A Lot Can Happen In Three Months …

The official death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. is currently at 225,222 (as of 11:04 p.m. on 10/19/2020).  There are over 2.7 million active cases of the coronavirus in the nation at this time.  The most recent unemployment data, from September, shows 12.58 million people are unemployed in the U.S.  And yet, Trump & Co were planning a cut to the food stamp program that would have cut off food stamps to some 700,000 people.

It has long been obvious that neither Trump nor any of his cronies have that thing we call a conscience, that they do not care about anyone but themselves, or anything but wealth.  But, fortunately for the people of this country, despite Trump’s efforts to pack the courts with partisan judges, some fair and honest judges remain on the bench.  One such is U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell, who on Sunday struck down the Trumpian plan to restrict the federal food safety net.

According to The Washington Post

Beryl-HowellIn a scathing 67-page opinion, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell of D.C. condemned the Agriculture Department for failing to justify or even address the impact of the sweeping change on states, saying its shortcomings had been placed in stark relief amid the coronavirus pandemic, during which unemployment has quadrupled and rosters of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have grown by more than 17 percent, with more than 6 million new enrollees.

The rule “at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” Howell wrote, adding that the Agriculture Department “has been icily silent about how many [adults] would have been denied SNAP benefits had the changes sought . . . been in effect while the pandemic rapidly spread across the country.” The judge concluded that the department’s “utter failure to address the issue renders the agency action arbitrary and capricious.”

Funny, isn’t it, that the federal government, comprised of uber-wealthy men … and a few equally wealthy women … is quick to make cuts in funding to programs like food stamps, quick to say “no” when California asks for assistance fighting the worst wildfires in history, but they can seem to find the money to fly Trump, his grown children, his assistants, and a Secret Service crew all over the country … to golf courses, his Mar-a-Lago resort, and his inane rallies where few wear masks and care not a whit about the well-being of their families and friends!  Oh yes, and let us not forget that We the People paid an estimated $40,000+ for him to take a helicopter for the 8.5 mile trip from the White House to Walter Reed hospital earlier this month.   And then, there was the cost of his care for the three-day stay at Walter Reed.  You or I … well, suffice it to say we would have stayed home, drank hot tea, rested, and hoped for the best.

So, we can afford the extravagances of Trump, his family, and his minions, but we cannot afford to feed people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.  In addition, Trump & Co have plans for two more measures that would cap deductions for utility allowance and limit access to food stamps for working poor families.  It is my hope that those, too, will either languish incomplete until Trump leaves office on January 20th, or that they, too, will be struck down in the courts.

Where, I would ask, is the humanity in our federal government?  It damn sure isn’t in the White House or any of the federal agencies tasked with a variety of things from the health and safety of the nation to protecting the environment to the education of our youth!

In recent days, federal agencies have been rushing to enact regulatory changes affecting millions of people in this country, as they are seeing the very real possibility that their time to do so is likely to be limited to another three months.  Some of their rushed proposals include easing limits on how many hours some truckers can spend behind the wheel, giving the government more freedom to collect biometric data and setting federal standards for when workers can be classified as independent contractors rather than employees.  There is also a proposed rule to allow railroads to move highly flammable liquefied natural gas on freight trains … just what we need!

Trump’s team is limiting or sidestepping requirements for public comment on some of the changes and swatting aside critics who say the administration has failed to carry out sufficiently rigorous analysis.  The Trumpites are also working to fill key vacancies on scientific advisory boards with members who will hold their seats far into the next presidential term, committees that play an important role in shaping federal rule making.  Given that, in the middle of a deadly pandemic, Trump selected a man, Scott Atlas, who has absolutely zero experience or knowledge of public health or infectious diseases to lead his coronavirus task force, it’s almost a given that the people who are selected for the scientific advisory boards will be equally unqualified.  A climate change denier in a key position at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)?  Oh wait … we already have that in the form of one Andrew Wheeler, head of the EPA and a former lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry.  Until 2017, Wheeler represented Murray Energy, one of the dirtiest, most crooked coal companies in the nation, but a big donor to the 2016 campaign of one Donald Trump.

There are exactly two weeks until election day, but we won’t likely have final results for a week or longer thereafter.  Then another two months until inauguration day when, hopefully, we can say “Goodbye and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out” to Donald Trump.  But in the interim … there is so much damage that could potentially be done.  Let us hope the courts keep on doing their jobs and striking him down, because if they don’t, we will pay the price in spades.

