Happy Thanksgiving !

November 26, 2020

It has been a tough year.

So, it’s a good time to focus on the many reasons we still have to be thankful.

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Anger in America …

November 25, 2020

Time to chill out, folks
=============

Pew ran  large sample surveys in June and and November (after the election).

They asked participants about their feelings: hopefulness, fear, pride and anger.

The latter caught my eye.

Pew asked: In thinking about the state of the country, do you feel angry?

In June, 80% of Biden supporters — 4 out of every 5 — said that they felt ANGRY.

Let that sink in for a moment. ANGRY.

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Since the election, their anger has subsided by about 1/3 … down 24 percentage points to 56%.

That level is about equal to the anger level of Trump supporters before and after the election.

=============

The scorching high temperature among Biden supporters doesn’t surprise me.

But, I am surprised that even more of their anger wasn’t dissipated by their apparently successful effort to oust the hated orange-haired man.

And, I was initially surprised by the majority level of anger among Trump supporters … before and after the election.

My take: They’re anger isn’t directly election-related.

Rather, their anger is probably a reflection of the state-of-the-nation: diminished law & order (i.e. unprosecuted fires & looting) and constrained freedom (e.g. lockdowns and mandates)

=============

The really bad news: The majority of both Biden and Trump supporters are still ANGRY.

Maybe Thanksgiving will a good opportunity for everybody to just chill out…

Let’s give it a try…

Nov. 25: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 25, 2020

265,891 Deaths-to-Date

2,187 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,662    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

175,047  New Cases
> 7-day average  173,169

Currently Hospitalized

88,080  Current level

> Prior Peaks: 59,700 Apr 12, July 24
> Prior Lows:  28,000 June 21, Sept 20

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Election 2020: The power of love and hate…

November 24, 2020

Inner circle friends and relatives will attest that, for months, I didn’t think Trump would get re-elected.

Nothing to do with policies or performance …

My rationale: Hate is a much stronger emotion than love … and that Trump-haters would overwhelm Trump-lovers (and Trump-tolerators).

That dynamic seems to have played out …

All surveys that I’ve seen indicate that a majority of Biden voters admit that their vote was primarily anti-Trump, not pro-Biden … and, the vast  majority of Trump voters were pro-Trump and indifferent to Biden.

=============

Apparently, I’m not the only person who has been thinking along these lines.

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer and, these days,  cultural / political podcaster known for strong, sometimes controversial points-of-view.

In a recent podcast, Whitlock opined:

The 2020 election shows the power of love versus the power of hate.

click for video and transcript
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More specifically …

Read the rest of this entry »

Gallup says that 90% regularly wear masks…

November 24, 2020

So, if masks work, why are COVID cases soaring?
================

COVID cases are soaring … and while the infection-to-fatality rate has dropped significantly, the daily tally of new deaths has been creeping up.

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CDC Director Redfield has testified:

Face coverings are the most powerful public health tool” the nation has against the coronavirus and “might even provide better protection against it than a vaccine.

The COVID death rate will be cut in half if mask compliance were 100%

With that in mind, a recent  WSJ article on “COVID" Fatigue” had a chart that caught my eye.

The high red line below  is the percentage of people who claim that they regularly wear masks when they leave home.

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Bottom line: Gallup says that over 90% of respondents claim they wear masks in public settings … that’s up from 80% who said so in May.

=============

Connecting the dots: Redfield says masks are more effective than vaccines … and, the vast majority of people say they regularly wear masks … but, cases are soaring.

How can that be?

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 24: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 24, 2020

263,687 Deaths-to-Date

972 Daily New Deaths    (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,579   (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

172,103  New Cases
> 7-day average  171,077

Currently Hospitalized

86,836  Current level

> Prior Peaks: 59,700 Apr 12, July 24
> Prior Lows:  28,000 June 21, Sept 20

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So, how risky is a Thanksgiving gathering?

November 23, 2020

Let’s throw some math at the question…
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It’s not a conscious thing, but these days, our brains are constantly running risk assessments:

  1. What’s the likelihood that I get exposed to COVID?
  2. What’s the likelihood that I get infected?
  3. How bad will it be if I do get infected?

Unfortunately, “the science” hasn’t been providing us with much useful “data to follow” on those questions.

So far, the best data is on question #3: How bad will it be if I do get infected?

CDC: 95% survivability rate if over 70 … higher with no symptoms, no co-morbidities or younger.

