State Rep. Brian Sims, a Philadelphia Democrat, posted an epic Facebook Live rant this week after learning that a Republican member of the House had self-quarantined after testing positive for coronavirus — a fact that the ruling GOP leadership knew but did not share with the minority party, while at the same time pushing policies to reopen the state for business. His points are spot-on and delivered with a passion rarely seen from public officials.
Sims also seasoned his delivery with more than a few four-letter expletives, which brought to mind the old “NSFW” (internet shorthand for “Not Safe For Work”) warning that often is included with emails or postings containing potentially objectionable content. But ripe as Sims’ vocabulary was, it wasn’t as unsafe as the duplicity and hypocrisy of the House GOP.
#Scranton experienced a sudden surge on Twitter this week when a number of users were surprised to learn that Scranton is an actual city and not a fictional setting for “The Office.” Go figure.
Trump’s Friday order that the states to declare churches “essential businesses” that should stay open during the pandemic likely was a Hail Mary to prop up sagging support among evangelicals and white Catholics. It’s unclear whether he has the authority to do this — most seem to think he doesn’t — but that’s probably irrelevant since such concerns are largely absent in Trump’s cynical political calculus. He took a stand, which is all his supporters seem to care about.
It’s telling, though, that after planting his campaign flag in the cause of “religious freedom,” he promptly laced up his golf spikes for two days of spending taxpayer dollars at one of his properties.
Trump’s threat to withhold federal funds from Michigan and Nevada is a variation of the squeeze he put on Ukraine and its president last year: “Do this thing that will help me personally and politically, and you can have your money.” Rather than ginning up a bogus scandal against Joe Biden, though, Trump wants to punish states for making it easier to vote-by-mail during the pandemic (see, when more people vote, Republicans tend to lose).
His last adventure got him impeached. Apparently, he didn’t learn his lesson.
Former Trump campaign manager and current federal convict Paul Manafort is being sent home to spend the remainder of his 7.5-year sentence. The 75-year-old felon has a history of health issues, which sprung him from FCI-Loretto due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in the prison population (there have been no reported cases at the Pennsylvania-based facility as yet). Meanwhile, Lackawanna County’s own Bob Cordaro is being forced to serve out the remaining bit of his 11-year sentence down the road at FCI-Schuylkill. And while Cordaro is younger and presumably healthier than Manafort, I have to wonder (given the current administration’s disregard for the rule of law) whether the latter was able to exert some level of juice with the Department of Justice