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      NEW: Previously un-released documents show the government has paid $2.5 million to @realdonaldtrump's businesses. Far more than we knew. Trump Org charged $7,700 for a dinner, $6,000 for floral arrangements…and $3 for POTUS’s own glass of water.https://t.co/fubxgjRPFH — David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) October 27, 2020
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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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I blame the Electoral College

The country wouldn’t be falling apart right now if not for the electoral college. Oh, sure, the media would have hounded Hillary irresponsibly for years. But I have no doubt that she would have handled the pandemic about as well as Angela Merkel and possibly Jacinda Ahern.

There wouldn’t be an American TonTon Macoute taking shape in Portland.

I’ll bet even George Floyd would still be alive.

The rapacious tax cuts wouldn’t have been signed into law.

The ACA wouldn’t be hanging on by a thread.

And the Republicans wouldn’t be licking their chops over the prospect of a payroll tax cut as just another weapon in their arsenal to kill Social Security and raid the trust fund.

The world would still respect us.

We’d be able to buy and install solar panels on our roofs without a lot of expense and trouble.

Might not be perfect.

I’m betting the people waiting at food banks and unemployment offices would be ok with a little less perfection and a lot more efficiency and concern.

It all comes down to that electoral college, overriding the majority vote and subjecting us to the tyranny of the small minded. oh, they’re not opposed to equality, justice and fairness. But that’s not their problem. If we want all of that, we have to take the country from them. And they aren’t going to relax their stranglehold on it one second sooner than they have to. If they have to.

Somehow, I don’t think this is what the framers had in mind. You’d think that with all the crap they had to put up with as colonists, as well as watching what happened to British colonies in other parts of the world, that they would have been a lot more careful about evil idiots taking charge.

Vaccines and Covid

The BBC just announced this:

Derek Lowe at In the Pipeline is working on a review of the announcements. One thing I’d like to point out is the word “early” in BBC blurb. I’d love to get out of the house too but we need to be very patient so that the world doesn’t suffer a relapse.

On the personal front, my friend who has Covid is entering her third week of symptoms. She’s 27, very healthy, no underlying conditions and she has been leveled by this.

We need to take this seriously, friends. The only known treatments for this disease are Remdesivir and dexamethasone. They are only moderately effective. If you get it and you are one of the unfortunate people who get symptoms, it is not just a case of the “sniffles”. It’s debilitating for longer than you’d like.

Don’t let your guard down. Wear your masks, take disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer with you everywhere, wipe down every public surface before you touch it, keep your distance, limit your time to a bare minimum in any space that has a ceiling. I don’t have to tell any of you this but I’m starting to notice that people are getting lax out there and that’s a bad sign. It makes our chances of contracting this scourge even higher.

Resolved: The Bridge Shall Be Renamed.

What’s in a name?

Edmund Pettus wasn’t a brave soldier in the Confederacy. You can almost forgive wanting to fight for your state out of a sense of loyalty, like Jude Law’s character in Cold Mountain. Inman didn’t have an agenda. Maybe that’s the way the author created him so that the reader would feel sympathy for him during his odyssey. Inman is disillusioned with the war and the decent man in him wants no more of it. So he leaves the war and heads home. That’s literature.

Edmund Pettus, on the other hand, was a true believer of the Confederacy as well as a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. I have to wonder why the people of Selma, Alabama named the bridge after him in the first place. It’s like proclaiming that antebellum south still owned both sides of the river and the conveyance across it. When you think about it, that’s a pretty powerful statement and an ugly, demeaning one at that.

The bridge was the point. That was why the protestors marched over it. And that’s why they were beaten. There would be no bridges to the future in Selma, or so the powers that be thought. They were wrong about that.

It still stuns me that after decades of the Civil Rights movement, after the hard core segregationists have passed away, that we are still fighting with subsequent generations over the dignity and respect owed to people who happened to be born with a few nucleotide base changes in the gene that codes for melanin production. How is that possible? How incredibly stupid is it that we have denied ourselves the talent they might have contributed to the greatness of this country because they were a few shades too dark? Same for women or native Americans or Hispanics. Think of how we have sold ourselves short as a nation. It’s like Donald Trump selling off his father’s assets in the 90s and losing $300,000,000.00 in the deal when he didn’t have to. The deal we struck was so bad for us. Why do we keep doing it?

Ever since that day when John Lewis was beaten on that bridge just for walking with other protestors, that bridge has born the name of that Ku Klux Klan leader. The name has never changed, like a sharp stick in the eye. Let’s remove that stick and see more clearly.

Proposed: the name of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, shall be changed to the John Lewis Bridge to commemorate the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and its disciples who believe in the dignity of every human being.