on the cable networks. There are several reasons for my recommendation.
That would obviously keep them from travelling back and forth, and exposing themselves to the Coronavirus – or spreading it if they are among the asymptomatic carriers. And remember, the vast majority of the mainstream media is in New York City – the location of the worst outbreak in America.
More importantly, they would not be on air spreading inaccurate information — with political biases – and gossip. Everyone seems to agree that we should not politicize the crisis, but they seem to be incapable of stopping themselves.
Since they stoke the passions of our partisan divide, the nation might better be able to unify without their constantly driving the wedges of social and political discord. It would be nice to focus on the ISSUES rather than the political implications.
Also, their omnipresent reports are needlessly sensationalized — with nothing but bad-to-worse news that spreads panic faster than the Coronavirus – even as they say we should not panic.
As you can tell from the points I raise, I am not in favor of having them report from home or from other remote locations – as some are already doing. No. No. No. I mean limiting the news to a periodic five-minute report – audio and graphics only. And none of those panels of parroting pundits who tell us what to think. They could cut in every day for the updates from the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Most of the newsies are not professionals and their analyses run between worthless to damaging.
Not only do we hear every little development in the Coronavirus crisis, but to fill time, they are now reporting about the deleterious emotional and mental effects of fear and anxiety – hyping it beyond reality. Since they are the primary purveyors of fear and anxiety, we might adjust to our temporary condition more easily without them telling us how crazy it is making us. It does not seem to have occurred to them that perhaps they are the ones making us crazy.
I do believe that the news outlets would do a far greater public service if they were to show old movies and other shows to entertain all of us trapped in our homes.
If they do not heed this advice, at least we can switch over to the movie channel or that channel that is peddling the ancient alien theories. There is no reason for the average American to be inundated with minute-by-minute updates on the number of infected and dead. And giving us the instructions to wash our hands and separate in public is unnecessary. We get it.
So, there ‘tis.
NOTICE: This commentary is designed to make a point through satire. I do not really see any chance of the news networks shutting down. So please, spare me the comments stating all the reasons the networks will not – and should not – shut down from those of you without a sense of humor.
Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum was unsuccessful in his bid for Florida Governor – losing to then Congressman Ron DeSantis in a surprisingly close race. Gillum – an African American — was considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. Some have even promoted him as a potential vice-presidential candidate. There has been talk of future high office and even a Cabinet position if a Democrat wins the White House. Gillum was more recently hired as a contributor to CNN News.
All that is not looking very good today.
Responding to a call, police found Gillum with two other males in a room at the Mondrian Hotel in South Beach. Police were called to the scene to check out a report of an overdose by one of the other individuals. Bags of crystal meth were found at the scene.
According to the police incident report, “Mr. Gillum was unable to communicate with officers due to his inebriated state.” Medics were called “to conduct a welfare check on Gillum.”
In a statement to the Miami Herald, Gillum said he was in Miami to attend a friend’s wedding – and admitted that he had drunk too much alcohol. He denied using meth at that time or at any time.
In his statement, Gillum said:
“I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement. I’m thankful to the incredible Miami Beach EMS team for their efforts. I will spend the next few weeks with my family and appreciate privacy during this time.”
But as they say … the plot thickens.
The other two men who were in the room at the time were Travis Dyson, 30, and Aldo Mejias, 54. Mejias said he had loaned his credit card to Dyson to rent the room and arrived later to find Gillum vomiting in the bathroom and Dyson overdosed. It is believed that Mejias called police for help with Dyson – who was subsequently hospitalized.
In a statement to the Miami New Times, Dyson cast doubt on Gillum’s cover-story to the Miami Herald. The Times said Dyson seemed “confused’ about Gillum’s public statement. Dyson said, “I personally was not celebrating a wedding. I don’t know if [Gillum] was in town for a wedding. He did not mention that… we’ve been friends for a while.” Friends?
According to media reports, Dyson is listed on a website – rentmen.com – as a gay escorts. Of course, this does not establish the nature of the Gillum-Dyson friendship, but it does raise questions that beg to be answered. Gillum is alone, stumble-down alcohol drunk – if that is what it was — in a hotel room with bags of crystal meth in the company of a gay escort who was not involved in any wedding celebration AND who has overdosed on the meth — and we are expected to accept this as some innocent happenstance.
