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Feb 15 2021

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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Kamala Harris: The exodus of women from the workforce is a national emergency

The economic downturn has hit women especially hard. A national solution is needed.

Last September, I had the chance to talk with culinary workers at a virtual town hall. One of those workers was M. Rocha, who used to work at a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. When the pandemic hit last March, like so many in the tourism and hospitality industry, she was furloughed. She’s still not back on the job today. She has a wife, son and elderly mother she takes care of, and they all depend on her paycheck.

M. Rocha is not alone.

About 2.5 million women have lost their jobs or dropped out of the workforce during the pandemic. That’s enough to fill 40 football stadiums. This mass exodus of women from the workforce is a national emergency, and it demands a national solution.

Job loss, small business closings and a lack of child care have created a perfect storm for women workers.

Women who work in industries such as hospitality and health care are losing their jobs. Women in lower-wage jobs — those living below the federal poverty level — have been hit hardest. These workers, many of them women of color, have been undervalued and underpaid for too long. And now too many of them are out of work. [..]

The pandemic has touched every part of our lives. Families everywhere are shouldering a huge burden as homes have become classrooms and child-care centers, and uncertainty plagues each day. Because of that, many working women have been forced to cut their hours or leave their jobs entirely. Even those who’ve managed to keep working full-time are stretched. Before the pandemic, working mothers already had it tough. Now, it seems nearly impossible.

This is not acceptable. And for me, it’s personal.

Charles M. Blow: Blue Lives Matter Is Over

Once the Trump mob attacked officers, Republican hypocrisy was exposed.

Blue Lives Matter is officially dead. People may continue to chant and post the slogan, but it is dead. Senate Republicans killed it last week when they voted to acquit Donald Trump of inciting an insurrection that left one officer dead and 138 injured. (Two officers who responded to the insurrection later died by suicide.) [..]

In the Senate’s acquittal — or more accurately, abetting — of Donald Trump, they stripped away the facade of the opposition to Black Lives Matter and the elevation of Blue Lives Matter.

It was never about preventing the desecration of American symbols. Members of the insurrection mob smeared feces throughout the Capitol after they broke into it.

This was never really about the protection of officers, generally speaking, but about allowing officers to treat with more impunity the people who protested the maltreatment of Black people.

Blue Lives Matter was in large part an attempt to silence the people asserting that Black lives mattered, as if Black people and police officers were equal and opposite sides of a scale, which is such a vicious and aberrant comparison.

Black Lives Matter was saying that Black people deserve as much as any others to live lives free of fear and free of state violence, not only from the police but from the entire criminal justice system.

Blue Lives Matter seemed to counter that violence against Black bodies was simply collateral damage in an effort to keep society safe and that the officers should not be constrained in their attempts to do so.

Republicans sided with the officers until Trump goons violently attacked officers. Then the entire argument fell apart.

Robert Reich: Convicted or not, Trump is history – it’s Biden who’s changing America

Republican infighting has created a political void into which Democrats are stepping with far-reaching reforms

While most of official Washington has been focused on the Senate impeachment trial, another part of Washington is preparing the most far-ranging changes in American social policy in a generation.

Congress is moving ahead with Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which expands healthcare and unemployment benefits and contains one of the most ambitious efforts to reduce child poverty since the New Deal. Right behind it is Biden’s plan for infrastructure and jobs.

The juxtaposition of Trump’s impeachment trial and Biden’s ambitious plans is no coincidence.

Trump has left Republicans badly fractured and on the defensive. The party is imploding. Since the Capitol attack on 6 January, growing numbers of voters have deserted it. State and county committees are becoming wackier by the day. Big business no longer has a home in the crackpot GOP.

This political void is allowing Biden and the Democrats, who control the White House and both houses of Congress, to respond boldly to the largest social and economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Simon Tisdall: Republicans have betrayed American democracy – and boosted the world’s dictators

Trump never respected the constitution but the GOP did not have to follow him over the cliff

This is not even about Donald Trump any more. It’s about a Republican party that has lost its way, forgotten its core values, and kicked American democracy in the guts.

It’s about justice, common sense, and honour, and how they were trampled deep into the churned-up ground of Capitol Hill by a mob of liars and dissemblers who call themselves GOP senators.

It’s about how a nation, most favoured on earth, that cast itself as a shining light in enveloping darkness discovered it had feet of clay and laws that did not stand.

Just imagine how this latest impeachment travesty – which, despite its last-minute twists and turns, has resulted in acquittal – is viewed in Pyongyang, Minsk, Damascus and other hangouts of dictators, autocrats and war criminals. [..]

This is not even about Donald Trump any more. It’s about a Republican party that has lost its way, forgotten its core values, and kicked American democracy in the guts.

It’s about justice, common sense, and honour, and how they were trampled deep into the churned-up ground of Capitol Hill by a mob of liars and dissemblers who call themselves GOP senators.

It’s about how a nation, most favoured on earth, that cast itself as a shining light in enveloping darkness discovered it had feet of clay and laws that did not stand.

Just imagine how this latest impeachment travesty – which, despite its last-minute twists and turns, has resulted in acquittal – is viewed in Pyongyang, Minsk, Damascus and other hangouts of dictators, autocrats and war criminals.

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