A Tuesday Morning In Mid-July

It’s just another hot, sunny mid-July Tuesday morning in the triangle region of North Carolina as I commence writing this article for Wednesday morning’s publishing. There are a lot of thoughts going through my head and I’d like to share a few of them with you. Let’s explore.

For people who watch a lot of network TV this is about the point where you start getting bored with the summer reruns. President Trump has relief coming your way scheduled to begin at 5pm Tuesday afternoon with an all-new episode of the Trump Comedy Hour. In yesterday’s announcement he said he is planning on having pharmaceutical executives as guests touting their miracle cures and vaccines for the coronavirus. Like all Donald Dome events, reality and the truth will be discarded inconveniences.

If Trump really wants ratings I suggest he have an episode featuring him and Mike Pence simultaneously injecting Clorox. I’d make time to watch that one live.

For those wondering why in the world he would revive what proved to be a disaster and will only lead to more lies you have to consider the only political strategy he has left that can result in anything even remotely resembling a win in November – keep in mind that close is good enough for Trump – he’ll cheat the rest of the way. He is pretty much down to his base (his numbers won’t go much lower) and he has to motivate them to turn out while suppressing the rest of the electorate.

Trump is currently doubling down on his illegal paramilitary actions in Portland threatening to take similar actions in Chicago and New York. Most big cities – and certainly those two – vote overwhelmingly Democratic. See a pattern? In November both Illinois and New York will go to Joe Biden so I wouldn’t look for a tremendous amount of paramilitary voter suppression efforts there but how about Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh North Carolina? What about Milwaukee, Wisconsin? Would a strategically deployed paramilitary presence in Detroit, Michigan be all that surprising? I could go on but you get the idea. If you are white and live in the suburbs don’t worry; your local precinct will have short lines and no intimidation.

This is a dress rehearsal (or should I say dress up?); for a fall offensive against likely Democratic voters. As is always the case, turnout will be the key in battleground states.

Elections aside, if you want to know what a forced Republican takeover (and have no doubt a lot of incumbent Republicans need the election interference just like Trump does) of a city looks like ask the people of Flint, Michigan. If you travel there to do it just don’t drink the water!

There is a lot of liberal euphoria over some of the recent Supreme Court decisions largely on social issues. Some are proclaiming John Roberts as another of the conservative nominees who once on the Court took a left turn. Some are even feeling Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch are somewhat in play. If you feel that way about any of those three you really haven’t been paying attention and are deceiving yourself. When it comes to a voting rights case they will suppress the vote every time. They did again recently in a ruling that nullified the will of the Florida voters to return voting right to ex-felons. If we have a repeat of Bush v Gore this year you can bet the Court will rule in Trump’s favor in a 5-4 decision.

It is Tuesday morning July 21, 2020 as I pen this. Without getting too far into the weeds, because of many states’ unemployment laws this is the last week of the $600 per week supplement to unemployment benefits. As of this writing there is no concrete proposal in the congressional hopper to extent that benefit. Many unemployed (if not most) simply cannot make ends meet on regular unemployment. There are currently about 15 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits. Keep in mind that does not include the people who have been unable to access their state’s system. This is not a small amount! Wisconsin in particular is a horror story.

Food, clothing and shelter are often named as the three necessities of life. In an economic downturn you wear the clothes you have; other needs are much more pressing. Regular unemployment benefits, often coupled with things like SNAP (which isn’t either a bonanza or easy to get), take care of food. That leaves shelter. The moratorium on evictions expires on Thursday; again with no extension enabling legislation in sight. Without the supplemental unemployment benefits many families will find themselves homeless.

This will include homeowners who are unable to make mortgage payments. The Trump administration has an expert in foreclosures in its high ranks. His name is Steve Mnuchin and he currently serves as the Treasury Secretary. After a rather lackluster career on Wall Street, Steve made his real money foreclosing on the victims of the Great Recession.

Oh, and all the while the coronavirus pandemic just keeps getting more and more out of control in America and the short term future doesn’t look promising.

The economy is in shambles, America’s reputation and credibility in the world is at an all-time low and a pandemic is running wild across the country. An honorable president would resign (in many cultures commit suicide); Trump is running for reelection. Those are just a few of the thought running through my head this morning.

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