Monday, March 30, 2020

Joseph "Murfster35" Murphy

Joseph
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Joseph "Murfster35" Murphy is a lifelong liberal political junkie. Being born and raised in Chicago, he is no stranger to bare-knuckle politics. He spent 20 years working for United Airlines, and another 9 as a fraud prevention expert for a large online retailer. He is the author of President Evil: The rise of Trump in the 2016 primaries and its sequel President Evil II: A Clodwork Orange. Murfster35 is a top recommended writer on the blog Daily Kos.

Trump’s Latest Coronavirus Bummer

In the interest of public safety and interest, I’m going to provide a public service announcement. I think we can all agree that Trump’s daily press conferences to update the American public on the progress of the coronavirus are an unmitigated disaster. But there is actually a fairly simple fix to them that would make them both more effective, and more accurate. When they go out to the podium, Trump stands off to the side and lets everybody else go first! Then, when they’re done imparting actual, useful information, he can stand in front of the microphone and answer questions with pithy statements like, Uh, yeah, like he said. I realize that this won’t satisfy Trump’s craving for media dominance, but at least it will keep him from looking like the guy who just got off of his 47th consecutive ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl. This whole corona-virus thing has been nothing but one big disappointment for Trump. Trump’s whole style of leadership as President is that he walks out, sits down, fires up his child proofed Sharpie, and holds up some schlock document while the crowds swoon at his feet. Trump is not used to actually having to know shit, nor is he used to being blamed for his ignorance on said shit, and the whole thing is just starting to royally piss him off. And now it looks like we’re entering a new phase that’s only going to piss him off even more. Remember how Trump structured his company. He remained a private holding instead of incorporating, with all of the cash that could have infused, because he wanted no CEO or directors to have to answer to, or give input to. His basic management style has been described as “snake pit,” keeping employees fighting with each other so that they can’t plot against him. How many times have you heard the White House referred to in just such a description? But at the end, there is only abject obeisance. People must beg and grovel to His Lowness in order to get anything done. Trump has tried to run all of the federal government this way, micro-managing every department to ensure that his ass is properly kissed in order to get anything done. What Trump doesn’t understand is that the federal government is the place that everybody tithes their taxes too, and that everybody looks to for assistance in times of trouble. This includes state governments, who rightly look to the behemoth federal government for assistance in crises, especially national crises that they can’t handle on their own. Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, droughts, anything unforeseen and out of their control, the federal government is the answer. And this is where Trump’s newest monumental bummer is coming from. I sincerely believe, knowing Trump’s psyche the way I do, that as the coronavirus shit hits the turbine engine, that El Pendejo Presidente has been sitting in the Oval Office, waiting for the phone to ring, as Governors like Pritzjer, Newsom, Sisolak, Inslee and Cuomo call him up, groveling at his feet, and kissing his ass for any assistance they can give to them. But it’s not happening. Oh, they’re calling him up alright, often in bunches in conference calls, but they’re not complimenting his leadership, and they’re not kissing his ass, instead they’re making demands. And what’s worse yet, once they make those demands, […]
GOP / YouTube Watch Live Trump Rally in Las...

A Campaign Like No Other?

