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Washington chews on a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package

By John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

When governments frantically throw more money than they can afford at a crisis -- and we're throwing trillions (yes, trillions) at the desperate war against the coronavirus with that federal relief package out of Washington -- two truths are self-evident.

One was famously expressed by Rahm Emanuel, the discredited former mayor of Chicago who dropped his re-election bid rather than get wiped out over his clumsy suppression of a police video of a black teenager being killed by a white cop. Now he dispenses wisdom as a talking head on ABC.

And the other was proclaimed by Comrade Napoleon, the talking pig from George Orwell's "Animal Farm," the malevolent social justice warrior with the curly tail who clearly understood the use of government force.

"You never let a serious crisis go to waste," said Emanuel. "And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you could not do before."

He perfectly described House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's cynical leveraging of human misery and fear as she used the coronavirus in a push for more political power. If the American media didn't lean to the left, what she did wouldn't be forgotten. But as a deal is struck, they'll champion Nancy.

And Napoleon the pig offered that other self-evident truth, proclaiming that "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

 

Napoleon must have been talking about Republicans, who are just as human, and therefore just as cynical, as their Democratic counterparts. They must believe a badly mismanaged airline manufacturer like Boeing is more equal than my friend Karen the Waitress, who lives on tips and who is out of work now that government has closed her diner.

I can't say if Napoleon predicted that Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and other senators -- three Republicans and at least one Democrat, possibly others -- are more equal than other Americans. Perhaps it was just coincidence, but they miraculously dumped their personal stock holdings just before the stock market collapsed, wiping out the retirement savings of millions of Americans.

If you're blinded by partisan lights, you're free to insist that Burr and company are the beneficiaries of an innocent yet amazing coincidence. But then again, you're also free to believe in pixie dust and fairies. Burr saved his retirement bacon. How's your own 401(k) doing right about now?

What's the difference between a scandal over possible insider trading by a Republican, and a scandal involving the Illinois governor, a Democrat, who purchased a mansion next to his own, had the toilets of the new place ripped out, and had the new place declared "uninhabitable," giving him a nice property tax break of more than $300,000 before he was elected?

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