"To Heal from COVID-19," say Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin in an interview with C.J. Polychroniou at TruthOut, "We Must Imagine a Different World." They mean, of course, that we can't go back to the system ("government bad," "free market," "maximal profit") that created the awful response to the problem, and they also mean, of course, that we ought to stop doing things like giving out health insurance via one's employer (some 17 million Americans have lost their jobs over the last three weeks, and those who had health insurance of course lost it) and "squandering the enormous financial privileges enjoyed by the U.S. on propping up the neoliberal edifice that has denominated economic life in the U.S. and the world for the past 40 years," as Mr. Pollin puts it. You know what else we need to do, and I've been saying this for a long time? Stop being spectators in our own democracy. Our democracy and our heritage and our history all belong to us -- not our so-called leaders, the most corrupt and decadent people who have ever lived, who live to steal everything we've ever fought for and died for and who now stand that much closer to doing so.
Isaac Arnsdorf at ProPublica digs deeper into our President's removal of Glenn Fine from the pandemic relief oversight board -- and explains why the other members could go next. Our President essentially demoted Mr. Fine from his position as Acting Defense Department Inspector General and appointed someone else to the Inspector General position, which made Mr. Fine ineligible by law to serve on the oversight board, and guess what? Each of the other four members of the oversight board is also an acting Inspector General. Yes, this would be a very easy way to replace the entire oversight board with a bunch of cronies so that all of our President's other cronies can steal trillions of dollars of your taxpayer money! Remember when our President tried to fire all of our Inspectors General at the beginning of his term, only to be told that was illegal? Well, he figured out a way! I can't help but wonder: when Sen. Grassley (R-IA) teams up with enough other Congressfolk to change the law so our President can't pull this stunt again, what nefarious evil will Mitch McConnell extract from Mr. Grassley in exchange for allowing his efforts to succeed?
In a truly stunning moment, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya goes on cable news and says we'd be a lot better off letting hedge fund managers "get wiped out" than trying to preserve the economic system that seems to prize them above all others. "A hedge fund that serves a bunch of billionaire family offices?" he says. "Who cares? Let 'em get wiped out. Who cares? They don't get to summer in the Hamptons? Who cares!...on Main Street today, people are getting wiped out. And right now, rich CEOs are not, boards that had horrible governance are not, hedge funds are not. People are." Notice how he differentiates between hedge funds and people there? Yeah, I know CEOs are people, too, but you can understand why we would be confused about that. Of course the CNBC talking head says it would be "immoral" to let any entity get "wiped out" by the pandemic, but you know how it is with these clowns: their moral compass only flickers when some bankster gets hurt; when they contemplate their baristas getting fired through no fault of their own and struggling to pay their bills, they just shrug and say "that's life." Hard to believe that this era of conservative governance values people who don't work over people who do!
Finally, Taegan Goddard at Political Wire pointed out late last week (it was a members-only post, so I can't link to it) that our President's approvals for handling the pandemic are not only falling, they actually look better than they really are! (Scroll down to the top of page 5, Q 14_A, for the relevant data point.) Of the 48% who approved of our President's handling of the pandemic on Thursday, a solid 12 percentage points comprised people who "approved" mainly because "it is important to be supportive of (our President) during this time of national crisis" -- and, thus, not so much because they thought he was actually doing a good job! You'll recall, hopefully, that the infamous "70% approve of Iraq War" poll taken the day the war began included 15 percentage points of folks who didn't actually approve of the war but thought it was important to "support our President." Of course, it's not our job to "support our President"; it's our President's job to support us. And note well that the biggest chunk of respondents who "approve" this way are self-described independent voters, which should remind you that folks who call themselves "independent" ain't necessarily smarter than you.