Now affecting every corner of the globe except Antarctica, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic threatens to destabilize governments and sow economic chaos for months, even years to come. Across the planet, cities, provinces, even entire countries are on lockdown, with businesses shuttered and citizens told to “shelter in place”, ultimately restricted to house arrest except for essential errands for food, medicine, gas and assistance to dependent family members. A death toll count is pointless; even at the speed of internet publication, such figures are immediately outdated, but as of March 18th, global casualties approach 10,000. Millions are likely to follow.
Tag archive: Washingtonia
The coronavirus continues to spread globally, with the first deaths in the United States, Australia and Thailand, all announced within a 12 hour period on Leap Day. Genuine awareness of the economic threat it poses seemed to sink in during the prior week, manifesting as a panicked sell-off on Wall Street to the tune of 3600 points, some 11% of its volume, the worst week since the financial crisis of 2008. February 27th saw the largest single-day drop in Dow history, shedding 1191 points. Of course, Fearless Leader says it’s just a hyped-up conspiracy by the Fake News Media to discredit him, the Dow drop occurred because investors were depressed by the paucity of viable candidates in the Dem primary (but shouldn’t that make these alleged Trump-lovers happy?), and coronavirus will just “disappear one day … like a miracle.”
Roiling the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination of late is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the ninth-richest man in the US. Bloomberg’s political consistency has been his inconsistency: a registered Democrat until 2001, he became a Republican to run for mayor, then during his second term dumped that Party affiliation while he successfully prosecuted the case for ending New York’s mayoral term limits, winning a third term in 2009 as an Independent. In 2018 he once again registered as a Democrat, before announcing his entry into the 2020 presidential race on November 24, 2019.
Today is the day in the US when we celebrate all those crazy kids who brought us here, the men who grabbed the reins of American power and guided, propelled or dragged the country along with them, for a span of time. Some were giants, some could have been Munchkin extras in “The Wizard of Oz”.
Mostly, being a capitalist country, we honor their service and sacrifice with reduced prices on cars and large appliances, a chilly mid-February day off to break the monotony of work or school, and possibly their own category on “Jeopardy!’
Despite a recent heart attack, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has maintained his slow and steady pace in his current bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, coming in reliably second or third in most polling. Bernie (I find it impossible to call him “Sanders”, so associated is he with his nickname) famously broke upon the national political scene when he challenged Hillary Clinton for the 2016 nomination, and while he failed in that attempt, he came remarkably close for someone with very little name recognition prior to throwing his hat in the ring. Bernie quickly became the darling of the progressive left, but also pulled from much of the same demographic of working class blue collar voters that fueled Trump’s grievance campaign. With fellow ultra-progressive Elizabeth Warren flailing of late, assuming Joe Biden stumbles and falls at some point early on in the process, Bernie Sanders would seem to be the man most likely to step into the breach. But would that be a winning choice for Democrats?
January 15, 2020 was yet another bad day for Donald J. Trump. Within hours, the impeachment articles against him had been signed and delivered to the Senate for his trial, and an associate, Lev Parnes, gave a devastating interview confirming the President’s direct involvement in the Ukraine aid-for-dirt shakedown. Trump had previously publically denied knowing Parnas, a statement which apparently insulted his henchman, causing him to flip on the boss.