Suspicion of Trump’s coup is a Federal matter

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg  took the smart and appropriate action by backing away from prosecuting Donald Trump on the  local issue of manipulating his business records.

By Nathan Riley

Remember these are not consumer fraud cases. Lenders to Trump are not John Q Public. They have lawyers and appraisers. They possess specialized knowledge that suggests what looks like fraud is probably  standard business practice understood by the lenders and the borrowers. This would have been a very difficult case to prove, and would have focused media attention on a much less consequential matter. Taxes are minor league stuff relative to treason and insurrection. 

Trump’s business practices are small potatoes comparted to fears that Trump tried to use the attack on the Capitol to prevent Biden’s from taking office.

In the weeks after the mob forced members of Congress out  of their offices a political interpretation circulated. The Republicans wished to “sow doubt in our elections in order to justify voter suppression efforts in the future.”

But that interpretation is being replaced. The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is asking did the former President wanted to stop the certification of the electoral college vote and force the election into the House of Representatives. 

This alternative procedure does not rely on the votes of individual members of Congress-each state casts a single vote. There are 27 states where Republicans are the majority in the state delegation. 27 state where a poll of Representatives would back Trump. 27 is a majority of the 50 states and Donald Trump would emerge the winner if the House rather than the electoral college picked the winner.

An active member of the House Investigating Committee has concluded: “This was not a coup directed at the president,” Rep. Jamie Raskin said of the insurrection, according to NBC News. “It was a coup directed by the president against the vice president and against the Congress.”

Others have reached this conclusion. The Coup D’etat Project at the University of Illinois’ Cline Center for Advanced Social Research called it an attempted coup on Jan 27, 2021. They study the history of coups all over the world.

The Select Committee and the Justice Department are the appropriate bodies to investigate the federal crime of insurrection. Mr. Bragg wisely stepped aside.

Politics is a blood sport, and the right wingers slamming Bragg were going for the jugular. They denounced Bragg for being a liberal and then added he was incompetent. They claimed dropping the case against Trump was proof that the new DA was not up to the job.

But the  latest news surrounding Trump continues to raise serious questions. Was this an insurrection? Was there a plan to stop Congress from certifying the electoral college votes? Did Trump want to stop the electoral college count so the House could poll its members and make Trump a winner? The facts are not all in, but the suspicions seem well-founded. Federal investigators are the appropriate  people to sift these accusations, not the Manhattan District Attorney. Alvin Bragg acted correctly.

Do Not Fall into the 9/11 Nostalgia Trap.

By Nathan Riley 9/23/2021

Keep this in mind: Al Qaeda attacked three buildings and killed 3,000 persons. The deliberately theatrical coup amplified violence besieging the Muslim World since before World War I. Osama Bid Laden must have been surprised; only in his wildest dreams would his plan knock down the World Trade Center skyscrapers. The attack outstripped a 1993 terrorist triumph after the Desert Storm war. A truck packed with explosives blasted the World Trade Center garage with the force of a bomb. Six were killed; 50,000 fled smoke and fire. 1,000 were wounded. 9-11 was one ambitious terrorist outshining another master. Bid Laden’s hijacked airplanes surpassed the truck bombing. His attack crushed thousands, was broadcast on worldwide television, and collapsed the two tallest building in the fifty states.

This brutal provocation led the United States into a reign of error and atrocities. Were Bid Laden-Robin Hood provoking the Sherriff of Nottingham the mistake would be obvious. The Sherriff’s men would chase the merry men into Sherwood Forrest and be ambushed. Roaring with fury and giving little consideration that harsh policies might increase the popularity of the opposition, the United State declared war against terrorism all over the world. Elevating a group of guerrillas into a test of U.S. power.

This gung ho response led to a victory for Islamic insurgents caused by American’s confidence that it could crush the enemy in Afghanistan the way Desert Storm overwhelmed Saddam Hussein’s soldiers. By September 18, 2001 every member of Congress except California’s Barbara Lee voted for war against “against those nations, organizations, or persons” involved the attack. She was the only voice backing “restraint” and “caution.” Her vote gained her a place in history. The terrorist operating on a shoestring budget provoked the United States into a costly 20-year war.

