– Advertisement – Compared to patching up that pandemic dam after it has already burst, other Day One agenda items for the incoming Biden administration are considerably easier:• Rejoin the Paris climate accords, which were abandoned by Trump due to his belief that the warming climate was a hoax.• Rejoin the World Heath Organization, which was abandoned by Trump in a fit of anti-China nationalism.- Advertisement – Those are the public ones. A less spoken-of priority will be to turn out every one of Trump’s government appointees as soon as humanly possible; the current Republican administration has been known for corruption, extremism, incompetence, and simple thuggery. Trump purged the government of nonpartisan watchdogs and instituted multiple programs to root out what his toadies considered “disloyalty”; the damage done there will take a decade to undo.Similarly, Biden is all but certain to reinstate the firewall between the Department of Justice and the White House—a firewall that prohibits the White House from meddling in federal prosecutions. Prosecutors previously stymied by Trump Attorney General William Barr will again be free to probe and, if necessary, indict Trump’s long list of personal allies caught doing crooked things on his behalf.Those last two point to a more immediate problem, however. It is likely that the outgoing and thoroughly craptastic administration will attempt to do as much damage to government as possible, in the next months, out of 1.) self-protection and 2.) raw spite. Trump may or may not attempt blanket pardons of all allies, for all crimes. A flurry of new “deregulations” is likely to further erode civil rights, environmental laws, and other Republican-hated bits of government.The Republican Senate will take no actions to stop it, and will help it along if they can.Short version, then: buckle in. Turning Trump out of office will be a hundred times more effort than Trump himself spent to enter it. Trump installed a cadre of hard-right Republican allies whose only qualification was their willingness to slather him with praise. They’ve gutted institutions from the State Department to the Department of Health and Human Services, made a wreck of literally everything they touched, and will now be attempting to make off with the copper plumbing before authorities arrive. Highest on the agenda, and by necessity: confronting the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump and his team are not expected to make any serious moves to contain the pandemic—and are certainly not likely to take it any more seriously now than they did pre-election, when their careers depended on at least pretending to give a damn. It is possible that the United States death toll could double before Biden and his own team are able to have the first of their own White House press conferences. Biden is likely to begin public advocacy for his new plan (which can be tersely described as “listen to the experts, and do what they say”) near-immediately, using his president-elect status to urge the mask-wearing and social distancing measures that should have been in place all along.We are in a familiar place, then. The last Republican presidency left the economy in tatters, and repairing it became the all-encompassing imperative of the incoming Democratic one. Here we are again.- Advertisement – • Reinstate executive orders protecting DREAMers, after they were explicitly targeted by white supremacist Trump adviser Stephen Miller.• Eliminate the “Muslim ban,” Trump’s blanket ban on immigrants from majority-Muslim nations other than ones he personally had business interests in.• Reinstating, en masse, environmental regulations that Trump’s far-right Republican allies gutted at the request of environment-damaging industries.- Advertisement –
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ind. – Around 11:40 a.m. Sunday, officials said Peppertown Road and Bower Road near the Franklin and Dearborn County is closed due to a tree with wires down in the area. WRBI will update this story when new details are available.