Let's Fix This Country
pandemic

With the U.S. in Dire Straits, China Thinks This Is Their Moment

You had best believe that many in China's leadership are quietly musing that the U.S. failure to stem the pandemic that has shattered its economy has delivered to Beijing so much simpler a weapon to bring America to its knees than any military confrontation for which it has been preparing. China's businesses are opening, people are returning to their jobs, they are even exporting medical protective gear to the U.S. In contrast, with millions thrown out of work at companies that may never re-open, the U.S. may be looking at the second Great Depression.

the china model

China wants the world to look to them where it once looked to the United States. It hopes to make the case that its performance in the face of the pandemic compared to the weeks of bungled response by the United States is proof that its authoritarian model is more successful. While the U.S. struggles, China has embarked on a vast propaganda war,

intent to change its reputation. It has engaged in an aggressive program of assisting other countries in trouble — replacing the United States in a role for which it was once renowned — while at the same time attempting to prove that China was not the cause of the virus's release. That China cordoned off an entire city of 11 million while America's politicians squabbled about what to do — doesn't that show that one-party rule, given unchecked power to do what is needed, is far more effective?

The financial crisis of 2008-2009 already persuaded China that its system is superior to democracy, and now, fortifying that belief, they see the failure of…

pandemic

Mr President, Get Out of the Way!

On the Monday in the middle of March, it seemed that the truth of the virus threat had finally hit home with the president. His demeanor turned somber in a press briefing after weeks of trivializing and politicizing. He had apparentlyThe Latest, March 30:  At its end, this article asks whether the president will order a full national lockdown to stymie virus transmission. Instead, he chose the opposite. For days last week, saying 'the cure is worse than the disease', concerned only for restoring the economy he relies on for re-election, he planned to re-open the country by Easter contrary to all advice from medical professionals. Now, suddenly, finally made aware of how many would die if the virus were let loose and what that would do to re-election prospects, he reversed his position, extending national distancing to the end of April to hopefully break the scourge.
    

undergone a transition from seemingly the last person to realize that we are facing a pandemic, believing that "when it gets a little warmer it miraculously goes away", to figuring that he'd better take center stage at almost daily press briefings as the one leading the fight to control the contagion and save America.

Trouble is, he was a fount of misinformation as that week progressed.

 After crucial weeks of inaction, when asked by a reporter how he would rate his
response to the pandemic, Trump said, "I'd rate it a 10". With total lack of foresight of the chaos that would ensue, he had just the Friday before closed entry into the United States by other than American citizens and green card holders who had been in Europe and imposed extra screening at 13 international airports resulting in thousands of people standing in lines cheek by jowl for hours, potentially spreading the virus and with no way to track who…

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governing

“It’s Our Stockpile. It’s Not for the States”, Says Kushner

Trump's Disgraceful War With Governors in the Midst of a Pandemic

As the first week of April ended, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has apparently added medical supply logistics to his vast portfolio, announced that the Trump administration has made off with the Strategic National Stockpile as its own:

“[T]he notion of the federal stockpile was, it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.”

The country is its 50 states, DC, and territories. When was the stockpile "not supposed" to be for the states? Whom, now, is the stockpile for? Who is "our"?

This president has shown a stunning attitude toward the states grappling with the coronavirus — and before it is predicted to become far worse. He has shown outspoken skepticism about the states' estimates of what they will need. What does he plan to do with "our" — now his — stockpile. Is he planning magnanimous gifts to other countries at cost to our own? Does he want to abandon this country and compete with the largess of China's headman, Xi Jinping, who is waging a public relations campaign to win the world to his side (see "China's moment" story) by helping other nations.

The president has devised a theory that the stockpile is not meant to protect the country in accordance with the federal government's primary role. His fellow Republicans consider the government's job to be little other than defense. That's what the federal Health and Human Services website said in an archive search by the… Read More »

religion

Small Wonder Millennials Shun Religion

You have probably read that an increasing percent of the young generations — something on the order of 30% — have turned away from religion. It is a mixture of "no affiliation" and outright atheism, the latter being a forbidden word in an America where the Attorney General has been proselytizing from within his department, the secretary of state is a devout evangelist, and along with the vice president they gather together weekly for Bible studies and prayer.

We are in the plague year with millions at risk of illness and dying, so how does one castigate the young for their abandonment of religion when they learn that the First Baptist Dallas, a megachurch downtown in that city, filled its premises to a 500 person limit and sent 250 went to an overflow room? Senior pastor… Read More »

Health

How the U.S. Squandered Weeks Failing to Confront the Virus »

As testing expands, the number of cases, hidden until now, will explode

With the coronavirus raging in China, the entire city of Wuhan cordoned off one week before, President Trump on January 31 blocked entry of Chinese nationals into this country and had Americans returning from China quarantined, a single act that may well have saved the spread of this highly communicable disease to thousands.

Trump being Trump, he congratulated himself, claiming without evidence that there was widespread opposition to the idea and that it was done “against the advice of a lot of great professionals” in his administration. “Everybody said, ‘It’s too early, it’s too soon,’ and good people, brilliant people, said, ‘Don’t do it. And I thought it was a wise thing to do.”

After that, nothing

Not until six weeks later, in mid-March, did Trump realize that… Read More »

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