As I Head To Some Time Off

2020 has been an unusual year to say the least. Routine became almost synonymous with nostalgia.  One thing I’m keeping the same is that I am taking the second half of December off from my version of live blogging.  The next several articles will have been written well before publishing.  (Unlike Congress I make sure my work is finished before I take off.)  However I cannot leave without taking a look at a few tidbits before I go.  Let’s explore.

The Pandemic

We are over 16 million positive cases of COVID-19 in America as I leave. We will probably hit 300,000 deaths before you read this.  Daily hospitalization of over 100,000 COVID-19 patients in America is now the norm.  More Americans die from COVID-19 every day than died in 9/11.

The good news is that at about 9am Monday morning the first American received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Vaccine

The vaccine – and it is reasonable to assume that another one will follow in about a week’s time – is great news but we are far, far from sounding the all clear. I don’t believe in counting chickens before they are hatched.  The cold reality is that the current supply of vaccine is laughably inadequate to address the challenge before us.  I’ll use my home state of North Carolina as an example.  We are to receive 177,600 doses for a population of about10.5 million.  The Department of Defense, which has uniformed personnel around the world, is getting 43,875 doses to cover about 1.3 million active troops.

Priorities have already proved controversial. Sunday word leaked that White House personnel in close contact with the President would be at the top of the list.  By Monday morning after a massive public outcry that policy was rescinded.  While I don’t wish the disease or death on anyone I cannot see where people like Mark Meadows, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are vital to America.  (I don’t even think they are useful.)

Asset Allocation

Donald Trump is supposedly a businessman and he graduated from (after a backdoor transfer into it) a business school with a better reputation than my alma mater. Too bad we have seen no evidence of him actually learning anything there.  A common problem in business (as in the military and sports) is asset allocation.  Assets, whether dollars or people are finite and a good manager will allocate them to the places where they can do the most to further the cause.

The Regeneron cocktail treatment for COVID-19 is in extreme short supply. D.C. has 108 of the 77,000 doses in America allocated to it.  Donald Trump received it.  Think what we may of him he is the President.  Among the other lucky few are Rudy Giuliani, Ben Carson and Chris Christie.  What they all have in common is that they are Trump’s buddies.  The best case I can make for Carson is that he is currently a Cabinet member – a rather useless one (among many) – but nonetheless a Cabinet member.  How can you possibly justify Giuliani or Christie?  Neither even currently holds public office.  We have lost many physicians, nurses and teachers but saving Giuliani and Christie are national priorities?

An Op-Ed

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Joseph Epstein in which he advised the incoming First Lady to drop the Dr. in front of her name.  It went over like flatulence in church; count me among the many who didn’t like the smell.  Dr. Jill Biden earned a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware.  She earned it from a legitimate school; not some modern day equivalent of a correspondence school or an honorary doctorate conveyed upon her in exchange for a public appearance.  If she wants to use it she has earned the right plain and simple.  I do not have a doctorate if I did I would certainly prefer it be used when referring to me.  (Perhaps it’s a good thing I don’t have a doctorate; unlike Dr. Biden I’d probably be obnoxious about it.)

I’m not alone in wondering if a bit of misogyny wasn’t involved.

I will not get into the debate of who was the best First Lady of all time – other than to say that there are plenty of good candidates and I think Abigail Adams is too often ignored in that conversation. I’ll leave this topic after making a sport analogy:  Who would you want in a trade; Dr. Jill Biden or any Republican First Lady of my lifetime?  I’ll take Dr. Biden.

Domestic Right Wing Terrorism In America

Yesterday the Electoral College met. In Michigan authorities locked down the state capital complex and barred the public because of credible threats to safety.  Over the weekend members of the Proud Boys roamed the streets of Washington, D.C. looking for fights.

I am among the pleasantly surprised that we did not experience violent civil unrest at polling sites in November. Trump has clearly lost the election but his repeated lies have a sizeable enough faction motivated to do violence.

Domestic terrorism a major physical threat to America and has been since the emergence of the Tea Party. I hope I am wrong, but I still won’t rule out live fire on the streets of Washington on Inauguration Day.

Well, another incomplete for me but I’ll “see you live” next year. Until then above all stay safe!

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