Thursday, October 29, 2020

Outside The Echo Chamber

A big reason that politics is so divisive today is due to the fact that most people live in an echo chamber.

Most of what they see and hear simply echoes what they already think or believe.

The proliferation and segmentation of media allows most people to never venture from the small space they inhabit with people of similar mind.

The same is true for the social and work circles that people associate with.

As a result, most people live in an echo chamber world in which they only see and hear facts and opinions that reinforce their own beliefs.

Look no further than this recent survey from Gallup which asked voters their satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S.

All of these people live in the same country. How do you explain the different opinions?

In particular, note the change in the last month.

We see this time and time again.

This infographic from is a particularly good visual depiction of the workings of that echo chamber.


That echo chamber world was a big reason that the media and those on the left could not conceive that Donald Trump could possibly be elected President.

It is also why many on the right still do not understand why Hillary Clinton is not behind bars.

As someone who writes a blog that attempts to deal in actual facts and real data, I find it increasingly difficult to get outside the echo chamber.

It is becoming harder and harder to find anything that is not provided without some slant or spin.

Sadder still, we seem to have now reached the point that what used to be considered legitimate news stories are being purposely censored and ignored because they contradict the prevailing narrative in the echo chamber.

Look no further than how the Big Media and Big Tech companies have totally ignored the Hunter Biden laptop and the testimony of his former partner Tony Bobulinski. 

It remains to be seen how accurate all of this information is and the extent of Joe Biden's involvement in Hunter's business ventures might have been. However, Biden has said he never discussed anything about his son's business interests with him. That looks suspect right now. 

However, how can anyone say that the public does not have a right to know about it and journalistic standards do not require that the story should be more thoroughly investigated? This is even more true since we are on the eve of a very important national election.

Everyone has bias and everyone has an agenda. It is present in all of us whether we want to admit it or not. It is part of the human condition. As I have written about it before, "Bias Is Built Into Your Brain."

I want Donald J. Trump to win the upcoming election. I believe that Joe Biden and the Democrats would be a disaster for the United States of America.

However, I know that others don't share the same views that I do.

I also am asked by many people who I think is going to win this election.

I want to say it will be Donald Trump based on my bias. However, I would rather give an answer that is supported by facts and data that supports that conclusion even if it was Joe Biden. I owe that to those who ask me that question and I owe it to the readers of BeeLine.

I have spent a lot of time analyzing a wealth of data to discern an answer to that question. However, as I have done that, you quickly see that the echo chamber someone is in results in different interpretations of identical data. The same poll or the same early voting data might cause Republicans and Democrats to come to opposite conclusions on what it means.

For example, let's take a look at this national poll from Rasmussen (Oct 25-27) that showed Trump +1 over Biden.

Democrats would call this an outlier poll. Compare this poll to other recent polls at

Nate Silver of the New York Times does not even consider Rasmussen to be a credible pollster even though it was the closest at predicting the final Trump/Clinton popular vote percentages.

It is hard to ignore the overall poll results and attempt to say that they can be that far off. After all, these pollsters do this for a living. I assume they know what they are doing. They know how badly they missed the last time. They have to know they can't afford to miss like that again. Doing so might very well put themselves out of business. Why would anyone pay for something, let alone pay attention to something, that was so far off?

All of that argues that these polls should be taken seriously. They say Biden is going to win.

However, consider those polls predicting a double digit Biden win. There are more than a few.

Are those credible when we look at some past Presidential races that seemed far less competitive than what we see on the ground right now?

I wrote about this several weeks ago in "How Much Can We Trust The Polls".

Barack Obama only beat John McCain by 7 points.

Obama beat Mitt Romney by 4 points.

Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush by 6 points.

Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole by 9 points.

Jimmy Carter only beat Gerald Ford by 2 points and that was after Ford pardoned Richard Nixon.

Franklin D. Roosevelt only beat Thomas Dewey by 7.5 points in 1944 and that was in the middle of World War II in which FDR was on the verge of leading the USA to victory in World War II.

Joe Biden might win but it is hard for me to imagine that he is going to win by more than Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole or Barack Obama beat John McCain. 

In fact, Bob Dole and John McCain are the candidates that remind me most of Joe Biden. Both had been around forever. They were old and seemed to have gotten the party's nomination by default. There was very little enthusiasm for either candidate compared to their opponent. They lost big. Am I supposed to believe the polls today that are suggesting that this time the guy in which no one is enthused is going to win by double digits? I don't buy it.

The bottom line is that it is hard for me to discount the polls showing Biden will win. However, the margins they are showing provides me with just enough doubt to question whether they might be missing something big.

Let's take a closer look at the Rasmussen poll I mentioned above. I was particularly interested in some of the cross-tabs in that poll showing the demographic breakdowns of the support between Trump and Biden.

Many of the numbers are tremendous for Trump if they are accurate. Then again, how can this poll come up with these results when others are so far off these poll results?

Consider the following.

Trump -2 with women. A lot of the other polls are showing Trump -20 or -30 with women. Trump was  -13 with women in 2016.

Trump -1 with ages 18-39. The other polls consistently show Trump down with younger voters. Trump was -19 with these age groups in 2016.

Trump with 30% of Black Vote. Trump got 8% of this vote in 2016.

Trump +2 with Other Minorities (Hispanic, Asian, Other). Trump was -35 with this group in 2016.

If you look at these numbers you would think that Trump should be winning in a landslide but there are also troubling data points in here for Trump.

Trump +7 with Whites. Trump was +20 in 2016.

Trump -10 with ages 65+. Trump was +7 in in 2016.

How do you make sense of it? 

