Saturday sense and sensibilities

It is going to be another hot one today, maybe too hot for “Saturday in the Park,” which was my first title. Instead, allow me to borrow from Jane Austen to summarizing a few sense and sensibilities.

The president has denied calling fallen soldiers “losers and suckers,” even though it has been corroborated by four news agencies, including Fox News. A few additional reasons to believe the comments were made are his on-the-record comments about Senator John McCain only being a hero because he was captured, plus calling him a “loser” and not wanting to lower flags to half-staff when he died. He took on a Gold Star family who had the temerity to criticize him. And, his favorite name calling word for critics is “losers.” Apparently, he has used such expressions on more than one occasion, saying soldiers who fought in Vietnam were “suckers” per a Fox News report. I guess he is forgetting that “draft” thing and how he avoided going.

PBS Newshour had an excellent report on the Australia, UK and Switzerland response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have each handled it better than the US, with the UK having to wait some on its Prime Minister’s initial cavalier attitude to change (until he was infected). The keys are telling folks the truth, leaders not doubting the science, and central management of the problem. Having national healthcare, helped as it took the issue off the table who will pay for things. Sadly, the US crossed 187,000 COVID-19 deaths yesterday. Trump gets good marks for funding the vaccine research and this new simplified testing release, but overall his mishandling and misinformation has contributed to our poor results. Too many Americans do not take this seriously enough, starting with the president.

On the good news side, 1.4 million people went back to work in August, lowering the unemployment rate to 8.4%. Economists are pleased, but cautious as the number includes 238,000 temporary Census workers and the numbers are expected to fall off again. One economist from Grant Thornton noted, the unemployment rate is actually closer to 10%. And, many economists worry about that cavalier COVID-19 attitude above, where some think reopening things means returning to normal. It does not.

Finally, we saw two visits to Kenosha by the presidential candidates. One stood in front of a burnt building, while the other visited with the victim, his family and community. The latter sat down with members of the community and listened. As Jonathan Capeheart and David Brooks said in the weekly review on PBS Newshour, one candidate’s visit was political, while the other was presidential. The presidential one was done by the one who is not president. Brooks noted it is good that Biden is condemning violence and looting saying they are not protesting. That needs to be said, as protecting people, their homes and their businesses is important, as well. It is not an either/ or paradigm as the president points out. We need better and fair policing that supports all in the community.

3 thoughts on “Saturday sense and sensibilities

  1. On the unemployment numbers … not only will those census workers fall off the employment numbers, but the experts, almost without exception, are predicting a surge in cases this fall, coupled with the regular seasonal flu, which is surely going to lead to some businesses shutting again, or scaling back. No, this isn’t a return to normal, but merely a blip.

    The coronavirus seems to have slipped to “Page 16” news in light of Kenosha, the RNC, Trump’s mouth, and more. I think it may well be the most important news for us to keep up with … only problem is that we can no longer believe the number of new cases, since testing has been scaled back and since Trump took the responsibility for reporting away from the CDC. Still, we are seeing 1,000+ deaths each day by every count, so we are still in a health crisis, many of us still confined to our homes. Did it need to be this way? Perhaps not, if the president and his minions had done their jobs.

    Too hot for a walk, eh? My friend John, who lives outside of Austin, Texas, says it has cooled down there considerably and is now just in the 90s! Have a great weekend, my friend!

  2. Note to Readers: Vox has a pretty good piece on the Trump military story. One thing they note is in Trump’s twitter stream saying this was a hoax, included two falsehoods regarding McCain. Trump denied calling McCain a “loser” which he did on numerous occasions and he lied about his support for lowering the flags to half-staff.

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