M’lord!! … ‘Puerto Rico and a group of investors in February agreed to a debt-cutting deal that would allow them to recover as much as 77.6 cents on the dollar from their investment in the island’s bonds. But that deal may have to be revisited as the coronavirus darkens the outlook for the economy.’
Puerto Rico and a group of investors in February agreed to a debt-cutting deal that would allow them to recover as much as 77.6 cents on the dollar from their investment in the island’s bonds. But that deal may have to be revisited as the coronavirus darkens the outlook for the economy.
While the commonwealth estimates its economy has been growing after more than a decade of contraction, the coronavirus could exert a considerable drag on Puerto Rico’s economy over the next two quarters.
The tentative plan for how to slash nearly $18 billion of Puerto Rico’s debt is on hold after the judge overseeing the record bankruptcy canceled hearings set for early June as island officials work to slow the spread of the disease. They’ll also be working with Puerto Rico’s financial oversight board to assess the economic impact of the…
This tiny creature has gotten ahold of the strings of my heart. I haven’t even watched the series in which he appears, “The Mandalorian”. I don’t have Disney+ to even catch up with the series. It seems that Season 2 will soon roll along.
Anyway, during these trying times, Baby Yoda brings a smile to my face!
Momoa shared highlights from the trip in a four-minute video on his own YouTube channel. It begins with him at an airport, narrating that he had come from a “Saturday Night Live” party and caught a 16-hour flight to Hong Kong before making his way to Manila.
The latest DC movie offering “Aquaman” made a splash in Manila as Jason Momoa and Amber Heard paid a visit to the Philippines last Dec. 11.
~~Published December 16, 2018~~
Thank you Jason, Amber, and director James Wan for coming here in the Philippines. That means a lot to us fans. It was a blast. We hope you can visit us again soon. Mahal namin kayo! Go Aquaman!!!
These are difficult times and they are just beginning. We are all in this together. It’s worldwide. What a way to confirm the connectivity that we share as humans on earth.
I’d been thinking that all living presidents should get together and comfort the nation. Then I heard that ‘IT‘ was asked about meeting with them and he stated that he didn’t have anything to learn from past presidents. We all know that he’s a total, arrogant, idiotic fool but … what else is new?
Anyway, A. B. Stoddard beat me to the punch and wrote this excellent piece. I must share with you!
Alexandra Brandon Stoddard, known professionally as A. B. Stoddard is an associate editor and columnist at RealClearPolitics. Previously, she worked as an associate editor and columnist for The Hill newspaper. She has been quoted by other news media.
Dear President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama,
The moment you have sought to avoid for nearly four years is here. We are witnessing one of the worst crises to ever confront the United States and one of the worst government failures in the history of the country you served and love.
Together, you have a collective 16 years as president, during which you dealt with a number of crises: the September 11 attacks, two wars, the collapse of the financial system, and the Ebola and H1N1 outbreaks. Faced with these events, you marshaled the vast forces of our government, trusted our best experts, told hard truths, led capable teams on complex missions to tackle these emergencies, and called upon our citizens to unite in patriotic spirit to ride out the storm together. Neither of you were perfect presidents – you both would be the first to admit that – and you each have your detractors.
But both of you knew what the job of the president is in times of crisis and how to manage the basic blocking and tackling of government responses.
President Donald Trump has now proven what many of us long suspected: He has not done any of this, because he cannot do it. He lacks the most basic capabilities required of a president in this moment.
America doesn’t just deserve better. We need better.
And you can help.
This is the time for you to join forces and publicly demand that the government create a plan to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.
The United States is now a worldwide epicenter for the virus. We have outpaced the rest of the world even though we had a long lead time to prepare for it and were one of the last large countries to be struck by it.
But the scariest part is that we are leading the world in total number of cases and the wave has still not crested here: The pace of infections is still accelerating.
These are not political talking points. They are facts. Because COVID-19 doesn’t care where you live in or what party you vote for. In a pandemic, there are no red or blue states – only infected states.
These facts have developed for one reason and one reason only: They are the catastrophic consequences of President Trump’s leadership. He denied the threat the virus posed for weeks. He ignored months – years – worth of warnings and calls to action to move faster on testing capacity and to stockpile essential medical supplies.
