Monday Reads! Vote Him OUT!Posted: October 19, 2020
Good Day Sky Dancers!
Tis the season to be Voting! And we all really, really, really need to do that and take as many people with us as possible!
I can hardly turn on the TV any more.
Here’s all I want to say from The Rolling Stone: via The Hill: “Rolling Stone endorses Biden, calls Trump ‘categorically unfit to be president'”. How can such a strongly worded statement be such an understatement? But that’s been our upside down country for the past nearly 4 years.
Rolling Stone magazine is endorsing Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president, saying in a piece on Monday that the U.S. has lived “under a man categorically unfit to be president” for the last four years.
“Fortunately for America,” the magazine said at the top of its endorsement of the former vice president, “Joe Biden is Donald Trump’s opposite in nearly every category: The Democratic presidential nominee evinces competence, compassion, steadiness, integrity, and restraint.”
“Perhaps most important in this moment, Biden holds a profound respect for the institutions of American democracy, as well as a deep knowledge about how our government — and our system of checks and balances — is meant to work; he aspires to lead the nation as its president, not its dictator,” the magazine continued. “The 2020 election, then, offers the nation a chance to reboot and rebuild from the racist, authoritarian, know-nothing wreckage wrought by the 45th president.”
Trump’s only plan for America is one that keeps him in office and in the position of not being held accountable for anything including the massive grifting.
So, what kind of things are going on right now?
Well, first, Trump is trying all kinds of ways to make Dr. Fauci look bad and to convince us all the virus is no big deal. This is from CBS’ 60 Minutes as reported by Jonathan LaPook: “Fauci admits administration has restricted his media appearances, says he’s not surprised Trump got COVID”.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has been a voice of logic and stability since the pandemic began. And right now, he’s worried we’re heading in the wrong direction. Worldwide the number of new cases is surging at an alarming rate, as seen in this map by Johns Hopkins University. This week, Russia reported a record number of infections, and cases are spiking in the UK, France, and Italy.
Dr. Anthony Fauci: When you have a million deaths and over 30 million infections globally, you can not say that we’re on the road to essentially getting out of this. So quite frankly, I don’t know where we are. It’s impossible to say.
What Dr. Fauci knows for sure is, here in the United States, infections are beginning to rise as the weather gets colder and people congregate indoors. Over the last two weeks, new cases have gone up in at least 38 states.
Dr. Jon LaPook: How bad would things have to get for you to advocate a national lockdown?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: They’d have to get really, really bad. First of all, the country is fatigued with restrictions. So we wanna use public health measures not to get in the way of opening the economy, but to being a safe gateway to opening the economy. So instead of having an opposition, open up the economy, get jobs back, or shut down. No. Put “shut down” away and say, “We’re gonna use public health measures to help us safely get to where we wanna go.”
Those measures were not in place last month in the rose garden when President Trump announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Dr. Jon LaPook: Were you surprised that President Trump got sick?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: Absolutely not. I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask. When I saw that on TV, I said, “Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come outta that, that’s gotta be a problem.” And then sure enough, it turned out to be a superspreader event.
The good Doctor intends to vote in person on election day and says it can be done safely. Read or watch the entire interview at the link.
Yes. Please vote.
The AP went in search of the not so elusive Burbie women in Michigan and low and behold they found more than a few women of color! Wow! Some one tell the Russian Potted Plant occupying the Oval Office! Claire Galofaro reports: ‘Our house is on fire’: Suburban women lead a Trump revolt . However, the lede feature is a suburban white woman so there’s still that. (sigh). But it’s Michigan and that’s an important state.
For many of those women, the past four years have meant frustration, anger and activism — a political awakening that powered women’s marches, the #MeToo movement and the victories of record numbers of female candidates in 2018. That energy has helped create the widest gender gap — the political divide between men and women — in recent history. And it has started to show up in early voting as women are casting their ballots earlier than men. In Michigan, women have cast nearly 56% of the early vote so far, and 68% of those were Democrats, according to the voting data firm L2.
That could mean trouble for Trump, not just in Oakland County but also in suburban battlegrounds outside Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Trump has tried to appeal to “the suburban housewives of America,” as he called them. Embracing fear and deploying dog whistles, he has argued that Black Lives Matter protesters will bring crime, low-income housing will ruin property values, suburbs will be abolished. Campaigning in Pennsylvania last week, he begged: “Suburban women, will you please like me?”
There’s no sign all this is working. Some recent polls show Biden winning support from about 60% of suburban women. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton won 52%, according to an estimate by the Pew Research Center.
Talk to women across suburban Michigan, and you’ll find ample confirmation: the lifelong Republican who says her party has been commandeered by cowards. The Black executive who fears for the safety of her sons. The Democrat who voted for Trump in 2016 but now describes him as “a terrible person.”
Together, they create a powerful political force.
All I can say is whatever it takes to get that Monster out of the White House.
This NYT Times Op-ED asks a question we can only hope isn’t rhetorical. “Has Trump Drawn the Water for a ‘Republican Blood Bath’? And if he has, what should Biden do with his first term?” It’s a conversation between Gail Collins and Bret Stephens.
Gail: Speaking of the competition between Trump and Biden, what did you think of those town hall pseudo debates?
