Monday Open Thread

“Strategic planning is worthless unless there is first a strategic vision.”

–John Naisbitt

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    Letter I sent to Negeuse & Bennet (Gardner – why bother…)

    Hi;

    I'm a small business owner that is in the queue for a SBA loan via Wells Fargo (our bank). I'm guessing that the first 350 Billion will run out before they get to our place in line. So we really need the additional funding for those loans.

    With that said, I think it's more important for our country that the House Democrats hold out for the additional funding we need to protect our democracy and fund additional entities such as hospitals and local & state governments that are also about to go broke.

    I think it is absolutely essential that the legislation includes funding for and a requirement of that every state goes to all mail voting similar to Colorado this November.

    My company and my employees need the money from the loans. But we also all need long term a functioning democracy, local governments, and medical infrastructure.

    thanks – dave

    ps – And the Republicans will eventually agree to what you require, and then take credit for it.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Thanks for your effort to clarify priorities and support better decision making. 

      If we are going to have mail voting as a major element of the November election, there needs to be some certainty about the existence and effectiveness of the US Postal Service, too.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    So, now everybody here who’s been tested — who’s ready to just “go out there with all they’ve got and die one for the Ttumpter”??? . . .

    Bailouts Won’t Save the Economy. More Coronavirus Tests Will.

    So here’s a radical suggestion: Why don’t we instead try to imitate the approach that has worked best in other countries? Specifically, we could look to South Korea, which implemented a comprehensive national program of widespread testing, contact tracing, quarantining and public mask-wearing, so it hasn’t had to completely stop all economic and social activity. Lawmakers who are not thinking along these lines aren’t thinking seriously about what’s at stake. 

    New York City, the worst Covid-19 hotspot in the U.S., is denying tests to patients who are likely sick with the virus due to its shortage of tests. As Mayor Bill de Blasio noted on Thursday, the city will have to keep social distancing rules in place longer than otherwise would be necessary if it cannot access an adequate supply of tests. “The city is far short of the test capacity it will need, and has no concrete plan for a large-scale expansion,” Politico reported on Thursday. “We would need more testing and we don’t have it yet,” de Blasio said at a press conference. “If we could get widespread testing, it would start to change the entire strategy,” de Blasio said. “We have had to, from Day One, ration testing in a way none of us wanted to do.”

    “I can’t believe that here we are the second week in April and we’re still talking about testing,” said Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “We still can’t test for a virus that has shut the entire American economy down. I talk to conservative economists, and I say, ‘You know, we’re costing the American economy hundreds of millions of dollars a day because we don’t have testing capacity.’”

    https://newrepublic.com/article/157271/bailouts-wont-save-economy-coronavirus-tests-will

    I dunno’, maybe this coronamajig just isn’t as easy as winning a trade war ??? . . .

    . . . maybe, science is hard ??

    Have you taken your coronavirus test today?

     

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    A month after emergency declaration, Trump’s promises largely unfulfilled

    On March 13, President Trump promised to mobilize private and public resources to respond to the coronavirus. NPR followed up on each promise and found little action had been taken.

    https://apple.news/AuZ8up_V9Q1ik18Vkjk2yAQ
     

    “Let ‘em eat ?? . . .

    (. . . hmmm, . . . no, don’t tell me — I know this one . . .)

    . . . LIES and PUFFERY !!!!”

  4. MichaelBowman says:

    CD-4 is represented by a flamucking lunatic: 

     

    WATCH OUT AIR TRAVELERS. MASKLESS CONGRESSMAN IN AIRPORT @RepKenBuck boards a plane this am in the metro area with no mask on his face. “I’ll be getting on a plane on Monday & heading back to DC, and I have no plans on wearing a mask” https://t.co/QJCJ6sigfe #covid19 #copolitics

    — Jason Salzman (@BigMediaBlog) April 13, 2020

     

  5. Blackie says:

    I read from the Progress Now blog that 600 beds have been set up the National Western Stock show for the homeless.

    Question: HOW did that happen? How much did the crusty old right wing nutcases that run the place get out of that so the trash can spend time at their "heaven on Earth"? 

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      I can't answer your question. I've lived in Colorado now for 39 years and have never been to the National Western Stock Show or complex.