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Those are pretty good odds, right?
==============

Today, let’s look at question #1 — the likelihood of getting exposed to the virus, say, at a Thanksgiving gathering.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 23: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 23, 2020

262,694 Deaths-to-Date

864 Daily New Deaths    (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,552    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

135,593  New Cases
> 7-day average  169,055

Currently Hospitalized

83,870  Current level

> Prior Peaks: 59,700 Apr 12, July 24
> Prior Lows:  28,000 June 21, Sept 20

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Nov. 22: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 22, 2020

261,790 Deaths-to-Date

1,460 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,505    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

172,839  New Cases
> 7-day average  169,245

Currently Hospitalized

83,227  Current level

> Prior Peaks: 59,700 Apr 12, July 24
> Prior Lows:  28,000 June 21, Sept 20

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Part 2: Mail-in ballot verification is a sham!

November 21, 2020

Specifically, high-volume signature verification is a farce.
=============

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Yesterday, we walked thru my linked experiences: getting a Maryland driver’s license, registering to vote, requesting an absentee ballot and casting an absentee ballot.

The key takeaways:

  • As part of the D/L process, the state captured an electronic facsimile of my signature (that I etch-a-sketched on an electronic keypad)
  • Also as part of the D/L process, I registered to vote … and, my electronic facsimile signature was posted to my voting registration.
  • Later, I requested an absentee ballot online.  When I did, I provided basic ID info but no signature — just a checked box indicating that I agreed to an electronic non-signing
  • When I sent in my absentee ballot, I manually signed the over-wrapping secrecy envelope — not the ballot.

Now, the million dollar question: Given the above takeaways, how did my ballot get verified?

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 21: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 21, 2020

260,212 Deaths-to-Date

1,956 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,474    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

201,434  New Cases
> 7-day average  167,907

Currently Hospitalized

82,178  Current level

> Prior Peaks: 59,700 Apr 12, July 24
> Prior Lows:  28,000 June 21, Sept 20

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Nov. 20: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 20, 2020

258,281 Deaths-to-Date

2,012 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,391    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

188,523  New Cases
> 7-day average  163,464

Currently Hospitalized

80,698  Current level

> Highest day    80,698  Nov. 19
> Prior Peak       59,719  July 23
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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Face it: Mail-in ballot verification is a sham!

November 19, 2020

Specifically, high-volume signature verification is a pipe dream.
============

Let’s start with some basics, illustrated with my personal experience…

Last year, when I retired, I officially moved from Virginia to scenic Annapolis, Maryland.

Dutifully, I marched into the DMV to get a Maryland driver’s license.

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As part of the process, I had to “write” my signature on an electronic pad to create a  digital recording of it.

Note: For physical and behavioral reasons — how we write and how careful we are –these electronic signatures are known to be problematic … this is, they are oftern poor representations of a person’s “real” manual signature.  Anybody who has used one of these devices knows what I’m talking about.

And, as part of the Maryland licensing process, I was offered the chance to simultaneously register to vote.  I did.

Note: My voter registration’s “signature” was, of course, the same electronic facsimile that got posted to my driver’s license. This is important later in my story

So far, so good.

=============

Now, let’s got through my recent encounter with the absentee voting process…

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 19: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 19, 2020

256,218 Deaths-to-Date

1,920 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,277    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

169,796  New Cases
> 7-day average  159,360

> Highest day        170,733  Nov. 13
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

79,410  Current level

> Highest day    79,410  Nov. 18
> Prior Peak       59,719  July 23
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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Voter registration lists are a mess…

November 18, 2020

… and, mail-in ballot verification is a sham.
===============

In a prior post, we argued that assertions that there is “no widespread fraud” is meaningless since relatively small scale fraud that is localized can tilt elections … and that “no systematic fraud has been found” is misleading if the system itself provides ample opportunity to cheat and nobody is trying to find the cheating.

As the old adage says: The absence of evidence of wrong-doing is not evidence that there is no wrong-doing.

The latter — ample opportunity to cheat — is a manifestation of voter registration lists that are a mess and ballot verification procedures that are a sham.

Today, let’s look at voter registration lists, starting with a comprehensive study done by the Pew Trust.

click to view report
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Based on their analysis, Pew concluded:

About 24 million — 1 in every 8 — voter registration records are invalid or “significantly inaccurate”.

