People who should lead the development of a new vaccine

The president could appoint a number of people to lead vaccine development:

  • The head of the CDC
  • Experienced professionals at HHS
  • Experts is immunology or epidemiology
  • His son-in-law

I don’t think I need to tell you which one he chose. I’m sure solving middle east peace won’t distract him from this though.

It’s a weird feeling to simultaneously mock the president’s ineptitude while realizing that it means thousands of people will die, some of which I might love, or might even include me and my family. At the same time, how does anybody look at this and say “yep, more of that please.”

The federal government needs to do 4 things in this pandemic:

  • Testing
  • Information and guidance
  • Protective and healthcare equipment
  • Drug and vaccine approval

Testing

Trump hasn’t even acknowledged that there’s a testing issue, and reports say he doesn’t want to take it on. Publicly he has said anyone that wants it can get it, that testing isn’t necessary, that there’s no way to get enough tests, and most recently, that “testing makes us look bad.” He’s more concerned with the optics than the reality. Most experts say a system of testing an tracking is what will allow us to reopen, and the president hasn’t even started 3 months into the outbreak. It’s not hard to imagine that this might not have even broken out in the US if we had such testing and tracking from the very start.

Information and guidance

Where do I start? I guess with injecting disinfectants into the body. As bad as that advice is, his excuse to keep from being embarrassed is worse. He was being “sarcastic” to set off the liberal media. He thinks it’s better to intentionally feed dangerous medical advice to the American people in order to “trigger libs” than to admit he said something stupid.

Protective and Healthcare Equipment

Thankfully the worst hit places have been able to give everyone a ventilator that needed one, even if they had to sometimes share, which is not optimal. But personal protective equipment (PPE) is still woefully lacking. I have a close friend that is a doctor in charge of seeing Covid-19 cases. She said “oh yes, we’re doing pretty well on PPE,” before admitting that she does wear one mask for the entire day, rather than one per patient as is considered the medical standard. When a nurse, who is generally supportive of Trump, said she had to wear the same mask for “a few weeks” and that access to PPE had been “sporadic”, Trump contradicted her and said “Sporadic for you but not sporadic for a lot of other people.”

Drug and Vaccine Approval

Trump certainly wants this to move quickly, but I genuinely worry if something safe will come out of this process. He already pressured HHS and FDA to test and approve chloroquine, which turned out to be unsafe. Reports are that there are so many competing drugs and vaccines that trials are having difficulty recruiting people. And this is the area where he’s performing the best! Where’s the coordination?

Conclusion

It gives me a sick feeling in my stomach to think of people dying as I say “Look! See how inept Trump is!” And yet, it may not even matter to Trump sympathizers. There is already a concerted effort to undercut the death count from coronavirus.

I really hope we defeat Trump in November. If we have an election.

Electability = Klobuchar

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In a year where almost any democrat (and most independents) will tell you they just want someone, anyone, to get Trump out of office, Democrats are putting forth historically unelectable candidates. The Washington Post has a great article on that here:

Democrats are looking for electability in all wrong places

So I thought I would rank my the top 10 candidates who have qualified for all debates according to electability. Those candidates are generally in 3 tiers:

Top tier: Biden/Warren/Sanders
Big gap
Second tier: Buttigeg, Harris
Third tier: Yang, O’Rourke, Booker, Castro, Klobuchar

The real order, if we went off electability would be:

Top tier: Klobuchar
Second tier: Booker, Castro, O’Rourke, Biden, Harris
Third tier: Warren, Sanders, Yang, Buttigeg

Now, before all you Warren fans rip me, I love her. She’s my favorite candidate, but of the candidates with an actual shot at the nomination, she’s the least likely to win. Even Sanders, an avowed socialist, is better positioned. That doesn’t mean she CAN’T win, but is this really the election you want to find out? Here’s a great article from Politico on the challenges Warren faces. It basically comes down to the fact that she appeals to highly educated females. Not a great recipe for success.

Which brings me to Sanders. I mean, I don’t think anyone has brought up some of his sordid past because they didn’t need to tear him down to beat him and risk pissing off his loyal base. But seriously, the guy’s obsession with socialism is not just liking social security and thinking Norway is a model country.  I love that he’s defending the word and weakening it for republicans, who constantly overuse it, but I’m not sure how he’s going to defend his past praise for Russia and Fidel Castro among other dictators. I also, as an aside, don’t think he’d be an effective president, but I love his singular focus on inequality.

As long as I’m on the top 3 in the polls, I might as well hit Biden. I mean, he’s establishment, he can run a campaign, he has broad support across the democratic coalition. But he’s risky. This Hunter Biden thing weakens him, as much as I hate to say it. It may well be a trump fantasy, but it’s effective because it feels right. It sticks, and polls show that. Along with Bidens’ gaffes (and his age) I think he’s the most likely to be dragged down to Trump’s level on perception of being a sleazy politician.

So why Klobuchar?
She’s known for moderate politics to attract swing voters and never Trumpers. But beyond that she’s highly likable and attractive, characteristics that go surprisingly far in elections. And the demographics of her followers are highly favorable for the general election, performing well in the competitive demographics and swing states.

What about the rest of the second tier?
These guys would do ok probably. Booker and Castro are generic politicians that hypothetically would be a good matchup. I think the whole slavery reparations thing drags them down though. I mean, why are you advocating that in an election year, when polling for it is at about 8% (it’s actually 29%, but functionally that’s still tiny). And the fact that they lack such judgment to know that makes me question their ability to run a serious campaign.
Which of course leads to O’Rourke. I mean, anyone that thinks that running for president is as easy as driving around Iowa in a van is too much a rookie to trust with this race.

Yang is not a serious candidate. The whole universal basic income is just too ahead of its time even if you agree with it. The country isn’t ready for that.

I love Buttigeg. But again, are we really ready to trust this election to a mayor with no experience in national politics? And is this country ready to elect a gay man? Maybe, but again it’s a risk.

The only other candidate that I think could potentially be a serious contender is Harris, my home state Senator. But my goodness she is unlikable. I am not the best judge, I’ve never liked her. She’s just so ambitious that it comes across as not quite genuine, and that’s before you consider her affair with a 30-years-her-senior politician who has admitted he boosted her career.

So in the most important election of my lifetime, not just so far, but possible ever, we’re left with 10 candidates, almost all with baggage (including some for Klobuchar is who is notoriously hard on her staff). But of ALL the candidates, she is the only one who hasn’t endorsed far left positions in this campaign, isn’t a political newcomer, and doesn’t have potential corruption baggage.

I realize she doesn’t set your pants on fire as a liberal, but ask yourself, do you really want to beat Trump?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr President, the FBI is not your personal police force

It’s bad enough that the president thinks he can influence and investigation of himself. Now he thinks he gets to choose individual cases to prosecute! We are well down the slippery slope and it’s only a matter of time, especially if Trump wins a second term, that the FBI stops resisting his efforts to interfere and investigate his political opponents, business enemies and press adversaries.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/28/donald-trump-says-fbi-look-into-jussie-smollett-case/3296713002/