In my echo chamber I can cite the the first set of data and argue that the White and 65+ vote is going to come back to Trump in the end. It is going to be a landslide.

In the Democrat echo chamber they are talking about the gains they are making with those White and 65+ voters and thinking there is no way that Biden is losing those women, younger and minority voters to Trump. It is going to be a Biden landslide if you are in their echo chamber.

There are similar problems in looking at the early voting totals.

Early voting in the last few years has favored Democrats. They have used it to effectively mobilize  their voters to the polls from the inner cities, colleges, Black churches and the like.

The early vote totals thus far are breaking all records. 80 million early votes have already been cast. To put that in context, 136 million votes were cast in the Presidential election in 2016. It would not surprise me to see over 150 million total votes cast in 2020 when all is said and done.

The early voting totals have many Democrats excited as they believe that early votes and a large turnout favor them. This is historically been true.

This tweet gives you some perspective on the early voting in various battleground states. Early voting is particularly strong in Sunbelt states such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina.

Here is a chart of the breakdown of early voting by party in various battleground states.


The best data I have found on early voting is in North Carolina which provides more information on the demographics of early voters than most states which includes age, race and party affiliation.

The North Carolina Election Project (@ncvoterguru) has the best analysis I have found on  early voting in North Carolina.

North Carolina has seen around 4 million early ballots already cast. That total includes about 800,000 Black voters.

I have seen some Democrats point to that as being +272,000 in votes compared to the same time in 2016 and conclude this is very bad news for Trump.

However, the early vote total four years ago was at 2.4 million on the same number of days before election day. 

Four years ago Blacks were 22% of the early vote. When Obama ran in 2018 they were 28% of early votes at this stage. Right now they are less than 20%. 

This is a chart from the North Carolina Election Project that shows the percentage of Black voters in early voting over the last three election cycles.

The overall percentage of Democrats in early voting is also down substantially. Although the absolute numbers of Democrats is up in 2020, Republicans and Independents are also voting early in large numbers like we have never seen before. This is pushing the Democrat share down even though the absolute number of voters is up.

Republicans stepped up in early voting in 2016 and have generally maintained the pace in 2020 thus far.

However, Unaffiliated Independent voters have really turned out for early voting in 2020 compared to other years.

The 2020 election results in North Carolina (and elsewhere) will likely be determined in how these votes are cast.

Considering all of these early votes what are we to expect on election day?

Will Democrats have much left in the tank to cast votes on November 3 or has most of what they have been expended in early voting?

Republicans have been known to have large numbers of voters on election day but have they cannibalized that vote this year with so many GOP voters voting early.

I like this final chart from the North Carolina Election Project (below) in which you can see similar voting patterns that seem to appear in every election cycle.

Democrats get off to a fast start which the Republicans usually slowly chipping away until 9 days before the election when Democrats do their "Souls to the Polls" outreach to parishioners at Black churches. This provides a boost to the Democrat numbers The Republicans then make further inroads until early voting is concluded. 2012 was different as Democrats had a late surge with Obama on the ballot that was not replicated with Hillary.

Romney won in 2012 by 2% despite having a Democrat advantage of 20 points in early voting.

Trump won in 2016 by 3.7% despite a Democrat advantage of 5 points in early voting.

Based purely on a comparison of Democrat and Republican early votes, Trump is in better shape than in either of these previous elections. 

However, we still don't know how many of those Republicans might actually defect from Trump and voter for Biden. We also don't know how many Democrats will vote for Trump.

We also have no idea what all of these Independents voters are going to do?

We could also have a surprise late surge of Democrats in early voting (see 2012) or on election day.

Republicans may also have pulled too much of their vote forward.

Again, you can make almost anything out of the early voting you want depending on which echo chamber you are in.

You can point to the Trump rallies, boat and car parades and conclude there is no way that Trump can lose. I have never seen an enthusiasm gap like we are seeing this year between Trump and Biden.

Of course, the same people who look at that Trump rally crowds can look at the massive crowds we had marching for Black Lives Matter and conclude that those numbers are not representative of the nation at large.

However, all those people in both groups have a vote. Whichever echo chamber you are in you should not dismiss that fact.

In my own neighborhood, I would estimate that Biden signs outnumber Trump signs by at least 10:1. Of course, probably no more than 15% of the houses have any sign up at all.

It would be easy to conclude that Biden is going to win big in my precinct. The yard signs were similar last time. There might be a few more Biden signs this time. However, there were NO Trump signs last time.

However, Trump won my precinct by 15 points in 2016. There was a silent majority out there. It was much larger than those who put up signs in their yard.

All of this tells me that you need to be careful of what echo chamber you are in right now.

There are too many variables in play for anyone to say what is going to happen next week.

All I know for certain is that one side or the other is going to be very UPSET and very MAD next week.

They are not going to believe what they see and hear.

They are going to have a hard time accepting the result.

Outside the echo chamber you see and hear things you never expect.

We saw that vividly in 2016.

Take a look at this two minute retrospective of how the news media reacted to Donald Trump's 2016 victory on election night that was produced by The Washington Examiner.

They painted a dark, nightmarish and scary future with Trump as President.

Four years later, how much of what they predicted on that night proved true?

If anyone should be outside an echo chamber it should be the media. We count on them the most to look at all the facts and objectively report on what they find

Unfortunately, there is no one deeper in their echo chambers than the media and the deep state. That now also seems to extend to Big Tech. They all seem trapped together in the same echo chamber.

And that in many ways explains why so many of the rest of us find ourselves in our echo chambers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Lifeblood of Politics

Money is the lifeblood of politics. 

The power that politicians have largely involves the influence that they have over what goes in and comes out of someone's pocketbook.

