Tropical Storm Isaias blew through our region yesterday and hammered many communities with flooding rain and intense wind. Thousands in Dutchess County lost power and some are still waiting for it to be restored. It’s the latest reminder that good government is essential in times of crisis. Competence and coordination matter from our elected officials. It’s also a reminder that the intensity, severity and frequency of extreme weather events is rising thanks to unrestrained global warming.
The United States also registered over a thousand Covid deaths for the ninth straight day, with rising case rates in at least fourteen states. In an interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios, Trump was confronted on the rising death toll and tried to bullshit his way out of it, eventually dismissing the deaths with the callous phrase, “it is what it is.”
It’s a line that will go down in infamy. Imagine if FDR had said, “Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. It is what it is.” Or if Bush had said, “Some planes flew into the World Trade Center. It is what it is.”
The reaction to Trump’s response was swift and sharp. Joe Biden posted a video of Trump on social media, writing:
“Thousands of Americans are dying every week. The President’s response? ‘It is what it is.'”
It was hinted last night that Grim Reaper McConnell might be softening on the stalled coronavirus relief bill, newly willing to entertain an extension of weekly unemployment payments. Let’s hope this is true, because millions of Americans are wondering how they will pay their bills this month.
Concern was floating around social media last night that without a valid address, a person can’t vote. And if millions of people get evicted from their homes it could prevent many people from voting. I’m not sure if this is legally accurate, but more will surely be written on this topic, and it’s also worth asking our Reps about. Stay tuned.
While Isaias was crashing through the Northeast, a massive explosion rocked the city of Beirut yesterday. Video of the explosion was truly horrifying, beyond anything I could have imagined short of a nuclear blast. Windows were blown out of buildings eight miles away, and car windows were blown out at least several miles away from the blast site. We’re being told that a port facility storing two-thousand tons of confiscated ammonium nitrate (the same explosive mixture used in the Oklahoma City bombing) caught fire and eventually ignited. Official estimates were at least 100 dead, but I’m sure the toll will rise. How anybody near the blast could have survived is unimaginable. The blast was even heard and felt in Cyprus, 150 miles away. A very sad and tragic development.
The election is less than three months away. Covid will continue raging and the climate will continue changing until we kick Trump and his enablers out of Washington. Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.