Make Russia Great Again

My favorite post-second-lunch speaker at actuarial conventions (when they had them – both speakers and conventions) and the only novelist I have read in the last ten years came out with a new one imagining inside the Trump administration during 2020 with a plot twist inspired by the second question here:
.

.
Many real names throughout but, possibly on advice of counsel, some fake ones thrown in that turn out to be easily identifiable:

  • Katie Borgia-O’Reilly
  • Seamus Colonnity
  • Senator Squigg Lee Biskitt
  • Mike Pants
  • Cricket Singh
  • Jored Kushner

Generally an enjoyable read (especially when a power outage leaves few options) undercut by not anticipating the pandemic (though it does get one mention).

Here are a few excerpts that won’t give much of the plot away.

Continue reading

Counting NJ Deaths – July Update

Comparing the provisional figures of deaths in New Jersey by county released by New Jersey’s Center for Health Statistics and Informatics to deaths attributed to coronavirus by county as of July, 2020 in this updated spreadsheet shows the gap we had three months ago almost gone and deaths from all sources reported in July, 2020 being at the lowest level in six years.

Could Covid-19 be saving lives?

Continue reading

No Schools → No Teachers → No Pensions

.

This got me to thinking about schools reopening in New Jersey so Murphy can pretend that the state is making progress in fighting the coronavirus outbreak. It’s not. We can’t know who is infected and setting all those covid-carriers loose on the population will only increase the chances that everybody will eventually be infected with the older and fatter of us dying.

But if we have no schools then what happens to the teachers? As of now they are getting paid for doing nothing (not unique around here so it may go on for some time) but eventually it may occur to some politicians to stop those paychecks. That brings us to all those participants in the Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) who would retiree. How many people and how much money would that come to?
Continue reading

Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust

Also a movie directed by the Thelma & Louise screenwriter the book fleshes out female bonding, in this case between Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, and living happy lives even if today’s dadgum political police might not approve.

Continue reading

Local Coronavirus Borrowing

The New Jersey legislature passed A3971 which would allow local governments to acquire bonds for up to 30 percent of their budget, backed by local property tax revenue and payable over a decade.The state already can borrow without taxpayer approval but when it comes to localities, Governor Murphy sees issues.

Continue reading

Red Line Fever

From the guy who oversaw a nursing home holocaust, inexplicably closed parks for three weeks and then kept bathrooms closed after grudgingly reopening parks and Motor Vehicle Agencies, refused to cut government waste while preparing to explode debt, and is now staring at a resurgence of covid cases we have frustration ——– WITH EVERYBODY ELSE!
.

.
We New Jerseyans have lived with politicians overtaxing, underserving, and then lying about it but that’s the price apathy extracts.

Now it looks like Murphy is on verge of doing some more deadly deciding.

Continue reading

Breaking News: California Supreme Court Rules on Pension Spiking

Per the Orange County Register some spiking can go but California rule stays:

Continue reading

Bury Rt

Per rt.live:

These are up-to-date values for Rt, a key measure of how fast the virus is growing. It’s the average number of people who become infected by an infectious person. If Rt is above 1.0, the virus will spread quickly. When Rt is below 1.0, the virus will stop spreading.

This is what New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has latched onto as a key metric that drives decisions. Today he glossed over it:
..

.
And when asked for an explanation (don’t watch the whole thing; my point for this youtube is to demonstrate rambling rationalizations; no need to put yourself through it):
.

.
rt.live has a FAQ page which basically admits to taking case data and manipulating it as they see fit. They also provide a spreadsheet of this data thus allowing me to do something similar. Here is what I get when looking at the most basic data for New Jersey and applying some logic (no charts follow).

Continue reading

Breaking News: New MPRA Filing

Appearing this afternoon on the MPRA website, Building Material Drivers Local 436 Pension Fund  out of Valley View, OH filed to cut benefits.

From their latest 5500 filing:

Continue reading

Trusting the Man In Front of the Curtain

It’s getting kafkaesque:
.

.

Who to trust? Murphy or twitter?

NJ Pandemic Warriors@NjPandemic
If the NJ legislature finally calls hearings about the long term care crisis, we will reveal our identities and testify.

.
There is precedent.
Continue reading