It is that power that also motivates most political contributions.

Under the tax law, a gift is usually defined as the proceeds of "detached and disinterested generosity". The motivation for gifts are "affection, respect, admiration, charity or like impulses". A true gift is given with no expectation of getting anything back in return.

The reality of political contributions is that there is a usually an inverse relationship between the amount of the contribution to a candidate and the degree to which the donor is "detached and disinterested". 

Simply stated, as the dollars contributed to a political candidate increases the motivation for giving starts to tilt more to an interest in influence than affection and admiration for the candidate.

With this as background I thought it would be interesting to look at the 2020 Presidential Campaign Finance reports of Donald Trump and Joe Biden to give you an idea of the trail of money from donor to candidate.

All of the data and charts are from based on the most recent Federal Elections Commission (FEC) filings.

Joe Biden has raised almost $1 billion in campaign committee contributions and an additional $450 million in outside campaign contributions for outside groups such as Super PACs that are associated with the campaign.

Donald Trump has only raised about 60% of the money that Joe Biden has. This is similar to his money situation against Hillary Clinton where he only raised 56% of her total

To provide some perspective on how much more money as been raised in 2020 vs. 2016, consider that Biden has collected 80% more than Hillary and Trump is up 98% compared to the last election. 

Bear in mind, these are not the final 2020 numbers either. I would expect that both candidates will have more than doubled the amount raised (and spent) from four years ago when the final numbers are tallied.

Where is the money coming from?

The FEC limits individuals from contributing no more than $2,800 per election. An individual may contribute $2,800 for both the primary and general election meaning that someone can contribute $5,600 to any one candidate in an election cycle.

Biden has had 30,068 individuals contribute $2,800 and an additional 7,608 contribute $5,600 to his campaign.

Trump has 17,716 contributors at the $2,800 level and 5,553 at the $5,600 level.

A popular narrative is that the GOP is funded by wealthy "fat cats". It seems there are a lot more Democrat "fat cats" than Republicans.

Where do these people live?

These are the top metro areas where Biden has raised his campaign committee contributions.

These are the top zip codes where the money has come from.

Do you notice anything?

Here is where Trump's campaign contributions have come from.

Do you notice how much more diverse the geography of Trump's donors is as well as the fact that it is not so concentrated in such big dollars from the New York and Washington metro areas?

In fact, Biden has gotten almost as much money from his top two zip codes in New York City as Trump has raised in total from his top 10 zip codes that are from all over the country.

Joe Biden is very clearly beholden to big money donors in New York City (Wall Street, media, law firms) and Washington, D.C. (lobbyists) in a huge way.

Which industries and occupations are involved in funding the combined campaign committee and outside groups supporting the candidates?

Joe Biden has gotten a lot of money from ideologically aligned leftist and progressive groups, Wall Street, education and law firms.

Trump's biggest group contributing to him are people who are retired. Trump has raised twice as much money from retirees as Biden. Trump has also gotten only about one-fifth of the money from ideological groups as Biden has.

Which companies or organizations are the individuals who donated to each candidate's campaign committee associated with?

Joe Biden has a lot of supporters at Alphabet (Google) and those who were in the University of California system. Stanford University is also in the Top 10.  Apple, Amazon , Facebook and Microsoft are near the top as well.

Do you think a Biden administration would spend much time looking into anti-trust and other possible abuses with these tech companies?

Here are the top industries and organizations associated with those who have contributed to Trump.

Look not only at the composition of the contributors but the amounts given. 

Employees of the US Postal Service are second on the Trump list having contributed $416, 374 according to this list. However, UPS employees have contributed about the same sum to Biden but that is not enough to even get close to the top 20 on Biden's list.

UPS employees also donated over $450,000 to Bernie Sanders just in the Democrat primary race.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump both understand the influence of money in politics very well.

Trump has spoken about it many times. It is the reason that he initially funded his campaign for President when he first ran. He still talks in his rallies why he does not try to raise a lot of money from Wall Street. He knows that strings are always attached when it comes to political contributions.

Trump knows how the system works. He was on the other side for most of his life. He made a lot of campaign contributions and most of them were to Democrats. He understood that if he was going to do business in New York City it was the only way he could play.

Joe Biden also understands it very well. All you have to do to know that is to see what is coming off of his son's laptop. Or look at what is revealed in the emails or testimony of Tony Bobulinski.

If you understand where the money is coming from in a candidate's campaign you are going to have a much better idea of how they will govern, who they will favor and who they will not.

I am not saying that there is anything necessarily illegal about any of this. However, any elected official only has so much time and so much they can do in that time.

They have to make choices about who they see, which phone calls they return and which particular requests they are willing to work on. 

When I worked a lot in Washington a Capitol Hill staffer explained it to me this way as we walked into his office one day. This was at a time when phone messages were still given to you on pink slips which one of the assistants gave to him as he walked into the office.

This is what he told me as he looked through the stack of phone messages on those pink slips.

We care about anyone who calls our office and wants to talk to us or wants us to weigh in on an issue. However, we get 10 times the amount of the phone calls that we can handle.

When I come back to the office after being out somewhere on the Hill I might have 50 calls to return. I only have time for 5 if I want to spend any time with my family. Which 5 of those am I going to call back?

I am not going to make that decision simply based on who called first or randomly going through these pink messages. My attention is first going to those people who have supported us in the past. You can say it is not fair but the bottom line is that we know we would not be here but for that support. And we won't be here next term without those who support us again

That is just the way it works.

Money is the lifeblood of politics.

Now you have a better understanding of who is donating at the blood bank for these two candidates.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Covid and the Election

The 2020 election will be forever linked with the 2020 pandemic when the history books are written.