In his official statement, Gillum begs to have his privacy respected. I am sure he does. But he has chosen PUBLIC life in politics and the media. He cannot not now hide behind pleas for privacy. As the expression goes, Gillum has some ‘splaining to do.
FOOTNOTE: Gillum has now entered a rehab program.
So, there ‘tis.
Not long ago, former President Jimmy Carter said that 80 years old is too old to carry out the duties of President of the United States. He should know since he was the President – and knows the duties – and he is now 94 years old – so he knows what really old age is like. He is right.
Pondering Carter’s opinion – and realizing that I am just a couple of putts away from 80, myself – I have abandoned all ambitions and plans to run for President of the United States. As onetime Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen responded when asked about plans to run for President despite his age – “That ship has long ago left the dock.”
The pollsters tell us that Former Vice President Biden has the edge with older voters. As an older voter, I am surprised. All the folks with whom I communicate who are 80 or older talk about all the creeping limitations of body and mind – and that is even the most vigorous of them. They tire easily. They get forgetful and confused a bit. They already have a host of medical issues that sap their vitality.
Even the most vigorous septuagenarians and octogenarians recognize that they are in the danger zone of life – that time when “anything can happen.” We seniors are a day away from a catastrophic health event. Though not catastrophic, we saw how a small heart attack took Senator Bernie Sanders off the campaign trail for a week or so.
Joe Biden and Sanders have both already surpassed the life expectancy of an average American male (76 years). The fact that both have had serious health problems in the past puts them at even a higher risk. The odds suggest that Biden and Sanders will have significant health issues sometime in the next four years. You can bet on it.
If we just consider geriatrics, President Trump has the age advantage. He is a kid compared to them. At 74, he would complete a second term before he hit 80. In fact, he would leave office after 8 years at the same age Biden or Sanders would be inaugurated for their first term – making them the oldest presidents every elected.
President Reagan was 78 when he completed two terms – and there were reports that he was already suffering from age-related health issues in his final months in office.
I know it is politically incorrect to question a person’s ability purely because of age, but as Biden, himself, often says, “Come on man, get real.” The presidency is an extremely demanding job. There are enormous pressures. Long days and short nights. It requires great stamina – not something found in very old people.
In brief appearances, Biden looks great – full of energy. But he also has a lot of time off from the campaign trail. He can afford to do that during a campaign, but not as President.
Biden is showing his age, as they say. Many of his gaffes are common in older folks. He forgets or confuses names and places. He loses his train of thought in what some call a “senior moment.”
Sanders does not seem to mind showing his age. That is not true of Biden – who uses makeup to cover up lines and “age spots” during television appearances.
I would never suggest that age be the ONLY criteria for determining a vote, but it should be taken into consideration. After all, President Franklin Roosevelt was elected to a fourth term when those close to him knew that he was terminally ill – and would not live out the first year much less the entire four-year term.
It is increasingly likely that Biden will be the Democratic nominee for President. Most supporters will vote for him despite his age. They should not, however, think that age and health will not be an important issue sooner than they might think.
So, there ‘tis.
Among the mainstay narratives of the Democratic Party is that money corrupts politics — and that the division between the rich and poor is a national crisis. Those claims have always been a bit hyperbolic, but now they are downright hypocritical. Thanks go to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for exposing it.
If, as expected, Bloomberg keeps his pledge to use hundreds of millions of dollars to elect former Vice President Joe Biden, Democrat House and Senate candidates and an untold number of Democrats to state and local office, he will be living proof that all that left-wing talk about money corrupting politics was empty political talking points.
By dangling dollars in front of the Democratic Party — like carrion in front of vultures — Bloomberg exposes the whore-ish underbelly of left-wing politics. Their governing principle is to do whatever is necessary to win.
While his socialist policies are as bad and crazy as can be, at least Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has the courage of his misguided convictions. He has stated that he does not want Bloomberg’s money and would not take it if he were the nominee – as unlikely as that may seem today. And that goes for all those other billionaire fat cats.
Conversely, Biden, Democrat National Chairman Tom Perez and every other Democrat and progressive fundraising organization are on their knees kissing Bloomberg’s ring (one would hope) with hands outstretched.
In their lust of his wallet, the entire Democratic Party has tossed aside their longstanding objection to the influence of big money in politics. They are reminiscent of what one-time southern Democrat senator said when asked how much he needed for his campaign. He replied. “All I can get.”
