by John Walters
A Response To Susie B.
Wanted to begin today’s sermon by responding to Susie B.’s questions in the comments yesterday. Please turn your hymnals to yesterday’s edition, then scroll down through the dozens of comments until you reach Susie B’s. This should not take too long. ‘
But, for those of you who simply do not have the time…
- Why should retired folks that are receiving Social Security checks get the “Stimulus payment”?
My housemate actually resembles this remark, Susie B. She received her check yesterday. Enjoying the rent-free and lasagna-rich lifestyle I currently do, I believe it prudent to not forward this question on to her.
2. What do you think about the attempted bill in Congress that will EXCUSE, not just delay but completely wipe out, one’s Rent or Mortgage payments while COVID rages on? AND the landlords/mortgage holders are not left holding the bag, [because] apparently the “govt” (i.e. TAXPAYERS) will reimburse them?
I think the Republicans do not have a monopoly on dumb ideas. I agree with Vic from New Jersey, whose rant we featured on this site a few weeks back. His fundamental idea is that if you have a rent or mortgage, you just push it back three months and then continue paying again after that. And as for the three months in arrears, you pay that back at the end of your mortgage or when your lease is up (or sooner, if you like). So yeah, that puts the hurt on landlords in the short term. Guess what? Landlords can afford it because the biggest bill most landlords have is… their own mortgage payment. But the average landlord has far more liquidity than his/her tenants.
3. If the federal govt really wants to help, monthly stimulus checks to all LIVING & not yet retired & getting Social Security makes more sense to me. AND the eligibility cut-off should be those who made less than $140k… What’s your opinion on this type of “stimulus”?
$140 K, eh, Susie B.? Nice neighborhood, that. So, basically, the Bottom 91%.
Anyway, I agree with the spirit of your idea and I’m about to go off on a jag…
See, when the pandemic’s economic effects first became clear in mid-March, the federal government had a very important choice to make: Would they rather save Americans or would they rather save American businesses? They chose the latter. To them, and to many analysts and guests on CNBC, this isn’t even a choice. It’s like choosing between sulfur and oxygen.
But it IS a choice only the GOP and CNBC suits don’t see it as one because their lives and or welfare is not at stake. By funneling money to big business and banks, the government voted to keep the heart of Wall Street beating…while countless Americans will (again) suffer, and many die needlessly, for the second time in the past dozen years.
It’s so ingrained in them that we are not a democracy but rather a plutocracy that it didn’t even seem obscene to them, which it is, that it’s more important to save American Airlines than it is to save Americans. But that’s honestly how they feel.
Let’s try to imagine their mindset: Well, if we just dole out the money to Americans, what will they do with it? Spend it?!? Um, yeah. And guess what happens when Americans spend money? The economy is pollenated, nourished, fertilized, what have you. It’s actually economically astute to give Americans who desperately need money money. Because they’ll spend it, and that will grease all the gears.
But see, Americans, 320 million though we may be, are a much smaller lobbying group than the cruise industry or the commercial airline industry. So pols give them money in return for political favors and “trust” them to pay their employees, although they’re free to lay off and/or furlough whomever they please.
Do we give the money to banks and business or to Butch and Betty? Child, please.
Of course, the funniest and most ludicrous part about all of this is that Republicans proudly wear all these Darwinist ideals on their epaulets, and capitalism is nothing more than economic Darwinism. But when it’s big business that natural selection is leaving behind in the jungle undergrowth, the government always steps in with socialist measures to save them. Funny, that.
Apparently, the government does not think we can do without a failing airline (we can, and we always have; ask Pan Am and TWA, etc.) But it does think we can do without half of America being able to afford the next two months of their lives.
Steve Mnuchin, Larry Kudlow, Trump and the rest had a choice: save big business or protect you and I. They made their choice. The fallacy is that Americans cannot do without major corporations. False. Where there’s a supply void, a smart capitalist will always step in to fill it. The companies that got saving were the companies that needed being saved. It’s funny how Republican pols have no problem discussing “culling the herd” when it comes to actual people but do have one when it comes to companies. Why is that?
McNeil Gets McReal
Watch all of this interview between New York Times science editor Don McNeil and Christiane Amanpour. Watch how intelligent and informed he is, how confident (“You can say ‘rush'”), how defiant (he notes that in the same way the CDC had a difficult time getting Trump to take them seriously, that he had a similarly difficult time getting his editors at the NYT to take him seriously about the virus), how candid (“I think [CDC director] Redfield should resign.”).
We fell hard for McNeil when we first heard him speak with Rachel Maddow on the last Friday night in February and we’ve only grown fonder of him since. We put him right up there with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Gov. Andrew Cuomo as one of the true American heroes of his disastrophe. And that all three have lived substantial portions of their lives in New York City only makes us prouder.
Later in the day the NYT released a statement saying that McNeil went “too far” in this interview in expressing his personal views. No, he went too far in being honest. People express their personal views in TV interviews every day. Most of them stay between the guardrails. Even more don’t know what they’re talking about.
McNeil is an expert on this subject. I appreciate his honesty here. We all should.
Sports Year 1891
On October 19, the first “Go As You Please” bicycle race is staged in Madison Square Garden. It’s a six-day race, and while that was nothing new, this was the first race that did not put a set limit on how many hours in a particular day the cyclists were allowed to race. It was all up to the cyclists how much or little sleep they decided to get.
At midnight Monday morning 14 riders from the U.S.A., England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany took off around the 1/10th mile track for what would be a race of 142 hours of duration (ending at 10 p.m. the following Saturday night).
“Plugger” Bill Martin, an Irish American, would win the race, pedaling a world-record (for that time span) 1,466 miles. The near equivalent of pedaling from Boston to Miami. He would take home $2,500 for the victory.
More importantly, the event kick-started the bicycle craze in the USA. Within a decade there would be about 300 bicycle manufacturers stateside. If we, as a civilization, had only stopped there, what a better world this would be.
James Naismith invents the game of basketball for his YMCA class in Springfield, Mass. He is Canadian (I am obliged to write that).
The National League-champion Boston Beaneaters decline to play the American Association champion Boston Reds in the World Series, citing travel costs. The American Association will fold after this season. Power move, Beaneaters. But it worked.
Worth noting that on the final day of the American Association season and thus, its history, rookie pitcher Ted Breitenstein of the St. Louis Browns makes his first Major League start (he had pitched in relief previously) and throws a no-hiiter. Breitenstein was one base on balls away from hurling a perfect game, but still faced the minimum 27 batters.
Breitenstein would be known, along with catcher Heinie Peitz, as the “Pretzel Battery” since both men were of German descent. I miss the days of this not being culturally insensitive but also just of people being named Heinie Peitz.
The inaugural French Open is held. A Brit wins. Sacre bleu!
Led by gargantuan guard Pudge Heffelfinger (6’4″, 178), Yale goes 7-0 and outscores its opponents 488-0. The Yalies are in the midst of a 37-game win streak under coach Walter Camp. Heffelfinger’s legacy will be as that of the first professional football player, the first known player to take money for playing (in games outside of Yale’s).
Kansas and Missouri play for the first time, initiating the oldest rivalry in college football that most of us don’t care about, The Border War.