Category Archives: Politics

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain and Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!

This piece on 5 Major Paradigm Shifts The Wuhan Flu Crisis Has Revealed Americans Need came out late last week, but I didn’t have time to digest it until the weekend.  Here are the two things I found most interesting, with my comments:

When the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic arose and began spreading, for weeks the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sought to cover it up, with deadly consequences for the world. When communist China was blamed, it not only refused to take responsibility, but slandered America for pointing the finger, to the point of calling the United States culpable as part of a disinformation campaign.

The CCP even threatened, via a state-backed publication, to cut off essential medical supplies should Americans continue speaking openly and honestly about the CCP’s role in creating the crisis. Then the CCP cynically tried to act as a savior for the crisis it created.

Every day this pandemic persists, and long after it is neutralized, we must remember the CCP bears by far the greatest responsibility of any party for this pandemic. If the CCP is not made to pay in a meaningful sense for the global catastrophe it caused, it will continue to act with impunity in its quest for hegemony, guaranteed.

This pandemic should represent the most tangible sign yet for all of America that we must decouple from communist China in every strategically significant sector. We cannot put our survival in the hands of a hostile adversary.

President Trump’s 2016 campaign was focused in large part on bringing our manufacturing sector back home.  While I’m not a fan of government at any level mandating how businesses run, I do see plenty of talk now about how big companies are re-thinking their supply chains in light of what is happening right now.  And, frankly, that’s the smart thing to do.  Keeping the supply chains closer would lessen the impact of the recurrence of this kind of event.

Then there’s this:

While a society-wide shutdown certainly represents the most extreme kind of financial shock, nevertheless, the devastating impact of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic accentuates the problem of our largely debt-based economy in both the public and private spheres.

At the governmental level, the fact that we are likely to completely blow out budgets that were already so bloated as to ensure interest payments on the national debt would soon swamp all spending besides entitlements shows the extent of our profligacy and misplaced confidence we can debt-finance the U.S. government forever. There appears to be zero national will to deal with runaway spending and the runaway deficits and debt it creates.

But the reality is that in the next major crisis, we will be in an even worse financial position. What will happen if multitrillion-dollar relief bills are simply not tenable at that point?

What the hell?  What do you mean at that point?  It’s not tenable now!

The national debt is already past the point of no return.  The Kung Flu pandemic has lots of folks out of work and many more worried about money, and I can understand the pressure pols feel to do something.  But what they are doing is throwing money at the problem, and the only thing that is staving off inflation is the Fed keeping interest rates at near zero, which discourages saving and drives people into equity markets, which looks good on paper but is likewise inflated beyond any actual worth…

A big part of our national economy is a house of cards.  We still have companies that make things, and we still have a fairly decent business environment; but if that house of cards collapses, it’s going to bring plenty of otherwise-sound enterprises with it.

If that happens, forget viral pandemics.  We’ll have bigger problems.

Animal’s Daily Stupid Games News

In the middle of all this, Senate and House Democrats are tying up a major Kung Flu relief package by adding some Green New Deal horseshit into it.  Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who I like more and more every day, is pissed off.  Excerpt:

Former Navy SEAL and Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw is responding to Pelosi’s stunt and calling for accountability.

Here’s what Queen Nancy is demanding:

  • Publication of corporate pay statistics by race and race statistics for all corporate boards
  • A bail out on all current debt at the Postal Service
  • Required early voting
  • Required same day voter registration
  • Provisions on official time for union collective bargaining
  • Full offset of airline emissions by 2025
  • Publication and reporting of greenhouse gas statistics for individual flights
  • Retirement plans for community newspaper employees
  • Federal $15 minimum wage
  • Permanent paid leave
  • Study on climate change mitigation efforts

The provisions will apply to the companies and business rescued by bill.

I’ll be up-front about this; I’m not a fan of government’s tendency to attempt solving every problem by throwing bushels of taxpayer dollars at it.  But, matters of political philosophy aside, there was a deal negotiated in good faith, and a seeming consensus among members of both major parties that there was a need to do something.

