The State Of The Nation …

A number of serious issues are deeply concerning in the U.S. today, and obviously the coronavirus pandemic is at the top of the list.  Well, it’s obvious to some of us, at any rate. Trump’s horrific bungling of the pandemic has caused the U.S. to have the absolute worst record on the globe, with now 27% of the world’s cases, while we only account for over 4% of the world’s population.  With less than 100 days until the November election, Trump apparently decided it would be easier  to draw public attention away from the virus, than to try to allow the experts to take over and fix the problem.  His distraction?  Attack the cities and the people who live in them. Today, I would like to share the esteemed Robert Reich’s Sunday column from The Guardian on this topic …

Trump can’t shift public attention from coronavirus to the streets of America

Robert Reich-4Robert Reich

Donald Trump has said he has “no responsibility” for the coronavirus pandemic, fobbing it off on governors and mayors whose repeated requests for federal help he’s denied. Yet he’s now sending federal troops into cities he says are controlled by the “radical left”, whose mayors and governors don’t want them there.

The president wants to shift public attention from the virus, which he can’t “dominate”, to the streets of America, which he and his secret police can.

It’s an especially cynical re-election strategy because coronavirus deaths are rising again. More Americans are on track to be hospitalized with the virus than at any other point. Rates of new infections repeatedly shatter single-day records. As a result, the US economy is backsliding.

Trump has never offered a national strategy for testing, contact tracing and isolating those who have the disease. He has provided no standards for reopening the economy, no plan for national purchasing of critical materials, no definitive policy for helping the unemployed, no clear message about what people and businesses should do. He rushed to reopen without adequate safeguards.

The hapless White House “coronavirus taskforce” is in perpetual disarray. Trump has downgraded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His Department of Labor hasn’t even put out standards for workplace safety.

Trump won’t use the Defense Production Act to secure supplies to perform tests – swabs, chemicals, pipette tips, machines, containers – so public health officials can’t quickly identify and isolate people who are infected and trace their contacts.

It’s been an abominable, chaotic mess – which is why the virus is back.

Yet when it comes to assaulting Americans, Trump has been asserting strong leadership. He’s deploying unidentified federal agents against protesters in Portland, Oregon: attacking them, pulling them into unmarked vans, detaining them without charges.

Trump is also sending troops to Kansas City, Albuquerque and Chicago. He says he’ll send them to New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland as well – not incidentally, all cities with Democratic mayors, large black populations and no violent unrest.

Trump can’t find federal personnel to do contact tracing for the coronavirus but has found thousands of agents for his secret police, drawn from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

Trump doesn’t want to know about the coronavirus but he’s keeping careful track of the battles in the streets, demanding up-to-the-minute briefings from the front.

Public health authorities don’t have adequate medical equipment to quickly analyze coronavirus tests but Trump’s police have everything they need to injure protesters, including armored vans, teargas, and tactical assault weapons – “the best equipment”, Trump boasted last week.

There is no legal authority for this. The founders denied police power to the national government. The local officials in charge of keeping public order reject Trump’s troops. The mayor of Portland was teargassed this week. The mayor of Kansas City calls them “disgraceful”. Albuquerque’s mayor announced: “There’s no place for Trump’s secret police in our city.” Chicago’s mayor does “not welcome dictatorship”.

The one encouraging note – analogous to Sherlock Holmes’ dog that didn’t bark – is the absence of the US military. Unlike Trump’s lapdog attorney general, William Barr, the generals don’t want any part of it.

The Trump campaign is running fictitious ads portraying cities as overrun by violent leftwing mobs, and Trump’s shameless Fox News lackeys are depicting protesters as “rioters” and the “armed wing of Democratic party”.

At the same time, Trump is trying to suppress the truth about the coronavirus. The White House is instructing hospitals to report cases to the Department of Health and Human Services rather than to the CDC. Trump has muzzled the federal government’s most prominent and trusted virologist, Dr Anthony Fauci, while the White House tries to discredit him. In the upcoming coronavirus relief bill, Trump doesn’t even want to fund more testing and tracing, or the CDC.

After railing against the CDC’s guidelines for reopening schools as “very tough [and] expensive”, Trump this week pressured the CDC to issue more lax guidelines, some of which were written by White House officials instead of CDC experts.

Yet Trump won’t be able to shift public attention from the virus to the streets of America. The violence he’s trying to fuel and exaggerate is far less frightening to average voters than the virus, which is worsening by the day, especially in Texas, Florida, and other states that went for Trump in 2016. His blatant failure to contain it is causing people to die.

18 thoughts on “The State Of The Nation …

  1. The “Dear Ellen” letter from Robert Reich’s Inequality Media that was amidst my inbox on Sunday was much the same as this one from The Guardian. One wee exclusion in this last paragraph about the CDC guidelines for reopening schools…mine went one step further in adding that ironically the school that trump’s son, Barron, attends will not reopen because the school wants to protect students from the virus. Reich wrote “Funny how that works.” I do not seem to recall trump mentioning that fact in his determined efforts to send every other child out into the Covid-19 abyss! One must wonder if Barron’s school will have funds withheld as trump has threatened…let’s ask Betsy! Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wish that last part hadn’t been omitted from the OpEd in The Guardian, but I imagine it would have exceeded the desirable word count, which is 750-800 words, and this came in at almost exactly 800. Barron attends, I believe, a private school, so they don’t receive federal funding anyway. Sigh. I saw a story title the other day that said Trump was asked where Barron went to school and couldn’t remember. Not sure if that’s true or not, for I don’t remember the source, but it wouldn’t surprise me. His kids are only useful to him when they get old enough to praise him on Twitter or manage his business!

