Month: March 2020

Checking In…

With the focus of everyone on the latest with the Coronavirus, we have avoided adding any noise to your day. We’ll continue down the same path with an occasional check in and blog.

We want to start with a wish and hope first. That is that you and yours are well and coping with the challenges of the time. In the end that is the most important thing.

We have been impressed with the Presidential Task Force and their ability to look at the market and data, telling us what is ahead.
We know the month ahead will be a challenge, but believe that by mid May there is promise for a beginning return to normal.
That may seem like a long way away, but in the realm of life it is not. The question is how quickly we can get the economy humming again.

At the conclusion of this generational test I know America will rise to the occasion. How do I know that? Look at how our creative minds are reacting now. From an unknown virus challenge, we see daily how America works.
We needed testing, and from a primitive means (a stick up your nose that turned toward you eye), to a swab, to later this week an immediate swab test.
Think about the progress we made in that area and how quickly.
Think about how we figured out how to create new, and then reuse, masks. How gowns became available from shortages to now availability.
Look at how we understanding a ventilator can handle more than a single patient, and how other machines can be used as ventilators as companies gear up to make new ones.
Now ask yourself this.
The virus was in China for months, then South Korea, Italy and other places before the U.S. All great countries with major manufacturing ability, yet these innovations came from America when the virus got here.
That’s America and why we are who we are.

I’ve been having conversations with my grandchildren about this time. They should look around and remember the moment. As young as they are, this is one of those moments future generations will ask them about. They are living through history, and should take the opportunity to appreciate that.

On the other hand, I continue to have conversations with my Mom reminding her she lived through far worse. The Great Depression and WWII are examples. Events that challenged the future and had no timeline. Staying in her home for 30 days pales to those challenges.

Bring those two together.
A young solider leaves home for WWII and has no idea for how long, or if, he will ever return. There is an enemy then intent on his demise that is not only seeking him, but he must seek to fix the world. There is no FaceTime, IPhones, instant text or means of contact. You hope “mail call” catches up to you one day. Stay indoors with heat, air conditioning, cable TV and electricity? What they faced in places like Normandy, The Battle of The Bulge and Okinawa were weather conditions far different.

Yes, I tell my Mom her generation has been through worse, and yes, I tell the kids this is a challenge, but you are lucky. No complaints, just be part of all those finding solutions all around us all day.

Be back with news of the day and times later this week.

It’s All Coronavirus…

I was talking to my 94 year old mom yesterday on the Coronavirus. She said, “I’ve never seen anything like this,” and she has seen a lot in her years. I acknowledged this was different with everything closing and things coming to a halt, but I reiterated that this was “temporary,” and I thought by June we would be back to just about normal. Then I reminded her that she had lived through the Great Depression, and as a child of a widowed immigrant mother she had to wonder where the next meal was coming from. I reminded her she had lived through WWII and the uncertain outcome and time frame. No, she had been through worse, and this was just another challenge in her lifetime.
Now later when I spoke to my 15 year old grandson who was relaxed and jovial, I told him this was the most monumental world event of his lifetime, and he will be asked about it forever. He understood, and his questions were more focused on if school would start back up and if spring track would be allowed.
So with the full spectrum available to me, let me provide some thoughts on where we are and plans to address things.

The unemployment claims this AM rose to 281,000. It will be big news in the media today, but that number will pale to next week’s. The furloughs and layoffs have just begun.

Remember when all the negative news hits and the media hypes it, that this is all because of a virus, not our economy. There is a difference.

That’s why the plan the President and Congress put forward is key. There should be two objectives. First to help people pay their bills. Second to help companies survive the virus period.

If people can pay their bills for a month, and their jobs are there in a month or six weeks, our economy will recover quickly (by the third quarter).
If this persists longer and jobs do not come back, then we have a problem. So the timing is key.

Are dollars to the people the right approach? I would argue the best program might be to work with companies to keep people employed and paid. That protects the job when we are cleared to function again. The other area to fund is unemployment to assure those losing jobs are getting income.
To send money to everyone will do what? In an economic crisis this is good, because people go out and spend it. Today they cannot go out, so how are they going to spend it? This crisis is different. Thus I would favor supporting businesses keeping jobs and payroll functioning and then over funding unemployment to support those losing jobs. Let people be able to pay their bills for the next month. We want them to hit the ground running when they are let back out.

