During a normal summer August is the Dog Days of a long baseball season. This weekend we are approaching the halfway point of an abbreviated regular season. (Thanks to you and your willful ignorance President Trump.) As happens every few days, I have a bunch of tidbits pilling up in my “notes”. Today I’ll try to briefly cover some of them. Let’s explore.
The Digital Divide
One of the, often overlook by Democrats and exploited by Republicans, facts of current American life is the urban-rural divide. (Without getting into the weeds of that discussion it accounts for a large part of the difference in attitude about guns.) A huge problem is the digital divide. Considering the only prudent course of action for at least the near future is online education that is a really big deal. The divide is based on a combination of geography and density of population and has nothing to do with achievement, political power or income.
Last week Montana Senator John Tester did a segment on The Rachel Maddow Show via telephone instead of Zoom or a similar app. During it he apologized for being on the other, “Side of the digital divide”. This is a sitting Senator; what chance does a poor rural kid have at an equal opportunity?
Another Day Ending In “Y”
With a last name like mine I am ill advised to make fun of people’s names but this an opportunity I simply can’t resist. (Then again in 2008 the Republican nominee for Vice President couldn’t pronounce “Biden”.)
On Friday Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified on Capitol Hill. Much of his testimony was a collection of lies. Seeing as how Trump and his people are so prone to lying did that make him Liar DeJour?
Part Of A Sentence Tells It All
I think President Obama while not perfect is brilliant. I am proud to have been paid staff on his 2012 campaign. As part of his address to last week’s Democratic National Convention he said the following of Trump, “…hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t…” Doesn’t that about sum it up?
A Mom And Pop Operation And Income Tax
Last week I was chatting with the owner of a mom and pop operation in my town that I proudly patronize. It is a single location; mom and pop operation that gives back to my community and thereby enhances it. She told me that they pay more in income taxes than Walmart. They work hard to employ a few people and stay somewhat profitable. Walmart’s gross profit for 2019 was over $129 billion. Think we might have an equity problem in America?
The Russian attack on the 2016 election was an act of war. Don’t take it from a lefty like me; that was also the opinion of the late Republican Senator John McCain. McCain was a lot of things (including a war hero); a liberal wasn’t one of them. If you don’t think they are up to it again in 2020 go feed those unicorns on your front lawn.
While 11 weeks of uncertainty (the time between Election Day and Inauguration Day) is vastly preferable to four more years of Trump, one of my fears had been that Trump would start a war as a distraction or part of a scorched earth strategy. I underestimated him; he has already gone to war – with American democracy that is. How else do you classify some of his recent actions?
Master Of The Senate Mitch
Americans are dying at a faster rate from a viral pandemic than at any time in the past century if not in American history. Unemployment is at Great Depression levels and shows no real signs of abatement. Million have been forced out of a job because of the pandemic, losing their health insurance in the process, and the federal supplemental unemployment compensation benefit has expired. That means millions face both food insecurity and the inability to pay their rent or mortgage so eviction or foreclosure is imminent. Faced with those realities forget about finding the money to pay the COBRA premium.
The USPS is in serious financial straits due to the actions of the Republican controlled lame duck Congress of 2006 and the current Trump nominated Postmaster General. The Russians are actively interfering in the 2020 election, (I omitted several other threats.) With hundreds of House enacted pieces of legislation never having seen the floor and all these problems what did Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do? He sent the Senate home until after Labor Day.
Maybe It Was All A Joke We Didn’t Get
One of the most audacious lines in Trump’s 2016 acceptance speech was, “I alone can fix it.” It struck me then (and not in a good way) and has stuck with me ever since. The other day I thought maybe I, (along with the rest of the world), took it all wrong. I remembered an old joke which I’ll give you the nickel version of.
Four older guys are awaiting their turn on the first tee and they decided to brag about their adult sons. The first says my son became a doctor and was just named chief of surgery at the hospital he practices at. The second says my oldest boy became a lawyer and was just elected a judge. The third says my boy has a doctorate in a bench science I can’t even pronounce and just came up with a cure for cancer.
The fourth golfer was the least wealthy of the foursome but had to speak up. He says my boy is a sports mechanic. The rest of the group corrects him saying, “You mean a sports car mechanic.” To which he replies, “No, a sports mechanic, he fixes the football games, he fixes the hockey games and he fixes the baseball games and he makes more money than any of your kids.”
If that is the context in which Trump used the word “fix” he was correct and he is certainly well on his way to achieving that goal.
Closing With A Quiz
Q: Name a factor that can turn an epidemic into a pandemic
A: President Donald Trump
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