THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: No masks meant more death

THERE ARE CONSIDERABLY MORE than 200,000 people in the United States who have died because of the coronavirus and its complications. The United States is a world leader in deaths due to that virus. One of the prime reasons for that is that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, behaved unconscionably in arguing, both by example and by word, against people wearing face masks, which we now know could have saved tens of thousands of lives. When you compare the number of lives lost in this country with the numbers of people who died in Europe or places like South Korea, where mask wearing approached universality, we are a pathetic last place.

There are those, and I am one of them, who believe that in downplaying the threat of Covid-19, Donald Trump is responsible for these deaths. I will never understand his motives in arguing against taking this most simple of precautions. All I know is that because Trump says that he listened to his “instincts” and not to the science, a lot of people have contracted the disease and many of them are dead. Is there anyone who wants to argue that basic premise with me? He is not a kid who tried to rob a bodega and spent years in prison because of that. Again, he recklessly endangered the people he was (sort of) elected to serve. All he had to do was say, “Everyone should wear a mask,” and our numbers would be a lot better. People told him that again and again, but he just ignored them. He even ridiculed Joe Biden for wearing a mask. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Andrew watches for an opening

THERE IS A LOT OF LUCK—good and bad—involved in politics. Not only that, timing is everything. We know that Andrew Cuomo is ambitious. We know that he loved his father and that on some psychological level, he competes with Mario. We know that Mario almost made it to the tippy top of the political heap. We know that things broke Andrew’s way when Trump who is, after all, a demon, looked like he would succeed in corrupting American politics as no one ever imagined it could be corrupted. When the New York Times and CNN finally got around to doing what they had to do in calling out Trump, Andrew looked like a big winner.

CNN could not figure out what to do about Trump. He was getting so much mandatory air time and they were under the gun from so many people, they clearly figured that Andrew was the antidote. Andrew, brother of CNN’s Chris, was given air time almost every morning. He was just one of many U.S. governors, but CNN appointed him to be the unofficial spokesperson for the non-Trump rest of us. Everywhere I went, people told me how much they loved Andrew. I would often hear that they used to dislike him but now they think he is terrific. This was almost universal. When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere.

But then, something changed. First, the cable people made it clear that they would not play every Trump “briefing.” They actually started to tell the truth. As Trump rallies disappeared, so, gradually, did Andrew. The man who was ubiquitous started receding into the shadows. That’s where the timing of it reared its ugly head. Andrew was the beneficiary of Trump the bully being given so much time. Appropriately, he got credit for conquering the Covid threat in his state which was once at the top of the list for Covid infections and deaths. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Resist nominee, honor Ginsburg

SO THE DAY FINALLY CAME. Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. She was one of a kind. If you think back on all the Supreme Court justices who have passed, no one—and I mean no one—has been mourned the way RBG is being remembered. She was one of a kind—a feminist icon and so much more. She was a symbol of righteous defiance to an evil and insane monster of a president and she never even had to say out loud that Trump was a threat to this country.

Before her death, Ginsburg made it known that she hoped that her replacement would be appointed by the winner of the 2020 presidential election. That is the last thing that either Donald Trump or his evil henchman, Mitch McConnell, intend to allow to happen. A recent national poll said that people wanted this appointment to be put off until after the November elections. This president and McConnell will not do that. They see the national polls. They recognize that there is every probability they will lose both the presidency and control of the United States Senate to the Democrats. Now the arch-hypocrite McConnell, who refused a Supreme Court nomination vote on a Barack Obama’s selection because it was a within a year of a presidential election, insists that a vote be taken within Days of such an election.

My phone has been ringing with people imploring me to come up with a solution to this dilemma. No question that McConnell will have the Senate confirm whatever conservative is nominated. Nonetheless, Trump has more than a few hurdles. Read more…