Disambiguation from the political and social musings of Jack Altschuler

Biden

Let Me Simplify These For You


POST 1082


It Almost Doesn’t Matter Who It Is

Pundits, journalists, editorial boards and experts with bed wetting tendencies have put their advanced stages of hand wringing on public display since the first moments of the debate debacle on June 27.

Full disclosure: We were at a watch party that night with fellow democracy loving people and I confess that shortly after Biden made his opening statement I blurted, “He just gave the presidency to Trump.” He looked and sounded like a great uncle who spends his day staring into the unfocused distance. He’s just not a good model of a strong and vibrant leader for our fractious nation.

My thinking now is that Biden’s apparent cognitive abilities* don’t matter. Here’s why.

Righties will vote for Trump. Democrats will vote for the Democratic candidate. Undecideds and independents are counting on us to convince them to defeat the Trump monster.

In other words, it’s time for all of us to put away our amateur psychologist notions, our confirmation biases, our certainties and even that light saber you’ve kept for so long and instead focus solely on banishing the monster. It’s time for reality and it’s time for action and the light saber won’t help us.

There is only one overarching imperative: protect and defend our Constitution and our democracy.

That’s about our way of life, our rights, our freedoms and our safety. This is the sine qua non.

The only way for that to happen is for us to elect leaders dedicated to the America intended by our Founders, the one we know we can become, and send the faux patriots packing.

It almost doesn’t matter who the nominee is for the Democrats. It’s entirely about ensuring massive turnout so that Donald Trump never gets his hands on power – ever. That is the battle. That is the call to duty. That means that we must dedicate ourselves to voting even for a smear of brain cells in a Petri dish if that’s the only candidate on the ballot to oppose Trump. At least we’ll have a president capable of intelligence.

So, abandon your certainty that Biden should quit the race or that he should not. Your certainty is worth nothing if Trump wins.

So, Biden, Newsom, Harris, Whitmer, Moore, Princess Leia – it doesn’t much matter. We must get behind the nominee and we must agitate, motivate and activate literally all registered voters to vote against Trump and all other hateful MAGAs. Then we will have leaders who will take action to reverse the abhorrent Supreme Court decisions violating our rights and intended to obliterate our democracy.

It’s time to muscle up the courage to do what must be done. Abandon your notions of a perfect candidate because there isn’t one.

Any candidate standing in opposition to Trump will do. Go campaign with all the depth and breadth and height of your soul. Put on your big boy or big girl pants and march directly to the Democrat campaign office nearest you and volunteer your very best, your passion and your intellect, to beat Trump. Campaign for that smear of brain cells in a Petri dish, if need be. When we make democracy the winner, with gratitude and relief I will send you a red, white and blue “I BANISHED THE MONSTER !!!” sticker.

Perhaps all of that can give you some comfort in the midst of our national quit/don’t quit mania.

The Immunity Death Star Is Real

Regular reader, periodic contributor and boyhood pal Frank Levy wrote a speech for Joe Biden to deliver. Here’s a piece of it.

Beginning today, shielded by the immunity given to me by the Supreme Court, I will use the Insurrection and Patriot Acts to arrest and imprison in Guantanamo:

• every member of Congress who refused to certify the 2020 Presidential Election

• every citizen not already in jail, including Donald Trump, who participated in false elector schemes and/or the attempted overthrow of the United States government

• every oligarch who sought and seeks to buy influence in Congress and the Supreme Court

• every media/internet mogul who allowed and allows their network and platforms to spread lies and misinformation.

I will then order Congress to:

• pass a rule to end the filibuster

• set term limits on Supreme Court Justices

• impeach Justices Alito and Thomas

• make Roe and marriage equality the law of the land

• eliminate the Electoral College

• secure our treaties with NATO, Europe, Ukraine and other allies

• pass whatever other legislation is necessary to secure American democracy, freedom and justice at home and abroad.

I don’t think that the notorious six Heritage Foundation Supreme Court justices intended for all that to be possible, but they actually did make all that possible through their justice defying presidential immunology insanity.

To add one more log onto this raging inferno of an issue, Sheila Markin, author of The Markin Report, offered a cure.

The Supreme Court must be expanded and the current senior jurists – Thomas and Alito – must go to lower courts. The Constitution says they have lifetime appointments but does not say they must be on the Supreme Court for life.

Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution states:

The judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour . . .

Setting aside the implied not-good-behavior disqualifier, it’s a matter of interpretation whether Sheila’s notion of demotion of justices is Constitutional. If it is, too bad for Clarence Thomas. There would be no more obscenely expensive freebie vacations for him, nor a fancy million dollar RV.

To better understand this draconian presidential immunity assault on our nation, watch this video from Rachel Maddow.

Finally

Last Thursday was America’s birthday party – number 248. Perhaps you barbecued, quaffed a beverage of choice, watched a parade and went to the fireworks on a hot July day. Such things are what we do.

We stand on the shoulders of giants whose vision and courage were greater than most of us can imagine. They imbued us with certain responsibilities and the opportunity for greatness.

Read what Steve Schmidt had to say about that in his 4th of July message, Happy Birthday, America.

_____________________________________

* Be sure to check out the Cognition post this Wednesday. You can remember to do that, right? So can Joe Biden.


“Friends do not let friends vote for con artists.”

  • – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 2016
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics in these posts will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Abandoning Fantasies


POST 1080


Still Reeling

.  .  . from the debate debacle. Yet we must continue our march forward.

Trump was Trump, grifting, fabricating idiotic, outrageous lies and doing his fantabulous projections of his lunacy and criminality onto Biden. But that isn’t the oddest thing. What is far more odd is that millions of Americans want this psychopath to be our next president.

And Biden was Biden – the one we rarely get a glimpse of; the actual guy. He’s been great for decades. He continues to be an excellent chief executive of our country. But he has degenerated into a sometimes terrible candidate and an unreliable campaigner.