The network of Radical Muslims, almost all Saudis, raised approximately $250,000, sacrificed their lives, and flew the planes into the buildings. They ignited this war, but the United States provided the fuel to keep the engine running. By the time the U.S. left it spent $2.3 trillion, and still lost to the Taliban.

This is a defeat. A defeat of such magnitude that it calls into question the competence of our leaders. Popular fury fed Washington’s conceit it could crush the furious hostility of radical Muslims battling the “Great Satan.” Unfortunately, the United States was trapped into being the bad guys-the invaders.

From this perspective the Taliban’s speedy takeover at the close of hostilities reflected popular hostility against the NATO forces but also sound judgment by Afghan Security Forces eager to avoid the grave danger of a civil war.

Undoubtedly, we will hear stories of Kabul Army leaders pocketing corrupt payments – turning government positions into private fortunes is practiced all over the world. But money should not obscure important point. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan speaking to the BBC expressed his concern that the civil war might return. The collapse of the Kabul forces brought domestic peace. The surrender of the pro-American soldiers ended the war.

Afghani supporters of the U.S. were left in a dreadful position; the only way women’s rights and intellectual freedom could be saved was by going to war with the Taliban. A bloody outcome that would have prolonged the agony flooding the region with refugees. Lindsay Graham, the South Carolina Senator, vehemently supports guerrilla war against the Taliban. A Republican victory might make his proposals carry the day.

Normal relations with the Taliban government would allow the United States to match the growing influence of the Chinese. If the U.S. traded and provided aid, Washington could gain a perch that might help women and people trained in the sciences. Punishing the Taliban with sanctions and brandishing U.S. power puts these cosmopolitan groups in the difficult position of being identified with a hostile nation.

Afghanistan has many non-terrorist features that might be accessible if normal relations are established. A huge copper mine supplies international markets. Lithium, the stuff that make the batteries in cell phone and electric vehicles work is another Afghani asset. If the American government swallowed hard, maintained its aid to the Taliban, it could make a claim to these natural resources.

This policy would place the U.S. in direct competition with the Chinese in their backyard but without the antagonism that Washington seems to prefer. In fact, the Chinese Silk Road expansion is laced with major construction projects that might attract American business.

China is waiting to pick up the pieces left by the U.S. departure. Afghanistan is in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. CPEC is a $50 billion Pakistan component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Talks are starting about including the Taliban government. Continued hostility towards the Taliban helps China.

It doesn’t have to be this way. A competition over who builds the improvement on the silk road from Europe to Beijing makes the United States try to win loyalty of Muslim nations with public works not weapons. It turns the Chinese challenge into coexistence. That would transform the Taliban victory into a happier moment.

On the day honoring OD victims, Hochul should back safe injection sites.

by Nathan Riley

Charles King of Housing Works supported by LGBTQ allies, drug reformers and the thousands of New Yorkers whose heart aches for a friend or loved one who has died from a drug overdose has offered Kathy Hochul, the new governor a great gift. A chance to make history by opening Safe Injection Sites.

Tuesday the 31st we honor those whose lives are cut short by prohibition.

Every day hospitals prescribe pain killers to make patients comfortable and they don’t overdose. Out in the streets, where government hassles drug users, people die young from using drugs similar to those administered safely by doctors all over the world. In 2020, 5,112 New York residents died from overdoses, nearly 100 every week.

Drug users have a right to nurture. And that includes the right to health care. Present law prevents doctors from giving patients the drugs they want. Consequently, they buy drugs made without scientific supervision. The drugs are flawed – their production unsupervised by government regulators. The medicine we buy at the drug store is not made this way.

Illegal drugs outlaw status heightens their risk making them more dangerous than the pharmaceuticals. Safe injection sites soften the harsh impacts of drug prohibition.

The idea is simplicity itself; part of the public health strategy called harm reduction. An overdose turns fatal when a person stops breathing. Once breathing stops time becomes measured in minutes. Often the ambulance will arrive too late.

So this is the public health solution: have the oxygen tanks, naloxone, an anti-overdose drug that restores breathing, on site only steps away. The nurse or overdose specialist is right there. These programs offer the drug users a quiet and sterile facility to get high. If this goes wrong then help has time to restore normal breathing.

