Vote IX, Vote for the Notorious RBG – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.19.2020

Vote IX, Vote for the Notorious RBG

What a sad turn of events for our beloved champion Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I am sad that she did not have the satisfaction of living long enough to see her place on the Supreme court filled by one of her protégés, or a jurist of like mind.

I am sad because it is known that she had some anxiety about this, and would likely have retired sooner if she had known that her replacement would have a similar philosophy and temperament to her own.

Alas, we are not the authors of our own fate, not the in the ultimate sense.

I will not take the time to lionize her, there is enough of that going on. But I will take the time to note this, her life is an example of a life well lived and of the American dream fulfilled.

As people who care about her legacy how do we respond to this, what action can we take and should we take in our public life.

Give no ground…that is what we should do.

Here is the truth, if the Republicans in the senate are unified there is nothing that can be done about Trump filling her seat.

They have the votes.

Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and all of their ilk are raging hypocrites, we know it…Keep a spot light on it, but lets not waste time bemoaning the facts as they are.

As Nancy Pelosi says, we don’t agonize, we organize.

We have always known that this election would be about filling RBG’s seat on the Supreme Court.

If you were paying attention you would have known that the election in 2016 was about the same thing, and so here we are, the things that hang in the balance are: voting rights, police reform, a woman’s right to self-determination, who gets counted in the census, equal treatment under the law regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation, the Affordable Care Act, the question of whether corporations are to be treated like human beings, and whether are not the chief executive has the right to ignore the will of congress.

We have to use every tool at our disposal to challenge this, leave nothing on the table. We have to turn out the vote, win the presidency, win the senate, keep control of the house, control redistricting, and protect the American people from the worst most dishonest among us.

We have to promise our Republican neighbors that we will stack the courts, and impeach any justice that has lied before congress in their confirmation hearings, from the Supreme Court on down.

We have to take away the filibuster and seize firm control of the levers of power, we have to run those reprobates out of town.

Vote!

Vote VIII – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.12.2020

Vote VIII

There are fifty-two days until election day, keep it cool and we will get through this together.

What do you say to people who try to tell you that Donald Trump is doing a good job, that they think he has good policies, and they believe we are better off now than we were four years ago?

Ask them to get specific; don’t let them off the hook.

Ask them about the response to the pandemic, ask them about his continuous and persistent misinformation campaign. Ask them how they feel about the fact that the United States of America has 4.25% of the global population but 25% of deaths due to coronavirus.

If Donald Trump would have taken real and decisive action, if he would have trusted the experts in his own administration instead of “playing it down” because he “likes to play it down,” and is still playing it down 1,000 people a day would not be dying from this virus.

Yesterday in Canada no one dies from the coronavirus.

Think about it. Ask that erstwhile Trump supporter to think about it.

Donald Trump, who is the fear-monger-in-chief said he “played it down,” because he didn’t want to create a panic. He withheld information from the American people that could have saved lives because he didn’t want to create a panic.

Who did he think would panic?

Not me, not almost everyone I know. We knew he was full of sh*t all along. We did what the scientists and our doctors were telling us to do: wear a mask, stay home keep distant.

No one panicked, but millions of Americans, tens of millions of Trump supporters ignored that advice, and now the economy is in tatters and the do nothing republicans in the senate and the White House are disinclined to do anything about it.

Ask whoever it is that thinks Donald Trump has good policies and is doing a good job, what is good about that.

Don’t let them off the hook, make them explain themselves, and don’t let them tell you that they are happy with him for appointing conservative judges to the federal bench.

Labor Day – A Reflection

Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, a great national holiday, a day set aside for the American worker and to celebrate the ordinary citizen.

This day is meant to honor laborers, it is a day to honor work. It is meant to be a day of rest, repose and respite, but this year it is a day that we must acknowledge our collective anxiety as there are twenty million Americans unemployed, out of work and uncertain of our future.

I spent most of my life working in the hospitality sector. Now I am self-employed but my clients are mostly restaurants, this year many of my friends and colleagues have had to shutter their businesses, close their doors, cut their hours, reduce their staff change their business model to account for the global pandemic COVID-19.  

There are millions of workers that have the day off this year who would rather be working. We have had too much time off, but the nation is not ready to reopen.

