Thursday, July 30, 2020

Herman Cain RIP

This blog is so old whenever someone like Herman Cain dies, I do a search of my archives and read all the stuff I've written about the guy over the years (not that many years in this case. My first post that mentioned Herman Cain was October 27, 2011. This blog started in 2003!)


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Will they use it?

While Republicans may have squandered all their leverage in the stimulus negotiations by doing nothing for months, will the Democrats use their increased bargaining power to take advantage of it? Democrats are so used to negotiating from a position of weakness that seems to be their approach to everything, no matter what the actual bargaining positions are.

Democrats could say "we passed our plan in May," your plan is grossly insufficient. If you don't include our priorities, which are the things we need to keep the economy afloat, you risk going into a presidential election with control of the Senate hanging in balance during an economic collapse.

Instead, I bet the Democrats will decide they have to pass something so they will take the GOP bill, make some small almost entirely symbolic change, and agree to that. The economy will still collapse, as our service based economy which has been running on fumes from the enhanced unemployment benefits will suddenly run out of fumes, local governments and schools will face drastic budget cuts just as their expenses are skyrocketing to deal with the pandemic, and the Dems will whine that they wanted to do more but those meanie Republicans wouldn't let them.


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Mitch McConnell has squandered his leverage over stimulus

In the past few months Republicans have done little more than making demands about COVID liability immunity without bothering to write a bill. Some of the emergency measures passed in March (most notably the $600 unemployment insurance enhancement) are set to expire next week and the GOP only just started talking about what their plan should be. Meanwhile, the Democrats passed their bill in May.

After dithering for two months, the GOP is now under the gun and is going to blow the end of July deadline for continuing those benefits. When the enhanced benefits stop, consumer spending will plummet and the economy will deflate with it. Which will only increase the Democrats' bargaining power with the Republicans when they finally realize that we have to do something to avoid economic ruin.

I realize this will just be viewed as trolling Republicans, but I honestly think McConnell's best play right now is to just pass the Democrat's stimulus bill from May and hope that their base doesn't remember their betrayal in November. That would at least pump up the economy which would be better for Republicans than running during a complete economic collapse. As an added bonus, if the GOP does lose in November, they can always blame the loss on their decision to sign on to the stimulus bill, rather than face the starker reality of an entire party bamboozled into oblivion by a third-rate reality show con man.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Stimulus

It is hilarious how the GOP has been trying to figure out its stance on the stimulus bill but they can't call it a "stimulus bill" because the party completely demonized the term when the Obama administration was pushing for fiscal stimulus during the great recession.

In any case, the Democrats have already passed their version of the bill. So once the Republicans figure out what they are doing, the real negotiations will start. There are five things I think need to be in the final bill and here they are my order of importance:

1. Aid to State and Local governments, including but not limited to, public schools.

2. Continue the $600/week unemployment benefit enhancement.

3. Tons of money for COVID testing and tracking.

4. Bail out of USPS.

5. Moratorium on foreclosures/evictions.1

I'm sure I forgot something. What obvious thing did I miss?

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1-Not sure if this would be found to be constitutional because foreclosures and evictions are under state law. But Congress could condition aid to States to the state passing a foreclosure/eviction moratorium.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Defund the police

Oddly, the Republicans are the only ones who are trying to defund the police legislatively:
Republicans, meanwhile, have indicated that they plan to unveil a roughly $1 trillion bill; they’ve also shied away from supporting state and local funding, a stance that Democrats — and some Republican mayors and governors — have criticized.
Police are funded by state and local governments. Unlike the federal government, state and local governments can run out of money and they need to balance their budget. Because of mass unemployment every state and local government is facing an unprecedented budget crunch. If they are not bailed out by Congress, state and local governments will have to do some pretty draconian cuts. The bloated police budgets of a lot of these places is going to be too tempting a target to pass up. With a public deeply concerned about a raging pandemic and what will happen with schools, cutting the police budget is certainly going to be more popular than cuts to education or health



Administrative official openly admits Portland arrests are illegal

This video is going to be an exhibit in dozens of wrongful arrest lawsuits.


Monday, July 20, 2020

Immunity is fine with conditions

Honestly, I would be open to giving business immunity from COVID liability if they can prove (burden on the businesses) that they required everyone who entered the business to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth, without exception, and enforced that policy.


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Six of one, half dozen of the other

Banned:
A Minnesota man complained that he was kicked out of a restaurant for supporting President Donald Trump — but the owners say he was banned for being a jerk.
 

Won't work

No one wants to come to the U.S. Banning Chinese communist party members and their families is doing them a favor. It removes any possibility that they might be required to come to this disease-ridden basket case of a country.

Excluding foreigner might have been a real blow in the pre-Trump era, but that hammer is loses its potency when the U.S. is no longer a very desirable place to go.