Monday, March 09, 2020

Left & Right February 26, 2020

Jim Wilfong again sits in the left chair. 

The producer asks if we believe our government is doing enough to combat Russian influence in our elections. I question that there even is disproportionate Russian influence in our elections. Jim assumes they are interfering but so are other countries. He’s worried that now Russians can hack our elections electronically and use social media to influence voters — things they didn’t have in Cold War days.

I ask why do we have to know the results of elections right away? Why can’t we wait until the next day when all the paper ballots are counted? Jim blames the 24-hour news cycle.

Jim brings up Jefferson wanting mandatory public education so citizens could learn civics and make intelligent decisions at the polls. I suggest that education has to teach facts, but also the ability to distinguish fact from opinion, feelings from thoughts — critical thinking. Jim says students need to learn how to gather facts, interpret them, and make decisions.

We discuss government bailouts of private businesses large and small and both of us are against them. Companies should sink or swim based on their decisions and performance. Bankruptcy can be a good thing because more efficient companies will take over. Jim brings up other companies in the supply chain for a big company like GM which was bailed out by government. From there we do to corona virus disruptions in China affecting the US economy which was then just beginning.

Jim related an interesting experience from 20n years ago in Brasilia — a city in the Amazon region — where he ran across eleven American CDC personnel permanently stationed there to monitor viruses and bacteria.

I raise the American tradition of innovative thinking from the bottom up. Ordinary people come up with ideas, convince others to help, and make them happen. This is rather unique to the US as not many other countries encourage this. Jim agrees.

The producer asked why the Russians would want a Bernie Sanders victory. Jim suggests maybe they think Sanders is a weaker candidate who would lose to Trump who they really want to win.

I read a quote from Bernie when he was mayor of Burlington and advocated government takeover of banks, factories, utilities, oil companies, etc. So, Bernie thought like a communist then. What does he mean now when he says he’s a Democratic Socialist?

We discuss what powers different levels of our government may use to control the corona virus as it spreads. Where do civil liberties come in? What does our Constitution allow? We discuss how the virus spread might play out politically. Trump looks like a shoe-in now, but will things change before November?

We discuss our medical issues we both are dealing with recently and the politics of health insurance.


Brian said...

Well Tom, you can question whether Russia is disproportionately meddling, but that would just be your hunch, and considering all the facts we have on Russian meddling and the lack of facts about other countries it seems baseless. But "hunches" are popular with the Trump crowd. Like Trump's "hunch" about the coronavirus:

"within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. We're going very substantially down"

Now everybody knows that is complete BS and is dangerous in it's spreading of misinformation. But the Trumpies don't care about this lack of leadership. Why? Because Trump angers liberals, and nothing is more important to them.

Trump goes to a crisis center wearing a campaign hat and outright says that he didn't want the cruise ship to dock because he "likes the numbers where they are". Huh?!? What uncaring, ignorant, insane crap! Trump-deniers know deep down that this man is unfit for office. His horrific response to this is wreaking havoc on the economy. Nobody has faith that intelligent decisions are coming from the top. This is a time for leadership and the country is not getting it from the clown. How incredibly awesome and hilarious it was to see Trump approve of the meme showing him fiddling while Rome burns! It sums up so very much.

And speaking of hunches, Tom might want to remember his unfounded hunch that Romney would beat Obama in a landslide before getting too confident on his hunch that Trump is a "shoe-in" at this point. What is the evidence to support that hunch? Hunches seem to be much more important to the far right than facts.

Cover Charge said...

I have been a Trumpie, but admit you're right regarding this pandemic that has become a national crisis. He has provided zero leadership and is failing miserably. He still has a little time to get it together so I can be a Trumpie again but its running out fast.

Kafir said...

Brian commented ad nauseum on Tom’s previous article on the Swine flu that claimed the lives of 675,000 Americans in 1918. Not mentioned was that there were only 103m people living in the U.S. We now have over 3x that amount with 327m. As of this comment, there have only been 22 deaths from the Coronavirus. A little perspective is due but with TDS, Brian is incapable of any fair minded analysis.

The blame for the rapid spread of the Coronavirus worldwide is directly the fault of the Chinese Communist Party. Period. The dip in the stock market is partially because of the virus, but mainly due to the drop in oil prices. Period. Neither were Trump’s or Pence’s fault.

I believe that Trump and Pence will win another 4 years in November. Otherwise, it’ll be a communist or a gaff machine. They are the best the Dems have to offer? What a shame for our country.

No need for Brian, the fop-doodle, to reply.

Brian said...

I see Kafir does not want me to reply, but as much as he does not want to see facts that contradict his bad case of Trumpitis, here goes...

First, as to the "oh just stop worrying, it's not that big a deal" spiel that Trump has hooked kafir into:

1. The death rate of the seasonal flu varies year to year but is about 0.1%, compared to about 2% for COVID-19. That makes it roughly
20 times more deadly, a rate just barely below that of the Swine Flu.

2. The incubation period (when it can be spread) is 3 times longer than the flu.

3. The Corona virus is much more contagious.

4. One of the biggest concerns is asymptomatic infections. People who are infected with the virus may be able to transmit the infection
before they even show symptoms themselves.

5. Unlike the flu, no vaccine.

If all this confuses you, like it does Trump, as to why then so many more people die of the flu, it's simple. This is new. It has not had the time to spread to as many people...YET. And if we don't want it to we need to take it seriously and not poo poo it away at the whims of some egomaniacs political games.

Nobody is blaming Trump for the virus. They are blaming him for his handling of the situation which does not have good effect on financial markets.

And really, "gaff machine" is the best you can come up with for Biden? Talk about glass houses! Remember the Revolutionary War airports mentioned by Trump!!! Airports!! During the revolutionary war! I could go on and on....

