Tsunami seems safest subject

Whines & Roses

By Cecile Wehrman

By Cecile Wehrman

My Saturday started out with a text from my good friend, Laura, who lives in Orange County, California.

“Our beaches are closed because of CA coast getting hit by a Tsunami. Ugh!” read the message.

“What next!” I replied.

“Exactly!” She answered.

After we joked about a surfer we both used to know who would be the type to grab his board and head to the beach in search of the “perfect wave” — and after further joking that she lives on pretty high ground — we went on to talk about the latest movies we’ve watched (Don’t Look Up!), then went about the rest of our day.

Of course, the tsunami turned out to be a fizzle, unless you count the fact some California creeks reversed flow and that some Tongan islands are covered in ash and communications are cut off, but looking back over the news week that was, I went to work Saturday with too many potential subjects to dissect in a column.

There were too many “What next!” moments to single out just one as “the issue of the week.”

The news week that was presented an abundance of land mines for any local columnist to dodge, especially when you know that just about every topic of serious importance in our society today has camps of diametrically opposed people who can’t even agree on a set of facts, let alone a course of action.

If you were the columnist which of these topics would you tackle?

1. Trump calls politicians unwilling to admit they had a COVID booster “gutless” and shares he got boosted, in remarks widely believed to be aimed at rising GOP competitor Ron DeSantis of Florida.

2. The Supreme Court upholds a vaccine mandate for many healthcare workers but overturns an executive order from Biden, mandating vaccination for employers of over 100 people.

3. Following attempts to shame senators about their unwillingness to get behind a voting rights bill, President Biden ends his horrible no-good news week with the federal voting rights bill poised to be torpedoed by two members of his own party who refuse to set aside the filibuster, never mind the bill was written by one of those senators. House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls President Biden’s “rant” about protecting voting rights “profoundly unpresidential” and accuses Biden of acting like an authoritarian.

4. A senator attempts to grill Dr. Anthony Fauci on his financial interests only to learn they are a federal open record and have been for 37 years. Fauci details how attacks by Sen. Rand Paul and fundraising on Paul’s website fuel the hate of people like the assassin who drove across country to try to kill Fauci last month.

5. Members of the Oath Keepers are charged with seditious conspiracy for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. According to charging documents, the group’s leader called for a bloody “Civil War 2.0” if they were unable to stop the acceptance of electoral college votes. Rep. Mike Rounds of South Dakota urges fellow Republicans to get “louder” about the truth Trump lost the election. Trump calls Rounds a “jerk”. In Phoenix, Trump blames the media for its unwillingness to tell the truth about the election. Earlier in the week, Trump hangs up on NPR’s Steve Inskeep when pressed about court rulings against Jan. 6 defendants.

6. DirectTV announces it will be dropping One America News from its channel line up and Fox News elects not to carry a feed from Trump’s rally Saturday. Sen. Rand Paul says he’s dropping DirectTV over the OAN removal.

7. In the realm of high-profile people hawking their books on television “news” shows, conservative talk show host Glen Beck goes on Fox to tout his new book about the takeover of democracy while battling COVID at home. Sen. Jamie Raskin goes on CNN to tout his new book about the takeover of democracy while serving as a member of the Jan. 6 commission.

8. COVID cases in the U.S. top 800,000 in a day, in what one public health official called a “tsunami” (this was before Hunga Tonga blew) and even as cases began to fall in the northeast United States, the U.S. Surgeon General cautioned the nation’s peak could yet be weeks away. Meanwhile a doctor in Alabama touts “urine therapy” as a cure for COVID.

Yep. I think I’ll stick with writing about the actual tsunami.

Thoughts and prayers for the people of Tonga!

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