There are so many things happening in politics that I would like to comment on. Today I’d like to do one of my incomplete “catch up” articles. Let’s explore.
Making His Mark Known
Word coming out of the economic relief talks from many credible sources is that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is the biggest obstacle to an agreement. Not being in the room I can’t verify the reports to be 100% accurate but they are consistent with Meadows’ track record and reputation.
Meadows was a Tea Party House member before Trump tapped him as his fourth Chief of Staff. His philosophy is anti-government and his track record in Congress was as a guy who unsuccessfully challenged leadership and blew deals up. Meadows has never successfully structured a political deal. There is an old adage in betting horses: “Never bet on a maiden.” In other words don’t bet on a horse that has never won a race to win. Why would we expect Meadows to facilitate a deal this crucial?
Stop The Counting And Report Early
Another old adage comes to mind: “Figures don’t lie but liars can figure.” I lack the space in this format to outline all the ways the Trump administration has attempted to mess with the accuracy of the census but I want to briefly mention the latest attempt. First a little background. The census is conducted every ten years as mandated in the Constitution. Among many other things it provides the basis for determining the distribution of House seats.
Obviously counting every resident of the United States during a pandemic is especially challenging. Now the Trump administration has said they will stop the counting a month early. In addition to that they will report the results to the president in December instead of next spring. What could happen in between? The answer is we could very possibly have a President Biden instead of a President Trump. Couple that with the fact that the most difficult to count people tend to live in large metropolitan areas that tend to vote Democratic. I’ll let you connect the dots from there.
Another One Bites The Dust
As I am writing this article I caught a bit of breaking news. State Department Inspector General Stephen Akard resigned effective Friday. He just got the job in the spring when President Trump fired his predecessor, Steve Linick, at the request of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Linick just so happened to be looking into alleged misconduct by Pompeo and his wife. This firing and resignation are not the only among Trump-era IG’s. More dots and the picture they make isn’t pretty.
Younger And To The Left
Without getting into specifics that this format is not conducive to the House Democratic caucus will be younger and more progressive in January. Several veteran Democratic members have lost primaries to younger and more liberal challengers. Despite being a senior citizen one of my criticisms of the Congressional Democratic contingent is it lacks youth especially in its leadership. I definitely see the value of experience but some youth would be more representative of the people they serve.
Not surprisingly I also welcome a shift to a more progressive caucus as long as it doesn’t go beyond supporting a practical progressive agenda.
We Gave Money To Who
Sticking with my theory that the Trump administration is little more than an organized criminal enterprise dedicated to enriching a small inner circle, the Washington Post reports that it gave $300 million dollar of economic relief aid to several for-profit nursing home providers that are facing or have recently faced accusations of Medicare fraud, kickbacks, labor violations and patient care failures.
Is it any wonder the Trump administration wants to keep the identity of the recipients of this federal taxpayers’ money secret?
I Give No Respect
The title of this section is a PG version of what Trump just effectively told the Republican Senate caucus and the Constitution. For the most part the Senate Republicans have been “good soldiers” and simply rubber stamped Trump nominees regardless of quality.
Recently Trump nominated Tony Tata to the number 3 post in the Department of Defense; Undersecretary of Defense for policy. Tata is such a bad choice that the Republicans couldn’t even get him out of committee (which they control) cancelling the session last Thursday. Sunday Trump named Tata the person “Designated as the official performing the duties of Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for policy.”
Effectively Trump circumvented the advise and consent process and not for the first time. One of the contributions Trump has made to America as president is to illustrate some loopholes in our system that an evil executive can exploit which a future Congress will have to plug.
Wasting Taxpayers’ Money
Few of us who are avid political news watchers can forget the recent video of several doctors standing on the steps of the Supreme Court declaring that hydroxychloroquine was a miracle cure for COVID-19 and that masks are useless as a defense against it. In short order the video was taken down because it was full of malarkey and one of the most vocal doctors was exposed as a nutcase. (Trump retweeted the video before it was taken down and praised the nutcase from the podium in the White House Press Room.)
After that video was taken down and the doctors were debunked, Vice President Mike Pence and members of his staff met with some of the doctors. Is this the best use of taxpayer money they can come up with in the midst of a pandemic and depression?
OK, scratch your head and go on with your day. As usual I covered a lot but a lot was left “on the cutting room floor”.
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