It not only makes sense, but it works in Geneva, Vancouver, Frankfort and Sydney—in 120 locations outside of the United States. Safe Injection Sites are recognized worldwide.

The practicality of keeping care givers on site is evident. At the same time, the users continue to buy from their underground contacts, so the programs are not drug dealers. These programs stop overdoses from becoming fatal, and they offer drug users a location where they get health services and practical advice.

Gov Hochul should support this program; it will help her recruit an innovative Health Commissioner whose assistance is vital as we adjust to life with Covid. By hiring a Commissioner who supports the program (and support among public health officials is strong) she makes the official responsible for creating and implementing the plan. It’s an opportunity dozens of public health officials will find irresistible. They will start the first safe injection program in the United States. It’s an historic opportunity for the doctor and the new governor.

Hiring a Health Commissioner who backs safe injection sites also gives New York an energetic and far-sighted commissioner who can support innovative programs to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Get Behind Scott Stringer

by Nathan Riley

Scott Stringer didn’t fight back, he didn’t abandon his supporters although some turned on him following an allegation that 20 years ago he forced himself on another adult who he was dating.

Weeks later only one person has objected to his conduct, so give the woman full credit for expressing her reality, the notion that the City Comptroller’s sexual life is off the rails has little evidence and needs to be weighed against other serious considerations.

Most especially the role of the police. The current crime wave is as real as earlier ones. It rests on a new metric the number of people shot every day whereas the last crime wave coming out of the 70s was based the numbered murdered.

Although new, “persons shot” is a reasonable measure of community safety, and stopping it is a reasonable expectation.

The old alliance of media and the police is alive and well. The media depends on police stories and the police depend on favorable coverage to justify their large budget. In the old days mention of race would be explicit, while today it usually appears as a hint. What remains is the vicious image that police bring safety in a war against menacing persons most often with a different skin color.

On Thursday, Comptroller Stringer released plans to reform the police Department including placing 911 calls in the hands of a separate agency downgrading the role of the role of the police at the initial intake decision. He would build up separate programs for responding to quality of life issues like mental health crises and substance abuse and move police out of One Police Plaza so more detectives would work in the precincts.

On May 25th, Politico reported State Senator Jessica Ramos and Rep. Jamaal Bowman of the Bronx questioned the wisdom of yanking their endorsement. Bowman said he wished he had asked more questions before abandoning Scott Stringer. The controversy has made Conservative Democrats the leaders in the Democratic Primary.,

The top candidates for Mayor, Andrew Yang and Eric Adams, would bring back aggressive policing of black and brown men. Kathryn Garcia supports Charter Schools and worked closely with the sanitation unions when she was City Environmental Commissioner. The fear is she will befriend the police unions. A revival of police questioning of minority youths is more than a denial of equal protection under law. When stop and frisk was police policy, almost everybody they stopped was acting legally and the police notions of probable cause were feeble. Scott Stringer can create a coalition that will prevent the return of stop and frisk.

Eric Adams and Andrew Yang will yield to the Police Department when it comes to fighting gun fire in New York City. The essence of the policy is mass intimidation of young men so they will not walk around with guns. They will be searched randomly and often, so the guns stay at home. This positive result comes with an unacceptable price: the humiliation of fathers, brothers and children of people of color who are law abiding and should be free of police harassment.

It is a breech of trust. The Democrats must support their diverse coalition if humanitarian policies are to be enacted. We should remember the attempted takeover of the Capital in Washington D.C. is evidence that Democrats may be fighting to preserve to preserve popular elections. Democrats must not get locked into a policy where they turn on their allies. The police will target are law abiding citizens. They will stigmatize and intimidate the innocent to curb the ungovernable few. It is unwise in the extreme to ask for the support of these groups and then unleash law enforcement on them.

The best alternative to intimidation is establish a rapport with the folks in the community who will tell who is selling and carrying guns. In the simplest terms, the City should be nice to them.

That this seems improbable is a big problem for Democrats. It shouldn’t be hard to tell politicians: be nice to your voters. Otherwise, they stop voting or change parties. Scott Stringer is wise enough to recognize the problem and of perhaps greater importance he is adept at creating coalitions and generating support from other government officials. He isn’t flashy, he’s a hard worker.

