Month: March 2020

Pelosi, Schumer, and the Whole of Congressional Democrats Were Just Taken for Chumps


When President Trump signed the $2 trillion economic stabilization package on Friday to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, he undercut a crucial safeguard that Democrats insisted upon as a condition of agreeing to include a $500 billion corporate bailout fund.

In a signing statement released hours after Mr. Trump signed the bill in a televised ceremony in the Oval Office, the president suggested he had the power to decide what information a newly created inspector general intended to monitor the fund could share with Congress.

Under the law, the inspector general, when auditing loans and investments made through the fund, has the power to demand information from the Treasury Department and other executive branch agencies. The law requires reporting to Congress “without delay” if any agency balks and its refusal is unreasonable “in the judgment of the special inspector general.”

Democrats blocked a final agreement on the package this week as they insisted on stronger oversight provisions to ensure that the president and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could not abuse the bailout fund. They feared that Mr. Trump, who has previously stonewalled congressional oversight, would do the same when it came to the corporate aid program.

But in his statement, which the White House made public about two hours after the president signed the bill, Mr. Trump suggested that under his own understanding of his constitutional powers as president, he can gag the special inspector general for pandemic recovery, known by the acronym S.I.G.P.R., and keep information from Congress.


The signing statement also challenged several other provisions in the bill, including one requiring consultation with Congress about who should be the staff leaders of a newly formed executive branch committee charged with conducting oversight of the government’s response to the pandemic.

No one should be surprised by this happening.

In fact, it would be a shock if this were NOT the case.

Schumer and Pelosi are showing the political acumen of Little Orphan Annie.

Today in Crappy Bosses

First, we have Charter Communications, who are sending their techs into people’s homes with no protective gear.

No gloves, no masks, no hand sanitizer, and no hazard pay, but they are giving their installer $25.00 restaurant gift cards, which sounds good until you realize that the restaurants are mostly closed:

Spectrum technicians connecting cable and internet for customers during the coronavirus outbreak will receive a $25 gift card for a local restaurant as a “token of our appreciation” from management, after staff called for hazard pay and protective equipment.

Spectrum employees have been speaking out against the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for several days now, begging to be allowed to work from home if their jobs allow it and calling for safety measures to be implemented for those in the field.

Field technicians told BuzzFeed News on Monday night they feared going into people’s homes during the pandemic to fix their internet and cable without gloves, a mask, or hand sanitizer in case they got sick or carried the virus to other customers or loved ones.


“It’s quite literally the least they could do,” the North Carolina tech said, pointing out that to even use a gift card from a local restaurant would likely involve having close contact with restaurant staff or drivers.

[Executive vice president of field operations Tom] Adams also noted Spectrum had secured access to hand sanitizer and gloves, which would be available for workers to use “in the next few weeks.”

(emphasis mine)
That’s very white of you, Tom.

And then there is Instacart, which has also refused gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and hazard pay, or at least it did, until its employees threatened a massive walkout.

Surprise, it was too little, too late:

“They are putting us directly in harm’s way while profiting greatly. We cannot let this be considered normal.”

The “Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective,” representing some 175,000 laborers for Instacart, plan to strike on Monday, March 30.

Organizers of the labor protest say the grocery delivery giant is denying gig workers (“shoppers”) basic coronavirus pandemic protections such as gloves, soap, hand sanitizer, and pay for those with pre-existing health issues that place them at high risk for COVID-19.

Read their demands at Here’s an excerpt:

On Monday, March 30, Shoppers will walk off of our jobs, and will not return to work until our demands are met. We demand that Instacart meet the following conditions:

  • Safety precautions at no cost to workers — PPE (at minimum hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/sprays and soap).
  • Hazard pay — an extra $5 per order and defaulting the in-app tip amount to at least 10% of the order total.
  • An extension and expansion of pay for workers impacted by COVID-19 — anyone who has a doctor’s note for either a preexisting condition that’s a known risk factor or requiring a self-quarantine.
  • The deadline to qualify for these benefits must be extended beyond April 8th.

I really do hope that some increased worker protections will come out of the pandemic, but I figure that this is about as likely as a mass shooting resulting in gun control measures.

Find out What What He’s Been Smoking, and Have a Few Ounces Sent to My Chamber

Over at The Intercept, Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Grim are suggesting that that there should be a Joe Biden/Bernie Sanders Presidential ticket.

