Tuesday, November 24, 2020

His Biggest Fear

Everyone else knows it’s over.

Trump effectively surrendered his three-week protest of the election results Monday by submitting to the government’s official transition to the incoming Biden administration, bowing to a growing wave of public pressure yet still stopping short of conceding to President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump authorized the federal government to initiate the Biden transition late Monday, setting in motion a peaceful transfer of power by paving the way for the president-elect and his administration-in-waiting to tap public funds, receive security briefings and gain access to federal agencies.

Though procedural in nature, Trump’s acceptance of the General Services Administration starting the transition amounted to a dramatic capitulation and capped an extraordinary 16-day standoff since Biden was declared the winner on Nov. 7.

By continuing to subvert the vote and delay the transition, Trump risked becoming isolated within his own party as a growing chorus of Republican officials recognized Biden as president-elect following a succession of defeats in courts by the Trump campaign.

On Monday, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified Biden’s win there, while earlier in the day dozens of business leaders and Republican national security experts had urged Trump to accept the result because refusing to begin the transition was endangering the country’s security, economy and pandemic response.

And so Trump yielded, writing Monday night on Twitter that he had agreed to support the Biden transition “in the best interest of our country.”

Yet the president also vowed to continue his push to overturn the results, adding, “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good … fight, and I believe we will prevail!”

A number of Republicans are telling Trump to give up and concede, but it’s a waste of time and energy. He’s locked in the bunker, staring at his thumbs, and railing about betrayal and how he’s going to launch a final assault that will stun his enemies as the bombs are falling.

I wouldn’t give too much credit to the Republicans for stating the obvious.  They’re out to save their own asses after their thundering silence during Trump’s most odious and anti-American tweets and actions over the last four years, and now that they’re figuring that it’s okay to boo from the cheap seats, they’re suddenly finding what is left of their spines and dignity.  They’re now moving on to planning how to make Joe Biden a one-term president, and Trump is becoming irrelevant.  Or so they’d like us to think.

The reason Trump is carrying on isn’t just because he’s lost the election and in his fevered mind he’s never lost anything.  It’s a combination of being rejected by the country, the realization that he’s fading into history as the worst president since James Buchanan, and the looming awareness that there are at least two District Attorneys lying in wait for him to lose the protection of the presidency before a number of statutes of limitation expire.  (There’s a school of thought that he sought the presidency for that reason alone, although I think it’s giving him too much credit for forethought.)  And under all of this is the devastating awareness that he couldn’t pull off the last act of his biggest con.  To quote Harold Hill, festooned in tar and feathers, he finally got his foot caught in the door.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Thanksgiving Travel

I’m staying close to home this week since school is out all week and I have a lot of writing to do.  That would be my plan even if we weren’t in the middle of a worsening plague.  The CDC is warning against traveling, but apparently that’s falling on deaf ears.

The rule should be: stay home unless you can drive a 1958 Edsel Bermuda to the dinner.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday Reading

November 22, 1963 — My recollection of a very bad day.

JFK 11-22-06I was in the sixth grade in Toledo, Ohio. I had to skip Phys Ed because I was just getting over bronchitis, so I was in a study hall when a classmate came up from the locker room in the school basement to say, “Kennedy’s dead.” We had a boy in our class named Matt Kennedy, and I wondered what had happened: an errant fatal blow with a dodgeball? A few minutes later, though, it was made clear to us at a hastily-summoned assembly, and we were soon put on the buses and sent home. Girls were crying.

There was a newspaper strike at The Blade, so the only papers we could get were either from Detroit or Cleveland. (The union at The Blade, realizing they were missing the story of the century, agreed to immediately resume publication and settle their differences in other ways.) Television, though, was the medium of choice, and I remember the black-and-white images of the arrival of Air Force One at Andrews, the casket being lowered, President Johnson speaking on the tarmac, and the events of the weekend – Oswald, Ruby, the long slow funeral parade, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” – merging into one long black-and-white flicker, finally closing on Monday night with the eternal flame guttering in the cold breeze.