This election will, like most, be decided by the 10 – 20% in the middle. These folks are independent, most are relative centrists and many are not very well informed voters. They are the ones who have to be convinced to vote for Biden. Many will vote against Trump, many will refuse to vote because they don’t like either candidate and some will vote for a third party candidate. The refusers and the third party voters may convince themselves that they are in their integrity, making a statement. What they actually will be doing is electing Trump.

Angry people are motivated. Trump’s devoted followers are like that. They show up and vote. Democrats aren’t as motivated and many eligible voters don’t vote at all. That passion inequality has delivered minority rule and is exactly why voting refusers and third party voters are tacitly voting for Trump.

And knowingly or not, they are voting to end our 248 year commitment to democracy.

My call for Biden to withdraw from the race has been echoed by many pundits and editorial boards, even as it isn’t as easy as that. There are the fundraising challenges for a replacement candidate, the building of a war cabinet and the wooing of millions in a different direction, all in a very limited amount of time. In other words, Biden may yet stay on the ticket, leaving us a quite challenging task: motivating people to vote for Biden, even in the face of his poor performance at the debate.

Let’s start with this from Adam Kinzinger the night before the debate:

Today, we face an election about a singular, monumental issue: the very essence of our democracy. The question before us is clear—which of the two candidates will stand unyielding in their commitment to preserve, protect, and defend our Constitution and strengthen our Democracy?

For me, the answer is simple: And that is why, today, I am officially Endorsing Joe Biden’s Re-Election for the Presidency of the United States of America. [emphasis original]

There is a reason why I and so many others come back to urging voting and activist support. Kinzinger lays out in plain language the imperative to act for our nation. Unfortunately, we live in a nation of apathy for serious things. We’re full of passion for our sports teams and the backyard barbecue. Some are energized at a rally where their fears and anger are stoked by a charlatan.

For about 40% of us our eyes glaze over when the subject is how we decide to be governed, but here’s the thing: our government is legitimized only through the consent of the governed – you and me. When we sit out the big game, we tacitly forfeit our voice, our hopes and dreams, and even our beliefs, surrendering them to those who will not “preserve, protect, and defend our Constitution and strengthen our Democracy.”

There it is – the reason you are and I will vote and the reason we must encourage others to stand up for our country.

Best Quote

From the Declaration of Independence:

We have appealed to [King George III and English] native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.

That has been our experience in dealing with our extremist fellow citizens today, both those in elected office and the ordinary citizens steeped in grievance. They have steadfastly lobbied for their usurparations of our Constitution and made connections and correspondence impossible by their fictions, their horrible conspiracy nightmares and their calls to violence against fellow citizens. Worst, “they have been deaf to the voice of justice.” That is what has brought us to this moment.

They want to establish a patriarchy, different only in trivial ways from the extremists in Iran. They want American women to be second class at best, subject to the whim of their fathers and husbands.* You’ve seen the theft of rights and the promises of more usurpations to come from state legislatures, Congress and the Supreme Court. You know their calls to theocracy.

It’s all right before our eyes. So, much as many of us wish there would be a vigorous, energized and energizing new presidential candidate to relegate Trump to the lonely infamy he deserves, we are left with actual reality. We know full well that we cannot – we must not – be influenced by any Kellyanne Conway alternative facts or even our own secret wishes. We must grab our patriotic responsibility and do what we know must be done.

So, even in the face of the debate debacle, are you in?

___________________________________________________

* Here’s anti-women’s liberation, self-appointed full citizenship antagonist, Phyllis Schlafly from years ago:

“The ‘women’s lib[eration]’ movement is not an honest effort to secure better jobs for women who want or need to work outside the home,” she said. It “is a total assault on the role of the American woman as wife and mother, and on the family as the basic unit of society. Women’s libbers are trying to make wives and mothers unhappy with their career, make them feel that they are ‘second-class citizens’ and ‘abject slaves.’ Women’s libbers are promoting free sex instead of the “slavery” of marriage. They are promoting Federal ‘day-care centers’ for babies instead of homes. They are promoting abortions instead of families.”

You can find essentially the same extremist sentiments today coming from Evangelicals, MAGA spouters and the spineless ones who know better but lack the integrity to say so. There is something that wants women to be powerless, second class citizens and which won’t go away.

Be clear: we are the ones standing up to stop the citizenship thieves.


“Friends do not let friends vote for con artists.”

  • – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 2016
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics in these posts will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

It’s Over


POST 1079


The presidential debate was over before the first word was uttered. Joe Biden walked in looking like a doddering old man. When he spoke his voice was strained, his enunciation was blurred and he sounded enfeebled. This country doesn’t honor age. We are about youth and vitality.

\So, Joe Biden just confirmed the worst fears of undecideds and persuadables.

That Trump did his standard lying, making up outrageous stuff on the spot and declaring monstrous idiocy was entirely predictable. So was his projecting his lies, his failings, his crimes and his incompetence onto Biden. Everyone, including undecideds and persuadables, knew he’d be doing all of that because that’s what Trump always does. And Biden let him get away with the majority of it.

Biden barely challenged Trump. He never called him the liar that he is. He never challenged the American people, asking how they like being lied to all the time. The closest he came was an “Oh, yeah? No, you’re the worst.” Like a kid saying, “Nya-nya” to a brat on the playground.

The problem isn’t doubt about whether Joe Biden can be an outstanding executive doing the job of the presidency. It’s about him doing the job of a candidate well. And he isn’t.

In just 90 minutes yesterday Joe Biden gave the presidency to Donald Trump.

An Open Letter to President Biden

Dear President Biden:

Drop out of the race now. Do this for the American people, for democracy and for the safety of the entire world.

Tell the world that you’ve been honored by the opportunity given to you to restore America’s place of leadership in the world, to save hundreds of thousands of American lives from death by Covid, to have led the United States to have the best economic recovery from a worldwide pandemic, to be the arsenal to stop Vladimir Putin from recreating the despotic Soviet Union dominating eastern Europe, and thank you for so much more.

Joe, you’ve been great in so many ways. Now it’s time to leave the Oval Office. Tell everyone that the most presidential thing you can do now is to make room for a new and vigorous Democratic candidate for the presidency.

