Monday, May 4, 2020

 Well, we’ve got a new day, new week and a new month to work with. One hopes it will be less depressingly stupid than the last couple, but one shouldn’t get one’s hopes up. There’s been a mess of Dumb in the past 24 hours.

 First let’s find our bearings. As of today, going on seven weeks since the first case, there have been 1.21 million cases of the coronavirus novel in the United States with 160,000 recovered. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen 69,550 deaths due to COVID-19. Trumps was righteously catching it for some of his earlier prognostications, but as the White House’s coordinator Dr. Deborah Brix pointed out, their best-case scenario was 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. No one should be paying attention to Trump because of obvious reasons, but he is the president, unfortunately, and no one can get him to shut his word hole.

 The “best-case scenario” may not come to fruition thanks to good ol’ American arrogance. Something like 37 states eased up on their “stay-at-home” measures to some degree or another. California’s looking at Friday and apparently folks were up at daylight in Florida to get to the beaches. Texas has seen three straight days of over 1,110 new cases since it reopened, and some people fear the worst is yet to come. It’s not over yet, y’all.

 On an even dumber note, the “Reopen America” quote-unquote “movement” saw its first casualty, if you want to look at things that way, and I say why not. Long story short, a security guard at a Detroit-area Family Dollar turned away a woman because her daughter wasn’t wearing a mask as according to store policy.

 One thing led to another, and the woman’s husband came back and shot 43-year-old father Calvin Munerlyn dead. So not only did someone have to die for friggin’ Family Dollar, there was “disrespect” involved. Also, some absolute jabroni went grocery shopping wearing a without-a-question Ku Klux Klan hood because he’s a butthole and there’s no other explanation. The only bonus in my eyes is that it took place in San Diego rather than within an hour’s drive of me. In Colorado, FBI agents picked up a well-known loon and “activist” stockpiling pipe bombs to “protest lockdown measures. These are serious people and we should pay attention to them.

 Protesters, those backed by big money right-wing groups and just random yay-hoos who’re sick of being around their families, continue to raise hell and vaguely threaten the rest of us. It’s still a small number of people, despite the growing discontent and economic hardships, and some people seem genuinely confused why this bunch is getting such oversized attention from the press while, for example, the anti-war protests on the eve of the Iraq War numbered in the tens of thousands were basically ignored. You’re seeing the same thing with rent strikes across the country, protests for disability rights, and the recent demonstrations against the Standing Rock pipeline.

 It’s actually quite simple. Those last three go against the wishes of the Powers That Be, especially since all three are against the very rich making even more money off the already poor enough. Whether the pipeline was needed or not, someone was going to make out like a bandit with it. One of the sillier takes on a hopeful Bernie Sanders presidency and the current hard-on for Jesse Venture, of all people, is the idea that those PTB that are making a literal killing off America’s bullying foreign policy will let anyone, president or not, make any significant changes to it.

 But those protesters demanding to go back to work? Hell, that’s what your Boss wants. They want you to be willing to work yourself to death to fatten their pocket book, or at least be unable to do anything otherwise except starve. Again, we understand that things are getting tight and people have to feed their kids, regardless of how the landlords across the country will or won’t sit on their thumbs for a bit. That being said, hedge funds have scored the already stinking rich between 33 and 50 million dollars since this whole mess started due to fluctuations in the stock market. So the money is there, but we’re conditioned to not question who gets paid when the day’s done.

 Anyhow.

 Enough of that. Moving on, Mitch McConnell is taking after Donald Trump, not letting the epidemic and economic instability slow down them being absolute assholes. For one, McConnell is using the disinclination for folks to gather in large bodies to push through as many wingnut toadies to fill up the various judicial holes across the country. He’s also demanding that whatever the next stimulus effort comes across his desk makes it so workers can’t sue corporate entities who take advantage of workers during this whole mess.

 As for Trump, he’s being sued by six different Native tribes, including three from Alaska, to halt a proposed plan that would give as much as half of $8 billion in emergency relief funds earmark to the nation’s tribal governments to the private Alaska Native Corporations, who collectively generate more than $10 billion in revenue from their significant oil and gas developments. This is another example of how the lack of any real oversight saw the bulk of the $350 billion from the last stimulus package earmarked for small businesses go to publicly traded corporations.

 He’s also ordered the members of his Task Force to not answer any Congressional summons when called up to the May planned authorizing committee and appropriations subcommittee for the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security and the State Department. This comes after he started keeping Dr. Anthony Fauci from talking to the press because he made Trump look bad and continues the administration’s distaste for transparency concerning how it handled the epidemic making a mess out of everyone’s spring.

 And finally, a worldwide collaboration between a number of countries to raise up to $8.2 billion from governments, philanthropies and charities to develop medication to combat the virus and cash to help the economically strapped. Spearheaded by the European Commission, world leaders held a virtual meeting to discuss the subject, but for reasons known only to themselves, the Trump Administration just couldn’t be bothered. Because of course not.

 Well, that’s enough for today, I suppose. Mississippi’s got some interesting stuff going on, but I think I’ll save that for Wednesday. To end on a super-positive note, Nikole Hannah-Jones’ introductory essay for The New York Times’ superlative 1619 project won a Pulitzer. One of the best examples of journalism of the past year, Hannah-Jones was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Of course, racists dillweeds from Ben Shapiro to The New York Post to random jackanaps on Twitter are big, big mad.

 And that, neighbors, ain’t never a bad thing.

 

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