I was heartened yesterday to hear Senator Chris Coons tell MSNBC that the Democrats in the Senate were hell bent on getting the Wyden-Klobuchar bill paying for and expanding vote-by-mail to all 50 states into the upcoming Senate stimulus package, and failing that, the House plans to introduce it as am amendment. This is something that should grow legs, as more and more cities and even states go into basically a lockdown state, and the election looms closer. There is a reason that it’s becoming more and more important. As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, and the Trump administration careens further and further out of control in its response, Trump’s reelection chances are going to dim like a candle stub. If this goes through the summer, watch for His Lowness to try to use it to push off the election, he won’t be able to stop himself. And God knows, his own personal lawyer tried that same lame shit to stay in power in New York longer after 9/11, until he got slapped down by the state. Trump has already sacrificed his two greatest  pleasures at the altar of the coronavirus, golf, and mass rallies. Oh sure, El Pendejo President could still hop on up to Camp David and play a round or two there, but what’s the point? After all, half the fun of playing golf is listening to the lovely sound of KA-CHING while you’re ripping off the American taxpayers for your Secret Service detail’s food and lodging. And with the pounding that Trump is taking over the coronacirus response, can you imagine what his schedule would be like if cities and states weren’t banning large gatherings? He’d be on the road 7 days a week, a different rally every night to sooth his ravaged ego. If this crisis goes deep into the summer, Trump will have no choice except to try to find a way around the ban on mass gatherings. It’s just that simple. Because, here’s the big difference between the Democrats and Trump in this election. Biden and Sanders are trying to talk to every American, That can easily be accomplished by things like prime time speeches, and online town halls and rallies. But for Trump to be effective, he must have huge crowds at mass rallies. That’s the only way it works for him. Try this simple experiment, and you’ll see what I mean. As much as you all try to avoid it, you’ve all seen clips of Trump rallies. Close your eyes, and recall one, any one, they’re all the same. There’s Trump, standing behind a podium, trying to rewrite Jabberwock, while 15,000 empty headed spastics scream and yell and jump up and down like they have honey badgers in their underwear. That’s enough! Open your eyes, and take a deep breath. A shot of tequila should help. Now, close your eyes again and re-imagine the same scene, but with only Trump in the room. See what I mean? Without the crowd for a soundtrack, it sounds exactly like it is, nonsensical gibberish. Now, to complete the experiment, close your eyes, and imagine 15,000 Trumpista’s sitting their living rooms, and watching that second rally on tv. Half of the Trump experience is the crowd feeding off of themselves, and each other. Trump may be saying the same old, lame shit, […]
MSNBC / YouTube President Donald Trump Reportedly  Hellbent...

Trump Is F*cking Up A Recovery That Hasn’t Even Started Yet

I was gratified yesterday to hear columnist EJ Dionne confirm on the air something I already knew. He said that he was watching His Lowness’s press conference on the corona-virus, and that the channel he was watching had a small insert on the lower right with the current stock market trading. And lo and behold, the longer that Trump prattled brainlessly on, the farther and faster the stock market fell off of the cliff. This should not amaze anyone, as the stock market is fully aware of what we’ve known all along, mainly that Trump is full of shit. On his first year in office, El Pendejo Presidente had all kinds of fun taking his petty revenge on companies that irritated him, by tweeting out nasty things about them, and watching their share value tumble. Finally, they stopped listening to him altogether, which is not good, as this causes uncertainty in the market, the thing it hates the most of all. If Trump announces some new program or boondoggle, Wall Street is left to react on instinct because, a) they have no idea if the plan will work as advertised, and b) they don’t know if it will happen at all. If you’ve watched any of the press conferences from the mayors of various cities, or Governors of various states, you have noted a stark contrast. Those press conferences have a much darker tone, with much more somber numbers, and much more dire predictions. This is necessary because not only are they the ones having to make the hard, practical choices that the Trump administration is abdicating on, but they also have to combat the moonshine and pixie dust that Trump is trying to blow up everybody’s ass. And the longer that they let that doddering imbecile stand up there and hallucinate, the more worry, fear, and distrust is going to be sewn. Which means that nobody will know when it’s actually over. Trump could stride out to that podium on Tuesday, with Tony Fauci right behind him, armed with statistics and graphs showing that the curve had flattened, and that two more weeks of lock down should do the trick. And nobody who doesn’t wear MAGA pajamas every night will believe a word of it. Trump hasn’t spoken a word of truth in 4 years, why start now? And mayors and governors sure as shit aren’t going to change a thing they’re doing until they start to see empirical evidence of it in their own states. And fear and confusion will continue to reign. And even when it’s finally over, what happens next? If it turns out to not have been as bad as the mayors and governors were predicting, do people turn on them for having put them through unnecessary misery? Even when they get to work, and money starts flowing again, do they go back to spending, or do they fretfully hoard every penny in case the corona-virus is just taking a summer vacation? Who do they believe, and how much do they believe them? The ultimate test of leadership is confidence and coordination in a time of crisis. And not only did the Trump administration lose that game, they never even showed up for spring training. What was needed from day one was a clear, concise, measured message, with […]

All Hail “The Expert!”