One of the key themes will be the extent to which a virus became so politicized. It is quite remarkable.

This Gallup survey speaks volumes about the political divide that has defined Covid.


80% of Democrat women are worried about getting Covid compared to 29% of Republican women?

64% of Republican men are ready to return to normal activities compared to 5% of Democrat men?

There is a reason that Donald Trump gets thousands and thousands to his political rallies and Joe Biden is speaking to rows of cars.

Trump rally in Waukesha, WI Saturday night

Biden "Drive-In" Rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday

You also see the political divide regarding Covid in this survey from Pew Research.

82% of Biden supporters say that Covid is very important to their vote compared to only 24% of Trump supporters.

We also see the effect of Covid in the heavy early voting we are seeing across the country. This appears to be driven in part by fears of potentially catching the virus while voting in person at one's local precinct.

However, what I find interesting is that are far fewer early voting sites across the country than precincts. In most cases people who vote early are actually exposing themselves to larger crowds by voting early.  They are also being exposed to people from a larger geographic reach than if they voted at their local precinct on election day. For example, in Ohio where I live  there is only one early voting site in each county.

Go figure.

There have been many who have joked in the past that the Covid pandemic will end right after the election when the media and political establishment no longer have to push the panic porn to defeat Donald Trump.

I think there is a chance that the panic porn might diminish if Trump wins. There will not be the same urgency to use it to damage Trump. We might be actually able to move beyond it.

I am not sure that will occur if Biden wins.

One thing you have to understand is that politicians say and do the things they do because of what they believe the people who vote for them want.

There is a reason that Joe Biden was once for strict criminal justice rules, against gay marriage, against school busing to integrate schools, was for a border wall and questioned Roe v. Wade. That is where he once believed he needed to be for the votes of his base.

Look at the poll results above and tell me what positions Joe Biden is going to take on Covid if elected?

Biden is heavily invested in Covid panic because his supporters are deeply concerned about it. Some are frozen with fear over it. Look at the survey above. 

There will be more masks and more lockdowns because that is what his voters want. Biden would not try to work through it. He is simply not going to buck his base.

Joe Biden says he will follow "the science". That is not correct. He will follow what he thinks his base of voters wants. "The science" is merely an excuse.

After all, what is "the science" anyway?

Under Biden you are not going to see a big push to reopen the schools. The teachers unions in many places simply do not want to open.

For example, in Fairfax Country, Virginia the teachers are already demanding that schools not reopen for in-person classes until August, 2021.

Do you think Joe Biden would try to do anything to counter this?

Seeing this I was interested to look into what the experience of the schools in my area have had with Covid since they reopened. I have seen buses running through my neighborhood since the middle of August but with all of my children no longer in school I had not heard much about how things were going.

Of course, we have all heard the controversy about schools and all of the fear mongering that has accompanied it. We were told that schools would be breeding grounds for infection in the community. We were even told that even if the children did not get very sick it was extremely dangerous for staff.

What is happening near me?

The Sycamore Community School District in suburban Cincinnati has been open since August. Students can elect either in person schooling or virtual classes.

64% of the students have elected classroom instruction in a district that has almost 5,500 students. 

In two months they have had 23 confirmed cases of Covid among students, faculty and staff.

Let's put that in context. On an average day, 5% of the students in a school district like Sycamore pre-Covid were absent for illness or other reasons. That would be over 250 per day. Compare that to 23 cases of Covid over 2 months.

The district states that not one of the 23 cases has been traced to an infection received at school.


In the high school , which has students participating in football, soccer and other activities, there have been 3 cases in two months. The only new case this week (one of the three total cases they have had in two months) was actually a student in virtual learning.

70% of all high school students are in the classroom.


This is common all over the United States where schools have opened. What more does one need to see? Schools are simply not the source of Covid infections we were told they would be.

Why is this not considered "science"?

Over the weekend I also saw some interesting data out of Sweden.

It seems that Sweden ( the country who supposedly did not follow "the science") in September had the fewest per capita deaths for any month in its history.

This is based on records that go back to 1860.

The lowest number before this was June, 2019 before the pandemic.

How is it that in what is supposed to be one of the greatest pandemics in world history that Sweden can have the fewest per capita deaths in any month in 160 years?

This is also at a time that most of the rest of Europe is starting to lockdown harder due to a surge of cases across continental Europe.


Sweden never locked down, never mandated masks, never closed their schools, restaurants or bars, and had about 95% fewer deaths than experts predicted. 

Where is Sweden on the chart of new daily cases? 

Where is the United States compared to these other large European countries that Democrats tell us are following "the science"?

Look at the chart below.

You are hearing a lot of the media talking about all of the new cases in the United States right now. 

Are you aware of how the numbers in the USA compare to Europe?

Is it also President Trump's fault on what is going on in Europe right now?

Where is "the science" in all of this?

Perhaps the answer to what we are seeing is told in this study from Japan that I also saw over the weekend.

This study tested and observed 1,600 healthy individuals at a large Japanese company with 11 work locations in Tokyo.

The study involved giving employees serology tests between May and August to determine if they would test positive for seroprevalence to the Covid-19 virus by exhibiting antibodies.

At the beginning of testing only 5.8% tested positive in May indicating that few had been exposed.

By August, 46.8% of individuals tested positive.

This is the the actual summary conclusion of the study.

Conclusions and Relevance: COVID-19 infection may have spread widely across the general population of Tokyo despite the very low fatality rate. Given the temporal correlation between the rise in seropositivity and the decrease in reported COVID-19 cases that occurred without a shut-down, herd immunity may be implicated. Sequential testing for serological response against COVID-19 is useful for understanding the dynamics of COVID-19 infection at the population-level.  

