A Whole Lot Happening

During the Trump era seemingly every day brings with it a week’s worth of political news. Today I’d like to attempt to catch up on some recent events many of which did not get the coverage they deserve. Let’s explore.

Some numbers to ponder

Last week we surpassed 225,000 American lives lost to the coronavirus.

Last week we also hit our daily high for single day confirmed new cases at over 80,000. That is the first time we broke that mark.

For some time I have monitored the 14 day rolling average of new cases reported. As of October 23rd it was +34%. That rate stayed the same for the last few days note it is calculated on an increasing base. Simple analysis tells us the situation is worsening.

What corner are you turning Mr. Trump?

Mitch’s resource allocation

If the plans as of this writing are followed sometime today the Senate will vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Last week the Republican controlled Senate Judiciary Committee under the leadership of its Chair Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina advanced her nomination in willful violation of its own rules.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is putting the nomination on the Senate floor as soon as possible. I find it telling that Mitch can find time to address a Supreme Court vacancy but not the plight of millions of Americans financially devastated by the Trump administration’s mishandling of the pandemic.

In her hearings Barrett showed a convenient (from the right wing’s perspective) willingness to disregard the law, including the Constitution, if it benefitted the extreme right’s agenda. Talk about displaying a willingness to legislate from the bench!

These are the moves of a political party assuming that it will soon be out of power but determined to leave a legacy of destruction. It also says a lot about the priorities of McConnell and his crew. They care little about the American people or their will. (The overwhelming majority of Americans want the winner of November’s presidential election to nominate the person to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacant seat.)

The tour continues

As we come into the closing days of the 2020 presidential campaign Trump is holding a plethora of super spreader events. He reminds me of an aging rocker who just can’t get off the drugs and high of the road long after he has reached his sell by date. Or could it be all an experiment to see what the demand for Trump TV might be like? In any event Coronapalooza continues.

Schedule F

This one is perhaps better reviewed by people not constrained by trying to maintain a PG rating. Could I make some jokes/remarks about it!

Somewhat quietly Trump signed an executive order enabling Schedule F. Sound innocuous enough on the surface. Don’t be fooled!

Without getting into the details, Schedule F allows for the reclassification of many (the number is somewhat a mystery at this writing) federal employees. It reclassifies their jobs making them somewhat less of political appointees replaceable by a new administration while simultaneously taking away many of their union protections. In other words should he win Biden he will be saddled with many people currently employed by the federal government only because of their loyalty to Trump.

I don’t have the time and space to dwell much more on it today but it is another example of the current Republican Party disregarding the will of the people.

Director of National Disinformation

John Ratcliffe is the current Director of National Intelligence. He is demonstrably unqualified for the job under any president except Donald Trump. Under Trump there is only one qualification for any job: loyalty to Trump. Ratcliffe is an unapologetic sycophant and he illustrated that again last week.

In a joint appearance with a clearly muzzled FBI Director Christopher Wray, Ratcliffe informed the American people (if they had good credible news sources they knew at least 24 hours earlier and if they were studious consumers of quality news they were not surprised) that Iran and Russia (out of Ratcliffe’s mouth in that order) were meddling in the 2020 election.

Russia is a vastly more dangerous cyber threat to America than Iran.

Ratcliffe said that the interference was to design to hurt Trump. The email messages in question threatened their recipients with retaliation if they did not change their party registration to Republican and vote for Trump and was purported to have been sent by the Proud Boys. You connect those dots.

The emails contained the recipient’s home address which is a matter of public record in every state I am familiar with. The coupling of home addresses with email addresses is widely available in the databases grown and maintained by both major American political parties. While cyber hacking may have been involved the information could simply have been handed over by a major campaign. (Remind you of anything that happened in 2016?)

Good lies have just enough truth in them to make them at least somewhat believable.

The above was insufficient but it still proved that a whole lot is happening and none of it is good for America.

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