Two years of Joe Biden

“Who dares to mock Dark Brandon now?”

joebidenAfter two years of Joe Biden as President, a few things are rather clear.

His accomplishments will be underestimated and probably underreported. As Salon noted, “Who dares to mock Dark Brandon now? Joe Biden keeps rolling up the wins.” Moreover, “Republicans badly underestimated [him] — and in his first two years in the White House, he’s driven them nuts.”

From gun control to the CHIPS Act to respecting marriage, he’s getting things done. Under Biden, more jobs were created than the last three GOP Presidents Combined. He signed a bill to end profiteering from prisoners’ calls to loved ones. If his infrastructure bill is insufficient, it’s because Presidents and Congresses have kicked the issue down the road for decades.

January 6

I’m pleased that he marked “the second anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by awarding the Presidential Citizens Medal to 12 individuals associated with that day and the 2020 presidential election.” This signals he takes the assault on our democracy seriously, unlike others.

The medals were given to seven affiliated with the Capitol Police or D.C. Police departments: Harry Dunn, Caroline Edwards, Aquilino Gonell, Eugene Goodman, Michael Fanone, Daniel Hodges, and the late Brian Sicknick.

Politicians who “refused to buckle to pressure to overturn the presidential election results in their states” were Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, departing Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and Al Schmidt, former city commissioner on the Philadelphia County Board of Elections.

“The final two recipients, Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, were election workers in Fulton County, Georgia, who reportedly endured threats and harassment after the election. Freeman and Moss have been accused by former President Donald Trump and some of his allies of election fraud by including fake ballots in Georgia’s election total. All of the recipients were mentioned in the final report by the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot.

The House GOP

The Republicans in the House of Representatives will try to make his life miserable. For instance, “the powerful Oversight Committee Chairman is pushing a baseless narrative that Biden is ‘compromised.’”

U.S. Rep. James Comer of Kentucky “has promoted the false theory of fraud in the 2020 election, blaming alleged “troubling reports of irregularities and improprieties” on Democrats,” for which he has been regularly criticized. If it’s not Joe’s fault, it’s his son Hunter’s doing.

When Jim Jordan tried to jump the gun on oversight requests, the Biden White House rightly told him to wait his turn. Expect retaliation for that.

Even when Joe Biden errs, he’s measured by a different standard.  The AP conducted a side-by-side look at the Trump and Biden classified documents issue. Yet many Republicans, starting with former Veep Mike Pence, make a false equivalence.

Add to that the narrative of him as a “bumbler” – the rightwing media is rife with it. They also mislead. 

Will anything happen this year?

Joe Biden’s disapproval rate will be high, in part because progressives want him to do MORE in the areas of housing, healthcare, tax reform, criminal-justice reform, prison reform, and most notably, climate change mitigation.  Of course, politics is the art of the possible, and I don’t know what will be possible with the clown car in the House.

There’s a lot of conversation about whether Joe Biden will run again for President. Here’s my thought: I don’t care yet. Moreover, if he’s NOT running, as soon as he announces that, he becomes a lame duck. I realize the 2024 election cycle has begun already, but he could wait until May Day to decide, and the earth will not fall off its axis.

Minor parties in the 2020 Prez race

Princess Khadijah M. Pres Jacob-Fambro

jo jorgensen
Jo Jorgensen

Saturday afternoon, after the Associated Press declared Joe Biden the winner of the race, I came to a realization. When I voted eight days before Election Day, I never even looked at who the other choices were.

In New York, it was the two major party guys, but each was also on a second line. The Democrat received 51%, but on the Working Families line got an additional 4.41%. The Republican netted 38.71% on that line but an additional 3.35% under the Conservative banner.

51

Jo Jorgensen was the Libertarian candidate, the only other person to appear on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In New York, she got only 0.72% of the vote but reached 1.2% nationally. Part of her plan “is to turn America into one giant Switzerland, armed and neutral.” She ran with Spike Cohen.

“On Day One of a Jorgensen administration, I will pardon all 80,000 non-violent people imprisoned on federal drug charges. The War on Drugs has been a disaster and has been used to target the poor and people of color, and to ruin lives that could have been salvaged… I will also use my pardon power to free whistleblowers who risked their liberty to expose corruption and abuse by government agencies.” Actually, I’m good with that part.

At this writing, Jo Jorgenson’s vote count percentage is greater than the Dem/GOP difference in AZ (11 Electoral Votes, 1.5 v 0.7), GA (16 EV, 1.2 v 0.2), PA (20 EV 1.1 v 0.6), and WI (10 EV, 1.2 v 0.7), all in Biden’s favor.