In other words, the virus appears to have spread widely and quickly within the Japanese population but had little effect on the death rate as so many people were asymptomatic. As a result, this may mean that substantial herd immunity may be present in Japan.

This might be the same effect that has occurred in Sweden.

Perhaps lockdowns and mandatory masks are not the answer.

By doing all we can do to suppress the virus are we possibly just making matters worse in the long term? Are we slowing the spread but also spreading this entire pandemic out much longer than it needs to be with even more resulting economic and societal harm?

The coming election may well determine whether we are willing to move past the pandemic panic and be willing to live again or whether we will truly live in the "dark winter" that Joe Biden talks about.

There truly are two very different paths that we might follow after this election. The choice could not be more stark involving Covid and the election.

It will not be "the science" that determines our path. It will be politics and the election that puts us on that path.

Consider some of the facts above.

"The science" is far less than clear.

Choose wisely.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

What If Covid Had Never Happened?

What if Covid had never happened?

What if the election coming up in less than two weeks did not have any global pandemic hanging over it?

What if the economy and unemployment rate were exactly as they were at the beginning of they year?

Where do you think Donald Trump would be in the polls right now?

That is a question I have asked some of my friends.

It is an interesting question as it seems that most of Joe Biden's campaign is focused on three things.

1. Donald Trump did a terrible job on Covid and Biden would have done much better.

2. This is Donald Trump's economy.

3. Biden is a decent guy and Trump is deranged. More than ever we just have to return to normal and Joe is normal.

I am sure we will see these themes repeated over and over by Joe Biden in Thursday's debate.

There really isn't much more in Joe Biden's arguments to be President.

Of course, it is not easy to pick any real themes since we see and hear so little of Joe Biden on the campaign trail.

Let's look at each of these.


The Democrats continually state that Donald Trump has done a horrible job on Covid and has killed thousands.

We are told that Biden would have done a better job. He would follow "the science".

However, Trump closed the United States off from China in late January and Europe in early March despite scientists like Dr. Fauci, the WHO and others telling him that he should not do it. 

Biden was on record at the time of the China decision that Trump was a racist and xenophile for doing it. 

Was Trump right or the scientists?

Trump followed the advice of scientists and shut down the entire US economy in the middle of March even though it was clear he had questions about the decision. He extended the lockdown again at the end of March when the scientists told him to do it. 

Bear in mind that Trump did this despite the fact that doing so was extremely detrimental to his own personal financial interests. Shutting the economy when you are in the hotel, entertainment and commercial real estate business is not a winning strategy.

Never mind that the European strategy that Joe Biden likes to point to looks like it is failing right now in every place other than Sweden which supposedly is not following "the science".

New daily cases in the UK.

New daily cases in France.

In fact, there are three times as many new daily confirmed cases in Europe right now as there are in North America according to the most recent data. 47% of all new cases in the world this week have been from Europe. Only 15% from North America.

Percentage of new daily Covid cases by region 


One of the most ridiculous claims of the Biden campaign is that what we are experiencing now is the "Trump economy".

They were even running a political ad that had to be one of the most disingenuous ads I had ever seen in which a bar owner in Ann Arbor, Michigan claimed that it was Donald Trump's fault that he is closed.

The music is silent and the beer is stagnant at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor.

A new Joe Biden presidential campaign ad features Blind Pig co-owner Joe Malcoun, who blames the businesses economic inactivity on President Donald Trump.

“For 50 years, the Blind Pig has been open and crowded, but right now it’s an empty room,” says Malcoun in the minute-long ad posted to YouTube on Thursday, Oct. 15. “This is the reality of Trump’s Covid response.

“We don’t know how much longer we can survive not having any revenue.”

You may not be able to see this ad now because the Biden campaign has pulled it.

Click here if the video does not play in your browser.


This ad was pulled yesterday because it was entirely bogus. The bar owner was actually a software entrepreneur who owned the bar as a hobby. He was also a big Democrat donor and a big supporter of Governor Whitmer. The entire ad was based on lies.

Of course, the truth is that it is not Donald Trump who is responsible for that bar in Michigan or others being being empty. That is the direct result of the policies of Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer who has locked down Michigan much harder than most other states. 

Compare the unemployment rates in states with Democrat governors and strict lockdown measures with those with Republican governors and more realistic Covid mitigation measures.

Recent data based on the latest unemployment numbers indicates that unemployment is 59% higher in blue states compared to red states.


Of the ten states with the lowest unemployment rates, nine are led by Republican governors. The inverse is true of the ten states with the highest unemployment rates, nine of which are run by Democrat governors.

It is also worth comparing GDP growth in the United States against other countries around the world that have been affected by Covid.

The United States has actually fared better than most other major economies in the world. This also does not include the third quarter which should show further improvement due to many states reopening their economies.

It does remain quite interesting how China has fared in all of this.

The virus started in China. It appears likely it escaped from a lab in that country. It may have been an accident. It may have been intentional.

Since that occurred the virus has shut down almost the entire world except one place.

Curious, isn't it?

Which Presidential candidate do you think is more likely to hold China to account?

Biden is decent, Trump is deranged

At its core, this is really what Biden's main argument is that he should be President and Donald Trump should not. 

It is the culmination of four years of messaging by the Democrats and the mainstream media that Donald Trump is unfit to be President.

It started during the last campaign and the narrative has not changed for four years. It has continued through claims of Russian collusion in the 2016 election, a two year independent counsel investigation that returned nothing and an impeachment.

Never mind that almost everything the Democrats and the mainstream media said about what would happen if Trump became President has been totally disproven. He was going to wreck the economy. He was going to put us in a war. He was going to take away civil liberties. The truth is the exact opposite in every case.

