Several things crossed my radar this morning that I find relevant … I’m defining relevant as rant-inducing here.
A brief update about the pandemic
Two days ago, Thursday November 12th, the U.S. set yet another record, with 161,541 new cases and 1,190 deaths in a 24-hour period. Yesterday, Friday November 13th, we broke even that record with 183,527 new cases and 1,395 deaths. To all those fools who still believe Trump when he says it’s going away … I’ve got a lovely bridge in Brooklyn I’ll sell you really cheap.
Hazards of the job?
When a person applies to become a Secret Service agent, they obviously accept that they will sometimes be in danger, might even be in the literal line of fire, as Special Agent Tim McCarthy was when he stepped in front of President Ronald Reagan during the assassination attempt of March 30, 1981, and took a bullet to the chest. What they do not expect, however, is that they will recklessly be exposed to a potentially lethal disease.
It was reported yesterday morning that more than 130 Secret Service officers who help protect the White House and the president when he travels have recently been ordered to isolate or quarantine because they tested positive for the coronavirus or had close contact with infected co-workers. This amounts to roughly 10% of the agency’s core security team, and the infections are believed to have stemmed from the series of campaign rallies that Trump held in the weeks prior to the election.
Now consider that not only are the agents themselves affected, but most have families – spouses and children – who are now also at risk. Donald Trump owes every single one of these agents and their families an apology, yet he has not so much as mentioned the pandemic for days now. I guess he still thinks it just … went away. Way to go, Donnie – kill the very people who risk their lives every day to protect your sorry life.
And justice for all???
Justice Samuel Alito has been on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court since January 31, 2006 when he replaced Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Alito is a textualist, meaning he takes the words of the Constitution literally, not allowing for the events that have changed the times over the past two centuries. He is also a conservative thinker, but until yesterday, I did not realize the extent to which he refuses to consider any opinion that does not fall in line with his own.
Alito delivered an unusually inflammatory public speech Thursday night to the Federalist Society where he said that liberals pose a growing threat to religious liberty and free speech. Say WHAT??? What has this man been smoking?
His premise was, in a nutshell, that liberal support for LGBT rights such as the right to marry as confirmed by the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v Hodges in 2015, was a direct assault on religious freedom, for some religions insist that marriage be defined as being between a man and a woman. Okay, welcome back to the 19th century, Mr. Alito.
The never-ending election
Yesterday evening, the results for the last two states were announced: North Carolina for Trump, and Georgia for President-elect Joe Biden. This brings the total electoral votes for Biden to 306 over Trump’s 232 … a comfortable margin. Biden also leads in the popular vote … by more than 5.2 million. And yet … Trump and his cronies such as Mike Pompeo and Kayleigh McEnany continue to claim that it will be Trump who is inaugurated on January 20th.
I said a few days ago that we should, and I would to whatever extent possible, ignore his rhetoric … pay no attention to what he says, but focus on actions. Trouble is that his continual tweets and threats are doing significant damage to the people of this nation … perhaps irreparable harm. A PEW Research survey shows that 70% of republicans believe the election was not fair. All of us are on pins and needles, and the U.S. is a tinderbox waiting for just the right spark to set it off. I am surprised that there has been no major violence in the streets, but how long can that last, with the tension and vitriol that abound?
A top committee made up of officials from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and its election partners refuted Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud and irregularities in a statement Thursday, calling the election “the most secure in American history.” And still he throws his tantrum, saying the election was ‘stolen’ from him. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Every other president since George Washington has had more respect for We the People than Donald Trump has. My proposal, if I had the ear of people like Mike Pence, is that he needs to be removed NOW, not in 67 days. It could be done using the 25th Amendment, and frankly if Pence or Trump’s ignoble cabinet members had a conscience, it would have already been done. Instead, they will drag the uncertainty and planned chaos out all the way up until noon on January 20th, by which time I and many like me will already be dead from either stress-related illness or from jumping off a tall building.