File Under “Dishonesty”: Presidential Love

Last week we learned that world leaders all think that Donald Trump is doing a great job handling this pandemic. “I spoke with Angela Merkel today, I spoke with Prime Minister Abe of Japan; I spoke with many of the leaders over the last four or five days. And so many of them, almost all of them — I would say all of them, not everyone would want to admit it — but they all view us as the world leader, and they’re following us.” That was a bit of a surprise to a lot of people, including the world leaders themselves. Because they don’t actually think that.

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File Under “Hypocrisy”: Guns Are Scary

On Wednesday, the Michigan state legislature cancelled sessions until next week. Why? Because guns are scary. Specifically, guns wielded by angry protesters. And that’s exactly what showed up at Michigan’s capitol building on Thursday. Dozens of conservative protesters descended on the state capitol to protest the governor’s stay-at-home order.

Not surprisingly, the majority of Michigan’s legislators didn’t want to be in the way of the protesters who were exercising their freedoms. Another word for in “the way” is “crosshairs.”

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File Under “Dishonesty”: the Game Plan

On Monday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell informed America that the reason the Trump administration’s response to the current health “situation” has been so dismal is not actually due to any fault of the Trump administration. Rather it is the fault of the Obama administration for failing to adequately prepare them for it. “[C]learly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this,” McConnell said.

This is a pretty big whopper, even by current whopper standards.

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File Under “Hypocrisy”: No Test For You!

A virus

On Sunday, Donald Trump said “our country has to go back to being our country again. . . We have to go back to work.”

He also said, “You have people who are not going to stand for this and I understand that very well.” By which he meant “If you kill someone who is trying to keep you from your job, preventing you from eating at Old Country Buffet, or forcing you to wear a face mask, I will call you a very fine person and may even pay your legal bills.”

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Old Habits For New Times

I shouldn’t have been surprised at how quickly we went from “rediscovering the simple pleasures of being at home” to retooling our old habits to suit our new shelter-in-place lifestyles. But I still was.

Way back a few weeks ago when we first found ourselves locked in our homes, we quickly realized how rushed and distracted our lives had become over the past several years. With events and activities cancelled, we suddenly had the leisure time we hadn’t known in years. Gone were the relentless obligations, the harried mornings, the over-scheduled days, the stress-filled evenings.

Now we were home with nowhere we had to be — nowhere we could be — and fewer demands on our time. Many of us were alone. Others were cocooned with spouses, children, and other loved ones for the first time in a long time. For some, it was the first time ever.

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My Worst Symptom: I’m Weary Of It All

This is my sixth week living in our new paradigm. For the most part I’m doing okay, but there are times I feel an overwhelming emotional exhaustion. It isn’t brought on by fear of contracting COVID -19 or anxiety for the future or even the demands of social distancing. It’s because I feel like we’re walking a long road while at the same time those who should be leading us forward have tied a rope around our waists and are pulling us backwards. It’s like swimming against the tide. An uphill climb. Or walking into a headwind. Pick your metaphor. But it’s wearing me out.

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Trump Fails High School Civics

Once again, Trump has proven that he was absent from school when they learned that our Founding Fathers took steps to ensure that our country was not ruled by a monarch and that the powers of the President and the federal government aren’t unlimited. Some days it’s hard to decide whether he doesn’t know that he’s not actually King of America, or whether he just doesn’t care.

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Whistling In the Wind

Last week’s news was filled with reports that Trump was told back in January of the potential spread of the new coronavirus in the US and that millions of lives would be in peril unless he took immediate action to keep Americans home. Which, of course, he didn’t. Instead, he downplayed the threat and told us that everything was under control. Which, of course, it wasn’t. Unbelievably, in March when he finally admitted that this was serious stuff, he seemed “baffled” (according to his associates) by how events had played out. He said “no one could have predicted” such an epidemic. Which, of course, plenty of people did. These news reports were accompanied by logical, factual, unassailable evidence in the form of emails, memos, and quotes from administration officials as well as analysis of the results of his failure to act.

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A Country’s Greatest National Asset

What do you say to people who tell you that universal health care doesn’t work? What do you say when people tell you that private insurance and for-profit health care is the best alternative?

What do you say when they argue that systems like Britain’s NHS (National Health Service) or Canada’s public system are inefficient, unsustainable, produce substandard results, and that people hate it?

What do you say? You say this:

Britain’s Prime Minister thanks the NHS for saving his life, calling it his country’s “greatest national asset.”

If anything positive can come of this terrible COVID pandemic, let it be that the United States has finally learned that universal health care works. Every person deserves health care. Universal coverage is the only morally acceptable solution.