Bret: I think they’re a public service. Biden continues to dispel the myth that he no longer has a brain. And Trump continues to dispel the myth that he’s ever had a heart. The more voters are reminded of these two facts between now and the election, the likelier we are to send Trump into permanent exile in Mar-a-Lago or wherever else he goes from here.
Gail: Well thanks to great reporting from our Times colleagues, we are able to hope that the first place he goes from here is bankruptcy.
Bret: From Here to Bankruptcy? Wasn’t that a film with Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift?
Gail: If it was a new version, we’d have to watch the scene where Trump goes to the beach and embraces Melania (or Stormy? Or someone in between?) in the waves. Definitely don’t want to go there.
Bret: In the meantime, it looks like Amy Coney Barrett is heading toward confirmation, and some progressives are advocating all manner of retaliation against Republicans for pushing the nomination through: ending the Senate filibuster for legislation, packing the Supreme Court, even pushing for statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
All this assumes Democrats win back the Senate and the White House. If they do, is any of that warranted or wise?
Gail: None of those would be on the top of my priority list, but I can understand why they’re coming up. The way the Republicans have handled court appointments is shocking, including their decision to break all the precedents they set during the Obama administration and ram Barrett through just days before the election.
Bret: Well, I wouldn’t object to any president’s right to nominate a justice at any point in his presidency if Mitch McConnell hadn’t held up Merrick Garland’s nomination to replace Antonin Scalia on transparently bogus grounds. But the hypocrisy rankles and reeks. If Senate Republicans had integrity — ha! — they would have held themselves to their own standard and held the nomination until after January.
Trump’s constant trips to the Courts appear to be paying off for everyone but Trump Policy. This is from WAPO. “Federal judge strikes down Trump plan to slash food stamps for 700,000 unemployed Americans” as reported by Spencer Hsu.
A federal judge on Sunday formally struck down a Trump administration attempt to end food stamp benefits for nearly 700,000 unemployed people, blocking as “arbitrary and capricious” the first of three such planned measures to restrict the federal food safety net.
“In a scathing 67-page opinion, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell of D.C. condemned the Agriculture Department for failing to justify or even address the impact of the sweeping change on states, saying its shortcomings had been placed in stark relief amid the pandemic, during which unemployment has quadrupled and rosters of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have grown by more than 17 percent, with more than 6 million new enrollees.
The rule “at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” Howell wrote, adding that the Agriculture Department “has been icily silent about how many [adults] would have been denied SNAP benefits had the changes sought . . . been in effect while the pandemic rapidly spread across the country.” The judge concluded that the department’s “utter failure to address the issue renders the agency action arbitrary and capricious.”
Howell temporarily enjoined the proposal on March 13, the same day President Trump declared the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency. Congress then waived the requirement for the duration of the emergency as part of economic relief legislation, and the Trump administration suspended its planned April implementation date.
However, the Agriculture Department appealed the judge’s earlier order, and absent court intervention the rule would have taken full effect at the end of the state of emergency. Spokesmen for the department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Also going to SCOTUS is the Trump Wall debacle and his “remain in Mexico policy (via Reuters) “U.S. Supreme Court to review legality of Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ asylum policy”.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide the legality of one of President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies that has forced tens of thousands of migrants along the southern border to wait in Mexico, rather than entering the United States, while their asylum claims are processed.
The justices will hear a Trump administration appeal of a 2019 lower court ruling that found that the policy likely violated federal immigration law. The “remain in Mexico” policy remains in effect because the Supreme Court in March put the lower court’s decision to block it on hold while the legal battle continues.
The Republican president has said the policy, which took effect in January 2019, has reduced the flow of migrants from Central America into the United States. Restricting both illegal and legal immigration has been a central theme of Trump’s presidency. He has sought to reduce asylum claims through a series of policy and rule changes.
Immigration advocacy groups and 11 individual asylum seekers who fled violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were returned to Mexico after entering the United States filed suit to challenge the legality of the policy.
Further information on this can be found at WAPO: “Supreme Court to review Trump’s border wall funding and ‘remain-in-Mexico’ program”.
The Trump administration had asked the court to intervene in both because of decisions against it in lower courts.
Also in both cases, the justices have previously allowed the administration to proceed with its plans while the merits of the issues were litigated.
In July, the court rejected a last-ditch effort from environmentalists to stop the ongoing construction of parts of the border wall. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in late June that the administration’s use for the wall of funds intended for the Defense Department was unlawful.
By the time the court hears the case, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition, say the Trump administration will have used all of the money.
But the administration told the court it was important for it to weigh in to correct the decision that the president did not have the authority to redirect military funds to pay for border wall construction.
Trump, who ran for office in 2016 promising that Mexico would pay for the border wall, has obtained more than $15 billion in federal funds for his signature project, including $5 billion provided by Congress through conventional appropriations. The president has tapped into Pentagon accounts for the remaining $10 billion, including the $2.5 billion transfer last year that the 9th Circuit said was unlawful.
In 2019, the Supreme Court in an emergency order allowed the administration to proceed with the transfers and contracts for construction, even though House Democrats, affected states and environmental groups said that violated the will of Congress, which withheld the funds from the administration.
So, if you’re like me and getting very tired, wistful, and full of wishing you will never hear anything negative about dull moments again, just join us and vote! VOTE! VOTE!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?