So many important and interesting news stories lately but all are outweighed by developments in the coronavirus. The news flies past us each day. Let’s take a breath and review some.


First published in May 2020.


Biden sexual harassment allegations.

This is a story that in the minds of Trump supporters never caught fire. Still The New York Times and The Washington Post have both done deep dives on it. The former VP though has not commented on it. His campaign has denied the allegations. Pressure though is building for Biden to personally comment. Fair is fair and the former vice president needs to respond, himself, to these allegations. Trump had to four years ago (well, he lied but he responded).

A quick summary: a woman who worked for Biden many years ago claims he put his hands where they don’t belong and were not wanted. She has a couple of verifying friends, who didn’t witness the incident but say she told them about it at the time. In any such incident it’s hard to prove either side right. Still, the #metoo movement has taught politicians and many of the rest of us that we need to listen sincerely to any woman’s story in this area. Many of us don’t believe he would do what the woman alleges but we all have witnessed his proclivity for invading another’s space by rubbing women’s shoulders and necks. Bottom line, Biden needs to address the allegations, personally. As a supporter of women’s rights he needs to and as a political decision he needs to. Hypocrisy is among the worst sins a politician can commit.

Vice President Pence unmasked.

The Veep visited the Mayo Clinic this week and despite a clinic policy that every patient and visitor must wear a face mask on the premises, Pence chose not to. Why we don’t really know. He said it’s because he is tested all the time for the coronavirus and all test have been negative, but as we all know that test is good for the minute it’s given. Not the next minute. He also said he wanted to look front-line health workers in the eyes as he thanked them for their brave work. It’s too easy to say that he wasn’t asked to wear a blindfold, just a mask to cover his nose and mouth so I won’t say that (oops).

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It was odd enough that President Trump said wearing a mask wouldn’t be appropriate for him because he, too, is regularly tested and it wouldn’t be appropriate as he greets heads of state “and dictators” in the Oval Office. Role models though are important and with Trump choosing not to wear one and Pence chair of the White House Task Force on the virus, choosing not too something seems wrong. They both not only are role models they both are supposed to be key knights in the battle against the virus and thus are exposing others to their not likely but possible infection.

A potential third-party presidential candidate emerged...

... when Cong. Justin Amash of Michigan said he’ll seek the Libertarian Party nomination. Amash, you’ll recall, was a Tea Party Republican until he left the party over issues with Trump not long ago. While Amash contends he can win the November election analysts are arguing over whether he’ll be a spoiler in the election and, if he is, for whom.

My guess is he won’t have much effect because voters, on both sides, are hell bent on electing their candidate like in no other election. And, for those who oppose Trump and/but didn’t vote for him or Hillary Clinton four years ago, my guess is they learned their lesson that a vote not for the Democrat was a vote for Trump. They won’t make the same mistake twice. Still the state of Michigan went for Trump by just over 10,000 votes in 2016 and the third-party candidate got more than 100,000 votes there. Even if he runs a bad campaign, Amash could amass enough votes in his home state to spoil the election, the way Biden folks look at it anyway.

Coronavirus death count.

There is a lot of debate over what comparison to use to highlight the virus’ unfortunate death count. Many reporters are comparing it to the loss of men and women in the Vietnam War, my guess because that is the primary low-light it hit this week – that the virus passed the deaths in that war. Seems an odd comparison since the threats are entirely different – for one thing we chose to go one and not the other. To me, saying that we crossed the horrible number of 60,000 deaths in just two months due to the virus is a terrible enough thing without comparing it to other terrible things that aren’t comparable.

Jared Kushner

Trump’s go-to son-in-law and senior advisor for everything from criminal justice reform to his reelection campaign to his failed attempts at Middle East Peace, this week began creating a new “narrative” for Trump when he said the Administration has done “brilliant” work containing the virus, the country is on the downward slope of cases and the economic rebound should be in bloom in August.

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This in spite of the fact that the President denied the virus was a threat until long after it was a threat. Kushner is wrong on all three counts but it won’t matter because he’ll just move on to a new “narrative” when this one goes down the tubes because it just doesn’t match the facts.

And if you don’t believe that, I have a Middle East peace plan to sell you.🔷


Note of the Editor: Since this article was written, Joe Biden has denied the sexual assault allegations made by his former staffer on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, saying, “This is an open book. There is nothing for me to hide, nothing at all.”






[This piece was originally published in The Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 1 May 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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THE AUTHOR

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Former deputy White House press secretary to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Also headed communications offices at the RNC, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Yale University.

Marion, MA, USA. Articles in PMP Magazine Website