With love, great respect, gratitude and urgency,

Jack

__________________________________________________________

For Clarity

Heather Cox Richardson has a different take on this. Clearly, she is less affected by Biden’s campaign presentation than I am and seems to be okay with Biden continuing. She does a nice job of outlining the Trump Thursday night horror show, too.

To be clear, my concern is the beauty contest factor, which Biden lost dreadfully and which may well be the deciding factor for many voters in so-called “battle ground” states. That is why I want to see a statesman moment from Biden and a fresh, vigorous Democratic candidate stepping into the spotlight now, while there is still time to repair and rebuild the Democratic offering.

For a very different take, read Thomas Friedman’s piece. Spoiler: He says with great sadness that it’s time for Biden to get out of the race. Very tough love.


“Friends do not let friends vote for con artists.”

  • – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 2016
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics in these posts will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Elections


Post 1,044

Get Over It

Joe Biden is the Democratic Party nominee for President. Regardless of his age, his awkward gait, his historic gaffs, his verbally relocating various world leaders to other countries, his paltry number of press conferences, his refusal to be younger than he is and his inability to make everything in the universe just the way you like it, he is the nominee.

Click me

Sure, a younger, more vigorous candidate would be attractive, other things being equal, which they never are. Yes, we’d be inspired to see this candidate doing multiple campaign stops every day, kissing babies and thrilling us with speeches filled with patriotic fervor. We’d delight hearing Kennedy-like repartee, seeing Obama-like airplane boarding hops and shaming of the people who are blocking what we all know is the right thing to do. You’ll have to settle for just that last one.

Biden is going to continue to be the nominee. He’s going to make more gaffs and be older than you’d like. And he’s going to smile that 1,000 watt smile and wear aviator sunglasses and know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, patriotism and sabotage. He’ll be a lousy candidate but a phenomenal President, doing what the vast majority of Americans want their President to do. He will protect our country, honor the Constitution and steadfastly advance old fashioned stuff like democracy and the rule of law. He’ll continue to return us to government of, by and for the people. You know – like Lincoln said.

Campaigning isn’t the same as actually doing the job. And in the end, the campaigning won’t mean a thing. What will matter is having the right values to be the commander of this ship of state. Only Biden checks that box.

He’s old. Get over it.

Need more help? Take a look at this fantastic list from Daily Kos.

Reality Denial – Reprise
  1. There are claims still being made by congressional Republican election deniers (over 140 of these cowards* are still in office). They are also being made by delusional Trump lawyers and temper tantrum dopes who lost their elections (I’m looking at you, Kari Lake.) Plus there are the frothing Trump supporters and those with a pathological need to be in community with like minded haters (the aggrieved victimhood addicts). Nevertheless, there is a total lack of evidence of voting fraud. Even Rudy Giuliani at last had to admit that. And Trump lost every lawsuit he filed in trying to steal the election for himself – every one for a total lack of evidence. BTW: “Everybody says” and “People are saying” are not evidence. They are not facts. They are circus barker lies.
  2. There is voluminous proof of the opposite, that the 2020 presidential election was free, fair and devoid of all but the most insignificant voting irregularities. This is supported by audits and recounts in many states, counties and cities. To be fair, there were a handful of guys in Ohio and Pennsylvania who tried to vote in the name of their dead mothers. All of their fraudulent votes were cast for Trump. Their votes were discarded and they were prosecuted.
  3. Still, millions of Americans continue to claim that the election was stolen from Trump. They make their claims entirely on the basis of “Yeah, but I want Trump.” They have their fallacious certainties and they voice them with passion, often with barely controlled anger and sometimes with firearms to prove their might and right. But their volume and guns don’t change a thing: they’re still wrong. Pathologically, factually wrong. And they are dedicated to their groundless, anti-American beliefs. Wanna change their minds and votes? Fugeddaboutit.

Of the non-MAGA Republicans (yes, there still are a few), David French writes in The New York Times,

“. . . in any clash between traditional Republicans and MAGA, traditional Republicans typically surrender.”

That’s called cowardice. Or dereliction of duty. Or violation of oath of office. Or all three and perhaps still more dreadful descriptors. They are members of the “I want to keep my job, so I’ll just cave in and shut up” club.

Unqualified

During the first utterly forgettable Republican primary non-debate, several of the candidates railed against abortions done just before a natural birth would occur. I think the walls of my family room are still echoing my involuntary shout, “WHAT?!?

What evidence is there of such a thing? I found out by reading Neil Steinberg’s 13 takeaways from that shameful Republican demonstration of dishonesty and unintended buffoonery. Here’s his #9 explainer:

Someone should tell these Republicans that the reason a woman needs the right to an abortion up to the time of birth is if the baby she is carrying is dead, or has such massive infirmities that it will die shortly after birth. Nobody has an abortion in the eighth month because they’re afraid their child will grow up to be like Ron DeSantis, although that seems a valid reason.

The point of mentioning this abortion nonsense is to use it as a placeholder for all the lies, distortions, hyperbolic propaganda and delusions that Republicans use to “flood the zone.” They vomit this crap (terminology from the DSM-5 reference book for psychological disorders**) so fast that there is no possibility to counter it in real time.

Biden is beginning to swing a club at Trump now, calling out some of his lies and anti-American – let’s call it crap. That’s a start, but we need more people calling out the liars. We need more people asking publicly whether these people spouting untrue things are liars or whether they’re willfully ignorant or just stupid. We need more people shaming the hypocrites when they do and say shameful things, because these candidates aren’t worthy of holding public office.

Nikki Haley’s speech to concede the New Hampshire primary election (here – start at 1:35) was full of attacks against Biden. Other than accurately stating his age, none of what she said was true. None!

But now she thinks that all she has to do is to spout hyperbolic, antagonistic lies and hold on until they perp walk Trump to the fitting room for an orange jumpsuit. Then she’ll beat Biden to become the next President by default. She might be right. Biden can beat Trump, but many have significant misgivings about whether he can beat Haley. She’s younger, you know. But still unqualified.