Of the 24 million:

  • More than 1.8 million dead individuals are listed as active registrants.
    n Approximately 2.8 million people are registered to vote in more than one state
  • Wrong addresses account for most of the 24 million “significant  inaccuracies”

These issues are non-fatal nuisances when voting is done in-person with a required photo ID: dead people don’t show up in person, its tough for multi-state registrants to show up in both (or all) states (save for crossing the Nevada-California border), and wrong addresses get scrutinized closely when segregated as provisional ballots.

But, when a state opens the mail-in floodgates, these registrations inaccuracies can tilt an election.

Let’s get specific…

=============

When states carpet-bomb ballots to everybody on their voter registration lists, 1 in 8 (12.5%) ballots get mailed to somebody who is dead, registered in another state or has moved to another address.

The “dead ballots” can be cast by somebody else  … maybe somewhat innocently  (e.g. Grandma would want this since she always voted Democratic) … or maliciously (e.g. bad actors “harvesting” the “dead ballots”).

Either way, it’s voting fraud!

=============

Similarly, multi-state registrants may be intentionally playing the system to vote more than once (a mortal sin) … or, may be thinking that it’s OK to do since the state “legitimized” their vote by sending them a ballot.

Note: Last year,  I moved and changed my voter registration.  This year, I was deluged with letters and phone calls urging me to vote in my old state.

Either way, it’s voting fraud!

=============

What about the millions of wrong addresses on file?

Think about it: Millions of ballots go to the wrong address!

Note: Pew says that 1 in 8 people move every 2 years — between election cycles … and 1 in 4 young people move in that time.

What’s the problem?

First, people who legitimately should get a ballot don’t because their address hasn’t been updated.

Note: we have first-hand experience of this happening to our immediate family members.

Second, persons who currently reside at the address on file have the opportunity to vote the ballot … no muss, no fuss.

But, don’t these cases get caught and rectified?

Dream on.

In concept, the ballot verification process should snag these errant votes but — as we’ll detail  in another post — the verification processes  (think: signature verification) is porous to sham status.

And, consider what happens when a person who hasn’t received a ballot shows up to vote in person.

If a bad actor has sent in their mail-in ballot, the legit person is flagged for voting twice and given a provisional ballot to be researched and either tossed or validated (with the mail-in ballot voided).

I’m betting the under on that process ever happening!

================

Cumulatively, these loopholes provide ample opportunity for bad actors to cheat … maybe enough to tilt an election …– especially when ballots are carpet-bombed to everybody on voter registration lists.

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Absentee ballot processes used by many states mitigate the problems somewhat but don’t eliminate them.

They just shift the focus to ballot verification processes … which we’ll cover in another post.

Nov. 18: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 18, 2020

254,255 Deaths-to-Date

1,615 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,191    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

157,248  New Cases
> 7-day average  154,760

> Highest day        170,733  Nov. 13
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

76,830  Current level

> Highest day    73,014  Nov. 16
> Prior Peak       59,719  July 23
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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First, it was “mostly peaceful protests”…

November 17, 2020

Now, it’s “no widespread voter fraud” or “no systematic fraud”
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Like roughly 73 million other Americans, I thought it was surreal this summer when the MSM and left-leaning pundits, coined the phrase “mostly peaceful protests” … and then oft-repeated it to establish the faux-truth among a gullible constituency.

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Literally billions of dollars of destruction, businesses burned to the ground, stores looted and people intimidated when walking the streets or dining at restaurants.

IMHO, that’s hardly “peaceful”.

Practically speaking, “peaceful” is a binary variable, not a matter of degree. Especially for those innocent people who lost their businesses, had their neighborhoods burned to a crisp or got roughed up.

My view: “mostly peaceful” is a frightening measure of civil conduct.

Right up there with “the end justifies the means”.

==============

Now, we’ve got a new low bar for civil behavior: “no widespread voter fraud” … or its close cousin: “no systematic voting fraud”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 17: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 17, 2020

252,633 Deaths-to-Date

721 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,169    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

157,951  New Cases
> 7-day average  152,612

> Highest day        170,733  Nov. 13
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

73,014  Current level

> Highest day    73,014  Nov. 16
> Prior Peak       59,719  July 23
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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Follow-up to “Some people just shouldn’t vote” … or, should they?

November 16, 2020

Two classic pieces of advice on the question.
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Following last weeks’ post “Some people just shouldn’t vote! “ … a couple of loyal readers reminded me of some classic points-of-view on the subject.

First, is former President Obama’s “Cousin Pookie” advice:

You’ve got to grab your friends. You’ve got to grab your co-workers.

You know, don’t just get the folks you know are going to vote.

You’ve got to find Cousin Pookie, he’s sitting on the couch right now watching football.

