A Few Things

Today’s article is going to be another of those multiple topics covered in brief comments ones. I’ll never get to it all so let’s explore.

It’s Monday morning as I pen this and the Supreme Court just announced its decision in the faithless elector case. The Court ruled unanimously that states can hold electors to obey the results of the popular vote in their election (be it statewide or congressional district wide depending on the state’s laws) and vote for the candidate they were pledged to.

I am one of the many that feels the Electoral College has served its purpose and seen its day but until and unless we amend the Constitution to remove it we have to make it function in the most democratic way possible.

The mysteriously late Jeffrey Epstein’s long time “associate”, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested last week. This is far from over. It will be interesting to see what if anything she tells authorities and what her fate is. Obviously I don’t know anything my readers don’t know but it’s not outrageous to speculate that many very powerful people in and out of politics as well as in and out of America could be caught up in this scandal. Stay tuned but don’t hold your breath waiting; this one is far from over.

Sunday, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced they were abandoning the proposed pipeline down the east coast that among other things would have traversed the Appalachian Trail. The legal fight had reached the Supreme Court where the energy companies prevailed but the time made the project too expensive. Environmentalists pay attention! The only way to beat back a bad environmental project is to make it financially unattractive. The same can be said for any NIMBY project.

What ring of hell have we reached when an administration takes a victory lap when an unemployment rate of 11.1% is announced? I could go on at length on this one but that single sentence tells you everything you need to know.

As the United States closes in on its 3 millionth reported coronavirus case President Trump says 99% of them are harmless. The scary part is it appears Trump is actually telling the truth that he doesn’t drink which means he says this malarkey when sober.

The right wing appears to have revived the “Charlottesville strategy” in that they are driving motor vehicles into lawful protesters. This includes several instances of police driving their vehicles (usually SUV’s) into crowds. This has resulted in many serious injuries and several deaths. I see it having the “Selma effect”; a lot of people who really weren’t taking a position in the past are now on the side of groups like Black Lives Matter. This is similar to the reaction to the actions of Bull Connor in Selma decades ago.

It’s summertime which means beach time. I grew up in Western New York where a day at the beach meant a trip to Canada (Southern Ontario’s beaches are vastly superior to Western New York’s). In 2020 Americans can’t do that. They are not welcome in Canada because of the coronavirus which the Canadian government has done a vastly superior job of controlling.

In a case of actions speaking much louder than words, back in late June the Fed made an interesting and I think telling move that would have flown over Trump’s head. For the first time in history they placed a limit on both stock buybacks and dividends for the 34 largest banks in America. This tells me they are concerned about the economy getting so bad that bank liquidity becomes an issue.

Both the House and Senate are on a two week break. They will then come back in session to finish out the month of July before going home until after Labor Day. My guess is that they will pass another economic relief package in late July that will include another round of stimulus checks. Those checks will arrive after Labor Day somehow complete with Donald Trump’s name on them. Trump is hoping enough gullible potential voters are fooled into thinking they are getting a check from him just before they decide whether or not and who to vote for. Remember he is not setting up for an outright win; he just needs to get it close. He is like the basketball coach who has three brothers-in-law working the game as officials.

I’ll close with a wild thought. Trump may finally get Mexico to pay for his crazy wall. In fact they may even build it (which would disappoint Trump because that would make it impossible to skim and/or direct construction money). You ask, “Why would Mexico do that?” The answer is to keep coronavirus infected Americans out.

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