Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.
First news item:
China’s central government has ordered Wuhan to round up all suspected coronavirus patients as well as their close contacts in mass quarantine camps.
The country’s Vice Premier Sun Chunlan called on a ‘people’s war’ against the fast-spreading epidemic, which has killed at least 638 people and infected more than 31,520 globally.
She demanded Communist officials of all levels take active lead in this ‘wartime condition’, or face being ‘nailed onto the pillar of historical shame forever’.
The city has around 14 million residents, but it remains unknown how many people would be quarantined or where they would be kept.
Wuhan officials are now carrying out door-to-door health checks to identify potential carriers who would need to be isolated.
Meanwhile, the first American has died from the coronavirus in Wuhan.
Second news item:
A beautifully written essay on what it’s really like when a soldier returns home from war:
I’ve been a military spouse for 17 years. I know reunions very well; they are a tangle of sometimes conflicting emotions. Can I tell you what a military reunion is like for the person at home?
You wait. For weeks, you wait. The reunion date shifts. It’s a moving target. You get your hopes up, and then flights get canceled. You pray that he will just get out of the war zone. You bargain. You want him home as soon as possible, but you don’t mind him getting stuck for a month in Germany, or Ireland, or Dubai, just so long as he’s not somewhere with rocket attacks and IEDs. You add an extra week, maybe two, to the calendar your kids use to count down the days, so they won’t get their minds stuck on a certain date.
And then the day comes. He texts you that he’s flying out of the war zone. You’re so relieved, but you don’t let yourself hope, not yet. Your breath still catches. The base could still get rocketed. The enemy could still attack. Nothing is really okay until he’s out of the airspace, and even then, he’s on a plane, and planes crash. You can’t afford to be optimistic. Not yet.
[Ed. Was I the only one cringing when the soldier was brought out at the SOTU to be reunited with his wife? All I could think was, this is such a private and intimate moment, does she really want this to happen in front of the nation? Clearly, the husband knew what was coming and agreed, but the wife???]
Third news item:
….was given a horrendous report by his superior, the man he reported to, who publicly stated that Vindman had problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information. In other words, “OUT”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2020
Fourth news item:
At tonight’s Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren once again slammed her competitors for taking money from billionaires — including those who are supported by the unlimited spending of SuperPACs and the self-funding billionaires like former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg — but then surprisingly told CNN in an after-debate interview that she would personally be fine accepting donations from Bloomberg.
“…I believe is that we should not be selling access to our time. You know, this isn’t for special meetings and listen to my little issue. This is about how our democracy should work. I get it, rich people can own more shoes than the rest of us, more cars than the rest of us, maybe more houses than the rest of us but by golly they shouldn’t own a bigger share of our democracy. And that is why, for me, I think we should not be doing these campaigns either letting billionaires finance themselves, or using unlimited spending through SuperPACs which everybody on that stage was using except Amy [Klobuchar] and me. I fund my campaign grassroots, why every chance I get I say if you think that’s the right way to do it go to elizabethwarren.com and pitch in $5 because our democracy is at stake here. If we’re going to be a country, if we’re going to be a Democratic Party, where the only way you get the nomination is you either are a billionaire or you suck up to billionaires, then buckle up because we’re going to have a country that’s just going to work better and better for billionaires, and leave working people and everyone else behind.”
Fifth news item:
Now that Democrats have failed in their attempt to remove the president from power, it’s worth asking why they haven’t seriously considered the reverse: removing power from the president.
For anyone who would like to once again see an independent legislature, the 99% partisan impeachment process in both chambers of Congress is cause for despair. As is the Democratic presidential field’s will to executive power. If ever America is to get off the populist seesaw, we’re going to need to root less for politicians, and more for the rules and mores than can restrain them.
Have a great weekend.