Bankruptcy

Biden faded fast and choked in the last section

First of all, Kristen Welker did a very good job as moderator. Even Trump praised her.

Joe Biden started off well but faded fast in the back half of the debate. He didn’t handle the saga around his son, Hunter, well. He sounded rattled and will only draw more eyeballs to the suppressed media coverage.

Trump explained his points far better that in the first debate. Getting rid of COVID in the first question allowed the more powerful points for Trump in the back half where he could made significant ground around the economy, foreign policy, race and health.

Trump executed well by slamming Biden for being a “politician” who promises stuff but doesn’t deliver. That he hasn’t achieved the things he proposes now in 47 years in politics or 8 years as VP. Biden even disparaged Obama by saying he can do things he wants if he is president.

When Biden raised Hitler in the debate, he started to back pedal fast. Why talk about Nazism?

Biden’s stupidity was to touch on $15 minimum wages to help small business. Is he nuts? What small business in trouble thinks that recovery will come through higher wages?

Biden asked people to fact check his position on fracking. He said he wouldn’t ban it in today’s debate but is on tape countless times saying he would. Too easy to prove he is lying. Biden’s renewables push was hopeless and Trump made it clear why the US doesn’t need to be in the Paris Accord.

At the very end Biden chucked the oil industry under the bus in the closing remarks of the climate change section. Trump pushed him and he took the bait to say he wants to phase it out for good. Surely not the thing to say in fossil fuel dependent swing states.

In summary, this election will be determined by “lived experience“. Nothing is more powerful than becoming irate at a politician telling you what you aren’t experiencing.

We think the actions of mostly despotic Democratic mayors and governors throughout coronavirus have sent a negative message about what happens when citizens lose control and cede power to law makers.

We still believe Trump has got this.

Emmy Schmemmy – ratings down 67%

Living proof that normal people couldn’t care less about woke celebrities telling the commoners about their politics.

It’s hard to keep up. One year it’s climate change, another #METOO, another asylum seekers, another LGBTQI. Now BLM and COVID.

One would think the organizers would realize that woke causes have driven a 67% drop in eyeballs. That’s the power of virtue signaling. Diminishing returns.

100% self inflicted. That why the more celebs bang the Democrat drum, the better it is for Trump. Keep up the good work. Americans are done with these clowns whose only grip on reality comes after checking into the Betty Ford Clinic.

Life experience politicians vs Career politicians

It is so refreshing when politicians have life experience. South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem posted the following statement. As a small business owner herself, she knew how they functioned and has opened her state’s doors to welcome anyone fleeing lawless Democrat run cities, towns and states.

You’ve heard me say many times that South Dakota never closed. We allowed South Dakotans to make the best decisions for themselves, their families, their businesses, and their communities. But we were unique in this path; other states made different choices. In fact, in some places businesses have been closed for the past six months. How are small business owners supposed to make ends meet in states that have locked down their economies for six months straight?

This isn’t a hypothetical question to me. As a former small business owner, I’ve personally dealt with the struggles of keeping a business afloat. When my dad passed away, I had to take charge of our family’s farming operation. We struggled to balance paying our IRS bill with payroll and all the other expenses that are a regular part of running a small business. If we’d been forced to shut down for six months in the middle of it all, our business would not have made it.

That’s exactly what we’re seeing play out across the country. As a result of extended lockdowns, countless businesses are closing. In July, Yelp announced that more than 72,000 businesses on the site had closed for good since the start of the pandemic, and that was more than a month ago. Retailers and restaurants have been hit especially hard.

These businesses are more than just storefronts – they’re people’s livelihoods. They put food on the table, not only for small business owners, but also for their employees. Without businesses to employ these workers, states that have been shut down will struggle to recover even after they reopen.

Here in South Dakota, because we didn’t shut down our state, the recovery story is far stronger. According to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, South Dakota had the fewest low-income job losses of any state in our region, and as of the end of June, we’d already recovered nearly all of those losses. Our weekly initial unemployment claims continue to drop. This is positive news coming into the Labor Day weekend.

Our tourism industry is rebounding strongly as well. South Dakota is the third best state in the country for domestic tourism bookings compared to the start of the pandemic. Interest in visiting South Dakota has surged, meaning we’ll continue to see friendly faces visiting our state in the weeks, months, and years to come.

We’re hearing from lots of folks interested in not only visiting South Dakota, but moving here full-time. If business owners are sick and tired of the lockdowns in other states, I want them to know that they have another option. They can come to South Dakota. We respect our people’s rights, and we won’t shut businesses down. We’re open for opportunity, and on my watch, we always will be.”

