In a surprise announcement at least one energy industry figure described as an "ambush," our President declares he'll extend moratoria on offshore drilling off the Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina coasts to 10 years. Obviously he decided that "delaying" a decision on such matters until after the election (his stated position a few months ago) wasn't enough! Of course he's doing this to get votes, but I love good works so much I hardly care why people do them -- and it is interesting, isn't it, that he's perceived that banning offshore drilling is the popular move? If this heralds a new era were politicians stop trying to convince us we actually want shit sandwiches, I won't complain.
Caroline Chen at ProPublica explains why America needs a "coherent strategy" for asymptomatic testing for COVID-19, but I trust most folks don't actually need that explanation, once they learn that you can have, and can spread, COVID-19 without having any symptoms, and that a patchwork of local standards for testing doesn't do enough to contain a pandemic. The only people who need to have it explained to them, apparently, are the super-geniuses in our Administration, headed by a President who only wants to get re-elected and a Vice-President who caused a mini-HIV epidemic in a rural Indiana county while Governor because he was too good for needle exchange programs.
House Oversight Committee will investigate allegations that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pressured employees at his former corporation to donate to Republicans, then reimbursed said employees with bonuses. None of that is particularly legal -- and certainly none of it is moral! -- though I suppose it's possible Mr. DeJoy accomplished all that in a way that would withstand prosecution. That's a hell of a thing to bring to the Pearly Gates, though. (And let's think about this kind of thing when we think about "law and order," shall we?)
A friendly reminder: "Democrat states" are not, in fact, trying to "hurt their economies" just to deny this President re-election -- in fact, more likely this President has hurt our economy trying to restart it before controlling the pandemic, as the numbers of infections and deaths skyrocketed after states started to reopen. If you've come to hear everything he says as waaah waaah waaah everything is about me, well, you're not alone.
Rochester, NY Police Chief and both Deputy Chiefs suddenly retire several days after police shooting of Daniel Prude in March comes to light. But not without a fight, as the Police Chief in question says he won't "not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character," not long after deciding to literally sit idly by. The last thing anyone wants to hear is a cop whine, but then our President hasn't been setting a good example with that, has he?
Finally, Brown University's Costs of War Project estimates (conservatively!) that our wars since 9.11 have displaced 37 million people -- a figure exceeding the number of folks displaced by all wars since 1900 excepting World War II. I was about to say our "war on terror" displaced 37 million folks, but the Costs of War Project did not count folks displaced in minor theaters of said war in Africa, so our "war on terror" has likely wrought a higher cost than that. A cost borne almost entirely by other people! Sometimes, despite your commitment to optimism, you lose a little spring in your step, and contemplating that the "war on terror" is almost 20 years old is one of those times. Thanks, Bush!