Here We Go Again

Closing Thought–08Oct20

Today is Thursday and a storm is just hours away from landfall……Once again my region is looking into the mouth of a beast of a storm….this time it is Hurricane Delta…..

Good news for my area but not so much for storm weary Louisiana…..

For the sixth time in the Atlantic hurricane season, people in Louisiana are once more fleeing the state’s barrier islands and sailing boats to safe harbor while emergency officials ramp up command centers and consider ordering evacuations. The storm being watched Wednesday was Hurricane Delta, the 25th named storm of the Atlantic’s unprecedented hurricane season. Forecasts placed most of Louisiana within Delta’s path, with the latest National Hurricane Center estimating landfall in the state on Friday, the AP reports. The center’s forecasters warned of winds that could gust well above 100mph and up to 11 feet of ocean water potentially rushing onshore when the storm’s center hits land. “This season has been relentless,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said, dusting off his now common refrain of 2020: “Prepare for the worst. Pray for the best.”

A hurricane warning has been issued for a stretch of the northern US Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Delta is expected to become a major hurricane again, like it was days earlier before crossing part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. But some weakening is forecast once Delta approaches the northern Gulf Coast on Friday. So far, Louisiana has seen both major strikes and near misses. The southwest area of the state around Lake Charles, which forecasts show is on Delta’s current trajectory, is still recovering from an Aug. 27 landfall by Category 4 Hurricane Laura. New Orleans spent a few days last month bracing for Hurricane Sally before it skirted to the east, making landfall in Alabama on Sept. 16. Louisiana saw heavy flooding June 7 from Tropical Storm Cristobal; Tropical Storm Beta prompted tropical storm warnings in mid-September as it slowly crawled up the northeast Texas coast; and Tropical Storm Marco looked like it might deliver the first half of a hurricane double-blow with Laura, but nearly dissipated before hitting the state near the mouth of the Mississippi River on Aug. 24. And there are nearly eight weeks of hurricane season left.

Just wanted to let my regulars know that if I do not appear for awhile it is because we lost our internet and that I shall return as soon as possible.

Once again a closing tune for the day…..

See you guys when I can……

Be Well…Be Safe……

Will There Be More Presidential Debates?

There is a whole bunch of analysis on whether there will be another debate between Biden and Trump since he has had the virus and needs to be 14 days without contact…..

Trump has made his thoughts known about the idea of a virtual debate…..

A clamor to make the remaining debates between President Trump and former VP Joe Biden virtual broke out this week, with the New York Times editorial board noting that “under the current circumstances, it would be irresponsible for the show to go on as planned.” It looks like those calls were heard, at least for the debate coming up next—though Trump says he won’t take part. The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates made the announcement Thursday morning, a week before the two were scheduled to face off in Miami: “In order to protect the health and safety of all involved” in the Oct. 15 “town meeting,” the candidates will “participate from separate remote locations,” while other participants and the moderator remain in Miami, the commission said. What followed:

Shortly after the commission’s announcement, Trump said he won’t take part if it’s going to be a remote format, per the Washington Post. “I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” he told Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network. “That’s not what debating is all about.” He added, per Politico, “You sit behind a computer and do a debate. It’s ridiculous, and then they cut you off whenever they want.”

  • His campaign manager echoed that in more colorful language, with Bill Stepien saying the commission was full of “swamp creatures” who made a “pathetic” choice. He noted that by Oct. 15 the president won’t be positive for COVID and added, “We’ll pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead,” per the Wall Street Journal.
  • Fox News reports Biden weighed in while talking to reporters in Delaware: “We don’t know what the president is going to do, he changes his mind every second, so for me to comment on that now would be irresponsible. I’m going to follow the commission recommendations.”
  • The Biden campaign echoed that, expressing that Biden would be present on Oct. 15: “Vice President Biden looks forward to speaking directly to the American people and comparing his plan for bringing the country together and building back better with Donald Trump’s failed leadership on the coronavirus that has thrown the strong economy he inherited into the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”

Trump does not want a virtual debate because he cannot act up and show his ass and feed his supporters lust for ignorance.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2020 VP Debate

Last night was a much awaited (not sure by whom) debate between Harris and Pence….the VP candidate debate.

First this debate was a bit calmer than the first presidential debate….at least it was easier to watch this time.