He hasn’t voted in the last 5 elections.

You’ve got to grab him and tell him to go vote.

I didn’t say it … Obama did:

click to view video clip
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===============

Back in 1984, Andy Rooney — a culture observer & humorist — presented a  contrary point-of-view on 60 Minutes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 16: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 16, 2020

251,832 Deaths-to-Date

579 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,154    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

136,922  New Cases
> 7-day average  147,991

> Highest day        170,733  Nov. 13
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

69,864  Current level

> Highest day    69,864  Nov. 15
> Prior Peak       59,719  July 23
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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Nuts: Georgia wimps out on its vote check.

November 15, 2020

This is very disappointing news…
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Last week, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger broke news that he was ordering a hand recount and audit of the state’s election results.

That sounded like very good news … setting a reasonable expectation that illegitimate mail-in ballots would be tossed … and, that Dominion computer counts would be cross-checked.

But, hopes of a rigorous vote-check have all but vanished.

Read the rest of this entry »

The temperature – COVID connection …

November 15, 2020

A team of researchers at Goldman Sachs turned on their regression machines and found a compelling relationship between outside temperature and CODID case confirmations.

Goldman’s bottom line: As temperatures get colder, the incidence of COVID cases increases — pretty dramatically, regardless of local COVID mitigation policies.    Source

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Goldman points out that’s not surprising since:

Most other coronaviruses (i.e. the common cold), along with various influenza strains, are heavily influenced by temperature and seasonal effects (hence “flu season.

Why is that?

  • Researchers have found that the human immune system weakens in cold temperature, making people more vulnerable to viruses
  • Cold weather forces more people to be indoors more often, making them susceptible to infection if a  “carrier” breaches their poorly ventilated “bubble”.

===== =======

My add: Note that 72 to 80 degrees is the sweet spot.  That’s the temp at which most people turn off their homes HVAC systems, reducing the circulation of any airborne contaminants.  Hmmm.

Nov. 15: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 15, 2020

251,256 Deaths-to-Date

1,250 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,130    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

163,473  New Cases
> 7-day average  142,939

> Highest day        170,733  Nov. 13
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

69,453  Current level

> Highest day    69,453  Nov. 14
> Prior Peak       59,719  July 23
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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Some people just shouldn’t vote!

November 13, 2020

Every election cycle, I scratch my head and wonder blasphemously whether “one man, one vote” makes sense.

Surveys routinely reveal that a majority of Americans have marginal knowledge of government, politics, and political issues.

Try this: ask folks to explain the difference between the Federal deficit and the Federal debt … ask them where the money that funds, say unemployment benefits, comes from.

Jason Brennan is a rare breed … a libertarian business prof at Georgetown.

His research is at the nexus of ethics and politics.

He wrote an insightful book called The Ethics of Voting that I consider a classic.

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The essence of Jason’s argument is that all adult citizens have the right to vote … but that they shouldn’t exercise that right unless they are informed, rational, and aiming for the common good.

Let’s drill down on that conclusion…

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 13: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 13, 2020

248,541 Deaths-to-Date

1,143 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,089    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

159,800  New Cases
> 7-day average  131,953

> Highest day        159,800  Nov. 12
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

68,096  Current level

> Highest day    68,096  Nov. 12
> Prior Peak       59,719  July 23
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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Manchin says not to worry: “I won’t vote for crazy things.”

November 12, 2020

And, there’s probably more to the story.
============

During a blockbuster interview, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin didn’t mince words.

Manchin said he wanted to “reduce Americans anxiety” about the possibility of the Dems taking control of the Senate.

He said clearly and definitively that, as a tie-blocking vote,  he’d vote NO on “crazy things” like ending the filibuster, court packing, defunding the police and the Green New Deal..

Note: He didn’t mention statehood for DC and P.R., but it’s fair to assume that he’d lump that among the crazy things.

This is the single most refreshing statement I’ve heard from a politician in years.

The entire interview is well worth the listening time.

click to view the 8-minute interview
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Of course, there’s more to the story…

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 12: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 12, 2020

247,278 Deaths-to-Date

1,359 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,068    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

137,590  New Cases
> 7-day average  125,297

> Highest day        142,212  Nov. 10
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

65,368  Current level

> Highest day    65,368  Nov. 11
> Prior Peak       59,719  July 23
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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Schumer: Take Georgia, then change America and the World.