Here’s a thought not discussed yet. We just enjoyed a true economic boom the past few years. (In fact the argument from the left was that this began under Obama in 2008.) Okay so we had a boom. Now, did your local and state government take advantage of those increased revenues to save for a rainy day, or did they spend the money?
What free spending governments do is just add programs assuming the money will always be there, never anticipating a rainy day.
So what happens now? They have no reserve to call upon, cry about shortfalls and look to raise state and local taxes. Watch your areas and see what happens. Next time vote for those who know the economy goes up and down and in good times you prepare for the down time.

Some good news from China, no new cases to report yesterday, which shows this does end.
In fact, the virus has now infected and killed more people in Europe (over 82,000 cases and more than 3,400 dead), than it has in China.
Here in the U.S. new C.D.C. data showed that nearly 40 percent of hospitalized patients were 20-54. However, the risk of dying was significantly higher in older people.
A question, how come there are no cases or news of them from Russia?

By the way, there was a more impactful virus 102 years ago.
The 1918 Spanish flu roared across the U.S. for 20 plus months, from April 1918 into 1920, and killed 675,000 Americans. The economic devastation from it ranks second only to that of the Great Depression.

One final virus thought. The fascination by the media with calling the President racist because he called this the China virus is sickening.
First of all, he did not do so until they accused the U.S. military of bringing it into China. An outrageous lie to try and protect their image and trade. This President, when attacked or his country attacked, hits back.
Second, why is that wrong? We call the other diseases by where they began. Was it racist to say I had the German Measles? Is it racist to say someone has Lyme Disease? Was it racist for the last administration to call it Ebola Disease? There are dozens of examples.
No, what it is is the personal animosity some of the media have to this President, and that is a shame.

Quick Political Thoughts

The Democratic Primary is over. Bernie Sanders proved to have no depth beyond the three issues he talked about over and over and is done.
It’s Trump versus Biden in November. Buckle up.

Not much coverage yesterday because of the virus, but interesting story on Joe Biden issuing a demand yesterday that President Trump invoke the Defense Production Act. The problem? Just minutes prior to his release the President did exactly that.

One quiet result from Tuesday’s primary was the defeat of one of the last Democratic Congressman with a lean right of center.
Rep. Dan Lipinski, a Chicago congressman known for his staunch opposition to abortion and his votes against Obamacare and same-sex marriage, lost to to a liberal challenger backed by the AOC progressive wing in the primary. Lipinski had served eight terms.

In Alabama, due to the virus the governor has moved the run off between Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville from March 30th until July 24th.


It’s All Coronavirus…

While the nation focuses on the Coronavirus and worries about the health of their families, we join in prayer and thought for a limited and quick impact on our nation and world.

We are watching with awe as companies and scientists move with speed and determination to find a solution. We are sure that this will be a one year issue, and that if it reemerges next year we will have a solution to prevent it.

We take pride in the leadership of so many who are making real time solutions to assure tomorrow is better.

Finally, we are comforted that this will pass, and though the next few months will be a challenge, we know the cautions we take now will lead to a summer we should be able to enjoy.

So hang in there, be cautious and know that this will pass. Our nation has faced so many challenges and issues; and our people, the generations before us, on whose shoulders we stand, met the challenge. We will too.

One more thought.
Thank goodness the impact is not on the youngest among us. Our children and grandchildren are the future, and we are grateful they have been mostly spared.

What we find funny is the constant message to the millennial generation to take care of their parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles. Isn’t that a change? They (the millennials) are being asked to assure that shopping and communication means are in place for their grandparents as they stay in lock down.

The world has changed in the past few weeks.

some other news:

In this challenging time we’ll try and list some short comments on stories not getting coverage that may have an impact as the year plays out.

There was not much coverage on the debate Sunday, but here’s some thoughts and observations that will have an impact in November.

To beat back others, and now Senator Sanders, former VP Biden did move his positioning to the left. Taxes, health care, climate change and labor rights as examples. How far left?
Well, his positions are significantly bigger government roles than Hillary Clinton proposed and what the Obama-Biden ticket advocated.

Usually positions to win your primary (left or right) help in the moment, but not in November.

One significant example is his fracking statement. To cut off Senator Sanders he said there would be no more new fracking. He threw the word “new” in there, as Sanders is against all fracking.

Now, with the price of gasoline about to drop close to the $2.00 level as Russia and Saudi Arabia try to figure out what to do with their oil since the U.S. has become independent. Is that a strong November position? Especially in fracking states like Pennsylvania?
When others ask if they want to return to the days of foreign dependence, what will they and the voters say?

The answer from the far left is you should use electric cars. Are you ready for that and their limited distance capability? I don’t think so in 2020.

