Jul 09 2020

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Charles M. Blow: Call a Thing a Thing

White supremacy is the biggest racial problem this country faces, and has faced.

Now that we are deep into protests over racism, inequality and police brutality — protests that I’ve come to see as a revisiting of Freedom Summer — it is clear that Donald Trump sees the activation of white nationalism and anti-otherness as his path to re-election. We are engaged in yet another national conversation about race and racism, privilege and oppression.

But, as is usually the case, the language we used to describe the moment is lacking. We — the public and the media, including this newspaper, including, in the past, this very column — often use, consciously or not, language that shields anti-Black white supremacy, rather than to expose it and hold it accountable.

We use all manner of euphemisms and terms of art to keep from directly addressing the racial reality in America. This may be some holdover from a bygone time, but it is now time for it to come to an end.

Michael Fuchs: Russia is killing US soldiers. Trump’s response is a shameful dereliction of duty

He has probably known for months, yet he continues to praise Putin. The American president is not looking out for the American people

Donald Trump’s response to Russia’s attempts to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan is a dereliction of duty, and yet another sad reminder that the actions of the US president cost American lives. [..]

Despite the fact that this information was known to the Trump administration for at least months, there is no indication that the president has done anything to punish Russia. The White House has not even attempted to convince the public otherwise. To the contrary, Trump has continued his obsequious behavior towards Vladimir Putin. Since the intelligence on bounties was reportedly provided to Trump in February 2020, Trump has spoken with Putin numerous times, praised Putin publicly, invited Russia to rejoin the G7 group of democracies, and announced the withdrawal of thousands of troops from Germany without consulting US allies – a giant gift to the Russian president.

Robert Reich: Donald Trump rushed to reopen America – now Covid is closing in on him

The president trumpets jobs figures built on thin ice but does nothing to protect those about to lose their health and homes

Donald Trump said Thursday’s jobs report, which showed an uptick in June, proves the US economy is “roaring back”.

Rubbish. The labor department gathered the data during the week of 12 June, when America was reporting 25,000 new cases of Covid-19 a day. By the time the report was issued, that figure was 55,000.

The US economy isn’t roaring back. Just over half of Americans have jobs now, the lowest figure in more than 70 years. What’s roaring back is Covid-19. Until it’s tamed, the American economy doesn’t stand a chance.

The surge in cases isn’t because America is doing more tests for the virus, as Trump contends. Cases are rising even where testing is declining. In Wisconsin, cases soared 28% over the past two weeks, as the number of tests decreased by 14%. Hospitals in Texas, Florida and Arizona are filling up with Covid-19 patients. Deaths are expected to resume their gruesome ascent.

The surge is occurring because America reopened before Covid-19 was contained.

Amanda Marcotte: Donald Trump doesn’t care about any Americans — not even Republicans

Trump doesn’t just hate Americans who didn’t vote for him, he’s spent months harming his most loyal backers

Donald Trump thinks his voters are morons. This universal truth was once again demonstrated this week by a Facebook ad working Trump’s new statue-oriented campaign strategy. The ad declared, “WE WILL PROTECT THIS” and featured a photo of … no, not some racist-loser Confederate general astride a horse but “Cristo Redentor,” the famous statue of Jesus Christ that sits atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, which, for those keeping track, is not in the United States but in Brazil, a sovereign nation in a different continent.

It’s small story in the grand scheme of things, but one that illustrates yet again that Trump doesn’t really see Republican voters or politicians as fellow travelers, allies or even really as a “base” to whom he owes fealty. Trump sees Republicans primarily as marks, to be fleeced for all they’re worth and then abandoned the second he sees no value in them. Trump’s burning hatred for any American who didn’t vote for him is well documented, but just as true and just as disturbing is his utter disregard for the lives or well-being of people who did support him, and continue to do so.

Leanna S. Wen: If Trump wants to reopen schools, here’s what his administration needs to do

Vice President Pence says it is “absolutely essential that we get our kids in the classroom for in-person learning.” His remarks Wednesday followed President Trump’s announcement that “we’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools” — and a follow-up tweet threatening to cut off funding if schools remain closed.

Pence and Trump are right about the importance of in-person instruction. But the Trump administration can’t just set a timeline without committing to the necessary work to ensure the health and safety of students, teachers and their families.

The single most important requirement for resuming in-person instruction is suppressing the level of covid-19 infections in the community. Imagine if schools tried to open now in areas undergoing massive surges, including Houston, Miami and Phoenix. Groups of children gathering indoors would add fuel to the flame and worsen the crisis. This is why the White House’s own guidelines prohibit schools from reopening until the community has reached Phase 2 — defined, at minimum, as recording a consistent decline in new infections.