The narrative about Biden is that he is a decent man. He is dedicated to his family. He cares deeply about you and our country. 

Let's unpack this as we look at the revelations and allegations surrounding what is on his son's laptop.

Is Joe Biden a decent man?

I have great sympathy for some of the personal challenges that Joe Biden has had to go through in his life. He lost his wife and infant daughter in a car accident shortly after his 1972 election to the United States Senate when he was 30 years old.

He was a widower before he was even sworn in with two young sons, Beau and Hunter, who had survived the auto accident.

It could not have been easy.

His older son, Beau, seems to have been selected to carry on his father's political legacy. Beau ran for and was elected Attorney General of Delaware in 2006. Beau announced his intention to run for Governor of Delaware in 2016. Unfortunately, brain cancer would end the young Biden's life in 2015.

In that his father and brother were both involved in politics it appears from what was on Hunter's laptop that keeping the family in money fell to the youngest son. Was Hunter used as the frontman to collect money and take care of his family?

This text message to his daughter Naomi suggests that may be the case.

Text message from Hunter Biden to his daughter Naomi

You see something similar in another text message exchange with Naomi who was then a law student at Columbia and was pleading with her father (Hunter) to put emergency cash in her account.

This is from a Fox News story which wrote about the text exchange.

“Can you put 150 in my account it was just declined for lyft to airport sorry sorry sorry,” the now-26-year-old Columbia Law student asked.

“Yes I can but Naomi you ­really have to start to realize that once you are out of school the chances of you living like your father is a billionaire when he’s really given all his money away- is going to be a bit of a shock,” Hunter answered.

“I know I promise ill be much better this year!!!!!!!!!!! Promise,” Naomi wrote back.

You have to ask who exactly did Hunter give all his money away to?

What is clear from these text messages is that Hunter seems to have felt great pressure to produce for the family. That pressure seems to have fostered great resentment in Hunter.  He also clearly believes he is under appreciated.

Perhaps these are the reasons that Hunter descended into the addiction issues he has had.

We still don't know how this is going to play out.

There is good reason that Joe Biden has put a lid on everything for four days in the home stretch of a Presidential campaign.

Biden is caught in a tough predicament in that he claims he never knew or discussed any of his son's foreign business interests with him. It appears that evidence is there to show that Hunter traded heavily on the Biden name, access and influence in return for the financial deals he got.

Joe needs to come up with an answer. His problem is that he is not completely certain what the questions will be once more of the contents of those emails are disclosed.

Will Joe attempt to throw Hunter under the bus in order to save his candidacy down the stretch? Is the only way out now to continue to claim he knew nothing about it but admit Hunter had possibly profited from his name? Biden might claim he is shocked at one he has discovered about his son but ask people to be sympathetic  to him because of his addiction issues. Hunter only did what he did because of his addiction disease that he will now seek more treatment for.

I actually feel sorry for Hunter right now and concerned for him. He knows what is on that hard disk. It must not be easy to sleep or to face his father right now. It cannot be good considering his past troubles.

Is Joe Biden a decent man? I guess the voters will have to decide that for themselves.

However, looking at all of this you have to wonder why a decent man would have run in these circumstances if he were thinking about his son?

This is not going away for Hunter no matter what happens. In fact, the scrutiny and the consequences will be much greater for Hunter if Joe is elected than if he isn't.

Joe Biden knew his son was in a bad place with his addiction issues. He had to know that the millions of dollars that Hunter received for his foreign business deals were suspect even if he did not have his own hand in the till. He had to know what could happen to Hunter if it unraveled?

Decency? Why did Biden run? Was the fame and money worth more than his remaining son?

Think about that as you watch the debate and we see how this story unfolds.

Joe may survive. However, I am genuinely concerned about Hunter.

Where would the polls be if Covid never happened?

All of this takes us back to my original question?

Where would we be in this election if Covid had never happened?

The only real narrative would be Biden is normal and decent. Trump is dangerous and deranged.

What would the polls look like?

I don't imagine that they would be much different in that the media narrative over the last four years has been so repetitive and relentless. It has been consistent and it has been constant.

It is true that if you say anything long enough people will believe it even if the facts are totally the opposite. That is what propaganda is and why it has been used so effectively throughout human history.

Trump could have personally cured Covid, lowered the unemployment rate to 1% and won two Nobel peace prizes (one for his Middle East progress and another for reuniting North And South Korea) and he would still be vilified by the mainstream media.

For example, look at this collection of polls matching Trump and Biden in late February and early March.

They average Biden +8.4 before Covid.

The Real Clear Politics average right now is +8.6.

What does this tell us?

This election will be determined by what voters think, feel and believe about Donald Trump.

They have had four years to assess him and what he has done.

It appears nothing else matters. You could almost say that it is a referendum on Trump. 

Biden is nothing but a side show and his handlers know it. Biden cannot help his cause. He can only hurt it. Therefore, keep him in his basement as much as possible.

Trump's RCP approval average right now is 44.5.

That is not great but notice that it is still higher than it has been for most of the last 3 years.


I pay the most attention to the Rasmussen approval poll because they poll every day. It is easier to assess trends. Trump is at 49% in that poll today. That is not the 50% or more you would like in a referendum election but it is exactly the same as Barack Obama's approval rating at the same point before his 2012 reelection win.


The voters have a very big decision before them.

May they choose wisely.

Their lives, livelihoods, liberty and the legacy of this country will be affected more by this decision than any other decision they will likely make in their entire life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

What You Should Know About The Covid Vaccine

I think most people take a vaccine under the assumption that it will prevent them from getting sick.