In the debate Biden made a few promises about other positions. He promised a female running mate. He promised his first supreme court nominee would be a minority woman. He has promised a litmus test for all supreme court nominees.
In some eras this was considered pandering. Is it the norm now? Makes me wonder what happened to choosing the best person to serve the nation.
Prejudice used to be not choosing a person because of color, creed, or religion. Is choosing one because of it wrong?

Isn’t it also ironic that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he will close its borders to non citizens as part of “exceptional” measures to try to deal with the escalating coronavirus outbreak?
He who criticized the U.S. border policy and made world news saying Canada was open to all, will now be denying entry.
Wait, Justin, they may need entry now more than ever.

Finally, today one announcment I think lost in the week of Coronavirus was the marriage of Rep. Ilhan Omar.
She announced that she has married, getting hitched four months after her previous marriage collapsed amid accusations she had an affair with a married coworker.
She didn’t say who she married, but it appeared to be Tim Mynett, the Democratic political consultant with whom she was accused of having an affair. (In a divorce court filing in August, Washington physician Beth Jordan Mynett claimed her husband confessed to an extramarital affair with Ms. Omar.)


Corona and the debate…

the virus dominates:

With the outbreak of this virus about to hit the U.S., the focus of everyone and everything is on it. The next six to eight weeks look to be an experience that I dare say none of us have ever had. Let’s hope our leaders can come together for the greater good and make the best decisions for the health and well being of all, and not partisan politics. Maybe we can hope the media will focus on information, guidance and reassurance, and not hype, partisanship and sensationalism.

the debate:

Just a little on the debate from last night. VP Joe Biden locked up the nomination. He stood on his feet, maintained composure and stuck to the facts. Senator Sanders proved to be a limited issue candidate. He reverted back to the same issues he always does— healthcare for all, the rich have too much, and the pharmaceutical companies are despicable. Every chance he had to make points he passed on to revert back to those themes. He proved himself too shallow to be the candidate.
So, we’re down to Trump vs Biden for 2020. Back to the Obama era and more of the Trump one.
You cannot predict an election eight months ahead. However, with a recession clearly ahead, driven by the virus, it is clear this will be an interesting one.


Serve The People…

on leadership:

Our nation is in a crisis and we need leaders, not partisan hacks that try and use the moment for political gain. This is not about your political career, it’s about the well being of our country.

That goes for President Trump, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer (and others like Senator Blumenthal) who seem to run before every camera for advantage.

My suggestion is you plant yourselves at your desks and design a program that protects the health of our people and the stability of our economy. That’s not blaming past administrations for their failures and not trying to get your long term programs that have not passed in place.

For once rise to the occasion and provide leadership without an election in mind.

plus you have fault:

President Trump’s ego and desire for a high stock market led him to try and downplay the whole crisis. It was a miscalculation because it was inevitable that it would reach the U.S. Then in a desire to show what a great leader he is, he clearly misspoke on the availability of tests.

So the opposition jumps on him for this. But on what grounds do they stand? These are the same people who when the President imposed a travel ban on China at the outset called him racist. Add these are the same people who want open borders and think of the consequences of that.

Thus you both have issues. The challenge is to do what is right for the people you serve.

on the media:

The same goes for you. Once in our history reporters provided a service and the news. The manner in which you seemed dedicated to hysteria and hype is a disservice to the people. The negative tone of your questions and presentations of the information show a bias.
Try going back to the rich history of your profession and be professional.

We have miles to go:

We are at the outset of this outbreak in the U.S. and have miles to go. The best we can likely hope for is an easing by the end of April, say the experts. Beyond that I don’t see how the curtailed travel, restaurant visits, shows, sporting events and general living doesn’t drive us to a recession. It may be short lived and we may come out firing in the third quarter, but the road ahead is a challenge we all must rise up to meet.
A whole new meaning to the term March Madness.

some news missed this week:

The Supreme Court granted a reprieve for the administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. This policy allowed the government to help solve last year’s border crisis. As you remember we had major issues and congress could not solve it. This action stopped it with Mexico’s support.
It was challenged in court and the lower courts ruled the policy illegal. Thus the Supreme Court Justices issued a stay of that lower court ruling and the policy can continue for now.
It was reported that Homeland Security officials feared a massive rush for the border if the court had upheld the lower court ruling.

Speaking of courts Hunter Biden, after asking for a delay in his case in Arkansas because of the Coronavirus, saying it is “unsafe” to travel, settled the case. He and the woman suing him for child support reached an agreement, and he does not have to testify.