27 thoughts on “A Lot Can Happen In Three Months …

  1. It is good to hear a positive voice against the traitor Trump. We in England are stuck with a lesser of two evils, but another lazy incompetent. I am now retired, and writing up my memories of effective campaigning against bad practices. Presently, I am mainly writing non-fiction, telling tales of hanging banners and accosting aircraft carriers with Greenpeace, climbing mountains in Mexico and the Himalayas, and making my living by inventing answers to market research questionnaires. I also have a couple of fiction pieces too! https://writesimon.wordpress.com that’s me. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I have enjoyed reading yours Let’s hope we are Trump free asap. Happy blogging

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, it would stun his supporters on food stamps that he wanted to do this. Just like it would stun some to know that their health care is Obamacare and it is in danger

    Conservative David Brooks says it well when he noted Donald Trump has no sense of empathy or decency. I agree. What is also evident in the ruling is the Trump White House is also equal parts incompetence and chaos, again as labeled by Brooks. Keith

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    • Unfortunately, the people on food stamps, along with those who are hoping they won’t get evicted because they can no longer pay their house payment/rent and those that are caring for sick children with aspirin and cough syrup and those who have only a few cans of beans left in the cupboard … are too focused on surviving to pay attention to Donald Trump’s incompetence.

      What’s really sad is IF any of them go to vote, they will most likely put their X by his name simply because they don’t have the time or energy to investigate the lies hidden beneath his MAGA promises.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You make a good point, Nan. Sometimes survival is as much as we can do. In the case of people who aren’t politically savvy, who don’t have the time or resources to fact check and find the truth, the squeaky wheel or the loudest voice gets the vote. Donald Trump is certainly the loudest, squeakiest voice!

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    • You’re so right. People need to stop listening to his wild, hateful rhetoric and pay more attention to what is actually happening. David Brooks is 100% right … he has no conscience or concern for any but himself.

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      • Jill, the picture has long been painted by Republicans and exacerbated by Trump. The belief that most of the people on food stamps are malingerers is simply not true. There is a very small percentage of folks who try to game the system, but they have been used for decades to slander the whole lot. The fact that most people on food stamps are white would stun many Republicans. Whites are the largest block of food stamp recipients.

        I have been trying to help people climb ladders of poverty and homelessness for many years. When I have spoken to churches, rotary and business groups about helping homeless working families, they are stunned that these folks have jobs and are homeless. Many families and head of households have more than one job per person.

        Long before Trump ran for office, I made the observation that more than half of the Republican party is voting against their economic interests and have no idea they are. The party throws social issues at them (religion, guns, etc.), then proceeds to steal their money. Getting rid of the ACA is about the most inane idea a Republican could have. Yet, they have been preaching that mantra for ten years and have actually sabotaged it several times along the way, including the president and Marco Rubio who screwed Americans to win a political argument. Keeping the minimum wage low is another way of keeping people in poverty (read Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickeled and Dime in America.”)

        Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • All you say is true, and you are a good and wise man, my friend. Reading your words, I thought … “This is how a president should think and speak”. I shall look for the article by Barbara Ehrenreich this afternoon. Thanks!

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  3. The Senate hardly allowed Obama to do anything useful in his last term. Suddenly, faced with the loss of its Gawd Offal Powers staring them directly in the face, they suddenly want to destroy the very nation they are supposed to be upholding.
    My question is WHY?
    These so-called human beings are nothing but pompous, arrogant, elitist fools who recognizing their own mortality want to tell the world they are damn well going to leave a legacy of pain and suffering such as no group of power-packed megalomaniacs has ever left behind them before.
    We all know the names of the individual tyrants and despots and mass murderers who have come before, and the name Trump will be more terrifying than any name in history, but really it is almost every Republican Party member who is responsible! They want to prove Trump was just a figurehead, they are the real wielders of power. They are the Golf Or Piss people off Party, and they choose to golf while the world disintegrates around them!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The answer to your “Why” question is simple: greed and arrogance. Far too many politicians forgot their oath … well, in truth they didn’t take it seriously to begin with, and their main concern is self-interest … money & power. To hell with the people in this nation, as long as they get to live their lives of luxury. I doubt that Trump will be more terrifying than any name in history, but he will certainly be among the most corrupt and incompetent. A hundred years from now, if the human species survives that long, people will scratch their heads and say, “What the hell were the people thinking back in 2016?”

