Week of July 20, 2020

The Beauty of Short Memories
Wednesday, July 22

President Trump pushed hard in early May for states to reopen without regard to the White House’s own criteria for doing so in stages. Everyone knew they were jumping the gun. The pressure on governors to do so was intense. Conservative media applauded wildly, mocking New York’s cautious process. Now today Kellyanne Conway threw those states under the bus, saying they “blew through our gating criteria, blew through our phases…” Florida and Texas are the bad guys now, but not back then. This compilation clip from Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Trevor Noah (full video) is a good refresher.

‘Science should not stand in the way’ of Schools Reopening
Wednesday, July 22

USA Today reports that “White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday emphasized that schools reopening this fall shouldn’t be contingent on science surrounding coronavirus.” Heavens no! Let’s never let facts intrude on politics! McEnany cited how other western countries are opening their schools — but the comparison doesn’t fit. The situation in most or all these countries is substantially different than the U.S. They’ve flattened their curves. Though it seems safer than here, it’s too early to tell if school reopening in these countries will trigger a resurgence.

Truth In Advertising
Sunday, July 26

All politicians lie. Both parties, liberal and conservative. Usually the lies are about serious things. We probably all recall Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction.” One lie that helped define my generation was the so-called “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” that Democratic President Lyndon Johnson used as pretext to expand the Vietnam War. This little fib cost over 58,000 U.S. lives and as many as 2 million Vietnamese. So Trump is in good company, though he certainly leads the pack in total number of lies and sheer absurdity. So far his 2020 re-election campaign is true to form as these images and captions show.

This statue that Trump promises to protect is the Christ the Redeemer monument in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Chaos & Violence depicted here took place in the Ukraine in 2014. Good picture, though.

Workers Worldwide Fight Twin Threat of Bosses Attacks, Ongoing Pandemic
Sunday, July 26

I supported the lockdowns this spring, and indeed I wondered aloud way back on March 1 if we shouldn’t do a mass nationwide pre-emptive shutdown to stop the virus before it could get a foothold. Well, that ship has sailed and keeping the economy shut down all these months later is probably not sustainable. People need to work, and many can’t do so at home. Problem is, we can’t trust the employers to create safe working conditions for workers’ return. This is going to require a fight. Workers at the Farmer John meatpacking plant in Vernon, California, and at Los Angeles Apparel have shown that united action can work.

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The Militant, August 3 edition.

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Title image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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