Another court case. Chelsea Manning (pardoned by President Obama) was back in jail since May 2019, for refusing to testify in the Wikileaks case. She attempted suicide in prison this week and yesterday was released.

Some Politics:

Democrats are making some progress in the senate election battle for 2020.
They need three seats to get to a 50/50 spilt and announced candidacies, and polling show they are making progress.
In Arizona Mark Kelly the Democrat Challenger is now leading incumbent Martha McSally by 49 – 42 percent. That’s up 4 points from the last poll.

A North Carolina poll shows Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham up 48-43 over incumbent Thom Tillis.

In Colorado former Governor John Hickenlooper is leading by 10% over the Republican incumbent Corey Gardner.

Then add popular Governor Steve Bullock has changed his mind and is running in Montana.

Suddenly the chances of the Democrats winning the senate seems possible.
The only Republican pick up appears to be in Alabama.

Remember the “moderate Republicans” like Romney, Collins and Murkowski are not reliable Republican votes, and you can see the senate issues for the President if he wins reelection.

Some positive news for the President is this. Even though he is running basically unopposed in the primaries the turnout for him has been extraordinary. Look at this:
In New Hampshire, Mr. Trump received 129,734 votes. When Barack Obama faced no real opposition in 2012, he received 49,080 votes in the New Hampshire primary.
This was also true in a number of other states.
In Alabama, the President received 695,469 votes compared to then-President Obama’s 241,167 votes in 2012.
In Arkansas, it was 240,789 for the President compared to 94,936 for Mr. Obama. In Texas, Mr. Trump’s total vote count of 1,889,006 was more than Mr. Obama (520,410) and more than the combined votes for Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren.


Trump vs Biden…

Well so much for all the experts (us included) who thought just ten days ago that Joe Biden’s campaign was on oxygen. On Super Tuesday we called him “Lazarus,” and I can’t think of a better term today.
So now we are all saying that Bernie’s campaign “is deader than Joe’s ever was.” After last night its hard to argue with that.

Biden won the big ones in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho. Bernie managed to win the caucus in North Dakota, and the state of Washington is still too close to call.

So the questions now are these:
Do they cancel the Democratic debate set for this weekend?
Do they use the Coronavirus as an excuse?
If they don’t cancel, does Joe Biden show up?
They were arguing before yesterday on things like the candidates being seated versus standing. Then as the day progressed they announced no live audience. You can sense the pull back and the chances of the debate this AM are 50/50.
If you were running the Biden campaign, would you want the debate?
If it comes off, do you expect Sanders to attack? Up to now he has refused. You remember he wouldn’t attack Hillary, and that was in a much closer race.

The other big underlying question is about Biden. Always an outspoken person, he could get himself into a corner. Yet in this campaign it seems to go a little beyond that. Yesterday when he got into that argument with a hard hat and actually said, “You want to go outside?” That raised a bigger question to me than his language. He’s done that a few times. If someone clips those together and asks if this is who you want dealing with foreign leaders it could be an issue.

A sound, reasonable, middle of the road Joe Biden is the biggest threat to President Trump. The question for Biden is can he hold that position and argue it persuasively? I don’t know that answer today.


Did you see that President Trump made an endorsment in the Republican Senate runoff in Alabama? He endorsed former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. That is how far down his relationship with former Senator Sessions has gone. (Sessions is Tuberville’s runoff opponent.)
Remember back in 2016 Sessions was the first, and for a long time, the only U.S. Senator to back and support President Trump.
That was how and why Sessions became the A.G., and the day he recused himself from the Russian probe the relationship has gone downhill.

Congress has to make a call over the next few days. With things reeling because of the virus scare, they (congress) are scheduled to take a spring break beginning Friday. The question is do they support any stimulus package before they go. They better.

on the virus:

Supporting the news that China is recovering is this news today. Apple has reopened 38 of its 42 stores in China that were closed last month because of the coronavirus outbreak there. Add that to Starbucks who have also reopened and there is hope at the end of the outbreak.

What is the price in lives in China? With all the news how many do you think died in China from the Coronavirus? Now, one life is too many and I feared seeing the numbers from China. This AM the report was 3,000 people in China died from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Now we’ll watch the numbers and how it is handled in South Korea and Italy. You would think that as it spreads and we search for an antidote that we can improve. Actions here in our nation have been focused on containment. Just don’t be surprised when tests are fully completed to hear how many had been infected. In a global economy, where the U.S. leads, the numbers will be large.