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  2. Oy what a mess. Why hasn’t Pelosi & Schumer started drawing up articles of impeachment for Trump instigating rioting and sowing division among the ppl. Isn’t he breaking the law by sending federal “police” to settle state affairs? This makes no sense, his motive is purely political, but how is this fascist move going to benefit him in the upcoming election? I would think it’ll turn swing voters off, perhaps consolidate his base, but they’ll support him no matter what. I highly doubt new voters will see this as an incentive to vote for him. His actions make no sense.

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  3. As usual Jill, Mr. Reich is spot-on. I listened to some of Barr’s testimony today. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more smug/condescending/liar/pompous ass in my life. With such a multitude of reasons to kick you know who out of office, making sure this idiot is no longer in charge of Justice has to be near the top.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I didn’t listen, and had planned to read about Barr’s testimony, but haven’t yet had time. I only saw a brief snippet saying he was arrogant and contentious. Yep, the idiot and his minions must go!!! I’ve meant to email you for several days … it’s almost August, time for us to do a bit of planning! I’ll email you before the weekend … promise.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Looking forward to it Jill. I haven’t been able to devote as much time to blog stuff lately..but I’m getting close to being back at it on a regular basis. Where has this summer gone?

        Liked by 1 person

          • I remember those humid days in Ohio. Out here, it’s basically 67-73 on most days. Never too hot. Never too cold. We do have foggy days, like today. But, can’t complain about the weather Jill. That might be the only thing these days I can’t complain about!! LOL

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            • That’s how it was when I lived in San Francisco … never very hot, never very cold. And even here, we usually don’t have more than 4-5 days in the entire summer that it hits 90°, but this summer that’s ALL it’s been! Given my breathing difficulties, I barely manage to get out for 10 minutes in the morning to water the flowers. Ah well, others have it worse than I, for at least I do have central a/c … I cannot imagine getting through this summer without it.!

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  4. Surely it’s time for Congress to act since even his own senators have had enough.If they act together to declare an act of emergency and based on requestss from Governors, Mayors whatever and ask the army to come and remove these thugs off the streets,.There’s time to impeach Trump and possibly Pemce too. Or have Trump declared doolally Tap and Impeach Pence and Barr,.definitely Barr . Make Dr Fauci VP under Nancy Pelosi with the job of clearing the Virus. I’m sure the Repugs can find someone to run against Niden.

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    • Congress is so dead in the water that I can smell the stench even here. The partisanship has brought a halt to any … ANY meaningful legislation, and Moscow Mitchell McConnell is the biggest reason. He needs to be put out to pasture in whatever way works quickest. Yes, Congress should be putting a halt to this madness, but instead they are tied up in knots. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Trump could be declared doolally tap and should, but again, he has filled his cabinet with sycophants whose futures are so closely aligned with his that they aren’t about to do the right thing. Is there anybody in our federal government willing to honour their oaths? I have my doubts. Yes, Barr should be drawn and quartered, as should McConnell and a number of others I won’t bother to name. I wonder, if he claims there is a national emergency and uses it to try to postpone the election, will McConnell get off his patootie then, or go along? Sigh.

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  5. Jill, I read the White House incumbent was trying to pivot and say COVID-19 is a concern. This is after months of misinformation, downplaying, naysaying and blame-shifting. The reason is states that re-opened without caution, have rampant increases – Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia. This is not a surprise, but these governors and Trump have tried to rewrite history. How could we have known, they ask? How could you NOT have known.

    I will post two anecdotes tonight that are too representative. Misinformation sickens and kills people. The thought of actually acting presidential does not enter the incumbent’s mind. He thought calling it a hoax as late as February 27, the night of the first official US COVID-19 death, was a better political idea. And, that is all one needs to know about this ego-maniacal incumbent. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sure his advisors and campaign staff have told him that the main reason his polls have gone so low is his lack of concern about the pandemic, so he’s paying lip service, but that’s all it is. I agree with you … how could they have NOT known! All the experts warned, but instead, governors like DeSantis and Kemp followed Trump’s lead … like lemmings following him off a cliff.

      I’ll check out your post in just a few!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Utter chaos , totally against the Constitution … aided and abetted by his lapdogs!! … “Trump wants to shift public attention from the virus, which he can’t “dominate”, to the streets of America, which he and his secret police can.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for the re-blog, dear friend! The lawlessness is coming from Trump & Co, not from the protesters! Now, how are you and Maryjane doing? We haven’t chatted in ages … I hope you’re both well. Love you, my friend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing this, Jill: I just had my landlady the other day tell me that there is rioting going on in Portland and other cities. When I asked her if she knew anyone in Portland, she admitted that she did not, but believed the news of riots despite the news, which she’d heard, of the mayor of that city debunking said ‘riots’ and specifically saying that federal presence was neither needed nor wanted in Portland. She continues to assert that riots are happening, despite everyone else’s reports to the contrary. She also refuses to wear a mask. I’ll be moving soon, btw.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It amazes me how blind some people can be. I think they see what they hope to see, or what they have been conditioned to believe is true. I strongly suspect that what violence there has been was planted by white supremacist groups … in fact there is some evidence to back that suspicion. Yeah, if I were you, I’d be looking for a new place to live!

      Liked by 1 person

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