Georgia hasn’t been called, but assuming 290 Biden votes, the loss of those three other states would have brought him down to 249. His chief opponent would go up to 255, with NC’s 15 EV likely to go to the GOP. That’s 270 and re-election.

So is Jo Jorgensen a “spoiler”?

Being Green

Howie Hawkins was on the ballot as the Green Party candidate. He received 0.35% of the vote in New York and about 2% of the vote nationally, running in 30 states. I have actually voted for Howie in the past. In 2010, 2014, and 2018, he ran for governor of my state. The latter two times I supported him against Andrew Cuomo and a Republican who frankly was sure to lose. His running mate in 2020 was Angela Nicole Walker.

Incidentally, the Green Party candidate in Alaska was former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, running with Cynthia McKinney. They got 0.8% of the votes in that state.

Roque De La Fuente got on the ballot for The Alliance Party in 16 states – not NY – but did not get more than 0.3% of the vote in any state, and that in California. In 2018, he was a 2018 Republican candidate who sought election to the U.S. Senate from nine different states! He had multiple running mates.

Gloria La Riva also had different running mates in her quest running on the Party for Socialism and Liberation. You thought Joe Biden was a socialist? Like De La Fuente, her highest percentage on the 15 ballots she appeared on was in California, with 0.3% of the vote. Not on the NY ballot.

Oh, yeah, THOSE guys
Brock Pierce
Brock Pierce

Independent Kanye West was running in a dozen states, but not mine. He got as much as 0.4% of the vote in Idaho, Oklahoma, and Utah. The theory was that he might take votes away from Biden, but that did not materialize. He ran with Wyoming preacher Michelle Tidball

Don Blankenship of the Constitution Party is one of my least favorite people. He “was the chief executive of Massey Energy Co., the leading producer of coal in Appalachia, from 2000 to 2010. He resigned following the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in April 2010 that killed 29 miners.” Blankenship “was convicted of conspiring to willfully violate safety standards and served one year in prison for the misdemeanor,” and should have served longer.

He made it onto 20 state ballots, not NY, and got 0.4% of the vote in Alaska and Utah. His running mate was William Mohr. All the people listed so far got at least 50,000 votes nationally.

The last name on the New York State ballot was Brock Pierce. The  Blockchain technology and digital currency guy got over 40,000 votes. He appeared on 15 state ballots and got 0.3% of the vote in Idaho and New York, 0.4% in Alaska, and a staggering 0.8% of the vote in Wyoming.

From his campaign website: “Sustainability is essential at every level, starting with each of us as individuals and growing to encompass the whole that is our collective social organism, whether in the form of our country, our species, or our planet.” His running mate was Karla Ballard

Literally, the also-rans

Brian T. Carroll/Amar Patel (American Solidarity Party) received over 20,000 in eight states, 0.2% in Illinois and Wisconsin. Then there’s a huge dropoff. Alyson Kennedy/Malcolm Jarrett (Socialist Workers Party) at over 6,000 in six states, never exceeding 0.1%. Now we’re talking about the minor parties.

Fun names. Dawn Neptune Adams for VP on the Progressive Party line. Phil Collins for prez on the Prohibition Party; no, not THAT guy. The Grumpy Old Patriots party got over 1000 votes.

Genealogy Know Your Family History Party received over 550. The independent ticket of Princess Khadijah M. Pres Jacob-Fambro and Khadijah Maryam Jacob Sr.snagged 450 ballots. The Boiling Frog party won 135 supporters.

See the data dump on the topic I posted here and the chart (it slides on the bottom) I created here.

“Hey, Maybe We *Should* Postpone The Election”

A crony running USPS

postpone the election.Abe LincolnJust the other day, I was kvetching to my wife. I said, “You know, I’d rather NOT write about him. But then he keeps doing worse crap.” To wit, suggesting, on Twitter, naturally, that perhaps the United States should postpone the election of November 3 until we can get everyone to the polls safely.

This was so egregiously wrong that Steven Calabresi called for a second impeachment inquiry into him. He is the co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society, This was in a New York Times opinion piece in late July, “where he falsely characterized mail-in voting and proposed the delay of the 2020 presidential election in November, which the executive branch cannot enact.”

Please understand the weight of the complainant. Calabresi has “he’s voted Republican in the presidential election since 1980.” He also “opposed the investigation into Russian election interference by Robert Mueller and was against the impeachment into Trump regarding withholding aid to Ukraine.

As for the Federalist Society, it is “a right-wing organization with 60,000 lawyers, law students and scholars.” It has been “characterized as a ‘conservative pipeline to the Supreme Court'” by the Atlantic. Recently confirmed judge Brett Kavanaugh joined the group while at Yale.

