Oct. 30: “Biden statement on oil was no gaff”

It had been nearly a month, but once again the Chillicothe Gazette decided to print a column by Dick Polman. This time the Pennsylvania University English Department staff member ventured into the topic of “Renewable Energy”. His article stressed that Vice President Biden, if elected President, will work to transition to 100% renewable energy sources. He goes on to quote the percentage of those polled who favored cutting off “subsidies” to the Oil and Gas industry and phasing out oil and gas in the long run. Based on what he presents it appears that the majority of the population approve of this effort. So Dick Polman states the “Biden statement on oil was no gaff.”

What’s missing from this article and the discussion in general are the following:

“Is it feasible to transition away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy sources?”

“Is the crisis real?”

As covered in another blog posting, there are three main types of renewable energy: Water, Solar and Wind. Wood would be a fourth renewable energy source, but one that stripped much of eastern US of forests early in our history. While it is a renewable source, it is also a carbon based fuel source so not part of the renewable energy plan.

There are limited sources for water capable of generating electricity. What is required is large bodies of water that are rapidly moving with significant descents. That means major rivers that can be dammed. Most of the major rivers in the US are “old” by geographic standards. That means they are slow meandering rivers in flat plains. That would include most of the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois rivers. So the major rivers in the US are not good candidates for generating significant amounts of electricity. Water may already have peaked as a source of electricity.

What about Solar? Solar energy has a significant limiting factor. The sun must be shining in order to generate solar energy (electricity) from solar panels. In addition, large scale solar energy generation requires large expanses of flat land cleared of trees. This eliminates much of the land of states like West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and much of New England. New England states also have very limited possibilities for solar due to a very low level of sunny days. States range from 46% (NY) and 49% (VT) to 54% (NH), 56% (CN) and 57% (ME). So New England will only be able to generate solar energy a little more than half of the normal daylight hours or maybe 30% of the time.

The Midwest has large flat areas suitable for large solar panel farms, but is only slightly more sunny than New England. Midwest states range from 50% (OH) and 51% (MI) up to 58% (MN) and 59% (IA). So the Midwest averages sunshine approximately 55% of the potential daylight hours. That’s less than a third of the hours in a given year.

The states most compatible for large solar panel farms are states with higher levels of sunshine ranging from 70% (CO), 76% (NM), 79% (NV) and 85% (AZ). These are states with smaller populations and industrial bases, so are not the states with higher electricity requirements. But even many of these states will have a relatively significant amount of time in which solar panels will not be capable of generating electricity during the normal hours of sunshine.

So how do we use solar power to generate electricity during non-sunshine hours (nighttime) and during normal sunshine hours when the sun is not shining? We can’t. We need another significant source of renewable energy.

Wind is the other major renewable energy source. It is primarily generated from large wind turbines, often constructed in close proximity in what are called “wind farms”. Wind turbines have “cut in” and “cut out” speeds. The “cut in” speed is the minimum speed required for the turbines to be turned on. According to what I read turning a wind turbine on also requires electricity. The “cut off” speed is the speed above which the turbine will be turned off to protect it from damage. One source I found showed the average “cut-in” speed to be between 6.0 MPH and 9.0 MPH. The “cut-out” speed I found was 55 mph. The speed at which the maximum generation of electricity occurs is somewhere around 30 MPH.

“The cut-in speed (typically between 6 and 9 mph) is when the blades start rotating and generating power. As wind speeds increase, more electricity is generated until it reaches a limit, known as the rated speed.”

So for wind power to be a reasonable source of power you need strong consistent wind. Some of the largest cities in the country have average wind speeds below or at the cut in speed: Phoenix (AZ) 6.2, San Diego, (CA) 7.0, Los Angeles (CA) 7.5 and Houston (TX) 7.6. Major Midwest cities have average wind speeds at or just above the cut-in speed: Columbus (OH) 8.3, Indianapolis (IN) 9.6, St. Louis (MO) 9.6 and Detroit 10.2. The four windiest cities in the list were only slightly above the cut-in speed: Boston (MA) 12.3, Oklahoma (OK) 12.2, Buffalo (NY) 11.8 and Milwaukee (WI) 11.5. Even the cities with the highest wind speeds, the wind speed is well below the speed where maximum electricity is generated.

Of the 49 cities listed only 16 had average speeds above 10.5 MPH and 23 had average speeds below 9.0 MPH. With the highest average wind speed at 12.3 MPH, wind can’t be a major, consistent and reliable source of electricity.

