Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A quartet for our times

The Good

Even Conservative Columnist George Will thinks Arizona can go Blue in 2020 reports David Gordon in Blog for Arizona. His post includes the demographics driving that opinion and concurring responses from Felecia Rotellini and Alison Jones.

Part of the evidence, Will pointed out, is that “Biden, according to early polls, is leading in the Grand Canyon state.”

Now voters across the state and the nation can assess Mr. Trump’s performance over his first term (the close to 20,000 lies and broken promises, the Russia Investigation, Impeachment, and the poor reaction to the Coronavirus) and render their judgment at the ballot box on November 3, 2020.

If Donald Trump loses Arizona on that day:

  • The Democratic Presidential Nominee will probably have secured the Presidency.
  • Mark Kelly will probably defeat Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate Race.
  • Democratic Congressional candidates, especially if there is a high voter turnout, will totally or partially defeat Republican incumbents Debbie Lesko, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and David Schweikert.
  • Democrats may also gain the majority in the State Legislature.

Election Day is in 219 days.

Tear down the Red Brick Wall.

The Bad

Trump’s narcissism has never been more dangerous says WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin.

No one could make up a character as narcissistic and lacking in human empathy as President Trump.

More than 2,400 Americans had died by Sunday. Governors around the country are screaming for more assistance from the federal government. Trump? He obsesses over ratings. It is hard to comprehend how indifferent he is to human suffering.

His inanities did not stop. Later on Sunday, this is what he was worrying about:

I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada. Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!

Republicans are already grumbling about the cost [of the relief bills]. In any other presidency, the chief executive would call Congress back to work, propose a follow-on package and address the concerns governors raise repeatedly. Not this president. He’s obsessed with ratings. Congress likely will not return to Washington for several weeks. The death toll will rise, the economic hardship will deepen, and the governors’ logistical problems will become insoluble.

Increasingly, the country seems to operate on two tracks. On one, groveling courtiers flatter Trump, try to soften his impulsive pronouncements and scramble to catch up after months of delay. As they cater to the president, exploring patently absurd ideas, they have less attention to devote to real issues that only the federal government can address. On the other track, governors have no time for bowing and scraping; they are dealing hands-on with hundreds of logistical challenges, made worse by the absence of coordinated purchasing and by lack of a comprehensive testing program. Thank goodness governors are actually doing their jobs, which increasingly entail navigating around Trump.

The Ugly

Also at WaPo, Bernie Sanders says he’s staying in the presidential race. Many Democrats fear a reprise of their 2016 defeat.

The story is not so much about Bernie as it is about his committed, to the death, Bern-Baby-Burn followers. The article reports that Sanders and Biden hold each other in high regard. But will that mutual respect extend to those Bernie-crats?

Behind the growing fear among many Democrats that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s continued presence in the presidential race could spell doom in November is the belief that they’ve seen it happen before — in the last campaign.

The 2016 Democratic convention was just about to get started when Sanders (I-Vt.) addressed his delegates. It was time to support her, he told his backers. They disagreed, booing loudly. Some stuck their thumbs down as TV cameras captured the extraordinary show of dissent, which would continue on the convention floor.

To some Democrats in that campaign, it was a lesson learned the hard way about the limitations of Sanders’s promises of support and the ferocity of his unbridled backers. Four years later, with the senator from Vermont still running against former vice president Joe Biden despite almost impossible odds of victory, some party leaders are increasingly worried about a reprise of the bitter divisions that many Democrats blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss.

The judgment Sanders makes about his fate and the direction taken by his supporters could be among the most consequential decisions of the race, determining whether Democrats speak with one voice against a president who is already aimed at November, or squabble for months more.

And the deadly

A choir decided to go ahead with rehearsal. Now dozens of members have COVID–19 and two are dead. Here’s a short version of the event and its aftermath.

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — With the coronavirus quickly spreading in Washington state in early March, leaders of the Skagit Valley Chorale debated whether to go ahead with weekly rehearsal.

The virus was already killing people in the Seattle area, about an hour’s drive to the south.

But Skagit County hadn’t reported any cases, schools and business remained open, and prohibitions on large gatherings had yet to be announced.

On March 6, Adam Burdick, the choir’s conductor, informed the 121 members in an email that amid the “stress and strain of concerns about the virus,” practice would proceed as scheduled at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church.

“I’m planning on being there this Tuesday March 10, and hoping many of you will be, too,” he wrote.

Sixty singers showed up. A greeter offered hand sanitizer at the door, and members refrained from the usual hugs and handshakes.

“It seemed like a normal rehearsal, except that choirs are huggy places,” Burdick recalled. “We were making music and trying to keep a certain distance between each other.”

After 2 1/2 hours, the singers parted ways at 9 p.m.

Nearly three weeks later, 45 have been diagnosed with COVID–19 or ill with the symptoms, at least three have been hospitalized, and two are dead.

The outbreak has stunned county health officials, who have concluded that the virus was almost certainly transmitted through the air from one or more people without symptoms.

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