I suspect that John F. Kennedy would be bitterly disappointed that the only thing remembered about his life was how he left it and how it colored everything he did leading up to it. The Bay of Pigs, the steel crisis, the Cuban missile crisis, the Test Ban Treaty, even the space program are dramatized by his death. They became the stuff of legend, not governing, and history should not be preserved as fable.

At the age of eleven, I never thought about being old enough to look back fifty-six years to that time. According to NPR, more than sixty percent of Americans alive today were not yet born on that day. Today the question is not do you remember JFK, but what did his brief time leave behind. Speculation is rife as to what he did or did not accomplish – would we have gone in deeper in Vietnam? Would he have pushed civil rights? Would the Cold War have lasted? We’ll never know, and frankly, pursuing such questions is a waste of time. Had JFK never been assassinated, chances are he would have been re-elected in 1964, crushing Barry Goldwater, but leading an administration that was more style than substance, battling with his own party as much as with the Republicans, much like Clinton did in the 1990’s. According to medical records, he would have been lucky to live into his sixties, dying from natural causes in the 1980’s, and he would have been remembered fondly for his charm and wit – and his beautiful wife – more than what he accomplished in eight years of an average presidency.

But it was those six seconds in Dealy Plaza that defined him. Each generation has one of those moments. For my parents it was Pearl Harbor in 1941 or the flash from Warm Springs in April 1945. Today it is Challenger in 1986, and of course September 11, 2001. And in all cases, it is what the moment means to us. It is the play, not the players. We see things as they were, contrast to how they are, and measure the differences, and by that, we measure ourselves.

The Clown-Car Coup — Susan B. Glasser in The New Yorker.

In a way, we are ending the week where we began it: Donald Trump still did not win the 2020 Presidential election, and he is still, on Friday as he was on Monday, holed up in the White House, challenging Joe Biden’s victory. The coronavirus pandemic is still spreading at an alarming rate across all fifty states, and Congress and the White House are still doing nothing new about it. This is, in a horrible, stressful way, what passes for our current normal.

Except, of course, there’s nothing routine about any of this. We’ve been getting used to painful truths for so long that the awful enormity of the situation doesn’t hit us in the way it should when the predicted bad things happen, which is the story of the entire Trump Presidency. But history will not remember this as a slow news week, not at all. In fact, it has been a week of crisis—grave if slow-motion crisis—in which Trump’s effort to subvert the election results has been made explicit and unmistakably clear. He is no longer merely pursuing spurious lawsuits in state courts; in recent days, he and his lawyers have confirmed publicly that Trump now is trying to directly overturn the election results and the will of the American people by pressuring Republican state legislators to appoint electors who will vote for Trump in the Electoral College instead of Biden. The fact that Trump is almost certain not to succeed in actually remaining in office past January 20th does not in any way make this less alarming. There is simply no precedent for a President doing anything like what Trump is doing right now.

Meanwhile in America, this is the week that the U.S. passed the grim milestone of two hundred and fifty thousand deaths in the pandemic, many of them due to the Trump Administration’s botched response to the disease. This spring, such an outcome was all but unthinkable: when Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that the U.S. could see a hundred thousand to two hundred and forty thousand COVID-19 deaths by this fall, few believed that this would come to pass. And yet here we are, living another Trump scandal of unfathomable magnitude.

Perhaps the one genuinely surprising thing about this culminating controversy of the Trump era is how publicly quiet the voluble President has become. Sure, he has still been tweeting out inflammatory and untrue statements. “We won!” he said, more than once. And: “Mortality rate is 85% down!” And: “Republicans must get tough!” But his public schedule has been almost entirely empty since the election, and he has appeared before the press just once, at a brief news conference, last week, to announce progress toward a vaccine; he took no questions. He has cancelled his Thanksgiving trip to Mar-a-Lago.

This is a stark contrast to the two weeks before the election, which were among the loudest of his short career in politics. With three, four, even five rallies a day, Trump held forth on everything from the perfidy of the Democrats to the awfulness of the weather. One theme was consistent wherever he appeared: the forthcoming “rigged” election, in which only one result—his own victory—could possibly be legitimate.