Scott is a man of principle who was slammed by his political allies who stopped endorsing him and backed other candidates. But my political club and City Unions still believe he is the best person, his polling numbers are down, but they are not out. One official who pulled her endorsement of Scott Stringer has second thoughts. State Senator Jessica Ramos, who is developing a reputation for political savvy, states flatly “Scott Stringer’s still the most qualified person running for mayor.” But she hasn’t decided to reendorse him.

Politico tells us that the recognition that the left is split is causing new interest in Scott’s candidacy and perhaps new endorsements. “There’s a much greater chance that we’re going to hand over City Hall to two candidates that want to increase the police budget and run as tough on crime mayors,” said one anonymous observer.

People voting absentee should hold their ballots and wait two more weeks, the Mayoral Campaign is getting interesting.

After serious thought and some debate, I am doubling down on my support for Scott Stringer as the next mayor of New York City, as 78-year-old gay man I can do no less.

The accusations against Scott Stringer remind me of the student molestation charges leveled against the Mayor of Holyoke during his ill-advised campaign against Representative Richard E. Neal, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

Alex Morse was asking for trouble when he challenged Mr. Neal; the Chair of House’s tax committee does a lot of good for Massachusetts.  Having a local official occupying such an important position is an asset no State should forfeit. Imagine what would happen to someone who challenges Chuck Schumer. He holds the position for Democrats that Mitch McConnell once held for the GOP, His position brings immeasurable benefits to New York State. The Covid-19 shutdown drastically reduced State revenues, but when the Rescue America Plan passed and we got the $1400 checks, Federal aid made the State’s cash problems manageable. That is how important Chuck Schumer is to New York.

This digression has a point: the false charge that Mayor Morse dated college students is predictable; he violated a sensible political rule – don’t challenge successful leaders who are assets to your state. Morse challenged a major Washington player and Democrats played hard ball.

Morse met people including college students on dating apps, he is 31 well within the range that undergraduates find attractive. The accusation was a college professor was dating his students and it was totally false. He was a man meeting other men on gay dating apps. His sin was challenging the Chair of Ways and Means, the accusations exploited homophobia to punish Morse.

Gov Cuomo faces a grave threat, a mounting drum beat, that he is bad for the state. The attacks make him look odious but are provoked by an intense dissatisfaction with the Governor from within his party. With great relish he bullies his allies. During periods of prosperity, he refused to raise taxes and back new government initiatives like allowing drug users to consume drugs in health facilities to reduce overdose deaths. Education and health care stagnated under his false frugality. Opportunities to reduce property taxes and win the friendship for Democrats in upstate counties were lost.

If dissatisfaction with Cuomo is widespread, a multitude of misdeeds are bringing him down including mounting charges of sexual harassment. In December, Lindsey Boylan, a candidate for Manhattan Borough President, tweeted about her tense relationship with the Governor quickly other women added their voices saying it’s true. His callous treatment of seniors in nursing homes who were sent to live up close with others infected by Covid-10 revealed an astounding negligence. These allegations are matters of life and death. Quickly the Assembly opened an impeachment inquiry. Cuomo is watching while his levels of popular support erode. The objective is to make it difficult if not impossible for Andrew Cuomo to win again in 2022.

The point is that accusation of sexual harassment can be political, sometimes well-reasoned, sometimes exaggerated.

Ending sexual harassment is essential to establish women’s equality and pay equity, it also offers an opportunity to ease the pain and hurt that come from learning that it wasn’t your work but your body that was being judged. It also satisfies the anger for those deeply disgusted by the men making the passes.  A dramatic change in enforcement and office mores is in the works. Dating is moving onto to the web and negotiations often precede the date.

The behavior that Jean Kim alleges “Scott Stringer repeatedly groped me, put his hands on my thighs and between my legs,” exposes her deep disgust. A video from a zoom meeting shows her with a great smile telling the group “I had to ‘me too’ a politician because he couldn’t keep his thing in his pants.” She is clearly pleased that she hurt him as much as he hurt her.

