Our political poet notes the moment: from Skip Tenczar
Our nation was clearly unnerved,
Would Chauvin get what he deserved?
9 minutes on George Floyd’s neck,
Shown to all through high tech,
And because of that, justice has been served.
Part one: we focus on the covid virus storm overwhelming India (the politics, economic and health challenges)
We chat with Hari Kumar and Daniel Block
Currently, with about 300,000 new cases daily, the Indian health system is overwhelmed. Short supplies of medication, health care workers, and such things as oxygen for ventilators are all effects of these shortages. The middle class in India is strained, and disappearing, due to the situation. Modi, the prime minister, will likely be reelected, despite his failure to plan ahead and to take responsibility for dealing with the pandemic. The effects for India will be long-term. They see themselves as competing with China, and not advantageously at present. Modi is supported by Hindus, the most numerous of the blocs in India. He also has a great deal of power over the media.
Hari Kumar ,NY Times reporter on assignment in New Delhi India
bio: Hari Kumar is a reporter in the New Delhi bureau of The New York Times, which he joined in 1997. He covers news from India and at times from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives. He has traveled India extensively in India, covering a variety of news from natural to manmade disasters, from elections to the insurgency in Kashmir, from the economy to human rights issues, and from India’s villages to its expanding middle class.
Daniel Block, managing editor, Washington Monthly
bio: Before joining the Monthly, Daniel was a 2017-2018 Luce Scholar living in Delhi, India, where he studied Hindi and worked for the Caravan—a leading Indian politics and policy magazine. Daniel’s writing has also appeared in the Atlantic, Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the American Prospect.Daniel graduated from Swarthmore College in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and
How India Allowed the Virus to Overwhelm It: Complacency and lack of preparation by the Indian government pushed the country into an unprecedented crisis. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/20/opinion/india-covid-crisis.html
Covid-19 Pushes India’s Middle Class Toward PovertyThe pandemic sent 32 million people in India from the middle class last year. Now a second wave is threatening the dreams of millions more looking for a better life. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/business/economy/india-covid19-middle-class.html?searchResultPosition=2
Modi Owns India’s Unfolding Covid Disaster
But, unlike Donald Trump, he may survive his government’s deadly mishandling of the pandemic. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-04-20/narendra-modi-owns-india-s-covid-19-disaster
Complacency and Missteps Deepen a Covid-19 Crisis in IndiaThe new wave will hurt global efforts and vaccine supplies, experts say. Researchers are scrambling to assess whether new coronavirus variants are playing a role in India.
Part two: a conversation with Professor of Political Science Dan Hofrening at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN
Is Biden channeling Mondale??? Note Jane Mayer of the New Yorker asks the same thing.
We discuss the similarities between Mondale and Biden in their general characters: both perceived as honorable men who told voters the truth. Their liberal viewpoints are similar. They both served to “open the door” to others: Mondale, to Geraldine Ferraro, and Biden, to Kamala Harris.
We also discuss the likely effects of the Chauvin verdict.
Arnie's personal comment: Two seminal moments capture Walter Mondale’s long-shot 1984 Presidential bid, which I covered as a neophyte reporter for the Wall Street Journal. The first was his effect on a cavernous campus gym in the Midwest filled with cheering supporters. The place was crammed to the rafters with college students who had been raucously awaiting Mondale’s arrival and were primed for excitement. The crowd applauded wildly as the former Vice-President strode onto a stage festooned with festive bunting and balloons. But, when Mondale launched into his stump speech, he told the eager young students that not all of them would go out into the world and succeed. Many of them, he warned, would find that life could be hard, and that they might have setbacks. He predicted that some members of the audience would someday need the help of government services, and that, in the future, many would rely on Social Security. When I looked out across the room, it was as if a field of wildflowers was wilting before my eyes. One could feel the crowd’s optimism plummet, as soon-to-be college grads pictured themselves as needy old folks waiting for their government checks. Everything Mondale said was true. But it was not what American voters wanted to hear.
The second instance was more famous. It was a moment during his acceptance speech at the 1984 Democratic Convention when, to the shock of many, Mondale chose to deliver the bad news that, if elected, he would raise taxes. At the time, Ronald Reagan, who was seeking a second Presidential term, was promising “morning again in America,” with a series of gauzy television ads featuring white picket fences and golden sunrises. But Mondale refused to peddle the magical thinking of Reaganomics—the phony claim that slashing taxes would produce an economic boom so great that it would make up for the lost tax revenue. To the contrary, Mondale accurately argued, it was instead producing vast federal deficits, degraded social services, and runaway economic inequality. Rather than endorsing the ostensibly pain-free path of “supply-side economics,” Mondale declared that something had to be done to reduce the mounting federal deficit. “Let’s tell the truth. It must be done. It must be done,” Mondale declared, during the most important speech of his life. “Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.”....
It remains to be seen whether Americans are more willing today to accept hard truths about the taxes that it takes to sustain such spending. The track record since 1984 isn’t reassuring. But the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has undoubtedly gained strength since Mondale’s day, and polls suggest that there is strong public support for the Biden Administration’s vast pandemic-relief program and proposed infrastructure plan--and, perhaps more important, for paying for it by raising taxes on the rich. “Mondale was very conscious of campaigning for the future,” Jacobs told me. “And now, with Biden, the future has caught up.”
There will be no veterans of World War III.
The idea behind Reaganomics is this: a rising tide lifts all yachts.
Links: Remembering Walter Mondale
The former Vice-President and Presidential candidate told voters the hard and politically costly truths they didn’t want to hear.