Hot topics now top the news

Okay, readers, step up and vote for the hottest topic of the week–confession, coronavirus, corruption, or conflagration. 

If you read the news, chances are you are up-to-date on all those topics. The chief problem is deciding which category events like a taped confession of lying about coronavirus counts in. I offer this guide based for your use.  

  Confession is totally dominated by revelations promoting Bob Woodward’s new book Rage that’s being released today. It could be dismissed as just another hit on the President if Woodward didn’t have tapes of 18 interviews with Trump. Anyone with the Internet can listen to the President himself saying how deadly coronavirus is shortly before he assured people that everything is going well and ridiculed precautions by hosting six massive, indoor campaign rallies within a month.  

Also on tape, Trump dismissed Saudi Arabia’s assassination of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi as no big deal–”Iran is killing 36 people a day”–and bragged about stopping Congress from cutting financial support and arms sales to the country.  

Coronavirus is dominated by the United States continuing to see about 33,000 new cases and 700 new deaths every day.  The U.S., with less than 5% of the world’s population, has 22% of the known cases and deaths. 

We also have a nation of parents distressed because their children are either not learning much while facing a computer screen or are being exposed to a deadly virus daily. About 35% of American households report having used all or nearly all of their savings already. And nearly 14 million are out of work while both Trump’s emergency stipends and many state unemployment accounts are running out of funds.    

Corruption’s poster girl for this week is Seema Verma, administration of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  A 17-month investigation revealed that Verma used nearly $6 million dollars of taxpayer money to polish her image, e.g. arrange for interviews, feature articles, and a ‘girls’ night out.” 

And authorities in Georgia are threatening criminal action against 1,000 voters they claim voted both in person and by mail during the state’s June primary or August runoff elections. Someone’s corrupt.  But it wasn’t until August that a judge ruled that ballots postmarked, but not received, by election day should be counted. That means 1,000 voters could have mailed absentee ballots on or right before June 9, heard that the state would not count them, and hurried out to vote in person. 

Why didn’t Georgia check names on late-arriving absentee ballots and just not open duplicates? Hey, this is a state that provided so few scanners in some urban neighborhoods that voters at one polling place were still waiting in line after midnight.

 Conflagrations, i.e. wildfires, dominated the news this weekend. Thursday National Fire News reported that “102 fires have burned 4.4 million acres in 12 states.” Idaho accounted for about a dozen of those fires with the largest surpassing 40,000 acres Saturday.    

In California 25 wildfires have set a record for acres burned–2.2 million–and the fire season could stretch for another month or more. Oregon has lost 230,00 acres; eight fires are considered unstoppable until winter rains hit. Washington has lost over 300,000 acres. Eighty percent of the buildings in one small town are now ashes.    

Tens of thousands have been evacuated from their homes; and 33 have died since mid-August. 

People are blaming underbrush, trees killed by insects, and heat. Areas of California endured 110 degree temperatures before the fires started.  

Which is the hottest topic?  I guess it depends on your definition of  ‘heat.’

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