Tag Archives: economy

Driving through the Pandemic with Antifa

Decatur, Texas     In the predawn, the three-week long veteran night clerk at the Motel 6 along Highway 287 in Decatur, Texas north of Dallas confirmed, “it’s rough out here.”  Looking for a cup of coffee, walking back from my truck, I mentioned that I had inadvertently woken up two different carloads of people sleeping in their cars in the parking lot.  He said that was common in the crash of the economy.

The US had just recorded our 19th straight week when over one-million Americans had filed for unemployment.  The US had also managed the worst single economic quarter in our history with over a 9% drop in the GDP.  Driving through Texas was one thing, but since most of our trip had been through the Navajo Nation’s reservation, southwestern Colorado, and then the northern, Hispanic tier of New Mexico, we had also been seeing a footnote of the worsening pandemic in the southwest, even as cases and fatalities have dropped in the northeast and New England.  As the Washington Post reported,

“When the virus first swept across the country, it devastated Black communities, killing African Americans at a disproportionately high rate in nearly every jurisdiction that published race data. In recent weeks, Hispanics and Native Americans have made up an increasing proportion of covid-19 deaths. The disease now accounts for nearly 20 percent of all deaths among those groups, higher than any other race or ethnicity in recent weeks, according to a Post analysis of the CDC data.  The count now is reaching 150,000 deaths with many uncounted.”

Our destination had been a visit to Palo Duro Canyon, a spectacular Texas State Park south of Amarillo.  We had camped there in the past.  I once held a staff meeting there for ACORN’s western organizers.  Five miles out, we saw a sign saying on-line reservations were required.  We implored the ranger at the gate window that we were only passing through for an hour, but she was adamant.  Noticing that another state park, Copper Breaks outside of Quanah was roughly on our route, we pushed on.

I hit four bars on my phone as my son took his driving shift, and I scrolled my messages.  One seemed more urgent than the others.  An independent fact checker was reaching out.  The message was brief:

There is an audio host named Dave Weinbaum, who, among other things, insists that ACORN is supplying weapons and funds to a new Red Army of Antifa supporters.

No matter how ridiculous, it seemed like I needed to help him get the facts out there.  We fell out of coverage after my first call, but trying again 20 miles later, I connected with Eric Ferkenhoff of Lead Stories in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who was monitoring the panic-demic of conspiracies that the president with the help of far-right zealots is trying to create to save his faltering campaign.  How could I deny something so bizarre?  Simply and straightforwardly, was all I could figure.  I briefed him on ACORN’s current work, none of which fell within a million miles of the radio reports that he described.  I also mentioned that hallucinatory drugs were now legal in many states, and that might be part of the source for this story.  I added, perhaps unnecessarily, that anarchists organizing an army seemed a bit of a philosophical contradiction for the right whacks to get their heads around.

This arch conservative fascination with ACORN continues to intrigue me.  We really got under their skin and, frankly, seem to still be scaring the bejesus out of them.  The Louisiana legislature recently added a couple of sentences on a pandemic relief bill to make sure none of the money was going to ACORN to distribute.  Probably a notion one of Weinbaum’s hyped up listeners planted.

All in a day in these strange times in America.  Copper Breaks was a nice relief and the park staff there was the best.  We had an hour before closing, greatly enjoyed the park and our experience riding their back-canyon trails to new adventures.  We made it to the gate three minutes before their 5 PM closing.

America the beautiful, no matter how much some folks like to ugly the scene with death, despair, division, and destruction.


Dr. Trump Going Down with the Ship

Pearl River     You can’t make this stuff up.  Dr. Trump’s advice to the country to inject disinfectants and pour on the UV rays has brought him the kind of ridicule that he richly deserves and has tirelessly earned, but so rarely received.

A friend posted a picture of himself holding a bottle of Clorox with a clear plastic tube under his arm with the caption that he was taking a post-workout transfusion of disinfectant.  On Facebook, one notice after another featured a bottle of Lysol relabeled as a virus-killer.  Dr. Trump’s response was essentially, hey, can’t you take a joke, I was just funning, being sarcastic.  Absolutely no one in the wide world, or certainly in America, bought that bunch of hooey.

It’s not just all of us with our feet still on the ground either.  Fox and Fiends even warned people “don’t do this at home.”  Even the other drug quackery recommendations have been tossed aside by his sycophants.  Reports say now that he can’t play golf, jet down to Mar de Largo on the weekends, or go to his MAGA fanatic festivals, also called political rallies, he’s morose and TV bingeing.  If he were really desperate, he could try to spend some time worrying about the country, but I guess that’s a crazy idea.  What am I thinking?

The Navy brass is recommending that Captain Crozier be returned as skipper of the Theodore Roosevelt, overturning one of the more ridiculous episodes on the pandemic.  Trump on the other hand may finally be going down with the ship.  Unfortunately, that’s the ship of state, bringing us all down with him.

The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan outfit, has released a report that makes it clear that the economy at the end of this election year will be the worst since the Great Depression.  Dr. Trump is riding the Herbert Hoover train now.  The unemployment figures in the battleground states, particularly in the Midwest, are horrific.  Trump won Michigan by only 10,000 votes in 2016, and there’s now 20% unemployment and rising.  Wisconsin is moving in the same direction.  More than 25 million have now filed for unemployment, and more are beating on the keys of their computers and smartphones trying to break into their state systems in order to qualify.  Businesses and governments at all levels are running out of cash and bankruptcies and permanent closures of everything from big malls to local coffeehouses are reeling.

Top all of that off with the chaos of the reopening that is confronting consumers who will be voting with their feet with many continuing to still let their fingers do the walking.  Wait until Dr. Trump has to deal with the virus deaths rising in states reopening without testing, like Georgia, or catching the bug like voters did in Wisconsin recently because of radical Republicans.  It won’t be pretty.

Anything can happen in politics, but as Trump brings the whole country down to our knees, it seems impossible to imagine at this point that he won’t come crashing down with the rest of us.  Most people will be like me, and ready to vote for an old shaggy dog or anyone else rather than Dr. Trump.