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Archive of Articles in the "China" Category

Why Is California Doing So Well?

[ Posted Monday, March 30th, 2020 – 16:53 UTC ]

It might sound like a strange question, coming from a Californian, but I do have to wonder why California seems to be doing so well in fighting off the coronavirus pandemic, compared to other states. If this is a real difference, it would behoove others to study why we've been so successful, but there is another possibility -- that we just haven't realized how hard we've been hit yet. Either way, the question of why we're doing so well would seem to be an important one to answer.

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Don't Forget The Lag Time

[ Posted Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 – 16:32 UTC ]

Tracking the spread of the coronavirus is tough to do on a real-time basis because of several inherent instabilities in the data, and also because of the built-in lag time. We'd all do well to remember this in the next few weeks, when considering when lifting all the social distancing restrictions. President Trump is already leading the charge to get the country back to normal, so this pressure is obviously only going to grow.

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Five Million Tests? Where Are They, Mister Vice President?

[ Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 – 17:10 UTC ]

President Donald Trump is well known for flat-out lying to the American public. Indeed, he does it so often it has become a defining trait. But what hasn't gotten a lot of attention in the whole White House coronavirus crisis response fiasco is how much Mike Pence is also lying to us all, on the specific issue of the availability of coronavirus tests. We haven't even gotten close to the point where Pence promised us all we'd be at eleven days ago, in fact -- which shows the true magnitude of his lies. In fact, we're only a little over five percent of the way there (from numbers provided by Mike Pence himself, mind you).

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Friday Talking Points -- 19,382 And Counting

[ Posted Friday, March 20th, 2020 – 17:17 UTC ]

We're kidding, of course. Neither of these stories -- which, in normal times would have been covered extensively by the media -- even caused a blip on the radar this week. Because the nation is gripped in the midst of a viral pandemic and we've got the Keystone Kops running the response. Which, admittedly, is a much bigger story to focus on.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Weird Turn Pro

[ Posted Friday, March 13th, 2020 – 16:54 UTC ]

In a surreal bit of coincidence this week, America saw a simultaneous broadcast of President Trump stumbling and lying his way through a primetime Oval Office address, while on another channel former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin danced around in a frilly pink bear costume while rapping "Baby Got Back," which contains the memorable line: "I like big butts and I cannot lie...." Signs of the impending apocalypse? You be the judge. What flashed through our mind was the old quote from Hunter S. Thompson: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Or, as we might put it (with a fake Sarah Palin accent): "How's that 'stable genius' stuff workin' out for ya now?"

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The Choice Couldn't Be Starker

[ Posted Thursday, March 12th, 2020 – 17:26 UTC ]

Both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have taken a page from Michael Bloomberg's campaign playbook, and they really need to continue doing this right up until the election (no matter which one of them becomes the nominee). Because more than anything else, it clearly shows the difference between having a sane adult as president and what we've got now.

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Golfing While Rome Burns

[ Posted Monday, March 9th, 2020 – 16:49 UTC ]

Roman Emperor Nero didn't actually fiddle while Rome burned. It's a myth. Violins (or "fiddles") wouldn't exist for another 1,500 years or so, making the very concept impossible. That's not to say Nero might not have blatantly ignored a flaming crisis, of course, it's just quibbling about the literal meaning of the maxim. Now, American Emperor-With-No-Clothes Donald Trump didn't fiddle while the country was hit by a pandemic, either. Instead, he played golf. Twice. That's right -- in the midst of a huge crisis, Trump spent the entire weekend playing golf.

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Friday Talking Points -- Tax Cuts Will Save Us All!

[ Posted Friday, February 28th, 2020 – 17:55 UTC ]

File this one under: "If I doesn't laugh, I thinks I'm gonna cry!"

President Donald Trump, that noted stable genius, apparently has the answer to the coronavirus. Here's how an article in today's Washington Post began:

Trump administration officials are holding preliminary conversations about economic responses to the coronavirus, as the stock market fell sharply again on Friday amid international fears about the outbreak, according to five people with knowledge of the planning.

Among the options being considered are pursuing a targeted tax cut package, these people said.

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Trump Tries To Reassure The Markets

[ Posted Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 – 18:15 UTC ]

Donald Trump is known to be a germophobe, but his fear of COVID-19 has nothing to do with any personal fear of actually contracting the virus. No, he's scared for a bigger reason -- because he knows that if the virus causes a sickness in the American economy writ large, then this will undercut his biggest campaign theme heading into the 2020 election. He's made this argument many times, essentially telling voters that they may not like him personally or appreciate his tweets, but the economy is so darn good that they have to vote for him so he can continue the good times.

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Reactions To The Democratic Debates, Round Ten

[ Posted Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 – 22:08 UTC ]

Welcome back again to another of our post-debate snap-reactions columns. Tonight was the tenth in the continuing series of Democratic presidential debates, moderated this time by CBS. When they woke up and remembered to, I should say, because at several extended times during the night I thought the moderators had completely left the room for a coffee break. It certainly seemed that way, since the candidates just engaged in a free-for-all shouting match where it was impossible to hear what any one of them had to say. This wasn't an isolated incident, it happened over and over again. And the moderators either were too timid to even try to, you know, moderate the discussion, or they were just flat-out incapable of doing so. Or, as I said, perhaps they had all ducked out for a few moments in the hallway.

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