New Covid Stim

It has been months since the last Covid stim package….McConnell wanted to wait until after the election and the hope that Trump would win re-election…..that plan did not work out….so now the gutless GOP has a plan for more funds to help out during the pandemic….but who will they help the most?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is issuing an outline of the latest COVID-19 relief plan.

The legislation would provide additional funding for coronavirus liability relief, unemployment assistance, and the Paycheck Protection Program under small businesses.

But here is what is in this newest plan to save the nation from economic ruin during the pandemic…

  • It would set enhanced federal unemployment insurance at 70% of a worker’s previous wages, replacing the $600 per week which states stopped paying out this week.
  • The GOP would set the benefit at a sum of $200 per week on top of what recipients would normally receive from states through September, slashing what they got from April through July. In October, the 70% replacement would take effect up to a maximum of $500 per week.
  • The proposal would send direct payments of $1,200 and $2,400 to individuals and couples, respectively. It would set the same qualifications as the checks approved in March: the payments started to phase out at an average of $75,000 in income per person, and individuals or couples making an average of $99,000 or more did not receive one. It would offer an additional $500 per dependent of any age.
  • The legislation would shield entities such as businesses, doctors and schools from lawsuits, except for cases of “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct.” 
  • It would set aside $190 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans. The bill would allow small businesses with fewer than 300 employees that have seen revenue fall by more than 50% to apply for a second round of aid. It would also authorize $100 billion for loans to seasonal businesses and companies in low-income Census tracts that can show revenue reduction of more than 50%. 
  • The bill provides $105 billion to help schools reopen in the fall. Roughly $30 billion of that amount would go to colleges, according to Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. Most of the money would go to schools physically reopening to help them with the costs associated with safely restarting. 
  • It includes $16 billion to help states boost Covid-19 testing capacity, according to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala. 
  • Shelby said it would put $26 billion toward the development of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics. 
  • The plan includes 100% deductability of business meals, according to Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. 
  • It includes several tax credits, including an enhanced employee retention credit and a credit for expenses such as upgrades to workplaces and testing that help businesses operate safely. 
  • The bill also authorizes an unrelated $1.75 billion for construction of a new FBI headquarters building in downtown Washington D.C., a short walk from President Donald Trump’s hotel. His company worried plans to demolish the FBI’s current home, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, and move headquarters to the suburbs could allow a competitor hotel to move downtown, according to The Washington Post.

Now the president-elect has done what I thought he would do….jumped on the bandwagon for this stim plan…..

President-elect Joe Biden swung behind a bipartisan COVID-19 relief effort Wednesday and his top Capitol Hill allies cut their demands for a $2 trillion-plus measure by more than half in hopes of breaking a monthslong logjam and delivering much-sought aid as the congressional session speeds to a close. Biden said the developing aid package “wouldn’t be the answer, but it would be the immediate help for a lot of things,” the AP reports. He wants a relief bill to pass Congress now, with more aid to come next year. Biden’s remarks followed an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer of New York in support of an almost $1 trillion approach as the “basis” for discussions. The announcement appeared aimed at budging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who so far has been unwilling to abandon a $550 billion Senate GOP plan that has failed twice this fall.

The Democrats embraced a $908 billion approach from moderate Sens. Joe Manchin and Susan Collins among others. It would establish a $300 per week jobless benefit, send $160 billion to help state and local governments, boost schools and universities, revive popular “paycheck protection” subsidies for businesses, and bail out transit systems and airlines. “In the spirit of compromise we believe the bipartisan framework introduced by Senators yesterday should be used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations,” Pelosi and Schumer said. McConnell wouldn’t respond when asked about the Democratic statement. His top deputy, Sen. John Thune, said GOP leaders might agree to merging the bipartisan proposal with McConnell’s bill.

What will this do to help the average person?

Just who will this save from economic ruin?

Of course I have an answer for my reader…..

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday began circulating a coronavirus relief proposal whose contents offer so little assistance to the tens of millions of jobless, hungry, and eviction-prone Americans that critics warned the Kentucky Republican is actively working to ensure the U.S. economy remains mired in deep recession as Biden administration takes charge next month.