November 11, 2020

Did he gift the GOP a “defund the police” sound bite?
=============

By now, everybody should be aware that the two  Georgia run-offs in January will determine control of the Senate … and, whether or not the radical left will be throttled by a divided government.

Last weekend, a camera-prone, emotionally-charged Schumer did an imitation of the Howard Dean Scream … letting rip a campaign battle cry:

“Now we take Georgia … then change America … and change the world!”

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IMHO, Schumer’s exclamation was a big favor to the GOP.

Here’s why…

===============

First, I think pundits were misreading a common poll result that was oft-headlined during the presidential campaign:

“A majority of Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction”.

The usual interpretation: Everything that Trump is doing is bad and wrong … and needs to be changed.

True, many people probably felt that way.

My guess: About half of the Dems, some of the Independents and a handful of Republicans.

My bet: Many  people thought rioting, looting, canceling, etc., were the wrong direction, not Trump’s policies

That’s why they were comfortable voting for Trump.

Schumer may be falling for the pollsters’ trap … thinking that a majority of Americans (or a majority of his party) wants to radically change America.

I doubt that’s the case.

So, his war chant may be off-target … and for sure, provides the GOP candidates in Georgia a sound bite that will be showcased in commercials … probably, pretty effectively.

Thanks, Chuckie.

Early odds: GA Senate run-offs

November 10, 2020

Betting lines see a split vote … I’m not so sure.
=============

By now, everybody should be aware that the two  Georgia senate run-offs in January will determine control of the Senate … and, whether or not the radical left will be throttled by a divided government.

If the GOP wins at least one of the elections, the Senate stays in GOP control.

If the the Dems sweep the 2 seats, the Senate is tied 50-50 and Dems control the Senate with Kamala presiding.

The early betting line is a split decision … with Warnock (D) a slight favorite over Loeffler … and Perdue (R) favored over Ossoff.

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Note: There’s a technical explanation of the odds at the end of post.

=============

My bet: One party or the other will sweep the run-offs.

Here’s why…

Read the rest of this entry »

About the Congressional races…

November 10, 2020

A bonafide red wave!
===============

The Congressional elections are, perhaps, a better indication of American political sentiment than the Presidential election — which was certainty influenced by Trump-hating.

Going into the election, pundits and politicos were forecasting a Dem pick-up of 10 to 15 seats.

Not to be.

Already in the books is a 5-seat GOP pick-up…

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And, there 10 congressional contests that haven’t been called.

Based on current counts, the GOP stands to pick up an additional 8 seats … for a total pick-up of 13 seats.

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Now, that’s a red wave !

P.S. Another fine job by the prognosticators.

Nov. 9: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 10, 2020

244,448 Deaths-to-Date

641 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,047 (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

125,609  New Cases
> 7-day average  113,655

> Highest day        125,609  Nov. 9
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

59,275  Current level

> Highest day    59,840  April 15
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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Nov.9: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 9, 2020

243,756 Deaths-to-Date

500 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,041 (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

101,553  New Cases
> 7-day average  108,338

> Highest day        113,203  Nov. 5
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

55,817  Current level 

> Highest day    59,840  April 15
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14

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Will the SCOTUS take on any of the GOP election cases?

November 8, 2020

Disclaimer: I’m neither a lawyer nor a constitutional scholar… just a curious guy trying to understand an interesting issue.

OK, there’s a constitutional question in Pennsylvania, whistleblower affidavits of episodic malfeasance in multiple states and a widespread (albeit partisan) sense that fraudulent ballots were submitted without adequate verification and counted.

Trump’s lawyers are petitioning the SCOTUS to review the charges and order remedies.

So, the question is: Will the SCOTUS intervene in the election?

Let’s drill down on that question…

Read the rest of this entry »

Remember Hillary’s advice to Joe?

November 7, 2020

The Philly mayor said yesterday that Trump should “just put on his big boy pants” and concede.

Hmm.

That reminded me of the advice that Clinton offered to Biden in August.

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According to left-leaning Politico:

Hillary Clinton is predicting Donald Trump’s reelection effort will be a messy affair, and the former Democratic candidate has some advice for Joe Biden: If the race is close, don’t concede.

She emphasized that even a small margin of votes can have major consequences, harking back to her experience winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and still losing in the Electoral College.

Democrats, she said, should be ready to fight if the results come back too close to call.

“Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,”

Biden said in July that Trump would try to “indirectly steal” the election by attacking mail-in ballots.

The GOP response: Democrats “believe they can sue their way to victory, and there’s no telling what other shenanigans Democrats will pull once polling locations are open,”

“Don’t concede a close election under any circumstances.”