As the coronavirus sweeps through the upper reaches of government, Republican Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Kamala Harris faced off Wednesday night in a debate highlighting the parties’ sharply conflicting visions for a nation in crisis, per the AP. The candidates appeared on the stage in the University of Utah’s Kingsbury Hall exactly 12.25 feet apart and separated by plexiglass barriers, with warnings to all guests that anyone who refuses to wear a face mask will be removed—an extraordinary backdrop for the only vice presidential debate of 2020. Some critics say Pence shouldn’t have even been there in person, as he attended an event last week at the White House with Trump and others who’ve since tested positive. Pence’s staff and doctors, however, insist he doesn’t need to quarantine, under CDC guidelines. Moderator Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, kicked off the 90-minute debate on the topic of COVID-19:

  • Harris first criticized what she called “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country” in dealing with the pandemic, accusing Trump’s team of minimizing the severity of the disease and still not having a real plan in place to adequately address it. Pence pushed back, hailing the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed and saying the Biden-Harris plan simply resembled Trump’s. “It looks a little bit like plagiarism,” he noted. More here on their virus conversation.
  • Page also asked about transparency, specifically on whether information about the president’s health should be public information. “The American people have a right to know about the health and well-being of their president,” Pence answered first. Harris’ short answer: “Absolutely.” She then addressed the concept of transparency overall, citing the recent bombshell of the revelation of Trump’s tax returns. Pence hit back by saying Trump had paid “tens of millions of dollars in taxes.”
  • Next up: the economy. “There couldn’t be a more fundamental difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden” on this topic, Harris noted, criticizing Trump’s 2017 tax cuts and his hyperfocusing on the stock market; a Biden administration, she noted, would repeal those tax cuts and invest in the environment and immigration, among other areas. Pence defended the tax cuts, noted the Trump administration had worked hard to keep the economy going during the pandemic, and said, “You just heard Sen. Harris say, on day one, Joe Biden is going to raise your taxes,” per WCTI. Harris corrected him, saying taxes wouldn’t go up for those making less than $400,000 per year.
  • On the subject of climate change, Pence wouldn’t say whether he thought it was an “existential threat.” “The issue is, what’s the cause?” he noted, per Reuters. “And what do we do about it?” Harris, however, acknowledged climate change is an “existential threat” and called out the Trump administration for not following the science. “Joe understands the West Coast of our country is burning; Joe believes, again, in science,” she said.
  • The talk then turned to the trade war with China, which Harris said was a failure set off by Trump, per the Los Angeles Times. Pence’s response: Biden has been “a cheerleader for communist China” for decades. The vice president also pointed fingers at China for COVID-19. “China is to blame for the coronavirus, and President Trump is not happy about it,” he said.
  • A larger discussion on foreign policy brought forth a lecture on loyalty from Harris. “Donald Trump has betrayed our friends and has embraced dictators around the world,” she noted, per the Detroit News, adding that Trump has seemed to side with Vladimir Putin over the word of our own intel communities. Pence took issue with that, noting “we’ve strengthened our alliances … and stood strong against those who would do us harm,” bringing up the death of Iraqi terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an example.
  • On the subject of abortion, Harris stood firm. “I will always fight for a woman’s right to make a decision about her own body,” Harris said, while Pence said just as firmly,” I’m pro-life. I don’t apologize for it.” Neither candidate went into depth on what they think should happen if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade, the New York Times notes.
  • Regarding health care, Pence called ObamaCare a “disaster” and said that “President Trump and I have a plan to improve health care and to protect preexisting conditions for every American.” Harris went on the attack against that statement, claiming the Trump administration wants to gut the Affordable Care Act and get rid of coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions. “If you love someone who has a preexisting condition, they’re coming for you,” she warned.
  • When the topic of race was broached, Harris noted she didn’t think the family of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT fatally shot by police in Louisville, Ky., received justice. Pence offered his sympathies to her family, but added that he trusted our justice system, and said he and Trump “reject the notion from Joe Biden and others that there’s an ‘implicit bias’ towards minorities in law enforcement,” calling it a “great insult” to suggest that.
  • The final question of the night was read by Page from eighth grader Brecklynn Brown, who asked the candidates: “When I watch the news, all I see is arguing between Democrats and Republicans. When I watch the news, all I see is citizen fighting against citizen. When I watch the news, all I see are two candidates from opposing parties trying to tear each other down. If our leaders can’t get along, how are the citizens supposed to get along?” Pence responded to Brecklynn by saying that “in America, we believe in a free and open exchange of debate, and we celebrate that. … But when the debate is over, we come together as Americans.” He cited the close friendship between late Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, whom he called “polar opposites,” as an example of that.
  • Harris, for her part, said to Brecklynn: “When I hear your words … I know our future is bright, because it is that perspective on who we are and who we should be that is a sign of leadership. … You have the ability through your work and through eventually your vote to determine the future of our country and what its leadership looks like.”