Our chief executive has abdicated the responsibility for managing this crises, preferring to pretend that it will go away on its own.

It will not.

Each of our fifty states has a different plan to handle the pandemic, some governors have followed the president’s example, abdicating their responsibility, putting it off on local governments at the county and municipality level. Some of these governors have taken even more draconian steps and signed orders that limit what local governments can do to protect their people and find a safe way to live, go to school, engage in commerce and move forward.

Today we count the number of dead at 190,000 and climbing.

On Memorial Day we were poised to cross the 100,000 threshold. Ninety thousand more Americans dies over the summer, and it did not have to be this way.

It does not have to be this way, but it will continue to be this way until we have leadership that acknowledges the scope of the emergency, and puts together a plan to manage the crises.

The economy will continue to struggle, the stock market notwithstanding, a million Americans will file new claims for unemployment every week, the unemployment rate will continue to hover around ten percent, Americans will not return to work for as long as the status quo remains the same.

The unemployed American worker needs relief. The House of representatives has passed a bill to provide. The Senate has opted not to address and the president is actively working against it.

We need the Hero’s act to pass to provide this relief, we need to keep those who are still working, working, we need it to help those who are not working return to work. We need it so that American families can keep a roof over their heads, keep the lights on, keep gas in the car, and keep food on the table

We need leadership, or we need a general strike!

Happy Labor Day my brothers and sisters, lets due the right thing!

Strike and Unite!

2020.09.07

Vote VII – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.05.2020

Vote VII

There are fifty-nine days until election day, keep it cool and we will get through this.

This week, among a slew of despicable and nefarious statements that the orange menace made, one thing stands out. He is encouraging his voters to vote twice, to vote by mail, and then to vote in person.

Voting twice is illegal, it is a crime. Encouraging people to violate election laws is also a crime. There should be consequences, but there won’t be.

Be mindful of what the tyrant is trying to do, he wants to create the maximum amount of chaos on election day as possible, he wants that chaos to extend into the entire counting process, which could take days, and even weeks. He wants to sew as much confusion as possible, cast as much doubt on the vote count as possible, because he believes this will give him an opportunity to hang on to power.

Pay attention to this, and don’t let it fool you.

Prepare yourself and everyone you talk to for the inevitable, there will not be a clear winner of the election on election day. Trump will try to claim victory but his rationale for it will be hollow.

Research the election laws in your own state so that you are not surprised by the process.

Ensure that those responsible for managing your election and tallying the vote do so within the dictates of the law.

Be patient, its going to get ugly.

Prepare to organize, remember the 2000 recount in Florida. Republicans bussed in hundreds of angry white men to occupy the facilitates where the votes were being examined. They succeeded in shutting down the count.

We can’t let that happen.

We have to be prepared to respond.

RIP Chadwick Boseman – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.29.2020

 

RIP Chadwick Boseman

 

I am a comic book fan.

 

I was in the Marvel camp, and the Avengers were my crew.

 

The Black Panther was an Avenger, but he was not in the regular part of the line-up. He came around when the team was in trouble, he would help them get out of jam.

 

He was a super-soldier, like Captain America, only different he powers came from another source, something ancient, something spiritual, something magic and African. He seemed to be the equal of Captain America in nearly every way, and Chadwick Boseman personified him perfectly.

 

I woke to the news of Mr. Boseman’s passing and it made me really sad.

 

Watching the news I saw a number of tributes to him and the sadness has not passed, it sticks around because Mr. Boseman did something unique through his portrayal of the Black Panther, something he did not achieve in his portrayal of Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown; in the persona of the Black Panther he became a living icon.

 

He appeared in four Marvel movies as T’Challa, first as prince then as king of the mythical African country of Wakanda. The movie, Black Panther became the first superhero movie to be nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards, it was nominated for a total of seven, and won three.

 

Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa was the reason (as far as I am concerned).

 

One of his co-stars referred to him as regal, and I absolutely agree. He was positively regal, he walked like a king, not like the head of some sick old dynasty, but as a leader a person of substance, confidence and compassion.

 

His work generated the movement hashtag Wakanda Forever, he inspired people, and he is already missed.

 

He was a born and raised in South Carolina, a graduate of Howard University, a husband and a hero.