I dare say that 99.9% of the people waiting for the Covid-19 vaccine(s) have the expectation that if they take the vaccine it will prevent them from being infected with the virus.

They would be wrong.

I recently read an interesting article in Forbes by William Haseltine, who was a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, who has studied the vaccine testing protocols in detail for the vaccines currently being tested.

Prevention of infection is the normal critical end point goal for any vaccine trial. The vaccine should be effective at preventing infection and stopping the spread of the virus. This is particularly important at this time when we have a virus that has caused a pandemic.

However, that is not the stated goal of the Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines that are currently in late stage trials with the expectation they will be ready for widespread distribution within several months.

Haseltine points out that in none of the vaccine trial protocols for any of these vaccines is the prevention of infection considered a criterion of success.

The vaccines are to be considered a success merely if they reduce the severity of the symptoms of someone who is infected with Covid.

When have you ever heard that?

Prevention of infection is not a criterion for success for any of these vaccines. In fact, their endpoints all require confirmed infections and all those they will include in the analysis for success,  the only difference being the severity of symptoms between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Measuring differences amongst only those infected by SARS-CoV-2 underscores the implicit conclusion that the vaccines are not expected to prevent infection, only modify symptoms of those infected.

One of the more immediate questions a trial needs to answer is whether a vaccine prevents infection. If someone takes this vaccine, are they far less likely to become infected with the virus? These trials all clearly focus on eliminating symptoms of Covid-19, and not infections themselves. Asymptomatic infection is listed as a secondary objective in these trials when they should be of critical importance.  

 It appears that all the pharmaceutical companies assume that the vaccine will never prevent infection. Their criteria for approval is the difference in symptoms between an infected control group and an infected vaccine group. They do not measure the difference between infection and noninfection as a primary motivation.

Haseltine suggests that the entire vaccine trial protocols have been designed to make sure they will succeed in that the bar has been set so low.

This is further confirmed in the vaccine testing protocols in that none of the vaccine candidates list preventing hospitalizations and deaths as primary goals of the vaccines either.

What then is the point of spending billions and billions of dollars on these vaccines?

A greater concern for the millions of older people and those with preexisting conditions is whether these trials test the vaccine's ability to prevent severe illness and death. Again we find that severe illness and death are only secondary objectives in these trials. None list the prevention of death and hospitalization as a critically important barrier.

If total infections, hospitalizations, and death are going to be ignored in the preliminary trials of the vaccines, then there must be phase four testing to monitor their safety and efficacy. This would be long term massive scale monitoring of the vaccine. There must be an indication that the authorized vaccines are reducing infection, hospitalization, and death, or else they will not be able to stop this pandemic.

Therefore, considering all of this, don't you have to ask yourself whether the entire point of the vaccine is nothing more than a psychological ploy to provide an antidote to all the fear and panic porn that has been promoted by our politicians and media over the last nine months?

All of this raises a further question as to what is the real reason for promoting a vaccine that will have been rushed to market with so little testing for a virus in which close to 99.9% will survive?

That would seem particularly true when the stated primarily objective of the vaccine trials is merely to provide a vaccine that limits symptoms rather than one that limits infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

If you want some additional food for thought I recommend you view the first 5 or 6 minutes of the video interview below of Dr. Christiane Northrup about concerns she has about the unique characteristics of the Covid vaccine. The entire video is about 35 minutes long but you can get the essence of what her primary concerns are by investing in the first 5 minutes or so.

People I have shared it with have found it very thought provoking in that they were not aware that most of the Covid vaccines being developed are using a vaccine method that has never been used before. It involves using the RNA in your body to invoke an immune response. This is intended to activate antigens in your body to fight the virus. However, this also affects your DNA makeup which could be problematic and cause uncertain long term effects due to the short testing period. Vaccines are typically been developed using dead, inactive or low levels of the virus. (My summary may not be totally technically correct here but I hope you get the idea).

The vaccines are also being developed with nano particles based on research at MIT of a substance called Luciferase which allows the vaccine to be traced in the body. I have heard some say that this is only being done in the research development phase to see how the vaccine works. However, Dr. Northrup is concerned it will be injected into recipients as one of the ingredients in the final vaccine to create a biomarker in your body.

As always, ask questions and do your own research. Don't take anything at face value. Be skeptical of everything you are told. That includes this doctor's perspective. Develop your own perspective on this and other issues by gathering as much information on subjects important to you as you can.

Dr. Northrup is skeptical of many vaccines and this interview was produced by Vaxxed which has an anti-vaccine perspective. Keep that in mind but listen to what this doctor has to say. In the end, it is your health and the health of your family that is at stake. What is right for you might not be the same as what politicians and public health officials are telling you is right for you.

If I have one complaint about President Trump it is that he has placed too much emphasis on the potential in a Covid vaccine. I understand why he has done it. It has been done to provide hope for the public that we are going to get beyond this pandemic sooner rather than later. However, I think it has been a mistake to have done so. 

I could very well be wrong. We will find out in due course. In any event, Trump or Biden, Fauci, the FDA and CDC have a lot riding on this when the vaccine starts being distributed to the public.

One thing I am confident about is that there is information in this video that you have not heard anywhere else. Just as I am sure you had not heard that the vaccine is not even being developed to stop you from being infected with Covid.

Click here if the video does not run on your browser.

I also know that being well informed and looking out for yourself is the best prescription for staying healthy and safe.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Another Covid Mystery

Flu season is here and we have been told to expect a possible "twindemic" by the experts.

A horrible winter that will see us battling both Covid-19 and the seasonal flu.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is among those raising the alarm.

Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, has warned the daily number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. remains dangerously high, especially as the forthcoming flu season threatens to complicate the nation’s response to the pandemic.