Since the end of this campaign, which did not result in that victory, Trump has engaged in what I’m increasingly certain history will record as one of the worst offenses of his Presidency: a systemic attack on the integrity of the election itself. This escalated dramatically this week, as his first wave of lawsuits began collapsing under the scrutiny of skeptical judges and nonexistent evidence. Rather than retreat, however, Trump has redoubled his efforts in key states, such as Georgia, Michigan, and Arizona, publicly pressuring local Republican officials not to certify the election results.

In Georgia, this ploy appears to have failed, with the Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, openly feuding with the President and denouncing Trump’s efforts to undermine the vote count. On Thursday night, after a hand recount, Georgia officials said that Biden had once again emerged as the winner in the state—the first Democrat to do so since 1992—and that Raffensperger will certify the results on Friday. In Michigan, however, Trump appears to have had more success. Two Republicans on the Wayne County board of canvassers initially refused to certify the Presidential election results for the county, which includes the heavily Democratic city of Detroit, before an outcry caused them to reverse their votes a few hours later. Trump himself then intervened, calling the two officials, who late on Wednesday said that they wanted to change their minds again.

It may have been too late to reverse the Wayne County action, but, on Monday, the Michigan board of canvassers is set to meet to certify the election results in the state, which Biden has won by more than a hundred and fifty thousand votes. However, the board is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, and one of the Republicans said, on Thursday night, that he is inclined to audit and delay his vote to certify, citing the baseless fraud claims raised by Trump’s lawyers. If the board deadlocks and the results are not certified, Trump seems to hope that the Republican-controlled state legislature will just go ahead and appoint pro-Trump electors, voters be damned. In another unprecedented step, Trump summoned the Republican leaders of the Michigan legislature to a private meeting with him in the White House, on Friday.

This dubious, and remarkably brazen, strategy was on display in a not-to-be-believed-except-it-actually-happened press conference on Thursday, by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Trump would have won Michigan, Giuliani insisted, if you just don’t count Wayne County and, in effect, Detroit. And that was only one of the bonkers things he said. With an unidentified brown liquid streaking down his face as he spoke, Giuliani quoted the legal wisdom of the movie “My Cousin Vinny”; insisted that he had “direct evidence” of vote fraud in cities like Detroit, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, while producing none; and claimed that there was a vast conspiracy with roots in Venezuela to somehow rig the entire U.S. election.

How bizarre was the performance? Christopher Krebs, the Trump-appointed director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency—whom Trump fired, on Tuesday, after the agency issued a statement saying that “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised”—offered a succinct verdict. Giuliani’s press conference, Krebs tweeted, was “the most dangerous 1 hr 45 minutes of television in American history. And possibly the craziest.”

The fact that Trump and Giuliani’s campaign is utterly crazy, however, does not mean that it’s not working. In fact, a Monmouth poll this week found that seventy-seven per cent of Republicans now believe the election was tainted by fraud and are not certain that Biden won. Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, have refused to denounce Trump’s increasingly unhinged and undemocratic actions, and, while privately conveying acknowledgements of Biden’s victory, have publicly remained silent. The G.O.P. leadership, which has tolerated so many abuses by Trump, is now openly complicit in his worst one yet.

A few individual Republicans have spoken up. “It is outrageous,” Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, said on CNN. “It is an assault on democracy,” he added. “It’s bad for the Republican Party.” Late on Thursday evening, Mitt Romney, the Utah senator who was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump in his impeachment trial, earlier this year, issued a statement that might well have been the toughest I have ever seen about a President from a member of his own Party. “Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election,” Romney said. “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.” By speaking out, Hogan and Romney underscored just how shocking it is that their fellow-Republicans had thus far failed to join them.

Last week, I wondered in this column about just what Trump was up to in challenging the results: Was it an attempted coup, or just another Trump con? The past few days have seemed to offer an answer, and not a reassuring one. The truth is that even if Trump’s would-be coup looks like a con, even if it seems to be a clown show that’s surely doomed to fail, it must still be taken seriously as long as it is happening. Look at how far Republicans have gone along with Trump’s folly after an election that was decisively won by Biden, a contest in which he beat Trump by more than five million votes and garnered three hundred and six electoral votes—exactly the electoral-college “landslide” that Trump secured in 2016. Republican excuses have grown increasingly pathetic: We’re just giving him time. We’re just letting the process play out. He’s entitled to pursue his claims in the courts. In explicitly demanding that Republican state officials disregard the will of the voters, Trump has, once again, made his Party’s leaders out as stooges and patsies.