Calabresi wrote, “Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic. And it is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.” Which won’t happen, mind you.

Preciscient?

Ed Morrissey in Red State: “Good grief. For months, Donald Trump’s allies and even a few of his critics have blasted Democrats and a handful of media figures for their baseless theories that the president would cancel or delay the national election. [Presumptive Democratic candidate Joe] Biden got ridiculed for saying that in April. ‘Mark my words: I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,’ even though the law and the constitution are clear that presidents can’t do that.

“And then…

“The best that could be said for this tweet is that Trump’s just spitballing, but even that’s an indictment of its own. No president should just be spitballing a suggestion like this, not in public and not even in private, where it would leak to the press quickly enough anyway. The US held an election in the middle of its Civil War in 1864. We can hold an election in the middle of a pandemic, especially when the president himself keeps insisting we can and should reopen for business.

“Rather than recognize those [Constitutional] impossibilities and leave it as a paranoid-conspiracy theory for the Left, he has essentially vindicated Biden and the paranoids. And for what purpose? Trump can’t do what he’s suggesting, Congress wouldn’t entertain the thought for one hot second… and it won’t work anyway. What could possibly be gained from tweeting out this absurd idea, other than perhaps distracting from the bad GDP report everyone was more or less expecting anyway?”

Of course, the tweet was sent the same day it was announced that the U.S. gross domestic product dropped at an annual rate of 32.9%. Reports of polling putting Biden far ahead of him in the November election.

Properly, securely and safely vote

The argument for delaying has to do with people being able to get to the polls without risking their lives. During this primary season, we’ve seen people standing in long lines during a pandemic. Of course, those were almost always DEMOCRATIC primaries, so it didn’t seem to matter to IMPOTUS.

A real problem, even prior to COVID-19, but certainly exacerbated by it, is a dearth of poll workers. There is a national effort to recruit more poll workers. These are healthy people “to ensure that those workers most susceptible to the coronavirus are given the space to take care of their health, while still keeping polling sites open and available for efficient in-person voting.”

“We can also demand change from our local officials, who in most cases can take needed steps without waiting for the federal government to help. New voting technologies, training standards, polling place opening and closing hours, and poll worker recruitment practices are all decided at the state or local levels.

“State legislatures and state secretaries can expand, rather than shrink, the number of polling places, reversing the harmful trend of polling-place closures in recent years. They can also invest in more early voting sites, and keep them open for longer, reducing the number of voters who cast ballots on Election Day itself.”

Undermining the Postal Service

Meanwhile, the US Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail across the country. It is after a top djt donor running the agency put in place new procedures “described as cost-cutting efforts, alarming postal workers who warn that the policies could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for the November election…

“Postal employees and union officials say the changes implemented by the Trump fund-raiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy are contributing to a growing perception that mail delays are the result of a political effort to undermine absentee voting.”

One recent study found mail-in voting doesn’t benefit one party over another.

Still, since every state has its own deadline for when you need to request an absentee or mail-in ballot, start looking into the options now. Verify that you’re registered to vote and if you’re not, do so right away.

With more voting options this year, the US Postal Service is encouraging voters to plan ahead. If you wait until the last minute to decide how to vote, you could be cutting it close, or even become disenfranchised. We’re now less than 90 days away from the election – time to make a game plan.

Finally, since IMPOTUS’ bogus call for postponing the election took place on the same day as John Lewis’ funeral, tell your members of Congress to support The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. For it is voter suppression that is the real threat to democracy in the United States.

Democrats debate: so MANY of them

Clorox the White House

2020 Democratic presidential candidates
Democrats debate. I don’t watch, either in June or July. This is a terrible admission for a political science major to make. As I said six months ago, I’m not ready to commit to a candidate until the list of candidates has been winnowed down.

Some of my friends are grousing, “We’ve got to cut this roster NOW!” I’m thinking, “All in good time, grasshopper.” The Republicans had their 17 candidates – and THAT’S the best they could come up with?

You will remember that LOTS of folks believed, not without cause, that the 2016 democratic party process favored one candidate (Hillary) over another (Bernie), and some of the latter either stayed home or incredibly, voted for the other guy. This tedious process is the result.

Of course, I read ABOUT the debates I’m not thrilled with the format of these things. When NBC wanted a “show of hands” about complex issues, I cringed. CNN sought conflict, even when there was none.

The candidates

I was GOING to write about each of the candidates, but – and this is true -I see a few of them on the screen and say aloud, “Which one is he, again?” And I was going to redo this online poll, which I did in February, but it reflected only about half the candidates. Still, the percentages listed reflect how much I purportedly agreed with each.