 

Wakanda Forever!  

 

OIP

Vote VI – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.22.2020

 

Vote     VI

 

 

The stage is set on the race is on, there are seventy-three days to go until the general election.

 

It has been two days since the Democratic National Convention concluded, having played out remotely due to the material necessities imposed by the global pandemic, COVID-19.

 

Many media analysts have said that the web based teleconference style of the presentations played well with the viewer, the fact that there was no-big-stage, the absence of crowds, the lack of cheering and the endless prattle of the pundits allowed for a more conversational presentation of the case the Democratic Party is making for their candidates and their platform, for our candidates and our platform, then would have been possible in the standard format.

 

The speeches that were given were somber yet hopeful, personal and hard hitting, they successfully portrayed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the thoughtful intelligent human beings that they are…if you believe it.

 

Unfortunately, the self-styled “progressive” left, which I refer to as the fundamentalist-wing of the democratic party, they have taken no time at all to disparage the Biden/Harris ticket as not representing their interests, not in touch with the base (whatever that means).

 

They are unhappy that the spotlight has moved away from them, unhappy that the PARTY writ large is putting up the big tent in the hope of turning out a landslide victory against Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the treasonous traitors that make up the Republican Party.

 

All I can say is, STOP IT!

 

Stop talking about turning against Joe Biden the day after he becomes the President Elect, stop complaining about the former republicans, and Never-Trumpers who spoke at the DNC. Stop making the swing voters, whether they are traditional swing voters, or people who are going to shift party for the first, stop making them feel uncomfortable, they have come to the dance, let them in.

 

For the first time in their lives they are talking with us, with you, this is an opportunity for dialogue…take it.

 

Say your piece and listen, find common ground and hold it.

 

It is impossible to know what will happen seventy-three days from now, we may wake to find ourselves rejoicing, we may wake in a state of anxiety, we my wake to a state of despair, whatever it is that we are going to face lets face it together, with purpose and resolve.

 

Let me be clear…Your vote is so important, we need everyone to vote, to vote early, to ensure that your vote is counted, to stir your friends and family, to get them to the poles as well.

 

It is equally as important that everyday between now and then you spread the same message of hope and strength through unity of purpose.

 

Check yourself, and check those around you. Check the self-styled “progressives” if they won’t come along, tell them to keep quiet, the real change-agents are working now.

 

It is time to lead or follow, or get the hell out of the way.

 

 

Vote V – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.15.2020

 

Vote     V

 

Danger, danger our democracy and all of its promise is in danger.

 

One of our fellow citizens is dying from the COVID-19 every minute and a half.

 

Over five million people have been infected, by the end of the month 175,000 will have died.

 

The tyrant Donald Trump is utterly incapable of grasping the severity of it, or imagining a solution, instead of leading he spends his weekends on the gold course.

 

The orange menace is actively promoting policies that will make it worse.

 

It didn’t have to be this way, it doesn’t have to stay this way, but it will only get worse if we don’t exercise our vote.

 

Vote!

 

Vote early, request your absentee ballot now. Go to the website of your secretary of state learn what the procedure is, check your registration and vote.

 

Vote that criminal out of office. Do not wait.

 

If your state allows you to get a ballot early and deliver it by hand to a drop box, do it.

 

Donald Trump and his minion, his newly appointed Post Master General are doing everything they can to interfere with the orderly delivery of the mail. The tyrant has stated his intention behind these actions, he wants to depress the vote against him.

 

Do not let him win!

 

If the republicans in the House and Senate are not going to stand up to put an end to this madness, we must vote them out of office too.

 

Vote them all out, let them know that their time is up, vote them out and send them home.

 

The time to act is now.

Vote IV – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.08.2020

 

Vote     IV

 

So Donald Trump is going to sign executive orders today pretending to address the economic woes the working class who cannot work due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

 

Over the past weeks he himself has not participated in the negotiations with Congress. His Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows and the Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin were said to be “not on the same page.

 

The House of Representatives passed their bill months ago, but the republican majority in the Senate is said to not want to do anything at all to help the people by extending unemployment benefits, providing another stimulus to each citizen, providing aid to local governments, shoring up the post office and other critical services.

 

Republicans want to do nothing. Republican mayors, governors, representatives and senators and the orange menace himself. They want to do nothing.