And, while I haven’t yet read the bill (and neither have most of the people who will be voting on it) adding a bunch of Green Red New Deal horseshit into it – like new fuel efficiency standards for airlines – is particularly egregious.

Chuck Schumer, Sanctimonious Prick (D-NY) was on the news yesterday bemoaning “not enough protections for American workers” and “bailouts for business.”  I wonder – just who the hell does this horse’s ass think employs American workers?

If there are no businesses, there are no workers, and small businesses, who make up the majority of employers in this company, are getting hit pretty hard.  Stop your fucking posturing, Chuck!

Rule Five Biden’s Hypocrisy Friday

Daffy old Joe Biden is many things.  A viable Presidential candidate isn’t one of them.  But he is a hypocrite.  Excerpt:

Conventional wisdom might suggest that former Vice President Joe Biden has benefited from two recent news developments: The consolidation of moderate candidates like Sen. Amy Klobuchar around his presidential campaign, and the Supreme Court’s decision to take another Obamacare case next fall. Biden will likely use the court case to contrast his position supporting Obamacare with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ efforts to abolish it and establish a single-payer system. But one big fact makes Biden an ill-suited fit for this pro-Obamacare message: He deliberately avoided paying a six-figure sum in Obamacare taxes.

In mid-July, after Biden and his wife Jill released their 2016 through 2018 tax returns, press reports noted that, by characterizing over $13 million of income from speaking and writing engagements as profits from two corporations rather than wage income, the couple avoided paying nearly $500,000 in self-employment taxes. Tax experts interviewed at the time called the Bidens’ scheme “pretty aggressive” and not justified, given that the income came from their own intellectual work product, as opposed to any product or service created by a larger corporate entity.

The development raises several fundamental questions about Biden, starting with his blatant hypocrisy. Biden’s ads have claimed that “Obamacare is personal to me,” and that when “others propose to replace it and start over—that’s personal to me too.” But of the 3.8% self-employment tax the Bidens avoided, 0.9% funds Obamacare, and the other 2.9% funds Medicare.

Biden claims that he will defend Obamacare—especially its provisions regarding pre-existing conditions—and other federal health programs. But when given an opportunity to put his proverbial money where his mouth is, by paying the self-employment taxes that fund Obamacare and Medicare, Biden and his wife declined to do so. 

Hypocrisy from politicians is, of course, nothing new.  Both parties in Congress agree on one thing more than any other:  They exempt themselves from almost everything they hang on the rest of us, including Obamacare.

But Groper Joe is being especially egregious here.  He moralizes constantly on the need for people – “the wealthy,” of course, of which group he is a member by any rational standard – to pay more in taxes.  And yet he engages in (admittedly legal) shenanigans to avoid paying any more than he can get away with.

Now there’s nothing wrong with taking pains to reduce your tax profile.  We do it ourselves, and Mrs. Animal is excellent at wading through the various laws and regulations governing small businesses to make sure we pay every penny legally required of us and not one penny more.  But mind:  We aren’t the ones making high-handed moral claims about how people should pay more taxes.  Biden is, and he could easily lead by example – but he doesn’t.  What a loathsome, disgusting act of hypocrisy.

The article here concludes:

Over the years, Joe Biden has repeatedly used a simple phrase: “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll show you your values.” When it came time for him to “cash in” following years in the public sector, Joe Biden’s personal budget didn’t include the taxes to pay for the Obamacare law he claims to value. The press should question him on the yawning chasm between his claims and the values he expressed in his tax returns.