Maybe some lessons for the State of Victoria, Australia. Are you listening, Dan Andrews? Of course not.

Who Knew? 18.6% of Minneapolis real estate listings up for sale in last 7 days

Minnyap@

Do Americans really want Democrat policies at a national level? As the Minneapolis City Council voted to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with community-led public safety groups, reports are that 18.6% of Minneapolis’ total real estate listings have come up for sale in just 7 days. Real estate website Zillow has tested at 15%. As a rule, 5-6% of total properties is a general average for properties for sale at any one time. Minneapolis at 3x that. Who knew?

What did these politicians think when they were debating to disband the police? None of this cross their minds?

What is worse, the tax base will shrink with it further compounding the problems these political hacks think they will solve for with kumbaya hand-holding. Watch crime soar. Well done liberals. Just when we think new levels of stupidity are hit, you guys manage to lower the bar time after time.

Once again, how can sane Americans honestly see Democrats as a credible alternative to Trump, for all of his foibles?

Minneapolis votes to disband the Police Dept

It appears that 9 out of 13 Minneapolis City councillors have voted in favour of disbanding the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and shift its funding towards a “community-oriented, nonviolent public safety and outreach capacity.

Perhaps they need to watch The Untouchables where Al Capone infamously said, “I grew up in a tough neighbourhood and quickly learnt you could get much further with a kind word and a gun than just a kind word.”

Soft-touch all looks pretty on paper. However, we question how violent crime will be curtailed? We doubt that criminals will see this as anything other than an invite to turn Minneapolis into a crime hub to coordinate it with no police present.

Minneapolis has a crime rate twice the national city average and 4x the state of Minnesota. According to Neighborhood Scout, only 4% of cities in America are more crime-infested than Minneapolis. 50 crimes are committed per 1,000 residents annually split 8/1,000 for violent crimes and 42/1,000 for robbery. Do facts matter to the council? Will crime drop off if community groups hold hands and sing kumbaya to home-owners as felons loot their abodes?

The outcome? We would imagine that those who may have relied on the police to help them with incidences of burglary, robbery or assault may just have to pack their bags and leave. Minneapolis has grown from around 368,000 inhabitants in 1990 to around 425,000 today.

For whatever faults the MPD may have had, isn’t it worth reflecting on 59 years of continuous Democratic stewardship which led to the failures that caused the problem in the first place?

This isn’t a lesser of two evils argument but a perfect time to clean house within the police department and union. For the Mayor to sack the police chief and install someone to change MPD’s behaviors rather than just through the keys into the burnt-out police station. It is not as if the MPD had a lot of choices after Floyd’s death to stand their ground. With it the majority of good cops will be on the street.

We wouldn’t be surprised if businesses pack up and leave too, like they did in Detroit. Investment will fall because who would want to pour money into an abandoning ship? Insurance companies will see no point signing up policies in a city that doesn’t have proper law enforcement to lower the risk profile.

Who ends up losing? Residents, forced into more crime-infested poverty. Democrat policy at its finest. Utterly clueless.

While being woke might appear optically pleasing to the mob while emotions are high, this supposed proven public safety initiative adopted in places such as Eugene, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and Denver, Colorado still rely on their city police forces to marshall the tougher stuff. Minneapolis wants to go all in.

One can only imagine that the services of a Wyatt Earp will be required when it all goes completely pear-shaped. You can’t make this stuff up. Even the mayor, as whipped as he is knows a police force is still a necessary evil. How can he not resign?

A tale: Today vs 600BC

dollar bomb

As a lover of ancient history, this story in ZeroHedge is an interesting parallel on the dangers of debt forgiveness today using the tale of releasing the commoners from debt slavery by Solon in 600BC. In short, everyone ends up paying the price.

We think the sensible solution is to let individual landlords negotiate their own deals. Let them live and die with the consequences of their actions. Undoubtedly every landlord has a unique position where a one-size-fits-all strategy won’t work.

Statistically, is there a point downloading the COVIDSafe app?

Given that so many people happily give away their private information on social media, why should anyone object to downloading the new COVIDSafe app? Do you really trust your government not to store your info?

The government intends to send a message if you’d been in the vicinity of someone that may catch it down the line so you can freak out that there is a 99.98% chance you probably haven’t got it. You have a 211x higher chance of dying of heart disease or 37x more likelihood to be killed by the flu. You’d have a 36x higher chance of dying from an accident such as falling off a ladder.

While the intention is good, is there a point to have it, statistically speaking?

