Give Biden access to the damn briefings

No justification for withholding the PDB

Presidential Daily Briefing
Presidential Daily Briefing

This came up in a conversation with my sisters. One of them has Trumpian friends. They are making the argument that the current regime ought not to give Joe Biden access to the Presidential Daily Briefing. Their argument is “What if they got the election wrong?” This is hurting my head.

ITEM: Presidential candidates begin to receive intelligence briefings in the immediate aftermath of the political conventions. “So when an individual becomes their party’s nominee, the briefing is offered to them… It’s an analytic briefing, so there are no… operations discussed, no covert actions discussed, no sources and methods discussed. It’s simply what do we see as the threats…why do we see it that way…how those threats evolved and where might they be heading.”

ITEM: “Such briefings had been standard practice since the candidacies of Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson… This understandable dilemma… had occurred in a great many transitions, with the outgoing administration not sure which candidate would accede to the office and thus very protective of sensitive and classified information. But… its intelligence officers [were] on the hook to provide the best and most useful available information to candidates who might soon be in the White House.”

ITEM: You’ll remember “the close 2000 election when the outcome was in doubt for more than a month after the voting. In spite of that, President Bill Clinton’s outgoing administration began intelligence briefings for George W. Bush before he was officially declared the winner.”

The Incredible Sulk  

ITEM: This regime is not allowing Biden “to receive intelligence briefings —  even those he was getting during the campaign.” In other words, IMPOTUS is even denying Biden access to the level of info that Obama gave to him before the 2016 election. This just shows pique, not any national security concerns that Biden, who used to get such information as Veep and even as the prez candidate, ought not to get them now.

Even a week ago, even Republican senators “are calling for Biden to have access to the information.”

“‘I just don’t know of any justification for withholding the briefing,’ Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate intelligence committee, said. ‘I see no problem with that,’ said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Republican Party’s longest-serving senator. ‘I think so, yes,’ said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s closest confidants, when asked if Biden should be briefed.”

Instead, on Tuesday, he fired the director of the federal agency that vouched for the reliability of the 2020 election. In a tweet, naturally. He said that Christopher Krebs’ “recent statement defending the security of the election was ‘highly inaccurate.’ The firing of Krebs, a Trump appointee and director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, comes as Trump is… removing high-level officials seen as insufficiently loyal.”

The Biden team is locked out of key vaccine information as COVID rages. “More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” the President-elect said this week. “How do we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated? What’s the game plan? It’s a huge, huge, huge undertaking.”

Ascertainment

Per the Presidential Transition Act of 1963,  the chief duty of Emily Murphy at this moment “is to affirm the projected result of the presidential contest.” This is something “previous GSA administrators have generally done within a matter of hours of the election being called.” This action allows the incoming administration’s personnel to get busy setting up a new government.

Ascertainment is necessary for the seamless transition of power. Meanwhile, she’s looking for another job, suggesting she knows how this will play out.

The losing candidate’s false claims of “a stolen election are unoriginal, and evoke a dangerous historical precedent.” John Oliver has much useful to say about the election results. Also, check out the Weekly Sift.  Or even Randy Rainbow.

Not incidentally, the regime has “replaced the top tier of  Pentagon officials with men who have two things in common: fervent loyalty to Trump and a complete lack of qualification for their jobs.”

Oh, yeah, they’ve rushed to auction off Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling rights before the Biden inauguration. January 20, 2021, can’t come quickly enough.

Some Albany County candidates in 2017

Why on earth is there such interest in a coroner’s race?

I contacted the Albany County Board of Elections on July 20 and received a list of all the folks who filed the petitions to vie for office this year. Of course, some are running unopposed in their respective parties.

But there will be some contested races on Primary Day, September 12. The primaries are closed in New York State, which means that only the people registered in the party will vote in that race.

And the deadline for changing party affiliation has long since passed. In fact, if you are an already registered voter in NYS who wants to vote in the 2018 primaries, you need to change enrollment by October 13, 2017!

People can still submit independent nominating petitions in August.

Albany Chief City Auditor

Glen P. Casey (D, I)
Susan A. Rizzo (D, WF)

No matter who wins the Democratic primary, the other candidate will still be on the ballot November 7.

Albany County Clerk

Bruce A. Hidley (D, C, I)
Howard M. Koff (R)

Albany County Coroner (2 positions)

Rahmar J. Lockridge (D)
Paul L. Marra (D, C)
Francis M. Simmons (D)
Charles M. Smoot (D)
Scott A. Snide (R, C, I, Ref)
Benjamin M. Sturges 3D (D, WF)

Why on earth is there such interest in a coroner’s race? Why is this an elected position at all?

City of Albany City Court Judge (3 positions)

Michael S. Barone (D)
Sherri J. Brooks (D)
Lavonda S. Collins (D)
Helena M. Heath (D, I)
James E. Long (D, WF, I)
John J. Reilly (D, WF)
Holly A. Trexler (D, WF, I)

The cross-endorsements might matter to some folks.

City of Albany Mayor

Frank J. Commisso Jr. (D, I)
Bryan J. Jimenez (G)
Carolyn McLaughlin (D)
Daniel J. Plaat (G)
Katherine M. Sheehan (D, WF, WE)
Joseph P. Sullivan (C)

The Democratic primary is going to get only nastier, I fear.

Then there were all the Albany Common Council races, which would take too long to list here. But my district has a primary race for the first time in my memory.

City of Albany Pres. Common Council

Corey L. Ellis (D, WF)
Christopher Higgins (D)
Mark A. Robinson (D)

City of Albany Treasurer

Darius Shahinfur (D, WF, I)
Roberta Sims (R, C, Ref)

There are also races in a half dozen towns in the county.

The designations are actual parties in New York State, based on the success of its candidate in the last gubernatorial election, in 2014. Often, but not always, it is the Democrat or Republican who is cross-endorsed. C is for Conservative, WF for Working Families, I is for Independence, WR is Women’s Equality, R is for Reform.

The Independence Party is one reason why I groan when someone identifies themselves as a “registered independent.” What they usually mean is they are not enrolled in a political party at all, which means they CANNOT vote in the primary in New York State.

The Women’s Equality Party is some weird invention of Governor Andrew Cuomo that’s only been around since 2014.

I’m a registered Democrat in the city of Albany because that’s where the contests are, and I don’t want to disenfranchise myself. It’s likely, OK, REALLY likely, although not certain, that the Democratic nominee will win in November, based on historic precedent.