Anybody got a line on some polio?
With the daily increases in coronavirus deaths and Donald Trump's escalating meltdowns, it's easy to forget there's also a presidential election going on, or would be, if things were normal, which just reminds you again how non-normal all this is. But while Trump continues lying about the fantastic job he's doing, Joe Biden is busily doing what presidential candidates are supposed to do: getting ready for the fall, and, he hopes, getting read to president come next January.
And as the dual health and economic crisis has played out, it's starting to look like Joe Biden, Mr. Moderate, is thinking about all the things that will need fixing if he defeats Trump (provided Trump doesn't launch the entire US nuclear arsenal at coastal US cities), and is inclined to do some serious Franklin D. Roosevelt, New Deal-style responses to get America back in shape. As reporter Gabriel Debenedetti puts it, Biden's original centrist pitch, a promise of a return to the pre-Trump norm, seems "almost moot" now.
And so suddenly Joe Biden is talking about far bigger plans than his "first day" goals of rejoining the Paris climate agreement, issuing executive orders to put ethics back in government, and pushing for the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ rights. Now he's talking about big government spending on green energy and infrastructure, payments to families, student loan forgiveness, and the like. He's consulting regularly with Elizabeth Warren and Jay Inslee, and talking about creating "a 100,000-plus worker Public Health Jobs Corps and the doubling of the number of OSHA investigators to protect employees amid the pandemic." And isn't that some neat stuff!
It's a very good plan for getting Donald Trump tested.
NBC News reported Thursday that a personal valet to Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, but a White House spokesperson was quick to say that since then, both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have tested negative. Trump told reporters that effective immediately, he and Pence would both be tested daily for the virus, an increase from what had been weekly tests.
The valet is a member of the Navy, said a person familiar with the situation. The Navy regularly details personnel to work at the White House in a variety of positions to take care of the president's daily needs, like serving meals, bringing him beverages throughout the day and ensuring that his clothes are ironed and his shoes are shined.
NBC News notes the White House hasn't said when the valet developed symptoms, or when Trump was last in contact with him, or whether his family was being held hostage pending further developments with the "president's" health. CNN reports a White House source says the valet started getting symptoms on Wednesday.
Predictably, Trump resorted to his instinctive reaction, insisting he barely knew the guy, as if the valet had been indicted. "I've had very little personal contact with this gentleman [...] I know who he is, good person, but I've had very little contact," said the Great Man at a photo op Thursday with Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Ignore his vanity campaign and work on flipping his vacated House seat.
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan announced Tuesday that he's running for president. He didn't do this earlier when he could've challenged Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. No, he's running now as a third-party “alternative" to Trump and Joe Biden. Amash is seeking the Libertarian Party nomination, which is not a shock. He's talked libertarian nonsense for years now. A 2018 Washington Post profile described him as the “new Dr. No," a reference to racist crackpot Ron Paul. “Trump-ism" appealed to some former Paul supporters but it alienated true believers like Amash, who wanted a small, pre-New Deal-era government and “free" trade.
Last year, Amash left the GOP during Trump's impeachment, and some freshman Democrats suggested he serve as an impeachment manager. Many of us believed it was a bad idea to even consider giving positive publicity to someone who was a Republican eight minutes earlier. We were better off when few people outside of his district knew Amash's name.
You've got stimulus in your Green New Deal!
Joe Biden has some ideas about economic stimulus. In an interview with Politico, Biden said America needs a new stimulus bill that's a "hell of a lot bigger" than last month's $2.2 trillion CARES Act to get people through the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus, as well as bold thinking that goes well beyond the immediate crisis. My gosh, it's almost as if he knows that you don't get out of economic doldrums by forcing austerity.
Also, he cussed a lot about Donald Trump's terrible management of the crisis, but limited it to hells and damns to keep it all safe for primetime TV. We'll confess, we like Angry Joe.