0.027% of the population or 6,711 people have been identified with COVID19 after 500,000 tests.

0.00033% or 83 people have died from it. So in short, 99.973% haven’t knowingly caught coronavirus and 99.9997% haven’t died from it.

Even if we unrealistically annualized those COVID19 deaths we would get around 496 in total.

Compare that to the figures 158,000 deaths in Australia in 2018. We included the average age of those who died in brackets.

Heart disease claimed 17,533 (84.7)

Dementia/Altzheimer – 13,963 (89.0)

Ceberovascular disease – 9,972 (86.2)

Throat/Lung disease – 8,586 (73.6)

Respiratory disease – 7,889 (80.9)

COVID deaths in Australia average 79 years and we can imagine that comorbidity has been a driving factor than just coronavirus in isolation.

In essence, the COVIDSafe app would offer you next to no value added:

1) because if your neighbours didn’t download the app you wouldn’t know, much less have a guarantee they switched their Bluetooth on to activate the app.

2) if your fellow citizens did have coronavirus it is unlikely they’d be floating around Woolies or Coles until they’d recovered.

3) if a coronavirus carrier didn’t download the app you wouldn’t get a message.

We are already amazed at how many people are openly stating on their social media profiles that they’ve downloaded it. Why should the ability for the economy to reopen pend on an app which isn’t compulsory and won’t tell us much? How sheepish can people be without considering the data?

As we’ve contended for a while, the hysteria and reaction to the virus is disproportionate to the profound economic damage that it is creating.

Time to reopen the economy. People are already well on top of social distancing. Restaurants should be able to open as “reservation only” so they can adequately create distances between tables.

We think the app creates more fear mongering than actual output.

Remember 99.987% haven’t got it. Is it worth killing the economy? The JobKeeper program alone is costing $1.5 billion per death and $19 million per infected so far. That is false economics.

Raelene hands back the keys to the Castle

The Giteau Law will be reviewed in 2019. Photo: Getty Images

Rugby Australia’s (RA) board losing faith in CEO Raelene Castle was inevitable. We have long held that RA’s leadership team had no rudder.

FNF Media has openly criticised the lack of performance as its biggest failing – from the ridiculous state of affairs where management had no relationship with the head coach of the core franchise to the focus on “woke” causes which alienated fans (aka core customers). Folau’s saga and broadcast rights could have been handled far more sensibly. They weren’t.

Let’s be clear. COVID19 was a catalyst, not the cause.

Any business must adapt to transitions in the marketplace but never for the sake of chasing popular causes which have little or nothing to do with core competencies. That is where RA went wrong.

Castle commented,

I love rugby on every level and I will always love the code and the people I have had the honour of working with since I took this role…I made it clear to the board that I would stand up and take the flack and do everything possible to serve everyone’s best interests…

“…In the last couple of hours, it has been made clear to me that the board believes my no longer being CEO would help give them the clear air they believe they need…

“…The game is bigger than any one individual – so this evening I told the Chair that I would resign from the role I will do whatever is needed to ensure an orderly handover. I wish the code and everyone who loves rugby nothing but the best and I would like to thank the people I work with and the broader rugby community for their enormous support.

We believe that a fish rots from the head. The lack of decisive crisis management talent has led to this situation. Ultimately the ‘customers’ deserted in droves. We tabulated the differences between the management of RA vs our rivals across the ditch.

RA needs a new leader who has grown up in the game. Who understands the customers. Who understands the investment required at the junior and club rugby level so the professional side can incubate talent. To get to a stage where the regular local competitions don’t lose players to overseas leagues that have ended up hollowing out the ability to run sustainable club competitions.

The new leadership team can start by removing/demoting any staff in positions of authority who laid down threats of walking if Castle was pushed. There is a distinct difference between issuing ultimatums and raising dissenting voices during crises. RA doesn’t need any more poison during a rebuild.

Produce the right product and the fans will return. It’s that simple.

QLD gov’t to subsidize the rest of Australia on Virgin bailout?

AA

You have to hand it to the Queensland Government’s absolute lack of awareness. It has intimated that it might fork over $200m in loans to rescue the airline. To call any airline a “family jewel” means one probably thinks Great Wall is the pinnacle of luxury auto brands.

Perhaps what Premier Palazczuk and Treasurer Trad miss is that by using Queensland taxpayer funds they would effectively grant residents in other states the full benefit of Virgin’s recovery for free. Furthermore, if Virgin didn’t manage to pay back the monies, Queensland taxpayers would undoubtedly be caught in a zombie lending scenario. So the other states would still benefit. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg should be more than happy to see the sunshine state take his place.