 

They want to pretend like the virus will just disappear, they want to send workers into unsafe work environments, children into unsafe schools, they do not want to test and do contact tracing, they only seem interested in telling the American people lies.

 

Today Trump reveals the bad faith in which he has had his team “negotiating” on the relief package. He is signing an order which he has no lawful authority to sign, spending money that only the congress can allocate, in order to claim that he himself “came through” for the people.

 

It will not work. We cannot cede the power of the purse to the executive simply because the executive and his cronies in the Senate do not want to negotiate.

 

They have to strike a deal.

 

We cannot let this happen. It is another assault on the constitution and the lives of the American people are hanging in the balance.

 

Trump has created the impasse so he can make his false move strictly for political purposes, he thinks it will help him, we must ensure that it damns him, and every single one of the republican lackeys that are complicit in this fraud.

 

Vote, get your absentee ballot and vote. Vote as early as possible. Vote in overwhelming numbers. Check on your friends and family, make sure that everyone votes.

 

Vote as if the Republic is at stake, freedom and Democracy are on the line. The rule of law hangs in the balance.

 

Vote that little tyrant out of office.

Vote III – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.01.2020

 

Vote     III

 

The talk continues about how Donald Trump will refuse to concede the presidency when he loses the election on November 3rd. In the past week he became the first president ever to suggest that we delay the election.

 

He is spreading lies about the process of mail in voting, fear mongering and worse. His own attorney general echoed Donald Trump’s sentiments in his testimony before congress without offering any proof, or even the rudiments of an actual argument support by statistics of any kind.

 

Donald Trump and his minions are simply making assertions, counterfactual statements, lies to make their point.

 

Donald Trump cannot delay the election, do not follow the bright shiny object or be distracted by that prospect. Focus on what is really happening: voter disinformation, voter intimidation, voter suppression, and other malfeasance.

 

The most important thing we can do is vote, everyone must vote!

 

Do not forget to vote. Do not forget to register. Do not forget to vote.

 

Double check your registration status and vote.

 

If you are voting by mail then get your ballot early, mail it back early or drop it off at a collection center in person.

 

Check and double check the date you write on your ballot, and your signature. If the Secretary of State in the state where you live sends you any correspondence, read it, follow up on it, and be on the look out for bogus mailings coming from supposed election officer who do not belong to a recognizable public office.

 

It had been discovered that Donald Trump and the Trump Administration are interfering with the United States Post Office, a newly appointed Post Master General, a trump supporter and campaign contributor just took office and has implemented measures to slow down the mail.

 

They do not want the Post Office to facilitate Trump’s electoral defeat.

 

This cannot stand. Postal employees should refuse to cooperate with these measures. Do your patriotic duty and process the mail.

 

Do more, prepare yourself with knowledge; we need a massive public education campaign, we need a crash course in civics. There is an electoral process that must play out, it is different from state to state, but every citizen should take the time to become familiar with the rules, the laws that govern your voting rights in each and every local.

 

Let’s not be confused, Donald Trump will lose the popular vote, and he will lose in the electoral college. Nevertheless, between now and then there will be a massive disinformation campaign trying to scare you into not voting, trying to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter, or that your vote is illegitimate. The orange tyrant and his republican cronies will attempt to invalidate your vote; we cannot let them

 

Wherever republicans have the authority they will purge voter roles, close polling stations, make it more difficult to vote; our duty is to be undeterred, to insist on our rights, to cast our votes, and to have our votes counted.

 

Familiarize yourself with the laws that govern voting where you cast your vote.

 

Over the last two week we discussed the voting rights act of 1965, which was designed to enforce the rights guaranteed in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and the laws that govern elections at the federal level.

 

Last week we discussed the statutes that govern voting in my home state of Minnesota.

 

In the weeks leading up to the election we will look at the statutes that govern voting in key battleground States.

 

Knowledge is power, arm yourself with it.

 

Hold your government accountable!

Vote II – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

07.25.2020

 

Vote     II

 

The talk continues about how Donald Trump will refuse to concede the presidency when he loses the election on November 3rd.