Elizabeth Warren (93%) always seems prepared. Her answer about the aspirational nature of running for President resonated. The bluster of Bernie Sanders (92%) has been fodder for the late-night comedians, but I don’t doubt his sincerity.

Kirsten Gillibrand (92%) is my US Senator. I voted for her more than once for that job. But she will not win and is only still in this race because she got money early. But she can come by and, in her words, “Clorox the White House.”

I’m glad Julian Castro (92%) is faring OK. I liked his answer about the economy: “There are a lot of Americans that are hurting. Just go and ask the folks that received notice they’re getting laid off by General Motors, or ask the folks sleeping on the street in big cities and small towns across the United States.” I’d like him for the Cabinet.

I expected the prosecutorial background of Kamala Harris (92%) to come back to bite her, and, apparently, it did. With Beto O’Rourke (91%), I’m STILL not convinced there is substance there. I gather Pete Buttigieg (91%) overhyped his youth, and the last debate-style did not play to his strength. Tulsi Gabbard (90%) scored points at Harris’ expense.

Amy Klobuchar (90%), er… she also wore a red jacket, like Warren? Andrew Yang (89%) may have ideas other than his one-note giveaway. Cory Booker (87%) was trying to be so nice the first time, he almost disappeared; I gather he fared better in round two.

Joe Biden (83%): beyond being the guy with a target on his back, he’s got to figure out how to say, essentially, “We did the best we could, based on what we knew then.” LOTS of people supported the crime bill that led to mass incarceration. Some seemed peeved at his mentions of personal loss and his Obama connection.

Marianne Williamson (83%) had been so portrayed as a dangerous flake, I was shocked about her cogent comments on race. She was correct that the Flint, MI water crisis would not have taken place in well-to-do Grosse Pointe, where she had lived.

“If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.” In other words, those MAGA hats won’t go away on January 20, 2021, even if the donkeys win.

John Delaney (69%) -meh. Jay Inslee has made his environmental pitch; someone should pick him to run the EPA. Bill DeBlasio and Tom Steyer: I’m annoyed they’re running.
And there are others.

My friends ARE correct that whatever these candidates say about each other, or Obama, the incumbent (15%) will use against the eventual winner. The process will be sorted out soon, with only seven to ten candidates likely to be on stage in Houston in September.

May #2: Philosophy of the world

Why Is Everyone Running for President?

Waiting for the But
xkcd -licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
What I Lost (and Can Never Get Back) When My Father Was in Guantanamo North

How Poor Oversight and Fraud in Generic Drug Industry Threatens Patients’ Health

Why Is Everyone Running for President? It’s a Billion-Dollar Industry

‘We’ve created a civilisation hell bent on destroying itself – I’m terrified’, writes Earth scientist

What Changed My Mind About Climate Change? Risk management is not a binary choice

Last Week with John Oliver: Green New Deal and Death Investigations

Last American slave ship discovered in Alabama

What Reparations for Slavery Might Look Like in 2019

Largest ever class of black women graduating from West Point – 32!

Hilde Lysiak of the Orange Street News gives commencement address at Reed School of Media at West Virginia University

‘We must be in this together. Relentlessly.’ Deborah Lipstadt, MA ’72, PhD ’76, delivered the keynote address at Brandeis University’s 68th Commencement

Arthur’s Unexpected reboot

Understanding the divine sense of humor

Why certain words are left out of our English-language Bibles

Kindness Can Be Taught. Here’s How

Casting announced for The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen’s acclaimed Off-Broadway hit, at the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY July 11-14, 18-21

Portrait of Steve Martin and Martin Short on 60 Minutes Australia

The Bob Emergency: a study of athletes named Bob- Part I and Part 2

The Secret Behind the Success of Avengers Endgame – not that much of a secret

Blogging revelation and reflection

How to Be an Ethical Influencer and I’m A Supposed Influencer and An Open Letter to Professional YouTubers

Now I Know: What do you do when someone you don’t like is wearing your clothes? and The Second Life of Crayons and Pigcasso

Does This Dress Make Me Look Guilty?

Why do people love coffee and beer

Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln was one of the most remarkable adventurers, scoundrels and fraudsters of the 20th century

To keep his daughter from getting bored on a family trip a dad had her Irish Step Dance in every location they stopped in at Ireland

8 Things Your Credit Card Can’t Buy

The Worst Product Ever

MUSIC

Rolling Stone – Annie & the Hedonists

Someone You Loved– Lewis Capaldi.

And The Waltz Goes On – André Rieu, composed by Anthony Hopkins

Symphonic suite for the Hayao Miyazaki film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Joe Hisaishi

Coverville: 1262: This Day in Covers – 1989 and 1263: The Smiths Cover Story

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