It was indeed an active weekend. Not all of it was good, true, but one can’t say it was boring. I don’t know if that means anything, but here we go.
Something like 32 people overall died in the brace of tornadoes that blew through the South, from Louisiana to South Carolina, with 11 reported in Mississippi alone. The numbers are still coming in and we really don’t have a clue as to the financial hit this will be but it will be fierce.As of right now, over one million homes and businesses are without power One little town in Jones County in particular, Soso, was almost nearly wiped out. There’s barely five hundred people in the town, and I bring it up because my paternal grandmother was from that area and my father spent some time there as a kid.
Mother Nature’s fury comes at the absolute worst time, of course, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pick up speed in Mississippi. We’re at 2,942 cases infected and 98 dead. Both the North Mississippi Medical Center and Itawamba Community College are gearing up to deal with the damage predicted. The latter is planning to refit an on-campus facility to help deal with the possible overflow of cases officials are thinking will put a strain on rural hospitals.
Here in Itawamba County, we recorded our first death and turns out it was someone I went to high school with. Though I haven’t seen him in 25 years, I considered him a friend then and always thought pretty highly of him. He’d dealt with asthma and diabetes all his life, and was treating a foot wound when he was diagnosed just three days before he died. Rest well, Fred, you made people smile and feel good about themselves.
Nation-wide, we’re looking at over 580,000 confirmed cases with a little over 23,000 deaths. Some brain geniuses will point out that around 20,000 people a year die from the flu, but they conveniently forget that the coronavirus number is just since the first of March. Despite suggestions from actual experts, Trump is calling for a “re-opening of the economy” and has set up a task force that includes creepy rich dude Wilbur Ross, coke-head Larry Kudlow who’s managed to be wrong about almost everything about economics in the past 20 years, and his vapid daughter and her useless husband. Not one medical official and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on viruses since 1984, is on the outs with the president because not only did he dare contradict the Baby King, his numbers are better.
Interestingly and probably due to him being such a pissant in his dealings with state governors, a mess of the bigger ones are giving him the finger when it comes to restarting their economies. This morning saw the announcement of cooperation between New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to name a public health and economic official to work within the region. The governor’s chief of staff in each state will also be a part of the group. This afternoon saw the same thing from California, Washington and Oregon, the “Cascadia” states joining forces to begin slowly pulling back the stay-at-home orders.
Amusingly, some conservative commentators are calling on Trump to use the powers of the president to overturn any plans from individual states or those working together. Of course, as he’s as clueless as the commentators are hypocrites, he’s considering it. Something to keep in mind next time some wingnut dingbat goes on about “states’ rights” or the Tenth Amendment.
Finally, in an interesting turn, Bernie Sanders endorsed Joe Biden as the 2020 Democratic nominee for the President of the United States of America during a mutual live stream. It took Sanders until July 2016 to do the same thing for Hilary Clinton, but he noted that while he and Biden disagree on a lot politically, the most important thing is to get the thin-skinned, petulant, drooling moron of a mean-spirited, spiteful butthole out of the White House.
Of course, this has rubbed some of Sanders’ most fervent followers the wrong way. His former press secretary and national spokeswoman Briahna Joy Gray is probably one of the biggest turnoffs on Twitter and has announced her refusal to endorse Biden, as if anyone cares. The general vibe from Twitter is, if anything, a resigned agreement to get the aforementioned butthole out and do what needs to be done. What some of the hardliners forget that while Biden isn’t “owed” their vote, he doesn’t necessarily need all of them.
Undoubtedly, Sanders is getting something out of this because, again, that’s politics, baby. The parts of the congregation jumping ship might be surprised at what sort of pull he has once the National Convention comes around. That’s how all this works. His strongest plus is that he’s been seen as the guy who could beat Trump, and he announced early on he might not run for a second term once the mess is cleaned up. As of right now, Elizabeth Biden is the only 2016 nominee of any note who hasn’t endorsed Biden.
That’s all for today. There’s some hinky stuff going on with the United States Postal Service, but I want to do some more studying on that. Long story short, it could be out of money before the summer’s out and have to shut down, but Trump’s being a dick about giving them $89 billion requested, partly because he’s got other ideas where taxpayer money should go and partly because he’s worried about mail-in voters voting against him. Of course, this has long been a conservative boner and much of the self-financing, Constitutionally ordained service’s ills comes from a 2007 move by Congress, pushed by President George W. Bush, to force the Post Office to pre-pay their pensions for the next 75 years. Since then, the Post Office has reported 11 straight years of financial losses.
Funny how that works.