Seriously, which ever person is at the top of the ticket, it is pretty likely that they will be succeeded by their VP, and their policies are diametrically opposed.

Additionally, the DemocraticParty establishment (there is no Democratic Party establishment) would would vociferously oppose Sanders as a running mate, (It would interfere with their keeping their phony baloney jobs)  and Sanders supporters would oppose the selection of Biden with equal vigor given that they consider Biden to have been on the wrong side of every major issue throughout his career.

This isn’t journalism, it’s bad fan fiction.

And Trump Gets His Slush Fund

At least in the Senate, where they passed a $2 trillion stimulus package which includes a $500 Billion slush fund for Donald Trump, and no conditions on things like stock buybacks and executive pay.

It is set to pass by unanimous consent in the House, so that they will not have to come back into session.

I am hoping that someone objects, and puts the brakes on what is a looting of the taxpayer:

Early Wednesday morning, Republicans and Democrats agreed on a financial rescue package for the U.S. economy. While the full text has not yet been released as of this writing, we do know the basics of what it contains. Here are some of the key provisions:

  • Immediate payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child for most families.
  • A $500 billion fund for large businesses to keep workers on payroll (this is what Democrats previously called a “slush fund” — see below).
  • $367 billion in loan guarantees for small businesses.
  • $150 billion for states and localities to help them deal with the crisis.
  • $130 billion for hospitals and health centers.
  • Expanded unemployment benefits including $600 a week for four months on top of what states are providing.

Those unemployment benefits may be the most urgent need of all. New unemployment claims have skyrocketed, as millions of people laid off from their jobs amid the virtual shutdown of our economy seek help. Some are predicting that as many as 14 million people could lose their jobs by summer.


Now let’s talk about that “slush fund.” At $500 billion, it’s the single largest component of the package.


So Democrats forced Republicans to accept the appointment of an inspector general within the Treasury Department solely devoted to monitoring the distribution of this money, as well as a five-member bipartisan oversight board appointed by Congress. There will also be “real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions under the Act, including terms of loans, investments or other assistance to corporations,” according to Schumer’s letter.

These supervisory provisions are largely identical to those of TARP, which is to say that they are toothless, particularly given the Trump administration that Congress has no right to demand evidence from the White House.

It’s going to be an orgy of corruption, and a massive bailout for the already obscenely wealthy.

Holy Sh%$

Driiven by the Covid-19 pandemic, Initial unemployment claims hit 3.3 million, more than 5 times the previous record, last week.

By way of perspective, this is 2% of the whole workforce, so this number of initial claims constitutes about a 50% increase in the unemployment rate ……… In just week.

Unemployment rates could be over 10% by the end of April.

This could end up an economic collapse of biblical proportions, real wrath of God type stuff, Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!*

A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

“The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures.

The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

As an aside, even accounting for the aging of the workforce, workforce participation is still lower than it was before the 2008 recession, meaning that the labor market had still not recovered from the prior recession.

And now our economy is collapsing faster than an Eastern European nations experiencing American directed shock therapy after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.

*Yes, this was a cheap attempt to invoke Ghostbusters.
And I get to do All About Eve as well. Win.

I See This as a Benefit of the Pandemic

There have been a lot of changes driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, most have been destructive and negative.

However, I consider it to be a positive that companies are dropping “influencers” as they try to reduce costs.

Call me puritanical about this, but I think that the whole influencer thing to be basically a parasitic activity, as well as being a mark of the general decline of our society, so the fact that it is going away, even if just for a short time, to be a good thing:

Some large fashion and beauty retailers have paused affiliate link programmes as the coronavirus pandemic depresses sales, BoF has learned, throwing a cornerstone of the social media economy into turmoil.

Macy’s, Dillard’s, T.J. Maxx and Ulta Beauty were among the chains to at least temporarily end the practice this week, denying influencers and media companies of the sales commissions they receive from posting links to products. These links have become a multi-billion dollar ecosystem, serving as the main source of income for many influencers and a lucrative revenue stream for media brands.

But with stores closed in most major cities, and consumers cutting back their spending on fashion, retailers are slashing costs. Millions of US workers have been laid off across all industries in the last two weeks, and some economists are predicting a global recession as bad or worse than the downturn that followed the 2008 financial crisis. Dillard’s told its affiliate partners in an email that “the decision was made due to the impact of Covid-19 and the realignment of marketing strategy.”