You’ve heard me bitch about this before, and you’ll likely hear me bitch about it again. From where I’m sitting, if there’s one thing that the FCC should make illegal immediately, it’s Direct To Consumer marketing and advertising by pharmaceutical companies. The reasons are simple, the average consumer is unable to understand the actual benefits and risks of the product being advertised, and it has the ultimate effect of making pretty much everybody in the country with that condition their own, self diagnosing doctor.  Doctors hate it too, patients will walk on telling the doctor what they have and what to prescribe, and when the doctor disagrees, there’s a fight about it. Some doctors have even reported patients that stormed out and went “doctor shopping” for a physician that would give them what they want. No, that is not the topic of today’s article, but I mentioned it for a very specific reason. And that’s because today, our Imbecile in Chief walked in front of a podium full of microphones, and became a walking, talking Direct To Consumers pharmaceutical commercial. He stood there today and gushed over the promising efficacy of as yet untested drugs, as well as “crossover” drugs that have been used to treat other conditions with similar symptoms, but haven’t even been tried on the corona-virus yet. And then he stepped back from the microphones, and left it to Dr Anthony Fauci, a man who actually knows the difference between a virus and an infection, and left it up to him to become Dr Ebenezer Scrooge, and piss on everybody’s Christmas with actual medical facts. This is so incredibly dangerous. For starters, this is a new strain, so there are already differences of opinion between people who actually know what they’re talking about as to how to isolate, quarantine, and try to treat it. This leads to confusion and uncertainty to start with, and these are people who are at least qualified to help. And now you’ve got this socially retarded maniac standing around, and selling every variety of snake oil he has on his cart, as long as the suckers will listen. Which means, of course, every shambling Trombie in the country storming off to their doctor, and testily demanding whatever “miracle cure” they can recall coming out of Trump’s filthy sewer hole. If you can get them out of the bar for as long as Devin Nunes is buying, that is. Somebody sitting around in the White House right now has to take charge, and put a choker leash and muzzle on this howler monkey. If Trump wants to strut out and announce that he’s turning Mar-A-Lago into a field hospital for millionaires, fine, so be it. But once he’s done, kill the mic, get him off of there, lock him back in the quarters with Fux and Friends, and let the real experts say their piece unfiltered through Trump’s pathological bullshit. Because right now, there is one third of the country out there who, given a choice between believing Dr Anthony Fauci, and El Pendejo Presidente, will start yelling Ole! every fucking time. And while personally I don’t care if these bumbling morons get themselves sick, I care a great deal of one of them gets me sick while I’m wandering through Walmart, desperately trying to find a bag of flour. Enough is enough. […]

Trump’s Coronavirus Master Plan. Massive Indifference.

For a guy who obtained his celebrity status mostly through the medium of television, bumbling and fumbling his way through the coronavirus crisis like Barney freakin’ ‘ Fife, you can only ask yourself, HOW? For a master showman, Trump is a living nightmare in front of a camera. Rachel Maddow keeps saying it, and I keep repeating it, Don’t oay attention to what they say, pay attention to what they do. And as Trump spends more and more time in front of the cameras under unwanted pressure, watch what he says, but more importantly, watch what he does, his physical and facial gestures. If today was any indication, you’ll learn everything you need to know. We got the hydra version of Trump today, showing up for a press conference in full presidential regalia, including dumpy, off the rack black suit, and alleged power tie. Trump was unhinged in the way that said that Melania remembered to give him his Xanax this morning. He was disjointed and unconnected, threw his presidential persona out of the window by insulting the media for reporting facts, and tore into the Chinese again. But the only time he showed any real pep was when he talked about the economy. He forcefully stated that the most important thing was to keep workers ready to go, because as strong as the economy is under all of this, once things reopen for normal, the economy is going to take off like a rocket. He loved that phrase so much that he repeated it, and you could see him itching to fling his hand in the air, and make a ZOOM! noise. Now, pretty much every alleged economic expert whose last name is not Kudlow is predicting that the entire global economy is about to basically shit down for the next 203 months. The unemployment rate is widely expected to hit 20% within a month, and that may be the sunny side of the egg. And yet, there stands El Pendejo Presidente, popping up like an overstuffed ground hog, predicting an early spring, and telling workers to sleep in their uniforms, so that just as soon as he gives the all clear, they can run right out and start waiting tables and serving drinks again. And nobody called him out on this shit. Next, we got the other head of Trump’s hydra, when he showed up at a FEMA skull session. This time he had on his pudgy Mar-A-Lago weekend attire, wrinkled khaki’s, open neck shirt, presidential windbreaker, and MAGA hat. The only thing that was missing was his putter. This was supposed to be serious stuff, going around the table with department heads explaining the current problems, and the solutions whey were working on. And what did the President of the United States do? He fidgeted. He hugged his arms over his bulge, rocked back and forth, shook his head, repeatedly interrupted by saying Uh-huh, uh-huh, right, I got it, and on at least two occasions I caught on camera, rolled his eyes. And that was just the first guy. When he called on the second one, he started off with You’re looking good Bill. No, I mean you’re really looking good. Which will make Bush Lite feel so much better about his Brock’s doing a helluva job! crack during Katrina. Because as far as I’m concerned, anybody who shows up at a FEMA meeting on […]

Comparing Bernie’s Campaigns. And What It Means For November.