We are surprised that so much umbrage is being taken at the idea of Chinese money coming in to subsidize the troubled airline. There is a sense of irony to see people cry nationalism when the airline has largely been owned by foreigners, 40% from China for a considerable time.

It is not as though the Chinese would treat Virgin Airlines like cans of baby milk powder and take all their planes home. Any rational investor would want to own a profitable airline based on juicy slot allocations rather than pursue relentless growth by building parallel tracks to already unprofitable destinations.

Sure, having an airline that boosts competition is a wonderful thing. We agreed with distressed debt specialist Jonathan Rochford’s summary which suggested insolvency as the best path forward. That way, hard decisions would be forced on Virgin and the restructuring would leave no stone unturned. Aircraft leasing companies have gone through this dance before and would be only too willing to act sensibly to help in the rebirth, especially given the appalling state of rail or road alternatives.

We understand people want to play hardball with China in a post-COVID19 world for its willful neglect shown during the pandemic. However, we must not let irrational fears turn away investment that benefits us, just because it is from China. Aussie investors haven’t supported Virgin much since the IPO in 2003. So why not let the Chinese do their dough? If we embraced their capitalist streak, were this investment to lower ticket prices, would we really complain? Or would we protest the idea that Qantas’ future might be at risk?

As comedian Dave Allen once said bout airlines, “they would make more money by leaving the planes at the gate and burning piles of cash on the runway!

Never let a good crisis go to waste – Part 2

Michigan Conservatives Plan To Protest April 15th ...

Small businesses employ 50% of all Americans. The Small Business Administration (SBA) distributed 1.4 million loans worth $350 billion under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It has now run dry. Small businesses are seeking these loans which stipulate the funds must be directed to pay employees coping with coronavirus. Typically, House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are trying to stuff unrelated partisan pork into the bill in order to back it.

To sustain small businesses, which employ half the country, the SBA is requesting another $250 billion. Yet Pelosi and Schumer want to use the crisis to ram in more unrelated regulations to the PPP with:

  1. significantly increased funding for disaster grants and loans,
  2. additional support for the food-stamp program,
  3. adequate funding for nationwide virus testing and personal protective equipment,
  4. the collection and publication of demographic data so that government can accurately determine the level of impact on under-served communities and communities of colour.

While all of these items may have a place in a separate debate, surely helping half of the country’s employment providers stay alive is the bigger issue. Never mind Pelosi was happy to parade herself on late-night TV in front of her $24,000 refrigerators while the bill is delayed. We don’t begrudge anyone owning nice things, but the optics of a freezer full of $13 ice cream punnets is hardly reflective of the crisis.

It wasn’t long ago that her party wanted to stuff a laundry list of ridiculous unrelated items to the $2.2 trillion emergency stimulus last month including airline emissions standards, corporate board diversity and wind/solar subsidies.

Now that 22 million Americans are out of work, should we be surprised that 3,000 people were protesting in Lansing, Michigan demanding the economy be reopened? Or the 100s of people in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Do they have a point?

Here is the latest data outlining infections as a percentage of the state populations. The average infection rate across the US is 0.2044% of the population. That means that 99.8% of people haven’t caught it. While social distancing is proving effective, one has to wonder whether the economy can be reopened quicker than the lid on Nancy Pelosi’s ice cream.

Infections

Switching to COVID 19 deaths, the national average is 0.0101% of the population. New York, which we lambasted for the insane advice handed out by its Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot has 7.6x the national average. Wyoming, while less densely populated than NYC, has 0.03x the national average.

Deaths

Michigan has a death rate of 0.02%, twice the national average. Its infection count is 0.293% or 50% higher than the national average. North Carolina might have a bigger argument to make. It has a 0.0015% death rate (0.1x the national average) and infections at 0.0542% (0.25x the national average) of the state’s citizens. Why aren’t governors looking to reopen their economies sooner, which is their decision, not Trump’s, to make?

These people rightly want the governors to start opening the economy so they can work. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Never cross an American and their belief in “rights”. We think this once again plays straight to Trump’s reelection. People are seriously frustrated and when they join the unemployment queue they are through with partisan politics.

FNF Media has always thought protests would eventually happen. The risks of contracting coronavirus versus the reward of having a job and feeding a family are now front and centre. They would undoubtedly settle for social distancing guidelines while working instead of remaining in lockdown.

We added Australia’s own state/territory data in those previous charts (yellow) which shows just how minuscule our infections and death rates are. We really need to be looking at easing restrictions sooner, rather than later. These statistics should make us all think.