Today’s is basically a continuation of yesterday’s article entitled Dog Days Clearance. Fortunately for me “days” is a plural word. Let’s explore.
Get A Job
Many on the right hate unemployment benefits. They feel the unemployed are just lazy people stealing their money in the process of milking the system. They think about Ronald Reagan’s non-existent Welfare Queens. Here is a simple ratio that anyone less mathematically challenged than former Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan can comprehend. Currently there are six unemployed Americans for every job opening. I rest my case.
The Trade Deficit
I could write a long essay on why this “debate” is malarkey as it relates to the American economy but you don’t feel like reading that today and I don’t feel like writing it. Therefore I’ll juxtapose two statistics for you to consider. Exports are about 13% of GDP while imports account for about 15% of GDP; significant but far from the whole enchilada. (GDP numbers are pre-Trump Depression.)
Speaking Of Imports
Here is a German term we should import. They have a name for people who refuse to wear masks: “Covidiots”. Another case I rest.
As If It Were A Choice
The right wing likes to portray our current situation as a choice between the economy and fighting the pandemic. That is false on several levels. There is no economy without consumer demand (for decades consistently 70% of the demand factor in the American economy). Sick or dead people are not productive workers or voracious consumers (other than of medical and funeral services).
Then there is always the old adage: You can’t take it with you.
Another Pearl Of Wisdom From Dr. Krugman
My regular readers know I follow the Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times op-ed writer Paul Krugman rather religiously. A few weeks back he gave us another rule for evaluating Trump’s actions especially down the stretch to the election: “What you don’t know can’t hurt Trump.” Keep that in mind and enlighten yourself as much as your schedule allows.
Have you ever tried to reconcile family values and the Trump administration? This is the administration that forced refugees to commit a crime and then separated families, deceived the parents, put kids in cages and separated them from each other. This is the regime that is to this day fighting Obamacare in the courts. I thought health care was a family value. This administration is vehemently anti-choice yet it offers no help for children born into poverty. This is an administration that has repeatedly proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in the budgets it sent up to Capitol Hill.
It seems they only have family values for fetuses along with white, Christian (of the “approved” denominations anyway), cisgender heterosexuals and even then preferably male.
The War On COVID-19
Trump’s last budget proposed a 19% cut in CDC funding. Is this a war of unilateral disarmament?
Watch What You Drink Joe
Monday German doctors confirmed that Putin opponent Alexei Navalny was poisoned. This came as no surprise to me. Trump’s hero (and probable boss) Russian President Vladimir Putin has a nasty habit of poisoning his critics as a warning to those who might consider stepping out of line. Trump has already pulled his version of “little green men” several times in recent weeks. How much of a stretch would sending a message to political opponents be if he somehow remains in office?
Convention Eve Surprise
Sunday evening the news flashed across our devices that suddenly another insufficiently tested treatment for COVID-19 received emergency approval. While in reality it doesn’t mean a lot it sure provides Trump and his allies with a great talking point on the eve of their four day television mini-series.
My hunch is that a vaccine will be announced near Election Day whether it is safe and effective won’t matter. Trump lives one news cycle at a time.
During the original Obamacare debate and before its implementation the right wing loved to talk about the Death Panels. Well, the reality is that they never existed. Trump may have “fixed’ that. Due to his incompetence medical resources are simply insufficient to treat all patients at the apex of coronavirus spikes. Medical personnel are forced to make decisions they never want to make: literally who gets to live and who gets to die. I’m in the grandma and grandpa stage of life – I die.
The Trump Tapes
Last weekend word of Mary Trump taping her aunt and resigned federal judge Maryanne Trump Berry speaking of her brother Donald Trump and saying, he has “No principles” and “You can’t trust him” hit the airwaves. Keep in mind this is coming from someone who resigned a federal judgeship to stop an ethics investigation. You can conclude the investigation came at exactly the time she was about to retire anyway or you can reach a conclusion similar to mine that there was something(s) to hide.
When somebody of the dubious character of Judge Trump say President Trump has no principles and is untrustworthy you should consider that!
This article is being written on Monday morning and I have no advance knowledge of what will come out of Trump’s mouth this week. This much I am willing to wager. We will hear extremely little, if anything, about the wild fires in California which like most extreme weather events are significantly connected to climate change. Remember in Trump’s mind the whole climate change thing is just another Democratic hoax; besides he knows he can’t win California in November.
Money In Politics
My biggest non-partisan criticism of the current American political system is the influence of money in it. There is simply too much money floating around and it makes good government a challenge. (If there was ever a topic that deserved a book, not a blub this is it!) It was recently reported that the Trump reelection campaign and its two largest Super PACs have already spent over a combined $1 billion dollars. I don’t know where the Biden campaign is but I’ll bet it is in the same neighborhood. Keep in mind we haven’t even hit Labor Day yet.
Trump’s Little Green Men
I wrote about a similar possibility several weeks ago but last week Trump actually hinted that he may deploy the military for “election protection” duty. This is actually an old Jim Crow era and beyond voter suppression play taken to an extreme.
It received precious little press but I like to tell the story of Pinellas County Florida on Election Day 2000 (I lived and voted there then). A Pinellas County Sheriff’s car and/or a Florida Trooper vehicle was at most “inner city” polling places. In November of 2000 the Pinellas County Sheriff was a Republican and Florida’s Governor was Republican Jeb Bush, brother of the Republican candidate George W. Bush. You connect those dots.
Breaking Up The Band (For Now Anyway)
Another Sunday development was the announcement that Kellyanne Conway was leaving the White House. The stated reason was to spend more time with her family. How many times have we heard that in politics? How many times was it true?
Last week Steve Bannon was arrested and arraigned on fraud charges. I found that even more interesting considering that he was arrested by a quasi-federal agency (postal inspectors). The charges came out of the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Another branch of the Justice Department that Bill Barr has managed to get under his thumb.
Does anyone think this arrest happened without the blessings of Trump and Barr? Bannon was released after arraignment. He will never be convicted until after the election when Trump is free (of political repercussions) to pardon him. I predict Bannon will never see a night in prison.
I think the whole Bannon incident was a “warning shot” by Trump for his “boys” to stay in line. The word was that Bannon was in Trump’s “outer orbit” at the time of his arrest. I think he is still in “Trump Purgatory” from his cooperation in the book, Fire and Fury.
Before this is all over I expect overtly or covertly both Steve and Kellyanne will be working for Trump.
There it is – two days and well over 2,000 words – and the story told is still incomplete.
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