Let’s all agree, for all serious purposes Bernie Sanders campaign for President is over after last night. And personally, I don’t really care how long it takes for Bernie to land the plane. He fought his heart out, and losing is hard. And the more passionate you are, the harder the loss is. Give him time. But Steve Kornacki on MSNBC last night jolted my head back when he made some side by side comparisons to Sanders performance in 2016, and his performance so far in 2020. There were several things that stuck out at me, but what stuck out the most was that seemed to be another comparison that could be made. In 2016, Bernie mopped up with lower middle class rural voters, and also scored well with white non-college educated voters. Sanders successfully wooed them with things like a minimum $15 an hour wage, and Medicare for all insuring them healthcare coverage. He also mopped the floor with young, first time college age voters, and swept the table in college towns. He did this by offering them things like a free 4 year college education, and forgiveness of student loan debt. Sanders also cleaned up by selling a sense of grievance, the rich get richer, everybody else gets fucked, and it’s time that they paid! Sanders was able to ride this wave all the way through the primaries. But it turned out that Joe Biden was Bernie Sanders’ worst nightmare. In a crowded field, Biden was the only one who had name recognition that could match Sanders. In side by side comparisons in states like Illinois, Michigan, and Florida, the contrast was striking. In 2020, Biden beat Sanders in college town after college town. Not necessarily by flipping the college vote, but by energizing the white suburban, formerly GOP in the surrounding area. And in the lower middle class and rural areas, Biden cleaned up where Sanders had dominated in 2016. Sanders spoke to them of grievance, but Biden spoke to them with familiarity, and a non confrontational positive vision for the future. There is one more thing that turned the tide in my opinion. Timing is everything, and Biden had it. By the time that the primaries had reached South Carolina, Democratic primary voters had heard enough, and they had had enough of all of the indecision. They were finally ready to stop being pundits, and coalesce behind one candidate. And when the African American population launched Biden out of South Carolina from a cannon, the momentum cast the die. Biden rolled in Super Tuesday, and with California and Texas being moved up to Super Tuesday, Sanders lost two valuable firewall states that he could have relied on later in the calendar, if Biden’s momentum slowed. So, what does this have to do with November? Only this. Back in 2016, another presidential campaign was waged. And in this one, a tubby, poorly dressed, loud mouthed caricature of a candidate farted his way down a schlock golden escalator, and announced his run for the presidency by exploiting hatred and bashing Mexicans. Remember that ass gasket? Like Sanders, Trump ran on grievance, but not a grievance against rich shitpokes, of whom he counts himself a member in good standing, if only a leech. His grievance was against minorities of every stripe, alternate […]

A Postcard From LOCKDOWN!

I’ve seen a whole lotta shit in my 63 years, but I gotta tell you, I ain’t never seen shit like this. At about 6PM PDT yesterday, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak basically put the state of Nevada in lockdown. All bars closed. All casinos closed. Restaurants open for take out or delivery only. Schools and universities closed. All non essential businesses closed. What constitutes an essential business? Doctors offices, hospitals, banks, grocery stores. Gas stations and mini marts are also essential businesses. And because people still have to be able to get to those places, our buses are still up and running, although I don’t know if they’ve gone to a reduced weekend schedule. By now you’ve all seen pictures and videos from around the country, but brother, I’m here to tell ya that this shit is completely different from the inside. We live just off of Boulder Highway, which is a bustling 6 lane thoroughfare. When we ran up to Smith’s at about 2 PM to scrounge for a few things, it took us less than 5 seconds to make the right onto Boulder, and cop a U turn to head south to Flamingo. Nobody at the Boulder bus stop in either direction, and only a handful of stragglers out om the street. 2 PM on a weekday afternoon, and in a three block radius there were 6 cars in Wendy’s, 6 more in Brown’s chicken, and even a 4 car backup in freakin’ Der Wienerschnitael! What strikes you the most is the little things that throw you completely out of whack. For instance, the sound of kids in the courtyard in the middle of a school day. One of the almost Warholesque things about living in Vegas is that you can’t walk into a grocery store, mini mart, or gas station without seeing a bank of slot and video poker machines along a wall somewhere. But because those machines violate the 6′ social separation rule, employees were required to go around last night and unplug all of the machines. For quite possibly the first time in its long and illustrious history, there is no gambling going on in Las Vegas. I want to get personal here for a moment, because this is personal for me, though thankfully nowhere near as personal as it could have been. Teri works in retail, and as her store is not considered an essential business, being a full timer, as of this morning she started a two week company paid vacation. She’ll find out in the next 10 days or so if that will be extended, or if she’ll have to file for unemployment. So that’s a break right off of the bat, the company is being as loyal as it can to its long tenure employees. But here’s the McGuffin. For 3 1/2 long, hard years, Teri and I got by on nothing more than her retail paycheck, and a piss poor pension check from United’s bankrupt pension plan. If this had happened 9 months ago, we’d be staring homelessness flat in the face in less than a month. But six months ago, I received my first disability check from Social Security, and as a result of that, whatever happens next will not place us in a precarious position, for which I am eternally grateful. But you guys all know me, and have for quite a […]

