Who’s winning the internet?
Mostly, we’re talking about social media...or what I refer to as anti-social media, because that’s really what it is - you making it a point to stay away from people face-to-face.
The rich billionaire in California makes it possible for you to hide in your little bubble all the time.
Anyways, what about these Montana candidates?
Social media is critical for them now that they can’t go out and meet people face-to-face or knock on doors...which most of them weren’t going to do anyways.
Nope, they were always going to rely on social media, inbox spam, and junk mail. They’re politicians - what did you expect?
Here are the numbers:
Raph Graybill: He has 1,826 followers on Twitter. He got 175 likes on a recent tweet, giving us a fair idea of how many will vote for him. Another 3,400 like him on Facebook.
Kim Dudik: She’s got nearly 1,800 followers on Twitter. A recent tweet got 11 likes. On Facebook she has 1,700 likes.
Tom Winter: Tom Winter is really winning the internet...just not in Montana. He has 18,000 followers on Twitter and a recent tweet got 400 likes. Most of these people are from out-of-state, and the only reason they follow Winter is because he puts up semi-nude photos a lot. On Facebook he has 2,800 likes. Based on Winter’s current social media postings, I think in the future he’ll either work with dogs or Playgirl.
Kathleen Williams: She’s got 4,300 followers on Twitter and a recent tweet got 70 likes. On Facebook she has 9,500 followers.
Whitney Williams: She has 605 followers on Twitter. Her most successful tweet got 760 likes, though after Hillary Clinton retweeted it, it got another 3,000. Another 2,745 people like her on Facebook.
Mike Cooney: Despite being in Montana politics for decades, just 920 people follow Mike on Twitter. He got 89 likes on a recent tweet. Nearly 4,000 like him on Facebook.
Greg Gianforte: Greg doesn’t waste time or money on Twitter, hasn’t in years. On Facebook he has nearly 21,000 followers.
Steve Daines: He’s got 3,000 followers on Twitter and a recent tweet got 6 likes. On Facebook he’s got 13,000 followers.
Steve Bullock: The governor has 20,000 followers on his senate-run Twitter account. A recent tweet got 321 likes. I can’t find a candidate Facebook page for him.
Well, there you have it - it should be clear who’s going to win in November.
If politics is the ultimate high school popularity contest, then social media is where they get their support.
Around 300,000 Montanans will vote this year. A very small fraction of those voters care enough about voting to follow candidates on social media.
It really is meaningless.
That story surely appealed to the foaming-at-the-mouths that play around on social media all day.
They love those meaningless stories.
They don’t want to think. At this point I’ll encourage them to go back to their social media bubbles, where there is no criticism and you’re never wrong and people like everything you say.
For those of you that want to think...let’s get to the real meat and potatoes of what’s going on today.
18 months ago we took a hard look at Missoula Airbnb’s and Montana taxes.
Our legislature figured that Airbnb hosts in Montana were making $69 million in earnings
Airbnb’s grew in Montana by 83% from just 2016-17, and I’m sure it’s been growing even more in recent years.
Until now. Now it’s shrinking and it’ll continue to do so as this industry collapses.
Currently 74% of American hotel rooms are empty, and they’re not going to fill up anytime soon.
Who’s going to rent a room in your home - or rent your spare home - if people aren’t traveling, businesses are closed, conferences are cancelled, concerts are a thing of the past, and sports no longer exist?
No one, that’s who - no one is going to rent from you.
Hence the collapse of this industry.
The company Airbnb lists 7 million different properties around the world and is valued at $31 billion. In America, 650,000 different individuals list properties on the company’s website.
Last week the company fired 1,900 employees, or 25% of its workforce.
It’s only going to get worse. I suspect this company will file for bankruptcy in the coming months. Hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts in this country will lose a major source of income...one they primarily use to pay either their own mortgage, or the mortgage on that airbnb property they bought.
Remember, a couple years ago the sky was the limit, and many people went into debt to buy homes they couldn’t afford so they could rent them out on Airbnb.
And it worked. People were able to hang on by a thread, using the monthly income from their rental to pay their mortgage. Most hosts knew that if they missed even a month or two of income, they’d be in big trouble.