Electricity from fossil fuels and nuclear is the typical backup to renewables, but if we go 100% renewables by 2050, what happens during nighttime, cloudy periods and periods when the wind blows at speeds below the average speed needed to generate electricity. All of those restrict the ability of solar and wind to generate the electricity we need. That will be even more the case if we ban fossil fuels for heating (natural gas and propane) and powering machines and vehicles. And don’t forget, the need for electricity will increase dramatically once fossil fuels are banned.

It appears that Dick Polman, Vice President Biden and the Democrat party hopes to convince you that transitioning to renewable energies is a positive thing. But to do that they have to ensure that you don’t understand the shortcomings of renewable energy sources and how it will be impossible to rely on them for 100% of our electricity.

And of course, to convince you that we should transition to renewable sources, they have to convince you that the use of fossil fuels is creating a global warming crisis. I’ve addressed that falsehood in prior blogs:

And other blogs under the Climate Change tab.

Opinion: Biden and His Social Security Ads

As the presidential campaign winds down I’m starting to see political commercials put out by VP Biden addressing Social Security. That’s a topic that Democrats have long used against Republicans. They have portrayed Republican willingness to address Social Security’s growing crisis as a desire to take Social Security benefits away from needy seniors. They’ve been successful in their efforts for more than a decade now, in large part because the media has failed to cover the crisis in a meaningful way.

However, in this year’s case, it is especially upsetting to see Vice President Biden using the issue of Social Security against President Trump and the media not pointing out the hypocrisy.

In his commercial Vice President Biden criticizes President Trump for proposing a Social Security payroll tax holiday. The payroll tax holiday would stop a portion of the Social Security payroll tax withholding from taking place in order to leave more money in the individuals’ net pay. This would be done to help spur on the economic recovery. I don’t disagree with VP Biden’s position that this would be a bad idea, but hearing it from VP Biden is surprising. When faced with a slow recovery the Obama/Biden Administration used a Social Security payroll tax holiday to attempt to spur on the economy. It was passed by Congress in 2011 and extended for an additional year in 2012. An article in The Hill on the extension of the tax holiday included the following quotes from President Obama:

“It’s amazing what Congress can accomplish when they focus on doing the right thing instead of playing politics.”

“Today, we took one important short-term step to strengthen the economy.

So it was an “important short term step to strengthen the economy” when the Obama/Biden Administration instituted a Social Security payroll tax holiday, but now it’s threat to the Social Security program when the Trump Administration wants to use it to “strengthen the economy”? Consistency of position was never the hallmark of Vice President Biden or many politicians.

But what makes it even more upsetting to me to see VP Biden use Social Security against a Republican Administration is the record of the Democrats on “saving Social Security”.

In their 2005 Trustee Trust Fund Report to Congress the trustees urged Congress to act in a “timely way” in passing changes to the program that would improve its financial position. President Bush took the trustee’s urging to heart and proposed a restructuring of Social Security that would not only improve its financial position, but would give individuals more control over their benefits. The changes were designed to not only bring about long term stability to the program, but also to make Social Security a wealth building program for working Americans. This would have been the first modernization of Social Security since it was passed in 1935.

Democrats’ response to the proposal was loud and strong. Republicans want to sabotage Social Security. They used it in the 2006 election to win back the House. and they have used it every two years since.

But each year, the Social Security Trustees have issued a statement in the conclusion section of their annual Trust Fund Report urging Congress to act in a “timely way” to reform the program and make it feasible for the long term.

I started downloading the WH OMB’s budget projections with the Obama/Biden’s first budget, the 2010 Budget released in early 2009. I began compiling my own reports and databases. One of them has to do with the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Outlays and Payroll Tax Receipts. In the 2010 Budget’s 10 year projections Social Security outlays exceeded Social Security payroll tax receipts by $204 billion. In the 2011 budget projections the shortfall had increased to $554 billion and in the 2012 Budget to $1,001 billion.

Republican’s won back the House in 2010 and in 2011 began a new effort to follow the Trustees’ urging. President Obama was even quoted as saying he might back the effort. This time Sen. Harry Reid led a group of Senators in a “Hands Off Social Security” rally. He is quoted as saying:

‘“It’s in great shape for the next many decades. Let’s worry about Social Security when it’s a problem — today it’s not a problem,” Reid said.’

