Vote XII – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

10.10.2020

Vote XII

There are twenty-four days to go until election day.

Stay alert, the struggle to preserve our republic and our democratic way of life begins on November 3rd.

Last week Mike Lee, the Senior Senator from Utah said that the goal of the election is not to preserve democracy, but to secure and preserve a certain standard of living.

Mike Lee has forgotten that the United States of America is governed by the people for the people, and that government derives its power from the consent of the governed, and that even if a majority desire to curtail the rights of the citizens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they do not have the authority to do so, because those rights are inalienable.

As Americans we must face the hard truth that we have never lived up to the idealism set forth in the declaration if independence, the constitution, the bill of rights and many of the later amendments. Out government is imperfect because human beings are inherently flawed, but that does not mean we will acquiesce to our flaws and allow a criminal regime and its sycophants to drag us backward.

We are moving forward, we must stand ready to hold the orange menace accountable for his crimes, and everyone who has committed a crime in furtherance of the tyrant’s objectives.

If you have not voted already, vote now.

Make a plan and vote.

Go to your early voting site and vote early, vote by mail, vote absentee, vote in person on election day but do not abstain from voting.

People of good will, stand by and stand ready, the struggle has begun but it will only intensify in the days and weeks ahead, and the real fight begins after the polls close on November 3rd.

Make a pledge to support the basic commitment that every vote which has been cast will be counted.

Be ready to support the count in person and your county elections offices, and by a general strike if need be.

The time is fast approaching, your voice is needed, the future of America and hope for justice depend on it.

Vote XI – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

10.03.2020

Vote XI

Election day is one month out; stay focused everyone. The real peril to our republic and our democracy begins November 3rd.

I voted yesterday. I went to the early voting location at 980 E. Hennepin in Minneapolis. They open at 8:00 am, and I got there about ten minutes early. There was a couple ahead of me and we chatted while we waited to be let in.

They were nice.

The process was very organized, with lots of activity going on in the parking lot.

In Minnesota early voting is basically absentee voting, you get your ballot, and the double envelope. They make sure the envelopes are sealed and signed properly, and they post mark it before you put it in a ballot box.

I was done by 8;13 am, with my voting early sticker proudly displayed on my jacket.

It is worth it.

Go early, don’t rely on the mail, don’t risk your vote, don’t subject yourself to the possibility of election day shenanigans.

If you are feeling well, go to one of the early voting places and vote early. Get your vote counted, stand up and participate.

Donald Trump is in the hospital but his campaign is still spreading misinformation, still trying to suppress the vote, still stoking racial animus and engaging in other un-American activities. He is still threatening to challenge the results in court, to next accept the vote should it go against him (and it will), still encouraging mob violence and voter intimidation both on election day and in the days that follow.

Stay vigilant, support your poll workers, be ready to meet Trump’s brown-shirts in the street if they interfere with the election or the counting.

Have a plan, and don’t be taken by surprise.

Editorial, The Week in Review – Vote X

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.26.2020

Vote X

There are thirty-eight days to go until the votes begin to be counted.

There are thirty-eight left on the calendar for us to take decisive action in determining the fate of our republic.

Stay vigilant in these remaining weeks and days.

Vote early, vote in person if you can. Check your ballot and ensure that all of the procedures outlined by your state have been followed, if you are mailing it in.

Vote the orange menace out!

The tyrant is losing and he knows it, he is getting increasingly desperate. He will employ more absurd and violent rhetoric, he engage increasingly dangerous activities, he will encourage his supporters, both in government and on the street to break the law and put our fellow American’s at risk to stir up chaos and generate the fog of war.

Look at what the governor of Florida has just done, with cases of COVID-19 rising across his state he has ordered that all businesses, restaurants and bars fully open. With thirty-eight days before the election the impact of this order will be felt on or about election day, it is a travesty.

Listen!

Forget about his Supreme Court pick, they are going to appoint her and she will be sworn in. Their hypocrisy notwithstanding, they have the political power to do it and they will. We can deal with that and deal with the abuse that the republicans have done to the federal courts after the election, first we must win, and win big.

Your voice is important, more now than ever, keep the conversation focused on Trump’s horrific failures, his inability to protect the American people from this virus, or even to understand the scope of the threat.