Catch Your Breath…

The coverage on TV, on the net, and in newspapers has been all about the Coronavirus and impending doom. I can report I just spent four days at a basketball tournament and the arena was normal, the crowd vocal and life normal. It was actually fun, unlike the coverage I keep seeing that tells me how bad the world is.
We made clear yesterday our feelings over this and were delighted to see this AM that Xi Jinping, Premier of China, visited the town where this all began. There the cases are down, the recovery up, and hopefully that becomes a symbol that life can go on.
We don’t give stock advice here, but seeing that I wondered if all those companies reliant on China manufacturing that took such a hit might be a good investment thought. We’ll see.

How do you think the President has handled this crisis? Polls have his handling down to a 50/50 spilt. The next few weeks will make that judgement, but the NYT opinion page made it today. Here’s what they had:
President Trump Is Unfit for This Crisis. Period.
His narcissism is a grave danger to our health.
Well they made up their mind, how about you?

I saw the list of names and positions VP Biden was talking about for his cabinet. If he continues touting that then we will have a true election this year with the question “Are you better off than four years ago?”
His list included:
Sen. Warren as Treasury secretary. (Think Wall Street/Wealth Tax)
John Kerry in a newly created Cabinet position overseeing climate change.
Susan Rice as secretary of state. Remember the Benghazi videos?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg as head of the World Bank. (We know he gets a return on his spending.)
His staff also mentioned Mayor Buttigieg as ambassador to the U.N., or as U.S. trade representative. (Who knew South Bend did so much trade internationally.)

Here’s some news you likely didn’t hear, and think about this. Remember when the administration took action and killed Qassem Soleimani?
There was an uproar that this would cause more deaths and fighting. It got louder when the President sent more troops to the area “in case.”
Well yesterday we withdrew a 1,000 combat troops who had been deployed to strike. Did you hear that?
In fact we also plan to withdraw an additional 2,000 members in the weeks ahead.

Six states vote today. It looks pretty clear that VP Biden will dominate the night. Senator Sanders’ best shot appears to be North Dakota, and he is hoping against hope in Michigan.
His candidacy is in trouble and he knows it. His best chance and hope is the one on one debate this week with Biden. He has to make Joe appear unfit for the office to have any hope, and even then he likely will not get the nomination.
By the way, they changed the rules for this debate to keep Tulsi Gabbard, the last remaining announced candidate, out. The rule before the change was anyone with delegates is in. Not now.

The Democratic Senate campaign got a boost yesterday when, after first declining, Governor Steve Bullock announced he would run for U.S. Senate in Montana. He creates a true potential pick up in a red state.

Tomorrow Harvey Weinstein gets sentenced. All the stories about his prison time thus far are how depressed he is and can’t take it. When he hears the sentence tomorrow he won’t feel any better and still faces a second prosecution in California.
Think of Bernie Madoff asking for sympathy and to be released with his terminal illness, and the stories of Weinstein falling in prison and suffering so. How the mighty have fallen.


Coronavirus, Market, Election

Today we will all be consumed by Coronavirus reports and the market collapse. Tomorrow’s elections will take a backseat.
We will be short today, too.

The Virus reporting has been epic. We think the immediate impact gets worse. As testing procedures become available we are likely to be hit with headlines of how many more are impacted. What that will mean is positive and negative.
The virus is more widespread.
The threat of it’s reported fatality numbers is much lower.
It will take time for the nation to adjust to this, and the hysteria will continue for the days ahead.

The other impact is the news that China’s cases are in decline. That South Korea acted swiftly and seems to have this under control. That the warm weather sites seems to have missed the virus leading to the question if it eases as the weather warms, similar to the flu.
Add the knowledge that it seems those most impacted are the elderly and those with pre conditions. Much like the flu.

If everything above is accurate then in a week or two that knowledge will come forward, but until then we are mired in the headlines and nervous reports. That will impact everything.

As for the election, the Democratic establishment has continued to come together and back VP Biden. With Harris and Booker joining the pressure to be part of the team is clear.If Biden can win Michigan tomorrow then Bernie is close to done.
His one chance would be in the deate later this week to attack Biden and put him on the spot. We don’t think Bernie will do that. He let Hillary off the hook with her emails four years ago, and we don’t see him going after Biden. He is solely focused on the unfairness of the system, and not the attacks he needs to be make gains.

Okay, watch the reports and the market today. Let’s see what happens.