“The rally follows Reid’s remarks on MSNBC last week that he would only be open to changing the program in 20 years, as well as an amendment he introduced with Sanders prohibiting the Senate from cutting or privatizing Social Security in crafting deficit-reduction legislation.” Michelle Hirsch; Fiscal Times March 28, 2011

So the leader of the Senate Democrats said we should and could wait 20 years to make any changes to Social Security? But that’s the exact opposite of what the Trustees were saying. And the trustees included three cabinet members of the Obama/Biden Administration (Sec. of Treasury, Labor and HHS) in addition to the Social Security Administrator. All of them were urging Congress to act in a “timely way”, not wait 20 years.

By the time the 2013 Budget projections were released in early 2012 the projected shortfall had increased to $1,586 billion. The jump ($1,032 billion) was in large part due to the SS Payroll Tax Holiday that Congress had enacted in 2011 and extended in 2012 at the Obama/Biden Administration’s urging. So early that year I sent a letter to each of the three cabinet secretaries that were trustees. I received a thoughtful letter back from the Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy of the Treasury Department, Janice Eberly. She confirmed that my numbers were materially correct and the shortfall would continue to increase until Congress passed reforms. She included two statements of importance:

As you note, the Social Security Trustees have for many years recommended in the Social Security Trustees Report that lawmakers take swift action to address Social Security’s long-term financial shortfall. The Trustees can do no more.”

“I assure you that the Administration is committed to making reforms to Social Security…”

Senate Democrat’s continued to delay any efforts to reform Social Security over the next four years. In the 2017 Budget the shortfall increased to $2,611 billion. So in the eight years the Obama/Biden Administration was in office the shortfall in the ten year projections for Social Security grew by $2,407 billion. Yet the Obama/Biden administration never put forward a plan to stop the destruction of the program. In fact, in 2016 President Obama joined Sen. Sherrod Brown and others in calling for an increase in benefits that would have just accelerated the decline of the Social Security Trust Funds.

So for VP Biden to be attempting to use Social Security against President Trump is the ultimate hypocrisy. Democrat’s have been delaying any attempt to reform the program for sixteen years!

Oct. 16: “Whats Dems are still missing about Appalachia”

By Rick Greene editor and publisher of Southern Ohio Today

In his column Rick Greene states as fact that human’s use of fossil fuels is causing warming. (Whether that’s the case is definitely still up for debate. (1))

“The scientific community has identified this issue for more than thirty years. It wasn’t fake then, and it isn’t fake now.”

He uses Prof. Michael Mann as a key witness. He goes on to talk about Renewable energy solutions being “at the heart of Democratic platform.” In the second presidential debate Vice President Biden stated that he would emphasize renewables and work to eliminate use of fossil fuels by 2050.

So what are the main sources of energy and which are renewables:

Natural GasFossil
Major sources of energy and which are renewables.

Water is one of the renewable energies. Most of that has to do with major rivers that have been dammed in order to generate electricity. Three of the biggest projects are at Niagara Falls and the Columbia River and Hoover Dam. The obvious question is how much more can water be used as a renewable energy source. One potential that sounds like a possibility is harnessing the tides. But at this point in time that hasn’t been worked out to a degree to be a substantial source of energy. So water as a source of renewable energy is not stressed.

Wind is something that can easily be harnessed and traveling through portions of the country you can see the giant wind turbines that have been put in place. An advantage to wind is can be used 24 hours a day. That is, if the wind is blowing at just the right speed. Some internet research on wind turbines shows that they have both a “cut-in” and “cut-out” speed. What that means is the wind must be blowing at a designated speed before they will start and they will stop if the wind exceeds a certain speed. While the “cut-in” speed varies depending on the source, I saw wind speeds between 5 and 9 miles per hour as the “cut-in” speed. The “cut-out” speed was consistently shown as 55 miles per hour. The speed at which the turbine can generate the maximum level of energy is well above the “cut-in” speed. So wind is only a reliable source of energy where wind is relatively strong and consistent.

Solar energy generation is a different. It takes sunshine to generate solar energy. So the two factors that apply to solar are the normal hours of the day that sunshine can potentially shine and the number of days it actually shines. The number of hours of potential sunshine vary depending on the location and calendar. Locations that are closer to the equator have more consistent hours of sunshine. Those closer to the poles have wide swings in the number of potential hours of sun. Take northern Alaska for example. It is known as the land of the midnight sun in the summer, but is known for days with little sunlight during the winter. The number of days that the sun is partially or totally blocked by clouds varies based on location.

