Thursday, March 12, 2020

Last Call For Meanwhile In Not Bevinstan...

Here in Kentucky, Gov. Beshear is not messing around and is joining Ohio's Republican Gov. Mike DeWine in calling for K-12 schools to close as a COVID-19 response.

Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday asked public and private schools in Kentucky to, as of Monday, cease in person classes for at least two weeks to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, Beshear had warned Kentucky school superintendents that they should be ready to close their districts on short notice, within 72 hours if need be. Superintendents have this week been reaching out to the Kentucky Department of Education to apply to the state’s non-traditional instruction program that allows students to learn from home.

Eight confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including five in Harrison County, two in Fayette and one in Jefferson, had been reported by 5 p.m. Thursday. But Beshear said at a news conference he thought there had been two more positive test results in Kentucky, one in Jefferson and one in Fayette.

Kentucky Interim Education Commissioner Kevin Brown appeared at a 5 p.m. news conference that Beshear held and said he supported the recommendation to close schools.

Fayette Superintendent Manny Caulk did not immediately comment.

Caulk previously said that if necessary, the district would be prepared to close, including providing educational activities and learning opportunities for students while they were at home. However, Fayette officials were for several days pointing to advice from local health department officials who previously said there was not a public health risk at district schools.

Several Kentucky school districts announced Thursday that they would be closed for nearly a month and Lexington’s Catholic Christ the King Elementary School is closed on Friday.

Elsewhere in the United States, Ohio public schools will be closed for three weeks, officials announced.
If anyone is wondering what difference it does make having Beshear instead of a Matt Bevin second term, the answer is "COVID-19 response or total lack thereof".

Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin appeared to mock growing nationwide concerns over the coronavirus in a tweet Wednesday as the state braces for the closure of schools along with calls to suspend religious services.

"Breaking news: Chicken Little has just confirmed that the sky is indeed falling," he tweeted. "Everyone is advised to take cover immediately and to bring lots of toilet paper with them when they do so."
Bevin, a Republican, could not be immediately reached for comment about the tweet.

Things are not going well for Matt these days.

The former governor was extensively criticized. Responders to the tweet seemed to take it as a shot at Gov. Andy Beshear, who defeated Bevin in the Kentucky gubernatorial election in November.

Most responses claimed Bevin would not be handling the coronavirus situation well, and many said they thought Kentucky voters made the right choice by voting Bevin out of office in November.

There no doubt in my mind that Bevin would refuse to close school or to do anything, leaving it up to KY Republicans in the General Assembly, to pass legislation.  Of course, they're too busy passing unconstitutional anti-choice laws trying to close the last abortion clinic in the state to do anything about COVID-19.

Just because Bevin's gone, doesn't mean Bevinstan is totally gone either.  But it's a nice start.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

The Dow cratered after Trump's insane speech last night, going limit down in the first 30 minutes of trading for the second time in a week and losing ten percent in one day.

Amid heightened market turmoil, the New York Federal Reserve stepped in midday Thursday and announced a major asset purchase program, offering $500 billion in three-month repo operations, an additional $500 billion in one-month operations and another at least $220 billion in operations with durations of two weeks or fewer. The New York Fed also said its securities purchases would be along a range of maturities, to match the composition of the Treasury market.

The major infusion of liquidity comes as The World Health Organization officially designated the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on Wednesday, as the virus spread across more than 100 countries and infected well over 100,000 individuals.

Growing alarm about the severity of the pathogen — and the economic toll — has sent markets into a tailspin. Weeks of panic-driven selling has dragged blue-chip stocks into bear market territory at a breathtaking pace, of less than a month from peak to trough.
In a televised address, Trump said he was planning to suspend travel from certain areas of Europe to the U.S. for the next 30 days. He also announced plans for $50 billion of low interest loans to affected businesses and suggested a delay in the April 15 tax filing deadline.

However, the speech sparked widespread confusion — and failed to mollify panic-stricken investors. Major benchmarks sank deeper into correction territory at the open, triggering a circuit-breaker during the regular session shortly after 9:30 a.m. ET.
The Fed repo operation did nothing.  Stocks still crashed 10% by the end of the day. We're heading back into 2008 territory with almost all of the guardrails removed, and nothing changes the fact Donald Trump is still in charge during a global pandemic and has no idea what to do.