And she lies. Call her out.

Voters

Bob Dylan was right and continues to be right: The times they are a-changing. Have a look at this chart from Gallup:

Click me for the full report.

Now, if the moderate women – the black line – (defined as those who aren’t bat shit crazy) were to join the ascendant liberal women – the dotted blue line – they would constitute an enormous force for sanity. All they have to do to save our Republic is to show up and vote.

_______________________________

* Courage:

mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty – Merriam-Webster

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those non-MAGA Republican dopes were suddenly able to find their courage and do what’s right? Have low expectations for this.

** Not actually true. Just a joke, although the DSM-5 is real. Nevertheless, we’re wishing for Republican mental health to re-appear. Once again, have low expectations.


  • Today is a good day to be the light
  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Intractable


Post 1,003

—————————————

I need your great idea. Israelis and Palestinians need it more and the world is demanding it.

An example of that demand is in an October 18 op-ed from Charles M. Blow in the New York Times, An Evolving Moral High Ground in the Israel-Gaza War. Blow says of the Hamas attack that killed over 1,400 Israelis, butchered babies, took hostages and more that it, “.  .  . was horrid, barbaric and inexcusable. Israel has a right to defend itself and pursue the perpetrators.”

Then he says “.  .  . evacuation orders [to Palestinians] are imposed, electricity and basic supplies are cut off — is also horrid and not a justifiable response to the terrorist attacks.” Many are expressing similar views, including in massive street demonstrations around the world. They are especially calling for Israel to stop all attacks in Gaza. Understandable. Got it. Just one thing.

Hamas isn’t done trying to kill Israelis. In fact it has continued to fire rockets into Israel. If Israel stops attacking Hamas, they’ll do yet more killing of Israelis. If Israel backs off all military pressure, it will be jump starting the next large scale wave of Hamas terrorists killing Israelis.

On October 19, speaking from the Oval Office, President Biden said,

“[H]istory has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction. They keep going, and the cost and the threats to America and to the world keep rising.”

Substitute “Israel” for “America” in his words and you have the problem Israel faces right now.

We all understand the humanitarian imperative to avoid harming non-combatant Palestinians. But the “just one thing” part is the answer to the question of what Israel should do. We can ask it another way: After a cease fire, what comes next to accomplish these goals:

  1. Minimal harm to civilians.
  2. Safe and secure borders.
  3. An end to Hamas – because if they exist at all they will continue to kill Israelis, which would negate points 1 and 2

Did I get that right? What am I missing?

Hamas has two purposes for existing: to eliminate the state of Israel and to kill Jews. It’s in their charter. It’s hard to find a solution to end the violence when one party is absolutely dedicated to the elimination of its adversary as a state and the killing of all of its people. They leave no room for negotiation, much less any path to peace.

It looks to me that if Israel continues attacking Hamas sites in Gaza that the collateral damage will be dead and wounded Palestinians. If they back off, the dead and wounded will be Israelis. Either way, the world will blame Israel and Jews for civilian deaths. I’m at the tipping point to “I don’t care what the world thinks or who it blames.” But that’s just me.

Blow says that “Israel has a right to defend itself and pursue the perpetrators.” How should they do that in a way that protects non-combatants? Once we get past the Kumbaya recommendations, the practical requirement – the imperative – for protection remains. What should Israel do to defend itself and to pursue the perps?

Please don’t offer an “Everyone deserves to live in safety and freedom” solution, because that isn’t a solution, as Hamas won’t abide by it. And bombardment back to the stone age is unacceptable on its face, even though that has been the solution of choice for thousands of years. In the present day it’s called “ethnic cleansing” or whatever is Putin’s phony justification for what he’s doing to the people of Ukraine.

There are a lot of very smart people who have worked to find an answer to this so-far intractable problem. We need your great idea, something that can work for everyone.


Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Much To Say


Post 1,001

—————————————

Save a Life

I don’t have combat fatigues or desert boots. I don’t have an assault rifle or mortar shells, nor even a hobby style drone. I’m a pilot but I cannot fly a military fighter or helicopter. I’m good with a Band-Aid, but I’m no corpsman, much less a doctor. Plus, I passed my “best if used by” date for war a long time ago. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t help.

Regular readers know that my focus is usually on the insanity that passes for our national politics. I write, hoping to disambiguate and make a difference. That is something I can do.

And I can do something for the young people who are guilty of having gone to a music festival in the desert. I can do something for those who survived in their “safe rooms” as Hamas terrorists set fire to their houses. I can do something for the families murdered near the Gaza border. I can do something for those now homeless in Ashkelon because of Hamas rockets.

I can write to you.

American Friends of Magen David Adom is about saving lives. Every penny of every contribution goes toward saving lives. It’s their tagline: “Saving lives. It’s in our blood.”

My temple sponsored a new ambulance for them. That’s the kind of “every penny” for saving lives that I mean. They don’t discriminate – they help all they can.

Writing about and giving to save lives is something I can do.

Reading and giving to save lives is something you can do.

Click here or on the logo of Magen David Adom. Poke around their website to see what they’re about. Then click on the DONATE button and enter an amount that pinches a bit.

Go ahead. Save a life today. It’s in your blood.

And pass this along to your friends and family, your Facebook groupies, your congregants (any congregants – this is ecumenical, universal saving of life), your neighbors, your Sunday afternoon football bros. Every one of us was taught to help others, so here’s the opportunity in real time to do that. So, be a hero – lead the way.

Hurry: lives hang in the balance.

Victims

I watched part of Andrea Mitchell’s program on MSNBC on Thursday and listened to her telephone interview with a 22 year old woman in Gaza named Salma Shurrab. Shurrab described living without running water or electricity, with no hope of securing more food and in the midst of rubble. She said that there is no safe place and that hospitals are running out of supplies. She called Hamas “the Palestinian Resistance.” She called the IDF “the Aggression.”