I’ve been tracking the weather in Chillicothe the last few days. Sunday was rainy, but was somewhat windy. Monday was cloudy and had little wind. Tuesday was cloudy and misty and there was little wind. (Last night it was blowing at 4 mph.) Today is supposed to cloudy all day and the wind is currently blowing at 4 mph. They are calling for rain for tomorrow. While this is not an appropriate look at the potential for renewables in our area, it does point out the shortcomings of them. That will be five days in a row where the sunshine was blocked by heavy cloud cover making solar ineffective and and the wind was below the “cut-in” speed much of the time meaning the turbines wouldn’t have been activated. We have no rivers or oceans that would be suitable for generating electricity from water power. Where would the renewable energy come from in periods like this?

There are sources of general information on the hours of sunshine and average wind speed for various locations. The following are links to those factors for Columbus, OH.

Water hardly has any real potential for producing electricity in our area. That means we need to depend on other sources of renewable energy.

Solar is another potential renewable. The chart of hours of average sunshine for Columbus shows it varies greatly by the season. An average month has either 744 hours (31 days c 24 hours per day) or 720 (30 days x 24 hours per day) hours. The three months from November through January average 100 hours of sunshine or less than 15% of the time. The months of May through August average about 250 hours of sunshine or about 33% of the time. So how consistent will solar power be? Will it match the need for power, especially as we convert from gasoline, heating oil and natural gas in favor of electricity. Without the ability to have large and long term storage for the electricity generated by solar power we will have significant disruptions to our electricity supply as the weather changes.

Wind is another potential renewable. Weathersparks.com has a good graph on the average wind speed for Columbus, Ohio. We find the following on the site:

“The windier part of the year lasts for 6.9 months, from October 16 to May 13, with average wind speeds of more than 8.6 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 17, with an average hourly wind speed of 11.0 miles per hour.” “The calmer time of year lasts for 5.1 months, from May 13 to October 16. The calmest day of the year is August 3, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.2 miles per hour.”

So if the “cut-in” speed of turbines is 9.0 mph, the majority of the time the turbines won’t be activated. Even if it is as low as 7.0 mph, during the 5 summer months, from mid-May to mid-October, the average wind speed will be below the “cut-in” speed. If the “cut-in” speed of the turbines is 5.0 mph the there could be some electricity generated from wind each month, but there is no month in the year where the average wind speed comes close to, let alone exceeds, the speed at which the turbines reach their maximum electricity production. So it appears that wind power isn’t a very reliable source of electricity for central Ohio (and much of the Midwest).

So where does that leave central Ohio if the goal of converting from fossil fuel based energy to renewables is achieved? And what would 100% renewables actually mean for citizens and businesses? There are plenty of examples from around the world to look to. Some examples are western and southern Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom. The price per KWH varies around Europe, greatly influenced by each country’s policies on renewable energy sources. Or even closer to home, how about California? There are many stories about blackouts, shortages and higher energy prices.

So should central Ohio actually be converting to renewable energy sources? Especially since the push for them is coming due to science’s biggest hoax in history. More to come on that in the future.

(1) A good source for information on this debate can be found at: SEPP.org

Oct. 27: “Electoral College takes center stage as election nears”

By Josh Peter of the USA Today

Josh starts the article by saying “Here’s a quick refresher on the subject, which you may not have given serious thought to since middle school.” While a refresher on the Electoral College isn’t a bad thing, to suggest that most people, let alone voters, aren’t aware of the basics of the Electoral College is amusing. There has been so much discussion on the Electoral College in recent years that it would be nearly impossible not to be aware of it.

Under the “What are the basics?” heading, Josh goes on to tell us there are 538 delegates. There’s a delegate for each of the 100 Senators and 435 Representatives plus 3 for the District of Columbia. The fact that there are three delegates for the District of Columbia was something that I only recently learned, but the rest was old news and has been discussed regularly since the 2016 election, let alone the 2000 election.

Josh goes on to include statements from Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California at Berkley. Prof. Erwin, a “Constitutional scholar”, is quoted as saying ‘“I’m very concerned about the Electorial College” “I think the electoral college should be abolished…” “it proportionately favors smaller states over larger states.”

So why would a group of individuals who favored democracy put such a system in place?

The Electoral College was just one of the many safe guards put in place to by the Founding Fathers to safe guard the nation against the “tyranny of the majority”. That’s why we are a Representative Republic, not a true Democracy. They understood that true Democracies eventually fail once the majority takes over.