You both know that Trump’s response has failed and that continued failure could result in damage which will extend not for years, but decades, to come.
So it is time for you to step forward publicly, rally Americans of both parties to heed the recommendations of public health officials, and demand that the current executive leadership do better.
I know you are both loathe to do this and believe that former presidents should not criticize sitting presidents. Under nearly every other circumstance, that impulse is a wise one. But in this particular situation there is an ongoing disaster where a course-change by the current leadership could effect a material change in America’s outcome. And the only two men in America with enough moral and political leverage to make a difference are the two of you.
Please do not wait another day.
President Obama, you have tweeted encouraging messages about social distancing, which were clearly meant to counter Trump’s sudden case of Social Distancing Disgust. That was helpful, but not enough.
President Bush, you don’t tweet. (And God bless you for that. May you be a beacon to the world on this score.)
But what we need from the two of you is more than tweeting. We need you to publicly stand together and speak out.
Yes, we know President Trump will be dismissive of anything you recommend. As he said recently, he hasn’t reached out to his predecessors because he doesn’t think he would “learn much.” But it may prompt him, begrudgingly, to act – if for no other reason than to want to control the optics of looking like he’s doing something.
For now, Trump is basking in his mother’s milk – polling – which shows the public approves of his handling of the outbreak. These have convinced him that all is well. But what the polls don’t tell – and what the current numbers of diagnosed cases do tell – is what’s coming next.
President Trump plans to “revise” social distancing guidelines next week to “open up” economic activity in places he would like to classify as “low risk.” He has telegraphed that shelter-in-place restrictions – which seem to be working in slowing the progress of the virus – are a plot to defeat him at the polls in November.
On Wednesday he tweeted that “The LameStream media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP.”
On Thursday he claimed that “the mortality rate is way, way down.” It’s unclear what he means by this – precise language is not his strong suit – because we don’t have a clear handle on the mortality rate from COVID-19. There seem to a number of deaths occurring from coronavirus-like symptoms that aren’t being classified as COVID-19 deaths because the patients weren’t tested. Further, the mortality rate varies by age and by access to healthcare. You are more likely to die from COVID-19 in a setting where healthcare resources are maxed out than if you are the only case in the hospital ward.
What we do know is that the total number of “official” deaths will soon eclipse the number of Americans killed on 9/11.
As that number continues to increase – including in states which Trump hopes to carry in November – he may reverse course and tell those “real people” to stay home instead of go back to work. You could help both to focus his mind and give him cover on this.
If Trump could be forced to focus more on the pace of infection, instead of the stock market, he would. But as our infection and death curves spike in the days to come, don’t assume that Trump can focus on the right data.
Neither should you not take comfort in the hope that those around the president will help him do what’s necessary. We cannot count on them. We have all watched as they continue to tolerate his purposeful negligence in this crisis – a combination of magical thinking, denial, impatience, political calculation, and lies.
The posture of the president’s abettors seems to be that he will get it, soon. But he may not, and waiting in hope that he will next week, or the week after, is a dangerous gamble.
What you – and only you – can do is outline a national plan of action, rally public support to it, and force President Trump’s hand.
You can determine the exact specifics of the plan by working with public health experts and economists. It would likely involve a national lockdown for some weeks – the final duration of which to be determined by (1) the infection data and (2) the completion of a nationwide testing system. The lockdown should probably not be eased until we have a testing regime that can easily identify infected people so that they may self-quarantine and also be running random sampling so that we can identify potential hotspots before they flare up. Also: The lockdown should probably not be eased until the supply lines of PPE and other essential healthcare materials are moving efficiently.
The intricacies of epidemiology may be too complicated for the average voter to grasp, but the basic plan for fighting the spread of an epidemic is not.
If you create a plan, and rally support for it among the general public, then you can create the a groundswell of support for it which can then carry Trump into executing it. This need not be done in an adversarial manner. In a perfect world, you two can do the work that he has not been capable of and then give him the space to take ownership of it.
Trump’s own current posture remains both foolish and inhumane. Trump recently remarked that state governors “have to treat us well” if they want help, as if he were a mafia don brokering the allocation of sanitation contracts between his underlings and not a president trying to save the lives of American citizens.
