Despite all the illness, death, misery, unemployment, civic unrest, rising poverty, food lines, non-functioning government, racial injustice, evictions, business closures, ballooning national debt, international trade crises, corporate bankruptcies, increasing homelessness, shrinking GDP, election anxiety, mental health crisis, and economic carnage….the stock market nears its all time high this past week. How can this possibly be?
The pandemic has made it all so much more obvious now; we have two Americas that have become more extreme under Trump administration policies. One for the working poor and middle class who live off of job wages and are suffering thru all the crises, and the other America for the wealthy who live off of their investment portfolios. And these investments are being artificially backstopped and inflated by the Federal Reserve giving money and debt away nearly for free, at least for those who can quality for it and thus likely don’t need it. It is no wonder many have started to describe the pandemic recovery as not a U, nor a V, nor a W, but a “K”. Things are returning back to normal if not taking off upward for the well off, while essential workers and those at the lower ends of the economy are living through a depression. The pandemic recession, which could have been headed off if the Trump White House and Cabinet had reacted sooner, is not only revealing but also enlarging the inequalities that exist in our country.
The US surpasses 5.2 million cases this week and 168,000 deaths, by far the highest of any other country. It took only 15 days to go from 4 million to 5 millions. We reported the highest single daily death toll since early May with over 1,500. Health experts estimate that the actual case count maybe 10 times that, or closer to 50 million, due to so many asymptomatic carriers. The rest of the world does not understand how this could happen to a country like the US. Neither do we Americans. Even senior officials within the Federal Reserve admitted that America had failed to control the pandemic and failed to correctly reopen the country for business which had then backfired. Read more about the administration’s handling of the pandemic in this month’s Bearing Witness to the Pandemic.
Congress adjourned without reaching the next deal on pandemic economic relief between the Republicans and Democrats. Washington can’t even agree if the President’s executive orders going completely around Congress are legal. And as the details of the President’s plan come out, they look largely to be shell game at best. Speaker Pelosi blasted the Republicans saying “Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gave a damn” and that more people will suffer and die because of the Republican obstruction.
Democrat Presidential Candidate Joe Biden announced his pick of Kamala Harris as Vice President. It did not take two days before President Trump insulted her as “extraordinary nasty.” He then suggested, in yet another lie, that she doesn’t meet the requirements for office because, despite being born in the US, her parents were immigrants. This is a pathetic redux of his birther argument that President Obama was not a legitimate president because he was not an American. Next, he declared that the “suburban housewife” would be voting for him because he will protect them from being overrun by low income housing that destroy suburbia, playing once again the anti-immigrant and race-based card as if white suburban women could not bring themselves to vote for someone who does not look like them.
The Treasury Dept. reported that the US budget deficit for the first 10 months of the fiscal year and Trump’s last year in office, was $2.81 trillion. The US is starting to look like other Trump businesses which he loaded up on debt then walked away from the implosion leaving others to clean up the carnage.
The Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, has launched an investigation into criminal conduct of bank and insurance fraud by President Trump and his company before and during the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is releasing his own tell-all book soon, previously said that Trump had committed insurance fraud as well as paid hush money to silence a porn star in violation of campaign finance laws.
Trump’s next target to destroy is the US Postal Service. His political appointee head, Louis DeJoy – whose qualifications were being a major donor to Trump as he is the first Postmaster General in decades not to have been a career postal service employee – has been busy removing mail sorting machines, reducing overtime, delaying deliveries, and in general helping to make the postal service collapse, likely so they can privatize and plunder it. Little surprise that the Postal Service has warned all 50 states that it can’t guarantee all ballots cast on the November general election will arrive in time, especially due to the surge because of the pandemic safety concerns with live voting.
But this is exactly the election chaos that Trump wants to sow and has even admitted so much. In a Fox interview he admitted trying to starve the Postal Service so they don’t have the money and capacity to process all the mail-in ballots. He claims mail-in voting will lead to the biggest election fraud of all times, and of course to his loss. And he repeated those claims the same week he filed by mail for an absentee ballot from Florida. Yes, we have the President of the US maliciously interfering with – no sabotaging – the integrity of the next presidential election by restricting voting rights and creating barriers to vote. Who needs the Russians from afar when they now have Trump doing all they want to undermine democracy. In a recent poll a majority of Americans say they are not confident that the 2020 election will be conducted fairly.
The above news items have been taken from a number of international, national, regional, and local news media sources including print, digital, and broadcast. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.