Surely, she knows that Israeli actions are in response to the violence unleashed on Israelis since October 7 by Hamas terrorists (my word, not hers). We don’t know if she has details about beheaded Israeli children or Israelis burned alive or grandparents and Holocaust survivors dragged away as hostages. She must have some information about the death and destruction done by Hamas fighters, yet she points her finger at Israel. That made me wonder.

When her brother and his friends were thumping their chests, brandishing their AK-47s and yelling “Death to Israel! Death to Jews!” what did she do? Did she tell them that they were not allowed to lob missiles from their house in Gaza City to kill Israeli civilians?

For the past 20 years Palestinian mothers and fathers could have been teaching their children not to be terrorists, not to be bomb makers or suicide bombers, not to be murderers. They didn’t do that and you know what their grown sons have done. You know who has paid the price so far. You know who is going to pay a far greater price soon.

The failure of those parents made certain that the coming invasion and loss of Palestinian life was inevitable. Their failure has put the life of that woman talking to Andrea Mitchell at risk. Their failure has ensured that another generation of Hamas terrorists will arise to do nothing but kill and, in the end, get thousands more Palestinian civilians killed.

President Biden said,

“.  .  .  [Hamas’] stated purpose is the annihilation of the State of Israel and the murder of Jewish people .  .  .  Hamas offers nothing but terror and bloodshed with no regard to who pays the price.”

Many billions of dollars of aid from Qatar, Iran, Turkey and elsewhere have poured into Gaza over the years. That money could have gone to building hospitals, schools, tech startups, infrastructure and more. Instead it went into building rockets and buying armaments so that most Gazans live in militarized subsistence and their children are angry, quick to blame and eager to kill.

While most Palestinians aren’t militants carrying AK-47s or firing rockets targeted at Israeli civilians, they are not innocent victims because they allowed bomb factories to be placed in their mosques, command posts under hospitals, rocket launchers in kindergartens and all the rest of the war preparation that was done using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

Civilian death is what happens when hatred and blame come home. The Palestinians allowed their sons to grow up to be terrorists. So, with sincere concern for Salma Shurrab, there is no Palestinian civilian innocence.

Now, incrementally, the world is cautioning Israel to avoid harm to Palestinian civilians, but that advice is way too late. Advice and support that could have actually made a difference to preserve Palestinian life has been missing for decades.

As the body count ramps up, talking heads, in their self-righteous indignation, will call the Israelis terrorists, butchers and murderers. What you’ll hear is how Palestinians, injured or killed, were innocent victims of the oppressor, Israel. If history is a teacher, you won’t hear about Palestinian responsibility and they’ll have no useful ideas; just finger pointing. They’re no more than useful idiots for Hamas.

Palestinian civilian death is tragic, but is guaranteed by the promises of Hamas to kill any and every Palestinian who so much as speaks of peace with Israel or Jews. Hamas exists for only one thing: killing Jews and killing anyone who doesn’t want to kill Jews. Doubt that? Read their charter, especially Article 7. Easier: read this.

What Will Happen

This post was written on Saturday, October 14. The IDF had bombed most of Gaza and instructed Palestinians in the north to go south, telegraphing where the IDF land invasion would begin in the search for hostages and Hamas fighters. The Israeli forces will not stop; they will not use half-way measures. Here’s why.

From the Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2021:

There’s a story that US President Joe Biden has told many times over the years about his first trip to Israel.
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As a freshman senator in 1973, Biden was granted a meeting with prime minister Golda Meir, who together with Yitzhak Rabin briefed Biden on the many threats Israel faced, showing him a series of maps.
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“I guess she could see the sense of apprehension on my face,” Biden said in a 2010 retelling of the story. “She said, ‘Senator, don’t look so worried… We Israelis have a secret weapon.’ And I thought she only had said this to me, no one else in the whole world .  .  . And I thought she was going to tell me about a new secret weapon.”
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So what is Israel’s secret weapon, Biden asked eagerly.
“We have nowhere else to go,” replied Golda.
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That was true in 1948, in 1967, in 1973 and in all the conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah. It is still true today. That is why Hamas cannot and will not win this or any war against Israel.
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At the same time, Israel, now propelled by humiliation, outrage, the real need to protect its citizens and, indeed, Jews everywhere, is falling into the Hamas trap – more on that here.
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Mass civilian deaths from an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza will paint a black scar on Israel and has already interrupted peace negotiations with Saudi Arabia. The price for Hamas to achieve that interruption is already over 3,000 dead and there likely will be thousands more Palestinian deaths, but Hamas doesn’t care a bit about that. They have a boatload of bastardized Quranic phrases to justify slaughter. Again, read their charter.
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Both Hamas and Israel could have peace. But for that to happen, both sides would have to want peace. At least one side doesn’t want it, any more than Yassir Arafat wanted peace when it was within easy reach in 2000 at Camp David.
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If you have a workable solution to this mess, contact the nearest Israeli embassy immediately. But, please, be real. If those were your babies who were beheaded, your children who were hacked to death in the desert, your parents who were burned alive or shot dead fleeing their burning home or taken hostage, how would you counsel Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz?

In WWII we Americans firebombed Dresden, Tokyo and more cities. We dropped atomic bombs on two cities that were not military targets. We were after eliminating the enemies who sought to kill us. Can you conjure a reason there should be different rules for Israel facing the homicidal insanity of Hamas?

The maniacal Hamas murderers can’t be jawboned into becoming flower children. They live solely to kill. It’s in their charter.


Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

What Art Friedson Has On His Mind


Here’s a guest essay, a wonderful post from Art Friedson from the June 23 NKC Occasional Update, reprinted with permission of the author.

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One of the great mysteries of life is how Joe Biden can be polling so low on favorable/unfavorable, and even more so, on his handling of the economy. Really? Are you kidding me?
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Okay, I get that he’s old. We all wish he was a decade or two younger. But by any objective measure, the man has been one of the most effective presidents in recent history, especially when it comes to the economy. Probably the most effective president. In fact, when it comes to presidents, Joe Biden is the GOAT: Greatest Of All Time.

