So much for Joe Biden 2020? The delayed Iowa Democratic caucus results revealed that former VP Biden is decidedly not the front-runner some (including Trump?) had believed him to be. The New York Times is out with a piece strongly suggesting Biden’s Iowa game was lame. Apparently. My concern had been that if Biden became the Democratic nominee, all we would hear about in the election buildup would be about Hunter and Ukraine. Maybe that won’t happen after all. I certainly hope not.
Speaking of Ukraine, former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has left the foreign service and reminds us in an op-ed in the Washington Post that a new wave of diplomats are coming in. During these “turbulent times,” she notes that the Constitution and its protections, including the First Amendment, are still with us.
I never understand why people watch scary crime or disaster TV and films, when you can watch the news. See coronavirus. Just do a search for coronavirus and drones and you’ll see footage of Chinese authorities telling citizens via drone to put on their face masks in public as well as surveillance of the empty streets of Wuhan. The events unfolding are disturbing and, frankly, somewhat frightening. Ideally, public health officials – with a cooperating public – will be able to box in this thing before it gets worse. Meanwhile, a Japanese cruise ship full of passengers is under quarantine offshore because several passengers have the virus.
Speaking of travel, the U.S. is moving to limit the Global Entry program, which expedites re-entry to the country for pre-cleared U.S. citizens, in New York to put the squeeze on state and local officials for so-called sanctuary policies for illegal immigrants, according to the Wall Street Journal. This seems to typify the transactional approach to policymaking under the Trump administration. I’m not following the logic of, in effect, punishing law-abiding U.S. citizens because of illegal actions of others. But, it might have to do with the state of New York blocking the feds from seeing driver’s license information of immigrants, which an administration official says hampers ICE and CBP’s ability to screen people. The administration says that is precisely the problem. Last month, my boyfriend and I drove through a border checkpoint just north of Laredo, Texas, on our way back to Houston and were impressed with the equipment pointed at the vehicle, which we presumed might include license-plate readers and heat-sensing technology. The Border Patrol also had an equally impressive looking dog. We didn’t have any unannounced passengers or contraband, answered we are U.S. citizens and were waived through, per usual. To read more about our experiences near the border, read the Sage Leopard’s account of a deer hunt in Arizona. If you’re wondering why we were back in Laredo, read about our latest deer hunt here.
I hope you enjoyed this brisk roundup of my thoughts on the news of the day and welcome feedback on what might become a regular feature. Let me know what you think.
The Sage Leopard, firstname.lastname@example.org