Described as a “targeted” relief proposal, McConnell’s plan is heavily geared toward providing corporations with immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits; the offer includes a liability shield that Public Citizen’s Remington Gregg described as “breathtakingly broad.” The Kentucky Republican’s plan also contains a 100% tax deduction for business meals.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/02/critics-smell-economic-sabotage-mcconnell-unveils-covid-plan-0-unemployment-boost

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The Automat

We just celebrated one of the biggest days for food…Thanksgiving……and the pandemic has made our family meals a thing of the past…..at least the large gatherings….well for those people that do not drink the poison kool-aid about “nothing to fear”…..

In these days of automation and the attack from the virus….is it possible that an old form of food distribution could make a re-appearance?

The Automat……

It all sounds so futuristic: a restaurant without waiters, without workers behind the counter, without any visible employees whatsoever, where you simply feed your money into a glass-enclosed kiosk, remove a steaming plate of freshly made food, and carry it to your table. Welcome to Horn & Hardart, circa 1950, a restaurant chain that once boasted 40 locations in New York City and dozens more across the U.S., at a now-distant time when automats served hundreds of thousands of urban customers every day.

The automat is often considered to be an exclusively American phenomenon, but in fact, the world’s first restaurant of this kind opened in Berlin, Germany in 1895. Named Quisisana—after a company that also manufactured food-vending machinery—this high-tech eatery established itself in other northern European cities, and Quisisana soon licensed its technology to Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart, who opened the first American automat in Philadelphia in 1902.

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-automat-4152992

For those that are too self-absorbed to read…a short video…..

Look at vending machines today each machine generates about $100 a day…..and that is a $20 billion business a year……I bring this up because the vending machine is basically an automat….the pandemic could get this expanded….

There is a lot of money to be made in vending, and it shows in the current state of the industry. There are around 5 million operational vending machines in the US right now and they rake in over $7 billion in annual sales for their operators. As far as profits go, the snack niche alone generates $64 million in annual profits for vending machine operators.

As long as people eat and drink on the go, there will be a need for well-placed, well-stocked vending machines. But like any business, it is possible to have great success in vending machines, to fall in the middle of the pack, or even to fail. The key is having the right support, the right strategies and the right pricing structures in place to ensure a vending machine business makes money.

https://www.naturals2go.com/are-vending-machine-profitable/

I present this short history lesson because of the pandemic…..what is the possibility that the Automat could make a comeback?

Before there were fast food jingles on TV and drive-thrus seemingly on every corner, there was the automat. In the first half of the 20th century, this system of vending hot meals to diners through a series of glass lockers seemed like the wave of the future. But over the past 40 or so years, automats have existed as little more than dated literary references.

But with restaurants still struggling to survive amid a pandemic that’s forced them to both drastically scale back and overhaul their operations, there are some early signs that automats could be positioned for an unexpected comeback. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that two automats, one in Manhattan and another across the Hudson River in Jersey City, should be opening up before the end of 2020.

In the case of Jersey City’s Automat Kitchen, the pandemic didn’t birth the idea for proprietor Joe Scutellaro. In fact, it pushed back its scheduled opening from April to December. “In the Covid-19 environment, it’s actually the right concept,” he told the Journal. “We didn’t go into this anticipating a pandemic, but here we are.”

https://www.allrecipes.com/article/coronavirus-automats-return/

Whatcha think?

Could this make a return?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Another Covid Victim

Closing Thought–27Nov20

So far the pandemic has 12.9 million cases and claimed the lives of 260,000+

And yet it rages on and on…..and news has come out that there is yet another victim of the pandemic…..and it is a BIG victim….Mardi Gras….at least in the city of New Orleans…..

Though COVID-19 may be complicating celebrations and gatherings for this upcoming holiday season, the City of New Orleans is taking safety precautions into 2021.

