I guess I should commence with an apology. Despite the title – which has become a crutch for me – these articles are primarily catch up articles. Many of the topics dealt with below deserve a full article if not more and others will simply fall on the cutting room floor. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Recently through various words and actions Donald Trump – I’m assuming in a sort of Hail Mary play fashion – has more openly embraced the far extreme of the extreme right in particular QAnon. If I have to explain why this is dangerous you haven’t been paying attention and didn’t study history.
The Numbers Say It Ain’t So, Joe
It isn’t often that I differ with President Biden but I have to on this one. During a recent interview he said that the pandemic is over. Looking at the numbers I’m optimistic but it certainly isn’t over yet. We appear to have made it past a holiday without a spike which is a great sign and the numbers are moving in the desired direction. We are still experiencing more than 60,000 daily new reported infections. I like the trend line and the Biden administration deserves the lion’s share of the credit. It’s like a comfortable lead late in the game; we’re winning but its not over yet.
You’ll hear that comment out of every Republican candidate’s mouth between now and November but, while inflation is a problem, American inflation is far from of the runaway variety. Turkey, with its Trump like authoritarian leader, is currently experiencing an annualized inflation rate of 80%.
The fear of violence is intimidating too many Americans into prematurely giving up. A segment of the right wing has a history of violence and if we let the threat of violence win then we have not only lost, we have let the bullies win without even having to take physical action.
I’m going back a bit but this story illustrates my point on a lesser level. Decades ago, I had a conversation with a member of the New York State Legislature who was very close to leadership. I forget the exact issue at hand but he relayed that the state was going to cave because the other side had threatened to burn tires on the New York State Thruway as a blockade.
No-one ever lit a match but the bad guys won because the good guys were cowards.
A Case Against Block Grants
Three Republican governors: Greg Abbott of Texas, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Ron DeSantis of Florida, have been active in shipping immigrants to other parts of the country. This action is certainly reprehensible (it is also far from unique, rather it is the recycling of an old gambit). It may well prove to be illegal on several levels and it was at least in part enabled by federal funding in the form of block grants.
Congress loves to take action by throwing money at a problem and in order to get the legislation through it sends the money to the states in the form of grants which they then dole out. The idea is that the people closest to the problem know the best way to solve it.
There are many flies in that ointment and I will deal with one here.
If you have evil people handling the money, they tend to use it to their perceived political advantage as opposed to helping the people in need. Lying to people and then shipping them someplace isn’t solving their problem. But it did give the politicians an opportunity to score political points and perhaps funnel some money to a donor(s) in the process.
They Are All Alike To A Xenophobe
DeSantis (who despite being evil actually is smart) made a huge political mistake with his Martha’s Vineyard stunt. Most of the people he deported (also kidnapped and lied to?) are Venezuelan refugees. The Venezuelan ex-pat population of Florida is fast growing and leans Republican (because they bought the socialist lie and Spanish language radio is even less well “policed” than its English language counterpart). If I were running Charlie Christ’s campaign, I’d jump all over that. Florida is a purple state and flipping a growing block of voters could be beneficial in 2022 and beyond. Also, so much for the Republicans’ sanctity of life rhetoric which plays well in every Hispanic demographic.
Elect Me And I’ll Nullify Your Vote
Many 2022 GOP candidates are promising to nullify any future election results that they don’t agree with. The Republican Senate candidate in New Hampshire has repeatedly said that, if elected, he would not vote to certify the 2024 presidential election results if he didn’t like them.
He is far from alone and one of my regrets is that I can’t cover a lot of the down ballot races for offices that oversee elections and/or voting.
Trump V Nixon
During Watergate Richard Nixon attacked the press and his favorite target was the Washington Post who, with the benefit of hindsight, many credit with bringing him down by reporting the truth.
Donald Trump continues to attack the press and one of his favorite targets is the Washington Post.
Trump called the Washington Post’s reporting on nuclear secrets at Mar-a-Lago a, “Hoax”. It appears the service of the search warrant proved him wrong again. I see a pattern: dishonest Republican president attacking the Washington Post. Am I alone?
OK, that’s enough for today but another “sweeping” may come soon.
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