This n That…

Really we are still at this? 
Yesterday a federal judge accused William Barr of a lack of candor and questioned his credibility in his handling of the release of Robert Mueller’s report last year.
Does the judge know we heard Mueller and team testify live before congress? The Russian collusion didn’t happen judge. End of story.

Really Mitt?
Mitt is at it again. The man who voted to impeach the President now says there is no need for a Senate panel to investigate the Ukrainian company that hired Hunter Biden.
Wait Mitt, you thought the President should have been removed from office for Ukraine and there is nothing to investigate with Hunter?
FYI: The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee plans to vote next week on subpoenas for witnesses related to Burisma. Mitt, a member of the committee said, “There’s no question that the appearance of looking into Burisma and Hunter Biden appears political.”
Umm Mitt, so was Harry Reid telling the country you didn’t pay taxes for a decade when you did. Remember that?

Really Senator Schumer?
Coming to his senses, Schumer said he regretted his remarks about two Supreme Court justices. That’s good and what he should have done. But, then he followed that by saying he was misunderstood, and it wasn’t a physical threat he said.
Oh really, so I didn’t see and hear what I did?

Senator Warren Exits:
In doing so she didn’t back Bernie, and she may not. Makes you wonder if she is playing for VP nod with Biden. She did call the race narrowing to two men one of the “hardest parts” about dropping out. (Of course she discarded Tulsi Gabbard who has not yet backed out.)
I am still awaiting some reaction from the AOC wing of the party. They have been awfully quiet as the “establishment” rallied around VP Biden.

Here’s a question:
If the Coronavirus drives the economy down as it appears in the next quarter, what happens if the President wants a stimulus package?
Would Democrats want to vote for any kind of bailout package that could help with the President’s reelection bid?
This could come to fruition.

The jobs market this AM was terrific. Employers added 273,000 jobs in February, and the jobless rate dropped to 3.5%. Wages increased 3.0% from a year earlier in February.
Minus the Coronavirus this report would have driven the market, optimism and the economy forward.


Quick Thoughts…

Recap and thoughts on super tuesday

Continuing the momentum and coming together of the “moderate” wing of the party, Mike Bloomberg bowed out and joined the Biden Team.
What’s interesting is to watch Senator Warren struggle with the decision to get out. Why? Two reasons:
1. She would love a debate stage on March 17 with just her, Biden and Sanders. She thinks she can dominate it. The problem is it is after next Tuesday’s elections.
2. On the other hand she knows that she is on the short list of the Biden VP possibilities. She fills two objectives of the person they want, a woman and ability to reach Sanders supporters. (But it seems a Kamala Harris fits the bill better with her reach across minorities.)
So she has more to consider than just jump out and endorse Sanders.

The other question I am wondering is what are AOC and her supporters going to do? How are they going to react to “the Democratic establishment” working to stop Sanders? They’ve been quiet, haven’t they, since the moves last week. It’s not like them and as true believers in their cause I am surprised. Let’s see what and if they say or do anything.

Here’s one to think about. Remember all the noise about the Russians spending $200,000 on FaceBook and they got Donald Trump elected President? Well, do you think that Mike Bloomberg should have hired those Russians to spend his $700 million?
Thinking about that doesn’t it make that Russian thing even more ridiculous?

Yesterday the market soared and the press told us it was because Joe Biden was going to be the candidate over Bernie Sanders. They gave that full credit.
Well this AM the market is down over 700 points. Is Biden still the candidate? If so, is the decline his fault?

How popular is Nancy Pelosi in her district?
Well she had a multi candidate primary, including “a democratic socialist” this week.
Speaker Pelosi got 72.5% of the vote. Now in California the person with the second highest votes becomes the opponent in the general election. (The rules allow the two highest vote getters, despite party affiliation, to be on the November ballot.) Shahid Buttar the Democratic Socialist got 12.7% of the vote and finished second.
Now that’s a choice in that district and should anwser any questions on how popular the Speaker is in her district.

Senator Schumer can try and say he was referring to Republican Senators with his vocal threats yesterday, but if you see the tape its clear he was not. Here’s the actual quote:
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Later his office said this:  
The comments referenced the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that they will unleash a grass roots movement.
Senator, we all make mistakes, and I am surprised you are doubling down on it. The press needs to cover this for what it is and tie the President to it.


Super Joe…

You don’t need me to tell you what you already know so let’s look at some of what’s emerges and is ahead.

On Joe Biden, well if they called Bill Clinton the comeback kid, what do you call Joe? Lazarus I guess. He truly rose from dead in this race after a fifth place finish in New Hampshire to dominate Super Tuesday. We once had Super Joe as a nickname for Joe Namath after SuperBowl III. Well now we have Super Joe again after Super Tuesday.

