We All Suffer Information Overload. Here are Some Points Not to Miss
There certainly is no shortage of news, views, and stuff in between, coming at us from multiple sources. Some days we all just want to pull the cover over our heads, tune out, and get some peace and quiet.
There are some folks out there who hope that is what most of us will do, as they work their mischief. Here are a handful of issues and data you will not want to allow to slide past you.
The Post Office
We have been hearing warnings for some time about efforts by Trump, Inc. to cripple the US Postal Service. And so they have. Start with the man Trump appointed to run the postal service, Louis DeJoy. He has two “qualifications.” He is a major Trump financial contributor. He has millions of dollars invested in services that compete with the USPS.
Cuts and policy changes have already been made that has dramatically slowed mail delivery in many areas. Not a small thing if, for example, you are a veteran or a senior citizen waiting for your medication to arrive. Not a small thing if you intend to vote by mail.
Dejoy assured Congress last week that things were in hand and voting would not be affected. Then days later he fired the entire top management level of USPS and consolidated authority in himself. Someone really needs to remind this guy he is prosecutable for vote tampering. Watch this closely, folks.
It surely looks like an effort to degrade vote by mail. Oh, and they are out of money by SEP. How about some action, US Congress?
Read Something Informative, and a Bit Hopeful
Wired magazine just published a very solid, wide-ranging interview with Bill Gates. He does a fine job of laying out where we have gone wrong in managing the pandemic, but sounds some hopeful notes as well.
I especially enjoyed his brief discussion of social media, which he aptly describes as “a poisoned chalice.” It’s a good read. Dive in.
The national political conventions are upon us. Democrats next week, Republicans the following week. Both could be worth some of your time to get a flavor for what will follow in the Fall and what the next administration might look like.
The Democrats have laid out a pretty tight schedule of 2 hours per night broadcast, MON – THUR. That seems a manageable dose for the faithful. The Republicans are still working on just about all the details of their convention, but surely something will be published a few days prior to their convention.
Trump says he might do his acceptance speech from the White House. Fine by me – as long as he offers Biden the same location for his speech. Not the first time the White House has been used in this way, but not a good thing. It’s a rental property and the tenant should not hold that kind of event there. It’s not their property, after all. Now he is talking about doing it at Gettysburg. How about Mar a Lago, Don?
I noticed that the Trump campaign is calling for more debates than the three already planned. It’s almost always a campaign that thinks it is losing that wants more debates.
But the larger question is whether there will be any debates at all. Neither candidate is especially good at these. Trump would likely embarrass himself. Biden can rise to the occasion, but has his bad moments, and at this point, has more to lose in a debate.
I would not be surprised if debates did not happen this time around.
Trump’s Executive Action on Pandemic Relief
There is a whole lot to not like here. First, where is The Great Negotiator? He is supposed to be so good at closing deals. How come he has been completely absent from the negotiations (as has Moscow Mitch)? Second, it’s not clear he has the legal authority to do much of this. More delays in court fights are upon us.
Third, he has tried to single handedly reduce payments to those out of work by over 30%. Fourth, he is trying to slip in yet again his payroll tax deduction, which is nothing more than a device to underfund Social Security and Medicare. Both parties have already rejected this last point, but here we are.
Oh, and under current law that payroll deduction is deferred, not cancelled so employees or employers get hit with a balloon payment due next year unless Congress makes it permanent, to the lasting damage of Social Security and Medicare.
Let us not forget that the Democrats passed a comprehensive bill on all these issues back in MAY. The Republicans just came up with a sorry excuse of a patchwork bill about a week ago, and half of them don’t agree with even that.
This is what you get from a party that has forgotten how to govern and doesn’t really care.
The time between now and the election will be filled with information and obscuration. This will include efforts to scuttle good government and past policies while everyone is concentrating elsewhere (such as the election).
We do well to stay vigilant, both for issues relevant to voting and to call out sneak attacks on governance in the here and now.
84 days until Nov 3. Fewer than that until early voting opens (varies by state. Know yours?).
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