Stock market indicies have lost 28% in one month.

There is no reason to believe they will recover anytime soon.

Trump can no longer lie his way out of this.

The Trump Crash is here.

Buckle up.

Trump Goes Viral, Con't

Donald Trump addressed the nation last night, and it did not go well, but a speech written by Jared Kushner and Racist-in-Chief Stephen Miller was never going to be anything other than a call for racist isolationism and a promise to use the executive branch to harm the most vulnerable.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he was "marshaling the full power of the federal government" to confront a growing public health crisis, including a month-long halt in travel from Europe to the United States. 
Trump said he was overseeing "the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history." 
Trump was speaking during a rare Oval Office address to the nation after facing harsh criticism for his response to the pandemic. 
Earlier Wednesday, Trump would not say whether the US would issue additional travel restrictions on Europe, nor would he answer whether he would issue a national disaster declaration. 
"We'll be talking about that later. All those things we're making a decision on," he added.
Trump's top advisers had discussed potential new travel advisories on Europe during meetings at the White House on Wednesday, according to two officials familiar with the matter. The advisers are considering raising travel alerts on Europe to recommend against all non-essential travel to the continent, which administration officials view as a new epicenter for the pandemic.

Nowhere in his latest hissy fit did he say anything about testing or health solutions and barely mentioned social distancing.  Instead, Trump blew up yesterday behind closed doors in a tirade at Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, who is almost certainly the next White House firing after stocks tanked again and have now fallen 20% since Feb 12.

President Trump, in an explosive tirade Monday, urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to encourage Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell to do more to stimulate the economy, two officials familiar with the exchange said, revealing the president’s mounting fury as his administration struggles to corral economic fallout from the novel coronavirus.

Trump has frequently complained about the Fed in public for at least two years, but his latest effort to pressure Mnuchin to privately push for action has not been previously reported.

During that tense Monday meeting in the Oval Office, Trump fumed that Powell never should have been appointed and is damaging the nation and his presidency

He then told Mnuchin, who had encouraged Trump to nominate Powell in 2017, to engage with the chair and ask him to take more dramatic steps to arrest the stock market’s plummet, according to three White House officials and a senior Republican.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal the exchange.

Mnuchin has not commented publicly on this meeting, but he has said recently that he is in daily contact with Powell during the coronavirus crisis. Trump initially tried to brush aside concerns about the coronavirus’s impact on the economy, saying it would be short-lived, but the Oval Office meeting struck some of his advisers because it showed how furious he had become.

If Mnuchin wanted to arrest the stock market plunge, he'd convince Pence and the cabinet to oust Trump under the 25th Amendment.

Meanwhile, Republicans are doing their best to lose the Senate in November.

Democrats hoping to pass an emergency paid sick leave bill to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus were stymied by Senate Republicans on Wednesday.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) tried to speed the measure up for a vote on the Senate floor through a procedural maneuver, but an objection from Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) prevented the bill from bypassing the Republican-controlled health committee.

Murray noted that many people who don’t have paid leave through their jobs will inevitably miss work due to being sick or quarantined in the coming weeks. She argued that guaranteed paid leave was important both for public health and the good of the broader economy.

“For many of our workers ― restaurant workers, truck drivers, service industry workers ― they may not have an option to take a day off without losing their pay or losing their job,” Murray said. “That’s not a choice we should be asking anyone to make in the United States in the 21st century.”

Alexander said that paid sick leave is a “good idea.” But if lawmakers want to require employers to provide it, then the federal government should have to foot the bill, he argued.

“Employees are struggling, our employers are struggling, and it’s not a cure for the coronavirus to put a big new expensive federal mandate on employers who are struggling in the middle of this matter,” Alexander said.

And when legislation that actually does do what Alexander wants is also blocked by the Senate GOP and never gets a vote, I'm sure all the folks who do have to choose between keeping their job and contracting a potentially lethal virus and spreading it will be fine.


Related Posts with Thumbnails