There are many things that I don’t understand about politics, especially on the national level, that lead to questions that seemingly don’t have answers. One that keeps popping up in my head is, how usually reasonable members of Congress from both houses, journalists, columnists, and other talking heads can claim that the just-concluded impeachment trial was not proper because the former president was no longer in office at the time.
As I see it, his “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” were committed while he was in office, and the articles of impeachment were filed before his term ended. Therefore, the fact that the trial came after Jan. 20, should be of no consequence. I liken it to a business executive who is nearing his company’s mandatory retirement age and despite his attempts to change the rules so to continue in his position, the board of directors upholds those rules. So he begins to manipulate the books to embezzle funds. His scheme is found out one week before his mandated retirement, and he is indicted just days before his end date. The fact that his trial comes after he has left the company is irrelevant. The trial goes on, and when convicted, he goes to jail.
If the Senate had actually lived up to the oath they swore at the trial’s beginning, to be open and listen to the evidence without prejudice, which many Republicans openly disregarded, the former president could have been barred from elective office in the future, his presidential pension possibly could have been withheld, and federal medical insurance might have been denied, as well as possibly a reduction in his security detail. All of these could have saved the country millions, depending on how long he were to live. Thankfully, federal criminal charges are still possible.
An update on the sad state of mail delivery. I, and many others with whom I interact regularly, are still having to deal with the major delays in getting our mail and our correspondents receiving the return mail. Just last week I got a notice of a magazine subscription renewal that was dated Dec. 24, with a payment due date of Jan. 21. It was put in my mailbox on Feb. 13. How are we supposed to do business under these circumstances? I’m growing tired of having to call and struggle my way through the convoluted automated systems, that were set up to discourage callers, to get late and other fees credited back to my accounts.
On the local front, information pertaining to the availability, locations, and appointment information for getting the COVID-19 vaccine is sorely lacking — still. The governor and his vaccine director haven’t seen the obvious need for a central website and/or better yet, phone number where folks can get an appointment as their turn comes up.
The distribution of the vaccine to the various counties is also a problem. Why direct thousands of doses to mass vaccination sites when those same doses would do more good if directed more locally. We in Carroll County are being shortchanged, as far as I can tell, when doses are distributed. The state is supposed to be administering the vaccine to those over 65 and with underlying conditions or in service-oriented occupations. We in Carroll are still in stage 1B, limiting availability to those over 75 and other limited groups. What’s up with that?
An old saw goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” It’s time for our delegation to Annapolis to begin squeaking loud and long to get us our fair share. I would like to find a dose sometime before I age up to group 1B in less than eight weeks.
Bill Kennedy writes from Taneytown. His column appears every other Monday. Email him at email@example.com.