Bad News. The Stimulus Is Flawed.

Let me start with this. Although the devil is always in the details, especially when dealing with a felonious little succubus like Trump, I have no problem with the basic outlines of the stimulus package I saw today. For starters, more than half of the booty goes directly to the American people in the form of two separate stimulus payments directly to each adult. At least the split is on the up and up. I’d prefer non interest loans rather than flat out bail outs, but you can’t have everything in this world, I learned that a long time ago, when J Lo turned down my offer to go to bed. With all of the bad news we’ve had lately, I hate to be the bearer of more, but this stimulus package won’t work, for one simple reason. It doesn’t help matters that El Pendejo Presidente is an ignoramus, who sees every issue through a political lens, and whose every wish come true is the stock market. Nor does it help that his chief economic adviser doesn’t even have a friggin’ Masters degree in economics, or that his Treasury Secretary was one of the pirates that helped to engineer the financial crisis of 2008. All of that makes it harder to get good information, and to make intelligent decisions, but it isn’t the underlying reason for impending failure. Normally, a recession starts when the general population gets some kind of negative information that makes them queasy about their own personal future. And when that happens, they do a very basic thing, they stop spending money. If consumers stop spending money, businesses don’t need as many people to sell shit, and manufacturers don’t need as many people to make shit, and layoffs follow, inflation goes up on everyday items, and investors jump out of high windows. The idea behind a stimulus is that if you give people free money, whether through lower interest rates, lower payroll taxes or just plain handing out lucre, people will spend that extra money. And as long as they do, it provides businesses and manufacturers to adjust accordingly to the downturn, hopefully with minimal employment disruption. In essence, you use money to buy time to soften the blow. Administrations have been using one form of stimulus or another forever. But here’s the rub, and why it won’t work. At its core, this market swan dive is not a financial crisis, with the normal economic foundations and underpinnings. It is a national health crisis, and one that you can’t buy your way out of! Look, the entire objective of a financial stimulus is to quickly inject money back into the economy. Riddle me this, Riddler. How do you do that when everything is shut down, and the places that are open have nothing to sell?!? The ones that most desperately need the money are service places like retail stores, bars, and restaurants, and they’re all shut down! Munchkin Mnuchin can give every adult in the country $1000, but what do they do with it? There’s nothing that they can spend it on for starters. Even if they wanted to shop, greedy pigs have already snarfed up all of the Doritos, and made sure that the rest of us will be wiping our collective asses with cocktail napkins for the next six months. And since the vast majority […]
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Mitch McConnell...

Sound The Horn. Saddle Up. Ride Into Battle.