There are three key protections the Founding Fathers put in place. The first was the fact that Senators were elected by state legislatures, not voters. This gave states a check against the House of Representatives that might not be there if Senators were elected by the same voters who elected the Representatives. They also gave Senators a term of six years, rather than two for Representatives, giving the Senate more stability and making it less influenced by fluid public opinion.

The second protection was the a prohibition against an individual income tax. All taxes were to be proportional or based on the population of the states, not individuals income. They feared if the treasury was opened up to the voters, our nation wouldn’t survive. The individual income tax has changed that by giving the Federal Government large new source of funds. That allows politicians to use those funds to convince voters to vote for them based on how the politician says the funds will be used.

The third protection was the Electoral College. It keeps large states from dominating the government at the expense of small states. If all states were the same and had similar populations with similar goals, backgrounds, and economies we wouldn’t need states. We could be one nation. But that’s not the case. The Electoral College gives smaller states more of a say in the nation than they would if we didn’t have it.

Of the three basic protections put in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers, two have been removed. States no longer elect Senators. They are elected directly by voters. We’ve given the Federal Government a large source of income. We’ve allowed our politicians to “buy” votes by proposing policies that would benefit individuals, without them having to pay for them. We even allow politicians to propose policies that we can’t afford. That’s why we’ve only had four budget surpluses since 1969!

Now a supposed “Constitutional Scholar” is in favor of eliminating the last of the three major protections put in those Constitution by our Founding Fathers?

A close look at the 2016 Election Map by County shows why the Founding Fathers put the Electoral College in place. The United States has 3,100 counties or county like entities. Hillary won 500 of the counties and Donald Trump won more than five times that many with 2,600. Changing to determining our presidential elections by the popular vote would allow a few heavily populated counties and states to dominate federal policy and put in place policies that most of the country doesn’t want.

If this was meant to be a “fair and balanced” article, where were the comments by the “Constitutional Scholar” that understands why the Founding Fathers put the Electoral College in place and defends it. There are many of them out there. But Josh couldn’t seem to find one? Or did he not attempt to find one? Or was this really a piece to cast doubt on the Electoral College, not fairly report on it?

Oct. 27: “Study: Plan could create 2.3M jobs”

By Ceili Doyle of the Columbus Dispatch

The headline screams some really good news. 2.3M jobs! How could anyone be against that?

First, how many jobs is that. For years we’ve used Roman Numerals to represent numbers. Under Roman Numerals I = 1, V = 5, C = 100 and M = 1,000. So is it 2,300 or 2,300,000 jobs. There is quite a bit of difference between the two. So let’s look at the details of the story.

“…the plan would help create more than 235,000 jobs a year.”

With that clarification, it becomes clear they are claiming the plan would create 2.3 million (235,000 times 10 years) jobs in Ohio. That would be an amazing thing since Ohio only has a population of 11.7 million and a work force of less than 5.7 million. The September 2020 unemployment number was estimated at 471,500. So where are all those additional 1.8 million workers going to come from to fill the 2.3 million new jobs?

“These are short-term infrastructure jobs…”

So if they are “short-term” jobs, how long is short term? If they last a year or less then the jobs that are created the second year will only replace the jobs that were created and expired during the first year. That will be the same for year two, three and on to year ten. It sounds like the program is actually designed to create 235,000 jobs, not 2.3 million. (So who came up with the headline and why?)

So what type of jobs will these be?

“The jobs would be mostly outdoor work, similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps…” ‘”These are … infrastructure jobs…”‘

If the majority of the 235,000 jobs that are created are “outdoor work” “infrastructure jobs” do they really address those who are currently unemployed? Are they capable of the hard labor typical of infrastructure jobs? Are they able to spend most of their work days in the outdoors? If the currently unemployed aren’t able to meet the requirements of the jobs, the unemployment rate won’t actually be cut in half as the “expert” tells us it would. Many, if not most of the unemployed will stay unemployed.

The column goes on to talk about the impact of the changes to the fossil fuels industry employment. It states that an estimated

“…2,115 Ohioans working in the fossil-fuel industry will lose their jobs annually (roughly 21,000 total) between 2021 and 2030. However, 1,105 of those workers would retire each year on average, leaving only 1,010 displaced workers.” (10,100 total over ten years)

So does that mean we are spending 90 billion dollars over ten years to create 235,000 jobs because of the 10,100 displaced workers? It sounds like that’s the case. If that’s the case. that equates to $9.8 million over ten years for each displaced worker.