Let’s start with the big picture and work our way down. President Biden took office just as the Covid pandemic was ramping up. China was already shut down which caused major supply chain disruptions: factories we relied on for goods were closed, and the related shipping delays made it nearly impossible to get the few goods that were available..

At the same time, there were vaccines in development, but no plans for the kind of mass distribution that would be necessary for what turned out to be the series of shots that would be required to tamp down the spread of the virus.
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U.S. Covid deaths
(Graphic from the C.D.C.)
Just three months into his term, as Covid deaths were reaching their first big spike in the U.S., the Biden Administration had already ramped up vaccine production and put a distribution plan in place that was flexible enough to be tweaked and evolve to meet impediments that surfaced.
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Throughout it all, President Biden skillfully and adeptly worked with a polarized Congress to pass law after law to pump money into the economy in general, and directly into the hands of the Americans who needed it most. At the same time, he used every administrative maneuver possible to successfully get the kinks out of the supply chain.
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The pandemic revealed a more serious problem for American industry: we had ceded control to foreign manufacturers. So again, President Biden finessed a series of measures through a challenging Congress that directly addressed the structural problems the pandemic exposed.
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Private Investment in Manufacturing
(Graphic from the St. Louis Fed)
The billions of dollars that have been and will be spent on infrastructure, coupled with the massive investments in new manufacturing sites for batteries, solar cells, and semiconductors, have been matched by unprecedented foreign investment resulting in what Axios chief financial reporter Neil Irwin calls “a manufacturing supercyle.”
The industrial construction boom has already offset the decline in residential and commercial construction that were hit by rising interest rates. Longer term, they can be counted on to provide a steady flow of good-paying jobs that will go a long way towards building back the middle class that was decimated by Republican economic policies that sent jobs and production overseas.
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While the Republican tax cuts drove income inequality, President Biden’s successes are driving an American revival. Current unemployment rates are lower than they were in the economic boom times of the 80s, 90s, and early 00s. While the unemployment rate for African Americans still lags, it has fallen from 16.8% in May, 2020, to just 4.7% now which is very close to an all-time low.
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President Biden has also taken on the surge of hidden fees that have raised prices on airline and concert tickets, as well as “junk fees” for banking and credit cards. These are the hidden drivers that fuel inflation by increasing corporate profits, separate and apart from the macroeconomic drivers of inflation. It’s like he has eliminated the Greed Tax.
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It took this long to mention inflation, so let’s deal with it. Yes, when you pump a bunch of money into the economy, even for the best of reasons, you get inflation. It has happened everywhere in the world since the Covid crisis. But in the U.S., thanks to President Biden and The Fed, inflation has fallen for 11 straight months, from a peak of over 9% last summer to the current rate of 4%. At the same time, markets have returned to within 10% of their all-time record levels. Why, you may ask? Because (a) investors have confidence that the right actions are being taken; and (b), since markets usually project the economy six months out, they believe that we will stay on the right track.
Energy CPI
(Graphic from Axios)
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The combination of falling inflation, decreasing unemployment, and record investment in manufacturing has been a boon to all Americans, not just the 1%. Income inequality has fallen thanks to tighter labor markets, greater transparency, and increased unionization.
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The bulk of the benefits of the Biden Boom redounds to the poorest members of American society. They are the ones whose incomes -even with inflation- have increased the most on a proportional basis. They are the ones who are getting the high-speed internet connections they were denied in the past. They are the ones landing the jobs rebuilding infrastructure and manufacturing and they are the ones who will hold the jobs that come on-stream after these facilities are built.
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The policies of the Biden Administration are benefiting the very people who are least likely to support him in an election. How crazy is that?
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Along the way, the Republican policies that drive income inequality and only benefit the rich are now completely debunked. They don’t work. They don’t create jobs and they don’t lift the poor. As hard as it is for even Establishment Republicans to admit it, their policies only benefit the rich, while Biden’s policies benefit everyone, rich and poor, rural and urban, blue and red.
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All this, and we have only focused on the economy. How about resurrecting the State Department and reconstituting NATO just in time for the Russian invasion of Ukraine? How about getting a record number of federal judges ratified and seated? How about the fact that America is not at war with anyone? Can any of you recall a time when we could say that?
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Our job – yours and mine – over the next 14 months is to spread the word about the unparalleled success of the Biden Administration and push pack hard every time we hear a discouraging word. Nobody has done this president thing like Joe Biden. He’s the GOAT. He may be an old goat, but he’s the GOAT and he deserves our unqualified support. The state of our nation quite literally depends on it.
______________________________
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Note: All graphics are linkable.

You can subscribe to Art Friedson’s offerings in NKC Occasional Updates here..

______________________________

Focus For Democracy: Zoom Briefing – 2022 Impact Event
Focus for Democracy is a pro-bono donor advisory that approaches political investment in an effective, dynamic, data-driven way.  Learn about the effectiveness of its 2022 Midterm programs and hear the network leaders’ thoughts on the road ahead.
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This is NOT a fundraiser.
Thursday, June 29th
5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET
Register here: https://tinyurl.com/F4DJune29

Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

SOTU


This was absolutely the best SOTU I’ve seen in terms of both content and style, with strong persuasion value for independents and undecideds. They’re some of the people who will decide the next elections.

I especially loved Biden’s rope-a-dope over Social Security and Medicare. He suckered in the liars/haters/cheaters and showed them to be the dopes who want to end or privatize those enormously popular programs, a move that would infuriate tens of millions of Americans who were watching at that moment.

Biden said,

“Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans, some Republicans, want Medicare and Social Security to sunset. I’m not saying it’s the majority.”

“Hi, I’m Marjorie and I’m a rude, mean girl. I yelled,’You lie!’ at the SOTU. I sure showed that Biden guy who’s the smart one.”

That’s when the Republican congressional temper tantrum started.

Biden continued,

“Let me give you — anybody who doubts it, contact my office. I’ll give you a copy — I’ll give you a copy of the proposal.”