Beau Tidwell, Communications director for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, stated during a press conference on Tuesday that while Mardi Gras celebrations aren’t necessarily cancelled, the traditional practices are sure to look different next year. The city can’t exactly cancel all celebrations of Mardi Gras, given that it is a religious holiday, but those looking to don their beads for the large crowds may have to modify their plans for the February event.

ccording to the official New Orleans website, Mardi Gras celebrations in 2021 will not feature the typical crowded parades.

“Parades of any kind will not be permitted this year because large gatherings have proven to be super spreader events of the COVID-19 virus,” the city’s FAQ reads.

In addition to modifying their Mardi Gras plans, NOLA officials urge celebrators to abide by all local and state COVID-19 guidelines such as maintaining social distance and correctly wearing face masks.

“While we certainly want to move forward and find ways that we can celebrate, and we can mark this occasion, we have to do it safely,” Tidwell continued during the press conference.

Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans have not only become a staple in Louisiana culture but have also attracted visitors from all over the world. As of Tuesday, New Orleans is experiencing an outbreak or is at extreme risk, officials shared.

(deadline.com)

This will cost the city many many millions in revenues….

There are parades for Mardi Gras all along the Gulf Coast and it will be interesting to see how other cities handle this killer…..

No word yet from the cities along the Mississippi Coast that hold these Mardi Gras parades……

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Closing Thought–25Nov20

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and with the pandemic there are a few things that need doing to be sure that the day is for fun and food and not the virus……

I live in Mississippi and our health department has issued some guidelines for a healthy day…..

Mississippi’s top health official delivered dire news last week about the state’s COVID-19 status, noting the “severe surge” that’s been stressing its health care system, with very few beds left in ICUs around the state. “Our fall surge is going in very much the wrong direction over the last week or so,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said during a virtual Mississippi State Medical Association meeting on Thursday, per the Clarion-Ledger. In the wake of that news, Dobbs and other health officials are also looking with a wary eye toward Thanksgiving weekend, pleading with the public to keep their gatherings tiny—read: nuclear family members only—and warning that Christmas may not be so merry if they don’t. “We know this is the perfect milieu, having young folks and old folks and folks with chronic illness around the table—and then death,” he said on the video call, per the Mississippi Free Press.

MA President Dr. Mark Horne concurred, noting that “you’re going to say hi [to Mamaw] at Thanksgiving, it’s so nice to see you, and you’re either going to be visiting her by Facetime in the ICU or planning a small funeral by Christmas.” Mississippi State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers also warned people to stay away from in-person Black Friday events, noting they would be a “disaster for potential transmission.” For those who choose to have even small Thanksgiving get-togethers, Dobbs implores them to adhere to social distancing and gather outdoors, if possible. If anyone does get sick, “our resources are tapped out,” he said Friday, per WLBT. As for the fatality numbers? “We’ve become a little bit numb to the deaths,” he noted in the Zoom call. “And it’s coming for a lot of people.”

Please enjoy your days of fun, family and food.

Be Well…..Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, you Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Walking The Dog!

Nope not that hit from the 1960s by Rufus Thomas…..I am talking about my daily exercise when MoMo and I go for our stroll in the early morning hours.

A Spanish study has shown that dog walks and home deliveries are high in the chances of infection…..

The study, published in the Environmental Research journal, by the University of Granada and the Andalusian School of Public Health looked at the main risk factors of coronavirus transmission during the first national lockdown in Spain.

Dog walking was said to have increased the risk of getting Covid-19 by 78% during the period studied, March to May.

Supermarket home deliveries increased the risk by 94%, according to the research.

And the risk if someone else in a person’s household tested positive for the coronavirus was 60 times higher, the study found.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dog-walking-list-everyday-activities-23035842

Screw that!

My buddy needs her walk….and we go really early and seldom see anyone……and that is why we do it so we do not have to deal with others.

I can see why this could be a dangerous time…..and then there is home deliveries…..I do not use…..for I know how to cook and do not like the idea of too many handling my food.

But that is just me.

Any thoughts?

Finally a stroll down memory lane…..

