Are You Better Off?

Post 1,054

Update on She Who Must Not Be Named

Wall Street Journal online, March 24:

[MSNBC’s president, Rashida] Jones told employees the cable network has no plans to have [former RNC Chair Ronna Romney] McDaniel on the channel, according to people familiar with the conversations. A number of MSNBC anchors and producers have voiced concern internally about McDaniel’s ties to former President Donald Trump and the RNC’s role in his efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.

The natives at 30 Rock were plenty restless and the president of MSNBC was forced to abandon the idiotic, trust bashing decision to hire McDaniel.

Here is Steve Schmidt’s March 25 update:

On Friday, NBC News was disgraced by the actions of its executives who cavalierly discarded its reputation, ethics and standards.

On Sunday, [Kristen] Welker and [Chuck] Todd turned a cynical farce into one of NBC News’ finest moments.

Ronna McDaniel won’t be back [to MSNBC]. [emphasis mine]

The truth won on Sunday, and both Chuck Todd and Kristen Welker are owed the gratitude of all who care about the truth. These are people who can be trusted. They earned it.

This is all about truth, honesty and trust and how critical they are to journalism.

Here’s Rachel Maddow’s March 26 comment on this betrayal of honest journalism.

Here’s a brief review of McDonald’s actual sordid attempt to overthrow our democracy – a fact check against her claims on Meet The Press last Sunday. This woman is bad ju-ju in every way.

On To “Are You Better Off?”

Writes Prof. Heather Cox Richardson,

” .  .  .  four years ago [when Trump was President] we were in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Supermarket shelves were empty, toilet paper was hard to find, healthcare professionals were wearing garbage bags [for protection] and reusing masks because the Trump administration had permitted the strategic stockpile to run low, deaths were mounting, the stock market had crashed, and the economy had ground to a halt.”

There is lots more like this terrible list so I hope that Trump continues to ask his audiences his “Are you better off?” question, because they are much better off today and we will realize that more and more with each asking. Meanwhile, I have some questions.

Trump is flailing. He cannot complete simple sentences using low syllable count words because he devolves into gibberish. He cannot cover his half-billion dollar obligation to the State of New York and Joe Biden has come from behind in the polls to match Trump. He still has multiple trials for dozens of charges ahead of him with the first criminal trial just two weeks away. It’s highly doubtful that he can grift enough cash from his takeover of the Republican Party to cover his enormous legal bills.

That he has not been able to get a half-million dollar bond, now knocked down to $175 million, is easily the most troublesome thing for Trump. His properties stand at risk of seizure by the state, while no sane American would lend money to this over-leveraged, creditor stiffing blowhard. But he needs the cash. Where will he get it?

He’s re-hired convict Paul Manafort, the grifter who stripped millions from Ukraine and Russia. Do you suppose Manafort is back to exercise his skills and get Trump money from foreign sources like Russia or Saudi Arabia, which gave Jarrod Kushner $2 billion for his “I’m clueless” investment business? Possibly it will be China, which might see a leverage angle to giving Trump money, such that they could let pass his disparaging “China virus” slurs in favor of the ability to pull his strings.

The point is that if Trump can raise the money he needs he will likely be beholden to a foreign despot. Should he win the election, that indebtedness would be a situation that is terribly dangerous for America, as it would make the President of the United States a national security risk. Would he abandon our allies upon command from his creditors? Would our intelligence services dare to give him full briefings?

Must Read

I’ve read, I’ve studied and I’ve noodled endlessly hoping to understand people who vote against their own interests, who deny reality and who believe any preposterous, anger inducing thing that’s flashed before their eyes. They have some legitimate grievances, to be sure, but they spiral down from them into believing that everything about America is horrible and dystopian and that Democrats and the “elites” are in a child molesting cabal. They are convinced that only they and those who agree with them are real Americans and that hating “others” is a good and pure American thing to do.

David Corn of Mother Jones interviewed Tom Schaller and Paul Waldman, co-authors of White Rural Rage: The Threat to American Democracy and I think those guys are on to something valuable and clarifying.

I have not read their book yet, but intend to because the interview is so enormously valuable. Your reading assignment today is that interview.

Two more points about very proud rural Americans:

  1. From STAT: “A new study explains the rural-urban divide in cervical screening rates” Despite the rate of women dying from cervical cancer being almost a third higher in rural areas than in urban ones, screening rates are actually lower in rural communities. A new study published in Cancer found that this disparity has persisted in the country’s community health centers .  .  .”
  2. From the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: “Americans in rural areas do not live as long as their counterparts in urban areas. Americans in urban areas are living longer, on average, than Americans in rural areas, and that divide is growing wider, new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch shows. In 2005-2009 life expectancy was 78.8 in urban areas compared to 76.8 in rural areas. Then from 2010 to 2019 rural counties experienced declines in life expectancy (-0.20 years for women and -0.30 years for men), while urban counties experienced modest increases (0.55 years for women and 0.29 years for men) .  .  .”

To that we can add that 95% of Covid deaths are of unvaccinated people disproportionately from red states.

Said another way, our people are angry and dysfunctional and are suffering and dying younger, even as we have the tools to reverse that. We are left to wonder what would propel people into self-destruction. I’m thinking that their being fed a whirlwind of lies and malicious disinformation for decades is at least a piece of that. So, no, these people following Trump, continuing to ingest the poison he feeds them still, are not better off than they were four years ago.

Late Update

NBC News has cancelled Ronna Romney McDaniel from all parts of NBC. Just guessing Lester Holt is greatly relieved.

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