This abuse occurred 20 years ago.

The story is personal, but the timing is political. Ms Kim a lobbyist who worked around Scott for years recognized that two months before the election was a point of maximum vulnerability. There is no escaping the sense that part of this story is revenge is a dish best served cold. This payback is critical for women because equality requires the ability to inflict pain as well as receive it.

The story creates a political crisis for Scott Stringer who is the leading candidate for Mayor among the pro-labor left Democrats who are intensely devoted to ending sexual abuse.

Ms. Kim did not answer any questions at her news conference. The scandal is awaiting corroboration from others. I’ve known Scott for nearly forty years. I’ve seen him learn issues and then turn into a persuasive advocate for those asking for help. Left groups and businesses have rallied to his support. He would push NYC in a progressive direction.

This one charge of abuse flipped the Working Families Party. It withdrew its endorsement even after Stringer said he was staying in the race and denied the accusation. Stringer’s posture infuriates activist who want men to accept responsibility and confront the hurt they cause. The Mayor’s race is entering a bitter phase.

Elected officials who have taken an active role in women’s issue, decriminalizing prostitution and helping the poor also withdrew their endorsement.

As the drama plays out, these groups and individuals confront a risk. An endorsement means that after careful evaluation a decision was made that Scott Stringer is the best person among all the candidates. A political campaign has its ups and downs; in politics loyalty is a necessary quality. Those people who dropped Stringer at the first sign of trouble will face problems down the road if the accusations don’t hold up. It is not a good thing to be a fair-weather friend.

The question of whether Scott Stringer is an Alex Morse facing exaggerated political charge or Gov. Cuomo facing a multiplicity of misdeeds isn’t decided, but major players like the UFT, the teacher’s union, are standing firm. I belong to the Three Parks political club which hasn’t changed its mind. Campaigns run into fire storms and seasoned political players appreciate the virtue of patience.  Scott Stringer has taken a punch, but he has not been knocked out of the race.

Suspended Animation

Donald Trump is leaving the country in a state of suspended animation with conservative and liberal forces evenly matched.

The next big test is the election of two Senators in Georgia. Republican control was eroded on election day and Mitch McConnell currently has 50 Senators supporting him. If even one Republican is elected in Peachtree State, he will remain in power and able to stifle big initiative by President-elect Biden.

If by some stroke of good fortune, the Democrat take both seats, they will control the Senate.

Politics has changed. The Democratic candidates in Georgia are a politician who personifies suburban distaste for Republicans and the minister from the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King used to preach. Democratic hopes in this deep South state rest on the election of a Black and a Jew. Political change is staring us in the face.

The bad news is that on Nov 3 the Democrats had fewer votes for the Senate than the combined votes that went to Republicans but no Republican reached 50% hence the January 5th run off.

The Democratic candidates are Jon Ossoff who has run for Congress in suburban Atlanta almost flipping a Republican District, and the Rev Dr. Raphael Warnock. He had the most votes on Nov 3rd, but he was running against two Republicans. Their combined total was 636,633 more votes than the minister received.

The Republicans have the advantage, nothing is certain because this has been a year of massive turnouts. Politics is changing.

In 2016, Donald Trump’s 2.09 M votes easily topped Hillary in Georgia. This year the President’s total jumped 18% to 2.47M nonetheless Biden did way better than Clinton. His support surged 32% to 2,474,507. In four years, he added 596,544 votes, making him the victor by 12,670.

This is the puzzle rattling President Trump; how could he dramatically increase his vote and still lose. To no one’s surprise he shouts robbery. Compounding the agony, the Republicans stopped Democrats from controlling new areas when election boundaries are drawn up after the census is completed. The number of Democratic and Republican state legislature is unchanged. Another sign of the stalemate between liberal and conservative forces.

This surge in Republican support has made Donald Trump flounder when asked to concede. His explanation for the Biden victory is the Democrats cheated. But in fact 2020 is a historic election where more people voted than ever in history.

To explain Biden’s victory by a shift in suburban votes is false news. This election had the biggest turnout ever. A majority of whites voted for Trump. Democracy Now TV anchor, and Rutgers University Professor Juan Gonzalez reports that exit polls showed that even 58% of white woman voted for Trump.

