Today’s Coronavirus News Cornucopia

Folks in Shelby County should know the Shelby County election Commission is set to reveal their preferred vendor for new voting machines today. You can join the webinar here.

This comes as Jackson Baker reports the law firm of Election Commission attorney, John Ryder, shares space in Nashville with a lobbyist for voting machine vendor ES&S.

Ryder says he doesn’t know how his name got on lobbyist filings by the firm.

I’m not going to besmirch Ryder. He and I have gone toe to toe before. It’ll likely happen again. But at the very least, Ryder needs to show that he has no business arrangements with the lobbying firm, other than a tennant/landlord.

Further, either he, or the lobbying firm should have disclosed the relationship before now. Surely the lobbyists knew Ryder was the Shelby County Election Commission’s attorney, considering its their business to know such things. They should have let him, and the Election Commission, know about the appearance of a conflict.

As it stands now, this stinks to high heaven, even if there is no malfeasance. The appearance of a conflict alone calls the whole process into question.

While you’re at it, let the Election Commission know you support a ballot system with a verifiable paper trail. Make your voice heard by emailing before the 5pm meeting today.

26 Million

Over 4 million more people filed for unemployment this week. That brings to total in the past 5 weeks to over 26 million.

What that number doesn’t tell you is how many peopleare employed only because of PPP loans. It also doesn’t begin to express how many people are earning substantially less because they’re no longer earning overtime pay.

That’s why I and many others, including Pope Francis, have been advocating for a Universal Basic Income, especially now. Businesses are suffering. They’ll suffer even more is people start defaulting on their debt en masse.

Something like 2008, but worse, is on the table if Congress doesn’t do something really soon. Lots of people are already suffering.

Cutting the distancing measures early will prolong the suffering and put lives at risk. While we’re distancing, more needs to be done to keep people from the stress of worry. Undue stress will not help their ability to fight the virus if they get it.

CARES Extension

McConnell with John Roberts in 2005

Today the House is set to pass an extension of funding for the CARES act in response to the coronavirus. The extension helps keep the Paycheck Protection Program funded for a little while longer…or how ever long $310b can last.

But as the Senate passed the measure by unanimous consent, Senate Majority Leader McConnell said future funding efforts would involve much more scrutiny.

McConnell says he’s concerned about the national debt. He sure didn’t give that a second thought when he voted for a $1t tax cut for millionaires in 2018.

And even though declaring bankruptcy might be just fine for the President, states probably shouldn’t do it, Mitch.

But I’m sure Mitch McConnell would love setting up oversight boards for all 50 states, ala Puerto Rico, to “restrain spending”. “Creative Destruction,”, that’s what makes his turtle shell hard.

There will have to be another funding bill for the crisis. Thankfully, the House of Representatives is taking the lead again, even as a recalcitrant Senate prepares to do what it does best…nothing.

You’re Fired

In other news, the Administration has fired a leading vaccine expert from HHS…because, what do we need vaccine experts for anyway?

Rick Bright got an unexpected transfer from his post heading up the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Bright says he believes he was fired because he wouldn’t roll over for President Trump’s whackadoodle idea of using a malaria drug on COVID… which is killing people, a VA study found.

Once again, we all get to suffer because the administration can’t find its ass.

You’re Hired

Reuters reports that HHS Secretary, the guy who let Epstien off the first time, Alex Azar, tapped a trusted aide in mid-January as the coronavirus was ripping through China.

Brian Harrison, a former Labradoodle breeder, led the coronavirus effort in the US beginning January 21st. He one month. VP Pence took over the COVID task force February 26th.

Harrison neglected to invite FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn from the initial task force, saying he wasn’t needed.

Hahn joined the group after Pence took over.

The FDA approves drugs and devices for medical use, so bringing them in early might have been helpful. This may explain the sluggish start for the COVID response.

Sometimes you feel like a nut

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is ready to re-open Las Vegas…or maybe not. Who can tell from this CNN interview?

The good Mayor wants people back to work, but doesn’t want people back in Las Vegas…or maybe not….or, who the fuck knows?

Goodman wants gambling, conferences, restaurants, and shows re-opened, but not re-opened. Or maybe the other way around.

Goodman called CNN’s Anderson Cooper an alarmist. But in calling for opening casinos, she has no solution or claims no responsibility for maintaining social distancing.

I dunno, seems like this lady’s a nut.

Sorry Las Vegas, looks like you did this to yourself.

Georgia on my mind…

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and other southern states decided to follow Laura Ingraham’s advice and set a date certain for the virus to be over.

In Georgia, that date is tomorrow, Friday, April 24th.

So hoooray!!! If all we had to do is just declare a day, why the hell didn’t we do that sooner?

But maybe its not that easy. Even the President thinks Georgia jumped the gun. So, he’s right about one thing, at least.

Swing and a miss

On the other hand, President Trump and Dr. Tony Fauci did their best Abbot and Costello impressions Wednesday when the President, said there wouldn’t be much of a “second wave” of coronavirus infections.

Infectious disease expert, Fauci, says otherwise. Ina direct contradiction of the President, Fauci says he expects the virus to be active for quite some time.

The President immediately changed his tune, while still trying to minimize any long-term impacts. After all, there is still an election in November.

Not looking like the economy will be doing much humming come November.

No telling what any of us will be doing come November.

Stay safe, and smile a couple times today. It makes things feel better for a second.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.