Our ridiculous federal election laws prevent guys like Bloomberg from donating big bucks directly to federal campaigns – President, Senate and House. But they can do two things – use their cadre of friends to bundle lots of $2700 donations. But even better, they can set up what are known as “independent expenditure committees” and fund them with as much of their money as they like. No limit.
This loophole enables a guy like Bloomberg to advertise nice things ABOUT a candidate as long has he does not talk TO or conspire WITH the candidate. Only a Congress would come up with nutty laws like that.
Ever since they passed the federal election laws of the 1970s, I have been a constant critic. It makes no sense to restrict what a candidate can accept in donations and still allow the creation of these loophole committees that pour billions of dollars into the process. We should allow unlimited direct contributions, have larger contributions publicly reported and let we the people decide what we think about the contributors and the candidate taking the money.
Since campaign money is used to “get out the message,” I like to think that every candidate will have the resources to tell his or her story to the voters –and not be defeated by a LACK of money. Money spent on campaigns is good for democracy – hell, it is essential. Let the candidates take in the money and get rid of all these external committees over which the candidate has no control over the message.
On the final analysis, it is NOT the fact that Bloomberg is willing to spend so much money to support candidates – let him – but let all the candidates who do not have such a bank-roller compete by raising sufficient money. Besides, all that money spent on campaigns is good for the economy. Think of all the people and businesses they hire or retain.
So, I am not pointing at the money, but at the gross hypocrisy of the left-wing Democratic Party that talks against big contributions while eagerly soliciting them.
So, there ‘tis.
According to the polls, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is doing very well with the younger voters in the Democratic Party – those under 35 years old. This is not the first time that that has happened. Septuagenarian Ronald Reagan was also popular with younger voters in the Republican Party some 40 years ago.
The question is why have young people been partial to two old white guys who represent the opposite ends of the philosophic continuum? The simplest answer may be that both offered hope of a brighter future – and after all, young voters are legitimately more concerned about the future. Older voters tend to base their election choices on past knowledge and experience – serving as a counterbalance to the youth’s more intangible assessment of things to come.
For the most part, Reagan delivered on those dreams of a better future. Reaganomics – despite the carping from the left – brought America out of the malaise of economic inflation and stagnation and into an age of unrivaled prosperity.
Today’s young Democrats – at least somewhere around 66 percent of them – are hoping that Sanders socialism will bring them a better future. What could be better than free education, forgiveness of student loans, free healthcare, guaranteed income and a smart phone in every pocket.
Those of us old enough to have seen – and even endured – the realities of socialism are a bit alarmed. And we may wonder why the best and brightest of America’s youth are so taken in by the false promises of socialism and Big Brother government. After all, it is the young people – not us oldsters – who will pay the price for being wrong.
To see how wrong they will be, one only need to look at those nations that travelled down the road of socialism in its many forms – including Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. We can see the end result of fascist and communist socialism in the World War II axis powers of Germany, Spain and Italy. And more importantly, how free-market capitalism restored the vitality of those nations to the benefit of all their citizens.
The argument that socialism is beneficial to the people remains a dogmatic belief – not a matter of fact. That is why much of the embrace of socialism among the younger generation is based on what they learned in the theoretical world of academia. They have been taught theories of socialism – which paint a very pretty picture, indeed – but not the realities.
In many ways, socialism is the Santa Clause of the young voters. They get everything on their list without knowing that mom and dad are paying for it. It is all free stuff.
When Sanders offers free education and free healthcare, he is lying. Teachers and doctors still must be paid – and someone has to do the paying. It winds up being those young people who think they are getting something for nothing. They will be paying a high price for the rest of their lives in the form of confiscatory-level taxes.
On the other side of the coin, they will suffer from a decline in education, healthcare and just about every other facet of their lives. Government does nothing efficiently. It is fraught with enormous waste and fraud –and that is because government is the worst supervisor of expenditures.
The only answer as to why young people would limit their future potential – individually and collectively – by embracing the provable failure of socialism is because they are gullible or greedy. They either uncritically believe the claims on the label or they just want to acquire the essentials and luxuries of life without having to exert too much effort.
In a sense, people of the older generations – who speak out against the evils of socialism – are working for the young people. Folks my age will live out the rest of our lives on the positive momentum of a free-market capitalist society. The under-35 crowed will live long enough to suffer the consequences of their youthful misjudgment. Let us hope that there are enough rational voters of all ages to save the younger generation from itself.
So, there ‘tis.