      Got my fill of such shows at county and state fairs when I was a kid; to say nothing about visiting family members who had farms and helping out, when needed, with the chores.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      National Western Stock Show facilities are being developed, and services will be delivered there:

      “The City of Denver and the Mayor's Office reached out to us for help in providing a safe space for our city's homeless population,” said Paul Andrews, President and CEO of the National Western Stock Show and Complex. “As a resident in this community for over 114 years and partner with the City of Denver, there was no question we want to do our part to help during this state of emergency.  Our facilities can help those in our communities without a home, find a safe place to shelter with safe distancing.”  

      Recent meetings of the City Council have agenda items for approval of contracts for portable showers and security … but not the facility rental itself.   NWSSC facilities are one of several options developed by Denver.

      Monday, Hancock told CBS4 while the measures will be costly, he’s hoping federal relief dollars and support from the governor’s office will offset those expenses.

       

  6. MichaelBowman says:

    <pops popcorn>

    Trump claims he, not governors, has power over states on deciding reopening country

    President Trump says both "facts" and "instinct" will influence his decision.

    At the same time, on Monday he claimed he has power over the nation’s governors in setting the terms of any reopening in individual states.

  7. DavidThi808 says:

    For anyone who would like to read some positive news – I finally got approval to implement a living wage at Windward. I got approval in February and when this mess hit, got agreement to continue with it.

    The minimum full time salary at Windward is now 63K/year. For any full time employee regardless of their job.

    • kwtree says:

      Good on you, David.

    • itlduso says:

      Enjoy your tax break equal to 2 1/2 times the monthly salary of each employee times your marginal tax rate.  So, $13,125 times say 31% = $4,000 per employee.  So, it wasn't exactly painless.  And, there is no look back to require you to payback these tax dollars if it turns out your business wasn't actually affected by the crisis. 

      Of course, that is only if you get to deduct the PPP expenses.  There is considerable uncertainty about that.  I was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on Saturday related to that.  You might want to do some research.

      • kwtree says:

        You mean this? It’s behind a WSJ paywall. You may want to post an excerpt if you want us all to benefit from your expertise. 

        • itlduso says:

          Yep.  It deals with arcane Tax Code issues re: tax exempt tax deductions.  My comments were about how maddening it is for tax preparers to advise our clients about the PPP program. You wouldn’t get it.

          Although I brought it up to the reporter, the article did not address the issues I’ve mentioned above. Specifically, the bogus bonus afforded “small” business owners who get personal tax benefits for merely serving as a conduit for paying their employees with Federal tax dollars.  Also, no look back requirement to refund these tax dollars if there turns out there wasn’t an economic harm to the business, after all.

  8. ParkHill says:

    Even if…. WOTD from asdf at Vox: "A raging class war, a preview of more good news, or a simple mistake."

    I assume that following an intense month or three of "individual distancing; social solidarity", the economy will gradually move to a year of very careful lifestyles. 

    We live in a service economy:

    But if white-collar workers stay home, that’s still crippling to the business models of dry cleaning shops and downtown lunch spots. If 70 percent of the population dines out 70 percent less frequently, that’s a 50 percent drop in restaurant traffic, and everyone’s businesses will fail. 

    A modern service economy relies on lots and lots and lots of people doing stuff in person that isn’t strictly necessary. Absent a vaccine, won’t business stay depressed at hair and nail salons, gyms and yoga studios, bars and theaters, and all kinds of shopping malls and retailers more or less indefinitely? And if that’s the case, how well will the rest of the economy hold up given the large economic losses incurred by service-sector workers and business owners?

  9. Duke Cox says:

    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/492570-multiple-states-report-coronavirus-infection-rate

    Multiple states have reported coronavirus infection rates that are higher than some of the hardest-hit countries around the world, according to data compiled by The Hill.

    New York state’s infection rate outpaces, by far, the top 10 countries with the highest number of case counts. About 1 percent of the state’s population has tested positive for the virus, and in New York City, that percentage rises to almost 1.3 percent of the population.

                                    ………………………………………………………

    “Why New York? Why are we seeing this level of infection? … It’s very simple: It’s about density,” he said at his Monday news conference. “The dense environments are its feeding grounds.”

    Louisiana, New Jersey and Massachusetts also all have higher infection rates compared to Spain. Almost 0.73 percent of New Jersey’s population has contracted COVID-19. In Louisiana, the rate reaches about 0.45 percent, and in Massachusetts, it amounts to almost 0.37 percent.

