The coronavirus continues to spread globally, with the first deaths in the United States, Australia and Thailand, all announced within a 12 hour period on Leap Day. Genuine awareness of the economic threat it poses seemed to sink in during the prior week, manifesting as a panicked sell-off on Wall Street to the tune of 3600 points, some 11% of its volume, the worst week since the financial crisis of 2008. February 27th saw the largest single-day drop in Dow history, shedding 1191 points. Of course, Fearless Leader says it’s just a hyped-up conspiracy by the Fake News Media to discredit him, the Dow drop occurred because investors were depressed by the paucity of viable candidates in the Dem primary (but shouldn’t that make these alleged Trump-lovers happy?), and coronavirus will just “disappear one day … like a miracle.”
Tag archive: PNA
It only happens every four years – Leap Day! Carved from the monotony of the calendar by the cosmos’ refusal to divide itself evenly into neat 24 hour increments just to suit human constructs, Leap Day provides us with an extra day, the opportunity to do whatever we like. Well, in theory.
This year I’m using my Leap Day to publish some random musings on the intricacies of the celestial sphere with additional asteroid research that really doesn’t fit into any category. I encounter these points haphazardly, and don’t always have a chance to thoroughly investigate them at the time.
On October 15, 2019 at 3:15 AM EDT, a crew of Verizon workers raised a heavy iron manhole cover in the Columbus Circle section of Manhattan, to be assaulted by a putrid smell. Investigation into the vault below found the badly decomposed body of a man, partially consumed by rats, who had clearly been dead for some time. The mystery of how the corpse got under the 300 pound manhole cover, which normally takes two people to lift it, was resolved by examination of surveillance footage of the area.
On Thursday, February 20th, Donald Trump ejected acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from his post, replacing him with partisan hack Richard Grenell. The position was created in the wake of the 9-11 attacks to coordinate the output of 17 intelligence agencies and provide useful, integrated information to the President and Congress, relating to national security. All Executive Branch employees serve at the pleasure of the President, and Trump was well within his rights to make this change. The question is: why now?
Roiling the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination of late is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the ninth-richest man in the US. Bloomberg’s political consistency has been his inconsistency: a registered Democrat until 2001, he became a Republican to run for mayor, then during his second term dumped that Party affiliation while he successfully prosecuted the case for ending New York’s mayoral term limits, winning a third term in 2009 as an Independent. In 2018 he once again registered as a Democrat, before announcing his entry into the 2020 presidential race on November 24, 2019.
Today is the day in the US when we celebrate all those crazy kids who brought us here, the men who grabbed the reins of American power and guided, propelled or dragged the country along with them, for a span of time. Some were giants, some could have been Munchkin extras in “The Wizard of Oz”.
Mostly, being a capitalist country, we honor their service and sacrifice with reduced prices on cars and large appliances, a chilly mid-February day off to break the monotony of work or school, and possibly their own category on “Jeopardy!’