The economy in tatters, ten million unemployed, the rich getting richer, the poor being thrown of their homes, off of the insurance roles, American service men and women attacked and killed by the Russians.

Remind your friends and family of that, focus on the concrete examples of his criminality and negligence.

Vote!

 

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.

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 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 – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

07.18.2020

 

Vote

 

I am starting to hear a lot of talk about Donald Trump refusing to concede the presidency when he loses the election on November 3rd.

 

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

 

Double check your registration status and vote.

 

We have to do more than that, we need a massive public education campaign, civics for all. There is process that has to 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, and 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.

 

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 voting rights act of 1965 which was designed to enforce the rights guaranteed in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

 

The Voting Rights Act was amended four times: 1970, 1975, 1982 and 1992, then it was reauthorized in 2006.

 

In 2013, in the case Shelby County v. Holder, the United States Supreme Court gutted key provisions of section five of the voting rights act that protected the rights of citizens from the malign intentions of states with a history of voter disenfranchisement.

 

Learn this history, and learn this:

 

The procedure for a presidential election is established in the Twelfth Amendment.

 

The president and vice president are elected by the electoral college. Each state has different rules for how electors are appointed and different rules for how an electoral must handle their vote. The Supreme Court recently upheld the notion that a State can bind an elector to vote in a particular way.

 

The Twelfth Amendment stipulates that each elector must cast distinct votes for president and vice president. Electors may not vote for presidential and vice-presidential candidates who both reside in the elector’s state—at least one of them must be an inhabitant of another state.

 

If no candidate for president has a majority of the total votes, the House of Representatives, voting by states, chooses the president. The Twelfth Amendment requires the House to choose from the three highest receivers of electoral votes.

 

The Twelfth Amendment requires a person to receive a majority of the electoral votes for vice president for that person to be elected vice president by the Electoral College. If no candidate for vice president has a majority of the total votes, the Senate, with each senator having one vote, chooses the vice president.

 

The procedure for counting the votes of the electors is as follows:

 

After the nationwide presidential election, which takes place the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, each state counts its popular votes according to that state’s laws to designate presidential electors. Each state’s electors meet in their respective state capital on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December to cast their votes. The results are counted by Congress, where they are tabulated in the first week of January before a joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives, presided over by the vice president, acting as president of the Senate. If a majority of votes are not cast for a candidate, the House turns itself into a presidential election session, where one vote is assigned to each of the fifty states. The elected president and vice president are inaugurated on January 20.

 

There is no way to deviate from this process.

 

Study the law and learn what rules apply to the vote and the counting of votes and the appointment of electors in your state.

 

If Donald Trump tries to steal the election or attempts to ignore the Constitution he will prove once and for all what he is, and enemy of the republic, we will demand that the law be upheld and drag him before the bar of justice.

 

Transform, Part IV – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
06.06.2020

Transform, Part IV
From all across the nation we are hearing stories of police corruption. The stories are coming from the victims of police brutality, the victims of wrongful prosecution, they are accompanied by live footage of police in our communities beating up protesters, and doing it with a smile, pushing an old man down on the concrete and not stopping to help while he bleeds from the head.

This has to stop.

We need to transform policing in America and we cannot do it soon enough.

America needs to examine its conscience, all of us members of the white majority need to do it in the worst way.

We need criminal justice reform, no incarceration for non-violent crimes, we need to bring an end to the war on drugs, which only promotes illegal markets, and extra judicial gang-warfare to protect those markets.

We need to stop putting our brothers and sisters in prison.

Every hospital in America must undergo inspection and review of its policies and procedures, its best practices, by an Inspector General style investigation conducted by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAOH), every single police force and Sheriffs department must undergo the same thing.

Police cannot be immune to prosecution, in fact or in practice.

Police must fulfill their mandate, to protect and to serve, they cannot run around acting like the biggest gang in town, but all to often that is what they are, criminals in uniform preying on the communities they are supposed to serve.

Change cannot come soon enough.

We must transform the police, their mission, criminal justice and the courts. We transform them now!

Transform, Part I – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
05.16.2020

Transform, Part I
There is no going back to the way things used to be. We have to move forward and transform. The good old days were not that great to begin with, and there are better days ahead of us if we can muster the political will to make it happen.