Much as been written that the first two Democrat primaries did not reflect America. Basically, the voters were too white – not enough diversity. The Nevada primary was said to be more diverse – more representative of the nation. Still, its 8 percent black population is lower than the national average of 14 percent.
A number of television pundits suggested that South Carolina would be the best representative of diversity. Apparently, they were not doing the math. In the South Carolina Democrat primary, approximately 66 percent of the registered voters are black – and they were 61 percent of the vote. That is almost five times above the national average.
It can be argued that South Carolina was the best indicator of support in the black community, but it cannot be extrapolated over the American population – not even the demographics of the general Democrat voters in America. None of the Super Tuesday primaries will match the black vote of South Carolina. Only Alabama and Georgia come close.
Winning the South Carolina primary was a political lifesaver for former Vice President Joe Biden, but it may not be predictive of his chances in the 14 states (plus American Samoa) that go to the polls on Super Tuesday – and beyond that.
Biden did well among African American voters in the Palmetto State, but he was fortunate to have had the black candidates – New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris – drop out earlier. The black voters of South Carolina did not have a brother or sister on the ballot to draw their support. They had to pick from the field of white candidates.
Of course, that will be the case in the future. But Biden’s popularity among black South Carolinians may not, itself, be an indicator of how he does in future primaries in which there are a significant number of black voters.
Southern black voters tend to be a bit more moderate and less racially bound than their northern counterparts. Some see it as the recognized difference between Afro-centric blacks and those commonly referred to as “Island Blacks” – who identify more with the Caribbean than Central Africa. This significant cultural difference is often overlooked or ignored by political analysts who see the black community as one giant monolithic cultural group.
The Afro-centric community is more likely to lean to the expansive welfare policies of the Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party. If that is true, it will be seen more in the California, Massachusetts and Minnesota primaries on Super Tuesday – and subsequently in states like Illinois, Michigan and New York. And it may result in less support for Biden than he received from the black community in South Carolina.
On the other hand, Sanders’ still has a problem of attracting a significant number of black Democrat voters in upcoming primaries to maintain an insurmountable lead in the presidential race. That makes the prospect of a brokered convention a lot more likely.
So, there ‘tis.
Article By Larry Horist
It seems almost impossible to imagine. With a starting lineup of some 28 candidates, the race seems to now be a competition between the six who made the stage in the Las Vegas debate – with no disrespect to those who are officially still running but not able to make it to the debate stage. As Joe Biden oft says – “come on, people, get real.”
Looking at the mud fight that was billed as the Democrats’ Las Vegas debate, it is arguable that the best choices are no longer in the running.
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party might have been better served by candidates like New Jersey Senator Cory Booker or California Senator Kamala Harris. They lean to the left ALMOST as far as Senator Elizabeth Warren but without falling into the radical camp of senator Bernie Sanders. They are certainly as articulate as any of those in the lead – and more so that some of them.
Like their policies or not, they do have strong resumes – especially Booker who was the mayor of a MAJOR city (Sorry, Mayor Pete) and a United States Senator. He came to the race with stronger credentials than Barack Obama – and he made it all the way to the White House. Given the Democrats current flirtation with dogmatic socialism, Booker and Harris are more moderate, ergo more acceptable and more likely to win.
In terms of the so-called moderate wing of the Democratic Party, the best candidates fell off the earliest. In fact, they hardly got any traction whatsoever. Guys like Colorado Senator Michael Bennett. I saw him as the John Kasich of the Democrat field. You remember Kasich – the former governor of Ohio and candidate calling for harmony, unity and all things wonderful. Kasich was a bit of a whiner and that is the same quality I see in Bennett. In terms of projecting a public image, Kasich and Bennett are two guys you could not find if they were standing on a street corner by themselves.
Another moderate who seemed like he would be a good President was Congressman John Delaney. But he had two problems. True political moderates are persona non grata in the Democratic Party and he is not a good campaigner.
It is not small irony that those who drop by the wayside in the race to the Oval Office seem to personify the call for unity – like they actually meant it and could do it. Of course, the frontrunners all claim that they can unify the nation, but they campaign on divisiveness.
Some of the Democrats who dropped out of the race could easily pass the likability test – something the frontrunners seem incapable of doing.
As a conservative, however, I am not sorry to see the disarray on the progressive Democrat side. They may be on their way to nominating the worst possible candidate.
So, there ‘tis.