A final thought about pets……this time it is the perfect Christmas Card…..not just any pet but those pets of the Presidents…

Image

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Pandemic Board Game

We all are well aware just how catastrophic this Covid-19 has been on the world……in the US the totals so far…..Cases–11+ million…..Deaths–

This is the weekend and for those that are still in isolation…..maybe playing board games…..

This game is from 2017 and is very telling…..

A game?

2020, for reasons we don’t have to specify, has seen a big resurgence in pandemic-themed entertainment. Films like Outbreak and Contagion have found new life, as has anything else that depicted a viral pandemic in a fictional context. This includes board games. Specifically, we’re talking about this Pandemic board game from Z-Man Games. It’s only a few years old, but it’s newly relevant, thanks to, uh, current events.

Everyone in the world’s now learning the hard way how important it is for governments to be prepared for the possibility of a global pandemic. But players of Pandemicalready knew this. That’s because the game is all about letting players cooperate as members of a team, devoted to fighting worldwide outbreaks. Here’s the official synopsis of what the game is all about:

“Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together playing to their characters’ strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. For example the operation specialist can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5. But the diseases are outbreaking fast and time is running out: The team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures. A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.”

https://futurism.com/pandemic-board-game

Even a dunce could have found a  way to defeat this disease but not our fearless leader….he was too busy being a douche to protect the people and find a cure….

Be well….Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Another Pandemic Side Effect

Closing Thought–20Nov20

There are many side effects of the pandemic that is ravaging the planet. All things you can imagine but the one the most got my attention was something that the nation had been trying to stamp out for decades….smoking.

Jamie Hickey, a 41-year-old personal trainer based in Pennsylvania, hadn’t smoked in eight years, but he caved when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. “The boredom was the biggest part of it — just wanting something to do,” he said. “It broke up the monotony of the day, and if we weren’t in quarantine, I don’t think I would’ve ever gone back.”

The pandemic has encouraged us to pick up some pretty bad habits: bingeing (of television, food, and alcohol varieties), ghosting, doomscrolling, impulse shopping — but one that seems particularly counterintuitive is smoking. The choice to smoke feels strange right now for so many reasons: It’s an unnecessary expense in a time that has made our wallets tight, nicotine withdrawals can make users jittery, and it puts our lung health at risk.

We still are in the dark about some aspects of the coronavirus, but we know that it has taken the lives of more than 240,000 Americans and that it generally affects the ability of an infected person to breathe comfortably. At the beginning of the pandemic, being put on a ventilator was the death knell for thousands of people who were struggling with virus-related respiratory issues. A World Health Organization study found a “statistically significant association between smoking status and primary endpoints of admission to Intensive Care Unit (ICU), ventilator use or death” in Covid-19 patients.

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/21561419/smoking-cigarettes-covid-19-pandemic-juul-health-boredom

Now I await the next round of anti-smoking propaganda….but it will have to wait until the anti-vaping ads run their course.

Whatever happened to “this is your brain on drugs”?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden’s Stimulus Plan

Our newly elected president has offered up his team to handle the pandemic that is sweeping our country and the world.

In case you have not heard of Biden’s pandemic team…..https://lobotero.com/2020/11/10/biden-and-the-pandemic/

Now he wants to assist those people that this disease has effected monetarily…..we have had a couple of stim plans and some even did some good…but in the long run they mostly helped the bastards that are showing massive profits thanks to the Covid-19 virus……but not to be out done Joe Biden has offered his plan…..

Biden is also expected to share more details of his coronavirus response plan this week, including more stimulus aid for Americans. Negotiations on the eventual bill between Democrats and Republicans will be likely, though they may not be smooth. In fact, the route to passing another stimulus package before and after the inauguration is projected to be rocky, contentious and extremely partisan.

Biden’s initial plan — which we sum up below — pulls some elements from the CARES Act, such as stimulus payments for eligible Americans and more unemployment benefits, while also suggesting new measures to provide additional financial help. Here’s what’s in it.