I wonder if she’d offer the same advice to Trump?

Alito preps for the possibility of tossing late PA ballots…

November 7, 2020

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An interesting development last night.

Justice Alito — who is the SCOTUS point man for the Pennsylvania region — issued the following order:

All county boards of election are hereby ordered, pending further order of the Court, to comply with the following guidance provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth on October 28 and November 1, namely,

(1) that all ballots received by mail after 8:00 p.m. on November 3 be segregated and kept “in a secure, safe and sealed container separate from other voted ballots,” and

(2) that all such ballots, if counted, be counted separately.

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So what?

IMHO, the GOP case is pretty strong.  The Constitution says that state legislatures set the rules for elections, not other government officials or state courts.

The PA legislature’s law says that ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on election day.

It can be debated whether that’s a good rule … but, it’s the law!

The Dem election officials changed the rules to accept mail-in ballots for the whole week.  Their decision was upheld by the PA Supreme Court.

So, the the question is a Constitutional one, not vague charges of vote fraud.

Big deal or little deal?

That’s unclear.

(1) In yesterday’s press conference, the state’s chief election official was unable (or unwilling?) to report how many ballots fell into the late-arriving category.

So, could be a lot … or, could be few.  That’s a big unknown.

(2) Though PA election officials previously issued rules comparable to Justice Alito’s, there are reports that some (many?) PA counties didn’t follow the rules — either out of ignorance or defiance.

This could be a very big deal !

First, it’s conceivable (but unlikely, IMHO) that here are enough late arriving votes to swing the election results.

Second, what if the SCOTUS rules that the late-arriving votes are, in fact, unconstitutional … and PA “finds” that counties haven’t been segregating the votes and that there’s no way to separate them after-the-fact.

What does the SCOTUS do to remediate that situation?

I see only 2 options: (1) let all the votes count and tell PA to not to do it again, or (2) disallow all mail in votes because the pool of votes was irreparably contaminated.

This could get very interesting…

Flashback 1960: Nixon vs. Kennedy (and Mayor Daley)

November 6, 2020

One of the top 5 “rigged Presidential elections”.
Will 2020 make the list?
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I lived in Chicago for much of the 70s and 80s.

So, I witnessed the power of Mayor Daley’s Democratic machine.

Its abuses were in plain sight for all to see: most notably, political patronage and vote fraud … think: voting rights for the deceased, “vote early and vote often”, “walking around money”, mysteriously appearing boxes of ballots.

The hallmark of the Chicago machine was the 1960 Presidential election between Kennedy and Nixon.

Fred Lucas, author of the book Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections, ranks Kennedy vs. Nixon as one of the top 5 “rigged Presidential elections”.

Here’s a summary what qualified that election for Lucas’ top 5 list…

Read the rest of this entry »

Regardless of the outcome…

November 6, 2020

Half of the country will consider the winner to be illegitimate
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What a mess…

If Biden wins, Trump supporters will point to fraudulent mail voting and counting shenanigans happening behind closed doors in Democratic “machine” cities & states … Philly, Detroit, Milwaukee and Nevada.

If Trump prevails, it will undoubtedly be because of favorable court rulings on fraudulent mail votes, obstructed poll watchers and violation of state election laws (in Pennsylvania).  

Dems will claim unjustified intervention by the courts … and judicial bias.

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Odds are that Biden will ultimately prevail.

If so, the good news is that it’ll be less likely that cities will get burned and looted.

The bad news (for Biden) is that half of the country will think that it got cheated …

 

Nov. 6: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 6, 2020

240,920 Deaths-to-Date

1,091 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 973       (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

113,203  New Cases
> 7-day average  94,075

> Highest day        113,203  Nov. 5
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

53,322  Current level
> Highest day    59,840  April 15
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14
> Recent peak    59,715  July 23

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Election – Polling & Results

November 5, 2020

As of this moment (Nov. 5, 8 a.m)…
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Biden is leading the national popular vote by 2.4% (50.4% to 48.0%)

How does that rack up against the final polls?

The final RCP poll-of-polls projected Biden would win the the popular vote by 6.7% …a 3.6 percentage points miss.

Drilling down on the 11 polls that RCP included in their final average …

  • The IBD/TIPP poll (which, along with Trafalgar, was most accurate in 2016) is closest to the pin @ 3%
  • 10 of the 11 overstated Biden’s margin
  • Worst misses were Quinnipiac, NBC/WSJ, Economist/YouGov

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Also, as of this moment (Nov. 5, 8 a.m), the only battleground state that’s settled is Florida.