The G.O.P. knows all too well that this is not the process by which American elections are decided, not now and not ever. What Trump is doing is not like the 2000 Florida recount. It is not like anything before in American history. Republican leaders can end this today by finally saying publicly what so far they have only had the courage to admit in private. But will they, at long last, tell Trump what the voters said loudly and clearly: It’s over, you lost, and Joe Biden won?

Doonesbury — Aging out.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Friday, November 20, 2020

Happy Friday

Cathedral Peak at Cheley Colorado Camps, Estes Park, Colorado.

If you’re traveling for Thanksgiving, be very safe.

Wrong Movie

Rudy Giuliani schvitzed like a race horse while saying that Trump actually won.

It’s very simple, according to Rudolph W. Giuliani and the rest of President Trump’s legal posse, but also very vast. China is in on it. Cuba is in on it. Antifa and George Soros are in on it. At least two presidents of Venezuela, one dead and one living, are in on it. Big Tech is in on it; a Web server from Germany is involved (there’s always a server involved). Multiple major U.S. cities are in on it, as are decent American citizens who volunteer at polling precincts. Argentina is in on it, too, sort of. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was in on it back in 1960, when, according to an unproved conspiracy theory, he stole the presidency for John F. Kennedy, thereby launching an ongoing pattern of corrupt cities stuffing or scrapping ballots. The “it” is a massive, premeditated scheme to steal the election from Donald Trump, according to Giuliani, and it also involved corralling poll watchers at great distances from the ballot counting.

Perhaps a cinematic example would help explain.

“Did you all watch ‘My Cousin Vinny?’ You know, the movie?” Giuliani asked Thursday. He was sweating at a lectern in the small lobby of the Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill. “It’s one of my favorite law movies, ’cause he comes from Brooklyn.”

About 100 journalists and hangers-on had crammed into this potential coronavirus incubator for a news conference on the perverse legal strategy of President Donald J. Trump’s failed reelection campaign, which Giuliani is trying to hustle toward a twist ending. As the former New York mayor digressed about votes that could’ve been cast by dead people and Mickey Mouse, Trump campaign officials were at their headquarters in nearby Rosslyn, Va., winding down operations and closing out the budget.

“How many finguhs do I got up?” Giuliani said at the lectern, doing a terrible Joe Pesci, from the scene where he cross-examines an elderly eyewitness with bad eyesight. Giuliani was trying to analogize the claims of Republican poll watchers, who say they were too far away from ballot counting to adequately observe it. Fifteen minutes later, as he was describing the election results as “a massive fraud,” black liquid began to slowly streak from each of his temples, down his cheeks. It might have been perspiration liquefying his hair dye, or sluicing the black polymer off his eyeglasses. One Manhattan stylist told the New York Times that it might’ve been running mascara; perhaps Giuliani had applied it to touch up the color of his sideburns.

One Trump campaign adviser texted a Washington Post journalist as the black streaks inched toward Rudy’s jowls: “Is he deteriorating in real time?”

It’s less “My Cousin Vinny” and more “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Thursday, November 19, 2020

250,000

Remember when we thought that 100,000 deaths from Covid-19 was beyond comprehension and the idea that we would see a quarter of a million before the end of the year was unfathomable?  We’re there, and yet we as a nation can’t seem to grasp what has happened.

Most everybody in town knows that Gladys Maull has been battered this year: Her father, her sister, an aunt, a great-aunt, all dead from covid-19. Maull keeps a sign on her front door: “Please do not come in my house due to covid-19. Thank you.”

Some people just step on in, maskless.

They mean no harm, but masks never caught on in rural Lowndes County, which has Alabama’s highest rate of coronavirus infections. In a place that gave 73 percent of its vote to Joe Biden, the sheriff and the coroner agree that although cases are spiking and deaths are rising, most people share President Trump’s view that masks are a matter of personal choice and that the end of the pandemic is just around the corner.