The proposal to sunset all government programs, including Social Security and Medicare, was written by the former chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Rick Scott (R-FL),* who somehow, in an act of desperation, denies his own proposal. The crazies knew of that proposal and others even more draconian, but still they booed. They yelled, “Liar!” They were apoplectic. They snarled in anger. They were extremists being extremists.

“You know, it means if Congress doesn’t keep the programs the way they are, they go away.

“Other Republicans say — I’m not saying it’s a majority of you, I don’t even think it’s even a significant — but it’s being proposed by individuals. I’m not — politely not naming them, but it’s being proposed by some of you.

More jeering and heckling.

“Look, folks, the idea is that we’re not going to be — we’re not going to be moved into being threatened to default on the debt if we don’t respond.”

That’s when the apoplectics began to quiet, because they knew they were angering millions of Americans by threatening to default on US debt obligations and not pay our bills. And they couldn’t afford to be seen as the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid enemies that they really are.

“Folks — so folks, as we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now, right?” Cheering. “They’re not to be — all right. We’ve got unanimity.”

“Social Security and Medicare are a lifeline for millions of seniors. Americans have to pay into them from the very first paycheck they started.

“So tonight, let’s all agree — and we apparently are — let’s stand up for seniors. Stand up and show them we will not cut Social Security. We will not cut Medicare.”

And everybody stood and applauded! Even the crazies!

“Those benefits belong to the American people. They earned it.”

Rope-a-dope. Genius execution by Biden.

The extremists had displayed themselves to be exactly what they are – rude horribles unmindful of the needs of the American people – and McCarthy looked weak, ineffective and powerless. This was a clear demonstration of truth. The entire event is one of the most lopsided contests I’ve seen.

“Hi. I’m Sarah and I lie. You can tell, because I’m talking.

Nearly as good, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered the Republican rebuttal with true-to-form dexterity of dystopia speak. She extended her lying streak and sounded both wooden and stupid. She was almost as good a promoter of Democrats as Biden.

She got one thing right, saying, “The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy.” She just doesn’t get that it’s she and the Republican extremists who are the crazy ones.

Sanders spoke to the 11% of voters who are hair-on-fire types, living in the Cave Of Crazy. But she was, I believe, off-putting at best to everyone else. Let’s hope she’s very visible for the next two years.

This SOTU address was a brilliant display of Biden as warrior and Republicans as fools. The energy he marshaled for his presentation is what has largely been missing from many of his prior presentations and likely what has driven his low approval ratings. Those low numbers certainly are not about his programs or policies, as those are extremely popular.

There’s more that gets in the way of progress, like ineffective DNC communication and frequent failure of Democrats to smack down the Republican liars, haters and cowards. But energy – especially from an 80 year old man whose age augers against his continuing in office past 2024 – is what Biden needs to display every time he’s behind a microphone.

Great kudos to Biden’s masterful speech writers and to his 2 weeks of preparation. Both paid off. And kudos, too, to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, lifelong liar, mean girl and new promoter of Democrats.

This was a good night for truth, justice and the American Way. Cue music and waving cape.
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From the “You’re Not Going To Believe This” File

You’re Not Going To Believe This #1

When I had stopped shaking my head in disbelief, it became clear that you need to know that this goes on.

“Only in Mississippi”: White representatives vote to create White-appointed court system for Blackest city in U.S.
A White supermajority of the Mississippi House voted after an intense, four-plus hour debate to create a separate court system and expanded police force within the city of Jackson — the Blackest city in America — that would be appointed completely by White state officials.

Read in Mississippi Today: https://apple.news/A99E_dva5SleoMi7OnGEJ9w.

Believe it or not, it’s worse than this already looks. Thanks to JN for pointing this out

Yet, this isn’t an “Only in Mississippi” story. This is akin to former White Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan who, by the powers granted to him by his rights-revoking White Republican legislature, sent a state appointed White city manager to Flint, essentially dissolving all of its city government. That guy eventually poisoned 6,000 – 12,000 Black kids in the city with lead from a changed water supply, a “human made public health crisis.”

Just another White guy imposing cruelty on Blacks.

You’re Not Going To Believe This #2:

Click me

Rollan Roberts II of West Virginia announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the presidency last month. He has no governmental experience, but he invokes God and vomits platitudes with the best of them.

More important was his announcement speech, where his pregnant wife fainted, or perhaps collapsed from something far worse. The point is his non-reaction to her being sprawled unconscious on the floor. Watch the video and notice how fast others go to aid her and how long this idiot stood at the podium in glorious self-importance.

Is this really the kind of person Republicans want in the White House?

_____________________________

* You can read Sen. Scott’s 12 Point Plan to Rescue America for yourself and I encourage you to do so. In spite of his denial about attacking Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, he declares,
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All federal legislation sunsets in 5 years. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.”
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That’s in his point #6, seventh statement on page 36. If we were to follow his imperative, everything will go away absent a congressional vote to continue. That includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid – everything. Never mind the pragmatics of Congress actually being able to handle such a challenge.
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Scott’s screed is a tour de force of absolutism, pandering and dishonesty and should be celebrated for the idiocy that it is and for his using half-sense as an art form. It will play well to the far right extremists.

You don’t suppose Rick Scott intends to run for president, do you?

_____________________________

Look for a special Valentine’s Day post on Tuesday.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.


    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

For The Hand Wringers


Note: No post on Sunday. We’ll reconnect in a week.


We have hand wringers on the right .  .  .

.  .  .  complaining that all Democrats are socialists, that Biden is a useless wimp, that a Congress controlled by Democrats hasn’t and can’t accomplish anything for real Americans and that Biden is a pitiful Lex Luthor who will be slain by some right wing Superman. Plus, he’s too old now, much less for a second term. Besides, he stutters.

We have hand wringers on the left .  .  .

.  .  .  complaining that Biden is timid, that he always falls short of the progressive desires of the majority of Americans, that he isn’t a strong leader, that he has accomplished a lamentable not much, that he’s an inept presenter and that he’s too old now, much less for a second term.