The increasingly-befuddled, possibly non compis mentis Biden’s handlers should expect President Trump to hit him with this in the Presidential debates.  And frankly, the President’s advisors should know better than to leave this issue lying on the table, especially since one of the debates can be expected to focus tightly on health care policy.  It’s just too juicy a morsel not to use; not only is it a cogent rebuttal to Biden’s quote above, it also plays into another useful tactic:  Make old Groper Joe lose his cool and launch into one of his unhinged, profane rants.  That would be worth thousands of votes in and of itself.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Last Friday, as usual, Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. went off to the local grocery store nearest our temporary New Jersey digs to do our normal weekly trading.  As discussed in yesterday’s post, there was, of course, an epic amount of panicky pants-shitting on display.  People were loading up entire shopping carts full of bottled water, apparently not realizing that it’s a virus, not a hurricane, and viruses almost never shut the water systems or electricity off.  Paper products were not to be had.  Frozen and other prepared foods were taking a beating.  What utter stupidity.

With that said…

On To the Links!

Just call him Czar Vladimir I.  Somewhere, Joe Stalin is smiling in admiration.

How do they plan to ban fossil fuels?  Short answer:  They can’t.  Not without some yet-to-be-discovered hypothetical dramatic new technology.  More on this tomorrow.

The Weld County (CO) Sheriff may be challenging Colorado’s rather idiotic red flag law.  This should be interesting.

Three Colorado counties have announced “You know what, fuck the First Amendment!”  Look, avoiding large gatherings, cancelling get-togethers, this is absolutely the prudent thing to do.  But no level of government can mandate that we do so.   Why?  This is why:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


And also this.  The proper response to government overreach like this is, of course, “fuck off, slavers!”

Meanwhile, the reaction to this virus has things shutting down all over.  Reducing interactions is how you beat this thing.

This guy may be the most rational and measured person at any level of government right now.  I’m not sure what that says about everyone else in the Imperial City.

Last Sunday evening saw an epic bout between a daffy old Commie and a senile old man.  It was the Special Olympics of political debates.

I… didn’t understand much of this.  Then again my science background is in biology, not physics.  Ask me to explain allopatric speciation, ring species or r-selected and K-selected reproductive strategies and I’m your guy.  Quarks and dark matter?  Not so much.

Well, this doesn’t sound ominous or anything.

Don’t panic.

This Week’s Idiots:

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) is an idiot.  Twice over, in fact.  Honestly, who keeps sending these lackwits back to Congress?

Bill De Blasio is an idiot.

Champaign, Illinois Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen is an idiot who needs to read the Bill of Rights, to learn how big an idiot she is.

The New York Times’ Charles Blow is (again) an idiot.

And So:

I expect the next few weeks will give us plenty of opportunities for facepalming and bemoaning the stupidity of some of our fellow citizens.  Over the last week or so I’ve been disturbing my own dear Mrs. Animal by facepalming so repeatedly that it is sounding like a round of applause at the Royal Albert Hall.

But that’s OK.  Here’s some bonus totty from the archives to cheer us all up:

And so, we return you to your (probably isolated) Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Persistent Little Bastard News

Despite last Tuesday’s second-in-a-row “shellacking,” as a certain former President might put it, the loony old Bolshevik from Vermont insists he isn’t giving up, even in the face of long odds.  Excerpt:

Sanders fell short of his primary performances against Hillary Clinton in 2016, when he pulled off an upset in Michigan and lost by a whisker in Missouri. On Tuesday he lost handily in both those states, places where he hoped to demonstrate his strength among Midwestern voters. Sanders only pulled off a win in North Dakota, a small state with few delegates. In Washington state, Biden and Sanders were in a virtual tie with more than two-thirds of the votes counted.

“Last night obviously was not a good night for our campaign,” Sanders told reporters in his hometown of Burlington on Wednesday. He insisted he was staying in the race and would draw a sharp distinction with Biden in a televised debate scheduled for Sunday in Arizona.

Sanders said he was winning “the ideological debate” on issues such as universal healthcare that are popular with many Americans, as well as the “generational debate” with his appeal to younger voters. Yet he acknowledged many Democrats were still choosing Biden because they believe the former vice president is the best candidate to defeat Trump.

“Needless to say, I strongly disagree with that assertion,” Sanders said. “But that is what millions of Democrats and independents today believe.”

Bernie, Bernie – you aren’t winning any ideological debates.  If you were, you wouldn’t be getting your ass handed to you by the increasingly daffy, confused and befuddled Groper Joe.