  • NC & PA haven’t been called
  • AZ is uncertain (despite FNN’s early call)
  • WI will likely be recounted; MI will be litigated
  • GA and NV emerged as battlegrounds.

Here’s final polling for the 6 states that RCP considered to be battlegrounds going into the election:

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Specifically, looking at Florida which Trump won by 3.4%…

  • Silver-535 projected Biden to be the odds on winner (69% to 31%)
  • Trafalgar, Insider Advantage and Susquehanna called the Trump win.
  • Trafalgar was closest to the pin, projecting a Trump win by 2.1%
  • The RCP average projected a .9% Biden win …  that’s 4.3 percentage points off the final
  • Biden was projected to win big by Quinnipiac (an 8.4 percentage point miss) and CNBC (an 6.4 percentage point miss)

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Conceivably, the pollsters will be somewhat vindicated when the rest of the states are finalized … but, but I’m betting the under on that one.

Nov. 5: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 5, 2020

239,805 Deaths-to-Date

1,177 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 955       (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

103,848  New Cases
> 7-day average  89,884

> Highest day        101,012  Oct. 30
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

52,049  Current level
> Highest day    59,840  April 15
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14
> Recent peak    59,715  July 23

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JP Morgan: 25% market drop if there’s a Blue Wave …

November 3, 2020

I don’t provide investment advice, but I do pass along interesting tidbits..

Here’s one hot off the presses: JP Morgan advised clients of likely market reactions to possible election results.

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In a nutshell:

> Market up 15% if Trump wins and the GOP retains the Senate

> Market down 25% if Biden wins and the Dems take the Senate

> Market up 7% if there’s a split decision: Trump, but a Dem Senate … or, Biden and a GOP Senate.

Betting markets have the odds of a Blue Wave at about 55-45.

In a previous post, we channeled a B of A analysis concluding that a Blue Wave would be good for the market.

Draw your own conclusion.

Election: Blue Wave coming?

November 3, 2020

If so, what will the stock market do?
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Interesting analysis from B of A brain trust, channeled thru ZeroHedge

First, the betting markets are still indicating slightly better than even odds of a Blue Wave — Biden wins, Dems win Senate & House.

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Surprising (to me, at least), the B of A analysts conclude that a Blue Wave would be good for the stock market.

The essence of their argument…

In the short-run, Dems would spend like drunken sailors … spiking the economy.

In the long-run, higher taxes would dampen the economy but Dems will likely rein in their tax & spend proclivities to keep from getting blown out in the mid-term elections.

The argument strikes me as a sales pitch to buoy the stock market more than a serious analysis.

On the flipside, they argue that either a Trump win or a GOP Senate will lead to a gridlock-induced stagflation.

I’m not for stagflation, but I’ve always been pretty comfortable with gridlock …

My view: Most of what gets enacted by Congress seems to make my life worse, not better. Viva gridlock.

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And, of course, there are Blue Sweep contrarians.

JPMorgan strategists see “an orderly Trump victory as the most favorable outcome for equities (upside to ~3,900).”

Place your bet…

Election – Battlegrounds – FINAL

November 3, 2020

RCP Average – 6 Battlegrounds
Biden  48.9  Trump  46.6  +2.3

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RCP Battlegrounds – State-by-State

> RCP has Trump leading in NC, Biden leading in the other 5 battlegrounds.

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Trafalgar* Battlegrounds – State-by-State

> Trafalgar has Biden leading in WI, Trump leading in the other 5 battlegrounds

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My election day POV:

> Trump takes AZ, NC, FL … and drags  Tillis & McSally to victory (and Ernst in IA)

> Biden takes MI and WI … James pulls an upset in MI

> PA is winner-takes-all … advantage Trump, but too close to call … controversial counting will drag on

> TX looms as a wildcard given very high early voting volume.

> Collins scores a come from behind in Maine

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* Technical Note:

There are 2 pollsters who are generally credited with getting the 2016 election right: IBD/TIFF and the Trafalgar Group.

The Trafalgar Group leans right, emphasizes state polls & predictions (especially the swing states) and claims to have a proprietary protocol that elicits replies from the “shy Trump voters”.