That’s just a small sample of the wailing. Doubtless, you can add to one or both of those recitations of hand wringing material. But there’s just one thing:

The record of Biden and the Democrats in Congress is shockingly, fantastically stellar.
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Here’s a partial list of what’s been accomplished in just 23 months. This list is lifted directly from Biden-Harris Accomplishments:

  • Biden passed the Inflation Reduction Act – to bring down costs, reduce the deficit, and take aggressive action on climate – all paid for by making sure the largest corporations and billionaire tax cheats finally pay their fair share in taxes. Yippee! And no, your taxes won’t go up even a penny if you make less than $400,000 per year. Plus it lowers health care costs for millions of families and allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time*, caps seniors’ out-of-pocket spending for prescription drugs at $2,000 per year and ensures no senior on Medicare will pay over $35 per month for insulin. Thirteen million Americans, covered under the Affordable Care Act, will see their health insurance premiums reduced by $800, plus this act takes the first steps to fight global warming.
  • Biden passed the PACT Act – the largest single bill in American history to address our service members’ exposure to burn pits and other toxins. Can you believe that it took Biden’s leadership and an act of Congress to take care of our poisoned vets? Note that 11 Republican senators and 174 Republican representatives voted against this bill. Hey wait: that’s the same number of Republican extremists who tried to clog up the electoral college vote certification on January 6 after they and the Constitution had been threatened by the January 6 mob.
  • Biden passed The CHIPS and Science Act – this bill will accelerate semiconductor manufacturing in the United States. That means that we won’t have to count on a possibly hostile foreign government for the microchips that control our smart munitions. Plus it brings thousands of manufacturing jobs back home.  Biden did that.
  • Biden passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – breaks a 30-year streak of reprehensible federal inaction to deal with gun violence. Requires people under 21 to undergo enhanced background checks, closes the “boyfriend loophole,” provides funding to address youth mental health and takes a step to curb “ghost guns.” Plus Biden issued numerous executive orders to curb gun violence. Makes me wonder how many more Sandy Hook, Parkland and Club Q massacres we’ll need before we all rise up in furious demand for a crackdown on weapons of death. Still, this is a step in the right direction.
  • Biden has revitalized our alliances and restored America’s position of leadership on the world stage – Trump had undermined our alliances and our influence in world affairs. Biden has restored our relationships with allies to the point that they are all in supporting Ukraine in its battle for freedom and democracy against Russian oppression and the United States is the leader. Plus he’s gotten tough with China.
  • Biden ended our longest and arguably our dumbest war – Three presidents refused to take the dirty, messy, horrible but necessary step of ending that unwarranted 20-year war in Afghanistan. There was never a remote possibility of ending it cleanly, but Biden had the courage to do it. It will take years to meet our obligations and keep all of our promises there – that’s the dirty, messy part – but the plug needed to be pulled. American troops are no longer in harms way thanks to Biden’s leadership.
  • Biden passed an expanded version of the Violence Against Women Act, now reauthorized through 2027 – 172 Republican representatives and 22 Republican senators voted against this bill. How could it be controversial to protect women from domestic violence and sexual assault? Trump let the original act expire. Biden set it right again.
  • Biden got the American Rescue Plan through Congress – delivered 500 million shots in arms to protect Americans from COVID-19 and put a few bucks into citizens’ wallets, too, this at a time when people were hunkered down and income was constricted. Plus this act expanded the Child Tax Credit to put a few more bucks into the wallets of parents.
  • In 2021, the U.S. economy added over 6.5 million jobs – the greatest year of job growth under any President in history. At the same time, we saw the largest annual decline in unemployment ever recorded and the strongest year of GDP growth since 1984. Biden’s hands were in the reins for all that.
  • Biden passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – It’s finally infrastructure week! We’ve been waiting for this for decades. Provides funding for critically needed repair of bridges and roads, replaces every lead pipe in America, upgrades our ports and airports and expands broadband access to all. It also includes the largest federal investment in public transit ever and the biggest investment in Amtrak since its creation.
  • Passed the Omnibus Spending Bill – keeps the government in business, funds support to Ukraine, reforms the Electoral Count Act to prevent another coup like January 6th and far more.
  • If you have a problem with any of that you are in the minority of people most likely to be dedicated to misery.
  • Key Rule: Misery is optional. So is happiness.

You get the point. And you get the benefits. So, please, America, stop wringing hands because things aren’t getting done or done fast enough to suit you or that they aren’t perfect. Lots of really good things are getting done, plus, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Thank you, Barack Obama for the reminder. He was right then and he’s still right.

President Biden has accomplished an astonishing list of great stuff for America and Americans in a very short time. As important is our sense of ourselves. Read David Brooks’ comments following President Zelinskyy’s address to Congress, Biden’s America Finds Its Voice. Many thanks to reader and friend David Lindgren for his pointer to Brooks’ piece.

We’re just starting to crawl out from under the oppression of unreality and intentional cruelty that has afflicted us for so long. At last we have an opportunity to feel proud once again. It’s time to recognize the reality of what President Biden has accomplished.

Not everything is fixed. We have much work yet to do and that will always be true. So, use those wringing hands to instead roll up your shirtsleeves and let’s get to work in this new year.

Here’s to a better America this year and every year – that “more perfect union” thing.

Most important
Happy Birthday Beautiful Marilyn!
.

———————————

Former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), income maximizing expert.

* “[Former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA)] crafted a[n amendment to the] bill to provide prescription drug access to Medicare recipients [Part D], one that provided major concessions to the pharmaceutical industry. Medicare would not be able to negotiate for lower prescription drug costs and reimportation of drugs from first world countries would not be allowed. A few months after the bill passed, Tauzin announced that he was retiring from Congress and would be taking a job helming PhRMA for a salary of $2 million.”

PhRMA is the lobbying arm of the pharmaceutical industry. That $2 million salary was a 7,110% bump in pay for Tauzin. Now you know how he earned it. Yes really.

————————————

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!

The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
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JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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