Moralists, Liars And Toadies

Recently the importance of a functioning federal government has come into the consciousness of most Americans for the first time in their lives; for those of us with a few more laps around the track, for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The government, like any other organization, is composed of people. A lot of them showed their true stripes in recent days; unfortunately the majority of the revelations weren’t all that pleasing. Let’s explore.

Monday of last week Navy Captain Brett Crozier resolved the moral dilemma he was presented with by writing his superiors at the Navy Department. His letter leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle and then went viral.

On Monday of last week Crozier was in command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, one of America’s 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. He had gotten permission to dock in Guam because he had a coronavirus outbreak on his ship which has a compliment of nearly 5,000 sailors. However that was as far as he got. The crew was trapped on the docked ship and denied permission to offload the sick over 100 of which had already tested positive for the virus. Crozier decided to write the now famous letter that in part said, “We are not at war. Sailors don’t need to die.”

On Thursday Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly relieved Crozier of his command effectively ending his Navy career. So one toady acting to placate the ego of Cadet Bone Spurs, (a/k/a President Donald Trump), ends the career of a guy who entered the Naval Academy in 1988, graduated in 1992 (unlike Trump, without a back door transfer from a lesser school) and has served his country ever since including in combat zones for committing  the “crime” of making a morally correct decision. The reason Modly offered was that Crozier’s actions “Expressed extremely poor judgement”.

I will argue that Crozier not only took the morally correct action; but from a national security standpoint he took prudent action. How does losing nearly 10% of our carrier power and possibly an entire crew keep America safer?

Trump is a bully who, acting like a mob boss, punishes all who do not blindly obey. Case in point is the Friday night announcement (note the timing) that he is going to fire Michael Atkinson the IC Inspector General who in the course of doing his duty was the catalyst for Trump’s first impeachment. (Subsequent impeachment(s) would not surprise me.)   Again we have someone who did the ethically correct thing getting punished because it embarrassed an incompetent president.

Now let’s turn to the Trump Comedy Hour’s Thursday edition. During it Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin basically promised much of America that “the check was in the mail”. Why am I feeling less than confident?

Boy Blunder Jared Kushner made his first appearance on the comedy hour. He refuted the estimates of several people who thus far appear to know what they are doing bragging that he is getting very good at models. This far every Friday in 2020 I publish an article outlining all of Kushner’s positive achievements in government. Likewise, 2020 Saturdays have been dedicated to his positive achievements in business. Please note that hasn’t published on Fridays or Saturdays thus far in 2020.

Kushner cited some figures that were inaccurate so the next day the applicable government agency was required to change their information to conform to Kushner’s untruth.

Last week’s first time unemployment claims number came in at 6.6 million. That shattered the all-time record recorded the previous week at well over 3 million. That is over 10 million in two weeks. The average number of new jobless claims for a two week period is 500,000. This is 20 times that. Trump claims the economy is poised to come roaring back. What do you think?

I am extremely concerned about how mom and pop businesses will make it through this period. The latest legislation calls for $350 billion in SBA loan guarantees which in some cases could turn into grants. That sounds good but thus far the logistics haven’t worked out very well. The SBA doesn’t make direct loans; it guarantees loans that commercial lenders make. Going through the middle man has so far been a major part of the problem. Many lenders (primarily commercial banks) are only willing to take applications from existing borrowing customers. Someone who has run a business without previously seeking financing is out of luck. In many cases the banks didn’t have needed information for Friday morning’s rollout and there is a genuine concern that the funds will run out before the demand is satisfied. The promise of relief in many cases will be an empty promise or if you choose you could use the word “lie”.

The coronavirus has not stopped the organized criminal enterprise better known as the Trump administration from purloining the “federal cookie jar”. Just last week the Secret Service signed a $45,000 contract for golf cart rentals in the town of Sterling, Virginia which just so happens to be the home of one of Trump’s golf courses. You connect those dots.

My initial conclusion is that we need more moralists and certainly shouldn’t be firing the few that exist. It is often difficult to distinguish the liars from the toadies but they all seem to be connected to Trump.

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