The Thinker: Rich Galen

  
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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Virus/Debate

Rich Galen

Monday March 16, 2020

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  • I am taking this virus very seriously. My age and long-term health issues make me a prime candidate to get this think.

  • That doesn't mean I will get the coronavirus, but I am taking every possible precaution to prevent it.

  • On Saturday, we took a kitchen inventory and I decided to make a grocery store run on Sunday morning.

  • This was not an emergency run. We had enough food to get through, probably, Wednesday or Thursday, but I was unsure that shopping would be any easier on Wednesday or Thursday than it would have been on Sunday.

  • The issue I was considering was a government-mandated halt to all non-emergency travel.

  • We have a high-end store, Balducci's, about six blocks away. We also have a Safeway about four blocks away, so I didn't have to pack an overnight kit.

  • Still, getting out of the house was like getting ready to leave the International Space Station for a Hubble repair mission.

  • I had gloves. I had dry paper towels. I had wet wipes. I had tissues. I have, but didn't take, a surgical mask. My cell phone was charged. I had gone to the bathroom, and I had washed my hands.

  • With that level of planning, I would have made a credible run at the Berlin Wall during the Cold War.

  • I told the Mullings Director of Standards & Practices that I would drive into the underground parking garage at Balducci's and if it was full, I would simply drive back home and we could re-think.

  • On the way to Balducci's, I drove past the Safeway to get a glance at the parking lot there. This was about 10 AM so on a normal Sunday morning many people would still be in Church. I was happy to see that that parking lot was about as full as it would have been on any other day.

  • I went onto Balducci's and, when I pulled into the garage, was thrilled to see that there was plenty of parking as well.

  • Cutting to the chase, the store was very well stocked. The only two food groups that were sold at when I got there: Chilled or frozen chicken and the MD of S&P's favorite brand of bread.

  • The best part was that everyone was thinking as I was: I don't want to have to get close to anyone at any point for any reason.

  • The way this was handled at BOTH grocery stores - without anyone saying it out loud - was if someone was in an aisle I needed to be in, I waited at the end of the aisle until they were done, and then it was my turn. Others did the same for me.

  • Same thing at the Safeway (where I went to buy a brisket for corned beef). It may have been because it was obvious that (aside from the aforementioned chicken) there was no shortage of food items, and so there was no need to rush the shelves and grab anything available.

  • I tell you all this because shopping for a week's worth of food is alien to me. For years - decades - I have gone shopping just about every evening once we have decided (through the infamous six-o'clock-phone-call) what we were having for dinner.

  • I was very proud of the good citizens of the People's Republic of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia for acting like grownups.

    New Topic: The Bernie Vs Biden Debate

  • There was no audience at this debate. Someone wrote that it was the first time since John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon debated in the runup to the 1960 election where it was just a studio and the moderator(s).

  • I think not having an audience made for a better debate and a better program. Without having paid staff cheerleading supporters who holler and screech at every semi-colon it was easier for the participants to keep the conversation moving smoothly.

  • It was clear from the beginning that Bernie Sanders knew this his last chance to lay out his agenda - his Socialist agenda. He did not attack Biden (except for a glancing blow over campaign finance) for the first 45 mintes, but then Sanders accused Biden of having favored cuts in Social Security, Veterans' benefits, and Medicare.

  • Biden said that Sanders' campaign had taken snippets of the debate over reducing the deficit but that Biden had never favored it. And they went back and forth for five minutes with the tiresome did-not, did-too argument.

  • I hate when these debates get bogged down into the specifics of the legislative progress that occurred decades ago.

  • Times change.

  • As the debate moved toward the one-hour mark Bernie apparently decided he needed get back on his soap box and sound like the Left-Wing organizer he has always been. It is why he is stuck, at best, in the mid-to-high 30s in almost all of the Democratic primaries.

  • Joe Biden was on his game. I have no idea how he voted on a bill 30 years ago, or what he said during a debate 30 years ago. I thought he looked and sounded Presidential.

  • I also thought Bernie Sanders did pretty well as Bernie Sanders, if that's your cup of tea. I thought Sanders began running out of gas toward the end of the two-hour debate and there is no question he looked and sounded tired.

  • Joe Biden didn't have to bury Bernie Sanders. The Democratic voters are doing that.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: The link to the NY Times' running delegate counter and to the RealClearPolitics.com page showing the pre-primary polling.

    The Mullfoto is another picture of my cat doing cat things.

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