Our so called “way of life” left to many people on the fringes, outside the margins, it denying to many of us, the full franchise of citizenship.

We had the greatest economy in the world, with the largest consumer base, and we acted like we were in a perpetual state of scarcity.

We acted like we could not afford to educate our people, allow us all to vote, provide for everyone’s basic health care, and ensure that everyone is fed, housed and clothed.

It was ridiculous, and we have arrived at the most absurd outcome when COVID-19 broke down that fragile system.

We need a radical transformation of society, and the economic engine that drive it.

Listen to me now; if anyone says that we cannot afford the work that needs to happen, politely inform them that they are ignorant.

Let them know that we can pay for the emergency relief funds that were just passed simply by undoing the Trump tax cuts. We can pay for the next round by undoing the George W. Bush tax cuts, bringing us back to the rate of taxation that we had under Bill Clinton, when the economy was booming and we were paying down the National debt.

We can go deeper than that.

We need to put tens of millions of people back to work, rebuilding our roads and bridges and a network of High Speed rail.

We need to bring textiles and other manufacturing back to the United States that we will never be dependent on our strategic adversaries for the supplies we need in an emergency.

We need universal health care, public education through college, we need an army of engineers to reinvent America, and no one can be left behind.

We need to transform; and we can do it. We need to start now.

We need a standard of living that allows one parent to remain at home raising their kids, dad or mom, it does not matter but we need to reduce the number of bodies on the manufacturing floors, in the offices, in the bars and restaurants.

We need small classroom that allow teachers to teach and provide for their safety as well as their students, we need to put those teachers to work and raise a generation of Americans who are critical thinkers, problems solvers and forward looking.

We need that green new deal.

We need a new agronomy.

We need to transform; we can do it. If we stand up and exercise our rights as citizens, we can vote in the women and men that will make it happen.

Listen!

There is a division in America, there are people who do not want change. Those people are telling you straight to your face that you should be willing to die for their lifestyle, go to work, get sick and die. These people are so ignorant that they believe they should throw away their lives as well, and the lives of their parents, the lives of their children.

They have been conditioned to view their self worth as inextricably linked to their consumer habits. They think of themselves as disposable, garbage, trash, unworthy of an education, unworthy of being cared for, whose value is linked to how much gasoline they burn, and corn syrup they eat, how much meet they can throw on the grill.

This has to change, we have to make the change happen.

The Race is On – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
04.11.2020

The Race is On

I donated five dollars to the Biden campaign yesterday, I was happy to do it.

I think the Democratic Party could have chosen a better nominee, but I also think Joe Biden can take us across the finish line.

A lot of my friends are unhappy that Bernie Sanders didn’t go the distance, and while my personal opinion is that Joe Biden fit the bill of electability, I share the gloomy outlook that the more progressive policies which I favor won’t have a Champion in the White House.

But here is the deal…

The legislation that we all want to see passed has to begin in Congress anyway.

We all need to keep our energy focused on the campaign ahead, not just for the sake of electing Joe Biden, but in order to elect more progressive members to the House and the Senate.

We need genuine progressives to win Gubernatorial races, and to win State Assemblies. We need everyone to stay engaged, we need the full court press.

We need to put an end to the pogrom the republicans have been running on the federal judiciary, we need to control redistricting, and we need congress to reassert its status as a coequal branch of government.

We need to pass legislation that limits the authority of the executive with penalties to enforce a strict enforcement, criminal penalties if necessary, if members of the executive branch do not comply with Congress right of oversight.

We need to pass a new Voting Rights Act, we need government reform from the top to the bottom.

The kind of malfeasance we have been living through these past three years has left without the ability to help ourselves in this time of crises.

We need to remove Donald Trump from office, tomorrow is not soon enough, but we need to do it decisively, and when he is gone the criminal investigations have to begin.

In the past, when Obama took office he opted to let the crimes of the Bush administration go: illegal surveillance, torture, lying to congress etc…we let it go in the name of national unity, and for the purpose of moving on.

That cannot happen when Donald Trump is walking out the door, he and his family and their fiends who have defrauded the American people must face the consequences for the things that have done, and for their criminal neglect as well.