Now, influencers find themselves scrambling to figure out how to supplement that once-reliable source of income.

Democrats Bring a Rubber Chicken to a Gun Fight

Joe Biden has announced that he does not want to get involved in a political fight with Donald Trump over the latter’s complete mishandling of the of the Covid-19 pandemic.

My dear Biden: If you don’t want to use your Presidential Campaign I should like to borrow it for a while

This is worse than a crime, it is a mistake:

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he does not want to be in a political fight with President Trump over the coronavirus outbreak but that he would continue to call the president out on misinformation regarding the virus.

“I have not been criticizing the president, but I’ve been pointing out where there is disagreement on how to proceed,” Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said on ABC’s “The View.”

“The coronavirus is not his fault, but the lack of speed with which to respond to it has to move much faster,” he continued. “This is not about Democrat or Republican. This is not about what your party is. It’s about getting through this.”

“The American people don’t want us in a political fight, and I want no part of a political fight either, but when the president says things that turn out not to be accurate, we should not say ‘you’re lying,’ we should say ‘Mr. President that’s not the facts, here’s the deal.

Seriously, if Joe Biden does not want to campaign for the Presidency, why does he want to be the nomineee?

109th Anniversary

Normally, there is a gathering commemorating the disaster, but the lock-down in New York City has meant that there will be no gathering to remember the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire this year:

“Today, we mark the 109th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, a catastrophic event in which 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women, were killed as a direct result of abhorrent working conditions and woefully insufficient workplace safety standards. The loss of life was both tragic and avoidable, and sent shockwaves through our city and nation. Outraged Americans demanded that these workers’ deaths not be in vain, and the public outcry that followed brought a renewed sense of urgency to the labor movement and to the fight for stronger workplace protections and fire safety laws,”

—Workers United Secretary-Treasurer Edgar Romney & New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO President Vincent Alvarez, Mar 25, 2020

Normally, we gather at the site of the blaze to mark the anniversary of the Triangle Fire. We assemble at the corner of Washington and Greene Streets to watch the fire truck ladder rise to the 6th floor, which was as far as it could reach in 1911, as workers burned alive or leapt to their deaths from the factory floors above. This year, we express our solidarity by marking the occasion at home, each doing our part to flatten the wave of infections that threatens to overwhelm or city and our country. Even as we stand apart, we stand together.

146 people died, mostly young women working at the factory.

The doors were locked so they could not get out, and the fire truck ladders could not reach their floors, and many of them jumped to their deaths.

Removing the Olympics from My List of They Who Must Not Be Named

Normally, I do not watch the Olympics, summer or winter, and I do not write about it, because the coverage is painful to watch, and because I think that it does more to foment international hostility and discord than any other mass gathering in the world.

That being said, when Covid-19 forces a 1 year delay of the games, it does take on a significance beyond sport and mindless nationalism:

A week ago, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, were promoting the Summer Olympics in Tokyo as the balm the world needed to show victory over the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, the virus won out.

Bach and Abe bowed to a groundswell of resistance — from athletes, from sports federations, from national Olympic committees, from health experts — and formally postponed the Games, which had been scheduled to begin in late July, until 2021.

I guess that the Covid-19 pandemic now qualifies as real news now.

She is Off My “They Who Must Not Be Named” List?

I have a list of people that I refuse to cover, They Who Must Not Be Named.  Basically, these are folks who occupy a significant role in popular culture, but I consider too trivial for me to write about. (Tabloid fodder)

I have applied this to actors, singers, the entire royal family, and celebrities for no reason at all, such as the the reality show family whose last name resembles an adversary race in later series in the Star Trek franchise.

My standard statement on this is:

Absent some sort of political activity, such as endorsements, running for office (PLEASE GOD NO!!), or their attempting to assassinate someone, they will not be mentioned here.

Well, the first person is coming off the list and it is Britney Spears, of all people, because she is calling for a general strike and a massive reorganization of society, which I think qualifies her for removal from the list.

Also, she is sounding Trotskyite, which means that referencing her will piss off my brother, Stephen, aka Bear who swims:

Britney Spears has called for us to strike.