And now that trouble has arrived. We’re going to see major foreclosures in the coming months, especially here in Missoula.
Nationally, the Airbnb crisis is going to be one of the largest factors in pulling the housing market down, bursting its bubble. It's long overdue. Montana might get some reprieve for months longer than the rest of the country, for the simple reason that thousands from urban areas like Los Angeles and New York will flee for places like ours.
Montana was taxing Airbnb’s at 7%, which generated $54 million in tax revenue in 2017, with $23 million of that going to the general fund.
That money is now gone. How’s Montana going to make it up?
I think we’re going to see more Republicans clamor for a sales tax after the November election, and I think whoever is elected governor this fall will support it when they take office.
What else are they going to do? Once our trough of federal money dries up - which it will rather quickly - then what? We’re going to be up shit creek without a paddle, and we’ll be reaching for any funding source we can.
Marijuana will be legalized not because of some initiative process but because cash-strapped legislators will have to find the money somewhere. The balanced budget law demands it and there’ll be no taste for property tax or income tax increases come January, none whatsoever.
We knew our healthcare system was broken before this self-imposed crisis.
It’s one of the main reasons we passed Obamacare all those years ago - so many Americans were uninsured.
We never really did address the glaring problems, however - costs higher than anywhere else in the world...and the troubling fact that doctors kill more people in this country each year than guns do.
Yes, up to 250,000 Americans are killed each year by doctors in cases of preventable, human error.
Don’t hear that much about those numbers in the corporate media these days. Why would you? Who do you think funds the corporate news? Healthcare and drug companies.
Mostly all we hear about are coronavirus death numbers. Any kind of vaccine will make those that fund the corporate news a lot of profit...profit they can use to keep feeding us propaganda via their news divisions.
We know the numbers are wrong; we know our broken healthcare system is ‘gaming the system.’
Hospitals have an incentive to list patients as having Coronavirus, even if they don’t have it.
And if they do have it? Better get that person on a ventilator, fast!
Hospitals get $8,000 more for a coronavirus patient than they do a regular patient, and if they put that virus patient on a ventilator, they get $39,000 more.
Greed in action.
And I think it’s skewing the numbers, as cash-strapped hospitals tell staff to just list them as having the virus, they need the money or more layoffs will happen.
It ain’t rocket science; just the American medical system.
I wonder which out-of-state transplant will win Missoula’s HD 95 race this year...the Texan or the Wisconsinite?
Some time this summer, around 180 of McDonald’s 252 American franchises will rollout their new interior seating and service design.
Teenagers and the working poor will no longer take your order; just computerized terminals.
I’m pretty sure you’re not going to like it...unless you’re one of these nanny-state types that wants to be told what to think and say and do all the time.
In that case, you’d probably love it!
Over at Montana’s hate blog, Amanda Curtis is talking-up Raph Graybill.
I’m not surprised by this - Graybill represents establishment politics in the state; Kim Dudik is an upstart nobody that doesn't have a family pedigree to carry her through. She actually has to come up with ideas.
Curtis knows where the power lies, and that’s with the old families.
Curtis is stepping into her new role well, taking over for Feaver. She used to be a teacher then a legislator and now she’s a cheerleader.
Quite the upward career trajectory.
Now that we’ve flattened the curve and we know hospitals can handle a rush...why aren’t we reopening?
Why is the corporate media keeping us in a near-constant state of fear?
I think the answer is obvious to anyone with a brain - we have to take out Trump.
Despite all these shutdowns, the virus is still spreading. We didn’t stop the virus, we just stopped the economy.
Eventually we’ll have to face facts and face the reckoning. Sweden did it, and we’re going to wish we’d done the same.
Or will we?
Remember, the whole goal here is to get rid of Trump.
This shutdown isn’t about health. Sweden is doing better than China, Italy, Spain and the US when it comes to this virus.
But let’s not talk about that. Let’s stay in the land of make-believe, where this virus is serious and you should be scared...because if you’re not, Trump might win again.
Now that’ll be the death of us.