Easter Spirits?

Today is Easter Sunday for non-orthodox Christians (they go next week). It is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Christianity is by far the most practiced religion in America although it is neither the state religion (the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits one), nor do Christians constitute a majority of Americans. While it may seem a bit odd since I have been an agnostic for decades, but I will make two religious references today that I simply think are good advice. Let’s explore.  

With a slightly religious frame of reference I will confess a weakness. I have an anger management problem; when I see bad management it makes me angry. The Trump administration has me boiling!

The problem aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt is not an isolated one. Other Navy ships are having similar issues. Considering the inaction of our federal government the best defense we have against the coronavirus is social distancing which is impossible to achieve on a naval vessel. You have to be concerned about the readiness of our Navy. Trump’s inaction is threatening the security of the United States and by extension the free world.

Speaking of the Roosevelt, then-Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, flew out to the Roosevelt to address the crew in the immediate aftermath of relieving Captain Brett Crozier, who left the ship to a standing ovation from the crew. Secretary Modly mocked him in his speech to the crew. Modly resigned in disgrace. Crozier is in medical isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus. The airfare cost for Modly’s “emergency” trip to Guam was $243,000. The American taxpayers picked up the tab. Talk about waste!

Sticking to the topic of the irresponsible spending of taxpayer’s money the Washington Post broke a story Saturday morning that detailed the Secret Service has protected Trump family members on 4,000 trips in the last three years. Keep in mind we are only talking about a period of 1,095 days. I wasn’t a math major but that’s about 4 trips per day, seven days a week, twelve months a year.

Today is Easter; the day Trump had proposed to reopen America and pack the churches. On Good Friday more than one American died of the coronavirus every minute. That is only the documented and attributed cases. Not only are we not ready to reopen; we haven’t even hit the peak yet. The right wing is clamoring for a return to business as usual. That is insanity! The Deep South, in particular, is a time bomb waiting to explode. By and large it hasn’t practiced social distancing, a larger portion of its population than in the areas so far hardest hit (with the exception of Louisiana) lives in poverty and suffers from afflictions that makes it more susceptible to the virus and less likely to be able to survive it. Add to that the fact that most of these states have refused Medicaid expansion which has hastened the closing of rural hospitals. It is going to get worse, much worse, before it is over.

Speaking of bad management, I expect (but cannot guarantee) the coronavirus to fade in the summer and come back in the fall. Just in time for the November election. Already you can see the Republicans maneuvering to use it to their advantage by suppressing the vote. If they can’t directly stop elections, they will sow mass confusion which will lead to a lower turnout. As evidence I offer how Republicans have recently handled things in Ohio, Wisconsin and Kansas.

Last week Bernie Sanders ended his campaign making Joe Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee. Expect the GOP Senate Committee Chairs to put the pedal to the metal to investigate Hunter Biden in an effort to muddy the waters for Joe Biden ala Benghazi. Who cares if Americans die in the process so long as we create doubt, discourage voters from showing up at the polls and give Bubba some talking points regardless of their validity? It worked in 2016 so why not try it again in 2020?

Again last week when the new unemployment claims numbers came out they totaled 6.6 million. (That’s 17 million in three weeks. A normal three weeks would have been 750,000.) I’m wondering if 6.6 million new claims is the system’s capacity. We keep hearing tales of people unable to access the system and we know that especially in red states it’s been gutted since particularly 2013.

On Tuesday Trump made two personnel moves I’d like to comment on. He removed Stephanie Grisham from her post as White House Press Secretary replacing her with Kayleigh McEnamy. My guess is this is going from very bad to worse and another waste of taxpayers’ money. Can anybody other than a Fox News watcher pick Grisham out of a lineup? McEnamy is such a liar that she got a Fox News host fired for parroting her. Fox News!

With the oversight of the Trump administration’s spending of $500 billion in economic relief slated for big business still very much in flux the only person thus far “appointed” to the task was Acting Inspector General of the Defense Department Glenn Fine. Trump fired him Tuesday. You connect those dots.

What Trump does or doesn’t do will have a huge impact on the final shape of America’s survival of the coronavirus pandemic. Other than to say his actions will be motivated by self-preservation and include larceny I will not hazard a prediction. Seeing it’s Easter and part of the Passover celebration this stuck me as particularly ironic. The Seventh Commandment is “Thou Shalt not steal”. That comes directly from the Torah and the Old Testament.

I’ll conclude the same way Rachel Maddow concluded her Friday show: by purloining the message on the sign in front Journey of Faith Church in Windsor Mills, Maryland. “Jesus rode an ass into Jerusalem keep yours at home!”

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