Nov. 3: C-19 Data Dashboard

November 3, 2020

236,980 Deaths-to-Date

505 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 849    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

88,386  New Cases
> 7-day average  83,655

> Highest day        101,012  Oct. 30
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

48,470  Current level
> Highest day    59,840  April 15
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14
> Recent peak    59,715  July 23

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Biden: I know Philadelphia…

November 2, 2020

… I got my Eagles jacket on.
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That’s what Screamin’ Joe said to burnish his “native son” cred.

Sorry, Joe … that’s a Univ. of Delaware Blue Hen on your jacket, not a Philadelphia Eagle.

Oops.

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Nov.2: Election – Battlegrounds

November 2, 2020

RCP Average – 6 Battlegrounds
Biden  49.0  Trump  45.9  +3.1

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Battlegrounds – State-by-State

> RCP has a statistical tie in NC, Biden leading in the other 5 battlegrounds.

> Trafalgar has Biden leading in WI, Trump leading in the other 5 battlegrounds

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If I had to bet today:

> Trump takes AZ, NC, FL … and drags Tillis & McSally to victory.

> Biden takes MI and WI … James pulls an upset in MI

> PA is winner-takes-all … advantage Trump, but too close to call … controversial counting will drag on

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Technical Note:

There are 2 pollsters who are generally credited with getting the 2016 election right: IBD/TIFF and the Trafalgar Group.

The Trafalgar Group leans right, emphasizes state polls & predictions (especially the swing states) and claims to have a proprietary protocol that elicits replies from the “shy Trump voters”.

Yesterday’s “Trump Caravan” in DC…

November 2, 2020

What a totally peaceful protest looks like.
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We got a surprise on Sunday afternoon.

We were on the inner-loop of the Washington Beltway yesterday. heading northeast to Annapolis.

On the other side of the road, we noticed a couple of cars & trucks with Trump flags and banners.

We couldn’t help but notice that it wasn’t really just a couple of cars & trucks.

The caravan was miles long.

For those familiar with the DC Beltway, the caravan ran almost the entire distance from I-270 to Route 50 (the expressway to Annapolis).

The Caravan was unlike anything I’d ever witnessed — save for the Macy’s T-Day Parade.

Yes, pick-ups made up the majority of the caravan … but, there were plenty of high-end SUVs, too.

And, for the record, the caravan appeared to be moving at the speed limit and traffic on that side was flowing nicely by Beltway standards.

We didn’t see any firearms being brandished … and nobody was chucking projectiles at innocent people, places or things.

Just driving and waving out of their windows and sky-roofs.

For Trump supporters, it was reassuring to see “shy” Trump supporters come out-of-the closet in the solid-blue DC-Maryland area.

For Biden supporters, there must be solace that none of the caravan’s votes will matter since DC, MD and VA are a lock for Biden.

BTW: On our side of the road, we only spotted one Biden-Harris bumper sticker.

It was on a car parked on the side of the road with its hood up.

An omen?

Nov. 2: C-19 Data Snapshot

November 2, 2020

236,471 Deaths-to-Date

399 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 853    (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

71,321  New Cases
> 7-day average  80,664

> Highest day        101,012  Oct. 30
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

47,374  Current level
> Highest day    59,840  April 15
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14
> Recent peak    59,715  July 23

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Oct. 31: Election – Battlegrounds

October 31, 2020

RCP Average – 6 Battlegrounds
Biden  48.9  Trump  45.8  +3.1

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Battlegrounds – State-by-State

> RCP has Trump leading in AZ, Biden leading in the other 5 battlegrounds.

> Trafalgar has Biden leading in WI, Trump leading in the other 5 battlegrounds

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If I had to bet today:

> Trump takes AZ, NC, FL … and drags Tillis & McSally to victory.

> Biden takes MI and WI … James pulls an upset in MI

> PA is winner-takes-all … advantage Trump, but too close to call … controversial counting will drag on

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Technical Note:

There are 2 pollsters who are generally credited with getting the 2016 election right: IBD/TIFF and the Trafalgar Group.

The Trafalgar Group leans right, emphasizes state polls & predictions (especially the swing states) and claims to have a proprietary protocol that elicits replies from the “shy Trump voters”.

Oct. 21: C-19 Data Dashboard

October 31, 2020

235,153 Deaths-to-Date

932 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 838     (peak 2.229 April 23)

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Confirmed Cases

101,012  New Cases
> 7-day average  77,822

> Highest day        101,012  Oct. 30
> April 24 peak      36,291
> June 8 low point  17,414

Currently Hospitalized

46,688  Current level
> Highest day    59,840  April 15
> Lowest point   27,895  June 14
> Recent peak    59,715  July 23

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