Trump Does the Limbo Rock

limbo party

Back on April 18, I posted some numbers from the fivethirtyeight.com data set representing a rolling average of “all polls” measuring Trump’s “approval” and “disapproval.” The rolling average numbers are weighted by the web site’s estimation of the relative reliability of the polls, taking into account data size and methodology. The web site publishes three such data sets, one for “all adults” (registered and unregistered, more likely to vote, less likely to vote), a second data set of polls limited to registered voters, and a third data set of both types of polls, thrown in together. I used the third of these, the “all polls” data set.

Trump “disapprovers” exceeded Trump “approvers” throughout this period, but by varying amounts.

I showed how, at the time of the Great Pivot, in mid-March, Trump’s disapprovers exceeded his approvers by 10.5 percent. This was also the time when the Daily Trump Gaslighting Show got under way. From Mid-March to the end of March, the gaslighting seemed to be doing its job: he remained under water the whole time, but by the end of March, he was only under water by 4 points, not 10.5 points.

But, as the poet has said, April is the cruelest month. Between March 28, Trump sank further under water. My post showed that by April 18, he was back under water by 8 points—and he was, pretty reliably, sinking by two tenths of a point every day.

Now, another 10 days have passed. And where does he stand now?

You got it. It’s 10 percent. And you didn’t even have to go to fivethirtyeight.com to look it up.

How looooooow can he gooooooo?

Enjoy That Pork Chop

pork chops

Bloomberg Politics, Trump to Order Meat Plants to Stay Open in Move Slammed by Union

It is reliably reported that

the International Food Safety Authorities Network continues to investigate the potential for persistence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

This is a new virus, so we don’t know everything about how it’s transmitted. But WHO reports that outbreaks of similar upper respiratory diseases caused by SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV did not transmit via food consumption. This previous evidence suggests that the same will be true for the SARS-COV-2 virus, but more study is warranted.

And you might want to give that plastic packaging a good Lysol dousing. (Just don’t lick the package, afterward.) The same source continues,

There’s still a concern about whether the virus can survive on raw food, and, if so, for how long it can remain viable. A recent National Institutes of Health study found that the virus can remain viable on hard surfaces, such as steel and plastic, for up to three days.

Pollyanna’s Back on the Valium Today

oh no

I think she has some 3M and some Harley-Davidson in her portfolio.

Manufacturing is Going to Hell in a Handbasket

The Wall Street Journal informs us that Manufacturers Hit a Wall as Coronavirus Saps Demand: Caterpillar, Harley and 3M are among companies idling production and cutting costs:

Major U.S. manufacturers said some closed plants may never reopen and new product introductions could be delayed, after the coronavirus pandemic slashed demand for everything from motorcycles to industrial paint.

Caterpillar Inc. CAT -0.50% said Tuesday that its first-quarter revenue fell by a fifth, and Harley-Davidson Inc. HOG 12.46% said retail sales of its motorcycles slumped around the world during the quarter. 3M Co. MMM 2.03% said it would furlough workers and idle some factory lines apart from its booming N95 mask business, a sign of the broad economic malaise affecting even companies with a hot product.

“The impact of Covid-19 on our business has been significantly more severe and chaotic than any cyclical downturn we had envisioned,” Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby said on a conference call. …

Big chunks of the U.S. industrial base remain closed as part of the effort to contain the virus. Other factories are closed due to declining demand or parts shortages. Caterpillar and 3M said a quarter of their factories are offline. Harley, which idled assembly plants in mid-March, said it is restarting some production. The Milwaukee-based company also said, though, that the worsening economic outlook has prompted it to reconsider when to introduce some new models it is counting on to draw new customers. Nearly two-thirds of its U.S. dealers remain closed.

And so on, and so on.

Delusional Thinking Versus Political Survival: Guess Which One Wins?

“Political survival,” you might have responded, as your knee jerked.

Understandable, but: WRONG ANSWER!

Political aggrandizement would have dictated that Trump act in a totally different way than he has acted. Even today, even today, he might save his sorry political skin if he appointed a czar or czarina, put that person in charge, got the hell out of the way, and claimed all the credit.

But he is delusional. Not about everything—I assume he knows the difference between the dining room and the bathroom, and that he can distinguish between Melania and a Japanese sex doll. But he remains delusional about science, medicine, and the economy. And he demands that we sacrifice our lives, not to mention our jobs and our stock portfolios, so that he does not have to face reality.

Paul Waldman writes,

Consider what it says that we read this paragraph not on Feb. 27, not on March 27, but on April 27, after the pandemic has progressed so far:

Pressure mounted Monday on the White House and Congress to develop a national strategy to test Americans for exposure to the novel coronavirus, as health and economic experts said the current patchwork of testing efforts is insufficient to allow the economy to reopen safely.

A national testing strategy might indeed be helpful! Perhaps the Trump administration will get around to it one of these days.

We Report, You Decide

A good friend from downstairs, and a person of very advanced progressive views, has forwarded this from salon.com, Pulitzer winner Chris Hedges: These “are the good times — compared to what’s coming next”: Author of “America: The Farewell Tour”: We’re heading for a steep decline; Biden and the Democrats have no answers. The article makes a strong case for the rottenness of the American political economy and for the complicity of both political parties. Please read it, if you are interested in reading an argument along these lines.

Among (many) other things, the author allows as how

A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for more of the same. The ruling elites would prefer Joe Biden, just like they preferred Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump is vulgar and an embarrassment. But the ruling elites also made it abundantly clear about their interests: Many of these people were quoted by name saying that if Bernie Sanders was the nominee — or even Elizabeth Warren — they would vote for Donald Trump.

All that said, I would detect a material difference between the candidate who is utterly delusional about basic medical, scientific, and economic facts, and who is prepared to take the whole damn country down with him to protect his delusions about facts and his delusions of grandeur—versus another candidate who is able to absorb relevant facts and draw reasonable conclusions.

And I would hazard the guess that some of the folks at 3M, Caterpillar, and Harley-Davidson may be having the same epiphany right about now.

duh

Happy, Happy

Happy, Happy

happy

The Wall Street Journal reports on The Secret Group of Scientists and Billionaires Pushing a Manhattan Project for Covid-19: They are working to cull the world’s most promising research on the pandemic, passing on their findings to policy makers and the White House.

In other good news, the Supreme Court voted 8 to 1 to shitcan yet another Republican plan to gut the Affordable Care Act. The four progressives joined the majority because they didn’t want to screw sick Americans. Four of the five wingers joined the majority because they didn’t want to screw insurance companies out of the financial support provided in the law.

Justice Alito was the sole dissenter, because he wants to screw everyone.

Meanwhile, in Other News

sad

Tyson foods took out a full page advertisement in the New York Times to let us know that America’s food supply chain is breaking.