MARCANO: There’s a lot going on

The national average has declined for 42 consecutive days, the longest decline since the pandemic started in 2020. At this Marathon at the intersection of Dryden Rd. and Arbor Blvd. unleaded regular was $3,99 a gallon. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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The national average has declined for 42 consecutive days, the longest decline since the pandemic started in 2020. At this Marathon at the intersection of Dryden Rd. and Arbor Blvd. unleaded regular was $3,99 a gallon. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

My, there’s a lot going on. Instead of trying to tackle one subject this week, I emptied my head with thoughts on a number of issues.

I’ve written before that presidents can do little to influence the price of gas. So, to those who blamed Biden when gas prices skyrocketed, will you now give him credit since prices are dropping? My guess: No.

Senators from both parties have reached a bipartisan agreement designed to make it much harder for a loser to claim, without proof, that he or she lost the election because it was stolen. It’s an excellent bill and something the country needs to strengthen democracy and prevent a repeat of 2020. Will it pass the full Senate? Let’s hope so.

President Biden got COVID even though he had two shots and two boosters. News coverage, which focused on the problems associated with getting COVID at his age (79), missed the larger point. COVID has the potential, according to some experts, to kill 100,000 Americans annually. I know much of society is over COVID — but it’s not over us, not by a long shot.

Mike Pence’s staff fearing for their lives during the January 6 riot and calling their families in case they died still sends chills up my spine. This is America, not Sri Lanka.

Yes, the Secret Service deleting that Jan. 6-related text certainly does smell, but the government blew it when it didn’t order, months earlier, to preserve the data.

The biggest post-midterm story — Hunter Biden and whether the Department of Justice will file federal charges against him related to his business activities. Even if they don’t, Republicans, favored to take back the House, have already signaled they’ll hold their own hearings into the case.

Reference the House: I said “favored” and not “likely” because there’s one thing that could damage their chances. Donald Trump. If he announces a 2024 run it will energize Democrats like no other issue.

Here’s my feeling on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League, which has lots of people up in arms. If we can buy oil and import a total of nearly $15 billion in goods annually from them, why can’t we play golf with them? Get back to me when we’re so outraged by Saudi behavior (and they have a wretched human rights record) that we stop that, too.

I’m closely watching the Missouri Senate race because John Wood, a well-funded conservative running as an Independent, has entered the fray. An upset GOP thinks Wood will siphon off enough votes to hand the seat to a Democrat. I don’t care who wins; I care much more that we have a well-funded independent candidate upending a political system that favors special interests over the people.

The Congo has decided to auction off peatlands and rainforests for oil drilling because the impoverished country needs the money. “That is our priority; our priority is not to save the planet,” a Congo official said. But once you get past his imprudent remarks, it leads to this. How does the world compensate a government that sacrifices revenue by not drilling on lands that help protect the earth by storing carbon? We can’t expect a poor country to ignore the needs of its people.

Centerville is doing a really nice job attracting businesses, Agave and Rye being the latest. I hope its traffic and parking plan works.

The Ohio legislature is considering a bill that stiffens penalties for distracted driving. Among other things, it gives police the authority to pull over any driver holding a cell phone or electronic device while operating a vehicle. I’m all for this and measures like anti-drunk driving and anti-speeding devices in cars. Why? Nearly 43,000 people in the US died in vehicle wrecks in 2021, a 16-year high. Some 725 died in Ohio in 2021. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and we do a poor job as a society managing that privilege.

Ray Marcano’s column appears every Sunday on these pages. You can send him a question or comment at raymarcanoddn@gmail.com

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Ray Marcano

Ray Marcano

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Ray Marcano

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