Everything changed last night. We are down to a two person race. That pretty much eliminates a brokered convention. One candidate will have more than half the delegates.

What will the books say about this race and Mike Bloomberg? He had all the momentum with his strategy of waiting until Super Tuesday. He was doing so well and the others faltering that they changed the rules to let him in the debates. He got in for two of them in states he was not running. What a disaster. He drew up a great strategy, spent close to a billion dollars and had it all set-up. Then he forgot how to debate and boom! If he had stayed out of the debates or simply held his own, the story this AM would be his emergence as the challenger to Bernie. Isn’t that incredible?
He needs to get out today or tomorrow. It’s over.

The other thing is Senator Elizabeth Warren. She didn’t just lose her home state, she came in third. (She came no higher than third anywhere and in fact came in fourth in nine of the races last night). Plus, remember all the talk of the “moderate lane” dividing votes and helping Bernie? Well they came together on Monday for Joe Biden. Her continued presence hurt Bernie, since she is in his lane. She is saying that she is staying in, but only qualified for base delegates (15% or higher) in five states.

so what’s next?

Next Tuesday we have primaries in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi and Washington State. Plus a caucus in North Dakota.

After that there will be another debate. Mark that down, March 15th. It could be Bernie vs. Joe one on one if Warren departs.

Two days after that debate we have Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Phoenix.

So you can see there’s a lot ahead. The tendency today is to say Biden with the establishment behind him has this wrapped up. Well aren’t those the same experts who said he was done before S.C.?
No question Biden is in great position now and will be a big favorite in states like Florida and Mississippi. But the debate and interviews can change anything. Plus the opposition is about to open up on Biden again. They had let up because they thought he was done. Well, here it comes again.

Finally we can’t look at the delegate count yet as they continue counting votes out west. We should have a handle later in the day. However, there are still 1,000 delegates to be decided this month (March).

some other election news:

Remember Jeff Sessions was running to take back his former senate seat in Alabama? Well he didn’t get 50% of the vote last night and needs to go a runoff. He will face former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville on March 31. Tuberville actually had 33 percent of the vote and Sessions 31 percent There were other candidates in the race.
My guess is Tuberville wins the run off and goes on to beat Doug Jones for a Republican pick up in November.


The Democratic Tea Party…

Let’s put into perspective what is happening to the Democratic Party right now. They are going through their Tea Party moment.
For those needing a reminder, or too young, the Tea Party was a revolt begun in 2008 against the Republican Party.
The TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already.
The party had long stood for less taxes and the support of some leaders for higher rates led to this movement. It divided the party and led to upheaval and losses.

The Democratic Party is going through this before our eyes. The realization that their acceptance and support of far left socialists was leading them to a nomination of Senator Sanders, and the likely outcome of that, led to incredible action yesterday.
They realized they had to stop Senator Sanders and his movement now or the consequences in November could be catastrophic.
You saw the result.
Mayor Buttigieg quits the race and flies to Texas to endorse VP Biden. Shortly after, Senator Klobuchar quits the race and flies to Texas to endorse Biden.
Then a short while later here comes Congressman Beto O’Rourke out of the woodwork to endorse Biden in the state.
All through the day established party officials current and past (like Harry Reid) came out for Biden.
The drive and goal is to stop Senator Sanders now and turn states in today’s Super Tuesday vote. Texas was ground zero.

The Democratic Party, much like the Republicans did with the Tea Party Group, had allowed the far left movement to foster and grow. Now they are about to face the music and they are trying to stop it.

What are the consequences if they don’t? Think of other movements like the Republicans going hard right with Barry Goldwater in 1964; or the Democrats going far left with George McGovern in 1972. In that short span of 8 years both parties suffered historic losses at the polls.

can they stop bernie?

Here’s the challenge today – Super Tuesday.
– 1,357 delegates are at stake in 11 states. There are a total of 3,980 delegates. So, over one third are on the ballot today. It takes 1,991 to win the nomination.
– California (415) and Texas (228) are almost half the days total.
– Senator Sanders is going to win California. But the others dropping out will narrow the margin allowing Biden to pick up his share of delegates.
Senator Warren staying in the race is hurting Sanders here. As Buttigieg and Klobuchar voters break for Biden, hers would have gone to Sanders.
– Texas where you saw all the action yesterday can be turned because of it. Polls showed Sanders up by six per cent or so. Buttigieg and Klobuchar were running at about a combined 11. They can make a difference here and change the days messaging.
This is also a state that Mike Bloomberg could be a factor. He spent a fortune here and was doing well. How far he falls after the debates and movement to Biden will be key.