“I don’t see people taking it seriously enough,” Maull said. “They still have their yard parties, yard cookouts. They’re back inside the church. This is just too much.”

From the start of the pandemic, public health officials and many political leaders hoped that covid’s frightening lethality — the death toll will hit 250,000 this week — might unite the country in common cause against the virus’s spread.

But the nation’s deep divisions — political and cultural — as well as the virus’s concentrated impact on crowded urban areas in the early months, set the country on a different path.

Now, more than eight months into a pandemic that shows no sign of abating, it has become clear that although close experiences with covid-19 do change some people’s attitudes, many Americans stick to their original notions, no matter what sorrows they’ve seen, no matter where they live.

Maybe it’s because out of a nation with a population of over 328 million, 250,000 doesn’t seem like a big number; chances are they don’t know anyone who has died from it, or if they do, they were old, sick, or out of some sense of cruelty, don’t care.

The one person who has the power and has had it all along to mitigate the pandemic is rage-tweeting about the election he lost by a bigger margin than he won it four years ago; by his own definition, a landslide.

I am reminded every day of the impact of this pandemic.  At work, in the grants that I manage, the kids I see trooping to class in masks and reminded to keep their distance, in the closed theatres and shops and changes to everyday life that we have come to accept.

And I am reminded every time I call my mom, now a widow, and the memories of my father who slept away in May and the words “Covid-19” on the death certificate.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

2,000 A Day

Via Twitter:

Dr. Peter Hotez: ‘We’re going to move towards 2,000 deaths a day … Within a few weeks, COVID-19 will be the single leading cause of death on a daily basis in the United States.’

Meanwhile, the people who have the power to do something about it are tweeting about non-existent election fraud.

Slammed Into Reverse

Hard-core Trumpists in Wayne County, Michigan, which is Detroit and the most heavily-Democratic part of the state, tried to subvert the election by refusing to certify the votes in that county. This intransigence lasted about as long as a Trump rally, and they reversed themselves.

Republican appointees on a key board in Michigan’s most populous county Tuesday night reversed their initial refusal to certify the vote tallies in the Detroit area, striking a last-minute compromise with Democrats that defused a political fight over the process to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

The unexpected twist came after the four-member Wayne County Board of Canvassers had deadlocked on the day of the deadline for Michigan counties to certify the vote — a move President Trump celebrated on Twitter as “a beautiful thing.”

The Trump campaign has alleged irregularities in the vote count in the county seat of Detroit, accusations city officials have vigorously denied. Democrats accused GOP officials of seeking to disenfranchise voters in the majority-Black city of Detroit.

State Democrats say Trump has no hope of overturning Biden’s 148,000-vote lead.

For all their stalwart claims about standing tall with their Dear Leader, these guys can’t even keep up the sham for one news cycle. And a good thing, too.

Killing The Messenger

This doesn’t surprise anyone.

Trump on Tuesday fired a top Department of Homeland Security official who led the agency’s efforts to help secure the election and was vocal about tamping down unfounded claims of ballot fraud.

In a tweet, Trump fired Christopher Krebs, who headed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at DHS and led successful efforts to help state and local election offices protect their systems and to rebut misinformation.

Earlier Tuesday, Krebs in a tweet refuted allegations that election systems were manipulated, saying that “59 election security experts all agree, ‘in every case of which we are aware, these claims either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.’ ”

Krebs’s statement amounted to a debunking of Trump’s central claim that the November election was stolen.

Trump, who has not conceded the election to President-elect Joe Biden, said on Twitter: “The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud — including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, ‘glitches’ in the voting machines which changed votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more. Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”

Late Tuesday, following Trump’s tweet, acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf called Krebs’s deputy, Matthew Travis, to inform him that the White House had overruled CISA’s succession plan that named him acting director, essentially forcing him to resign, Travis said.

DHS spokesman Alexei Woltornist said the White House had not asked him to resign.

Krebs wasn’t fired for telling the truth. He was fired because he refused to go along with Trump’s lies, and he did his best to shore up confidence in the election. That won’t work in Trump’s world of magical thinking.