On Instagram, Spears shared a graphic that included the words, “We will feed each other, redistribute wealth, strike.” Her comment on the graphic “Communion goes beyond walls 🌹🌹🌹” included three roses, the symbol associated with socialist movements in the United States, United Kingdom, and beyond. That, dear reader, is the main thing we needed to tell you.

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

Spears is a surprising but very welcome ally in the struggle to ensure that our response to the global coronavirus pandemic is a just one. But her meming also points to the fact that this is a very rare and unusual time: a period in which draconian, repressive government measures could be introduced, but there is also an opening for people to demand a better society. Across the globe, quarantined people are increasingly reliant on low-paid workers. Governments are swiftly discovering that the actual backbone of society is the lowest paid and, in the case of the gig economy, those with few rights.

Dan Patrick, While You Are Doing Your Patriotic Duty and Expiring, Could You Please Also Dine on Excrement?

Tx Lt Gov Dan Patrick says grandparents would be willing to die to save the economy for their grandchildren

— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) March 24, 2020

Yes, I am suggesting that the Lt. Governor of the Great State of Texas eat sh%$ and die.

After all, he is a grandparent, and apparently a card carrying member of the Cult of Trump, and he is suggesting that we need to throw HIM from the train to help the US economy:

Everyone is talking about Dan Patrick’s on-air death plea.

Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas, touched off an outpouring of anger when he declared to Tucker Carlson that people like him — grandparents in their twilight years — should risk death so people can stop social distancing to avert economic calamity.


Patrick, a Republican, noted that it’s time to “get back to work,” adding that seniors such as him should be willing to be “sacrificed” if necessary, so our children don’t “lose our whole country” to an “economic collapse”:

No one reached out to me and said, “As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?” And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.

Seriously, eat sh%$ and die dude.

It will make the world, and America, a better place.

Remember the $400 Toilet Seat?

Yes, it appears that our newest aircraft carriers, the Gerald Ford class, has another problem in addition to its advanced catapult system, advanced arresting gear, and advanced weapons elevators, it’s toilets do not work properly.

Pretty much every time that they attempted to make a technological great leap forward, it simply has not been able to work reliably:

New toilets on the Navy’s two newest aircraft carriers clog so frequently that the ships’ sewage systems must be cleaned periodically with specialized acids costing about $400,000 a flush, according to a new congressional audit outlining $130 billion in underestimated long-term maintenance costs.

The Navy isn’t sure the toilet systems on the USS Gerald R. Ford and the USS George H. W. Bush can withstand the demand without failing frequently, according to the watchdog agency’s report on service sustainment costs released Tuesday.

The new toilet, similar to what’s used on commercial aircraft, is experiencing “unexpected and frequent clogging of the system” so the “unplanned maintenance action” will be needed “for the entire service life of the ship,” the GAO said in the report requested by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Although the costly toilets are illustrative of the problem, “we generally did not include these types of ongoing costs in our calculation” of the Navy’s looming sustainment bill, according to the report.


Overall, the Ford’s estimated lifetime operations and sustainment costs have grown to $123 billion from $77.3 billion, the most of six programs GAO evaluated.

“The Carrier toilet system is indicative of the kinds of issues we highlight in our report that are requiring more money, time, and effort to fix than originally anticipated due to a lack of adequate sustainment planning during the acquisition process,” said Shelby Oakley, a GAO director who manages the agency’s ship acquisition reviews

“The pipes are too narrow and when there are a bunch of sailors flushing the toilet at the same time, like in the morning, the suction doesn’t work,” said Oakley. “The Navy didn’t anticipate this problem.”

The US Navy has almost 250 years experience with handling how much sh%$ a sailor puts out, and they could not get this right.

Hell, even Princess Cruise line can make their toilets work.

This problem is not unique to the Navy though, when the B-2 originally deployed, there was no toilet (now they have a chamber pot), and they added a cot to the back of the cockpit so that pilots could deal with the rigors of missions that could exceed 24 hours.

How does the Pentagon, and the defense contractors, miss this crap?  (Pun intended)

Taibbi Says It, so I Don’t Have To

Late last week, Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina briefly became the most detestable politician in America, at a time when public outrage toward politicians was at an all-time high.

Burr dumped hundreds of thousands (if not millions) worth of stocks after non-public briefings about the extent of the coronavirus crisis in the Senate Intelligence Committee.