The CARES Act, passed in March, was the first stimulus package intended to help people financially affected by the pandemic. One of the most popular aspects of the act was a stimulus check of up to $1,200 sent out to more than 160 million Americans. That direct aid caused a jump in household spending, helped millions at risk of slipping into poverty and allowed others to save

Biden’s plan, like the one President Donald Trump is backing, will include more direct stimulus payments, but it doesn’t specify how many or for how much, or if any of the qualifications would change. Democrats and Republicans are currently negotiating for more stimulus relief that would include another round of direct payments, but the clock is ticking to get a bill passed.

…..read more……

https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/bidens-stimulus-plan-heres-whats-in-it-including-a-second-check-unemployment-benefits/

We will see how far this will go in the Congress…..a GOP Senate and a House with a slim majority…..my guess is that it will hit major snags along the way….

This will not be where the nation’s healing will begin.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden And The Pandemic

Biden promised that he would attack the Covid-19 on “day one” (I have always hated that statement)…..and he has been president-elect for a couple of days and he has already announced his Pandemic team…..

As coronavirus records are smashed across the US, Joe Biden isn’t wasting any time in starting to address “one of the most important battles our administration will face.” On Monday morning, the president-elect announced a 13-member Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board to “help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations,” per an emailed statement from Biden cited by Axios. Three co-chairs will helm the panel: Vivek Murthy, the former surgeon general; ex-FDA Commissioner David Kessler; and Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. “I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in his release.

Axios notes the “wealth of experience” on the panel, which will inform Biden’s team on how to tackle the COVID-19 problem once he takes office. Other members on the board include vaccine expert Dr. Rick Bright, the whistleblower who said he was forced to resign in October from a high-ranking Health and Human Services position because he refused to flood the New York area with hydroxychloroquine; infectious diseases expert Eric Goosby, who served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations; and Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. ABC News reports Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive a briefing from the board Monday. Biden’s plan to go after COVID-19 includes increased testing and contact tracing, more investment in vaccines and treatment, possible mask mandates, more PPE, and rejoining the World Health Organization, per CNN. Check out who else is on the panel

He has taken the bull by the horns but that does not make the pandemic go away because we now have competent leadership in this time of need…..it does make the new prez look decisive…..let’s hope that is enough to beat this damn disease.

A side note–A thought on health care……Every Dem that supported Medicare For All won re-election…..As Common Dreams reported Friday, while corporate-friendly Democrats have continued to go to bat for the for-profit healthcare system that lavishes billions of dollars each year on insurance companies, for-profit hospitals, and pharmaceutical giants, a new poll this week—put out by Fox News no less—shows that 72% of all U.S. voters would prefer a “government-run healthcare plan.” And the poll is far from an outlier, with numerous surveys in recent years showing this trend.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/07/every-single-one-ocasio-cortez-notes-every-democrat-who-backed-medicare-all-won

Just a thought for this pandemic thing…..72% want M4A….and yet the Dems will work to axe that idea in favor of for profit health care……now you tell me just who these slugs truly represent.

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More Covid News

Closing Thought–19Oct20

If it is not about the dance for votes between Biden and Trump then it will be the horrible news around this pandemic…..

You guessed it….Pandemic.

8.2 million cases and 220,000 dead

But with those horrible numbers there is a bit of good news….

COVID-19 case numbers hit new daily highs in 10 states on Friday, but things aren’t looking great in the majority of US states on the coronavirus front. As for where things are moving in the right direction, the list is a short one. CNN reports there are just two states that logged a 10%-plus drop in the average number of cases reported over the last 7 days: Vermont and Missouri. That’s per Johns Hopkins University data, which shows Connecticut and Florida saw a 50%-plus increase over the same period. They’re at the top of a slew of states where things aren’t so hot. Per the New York Times, “Epidemiologists warn that nearly half of the states in the US are seeing surges unlike anything they experienced earlier in the pandemic.” CNN reports that in 27 states, the increase over the last 7 days was between 10% and 50%. Those on that list (states not previously named or listed below saw their case counts hold steady):

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Yes that is a bit of good news but please do not fall prey to laziness.  The stats are falling because are doing the right things…not by anything the Orange dictator is doing to help this nation out of this pandemic funk.

Be Well…..Be Safe…..

I REad, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”