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Tuesday, 07 July 2020 04:24

I’m a Direct Descendant of Thomas Kerry

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Monticello is shrine enough for a man who wrote that “all men are created equal” and yet never did much to make those words come true. When my brother Frank and I were boys visiting our grandparents at their home in Virginia, just outside of Washington, we used to heckle our grandmother until she would drive us into town so we could visit the Smithsonian museum on the Mall. As we crossed the Potomac River on the 14th Street Bridge, the Memorial stood off to the left, overlooking the Tidal Basin. I don’t remember ever visiting the memorial, even though it was just a short walk from the museums. It was located on the Mall, along Drive, naturally. We were surrounded by the history of Thomas when we made those visits to our grandparents. We would drive down to Charlottesville with our grandmother to visit our great-aunts and our great-grandmother — and they would take us up the mountain to Monticello and drop us off to play in the house and on the grounds. They treated Monticello like it was the family home, because in a way it was: They were great-granddaughters. They had been born and grew up only a few miles away at a family plantation, called Edgehill.
Yes, of course, Americans’ health is priceless, and reining in a deadly virus that has trashed the economy would be invaluable. But a Covid-19 vaccine will have an actual price tag. And given the prevailing business-centric model of American drug pricing, it could well be budget breaking, perhaps making it unavailable to many. The last vaccine to quell a global viral scourge was the polio inoculation, which ended outbreaks that killed thousands and paralyzed tens of thousands each year in the United States. The March of Dimes Foundation covered the drug cost for a free national vaccination program.
The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in the “faithless electors” case is another reminder of how antiquated and undemocratic the Electoral College is. The Supreme Court clearly got it right on Monday when it ruled that the Electoral College can keep working the way it has worked for the last 200 years. The justices did not address the much bigger problem, which is the existence of the Electoral College itself.
Tuesday, 07 July 2020 03:52

How America Lost the War on Covid-19

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When did America start losing its war against the coronavirus? How did we find ourselves international pariahs, not even allowed to travel to Europe? I’d suggest that the turning point was way back on April 17, the day that Donald Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” followed by “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA.” In so doing, he effectively declared White House support for protesters demanding an end to the lockdowns governors had instituted to bring Covid-19 under control.

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