Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Last Call For The Return Of A Fat Stack Of Tubmans

After Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin made sure that putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 would take no less than twelve years, delaying the 2016 Obama-era decision until at least 2028 for "counterfeit safety reasons" and scrapping a 2019 redesign that was nearly finished, for the sole reason that racist Trump loved racist Andrew Jackson as his favorite president and wanted to keep Jackson on the bill, it seems President Joe Biden has come to fix yet another Trump mess.

President Joe Biden is looking to resume work to redesign the $20 bill to feature abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

“The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday.

She added that America's currency should "reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman's image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that.”

The effort, initiated late in former President Barack Obama’s second term, was backburnered by the Trump administration under former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin has said that the delay was due to additional work needed on anti-counterfeiting security features, and that bills with her image on it were not likely to enter circulation before 2028.

A Treasury Department spokesperson confirmed that they are looking at ways to speed up the process but did not specify what those might be. When Mnuchin first announced the delay, he also said that the $10 and $50 bills would be refreshed ahead of the $20 denomination, and that work remains underway.

The redesigned note, on which Tubman would usurp President Andrew Jackson — a slaveowner who would be relegated to the backside of the note — was supposed to roll out in 2020. The timing of the design’s unveiling was initially supposed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which extended voting rights to women.

Jackson, the seventh president, proved to be one of former president Donald Trump’s favorite historical figures. Trump spoke of Jackson often on the 2016 campaign trail, deriding plans replacing him with Tubman as “pure political correctness” and suggested placing Tubman on the $2 bill instead.

The Treasury Department has previously denied that the delay was influenced by political considerations. In 2019 the department’s inspector general agreed to open an investigation into the decision to push back the redesign for several years.
I'm not sure how long the project will take, but it was supposed to be done last year. I'm hoping it can done sooner rather than later, especially before Republicans can add a poison pill to must-pass legislation that would kill the project completely.

Still, this is not a top priority, I'd rather have the $1,400 in my pocket today already, but it's something.

California Goes Viral, Con't

Under heavy pressure from industry and tourism groups, and facing a growing recall movement, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has not renewed the state's stay-at-home COVID orders even as new strains of the virus are now ravaging the state.

California officials lifted regional coronavirus stay-at-home orders across the state on Monday, a change that could allow restaurants and businesses in many counties to reopen outdoor dining and other services.

All counties will return to the colored tier system that assigns local risk levels based on case numbers and rates of positive test results for coronavirus infections.

Most counties will be classified under the “widespread” risk tier, which permits hair salons to offer limited services indoors but restricts many other nonessential indoor business operations.

The change, which takes effect immediately, could lessen restrictions in in the Southern California, Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley regions, which were still under stay-at-home orders, unless local officials adopt stronger restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, local leaders have been allowed to go beyond the state’s rules, approve their own stay-at-home orders or shut down additional activities they deem too risky for their areas.

“California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Seven weeks ago, our hospitals and frontline medical workers were stretched to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home when possible and our surge after the December holidays did not overwhelm the healthcare system to the degree we had feared.”

It’s far from clear whether the decision will lead to easing stay-at-home rules in Los Angeles County, which has become a national hotbed of the coronavirus, with hospitals overwhelmed by patients. In less than one month, more than 5,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the county alone.

Still, the outdoor dining ban has been highly controversial, with some elected officials and the restaurant industry fighting in and out of court to overturn it. Officials in some other Southern California counties have been even more critical of the state-imposed rules, and had urged Newsom to give them more local control.

The governor announced the regional stay-at-home orders on Dec. 3 in an effort to reduce the strain on hospitals as case numbers surged. Although state data show hospital systems in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley remain strained, the Newsom administration said models project ICU capacity in those regions and the Bay Area will exceed 15% — a threshold for lifting the regional shutdowns — over the next four weeks.

By delaying his final decision until late last night, Newsom gets to punt everything over to California local and county governments as far as remaining operational, and he can claim victory for keeping hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Except he can't really do that as hospitals are continuing to be overwhelmed, especially in Los Angeles County, home to some nine million Americans.

Newsom is betting county officials will be able to handle things, which they weren't in December.

It's going to be bad in California for a long time, folks. And this time, we can't put the blame entirely on Trump.

Portman, In A Storm

Ohio GOP Senator Rob Portman is the latest Republican in the upper chamber to announce his intent to retire in 2022, opening up a battle royale across the Ohio GOP for his seat.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman emphasized bipartisanship as he announced he will not be running for re-election.

He said he hopes he will be remembered for the legislation he passed, and he urged politicians to do a better job of working together.

“If we just keep pushing out to the right and to the left, there’s not going to be much left in the middle to solve the real problems we face,” he said.

Portman whining about his Senate colleagues and "lack of bipartisanship" is just about the ultimate expression of eau d'Portman, the man has all the intestinal fortitude of a jar of Miracle Whip left out in the sun for a year.  To whit:

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said he hasn’t decided how he will vote on impeachment during former President Donald Trump’s trial.

“I’m a juror, it’s going to happen,” Portman said. “As a juror, I’m going to listen to both sides. That’s my job.”

Portman said Trump contributed to partisan gridlock in Washington, and he also laid blame on Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

And Portman will refuse to convict just like the first time, because Rob Portman is a coward through and through.

The worst part about all this is that the smart money on Portman's replacement in the Senate is almost certainly on the repugnant Rep. Jim Jordan, and that's only because Gov. Mike DeWine was already a Senator once and seems to be happy as governor for now.

And no, considering the Ohio Democrats couldn't beat one single Ohio legislature Republican who voted for the scandalous multi-billion dollar FirstEnergy kickback bill last year, plus all the city council scandals that have sunk folks like P.G. Sittenfeld (and everyone hating Mayor Cranley) I barely expect Ohio Dems to be able to run a candidate, let alone win.

Short of Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown having a twin brother we don't know about, this seat is going to go to an even worse Republican in 2022.

Sadly, I have to give Jim Jordan his own tag now, because we're not going to be able to escape him now here in the Cincy media for the next two years.


Related Posts with Thumbnails