The loony old Bolshevik is stubbornly staying in this thing, and you’ve got to give it to him for finally showing what my Dad would have called a “little bit of stick to it.”  It’s certainly something new; he’s never held a real job aside from a short stint as an apprentice carpenter, a trade he failed to learn.  He’s never introduced a major bill that became law.  His role in the Senate seems to waver somewhere between curiosity, gadfly and comic relief.

In fact, it’s pretty amazing that he’s come this far.

Honestly, though, he can’t go much farther.  I expect he’ll bow to the inevitable before the convention, and it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if he buys another lakefront mansion dacha; that seems to be how this oddball old Socialist deals with electoral losses.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is probably already planning how to get Groper Joe to lose control during the first debate and lapse into a foaming-at-the-mouth, profane rant, as he just did at a citizen the other day.  I’d recommend stocking up on popcorn now, because it’s going to be really fun to watch.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Another week east of the Mississippi, which isn’t my preferred area of operations; but needs must when you have a mortgage to pay.  We were thinking of going to a massive gun show down towards Philadelphia this Saturday, but at the moment spending a day wandering a crowded venue with 3-4,000 random strangers just doesn’t seem like the greatest idea.  At least we can lose ourselves drinking from that fire hose of information that is The Intarwebz.  And so:

On To the Links!

Colorado’s own John Caldera:  The initiative process in Colorado could be a dual-edged sword.

Brain-eating songbirds.  Yes, really.

What happened to Lieawatha Warren?  Well, she was a terrible candidate:  Shrill, hectoring, and pushing horrible policies.

The more I read about Dan Crenshaw, the more I like him.

Welcome to Armageddon.  No, it has nothing to do with the Coronavirus.

This is why idiots think that billionaires can pay for everything.

I’m not saying it’s aliens…

What a stupid idea.

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC host Brian Williams and New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay are both idiots.

Chuck Schumer is an arrogant prick, and an idiot.

Rachel Maddow is an idiot.

Jim Bakker:  Still an idiot after all these years.

Paul Krugman is an unprincipled hack, and an idiot.

The New York Times editorial board is populated by idiots.

And so…

We’re still adjusting to the dark mornings and increased light in the evenings.  I’m not a fan of the first part, although I rather like the last.  I like it well enough, in fact, to think it a good idea year-round; which begs the question, why the hell are we still doing the Daylight Savings bullshit?  Pick a time and stick with it, already!

But at least it’s a sign that summer is coming.

I love Japan.

And on that sunny note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Meanwhile, daffy old Groper Joe Biden continues to be increasingly befuddled.  Honestly, it’s getting embarrassing.  Excerpt:

Many people have questioned Joe Biden’s mental fitness as he campaigns for the highest political office in the country. In the past few weeks alone, the candidate declared repeatedly that he was running for the U.S. Senate, confused which state he was in, said there were 150 million gun deaths in America since 2007, called Super Tuesday “Super Thursday,” and announced that he would have the ability as president to appoint the first African American woman to the United States Senate. 

Of course, as president, Biden will not have the ability to appoint senators. And even if Biden did have that ability, he would not be able to appoint the first African American woman to the U.S. Senate since Carol Moseley Braun was elected in 1993.

Biden’s team should prevent the candidate from going anywhere near a microphone, or a small child for that matter.

But this is the sad part:

“… We cannot get re-elect, we cannot win this re-election, excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump,” Biden said to his bewildered supporters. The candidate himself seemed caught off guard by his inability to keep his train of thought.

At the same event, Biden referred to himself as an “Obiden Bama Democrat.”

At what point does the DNC pull the plug?  At what point does old Joe’s family take him aside and tell him what is becoming increasingly obvious to anyone not co-hosting The View, namely that Joe Biden is no longer mentally fit for the campaign, much less elected office?