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      • Most infamous personages had an effect on their times, and the world recovered. The USA is not the world, though many Americans like to think so, but what Trump will be infamous for is not killing millions of people, or starting incredibly stupid wars, or even starting another useless religion. His ultimate act was showing people how easy it is do deflect a democracy and make a government a personal playground.
        He already has lots of students in democracies around the world. Not famous yet, but Alberta premier Jason Kenney is following in Trump’s footsteps, and exceeding him in other steps. He has reneged on almost every campaign promise he made, He has not restored the economy, though he could not predict Covid. That doesn’t matter. He promised that by cutting corporate and wealth taxes 50,000 new!&& jobs minimum would be created. Unemployment is higher now than since the Great Depression, at the very least. He promised he would not bring in private healthcare, but he has destroyed our public healthcare, making it the worst system in Canada. His solution, allow private clinics where the rich can get any service they want, while the not-wealthy have to wait even longer than ever before. He is cutting 5000 medical professional positions as a first step to “saving money.” He wants to start charging for some ER services. If that is not private healthcare, I don’t know what is. He is destroying our environment, giving gas and oil the right to do whatever they want without ecological studies on the effects on the environment. Like Trump, he is reopening coal mines, and doing his best to stop greening Alberta. Lumber com&7&plant panies no longer have a limit on how many trees they can cut, nor do they have to replant the forests they are destroying. Every action he takes favours the use of fossil fuels. And he is ready to cut another $250 million in corporate/wealth taxes in 2021 to attract more fossil fuel industries to Alberta after Covid is over. Is he doing anything to help stop Covid? About as much as Trump is doing for the USA. I gotta force myself to stop here, he is a walking talking disaster. And Trump showed him nothing can stop him. By the next election in 2 or 3 years, the will be no Alberta.
        My apologies for ranting.ùì

        Liked by 1 person

        • No need to apologize for ranting … your rants are valid! I told you guys not to vote for Kenney!!! I told you he was no better than Trump … but did you listen? Noooooo … sigh. I will say of Kenney what I have said, albeit quietly, about Trump … somebody ought to do the world a favour and shoot him.

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          • Who voted for him? Only 72% of Alberta’s, giving him the biggest majority ever. Now he figures he king Shit of Oil Land. He’s bleeding money, yet none of it is going anywhere useful. He is no longer paying for Lantus products. Everyone with diabetes has to change to a biosomilar product that does not work for everyone. If you need Lantus, then you pay100% for it. The wealthy can afford it, no one else. I will not mince words, this little price needs shooting.
            We learned yesterday covid is spreading through the legislature. If we are lucky, he will catch it and die.

            Liked by 1 person

            • 72%??? Wow! He came across to me as a pompous jackass! Seems people like that sort these days. But as to the Lantus … I still get mine from Canada for it is less than half the price it would be if I purchased it here in the U.S. So, I’m confused … is it only in Alberta that it’s so expensive? Can you get it from somewhere else in Canada? Nah, you won’t be so lucky as for him to die from the virus — look at Trump. Sigh.

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              • This is only in Kenney land, yes, for nor. But other conservative provinces are watching. If Kenney gets away with it, they will be next in line. Trudeau should have cut him off as soon as he started this course of action, but even the Prime Minister is scared to stand up to him.

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                • Question: Now that he’s been in office for about a year, are people becoming disillusioned with him? Has his approval rating dropped? Seems to me that these jerks like Trump who ride into office on the coattails of the populist movement don’t take long to show that they lack actual human values and soon people are disillusioned with them. When will Kenney be up for re-election? In other words, how soon can you get rid of him?

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                  • More and more people are realizing every day what they got themselves into, but with his majority nothing frightens him. He has done more than enough damage since taking absolute power in April, 2019. Unions, doctors, nurses, students, minimum wage earners, all kinds of people want him gone, and an election today might be a toss-up, but there won’t be one until 2023. Like Trump, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. If they get better. The oil, gas, and forestry workers love him, despite the facts oil is at its lowest price ever, and forestry fire watchtowers have been shut down by about 50% in a province known for its huge wildfires. People believe him that he is doing great things. I just question great for whom?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Hopefully, then, by 2023 he will have pissed off even more people and will lose in a landslide. He sounds like he might be related to Trump somehow! As I’ve said with Trump, when people claim he’s “making America ‘great’ again”, it’s all in how you define the word ‘great’.

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  4. Trump’s appointments are apparently made specifically to address and reverse any made by President Obama. This could be said to be because Trump’s own racism, he hated having a Black President. Since the planned changes are expected to impact the poor it could easily be said that Trump has no thought of their welfare And ,in fact he doesn’ t As a climate change denier! he’s happy to negatively impact the environment with his plans which will include enriching the solid fuel lobby as he allows further mining of coal, a fuel that’s had it’s day . That lobby will have invested mightily in Trump’s re-election campaign.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • It has always seemed to me that he attempted to find the very LEAST qualified people to fill any given position. Yes, he’s trying to erase Obama’s legacy, which isn’t going to happen, but he is also trying to demolish the governmental agencies that protect this nation and others. The most glaring example, of course, is what he’s done to the EPA, but also the Dept. of Education, Dept. of Health & Human Services … the list is endless. There is no doubt that his hatred of Obama stems from his racism, but I think perhaps a bit of jealousy, also. Trump barely got through business college, whereas Obama has a law degree. Trump can barely string a sentence together, while Obama is an eloquent speaker. And Trump is not well-liked nor respected, while Obama is both. I still think … Occam’s Razor … the simplest solution.

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