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-NPR

Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 29, 2020

We all know what happened when Vice President Mike Pence said he would lead an all-of-government fight against coronavirus: He and Donald Trump simply gave up after an earnest start at providing states with extra hospital beds and to empty storage shelves of ventilators — many of which did not actually function. Keeping up the fight simply did not mesh with Trump politics.

Now comes President-elect Joe Biden similarly promising to attack the effects of climate disruptions as an all-of-government effect — as well as the pandemic. Clearly Biden and team have lofty goals in mind, if well short of the timing and breadth of Green New Deal advocates, but the key is that Biden insists that his group’s ideas are practical and achievable — many without Congressional approval. …


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Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 28, 2020

The news item didn’t get all that much notice, just another economic sideswipe effect from a global pandemic.

But there it was: The Met Opera, a jewel among arts organizations, is proposing to pay its musicians after several months of closure — but only if they agree in union contracts to a lowered pay scale going forth. There has been no pay since the Spring, and a third of the musicians have left New York as too expensive.

In return for partial pay for the time while the Opera remains shut down, employees would have to agree to a 30 percent pay reduction, only half of which would be restored over time while the box office recovers to pre-pandemic levels — something not likely in the Opera’s own calculations until 2025. …


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Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 27, 2020

I can’t help but conclude that our Supreme Court justices are more interested in Big Statements than justice in any sense that applies to our practical concerns.

The midnight decision by the Court early Thursday (why a midnight announcement of a 5–4 decision?) to block pandemic-caused restrictions on religious gatherings in coronavirus hot spots is a good example.

The justices narrowly overturned their own recent tie vote on the issue to Say Loudly that the freedom of religion clause trumps any other public health concern. …


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Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 26, 2020

Sure, no doubt like you, we’d prefer to have the whole family together for a few days of holiday sharing, but we should be grateful that our family shares a wary view of contagion probabilities and a realistic sadness about those who have gotten ill. Because we do, there will be a next year.

Indeed, from where we stand, the demands of the current pandemic season are for taking actions that are realistic, caring and, hopefully, effective. …


Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 25, 2020

Any minute now — the actual process seems likely in a few short weeks — the first companies are going to get the go-ahead to distribute a coronavirus vaccine.

As we keep hearing, there may be enough between Pfizer and Moderna to provide 20 million with doses in two shots three weeks apart — if we know who and where they are. This week, we added British-Swedish owned AstraZeneca as a third producer, though their offering, while also requiring two injections, reflects a different medical approach.

As usual, Donald Trump is leaving the details as uncritical, the military and the White House group are leaving it to the states, and the states are waiting for guidance from the feds about setting the guidelines. …


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Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 24, 2020

Now starts both the flow of names for the Joe Biden team in the White House, and with it the sniping from the sidelines, even as the grudging, official go-ahead came from Donald Trump last night to start the formalities of transition.

We can’t even seem to wait to hear not only a one-line biography and a picture confirming ethnic identity, but any clue as to what Biden is asking them to do in order to start tallying political marks or possible Senate confirmation opposition cliques and coalitions in the inevitably tight confirmation processes yet to come. …


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Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 23, 2020

Amid all the hoopla surrounding the safety this year of Thanksgiving get-togethers, what persists is the imagery of a table glutinously laden with food, so much more than the gathered family can eat that there are pictures of the leftovers too.

Every year, those pictures and over-concern with more and more food makes me uncomfortable, but in this year, in which a global pandemic is creating long lines from food need alone, they seem highly inappropriate. …


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Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 22, 2020

Any thoughts that Donald Trump is just trying to polish his perceived presidential legacy with his late-game administration moves is giving way to a darker idea: He is planting boulders in the path of Joe Biden and the incoming group, “salting the earth,” as one headline declared this week.

It’s a ridiculous process that sneers at the MAGA America that Trump professes to love. …


Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 21, 2020

Just how far does Donald Trump go on this fantasy campaign to overturn election results — and to spend his time — no, our time, the time for which he has been hired?

The toll of disease, death, international tension, lack of federal aid and plain confusion resulting from Trump’s personal tantrum seems ruinous to the country. That price does not even account for the cost of undercutting the institutions of American elections, the role of government and the presidency itself — of seeking to overturning an election won by five million votes.

Unless you’ve chosen to listen only to Trump propaganda widespread fraud over several states, and magically only adversely affecting Trump votes, you know the math says Trump can’t change the outcome. But Trump can and is affecting coordination of all sort in the transition to the Biden era in ways that are dangerous. …


Terry H. Schwadron

Nov. 20, 2020

As citizens, there are times when we feel as if we’re putting up with a lot just to hear out our elected leaders pontificate. But then, there comes a select few whom we just ought to be telling to stop talking altogether.

Exhibit A this week is Rep. …

About

Terry Schwadron

Journalist, musician, community volunteer

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