Hurricane Irma seems to have blown everything else out of the news. And one thing that it blew away was the move that Donald Trump made late last week. Unable to get the Republican-controlled House and Senate to enact the agenda on which he was elected, Trump has turned to… the Democrats. And did a deal with them instead. Rush Limbaugh:
I can’t tell you the number of people asking, “When did Trump become a Democrat overnight? What just happened here? Trump’s talking a…” I was faced with a monumental task last night of trying to explain this to them…
…he’s had nothing but trouble from his own party. He’s had nothing but obstruction, nothing but disrespect, nothing but a bunch of lying. On Obamacare repeal and replace, on tax reform, on whatever it is, the Republican leadership in the House and Senate has told Trump to go to (Raspberry!), and they haven’t done (Raspberry!) for him.
Looks like a very smart move to me. He can’t do deals with the people he’s supposed to be able to do deals with, so he does a deal with somebody else instead. Why not?
I wonder if this has got anything to do with the turnabout on Antifa by the Democrat leadership, which they started condemning last week for the first time ever. And I wonder what the Democrat grass roots think of the Democrat leadership, cosying up to a Donald Trump who they’ve been comparing to Hitler? Is the liberal media going to follow suit? Trump seems to have wrong-footed everybody with this move. And he’s done it under cover of Irma, knowing that the media are fixated on that.
The Telegraph has a video of what looks like it might be part of Richard Branson’s mansion on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, which Irma passed directly over as a category 5 hurricane last week. It looked like all the windows blew out. Those windows probably all had storm shutters on them, and they didn’t hold. But the building is still standing, with the roof still on it.
Other pictures from the British Virgin Islands showed scenes of similar devastation (click to zoom in):
All the leaves and branches have been stripped from the trees. Part of one building has lost its roof, and had its windows blown out, and maybe even had brick walls blown down. But the other part seems intact. The building in the background seems to be intact. The car looks like it’s as good as new, and probably wasn’t parked there during the storm. In the distance there appear to be large intact buildings, and even radio/electricity pylons. In the foreground there seem to be a few pieces of corrugated iron that could be recycled.
“This is very serious. Parts of the island are still inaccessible, people are unaccounted for and can’t be searched for until roads are clear. In some places, there are just no more roads.
“Most of the island and all of the other islands are without communication – comms blackout.”
They’re all going to have to work very hard to get back to their former idyllic island existence.
I was chatting on Skype with Legiron last night. I was also recording it, and hope to post up an edited video later this week. One thing that set me thinking was when he said that he thought that maybe pharma companies didn’t want to cure people with their drugs, because healthy people don’t need drugs. If they cured them, they’d stop buying their product. So they sell them stuff that doesn’t work – e.g. NRT products that don’t work.
Is that a viable economic model: keeping people sick so they carry on buying your medicine? Wouldn’t that be like arranging for the British Virgin Islands to periodically be demolished by hurricanes so that you can keep selling the islanders new bricks and glass and roof tiles to replace the broken ones? Or maybe selling them low quality bricks and tiles which need to be replaced after a few months? That’s a bit like those (possibly mythical) firefighters that start fires so that the need for a firefighting service can demonstrated once again?
Right now bricks and glass and roof tiles are for the Virgin Islands what paracetamol and penicillin are for sick people: they’re both forms of remedial medication. And right now the Virgin Islands are in much greater need of roof tiles than paracetamol. But would clay roof tile manufacturers try to sell them tiles that didn’t work too well, and got blown off by Category 1 storms instead of Category 5 storms like Irma, just so that they could keep selling them lots of tiles every year?
Wouldn’t competitors start making high quality tiles that didn’t blow off so easily? The only way to stop that happening would be to arrange a monopoly so as to prevent competitors selling a better product. Maybe that’s what crony capitalism is all about: organising monopolies so that you can sell people expensive, low quality products that don’t work.
Maybe the “swamp” that Donald Trump is trying to drain is actually a monopoly organised by crony capitalists to sell Americans expensive, low quality products of every kind. And the job of Congress and Senate is to make competition illegal (e.g. by banning smoking so that they can sell people NRT products that don’t work).