A Republican shift to Democrats or gaining a new white suburban constituency does not explain Biden’s win. The added Latinx, Black, native American tribes and Asian votes pushed Biden over the top. Gonzalez argues “in an election which saw historic turnout, people of color — and especially Latinos — had an unprecedented increase in voting.” More people voted than ever before. More Republicans voted, more Democrats voted and the Democrat often did not get a majority of the white vote. Other voting groups put the Democrats over the top.

Gonzalez states flatly,for the first time in U.S. history Latinos’ turnout appears to have reached comparable levels to the rates for white and Black Americans. 20.6 million Latinos went to the polls in this election.

It marks a turning point for Latinx voters. 64% of the 32 million eligible Hispanic voters’ showed up the polls. In previous election cycles Gonzales said, “the turnout had been routinely below 50%. In raw numbers, 8 million more Latinos voted this year than in 2016. That’s a 63% increase over the last presidential elections.”

Yet this good news is obscured by stories in the Times in LA and New York. These two newspapers described Latino support as disappointing because Latinx support in South Florida helped Trump win the Sunshine States.

An acerbic Chuck Rojas, Bernie Sanders Latino specialist, asked the LA Times why discuss Latinos “underperforming.” when in fact “Joe Biden won Latinos in Florida statewide, while losing white people,” It is white people who should be the focus said Rocha, “That’s who we should be talking about.” Democrats are deluded if they forget whites supported Trump, while the other groups backed Biden.

 When all the votes are counted Latinx votes are Democratic and a key to victories in close states like Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia.

In Arizona, Trump’s popular support soared 34% from 2016. His vote rose from 1.25M to 1.66 M in 2020, but he still lost; Biden’s total climbed 44% to 1.67M for a narrow victory.

Florida’s Cuban and Venezuelan refugees from Latin American socialism may back Republicans, but when all the votes were counted Rocha said Florida Latin voters back the Democrats. In other States the Spanish-speaking also backed Democrats.  But not exclusively, Republicans won a decent share of Black and Spanish-speaking voters.

“Black men on the other hand have been inching away from the Democrats in recent elections,” reports NY Times Columnist Charles M Blow.  They “continued that drift in this election. In 2008, 5 percent of Black men voted for John McCain; in 2012, 11 percent voted for Mitt Romney; in 2016, 13 percent voted for Trump; and, this year 18 percent voted for Trump.” Vivid proof of this trend occurred in Utah where a Black Republican beat a Democrat member of Congress.

Democrats lost the house seat to a former NFL football star. Burgess Owens a strong defender of Trump who flipped Utah’s 4th Congressional District back to Republican, one of at least nine seat the GOP gained in this election.

This growing Republican strength may increase Black bargaining power with Republicans

The Republicans hold 50 seats in the Senate, the Democrats need two more seat to create a tie which would give Vice-President Kamala Harris’s a vote giving Democrats a majority by the thinnest of margins.

This electoral stalemate appears to handcuff Joe Biden. He should go to Georgia and explain to the voters he needs two Democratic Senators if he is to do his job. But the totals in November are discouraging. Biden could put his prestige on the line and then lose. He may light no path that bring voters back to the polls in large numbers and then his prestige takes a substantial hit.

Unhappily, a divided congress will also harm Biden’s prestige. It will make him look weak and frustrated as his plans are thwarted or watered down.

Going to Georgia would require that Biden blame Republicans for failures in the first term. It would require an excited and pugnacious leader, unfortunately Biden is pledged to work with Republicans. It didn’t work for Obama, the Republicans stifled change and then won the election with Trump, perhaps they have learned a lesson.

A Democratic Senate Will Neutralize A Conservative Supreme Court

The Vice-President debate like the others was stifled by foolish time limits. Sound bites are rarely educational but can be illuminating. Vice-President Mike Pence offers a calming and soothing defense of Donald Trump that reaches out to independents. Many Republican pols in my opinion wish the former Indiana Governor were the Party leader, yet another reason to mock The Donald.