I see Senator Sanders winning tonight in California, Colorado, Maine, Utah, and Vermont.
I see Biden winning Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.
That leaves two states, Texas and Massachusetts. I think Biden could pull the upset in Texas after yesterday which will give him validity and make the night a divide.
Massachusetts is interesting because it’s Warren’s home state. She and Bernie are going to be close there. An interesting watch.

At the end of the night Bernie will win the most delegates. The margin between him and Biden will be key. If Biden wins Texas, figure this is going to a divided convention and divided party. If Sanders wins Texas and Massachusetts he may be unstoppable.

One last factor is what Bloomberg, after $700 million already spent comes out with. Before the debates he had a real chance to win three or four states today. He won’t win any now. If his supporters leave him they will go to Biden overwhelmingly.

A fascinating night ahead. Stay tuned and enjoy it.

Biden, Bernie, Bloomberg

onto super tuesday we go

South Carolina really shook it up and only three viable candidates remain standing (as we noted Friday). It’s a battle of the B’s. Bernie, Biden and Bloomberg.

VP Biden changed the dynamics of the race with his large win. Remember after the debate it was clear that Tom Steyer was done. He had appealed to the minority vote by talking “reparations”. He lost voters with his disastrous performance and they went to Biden.
The VP is alive and was all over the Sunday News shows to try and gain momentum.

It was a bad night and a bad Sunday for Senator Sanders. He lost S.C. by far more than he dreamed he would. Then Steyer and Buttigieg left the race. Their supporters will gravitate to Biden and that hurts Sanders.

As for Mayor Bloomberg it is all riding on Super Tuesday. He has spent close to a billion dollars and is on the ballot for the first time. He had himself set up so well before he entered the two debates. His performance in those deflated his balloon, and I don’t think he wins anywhere tomorrow.
Where do his voters go?
To Joe Biden too. That would consolidate the Democratic “moderate lane” and define the race into the convention.

Thus, I see this as coming down to Sanders and Biden now.
Amy Kloubuchar should win Minnesota tomorrow and then leave the race. That leaves only Senator Warren who it appears wants to amass as many delegates as possible and get to the convention positioned to broker her support. I don’t think that’s realistic.
She can’t stay in and be embarrassed by the diminishing vote totals. Especially if she loses her home state of Massachusetts tomorrow. She and Bernie are very close in the polls there and the undecided may break for Sanders recognizing the Biden momentum.

Now what happens tomorrow?
Sanders looks solid in California (415 delegates) the largest prize.
He looked like the favorite in Texas (228) too, but the narrowed race (with the dropouts) gives VP Biden an outside shot to win here. If Biden pulls this off and Sanders wins California then we have a brokered convention ahead in Milwaukee.
Other states to watch tomorrow: North Carolina (110), Virginia (99), Massachusetts (91), Minnesota (75), Colorado (67), Tennessee (64), Alabama (52), Oklahoma (37), Arkansas (31) Utah (29), Maine (24) and Vermont (16)
You can see what’s at stake and the only variable is Mike Bloomberg’s name on the ballot for the first time, otherwise it’s Biden and Sanders.

So watch how big Sanders wins California. Who wins Texas. If Klobuchar and Warren can win their home states. If NC, Va. and Ala. hold the south strong for Biden.
The three main questions to are:
Does the consolidated field cause Bernie victories?
Does the Biden win in S.C. carry momentum two days later?
Did Mike Bloomberg blow a billion dollars by entering two debates in states he was not on the ballot?

One thing to note tomorrow night as you watch the returns.
Pay close attention tomorrow night in the delegate gap between Sanders and Biden. Sanders is hoping for a wide gap of 150 or more. Biden would love to keep it under 100.
Post Super Tuesday, Joe Biden believes he has the edge in upcoming primaries in Florida and Georgia. That is another reason why the consolidated field is so important to him tomorrow.

Finally on the Presidential race consider this. Of the male candidates left in the race the President at age 73 is the youngest one!

one more election today

There is a vote in Isreal today, actually the third in a year, as no party has been able to form a government. The late polls say that  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has inched ahead.
We’re not experts on the race but we it find it more likely to end inconclusively again. Especially with Netanyahu under indictment. We don’t see how he gains votes in the current situation and when first announced thought he would lose.
Let’s see.

Have a great day.