Free Admission said...

Even if the severity of the corona virus is debatable, what excuses do Trump supporters have for his constant lying on the matter? He lied when he said the amount of cases was declining, he lied when he said there were enough testing kits for anybody to get tested who wanted to. How do you rationalize his saying he didn't want the cruise ship to dock because of what it would do to the numbers? How can people accept the lies and spreading of misinformation on an issue like this? I really respect Cover Charge for admitting these actions by Trump are disturbing. It took character (something our president lacks).

Kafir said...

Check out this Vox (not exactly a conservative organization) video on Chinese wet markets and the wildlife farming industry. Or, just blame Trump on the handling of the virus instead of the ChiComs.

Cover Charge said...

I have no excuses :-(
Unfortunately everything Brian said about Covid 19 is true.
Markets will fall until the president outlines a plan for the country to follow. I still hope he takes the lead soon or all the stupid things he's said about this virus might be his epitaph.

Brian said...

Kafir, once again....nobody is blaming Trump for Covid 19, we all know it came from China. Who are you arguing with? Check out this National Review (not exactly a liberal organization) article on the failure of leadership on Trump's part:

"it is important that the president’s defenders not be blinded by partisanship of their own into excusing failures of leadership and diminishing the danger of the epidemic itself. This can be particularly difficult because some of the most significant inadequacies of the administration have been the president’s own. So far in this crisis, Donald Trump himself has obviously failed to rise to the challenge of leadership, and it does no one any favors to pretend otherwise."

Stop the nonsense already. Not everything has to be a political win, we are not playing games. Have some integrity like others have shown here. It's rare that people with such different views can sometimes wish for the same thing, but I also wish for a President who would stand up in difficult times and confront dangers to our nation, without regard to their political future, and who would tell the American people the truth about import matters that regard their safety. Perhaps even apologize for how horribly wrong they were to fire the U.S. pandemic response team in 2018 to cut costs....

I also agree that there is no excuse for all this.

Kafir said...

Nobody is blaming Trump for the virus? Trump is racist and xenophobic by pointing out its a foreign virus. -Bernie Sanda Claus. Trump is unfit to be president and there is no need to close the border or ban travel from Europe. -Plugs Biden
13,000 died when the flu epidemic struck under B. Hussein O. No politics there or in the media, right?

Brian said...

Correct, kafir, nobody is blaming Trump for the virus. And again, we know that the flu kills tens of thousands every year. Not sure what your point is about 13,000 deaths during the Obama years. Biden mentioned that closing the borders now (too late) means little. The virus is already here. We needed action weeks ago. We need testing capabilities that should have been put into production while Trump was blabbering about hoaxes and how the numbers were going down and soon to be near zero, and go on ahead to work. Trump is the one playing political games. Poorly reading from a teleprompter now about the dangers does not make up for his lost time. Conservative organizations like the National Review and conservative locals like Cover Charge are actually going AGAINST their politic beliefs to speak out against Trump in the name of higher truths.

And why have you not spoken out about how you feel about Trumps undeniable lies concerning the virus? You hide from inconvenient truths. I dare you to try and explain how those lies were alright.

I didn't hear what Bernie said, but maybe he was pointing out that talk like "It's the ChiComs fault!", while completely denying blame on the part of your idol, despite the actions of his ordering the shutdown of the White House National Security Council's entire global health security unit, downplaying the severity of the virus, and lying about testing equipment, could be viewed as a xenophobic ploy.

Give it a rest kafir. Explain the lies or just give it up.

Kafir said...

The “Swine Flu” under Hussein back in 2009-2010. Panic and hype by the media are having a major impact on sporting events, travel, the hospitality industry, etc. and we all know who they favor and despise ideologically.

The reason I don’t respond to each and every point in your diatribes is because I typically don’t read more than a sentence. Not worth the time or effort.

Kafir said...

For what it’s worth, Comrade Brian:

Brian said...

Kafir, we all know that the reason you don't respond to the facts I give you is because you can't. And if you can't defend your president outright lying to the American public during a national health crisis, and slobber over him anyway, you simply come off as a cultist sheep.

LIE: "within a couple of days the number of cases is going to be down to close to zero."

LIE: "As of right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test can get one."

LIE: "they’re going to have vaccines, I think, relatively soon."

FACT: Trump did not want the Cruise ship to dock because he "liked the numbers where they

FACT: The Trump administration axed the executive branch team responsible for coordinating
a response to a pandemic and did not replace it.

FACT: Trump first says: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling
Coronavirus" before desperately switching gears to “For decades the @CDCgov looked
at, and studied, its testing system, but did nothing about it,”

FACT: Trump has been in office for over 3 years and could have tried fixing any supposed
problems that he ridiculously now blames on Obama.

And as to your link, it is pure Fake News.

Fact: The Obama administration started to address H1N1 just as the disease emerged in
April 2009. A public health emergency was declared on April 26, 2009, when there
were about 20 confirmed cases in the United States.

We all know you too are lying and that you read the whole posts. You just have no defense about any of the lies mentioned. Do you notice that I shy away from none of your nonsense, but respond to it all. Because I can, with the TRUTH.

Kafir said...

I listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci and the medical team President Trump has assembled, not you.

Brian said...

I listen to Dr. Fauci as well....

I listened when he directly contradicted Trump by saying that "Bottom line, it's going to get worse"

I listened when he again directly contradicted Trump by saying we are between a year and a year-and-a-half away from a coronavirus vaccine.

I listened when he said about the testing kits: "That is a failing. Let's admit it."

Yes, I listen to him, but not to the pathological liar. And about that liar, you once again failed to defend any of his dangerous lies. Because you can't, and you know it.