Usher’s News & Analysis for Aug. 4, 2020

I’m officially going on record here. If Trump maintains his current approach to COVID-19 and the domestic economy and systemic racism within police departments, he’ll lose the election. He needs to demand grassroots economic stimulus at a level at least three times (5 to 10 times would be better) what his fellow Republicans have been proposing. He must reverse course on the virus and push hard in that new direction. So it will die out or be vastly more manageable, he needs to immediately institute a national lockdown to stop the virus from being able to roam and infect at will. Finally, he must let go of the legacy of racism and start a forceful agenda of supporting Black Lives Matter, which does not mean leaving police officers out to dry. They too are human beings who should receive full economic support during the necessary transition to social work by social workers and funding a system that facilitates crime reduction by eliminating poverty and all the other ills of society, which are all political choices.

EXCLUSIVE POLL finds OVERWHELMING support for a national mask mandate

On today’s What America’s Thinking, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds 82% of voters support a national mask mandate. Hill Reporter, Julia Manchester breaks down the latest on the mask debate and Public Opinion Analyst and Senior Fellow at AEI, Karlyn Bowman, joins Hill TV to explain public opinion on the issue. This survey was conducted online within the United States from July 26-27, 2020 among 948 registered voters by HarrisX. The sampling margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 3.18 percentage points. The results reflect a nationally representative sample of registered voters. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, income, political party, and education where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in a 1967 war and later annexed it in a move that was not recognised by the international community.

The Golan Heights is still Syrian territory. The right-wing Zionists of Israel have no more right to the Golan Heights than the Maoists of China have to the South China Sea. Therefore, anyone blowing up a fence between the Golan Heights and the rest of Syria and who is attacked by Israel as a result and without the government of Syria’s permission is being attacked illegally.

Israel army hits squad ‘placing explosives’ along Syria frontier

China has claimed several island chains such as the Paracels and Spratly islands as its own under the ‘nine dash line’ policy.

Under this policy, China views several areas as its own under previous historical claims.

With an increased focus on China’s actions, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang accused Washington of pushing for discord in the South China Sea.

He said: “China has indisputable sovereignty over South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters, which has full historical and legal basis.

For the US to do what China is trying to do by grabbing everything within its “nine-dash line,” the US would simply declare all the islands of the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean as US territory.

China-Australia tensions reach crisis point – Beijing warns South China Sea is ours

While I take issue with some aspects of the article, I totally agree with the following statement:

While many looked to Turkey as a moderate democratic model during the Arab spring a decade ago, Turkey is a different country under Mr. Erdogan, who has mobilized the more religious voters in the countryside.

A devout Muslim, Mr. Erdogan has become more nationalist and authoritarian, especially in the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt, when he purged and jailed many Turkish secularists, judges, journalists and military commanders.

He has broken definitively with Turkish secularism, symbolized by his recent decision to turn Hagia Sophia from a museum back into a mosque. He has pushed hard into the region with a neo-Ottoman ambition, downgrading older alliances to press Turkish interests.

Turkish Aggression Is NATO’s ‘Elephant in the Room’

As for NATO, when the Warsaw Pac was dissolved, NATO should have been dissolved too. The US and world would have been much better off.

So, this next article completely ignores that MacArthur was totally prepared to do to China what Truman did to Japan to end the war: nuke it. MacArthur had 10 cities already picked out. Naturally, Mao would have been warned to back off or else.

I’m certainly glad we didn’t do it, but ignoring that the US could have easily won the war is ahistorical, especially when coming from a historian who specializes in international relations.

In addition, the “new cold war” doesn’t have to be as the former cold war with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The US doesn’t have to back every dictator in sight who will simply side with the US against larger “enemies.” The US can support the legitimate territorial claims of other nations against the CCP and also support democratic efforts within China and around the world rather than dictatorships anywhere. It’s quite simple.

The only real obstacle is here at home with the plutocrats, who care about the dollar signs in their eyes rather than the general welfare of the whole of humanity and the planet and beyond.

The US already fought a cold war with China — it went very badly

As I predicted on this blog, there was a lag between “opening up” and cases and then deaths.

Even as the U.S. has seen moderate declines in new COVID-19 cases, the nation experienced a sharp rise in deaths related to the disease last week ….

COVID-19 deaths spike 27% …

Naturally, it would take my favorite president of a Federal Reserve Bank to say this.

The government should again impose strict coronavirus-related lockdowns for a month or longer across the U.S. in order to boost the economy, a top Federal Reserve official said Sunday.

Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, said the nation needs to control the spread of the virus, which is increasing across much of the country, to get back on a path to economic health.

“That’s the only way we’re really going to have a real robust economic recovery. Otherwise, we’re going to have flare-ups, lockdowns and a very halting recovery with many more job losses and many more bankruptcies for an extended period of time unfortunately,” Kashkari said ….

Neel, however, knows the government doesn’t have to borrow to issue the money. He knows we don’t really have to increase the debt. We could pay for everyone to stay home within reason even if interest rates were 50%. It’s actually irrelevant.

As for how long to lockdown, three months should be the initial target. As for the type of lockdown, we’d be talking about mandatory face masks in public, which should be high-quality and issued free by the US government and distributed to every household primarily by the USPS. We’d also have to keep people from visiting each other if they’re not going to use a mask properly and take the other sensible and reasonable precautions, such as hand washing and mask cleaning/cycling, etc. Those who are sick need to be completely quarantined and totally provided for at no expense to them. The economy must be supported from the bottom up, not top down with the bottom left in free fall, as it is right now.

Top Federal Reserve official says US needs another lockdown to save economy