Rally held between African-American Museum, a Federal Reserve building and a prison!
So with 106 days to go until the election (3 Nov), what are the priorities of the two political parties? The Democratic House passed the HEROES Act on 15 May that would spend about $3.4 trillion. It's essentially been sitting around on the desks of the Republican Senate ever since. There's a time urgency to it because both unemployment compensation and the prohibition on landlords tossing out tenants for non-payment of rent will expire very soon. Millions of families where the breadwinner was relieved of working because it was important for people to stay home are facing a fiscal cliff where it's not clear how they'll put food on the table or even whether they can keep a roof over their heads is very rapidly approaching.
The Lincoln Project is a group of Republican Never-Trumpers who have successfully leveraged modest TV ad budgets into big PR splashes by running a few ads where the President was bound to see them and react to them. One of their priorities they're working on now is to see to it that the public blames Republican Senators at least as much as they do the President.
So what are Republicans focused on? Unfortunately, the President's people and the Republican Senate do not have "a unified coronavirus budget plan, lacking agreement on policy goals, budget parameters, or even deadlines." One of the more foolish wastes of time the Trump Administration has focused on has been a payroll tax cut. Back about a decade ago, the Obama Administration found that most people weren't even aware of it after it had taken effect. They simply didn't notice the extra few dollars in their paychecks.
Yet Obama's payroll tax cuts saw only mixed success, and veterans of his administration say they would have done the stimulus differently if they could.And of course, a major problem with a payroll tax cut now is that the people who really need money in their pockets are getting unemployment instead of paychecks. So that seems to be a real diversion from what's needed, but it's proving to be a real stumbling block.
“What in the hell are we doing,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) asked his colleagues at the lunch with White House officials, according to several participants who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the exchange. Cruz was incensed at the push among his colleagues to boost spending levels even more.
What other priorities is the President pursuing? One of them appears to be the idea of punishing "pre-crime," to punish crime prior to any crimes actually being committed. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is authorized to protect federal buildings. That would presumably require DHS agents to remain within quick, easy walking distance of those buildings. But there have been many instances of unidentified persons in military, camouflage fatigues attacking citizens of Portland, OR, far from federal buildings, seizing and holding citizens and then letting them go.
One of the very heartening citizen responses has been the Wall of Moms, a group of mothers who get between protesters and this out-of-control DHS force.
As one mother protester, Tara Russell, described her intentions on Facebook on July 20th: “Going to join the Wall of Moms…. I really hope I don’t get tear gassed, but I can’t sit at home anymore and watch these brave young people get beaten and rounded up by the Federal Secret Police. (And the Portland Police for that matter).”The President's tender concern for victims of criminals is hard to taker seriously.
“No mother should ever have to cradle her dead child in her arms,” said Trump, a president who has refused to take action on gun control, furthered lethal policies at the border for undocumented immigrants, and demonized a movement aimed at preventing black people from being killed at the hands of police, “simply because politicians refused to do what is necessary to secure their neighborhood and to secure their city.”
What else? Ah yes, the President is deeply concerned about people trying to re-name military bases named for Confederate generals to names that are more appropriate. As the military, Republicans and Democrats are all pretty much united on the need to do this, Trump is waging a very lonely crusade on this.
For the President to agree to take down Confederate statues would be a cheap and easy crowd-pleaser. It wouldn't constitute an actual solution, but it would put the government symbolically on the right side of poplar sentiment. The statues mostly date from the later Jim Crow Era (1910s to the 1960s) and were explicitly meant to remind Black people of their "proper place."
I guess if there's an overall political problem with both of these incidents, it's illustrated by the school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas. It occurred in May 2018, just a few months after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida (February). The President's essential PR problem, the reason why people couldn't take his efforts seriously, showed itself after Parkland and showed itself before Santa Fe. He simply wasn't the slightest bit serious about solving the gun violence problem. He had stopped working on gun safety measure before Santa Fe and had recently attended an NRA Convention where
He pledged in his address that NRA members' Second Amendment rights "will never, ever be under siege as long as I am your president."The thing is, he couldn't play the role of the "Comforter-in-Chief" as he was, essentially, part of the gun violence problem! This is his problem with unleashing an anonymous force in Portland, OR. He can't solve the problem of police violence in Portland as he clearly instigated the problem in the first place. He can't do anything to heal racial divides as he's again, part of the problem. As the whole reason the nation has been seeing so many demonstrations for the past month was because of police violence against an African-American citizen, that places the President as not only a partisan, but as a partisan who's hopelessly on the other side.
Seems to be a bit of confusion here. A few weeks ago (9 July), Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made it absolutely crystal clear that she and the President wanted schools to re-open in the Fall as usual.
"This doesn't have to look like exactly like it did a year or two ago. Think creatively about how you do it, but do it," she said.But now Kellyanne Conway has said that “Some of these states blew through our criteria, blew through our phases and they opened up some of the industries a little too quickly, like bars.”
"This has to happen," she added.
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany engaged in whats is know as trying to prove a negative. She tried to argue that the US death toll from the pandemic would have been higher had the US not taken certain steps. I decided to look at it from the other direction, from Americans who have actually died (as of 21 July) versus those of other countries. The countries close to China are: Cambodia, Mongolia, Taiwan, Laos, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan and Vietnam. Together, they all suffered 1,492 deaths. China itself suffered 4,634.
The countries suffering above 10k deaths were Brazil, India, Russia, Peru, Iran, Mexico, Italy & France. US has by far the largest number with 144,896. The closest other nation is Brazil with 81,597.
No, we can't make any sort of claim that the US is in the lead in opposing coronavirus pandemic. The US is very much in last place!