Thoughts on Events the Week of March 9

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on March 15, 2020

Incompetence Redux: Having put his incompetence on display Wednesday, President Trump tried to take a do over on his Covid-19 policy Friday, declaring a national emergency and outlining steps being taken, which Trump obviously didn’t develop and probably doesn’t even understand. He was forced to this action to try to cover up the depth of his disastrous performance two evenings before.

A reporter asked Trump whether he took any responsibility for the problems addressing the virus, given that he dismantled the agency and dismissed the experts therein who would otherwise have been there when needed. Trump said he took “no responsibility at all.”

Trump seems to have forgotten he is the president, or he has no understanding of what his job description is. The former is surprising since he talks about being president incessantly. Hell, he’s still talking about his electoral college count and the crowd size at his inauguration more than three years ago.

Regarding the latter, it’s obvious he doesn’t know or care much about his job description, or anything else for that matter, except himself.

But bottom line, Trump doesn’t get to decide whether he takes responsibility or not. Voters do, and they tend to think presidents have responsibility for their administrations.

Trump has been exposed and he has been kicked aside. Others have taken over while Trump sucks his thumb. Governors and municipal authorities are taking their own emergency measures. Business owners are sending employees home temporarily. Any event involving large crowds, including major sporting events, is being reviewed or is already cancelled. Schools, notorious petrie dishes of germs, are beginning to close. Congress put together bipartisan legislation to allocate and distribute emergency funds, which Trump will have to sign, or they will make him eat spinach.

The markets were so relieved they actually went up. (Trump may be happy about this, but the crash left an ugly mark that I think won’t be forgotten in November.)

We may get out of this thing alive yet, but obviously no thanks to our cock-up in chief.

Oil:  The price of gasoline at the pump is about to drop significantly; it is, in fact, already doing so.  This is the perfect time to raise the gasoline tax.

First, gas taxes help reduce gasoline consumption.  When the retail price of gas drops. it encourages Americans to buy more gas guzzling cars. One in every nine barrels of oil produced each day goes into American gas tanks already. This is a bad thing for the globe. Keeping the price up with higher taxes will discourage this.

Second, it will generate revenue for things we need to be doing without additional cost to a tax averse public with zero (or less than zero if they listen to Fox News) understanding of economics, including even things as basic as supply and demand.

It is the intelligent thing to do, which is its weakness.

Full disclosure: I heard experts, real experts, propose increasing the gas tax on NPR. But I had this idea one-and-one-half hours before the broadcast, so I am not mimicking it, and am taking credit for having thought of it, originally.

Ben Carson: This name I had not heard nor thought of in a long time. Carson is an enigma, a brilliant neurosurgeon, apparently, who is in every other way incompetent and even loopy. I assumed the Trump administration had locked him away like Beth Mason, the violently insane wife of Edward Rochester in Bronte’s Jane Eyre.)

Anyway, he came back into the news this week in connection with the administration’s Covid-19 virus response, which did nothing to increase my confidence in how it is being handled.

Caron’s department (I can’t even remember which one it is) was charged with finding space for the American patients and potentially infected passengers from the cruise ship that has been circling around San Francisco with them. I’m surprised Carson could find San Francisco, let alone bed space, even though the former is probably in view through the port holes of the ship.

Football: Having been blessed with great quarterback play, Oklahoma has also attracted good receivers as well. If I were the Dallas Cowboys, and I knew for sure that I could get CeeDee Lamb at #17 in the NFL draft (which I am pretty sure will be held without an audience), I would take Lamb, let Amari Cooper go and use the money saved to pay Dak Prescott and Byron Jones, tagging Jones if necessary.

I have been watching Lamb for years, and he is the goods. I am not exaggerating when I say that his quarterback could take the ball, turn his back on the defense, throw the ball in that direction toward his own goal line, and Lamb would run back there and catch it and go score a touchdown with it. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but he is a fabulous player with perhaps the best pair of hands I have seen, and Dallas is in a tight spot with salary cap money.

Worst State: Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing that the worst states could do would trump the federal government’s misfeasance (read screwup) of the Covid-19 mess. Said someone else about something else, “It’s worse than a crime, it’s a blunder,” and one that is destined to become very costly.

Tom Frieden, former CDC director about controlling contagious diseases that the Bush administration initiated measures to prepare for a possible pandemic and the Obama administration strengthened them. The Trump administration tore them all down.

Frieden said in a worst-case scenario, a million Americans will die of his disease, perhaps even more. Best case? Well, we’ve already surpassed that.

This being the case, I am now jumping Trump over Dubbya as the worst president in modern times, by which I mean post-Civil War.

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