The subheading of the article is “Nonprofit program aims to help Appalachia”. That is certainly a great goal. And bringing towns back to life is a great service. BUT reporting on the proposal needs to make sense and not much of the reporting in this article makes good sense.

Oct. 24: “Debate covers virus, climate, race”

By Jonathan Lemire, Michelle L. Price, Darlene Supperville and Will Weissert of the Associated Press

Politicians are almost funny if the results of elections were so serious. Just look at what Vice President Biden had to say about President Trump’s use of “Red States and Blue States” when talking about the Covid-19 virus.

“I don’t look at this in terms of the way he does – blue states and red states,” Biden said. “They’re all the United States.”‘

That sounds like a real statesman, but then he went on to say:

‘”And look at all the states that are having such a spike in the coronavirus – they’re the red states.”‘

So much for VP Biden and his claim that he doesn’t look at states as Red or Blue!

One of Biden’s favorite claims is that President Trump is responsible for all the Covid-19 deaths because he is president. He used that same thinking when he said:

‘”Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America.”‘

Blaming the president for all the Covid-19 deaths has been one of VP Biden’s favorite things to do, no matter how ridiculous it is to do it.

So what did VP Biden say about replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy.

‘When Trump repeatedly asked Biden if he would “close down the oil industry” the Democrat standardbearer said he “would transition from the oil industry, yes” and that he would replace it by renewable energy “over time”.

The article goes on to explain that the Biden campaign sensed that had been a damaging statement so went on in an attempt to clean it up by stating:

‘”We’re not going to ban fossil fuels. We’ll get rid of the subsidies of fossil fuels but not going to get rid of fossil fuels for a long time.”‘

So Biden is claiming that he is not really going to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy over time, they are just going to get rid of fossil fuels some time in the distant future? Aren’t they the same things? They have now claimed a long time is equal to 2050 or thirty years from now. But will it ever be feasible to do away with all fossil fuels and covert 100% to renewables? (That will be the topic of another piece of mine in the near future.)

The topic of race was also covered:

“On race, Biden called out Trump’s previous refusals to condemn white supremacists.”

Yet President Trump has been on record denouncing the KKK and other white supremacists repeatedly. He’s done it repeatedly since being asked the question by Chris Wallace in the 2016 Presidential Debate and many times since. Democrats think it helps to claim he hasn’t to counter Biden’s “you’re not black” statement to a reporter if he needed to ask more questions to determine whether he should vote for Biden or Trump.

So on these topics VP Biden has truly shown himself to be a true politician. But is that what voters want?

PS: The October 25th “Life, Liberty & Levin” show featured a interview with Vice President Pence. The first segment of the show covered the Administration’s response to the Covid-19 virus outbreak and the Administration’s response. This is something every voter/resident who believes VP Biden and Sen. Harris when they claim the Trump Administration had no plan and still has no plan to deal with the virus outbreak should see. Vice President Pence, who led the task force, clearly outlined the steps they took from early in January to the current effort to develop and distribute a vaccine. If they are honest about what they hear they will come away understanding that the Trump Administration did have a plan and the Democrats aren’t telling the truth. And if they heard Vice President Biden’s press conference on his plan to address the virus they would know that the steps he outlines he would take in his plan are the same steps that the Trump Administration has already taken. It will be interesting to see if the media covers this at all. I won’t hold my breath!

Opinion: Oct. 25: Covid-19 and the Election

If Vice President Biden wins the election, he can thank the Covid-19 virus and the media for the victory. And if President Trump and Vice President Pence lose the election they have the media, the Republican strategists and themselves to blame for the loss.

Let’s take a look at the case against the media first. The media has made the Covid-19 virus one of their number one stories since it broke out. That probably is justified. But as with so many topics, much of what the media has done is superficial and one sided reporting. Often that reporting has supported the contentions made by Democrats. And it has left out reporting on obviously false statements put out by the leading Democrats like VP Biden and Sen. Harris.

This summer Biden & Harris repeatedly told us that President Trump was responsible for all the virus deaths. In one case Biden told us that Trump was responsible for the 200,000,000 deaths. Obviously that was a misstatement by Biden, which was covered by some. But more importantly, to blame any person, especially the president, for all the deaths that have occurred was ludicrous. That’s especially true when there were several major states with high levels of nursing home deaths after the governors required nursing homes to accept COVID-19 positive patients. Yet that aspect of their claim was rarely, if ever, addressed.