My siblings and I were extremely fortunate as our parents aged, as neither Mom nor Dad ever lost any mental acuity beyond the normal slight impairment of short-term memory common among the extreme (over 90) elderly.  But I had two aunts who slid into Alzheimer’s and eventually died of the complications of that horrible malady.  Both of them were dear people who the family loved, and I remember very well the beginning stages of that descent into dementia.

And this is what it looked like.

Honestly, this shouldn’t be a political calculation.  This is an issue of simple decency.  Joe Biden isn’t fit for this campaign and he sure as hell isn’t fit to sit in the Imperial Mansion.  It’s well past time for someone with some sense (and, yes, some compassion) to intervene.

Rule Five Reboot Friday

Could we reboot Illinois?  RealClearPolitics’ Richard Porter thinks so.  Excerpt:

We need to reboot Illinois so that families and businesses that love this area and want to stay aren’t punished for doing so. Illinois can be restructured using a variation on the legal technique the federal government employed in its reorganization of GM — call it the “old state, new state” Illinois reorganization plan.

Recall some founding principles: 

1. The U.S. Constitution, our supreme law, provides that “the United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican Form of Government.” 

2. A republican form of government is, as Abraham Lincoln stated at Gettysburg, “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” When paying creditors becomes the government’s primary function, that’s government for creditors, not the people.  

3. In a republic, people, not their government, are sovereign; all people are created equal and are endowed with unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence states, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….” 

4. Illinois was granted statehood in 1818 by residents living here with the concurrence of Congress.  The Constitution empowers Congress to admit new states to the union, and provides that new states may be formed out of existing states with the concurrence of the state’s legislature and Congress. 

5. The “state” of Illinois was created by residents and Congress, not God or science. Before 1818, it didn’t exist — and if it no longer works for the people living here today, we can replace it with the concurrence of Congress. 

6. Congress has the power to annul or impair contracts to which state governments are party. Bankruptcy courts impair contracts, and, just a few years ago, Congress passed legislation setting up a process for impairing Puerto Rico’s contracts to resolve its financial failure. Congress has the power to wind down the existing government of Illinois and to establish a process for adjusting or impairing the state’s contracts. 

What does this mean?  We can reboot Illinois.

It’s an interesting idea, and a possibility that shouldn’t be limited to Illinois, but should be considered in other states that are suffering from overwhelming debts and irresponsible state governments (California, anyone?)

Now, this is (like many good ideas) a long shot.  Either this would take an unprecedented action by Congress to essentially declare Illinois a state in rebellion against the republic’s founding principles – or the pols in the Illinois state government would have to vote themselves out of power.  Neither is likely, frankly, and to be fair, if that first happened, where would it stop?  One can easily see an eventual leftist-controlled Congress taking the same action against, say, Wyoming, for refusing to enact an Imperial gun-confiscation law.

But if one could reform a state like Illinois, I can think of a couple of things that might help steer the rogue state onto a more stable fiscal path:

  1. Abolish and outlaw public sector unions.
  2. No defined-benefit pensions for state employees; they get 401k plans like their private-sector counterparts.
  3. Place a balanced-budget requirement in the new state constitution.
  4. Strict term limits for state politicians, with no pension or benefits after leaving office.

There’s a lot more that could be done, but this would be a start.

Nothing of the like, of course, will happen.  At least, not until Illinois suffers its inevitable Stein’s Law collapse, after which, hopefully, the Illinois voters will finally, hopefully, take the keys away from the lunatics that are running that asylum.

Still, this is an interesting proposition.  It’s become painfully obvious that states like Illinois and California won’t fix their fiscal problems themselves.  Maybe a declaration of insolvency by the Imperial government should be the cudgel wielded to fix things?

Animal’s Daily Daffy Joe News

Daffy old Groper Joe Biden came out of Super Tuesday in pretty good shape; the Dem’s field is now down to him, the loony old Bolshevik from Vermont, Fauxcohantas Warren and Tulsi Gabbard, who is looking remarkably like the only grownup in the room despite being the youngest candidate in the race by a wide margin.

