When His Lips Move

Our Lady of the Coronavirus for Sunday, March 22nd: Mamie Eisenhower

Question: How can you tell when the President is lying?

Is there ever going to be a reporter who actually challenges this administration and points out their lies face-to-face? The exchange today with the FEMA director is a perfect example. He uses his airtime effectively to make it sound like he’s taking action on masks. Just like Pence said the testing kits will be available “the first of next week” a couple of weeks ago.

It’s only after the fact when journalist file their reports that they start pointing out the discrepancies. What people tend to remember is what the official said, not the Martha Radatz segment that airs three hours later.

This type of wishy washing journalism has developed in the last 40 years based on the myth the demographic is split 50/50 between Democrat and Republican. You don’t want to offend half of the audience (the Fox Weirdos being the exception.)

It’s like when I used to go to the Derby, the pre-race analysts would spout off all the big names as potential winners. Then they’d start covering their asses with comments like “but you overlook the 13 horse at your peril.” Everybody’s got a chance.

News today is corporately owned and a corporation’s sole purpose is to make money. Naturally they are going to bend over backwards to protect the party of wealth creation and preservation. Which is why we put up with eight years of ridiculous Nigerian Birth Certificate stories. And why Trump officials today are getting away with murder.

If I were the vengeful sort, of which I am not, I might wish ill against my nemeses as the New Depression takes hold. For example, an old landlord who screwed me over. That would be petty and spiteful. As the corporate marketing people like to say, “that is not who I am.” Even though what they “am did” is there for the world to see in black and white.

I am in possession of a letter from attorneys for Vince Young, my landlord at 946 Jones. It was forwarded to me by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic who represented me in the Ellis Act Eviction.

Pursuant to the Act, after a building has been held off the market for five years former tenants are given first rights to rent their old unit. This letter notified me Apartment #3 that I paid $680 for in 2014 is now available for a monthly $5,800.

The slight increase no doubt reflects the many improvements that were made. Like the elevator Mr. Young was planning to put in, there alone is a couple hundred K. It was my impression, however, he had the taste level of a pot sticker. He probably slapped some West Elm ideas on the surface and let market speculation take care of the rest.

It would be a pity if a world-wide economic downturn were to roil Vince’s financial projections.

If that building could talk we might be held rapt by its potential new occupant’s tales on the ten most common pitfalls in a first IPO. But after 40 years of housing a drunken, drug-addled, sex-obsessed drag queen, the edifice has probably been struck deaf-mute anyway.

I have not been back to see 946 and refuse to look at it when I’m in the area. It might be bad luck. I even picked up a Zipcar a couple of months ago that was parked directly across the street from it without averting my gaze.

In a previous post I mentioned how my former boss used to tease me about silly superstitions. If I were to break this one, though, you can imagine his regret the next time we dine together. It will be well-seasoned fare because he’ll be sitting next to a pillar of salt.

Did Trump Short the Market?

Don’t fuck with me British Soldiers in 1812, I’ll First Lady your ass into oblivion.

Having squandered my fortune in bad investments I feel uniquely qualified to discuss shorting stocks.  As I understand it, shorting means you “borrow” someones shares at today’s price with the promise to give the same number of shares back on a certain date. The gamble is the shares will be worth a lot less on that specified date.

So if you borrow 1000 shares of Enron today at $100 each and sell those shares you’ll pocket $100,000. Then when the specified give back date of October 15 comes around you’re required to return the shares. If the October value of an Enron share is $50, you pay $50,000 to buy 1000 shares and return them to the lender. You’ve made $50,000 on your bet.

If the stock has gone up to $200 on October 15 you are still required to return the shares you borrowed. You’d pay $200,000 for 1000 shares and be out 100K. I’ve never understood who the sucker is who’s “lending” the shares in the first place.

Don’t fuck with me Dorothea Lange, I’ll First Lady your ass into oblivion.

It’s the kind of trade that only a savvy investor can pull off. And it’s also a trade that is ripe for fraud if you are an insider with knowledge of a stock’s imminent demise. There are severe penalties for that kind of activity. If the Securities laws were ever enforced which is not going to happen in the current administration..

But it’s easy to imagine a cozy 1600 Pennsylvania dinner on a cold January night with Agent Orange, his Alfalfa looking sons, and his embalmed beauty of a daughter. (Melania is upstairs getting an emergency Brazilian. It’s role play night: he’s the Cyber Bully, she’s the desperate for attention Facebook user.)

Over their quarter pounders flown in from Mar-a-Lago at taxpayer’s expense, Daddy instructs which stocks to buy for their “blind trust.” There’s a crash a comin’, he tells them, Trump heirs will be set for several generations. And no one ever needs to know because privacy laws now preempt any civil or criminal statutes.


Don’t fuck with me Marina Oswald, I’ll First Lady your ass into oblivion.

As I laid here last night waiting for house arrest to go into effect at midnight, it was extremely quite outside. Then around 11:30 there was a half hour of screeching tires, a woman screaming, and what sounded like heavy equipment coming off the Octavia freeway ramp. I was convinced the coup had started, the tanks were rolling in. To quell resistance a good place to start is taking away the right to assemble.

I’ve since talked myself down and decided to focus my efforts on entertaining you, dearest reader. But it does feel like one of those Doris Lessing novels I read but never understood back in the 70’s. Disorder and chaos are the norm, paranoia abounds.

There have been clearer moments like reading this Zach Carter article yesterday on corporate bailouts. If this is sorbet moment and we’re cleansing, we can’t buy into this “too big to fail” crap that Jamie Dimon and his cohorts were peddling the last time.

Speculation means you lose when you make bad decisions. You don’t panhandle the taxpayers for another trillion to cover your losses. Let the airlines collapse and let’s start over with new, more competitive companies. The current cartel have turned travel into a truly miserable experience. They’re too big to keep around.

Finally there’s this Tina clip that Youtube selected for me over morning coffee. I’ve heard this song hundreds of times but don’t remember this performance. Look at what she and the Ikettes do at about 1:20. Bent over backwards and in heels.

A reason to continue on.

Don’t fuck with me Coronoavirus, I’ll First Lady your ass into oblivion.