Biden and Harris have also claimed that President Trump didn’t have a plan early on and still doesn’t have a plan. Again that was easily proven false but the media failed to address that claim. For what was probably two months, or more, the Trump Administration held daily press conferences on the Covid-19 Task Force. During those press conferences we were introduced to the individuals involved with the task force and what their responsibilities were. We were introduced to the plans they had to address making supplies, equipment, and even temporary hospital beds available to the states as needed. They also covered what was being done to develop a vaccine .

Had the majority of the media highlighted what was being done instead of just the number of cases and death count or how it was impacting individuals’ lives, that would have changed the tone of the debate. It would have changed it from being about the President’s supposed lack of action to combat the virus to the fact that the Democrats were lying about it for political purposes. The Democrats have tweaked their claim to now say he had no “national plan”. That too is quite dishonest. He and his team worked with states throughout the country (red and blue) . And it implies that the Federal Government is designed so it could put in place a plan that over rides the right of states to act as they see fit. That’s not the case.

Finally, Vice President Biden has been talking about his plan to address the the virus. The day after the last presidential debate he spelled it out in detail in a news conference speech. But most of the steps, if not each, he laid out have already been undertaken by the Trump Administration. Imagine if the media had fairly compared the two plans, item by item, and shown what the Trump Administration had already put in place regarding each part of Vice President Biden’s plan? That would have had a significant impact too! And it would have been fair coverage designed to properly inform voters.

So the media, including Fox News, have covered the virus very poorly with the intended or unintended consequence of aiding the Biden campaign.

So what about the Republican strategists? How are they responsible? Most have been saying that President Trump and his campaign should stick to his strong point, the economy. But is that really good advice? Most people are aware of what the economy was like before the Covid-19 virus appeared. Reminding them of that is probably a good idea. But making it the major and almost entire focus of the campaign seems foolish to me. At some point in time you need to address what appears to be your weakness. That is especially true when you have a good story to tell.

Republican strategists always seem to get stuck on candidates talking about the economy and jobs. I remember back to the 2012 campaigns when I had a chance to meet with the number two individual responsible for the Congressional Campaigns at the RNC. Rep. Stiver’s chief of staff had arranged the visit. I presented a couple topics I thought would be very strong in the campaign. I even gave them copies of a couple scripts for commercials I thought they should use. I was told that the total focus of that year’s campaign was going to be on “jobs”. But the Democrats countered with their own message on jobs and of course added in their standby claim on Social Security. So it came down to which candidate and plan for jobs did voters trust most. I contend Republicans lost House seats in that year’s elections when they didn’t have to. Republicans always needed to run on more than “jobs”, even if that is their number one strength according to polls. Republican strategists continue to ignore this fact!

Finally why do I say it will by President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s fault? They were involved in developing the Administration’s task force and plan to address the Covid-19 virus. They know the details better than anyone else. Yet they haven’t properly address the false claims being made by the Democrats. That should have been their number one priority once Vice President Biden and Sen. Harris started making their ridiculous claims. And it should have been very easy for them to do it. But they didn’t.

So once again, like so many times in the past, voters will be going into the polling places misinformed on one of the most important topics of the election. Yet it didn’t have to happen if we had a media that took their job seriously and strategists who were actually good at their job.

Post Script: The Biden/Harris lies about the Covid-19 virus was the topic of the last column I submitted to the Chillicothe Gazette for consideration. They chose not to print it which is no surprise to me!

Oct. 19: “Is Facebook ready for potential election disruption?”

By Barbara Ortutay and David Klepper of the Associated Press

The story starts off “Ever since Russian agents and other opportunists abused Facebook’s platform in an attempt to manipulate the 2016 U.S. presidential election… (it) has learned its lesson and is no longer a conduit for misinformation, voter suppression and election disruption.”

The article goes on to talk about how the author’s feel that Facebook has lagged behind in protecting its platform from misinformation, but is attempting to change. It talks about how it has worked hard by hiring “outside fact-checkers, added restrictions” and It’s also started added (their edited version not a typo on my part) warning labels to posts that contain misinformation… and joined Twitter in limiting the spread of an unverified political story about Hunter Biden…”

This is the first mention I’ve seen in the Gazette of the Hunter Biden computer email scandal or the fact that Twitter and Facebook have refused to allow the story on their platforms that. It shows up in the fourth paragraph on the second page of the story.

