Thoughts on Events the Week of May 18

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 28, 2020

The Numbing Sameness of the News: At a time when we are desperate for diversions in this period of self-isolation, the news offers no stimulation.

The news cycle is on a continuous loop: the death toll from Covid-19 keeps rising (I’ll win my bet on deaths being over 100,000 – just like science forecasted – before the end of May); the Trump administration tries to cloud the issue; Trump himself denies any responsibility for anything, insulting people gratuitously and looking for any scapegoat for his failures. Then, the same thing the next news day, with perhaps a new shiny object.

The scapegoat de jure is China, whose initial response to Covid-19 was little better than ours, though they got their act together sooner. Previous scapegoats have run the gamut from the current, such as his own medical experts, Democrats, uppity females, and that old standby, the media, especially uppity female media, all the way back to Obama and institutions established over the last 70 years. To go back any further to find a scapegoat, Trump will need a time machine.

But it doesn’t really matter, and Trump doesn’t really care. He just needs to blame somebody, anybody. I hope everyone else will be as sick of the pattern as I am come November when it is time to vote. (Actually, I will already have voted…by mail.)

The nature of natural disasters: To be sure, and fair, and intellectually consistent, any natural disaster is going to be bad, and we can’t rationally pin them on the president. No president caused Hurricane Katrina, or Hurricane Sandy or Covid-19.

The Covid-19 virus may be the worst kind of natural disaster. It’s new to our species, so we don’t know anything about it, let alone have any immunity to it. We are starting from scratch and learning as we go. Mistakes and missteps were inevitable.

But what we can judge a president on is how he or she responds to the disaster, and in the case of Katrina and Covid-19, presidents failed miserably in each. This should not be surprising since the two presidents in question are the two worst presidents since the Civil War.

Worst State: Speaking of worsts, as long as Mike Pompeo is on the national scene, Kansas will always be in the running for the cup, and Pompeo certainly made a strong case for himself again this week. But picking Kansas every week because of him is becoming monotonous, and in any case, I think we need to reset the bar for Kansas until Pompeo is gone.

So, let’s give the cup to Texas this week, because it has more uninsured residents than any other state by a margin, and it seems to want it that way.  With all the job layoffs from Covid-19, it’s estimated that Texas will add 1.4 million people to its roll of uninsured citizens. Something like this is happening in many states. It is one of the myriad problems with our employer-based healthcare system.

But in Texas, the situation is more egregious, because Texas already had more uninsured citizens than any other state. Texas is one of those irresponsible states that did not expand Medicaid as is available through Obamacare, showing naked disregard for its poorer citizens. Texas deserves the cup this week.

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