The time limits impede any understanding of who is the most thoughtful person. Sound bites limits us to impressions, not the in-depth exploration of issues for example, whether slavery should expand the issue that fueled the Lincoln Douglas debate.
Senator Kamala Harris exchanged barbs about Covid-19 policies backing Biden’s plan, but Pence refused to answer this $64 question: what should Indiana do if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade?
He had no answer to questions that have animated the GOP for decades. Democrats, they sneer, are baby killers who would permit abortion up to the moment of birth as Pence falsely insinuated. But he turned mealy mouthed when asked what policies would the Republicans pursue.
Should Judge Amy Coney Barrett be confirmed and overturn this decision, Pence’s hesitation reveals that Republicans fret about this new reality. Woman living on low incomes, often oppose abortion, particularly people of color. They mutter abortion kills our children. What they want is money to make parenthood possible. If Pence’s party insists women carry their pregnancy to term will they also provide for the welfare of the child? Surely a tough question for Republicans. A Conservative takeover of the Court does not muzzle the Democratic Party where women’s right to choose is orthodoxy enforced by primary voters.
Perhaps Indiana will adopt laws enhancing women’s rights. Republican women get abortions and understand they are better off with that as an option. Overthrowing Roe creates political battles state by state; don’t assume the bad guys win (and remember the Roe protections are thin, Republicans already marginalize reproductive medicine in many states especially if offered by Planned Parenthood -improvement is possible.)
Should the Conservatives dump the Affordable Care Act, Biden’s promise to improve the law is muted. Once more, Medicare for all is on the agenda. Perhaps a Democratic Congress will create national health insurance insisting that procedures like giving drugs to users, reproductive justice for women, and medical supervision of prisons are national responsibilities.
Judges influence Congress they don’t control it. Writing the laws is superior to interpreting them. Packing the Court may be politically impossible, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt proved that the Supreme Court bends if the public votes against their decision. He lost the Court packing fight but won the war. After that, the Supreme Court turned liberal.
Barrett’s confirmation will not be a crushing blow, it is more properly a defeat. Current polls suggest Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress next year making a Conservative Court more a hinderance than a strait jacket.
A 6-3 majority of the Court has conceded that discriminating against the LGBT community is discrimination based on sex and the laws protecting women protect this community. Conservative draw a sharp distinction between laws and the constitution. They dislike using Constitutional rights, but like to interpret laws strictly. In all probability a Democratic Congress will extend these gains. Perhaps it will lead to a 5-4 majority on the Court sustaining these rights. The Democrats will back the queer community just as they fight for women’s rights.
A Biden landslide will sidetrack the Republicans and leave Democrats to sort out what policies should govern the nation. The next Congress will not roll over and let the Supreme Court cripple our liberties. It will look to enhance the progress made in recent decades. The most important task is voting Democrats into office. Popular enthusiasm is high. Come November 3, the sun may shine on the U.S.A.