I seldom do this. Politizoom, and our sister site Daily Sound And Fury give me a nice little megaphone, and as most of you have noticed, I seldom run out of things to say. But something has come up, and this time I need your help. A few days ago, I wrote an article in which I said that once we had this coronacirus licked, and the postmortem on the response began, so would a national discussion on the wisdom of having nationwide mail in voting. This only makes sense, as the outbreak isn’t just affecting the Democratic primaries, but could yet affect the general election as well. Well. Holy shit, and shove me in it, that moment is already freakin’ here! Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Amy Klobuchar are about to introduce legislation in the Senate that would free up federal funding to equip every state for, and pay for mail in balloting for the 2020 election! They are using the disruption to the Democratic primaries, as well as President Trump’s own admission that the crisis could go into the fall, as a cause celebre to deal with the issue proactively. If I heard MSNBC correctly, there are only 15 states that have absolutely no provisions for mail ballot voting, so bringing the majority of the country up to speed should be doable. I strongly suspect that the majority of those 15 hold out states are GOP dominated, and using it as a voter suppression tool. Ironically, as I previously pointed out, this is actually a nightmare scenario for the GOP, since their largest core base is comprised of white, older, scared Americans, the very ones who would be most likely to skip voting in November if it turns out that the coronavirus has staying power. Obviously there is a narrow window of time in which to get this done, with sufficient time to implement the necessary components to make it happen. And God knows that Moscow Mitch would love nothing more than to sweep this under the rug, using the coronavirus crisis as a diversion. So, here’s what I need you guys to do. Get on the blower ASAP to both of your Senators. If they’re Democrats, tell them you expect them to cosponsor the bill. and you’ll be watching. If they’re GOP, tell them you expect them to support the bill, and you’ll be watching. And call more than once, please. A single phone call can be disregarded, but multiple phone calls means a pain in the ass who’s serious. The Capitol Hill switchboard number is.202 224-3121. There are two more simple things you can do to help. One, spread the word to like minded souls that you know, and encourage them to call their Senators as well. You can refer to my previous article as to why this is such a common sense solution, and give them the Senate phone numbers if they agree. Second, if you have fundamental typing skills, and can string coherent thoughts together, which you obviously can if you’re reading this, please take 10 minutes to write a Letter To The Editor of your local newspaper. There are tons of people out there who would be gung-ho about this, but they simply don’t know about it. A letter to the editor is a quick way to educate people, and most newspapers with online editions have online submissions. Look, […]
PBS NewsHour / YouTube Sen Mitch McConnell speaks after ...

The Battle Is Joined. Here’s How We Win It.

No mercy, no quarter, they’ll pay for their sins! Now lower the cannon, the battle begins!   Dropkick Murphys Sweet Jesus, things are moving fast around here. The ink is barely dry on the article I posted yesterday about the upcoming battle for billions in aid and stimulus, and already the skirmish lines are starting to lay out. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that the Senate will not adjourn until the House bill sent over today is passed and pushed on to El Pendejo Presidente for signature. He then said that another, even larger bill is immediately required, a bill the Senate is working to craft. We all know what that means. It means that big business and large deep pocket donors are already lining up like a bunch of hobo’s in front of a 1930’s soup kitchen, hands out for a free lunch. This is the battle I spoke of yesterday, you know, the one that the Democrats can’t afford to lose? Fortunately, losing this battle shouldn’t be an issue. There is a very simple plan that the Democrats can use, and even better, it will drive the GOP crazy, seeing as it’s their honored and time tested plan. Tommy Lee Jones put it perfectly in Under Siege, when he said, See? There’s the problem. A movement is exactly that, it moves forward a certain distance, and then it stops. A revolution has a way of always coming back around, in your face! Well, this is a perfect opportunity for the Democrats to throw it right back in the Republicans’ face. The plan is actually very simple, it’s called offsetting. Remember the last time the Democrats had the House, from 2008-2011? They’d want to do something, say increase funding for Medicaid. The GOP response was that it had to be offset by identical 1-1 spending cuts to other social safety net programs. This is in the days when the GOP allegedly gave a flying fuck about fiscal responsibility. The GOP killed Democratic plan after Democratic plan by demanding that any increase in spending be offset by an equal amount somewhere else. They even tried using that during the fiscal cliff debacle. And now we get to use exactly the same formula against them. Here’s how it would work. The number I’ve heard bandied about most frequently today is $850 billion. That’s how much Trump and the GOP want in this third round of support as a financial stimulus package to offset losses due to business disruption during the coronavirus epidemic. OK, fine. It’s a nice round number, and will work as well as any other for our demonstration purposes. Here’s the lowdown. On the top of a piece of paper, in the middle, you put the number $850 billion. Then you draw a line down the middle of the page beneath it. Let’s say that the GOP wants to give $35 billion to the cruise ship industry, to tide them over. Fine, that number goes on the left side of the line. And on the right, it is offset by $35 billion going to increased unemployment benefit payments during the length of the coronavirus epidemic. Want to give the airline industry $50 billion? Got ya covered, and here goes $50 billion in escrow for small businesses to make their mortgage or lease payments while they are shuttered during the crisis. And for […]

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