Slip Slidin’ Away

82EDCFFA-7070-4E09-8F87-3F6A84EEDF48I’m retired. My retirement money, aka my “nest egg,” is invested in several Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans. And my IRA and 401(k) funds are invested in the stock market. So I have to admit that when I look at the chart shown above and see my retirement savings slip slidin’ away, I am, well, concerned.

The Dow industrials tumbled 1,190.95 points today, or 4.4%, to 25,766.64. This brings the Dow’s slide this week to more than 3,200 points. So far this month, the market has slid 13% from a February all-time high of 29,568.

I am not a financial guru, and I am not sure what exactly a 3,200 point drop in the Dow industrials means. But I do know that since the beginning of this month, my “portfolio” is down about 7%. And when it comes to my retirement nest egg, “down” is not a word I want to hear.

Why is this happening? Why is the stock market plunging at a record pace? Well, this latest slide began on Friday, after news that the coronavirus was beginning to spread outside of China. By Wednesday, the disease had spread to Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran, the United States, and numerous other countries.

Then late on Wednesday, Trump held a news conference and failed to reassure investors that his administration was taking steps to contain the virus.

And today’s drop, the largest single day drop ever in the Dow, is probably a testament to the confidence the markets and the public have in Trump’s new coronavirus czar.

Making Room for a Dynasty

32F388BD-B7A2-4983-9019-92B43729CAFDYesterday, Donald Trump inexplicably appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead a task force to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Many observers were puzzled that Trump didn’t appoint an outside expert to coordinate the response to this potential pandemic.

Why Mike Pence? After all, when he was the governor of Indiana, the state’s Scott County experienced the largest HIV outbreak that Indiana had seen in decades — an outbreak public health experts said was preventable. Nearly 200 people using opioids got sick after people contracted the virus by sharing dirty needles because, under Pence, Indiana law made it illegal to possess a syringe without a prescription.

A steadfast conservative, Pence was morally opposed to needle exchanges on the grounds that they supported drug abuse. And since Pence considers homosexuality to be an abomination that violates God’s laws. And since those affected by the spread of AIDS were mostly homosexuals, no harm-no foul to straight, white, Christian citizens, right?

Under pressure from public health officials, Pence eventually lifted a ban on sterile needle exchange programs in the state. And now Trump has put him in charge of managing the outbreak of the coronavirus. He seems, at first glance, to be an odd choice for this role.

Anyway, despite predictions by health and disease experts in his own administration that the coronavirus is going to spread and turn into a serious health issue in the United States, Trump is claiming that it’s under control and we, the U.S. should be at zero cases within a few weeks and the threat of a pandemic will be over.

I don’t believe for a minute that Trump really believes that. I think he knows that the coronavirus is a real threat and it could take months or years to combat it. By appointing Pence to lead the charge against the coronavirus, Pence will have to focus all of his energies on combating the pandemic.

Hence, Trump is essentially sidelining Pence and will have an excuse to pull him from the ticket in 2020, leaving an opening for a new running mate for Vice President.

I predict that his new running mate will be none other than his daughter, Ivanka Trump. The Donald has made no secret of his desire to create a Trump dynasty with his offspring. Who better than his daughter to be his running mate this fall? It would help him with white female voter and with the superficial white male Trump supporters who have fantasies about screwing Ivanka.

If the Trump/Trump tickets wins in November, Ivanka will be the nation’s first female Vice President and could, in 2024, become the first female POTUS.

Let that sink in for a few minutes. And remember, you heard it here first!

Window Treatments

A9F1206C-B9B5-4D53-8232-C6EC3C07170BYou may recall my mentioning in this post from February 11th that we have no window treatments in the house we moved into at the beginning of the month. And while most of our windows are on the sides and back of the house, where no neighbors can see in, we do have four windows facing the street. So, yes, not having any window treatments gives me the feeling, especially at night when the lights are on, that I’m living in a fishbowl and am on display for any passersby to see.

My Fandango’s One-World Challenge for today, which I scheduled to post today nearly two weeks ago, is “treatment.”

Interestingly, first thing this morning, I got a call from the place where we ordered the window treatments for our new place telling me that they’re in and that they want to come over today to install them.

So is it merely a coincidence that my word prompt for today, which I scheduled to post about two weeks ago, was published on the very day my window treatments are being installed? Or was I uncannily prescient two weeks ago when I scheduled the word “treatment” to post today?

120F28E1-148A-4D6D-972E-458179E054D4Or is this new, idyllic, suburban neighborhood my wife and I moved into more than what it seems to be? Are there forces at work that are not visible to the naked eye? Have my wife and I crossed over into the The Twilight Zone? You tell me what’s at play here.

In any event, I’ll be very happy to have shades to pull down tonight when the sun sets!

Fandango’s February Expressions #27

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When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Each day during the month of February, at around 6 am Pacific Time, I will be posting an old adage, an old saying, a familiar expression that we’ve all heard and have probably used during our lifetimes. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, will be to post a story, a poem, an image, an interpretation of what the expression means to you, or to do whatever it is that you want to do based upon the daily adage.

Please tag your post with #FFE and create a pingback to this post or include your link in a comment on each day’s post.

Have fun and be sure to read what others have posted in response to this prompt.

FOWC with Fandango — Treatment

FOWCWelcome to February 27, 2020 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “treatment.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

  1. And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.