Don’t Pick a Fight With The Chinese

Condemning China for Tik Tok makes the United States look like a fool. The rest of the world chuckles at this phobic behavior.
China came out of WWII like gang busters. Hardly perfect, it tried and failed at many things, think the cultural revolution, or having villages forge iron. The policies were abandoned. The Chinese Government replaced disruptive mistakes with new policies. This is a resilient government, and just like the United States it has made huge mistakes. Nonetheless the giant lumbers on led by the People’s Communist Party.
Even after dramatic challenges like the Tiananmen Square massacre.
And yes, it’s population zoomed from 583 million in 1953 to 1,394 Billion in 2019, the largest in the world. Feeding, housing, educating, and providing medical care to this many people is an awesome task and the Chinese are doing it.
They play with the big guys. They were our allies in the war against fascism and then turned around and fought a land war successfully defending their North Korean buffer zone from United Nations (read American Soldiers) forces. China was a smaller country, newly united and barely five years after the grueling war with Japan, the Chinese reds fought the United States to a draw. The resulting ceasefire still persists.
This is the case for caution when it comes to picking a fight with China. It is a mistake to think that this competitor will be swatted down; or to assume the worst that a China as powerful as the United States will only be a threat. Surely, the preferable response is amicable relations. A President aspiring to be a statesman who creates a durable friendship would have proud boasting rights. It would be a lifetime achievement.
China is building a public works project of world historic significance. The Silk Road is an overland route between China and Europe. It avoids conflict with U.S. sea power while extending China’s world reach; China’s spending enormous sums on the Belt and Road initiative; it would be smart to find opportunities for U.S. contractors. China might not welcome this competition. A conflict where the U.S. wants to help, and China become the bad guy by trying to keep us out is a conflict that Washington might win.
From the alarm over Tik Tock to arresting a senior Chinese executive of Huawei Technologies, the United States has shown it can harm Chinese companies, but the harm to the Chinese government is dubious. Our dependence on China continues; American hospitals sent airplanes to bring back personal protective gear for American caregivers to protect them from Covid-19.
By elevating tensions, the U.S. loses its ability to help the people of Hong Kong as China assumes direct control over the City, nor can we intervene to help religious minorities in Xinjiang. In fact, hostile acts have reduced U.S. influence in China.
Friendship doesn’t preclude sharp disagreement, but it does mean you can’t seize corporate executives or create fairy tales about Americans who use Chinese digital toys endangering American security.
The Chinese are building an alternative to U.S. power. A challenge that is no reason to rattle sabers. What would have happened if the British had tried to sit on Washington after its victory in the Civil War? Britain would inherit a sea of trouble and the U.S. would have continued to grow. Instead British business made money in the U.S. and then during World War One, the Government received economic aid which enabled a victory.

Biden Challenges GOP Prejudices

Kamala Harris’s mother is from India, her father Jamaica. She challenges Republican prejudices against immigrants just as much as her biracial ancestry clashes with their desire for white supremacy. Joe Biden has thrown red meat at Republican core supporters who whooped and hollered when Trump called Mexicans’ rapists.

This display of courage by Joe Biden calls into question the belief that Obama’s Vice-President is too old for the job. At a gut levels he knows how to fight. There is nothing feeble about choosing the California Senator who will be a target for Trump’s antipathy.
Although he is old at 74 the President has no fear of contradiction. He says Biden is too “sleepy” for the job and that Harris is too “nasty.” The Senator has a sharp tongue raising the President always high level of anxiety, but he will vent his hostility on her. Republicans are likely to say she will be running the country with her left ideas. But it is improbable that the charges of socialism will work, Bernie Sanders isn’t running.

By all accounts Harris is eager to engage in this battle.

Biden has no plans for a passive presidency. Time and again he says what he will do will depend on who is in Congress. Translation, the more Democrats the more far reaching the reforms. This is a promise Biden can keep. He has spent a career in the Senate and working through them will come easily.

Biden campaigned against Medicare for All, but Covid 19 proved that American medical care can’t mobilize when facing a sudden increase in disease. Biden’s reforms will be in the name of the public option, but here is hoping he will challenge Republican prejudice against government assistance.

Biden Goes After GOP Prejudices.

Kamala Harris’s mother is from India, her father Jamaica. She challenges Republican prejudices against immigrants just as much as her biracial ancestry clashes with their desire for white supremacy. Joe Biden has thrown red meat at Republican core supporters who whooped and hollered when Trump called Mexicans’ rapists.

This display of courage by Joe Biden calls into question the belief that Obama’s Vice-President is too old for the job. At a gut levels he knows how to fight. There is nothing feeble about choosing the California Senator who will be a target for Trump’s antipathy.

Although he is old at 74 the President has no fear of contradiction. He says Biden is too “sleepy” for the job and that Harris is too “nasty.” The Senator has a sharp tongue raising the President always high level of anxiety, but he will vent his hostility on her. Republicans are likely to say she will be running the country with her left ideas. But it is improbable that the charges of socialism will work, Bernie Sanders isn’t running.

By all accounts Harris is eager to engage in this battle.

Biden has no plans for a passive presidency. Time and again he says what he will do will depend on who is in Congress. Translation, the more Democrats the more far reaching the reforms. This is a promise Biden can keep. He has spent a career in the Senate and working through them will come easily.

Biden campaigned against Medicare for All, but Covid 19 proved that American medical care can’t organize or mobile a sudden increase in disease. Biden’s reforms will be in the name of the public option, but here is hoping he will challenge Republican prejudice against government assistance.