The attempts to overturn the election in court are losing at every turn because Trump’s lawyers know they can’t suborn perjury in court, and they have no evidence to present.

I hope President-elect Biden offers Mr. Krebs a job.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Toad Of Toad Hall

We expect a lot of Republicans, for whatever reason, to suck up to Trump.  Fear, mainly, of his thumbs on his Twitter account, or how he can stir up the knuckle-draggers with semi-automatics in cammie-jammies chanting “look out, here comes the master race” trying to take over the state house.  Or, true to their nature, they’re in it for their own self-preservation as opposed to doing what’s right for the country.  And in the aftermath of Joe Biden’s win by Trump’s own definition of a landslide (306 electoral votes), they’re trying to undermine the various recounts going on, including the laborious hand-job in Georgia.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday that he has come under increasing pressure in recent days from fellow Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), who he said questioned the validity of legally cast absentee ballots, in an effort to reverse President Trump’s narrow loss in the state.

In a wide-ranging interview about the election, Raffensperger expressed exasperation over a string of baseless allegations coming from Trump and his allies about the integrity of the Georgia results, including claims that Dominion Voting Systems, the Colorado-based manufacturer of Georgia’s voting machines, is a “leftist” company with ties to Venezuela that engineered thousands of Trump votes to be left out of the count.

The atmosphere has grown so contentious, Raffensperger said, that he and his wife, Tricia, have received death threats in recent days, including a text to him that read: “You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it.”

“Other than getting you angry, it’s also very disillusioning,” Raffensperger said of the threats, “particularly when it comes from people on my side of the aisle. Everyone that is working on this needs to elevate their speech. We need to be thoughtful and careful about what we say.” He said he reported the threats to state authorities.

The pressure on Raffensperger, who has bucked his party in defending the state’s voting process, comes as Georgia is in the midst of a laborious hand recount of about 5 million ballots. President-elect Joe Biden has a 14,000-vote lead in the initial count.

It’s no surprise that Lindsey Graham would be doing Trump’s bidding because when it comes to being a toady, he has no peer. In this case, his sycophancy borders on the criminal.

In the interview, Raffensperger also said he spoke on Friday to Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has echoed Trump’s unfounded claims about voting irregularities.

In their conversation, Graham questioned Raffensperger about the state’s signature-matching law and whether political bias could have prompted poll workers to accept ballots with nonmatching signatures, according to Raffensperger. Graham also asked whether Raffensperger had the power to toss all mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures, Raffensperger said.

Raffensperger said he was stunned that Graham appeared to suggest that he find a way to toss legally cast ballots. Absent court intervention, Raffensperger doesn’t have the power to do what Graham suggested because counties administer elections in Georgia.

“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Raffensperger said.

In an interview on Capitol Hill on Monday evening, Graham denied that he had suggested that Raffensperger toss legal ballots, calling that characterization “ridiculous.”

But he said he did seek out the secretary of state to understand the state’s signature-matching requirements. Graham said he contacted Raffensperger on his own and was not asked to do so by Trump.

Uh-huh. And chickens have gingivitis.

This is yet another statement in the basic article of faith of the Republican Party: No Democrat is ever elected fairly to office because a lot of Democrats are people of color and therefore are not legitimate voters.

Monday, November 16, 2020

By The Numbers

Our friends over at Balloon Juice have a daily post about the status of Covid-19.  It’s a vital public service and we need to see it.  But it also can be numbing.  The Associated Press is reporting that over 11 million cases have been reported, with 1 million reported in the last week.  We are approaching 250,000 deaths.

I remember back to the height of the Vietnam war when the Pentagon would report weekly casualty figures.  It would show up on the nightly news as just another story, and on we went.

We have become inured to this pandemic; the statistics and losses are becoming part of our daily life along with the stock market numbers and the sports scores.  It doesn’t touch us unless it happens to someone we know.

Trump is ignoring it because he’s convinced he still won the election and is spending all his time on that.  Even the incoming Biden administration will have to fight a battle to not just end it but get Americans to pay attention to it.  And by the time they do, it will be too late.