“You can’t enter into the cool months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline,” Fauci said. He added that the positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that are positive, is “going in the wrong direction” in more than 30 states.

There have been a lot of news reports telling people how important it is to get a flu shot this year. This is an example from CNN.

With a black suit jacket shrugged off her left shoulder, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer didn't flinch while getting a flu vaccination on live television in September.

"Literally the easiest thing I will do today," said Gov. Whitmer, who called the press conference to underscore preparations for this coming flu season.

"Preventing the flu will help us save lives and preserve the health care resources we need to continue fighting Covid-19," she said. "It's more important than ever."

What is interesting about all of this hype is that as one looks at the facts around the world the evidence seems to suggest that the flu has disappeared at the same time that Covid-19 took hold.

For example, look at this comparison of positive cases of the flu and Covid in 2020 while also looking back at flu cases in 2019.

Notice how flu cases in North America in 2020 were running ahead of cases in 2019 until the week of March 9 (Week 10). The next week flu cases starting dropping quickly. That also included positivity rates. This is exactly when the Covid pandemic started in North America.

Look at the 2020 cases and the positivity rates compared to 2019 for the rest of the year. One month after Covid starting take hold in mid-March, flu cases in 2020 were down 97% from 2019.

It almost as if Covid-19 pushed the flu out of the way.

Hat tip to Kyle Lamb for putting me on to this topic. 


It is simply amazing.

This is data from the week ending September 27, 2020 (Week 40) that Phil Kerpen summarized from the CDC weekly influenza surveillance report.

Confirmed fly cases are down 96% from last year in the same week at the beginning of this flu season!

Of course, someone could look at this data and correctly conclude that the 2020 flu season was starting to wind down when Covid-19 hit North America in March so this might not be a fair comparison. This year's flu season is also just beginning.

How about if we look at countries in the Southern Hemisphere which were entering the peak flu seasons of their Fall and Winter when Covid was striking them in the March-September time frame?

These charts are all from the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System.

Let's look at what the incidence of flu has been in 2020 compared to 2019 in the winter seasons in South Africa, Argentina and Australia. Three different countries on three different continents in the Southern Hemisphere.

South Africa.



It is as if the flu has disappeared while Covid is present.

Some people might look at this and say that this drop off has been caused by social distancing and masks.

However, if that is the case why are Covid-19 cases still present and increasing in these countries?

They are both viruses. Why did mitigation efforts stop the flu but not Covid? Why would one be affected this significantly and the other isn't? 

It defies common sense not to mention "science".

You can see that in Sweden's case numbers.

As we know, Sweden never locked down. It kept its schools open. It never applied strong mitigation measures. It has never adopted widespread mask usage.

However, notice that flu cases in Sweden also started to fall like a rock beginning right after the week ending March 14 (week 11) in 2020. After the middle of April there were no more flu cases in Sweden and that remains the case today.

Compare that to the normal trend we saw in 2019.

What was the difference? Covid-19 was circulating in the community.

It will be interested to see what happens in Sweden during this flu season for two reasons.

First, Sweden is not experiencing the significant increase in Covid-19 cases right now that other European counties are. If Covid is not around does that mean the flu will come back?

Second, since Sweden is not doing much in the way of mitigation measures will we see a stronger flu season there than in other European countries?

It will also be interesting to see if we see a twindemic in the United States that Dr. Fauci and other experts are predicting.

This data indicates to me that Covid may be in some way blocking the flu virus from replicating in the population. It is almost as if Covid is bigger and stronger so that the flu cannot get established in the community when Covid is present.

This theory seems to have some support in scientific literature.

Consider this study that was published in The Lancet in September which suggests that one respiratory virus can effectively block another virus in the airway mucosa from establishing itself in the body.

There is other interesting research out there about the interplay of various viruses in the community and in our bodies.

For example, look at this study from 2012 that showed that children who received the flu vaccine were actually 4.4 times more likely thereafter to be be infected with another noninfluenza respiratory virus over the next several months than those who did not get the flu vaccine.

We randomized 115 children to trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) or placebo. Over the following 9 months, TIV recipients had an increased risk of virologically-confirmed non-influenza infections (relative risk: 4.40; 95% confidence interval: 1.31-14.8). Being protected against influenza, TIV recipients may lack temporary non-specific immunity that protected against other respiratory viruses.

Early in the pandemic there were some reports that those who had the flu shot were actually at higher risk of catching Covid. Most experts state that is not correct. However, our immune systems are extraordinarily complex. 

As shown in the study above, if the immune response is triggered in one instance does it have the ability to respond as well if attacked in another area? This would seem to be confirmed in the increased mortality we have seen with Covid with other comorbidities. Could it be possible that if flu rates are heading down in the presence of Covid that the benefit/risk equation on getting a flu shot this year has changed compared to other years?

I don't know. However, is it something worth considering when you look at the data above?

In any event, there is good news in all of this.

If the presence of Covid is causing the flu to be less prevalent there may be some additional benefits.

The flu attacks the young at a much higher rate than it attacks older people.

CDC data suggests that children 0-4 are infected by the flu at a rate about 3 times those who are age 65+. School age children 5-17 are twice as likely to catch the flu as their grandparents.

Less flu might mean less deaths in the young. The data currently shows that Covid is less deadly than the flu for those under age 48.

Covid has a higher mortality rate for those over age 48 compared to the flu.

Source: @Covid19Crusher

The flu is actually calculated to be 2.5x more lethal to the young than the old.

Covid is 2.5x more lethal to the old than the young.

Is Covid a cure for the flu?

We will see.

It is just another Covid mystery right now.