    Comparatively, Italy’s and Belgium’s infection rates only reach 0.26 percent, followed by France at 0.21 percent. The U.S. sits at 0.17 percent of the population being infected, with Germany at 0.15 percent and the U.K. at 0.13 percent.

     

    FYI

  10. Duke Cox says:

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — OPEC, Russia and other oil-producing nations on Sunday finalized an unprecedented production cut of nearly 10 million barrels, or a tenth of global supply, in hopes of boosting crashing prices amid the coronavirus pandemic and a price war, officials said.

    The cartel and other nations agreed to allow Mexico to cut only 100,000 barrels a month, a sticking point for an accord initially reached Friday after a marathon video conference between 23 nations. They reached the deal just hours before Asian markets reopen Monday as international benchmark Brent crude traded at just over $31 a barrel and American shale producers struggle.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/12/opec-oil-nations-10-million-barrel-cut-182372

    The markets are underwhelmed…way too little…way too late. The world is awash in oil and gas. the Fossilonians are infected with the heebeejeebeevirus…they are about to get truly hammered. Be ready for 99 cent gasoline.

    • gertie97 says:

      But if Polis and the librul Democrats in the legislature would just eliminate job-killing regulations…

      –COGA press release in the works.

    • Duke Cox says:

      A follow up…fromCNN

      President Donald Trump took a victory lap over the weekend for helping convince Russia and Saudi Arabia to make record-shattering production cuts — but there was no celebration in financial markets.

      “This will save hundreds of thousands of energy jobs in the United States,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “I would like to thank and congratulate President Putin of Russia and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.”

      Yet oil prices barely budged Monday, remaining near 18-year lows. And the S&P 500 energy sector (XLE) lost further ground, leaving it down a stunning 43% on the year.

      The muted reaction on Wall Street reflects a realization that despite the historic nature of the OPEC cuts, they aren’t nearly deep enough to erase the epic supply glut facing the oil market.

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/13/business/oil-prices-opec-deal-trump-putin/index.html

      • ParkHill says:

        This is bizarre. Why is Trump trying to raise oil prices?

        Low oil prices provide stimulus to the economy. High oil prices lead to higher costs on all kinds of goods.

        • Duke Cox says:

          As a favor to Harold Hamm et al. The American oil bidness is so overleveraged, it cannot withstand $20.00 oil for any length of time. His buddies Vlad and MSB are intent on killing the the American oil industry.

          Oh, the irony.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            ^^^THIS^^^ (something, something about ‘Wall Street’ and ‘junk bonds’.

            • Duke Cox says:

              Interesting article, Michael. Thanks for the linky.

              I, for one, will not shed a tear for the American oil industry.

              My experience with the industry over the past fifteen years (and having worked in the patch for a few years) has been sufficient to convince me that the Oily Boyz are universally corrupt.

              Ruthless…dishonest…cruel. All words that apply to the way the soulless, arrogant, corporations have exploited the resource and run roughshod over anyone or anything that stands in the way of their ginormous profits.

              Well…they are now getting their asses kicked and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of gasholes. Their troubles are a direct result of their own monumental greed. They deserve the ruin they have brought upon themselves.

  11. Diogenesdemar says:

    Because we’re about four or five months past due for any little bit of honesty* . . .

    . . . And, honestly, there’s no way in freakin’ hell under our American “system” of healthcare that Donnie or Jared are gonna’ ever get one damn thing done right . . . 

    To restart the economy, employers need to lead the way on Covid-19 testing, vaccination

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/13/employers-lead-way-covid-19-testing-vaccination/

    * As of the most recent reporting, America has slightly in excess of 30% of the world’s confirmed Covid-19 cases, and just under 20% of the world’s confirmed deaths. (And, no that’s not just because we’re such stellar counters — and all the other countries are better liars.)

    Our American “leaders” are still treating this situation as one that will just miraculously go away (warmer weather, divine intervention, Hydroxychloriquone, whatever), and are mostly laser-focused right now on treating the economic symptoms, instead of treating this viral pandemic like it might possibly be some kind be a medical issue requiring medical treatments and interventions . . .

  12. Diogenesdemar says:

    Who does this fucker think he is? . . . 

    “When someone is president of the United States, the authority is total.”

    . . . Eric Cartman???

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