Meanwhile, governors in ravaged states are begging for ventilators that experts estimate we will need roughly a million of, despite the current national inventory of only 200,000. Public health officials also tell the New York Times that a centralized government effort is needed to “referee” the allocation of ventilators to places in the most need, as well as bidding for newly produced ones.
Yet while Trump signed legislation to invoke the Defense Protection Act, he has yet to trigger it. It is mystifying why he has declined to use the available power to supercharge our supplies in the face of such dramatic shortfalls. For instance, New York state requested 30,000 ventilators; the government, provided 4,000 of them. This week more than 100 former national security officials from both parties called upon President Trump to mobilize the law “to the full extent” to provide masks, tests, ventilators, and other critical supplies and equipment, stating the private sector “lacks the ability to process incoming requests, prioritize the most urgent needs and coordinate with other companies absent more concerted government involvement.” In spite of all of these urgent messages and requests and reports from the frontlines of our crushed health care system Trump still questioned the amount of ventilators governors are asking for in an interview with Sean Hannity Thursday.
Outlining a pathway to fix these critical supply chains should be part of your plan, too.
Both of you saw your predecessors working together in their post-presidencies to return to service: George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton not only raised millions for Asian Tsunami recovery but for the victims of Hurricane Katrina as well. When people were in need, Bush and Clinton stepped back into the public square to help.
But in the face of so much death and destruction – some of which has already happened; much of which is still to come – there are no good reasons for you to be quiet now.
Unlike congressional Republicans, who fear Trump and want to please him, you are former presidents of the United States. I suspect that at one point or another the two of you have discussed Trump and are likely of one mind on his administration. Over the last four years you have stayed silent on the subject, for many reasons – most of them good and wise.
America needs you. And even though he does not realize it, so does President Trump.
A. B. Stoddard, representing the United States of America
By now we all have to are aware of the havoc and disruption that this virus is creating in the mighty USA. Closed up cities, counties, states, increasing numbers of cases, some inevitable deaths, lack of medical supplies and equipment … I believe that it should be a national lockdown but … I digress.
Seems to me this whole situation began around November-December 2019, in a distant city in the land of China. There was plenty of time to institute and declare measures to protect the mainland.
But, hey … who’s at the helm?
A very dear personal friend has been sounding the alarm for quite a while. This one is a dire one.
Think about it!!
Life, as we knew it, I believe, will never be the same!
Did you hear the great news yesterday about the coronavirus? … “No, we haven’t reached the peak yet. No, the numbers of cases and deaths aren’t going down. No, we’re not going to be open and hugging each other by Easter. The great news is … drum roll please … Drumpf’s stupid press conferences are getting great TV ratings.”
Did you hear the great news yesterday about the coronavirus? No, we haven’t reached the peak yet. No, the numbers of cases and deaths aren’t going down. No, we’re not going to be open and hugging each other by Easter. The great news is….drum roll please…
…Donald Trump’s stupid press conferences are getting great TV ratings. They’re terrific, outstanding, “astounding!” They’re yuge! They’re so big, Snickers wants to start sponsoring them (I made that up. Don’t call and scream at Snickers).
The New York Times published an article on whether or not networks should run Trump’s daily press conferences because of the high risk of him spreading false information, lies and in general, Trump bullshit. People dying because of Trump’s lies? Donald Trump is the new honey badger and he don’t care.
Donald Trump, shockingly (insert eye roll here), totally missed the point of the article and only noticed the…
There’s another world that has always existed both apart from and alongside civilization. While I was sick it changed, too, in the age-old turning of the earth itself. By the time I could walk outside again, springtime had come to Tennessee.
In our yard there are violets and spring beauties and stickywillys and buttercups. The invasive but lovely deadnettle has turned the ditch next to our house into a cascading drift of purple. Every year it reminds me of Alice Walker’s words: “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” Out in the woods, the trout lilies are opening near toadshade and bloodroot and mayapple, all of them reaching up from the cold soil to bloom in the brief sunlight of early spring, before the trees leaf out and the forest overstory draws in all the available…