Harris handled herself well…..she was led astray by Pence on one occasion to debate the Supreme Court….not a good look for me….I think she could have made more attacks about the pandemic and the lies of the present administration.

Major take-a-ways from the debate….not mine but others that get paid a helluva lot more than I…..

Not a game-changer. The debate did nothing to change the trajectory of the race, Shane Goldmacher writes at the New York Times. Despite high expectations from Democrats, Harris “did not eviscerate Mr. Pence,” he writes. “As for Mr. Pence, he turned in an effective, dutiful, conservative case for Mr. Trump, the likes of which the president rarely articulates himself. He predicts that “the debate could have a bigger impact on the 2024 race than on 2020.”

  • “More than a draw” for Harris. With her ticket ahead in the polls, Harris only needed a draw, but Niall Stanage at the Hill argues that she did better than that. Her performance wasn’t perfect, but she ” was excoriating the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” and also landed punches on ” health care, Trump’s alleged disparagement of members of the military, and the president’s finances,” he writes.
  • “Boringness a strength” for Pence. The vice president is not an especially exciting politician, but “boringness was a strength” for him Wednesday night, according to Vox, which notes: “The pressure to seem halfway normal was high. And by cogently stating Republican talking points in ways that might have seemed colorless in another time, Pence ended up looking like a polished statesman compared to Trump.”
  • The biggest loser: The questions.The candidates repeatedly “responded to direct questions by pivoting to what they wanted to talk about, rather than the question that was asked, and they were seldom called out,” writes Aaron Blake at the Washington Post. He notes that even when Pence called out Harris for not answering a question on packing the Supreme Court, “it came as he was declining to answer a question about protecting preexisting conditions.” Moderator Susan Page “asked great questions,” Blake writes. “It would be great if there was something in the rules that made it so the candidates actually had to answer them.”
  • A glimpse of the future. Ryan Lizza at Politico says the night was a “boring, unfocused debate between two well-prepared and polished candidate”—reminding us what politics was like in the pre-Trump era, and giving a glimpse of how the parties might look in the post-Trump and post-Biden era: “A more conventionally conservative and much less theatrical Republican, and a younger, more diverse, and more progressive Democrat.”

We are Americans and we need to know who won the night… was that tiny fly on Pence’s head…..

Social media needed this to divert the attention from a bad night for the GOP.

This debate like most debates are as worthless as they can be…first few direct answers are given…they always talk about what they want to talk about…that is not a debate…..this is a waste of time….people already know who they will vote for this is just an exercise in stupid.

Now you know…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Trump’s Trade Wars

Are you a Trump supporter? If so, how do you think his numerous trade wars are faring for the country?

I have written numerous posts on what I think of this sanity that is nothing more than a political stunt.

But let’s look at the results of the so-called trade war with China just weeks before the vote.

trade warAs the curtain falls on the first Trump presidency, it is timely to reflect on what has been achieved – or not. And nothing could be more at the heart of US President Donald Trump’s mission to “Make America great again” than an audit of his
on China.
costly claim….It is more than two years since his crassest, most significant and most
: “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” The shocking naivety of that statement still makes me shudder. But having declared war, he has fought it, and continues to fight it, unflinching in his conviction that one way or another he will eventually succeed, and that the United States will have been made stronger in the process.
Whether Trump wins another term in office or not, he can take comfort that his good fight will continue. His opponent in the presidential election, former US vice-president Joe Biden, has given
every indication
that Trump’s trade war on China will rage on.
tariff wars
But how well served have the US economy, American companies and workers been by the, and unprecedented efforts to roll back seven decades of globalisation and trade liberalisation?
I have listened to his drooling slobbering supporters applaud and scream when he mentions what is war is doing to China… is nothing but make believe and wishful thinking…..
Further Reading…..If you dare…..
To be honest I am not thrilled with the trade policies of the Dem candidate, Joe Biden, either…..on which I wrote recently….read those thoughts as well…..
Learn Stuff!
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”