James's blog

Day 36

I'm thinking I might be in favor of re-opening NASCAR, as soon as we can get one tiny little detail locked down.

Day 32

A friend just called to say that two of his family members have been hospitalized. It turns out that neither has been infected by the coronavirus, but one had an upper respiratory tract infection and the other had pneumonia. Neither has health insurance. Under Tim Moore's half-baked plan to expand Medicaid temporarily to deal with the Trump Pandemic, neither of these people would be covered.

Day 31

I spent the day digging through current knowledge about the coronavirus and public policy on how the world is responding. There's good news, bad news, and worse news.

Day 30

Dan Forest's tenure as North Carolina's lieutenant governor has required little more than an empty suit. He gets almost $200,000 a year and his only real duty is to gavel the Senate to order when it's in session. I've witnessed his performance on many occasions; he has never started on time.

But such irrelevance has been good for Dan because he gets to do the one thing he's good at: mugging for the cameras. We call him Photo Op Dan and he's really quite accomplished. On any given day for the past year, you could find Forest kissing white babies, pretending to care about farmers, sucking up to veterans, and more. If a pretty boy is what you want in a governor, Dandy Dan fits the bill.

Day 29

I hit a hard spot today, not sure why, just one of those spells. I was lucky I didn't slip into depression.

To stay distracted, I spent four hours weeding. Down on my hands and knees, slogging along. That's what we're going to have to do next year to clean up the Republican hellscape growing around us. Dig up the toxic weeds, roots and all.

The big question is what to plant instead. Decency is at the top of my list. Throw in a big dose of fairness, and I'll be pretty happy.
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Day 28

My dad worked as a letter carrier for the US Post Office for 15 years after he got out of the Navy. He personally walked the entire route of Fort Monroe, Virginia, pictured here. He loved it. He got to see hundreds of people every day, and always kept an eye on things. It was a good job with an organization that performed an extraordinary government service.

And now a privileged bunch of Republican jerks led by Donald F. Trump want to shut the post office down. It makes my blood boil, especially because they're also trying to stop voting by mail.

An important new book by Gene Nichol

I didn’t want to read Gene Nichol’s newest book, Indecent Assembly. I didn’t want to confront the truth about North Carolina’s hard lurch toward right-wing extremism. But I had to read it, and so should you. We’re all living in Republican hell; we should know how we got here.

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