The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. ― Albert Einstein
Today’s independent commentary deals with these people/issues:
- Veterans & COVID-19
- Roger Stone is Free
- One More Thing
I happened to catch the column in the Helena Independent Record from former Republican Secretary of State and State Senate President, Bob Brown.
In the column, Brown declares his “independence from Republican Party” writing:
For over 70 years, I’ve considered myself a Republican. But after watching Trump’s consistently ignorant and irresponsible leadership, I’ve concluded that in good conscience, I can’t remain a member of the party he has taken over.
Amen to that. In his last paragraph, Brown closes with:
I won’t vote for him, nor will I vote for his puppets, Greg Gianforte and Steve Daines, who know up-close and personal what a scoundrel he is and should certainly show the courage to stand up to him.
Good for Bob Brown. I campaigned for Brown and Dave Lewis during their unsuccessful 2004 Montana gubernatorial race against Brian Schweitzer and John Bohlinger. Brown and Lewis are good people. The current crop of Republicans could learn a lot from these two.
FYI: I am not related to Bob Brown (that I am aware).
VETERANS & COVID-19:
A few days ago I saw a story on the local MTN News informing military veterans enrolled in the Montana VA Health Care System that they are eligible for free drive-through COVID-19 testing. The MTVAHCS has been selected to receive test kits to test asymptomatic veterans for COVID-19.
The interesting part I heard is that “veterans will be notified within 30 days by the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services if they test positive. The MTVAHCS will contact veterans if they test negative.”
Within 30 days? That is bull.
Just this weekend, the Great Falls Tribune reported that Montana veterans enrolled in the Montana VA Health Care System are eligible for free COVID-19 drive-thru testing this coming week in a third round of swabbing events.
The Tribune reported that any veteran who tests positive will be contacted by DPHHS. Veterans who test negative will not be contacted. The positive results will be communicated as early as two weeks or up to 30 days.
Two weeks or up to 30 days? Beam me up, Scotty.
The Washington Post (WaPo) recently reported:
Test results for the novel coronavirus are taking so long to come back that experts say the results across the United States are often proving useless in the campaign to control the deadly disease.
We’re failing. WaPo reports:
The long testing turnaround times are making it impossible for the United States to replicate the central strategy used by other countries to effectively contain the virus — test, trace and isolate. Like catching any killer, speed is of the essence when it comes to the coronavirus.
By the way, I am an enrolled member of the Montana VA Health Care System, but I have never used it.
ROGER STONE IS FREE:
One of the more interesting powers that a President has (to me) is the power to grant a pardon or commutation. In Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution states, the President “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”
When President Donald Trump commuted the 14-year sentence of Rod Blagojevich, former Governor of Illinois, I thought that was fine. In my mind, that sentence was excessive.
Most of the pardons or commutations don’t matter to me or most people. Just about everyone knew that Roger Stone, a faithful Trump associate, was going to get a pardon or commutation.
I’m sure that Trump’s Justice Department briefed him on each person, but it’s Trump’s decision alone. The interesting thing is that for some of the more controversial pardons or commutations, Presidents wait until the end of their second term to grant them.
The best remedy to stop these immoral pardons and commutations is to elect a President who has some principles.
ONE MORE THING:
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos appeared on CNN Sunday talking about the need for schools to resume in-person classes in the fall.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) was watching the show and did not agree with DeVos. Pressley tweeted the following:
.@BetsyDeVosED you have no plan. Teachers, kids and parents are fearing for their lives. You point to a private sector that has put profits over people and claimed the lives of thousands of essential workers. I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child.