On February 7th, days after being briefed by intelligence officials on response by foreign powers to the outbreak, he co-wrote an editorial on “steps the U.S. government is taking to protect you.” In it, he declared:

The United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats… in large part due to the work of the Senate Health Committee, Congress, and the Trump Administration.

Six days later, Burr sold off 33 stock holdings. Later that month, on the same day Donald Trump was saying coronavirus will “disappear” like “a miracle,” Burr spoke at a private luncheon for heavy financial hitters at the Tar Heel Club. “[Coronavirus] is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” he said.


Recapping: the Senate’s Intelligence Committee chief was briefed by intel officials, actively reassured the public, dumped stock, whispered the real dope to rich connected folk, got busted by media, then feebly claimed he made financial decisions watching CNBC, before a seething public bracing for years of agony due to financial collapse. If there’s such a thing as a grand slam of political assholedom, Burr hit it.


The Burr scandal shows how difficult it is to effect meaningful reform in Washington. If not just one but many members of congress feel sufficiently bulletproof that they’re not scared of trading against a pandemic, how will the government ever deal with less obviously grotesque issues?

This is why we can NEVER trust any sort of Republican bailout package, there is literally no limit to their capacity for corruption.

Not Enough Bullets

Jeff Bezos is soliciting donations for employees of Amazon subcontractors who have been thrown out of work.

First, let us be clear:  In reality, these are Amazon employees.  Amazon dictates their hours, their delivery routes, and even the uniforms they wear.

Second, Jeff Bezos is worth about $120 billion, and he wants SOMEONE ELSE to pay for the people whose his corporate decisions have f%$#ed like a drunk sorority girl.

Mr. Bezos, this is not a good look, particularly as you continue to seek subsidies to operate in various communities:

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos faces backlash after publicising a relief fund the public can donate to for his contract employees working during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Amazon Relief Fund was created with $25m from the e-commerce company to assist its “employees and partners”, specifically those who are responsible for the necessary task of delivering all the products consumers order across the US.

It’s focused on “supporting our US-based Delivery Associates employed by Delivery Service Providers, our Amazon Flex Delivery Partners, and Associates working for Integrity Staffing, Adecco Staffing, and RES Staffing, and drivers and support team members of line haul partners under financial distress due to a Covid-19 diagnosis or quarantine.”

Besides the company contributing $25m to the fund, it also allows the public to donate if they deem it important. “While we aren’t expecting anyone to do so, you can make a voluntary donation to the fund if you desire to do so,” Amazon wrote on its fund’s website.

Amazon tweaked the wording to the above after initially encouraging people to donate via text, according to Popular Information.

But asking for public donations has still caught some backlash online.


Amazon is worth $1tn, and Mr Bezos is worth an estimated $114bn. In 2018, the company reported an income of $11bn but paid $0 into federal taxes.

As the pandemic continues and more consumers turn to the e-commerce site to stock up on necessary essentials, the company is anticipated to post an even larger income this year. But it is still asking for consumers to contribute to its fund if they would like.

I would note that this is the SECOND time that something like this has happened.  They did the same thing with newly acquired Whole Foods, where less than 2 weeks ago, in response to Covid-19 absences and self isolation, Amazon asked workers to donate sick days to a common fund.

Jeff Bezos is an evil jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

Trevor Noah Needs an Audience

I watched The Daily Show on Monday, and they are doing a shut in show, with Noah in front of a single camera, with people Skyping in.

Noah is off his game, even though the words in his monologue and discussions are pretty much the same.  (I guess that the writers are working from home too)

His performance, though, is VERY flat.

I think that he feeds off of his audience when he does his performances, and so he is strangely unmoored when it’s just him hunkering down in his apartment.

Hopefully, he will improve over time.

Joe Biden, He Can Fog a Mirror

Honest to God, that is the campaign slogan for the Democratic intelligentsia supporting the Biden candidacy.

I am NOT joking.

At The Atlantic, a bastion of the Democratic Party establishment, they just published an article titled, “Stay Alive, Joe Biden.”

The subhed is, “Democrats need little from the front-runner beyond his corporeal presence.”

They are literally saying that he’s not dead yet, and he is not Bernie Sanders, and so he must be the nominee.

Seriously, have they learned NOTHING from the clusterf%$# that was the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Proof that AirBnB is Destroying Cities

In tourism-heavy cities (I used Nashville, Honolulu, New Orleans, and Savannah) the rental market is exploding, as AirBnB owners are suddenly forced to put their houses on the market.