 

People are talking about the unconstitutional deployment of federal agents in American cities, like Portland and Seattle, Kansas City and Chicago, and the threat coming from the orange menace that he will send tens of thousands of heavily armed, agents into other cities without insignia, without unique identifiers without a lawful mandate to police those cities as a preemptive move in support of his anticipated refusal to relinquish power.

 

This cannot stand.

 

The courts must intervene, and though a federal court in Oregon has dismissed the lawsuit filed their on the erroneous basis that the city attorney and the State’s Attorney General did not have standing, action in the courts must continue, and those federal agents must be arrested.

 

More importantly, everyone must vote!

 

Do not forget to vote. Do not forget to register. Do not forget to vote.

 

Double check your registration status and vote.

 

Do more, prepare yourself with knowledge; we need a massive public education campaign, we need a crash course in civics. There is an electoral process that must play out, it is different from state to state, but every citizen should take the time to become familiar with the rules, the laws that govern your voting rights in each and every local.

 

Let’s not be confused, Donald Trump will lose the popular vote, and he will lose in the electoral college. Nevertheless, between now and then there will be a massive disinformation campaign trying to scare you into not voting, trying to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter, or that your vote is illegitimate. The orange tyrant and his republican cronies will attempt to invalidate your vote; we cannot let them

 

Wherever republicans have the authority they will purge voter roles, close polling stations, make it more difficult to vote; our duty is to be undeterred, to insist on our rights, to cast our votes, and to have our votes counted.

 

Familiarize yourself with the laws that govern voting where you cast your vote.

 

Last week we discussed the voting rights act of 1965, which was designed to enforce the rights guaranteed in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and the laws that govern elections at the federal level.

 

This week lets discuss the statutes that govern voting in my home state of Minnesota.

 

In the weeks leading up to the election we will look at the statutes that govern voting in key battleground States.

 

Knowledge is power, arm yourself with it.

 

In Minnesota you can find information on voting, the voting process and your voter rights at the Secretary of State website: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/

 

The Secretary of State in Minnesota is Steve Simon. At the web address above you can register to vote online, request an absentee ballot online, you can find out where you go to vote if you plan to vote in person based on your address, and what the hours of your polling station will be.

 

You can view a sample ballot, view candidate filings, and volunteer to get involved, participate in non-partisan voter education and even become an election judge. IN addition you can stay up to date on how COVID-19 is impacting the voting process.

 

Participate, protect both your right to vote and the rights of your neighbors.

 

On this Minnesota Secretary of State website you can learn all you need to know about how elections are managed in Minnesota: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/how-elections-work/

 

In Minnesota, the laws governing presidential elections are clear, nevertheless it may be up to the citizenry to keep the election process in good order. It is being reported the Republican National Committee is prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars to challenge election results across the country. Their planned obfuscation may result in your vote being invalidated, or your neighbors.

 

We cannot let this happen.

 

Below is the process as articulated on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website for electing a president. Memorize the applicable statutes, know the process, ensure that it is adhered to.

 

The state canvassing board meets on the third Tuesday after the state general election. (Minnesota Statutes 204C.33) At that meeting the board will open and canvass the returns made to the secretary of state for presidential electors and alternates, prepare a statement of the number of votes cast for the persons receiving votes for these offices, and declare the person or persons receiving the highest number of votes for each office duly elected. (Minnesota Statutes 208.05)

 

“The governor shall transmit to each person declared elected a Certificate of Election, signed by the governor, sealed with the state seal and countersigned by the secretary of state.” (Minnesota Statutes 208.05)

 

On the day before the day fixed by congress for the electors to vote for president and vice president the electors shall notify the governor that they are at the state capitol and ready to fulfill their duties as electors at the proper time.  The governor shall deliver a certificate of the names of all the electors to the electors present. (Minnesota Statutes 208.06) On the day fixed by congress to vote for President and Vice President the electors shall meet at 12:00 PM in the executive chamber of the state capitol and shall perform all the duties imposed upon them as electors by the constitution and laws of the United States and the state of Minnesota. As a condition of having been chosen under the name of the party of a presidential and vice presidential candidate the electors are obligated to vote for those candidates. (Minnesota Statutes 208.46) The day fixed by congress for the electors to vote is the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. (3 U.S.C. 1)

 

This process must be fulfilled, republican interference notwithstanding.

 

Hold your government accountable!