For those of us that watch Fox News we known that Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff are telling us that the story is Russian disinformation. We also know the Director of the National Security Agency has come out and said there was no truth to that claim. That the agencies under his direction have no information that the emails or story about them was started by the Russians.

Instead, we know that the computer was left at a repair shop by Hunter Biden. He failed to pick it up in 90 days, so by agreement, it became the possession of the business owner. He looked at the contents of the hard drive and found disturbing information. He made copies of the hard drive content and turned the computer over to the FBI who has had it since last winter. He eventually turned over one of the copies of the hard drive to Mayor Giuliano who got it to the NY Post. They have confirmed that several of the emails were real by verifying them with the recipients.

Now one of Hunter Biden’s business partners has released 26,000 emails to a reputable reporter. The business partner has been convicted of corrupt activity and feels that Hunter is being treated differently because he is VP Biden’s son. The reporter is Peter Switzer. He has been given access to the the business partner’s Gmail account and he has been reviewing the emails. He will be releasing a series of reports on the emails’ contents which detail many of the corrupt dealings that Hunter Biden and his partners were involved in. In some cases they show VP Biden role in the activities.

Yet this is what Twitter and Facebook are blocking a major newspaper from reporting on using their platforms? This is what Facebook and Twitter are claiming is disinformation?

The Associated Press seems to be more concerned with making sure that Facebook and Twitter are blocking unfavorable stories related to VP Biden rather than reporting on the extent of the corruption his son and he were involved in. It appears Gannett and the Chillicothe Gazette are part of that effort too.

Oct. 20: SVC Cross Country Championship

Earlier this fall I wrote a blog on an amazing finish in a Cross Country race. It told how Unioto HS finished the race with 16 points, one short of a perfect score. Their boys finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th. That was a truly amazing result for a major race with several teams competing.

Well, that’s nothing now! Today’s Gazette has an article on the SVC boys’ cross country championship. Unioto finished first in that competition with 15 points! That means the first five finishers in the conference championship were all from Unioto HS. But it was more amazing than that! They had the top six and nine of the top eleven finishers!

No matter whether you appreciate what it takes to be a championship quality cross country runner or not, for one school to dominate as Unioto HS did, is truly amazing!

Congratulations Unioto HS Cross Country team! Best wishes as you start down the road towards gaining a state championship!

Oct. 17: Political Cartoon: Hunter Biden’s Secret Emails

A strange thing showed up in the October 17th issue of the Chillicothe Gazette. That strange thing was a cartoon. It shows a troubled sky, the Statue of Liberty, satellite sized Covid-19 in the sky and a scary Mayor Giuliano holding up a news paper. It is a copy of a NY Post and the headline is “Hunter Biden’s Secret Emails”. It shows the former mayor saying “Look over here kids! Do you want to see something really scary?” What’s so strange about that?

What makes that strange is the fact the Chillicothe Gazette hasn’t carried any articles regarding the story in the New York Post. So what is the cartoon all about? If you haven’t watched Fox News or listened to the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh you wouldn’t know anything about it!

There are two stories involved. The first story is the article articles in the New York Post. Hunter Biden abandoned his computer at a repair shop. The owner checked out the hard drive and found it was full of emails and pictures from Hunter Biden, VP Biden’s son. Many of the emails relate to his dealing with China, Ukraine, Russia and Romania. The relate to his and his partners attempts to get lucrative deals, many of which have to do with using VP Biden’s prior status to gain access. While Democrats like Rep. Schiff are claiming it is Russian disinformation, the original computer was handed over to the FBI. The repair shop owner kept backups of the hard drive and one of them eventually made its way to Mayor Giuliano and the NY Post. One of Hunter Biden’s business partners has confirmed that some of the emails were correct and has handed over 26,000 emails to a reporter. So the first story is how Hunter Biden used his father to create “business deals” with foreign entities, including those controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Or is it about how VP Biden used his son to create “business deals” with foreign entities, including those controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Either way it appears like it is corruption and a significant story. Yet it hasn’t been covered in the Gazette?

The second story relates to actions by Facebook and Twitter. They both acted to restrict access to and the spread of the story. They did that even before there is any proof that the story is “fake news”. It appears we now have the “tech” companies suing their platforms to influence the election. But that’s not really so surprising. Most of the rest of the media has been doing that for the last 25 years or longer!

So why did the Chillicothe Gazette include a cartoon related to a story they refuse to cover? Beats me!