This surge in supply is going to dramatically cut the rates of monthly rentals.

— Shane Morris (@IamShaneMorris) March 22, 2020

For years, AirBnB lobbyists and “advocates of the free market” have argued that AirBnB has a negligible impact on the prices of rentals, arguing that they were two totally different commodities.

Now we’re seeing they were totally full of shit.

— Shane Morris (@IamShaneMorris) March 22, 2020

“BuT wHeRe WiLl peOplE sTaY wIThoUt aLL tHeSe sHoRT tErm RenTAlS?”

Hotels. That’s the answer. People will stay in hotels.

The coronavirus has put on full display, these houses and condos were ALWAYS reducing rental supply, and making housing less affordable.

— Shane Morris (@IamShaneMorris) March 22, 2020

Shane Morris did a drill down on Zillow data for furnished rentals, and found that there has been an explosion of long term rentals now that AirBnB has cratered. (Read the whole Twitter thread)

This is the real world experiment which shows that, notwithstanding the

It turns out that the service does take huge amounts of residential rental properties out of the market by moving them to short term rentals (hotels).

To those who argue that hotels take up space too, it should be noted that for a given area, a hotel will house tens, if not hundreds, of times more guests than an AirBnB listing.

People are buying converting residential rentals to hotels, or in an even more destabilizing development, long term renting properties to secretly sublease as AirBnB’s, which means that when there is a downturn, there are suddenly dozens of landlords who are about to discover that their “tenants” are actually speculators who are going to walk away from their leases.  (And I agrew tiht hte poster that, “The sudden collapse of AirBNB has been, legitimately, the funniest f%$#ing thing I’ve watched play out this past month.”

This will not end well, but it is the inevitable result of using regulatory arbitrage to facilitate leverage, speculation, and looting.

As I have noted before, the “sharing economy” has turned out to be little more than sucking the marrow out of society.

Authorities need to stop buying into the whole “internet disruption” bullsh%$.

All it does is enrich a few at the expense of the bulk of society.

This is a Shocker (Not)

Donald Trump is talking about relaxing the Covid-19 restrictions for to boost the economy.

It turns out that he started talking about this when his most lucrative properties started getting shut down:

President Trump’s private business has shut down six of its top seven revenue-producing clubs and hotels because of restrictions meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, potentially depriving Trump’s company of millions of dollars in revenue.

Those closures come as Trump is considering easing restrictions on movement sooner than federal public health experts recommend, in the name of reducing the virus’s economic damage.

In a tweet late Sunday, Trump said the measures could be lifted as soon as March 30. “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” he wrote on Twitter.


The company, which Trump says is run day-to-day by his sons Eric and Don Jr., has not said whether it would apply for a bailout of the hotel industry, if Congress created one.

Trump has not, either. On Sunday, he was asked if his business would abstain from any federal bailout. He did not give a clear answer. “Everything’s changing, just so you understand, it’s all changing,” he said. “But I have no idea.”

Trump’s business includes some commercial office buildings, which have long-term leases and should not be hurt as immediately by the virus. But he is also heavily invested in the hotel business, with 11 hotels around the world.


So far, the Trump Organization has closed hotels in Las Vegas; Doral, Fla.; Ireland; and Turnberry, Scotland — as well as the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida and a golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Many of the clubs closed because they had to, under local orders. Others closed on their own, following strong guidance or recommendations from local officials.

Those are six of Trump’s top seven revenue-producing clubs and hotels, bringing in about $174 million total per year, according to Trump’s most recent financial disclosures. That works out to $478,000 per day — revenue that is likely to be sharply reduced with the clubs shuttered. The disclosures provide self-reported revenue figures but not profits.

Another of Trump’s golf clubs, in Aberdeen, Scotland, appeared likely to shut down soon, after an order from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that “nonessential” shops should close and that people should leave home only to buy food, buy medicine or exercise alone.

Even the Trump properties that remain open have been sharply affected: In Chicago, New York and Washington, the restaurants have closed, cutting off a key source of revenue.


If Trump did loosen restrictions on movement in the name of restarting the U.S. economy, that would probably increase the number of people staying in hotels, said Freitag, the hotel industry analyst from STR.

Donald Trump raises self-dealing to heretofore undreamt levels in the United States.
This man is literally going to infect millions of people in order to protect his bottom line.