But a Biden nomination could be setting the stage for another 2016.  Excerpt:

Will Trump voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and elsewhere feel that the President has delivered what the candidate promised in 2016? The country is prosperous, and that might be enough. But Trump’s appeal four years ago was rooted in the idea that America was no longer as great as she should be, and Trump was the man to return us to greatness.

Trump was an insurgent on the offensive; playing defense this year may be a very different game, especially if he can’t draw the sharp distinctions between the political insiders and outsiders that he drew when he ran against the Republican establishment and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Complicating Trump’s effort will be his own campaign, which promises to be more professional and less imaginative than the ramshackle yet successful campaign he ran four years ago. Republican campaign pros who gave Trump a wide berth even after he won the nomination in 2016 are eager to work for him now — these are specialists in how to lose elections, and even a losing campaign for an incumbent president looks great on a résumé. You can charge top-dollar for that. The fleas and ticks that found Trump’s populist blood poisonous in 2016 have developed a taste for him since he turned out to be a winner.

There are, of course, a few things that this article don’t mention:

  1. Joe Biden’s Ukraine shenanigans will certainly come to light now that he’s the presumptive Dem nominee.  There’s just no way what Hunter Biden did was legitimate, and there’s just no way Joe didn’t know about it.  He laundered Ukrainian bribe money through his son, and those chickens will be coming home to roost.  Bawk bawk.
  2. The Non compos mentis factor will play in.  Joe Biden is increasingly bemused, confused and befuddled.  It’s becoming embarrassing; Joe is mixing up places, dates and people with alarming regularity.  His time for political office was twenty years ago.  Now?  His ducks are clearly not all in a row.  Quack quack.
  3. In 2016, Her Imperial Majesty faced a Donald Trump who had no record to run on, a skimpy campaign fund, and hesitant support from large numbers of Republicans.  Now he has a huge campaign war chest, four years of impressive economic success, and pretty much universal support from the GOP.  He’s no longer the black sheep of the 2016 primary season; he’s the President.  Baa baa.
  4. Bernie may well stay in the race as an independent, which is after all what he actually is, and be a huge spoiler.  Even if he doesn’t, plenty of his supporters may hesitate to vote for the supposedly-moderate Biden; although Bernie as a third-party dark horse will appeal to the loony Left who want to say “neigh” to the establishment.

No matter what happens in the remaining primaries, the Dem nominee will have a big damn hill to climb.  It’s not impossible; November is still a long way off.  But I’d say it’s pretty damned unlikely, given the likely candidate.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Sunday saw us flying on the Friendly Skies back to our temporary lodgings in New Jersey, where we still will maintain this second household until the end of May.  And yes, it still sucks here, despite some really great Italian restaurants in the area.  But, I still have a mortgage to pay, so we soldier on.

With that said, it’s…

On To the Links!

The “gun show loophole” is bullshit.  Tell us something we didn’t already know.

The U.S. has signed a preliminary peace deal with the Taliban.  I’m wondering how well this will work, but upside, we get a lot of our folks out of a third world shithole that we’ll never, ever be able to reform.  And, to be fair, you don’t make peace deals with your friends, you make them with your enemies.

Turns out that on Castro, as on so many other topics, the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont is full of shit.  Health care, too.

On the Coronavirus:  Don’t panic.  Don’t buy into wacko conspiracy theories.  Seriously, folks, exercise a little common sense and everything will be fine.  Wash your hands.  Avoid traveling to Wuhan.  That sort of thing.

Protein found in a meteorite!  This is a first.  What does it mean?  Who knows?  That’s part of what makes it interesting.

No.  It’s just lousy beer.  Seriously, this is what we call “sex in a canoe.”

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, is getting deposed on her email shenanigans.

This Week’s Idiots:

Pete Davidson is an idiot.

Joe Biden is an idiot, and possibly senile.

Lieawatha Warren is an idiot.

And now…

I’m drawing a bit of a blank on witty commentary this morning, so here’s a bit of totty from the archives instead:

And on that sunny note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.