Going beyond the Jan 6 Hearings

People involved in the violence of January 6 need to go to jail. I don’t ever want our Capital police to be afraid of a mob. One death of a police officer and over 150 people injured. Unfortunately, some of those who stormed the Capital, were thinking they were patriots and doing something in the national interest. A patriot does not break the law and threaten police. There have been 884 individuals arrested. There is a constitutional right to assemble and protest, but violence can never be condoned.

People involved in the planning of the storming of the Capital and other activities aimed at illegal actions to overturn our elections, need to be tried and go to jail. I hope the efforts of the Department of Justice will result in convictions of the top echelons in the Trump campaign organizers.

Those individuals who think subpoenas for documents and testimony are optional, will need time to rethink their decision behind bars. That includes Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon. I’d like to see more convictions.

Others will suffer the consequences of making false claims in court by actions taken by Dominion voting machines. This includes Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani. These are civil cases, which are tough to prove. Rudy Giuliani’s law license has been suspended in New York, and similar proceedings are occurring in Washington.

Whether Donald Trump or his closest allies will be charged with crimes, remains to be seen. The latest scandal is the apparent erasing of text messages by the Secret Service, and likely connected to the leadership in Homeland Security. Obstruction of justice is a criminal offense.

New laws need to be enacted, so there is not the slightest doubt that State legislatures can never override the outcome of elections. Claims of election fraud are always serious, and the courts are the proper place to address any irregularities. After the Safe Harbor date of December 8 has passed, lawsuits which challenge the results are frivolous

Within new laws, the role of the Vice President on January 6 should be made absolutely clear, his role is strictly ceremonial.

New laws will not be enough. The electorate needs to help clean house. Yes, “Drain the Swamp” if you like the phrase. I have a long list of Senators and Congress representatives who I’d like to see gone after their election.

The January 6 committee has shown us so clearly that Donald Trump did not care at all for the orderly transition of government or respect for decision of the electorate. Mike Pence did what every Vice President has done. He stood at inauguration day with President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

The White House was an open door to people who had no respect for the rule of law. The President sat there on December 18, while “outside advisors” (aka, the crazies) suggested he fire his entire staff, and direct the military to seize voting machines. This was simply to stop the next administration from being sworn in on Jan 20. His actions immediately after this meeting, was to tell everyone to come to the Capital on January 6, because “it’s going to be wild.”

The message was clear, that although the electorate had spoken, Trump had no reservations on breaking the law, so he could stay in power. This is by definition a planned coup. He nearly fired the acting Attorney General, Jeffrey Rosen, because he would not sign a memo to be sent to Georgia, filled with false statements on election fraud.

Trump and his supporters encouraged a riot that they knew would be violent. This was brought out so clearly in the hearing as Trump’s security detail wanted metal detectors to protect the president, but he did not, as he said these were “his people.” He targeted his own vice president in his speech on January 6.

A good first step, would be the “firing” by the electorate on election day of the coup supporters, namely Rep. Pat Gosar, Senator Ted Cruz, Rep. Jody Hice, Rep. Josh Hawley. Rep Mo Brooks, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, Rep. Scott Perry and Rep. Louis Gohmert.

Of course, it is not who is voted out, but who comes in to replace this group of election deniers. We need senators and representatives who strongly believe we settle our differences at the ballot box.

Stay tuned,

Dave

https://ballotpedia.org/Counting_of_electoral_votes_(January_6-7,_2021)

Trump’s Legacy

Three organizations (APSA, Siena and C-Span) provided rankings of US presidents. These rankings were based on surveys of historians, generally from well known universities. The APSA (American Political Science Association) and Siena (Siena College Research Association) were done in 2018, so they do not reflect the last two years of Trump’s term in office.

Donald Trump was 45th president of the United States, however since Grover Cleveland was the 22 and 24th president, it means there were really 44 presidents. It is convenient to divide these rankings by quartiles, as ranks 1 to 10 are the top ranked presidents and 34 to 44 are the lowest ranked presidents. Wikipedia has consolidated these surveys and also provides a breakout of the ranking of various factors, such as integrity and leadership of each of these surveys.

Trump is considered one of the five worst presidents in these three surveys. C-SPAN rates Trump as the fourth worst president in history.

SurveyTrump (#45)Pierce (#14)Buchanan (#15)Andrew
Johnson (#17)
Harding (#29)
APSA (2018)4441434039
Siena (2018)4240434441
C-SPAN (2021)4142444337
Ranking of Donald Trump in the lower fourth quartile

Since Harding’s term was from 1921 to 1923, the surveys rank Trump at a level not seen about 100 years. So, what qualities are lacking in Trump and the other presidents in this table? Siena ranks Trump as the worst (rank = 44) in the areas of background, integrity, ability to compromise and executive appointments. Interestingly, he has high rating in “luck” and is in the third quartile in “willing to take risks.”

Similarly, C-Span (2021) puts Trump last of all presidents in the category of moral authority and administrative skills. He is in the bottom of the fourth quartile as are Pierce, Johnson and Buchanan in all categories (crisis leadership, economic management, international relationship and relations with congress) with the notable exception of public persuasion, where he is the ranked in the third quartile.

His continual stream of lies did not go unnoticed by the scholars. Getting the lowest ranking of any president in integrity (Siena) and moral authority (C-Span) reflect this. Donald Trump was never very interested in the truth, as his narratives were generally built on a stack of lies.

Being ranked lowest in “background” is pretty bad, but I believe accurate, as he never held office prior to being president.

The president is elected to do what is best for the country and not himself. This is part of the moral authority that great presidents have displayed. The January 6 committee will have public hearings in the spring, and will, I am certain, show Donald Trump had total disregard for the constraints of presidential power in his attempt to alter the outcome of the 2020 election. It is unprecedented in American history.

So what is this quality missing from these surveys? I guess it is “humility and respect” which Trump was not. He was arrogant and disrespectful of the system.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Wikipedia: Historical Ranking of US Presidents

Siena College US President Study Historical Ranking

Biden is best for Global Problems – Part I

We have super huge global problem right now, that will need addressing immediately when the new president is sworn in. This will be one of 4 to 5 posts.

Covid-19

You first have to understand where we stand today, and make some extrapolations into the future. The first is there are 26 vaccines in Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical testing. Of these 26, there are 11 in Phase 3 testing.

I am hopeful that early in 2021, the very best vaccine will be approved for the American people. I think what is most important is for Americans to have patience, and delays are very possible. In many states, the progress we made made by preventative actions, such as wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding indoor activities, and frequent hand washing, has been lost to counterproductive premature loosening of regulations, including re-opening of bars, clubs and restaurants and allowing large gatherings.

— Biden will lead the way with full vaccination program

Let’s assume that we get a vaccine. There will not be enough to go around for months. First in line to get vaccinated must be our medical workers and then our elderly. They must get priority. A lot of difficult decisions lie ahead. Vaccination programs can not become political. Bring in the top Republicans and Democrats in any vaccination program.

Our Surgeon General has been sidelined, as well as our public health officials. It would seem that the office of Surgeon General should be front and center.

Trump has not been honest on the progress, because it is complicated to explain, and good news is always makes people happy. He can’t let go of marketing approach to news. Spin a good story, and buyers will be coming. That’s marketing.

Biden will connect with the scientific community. I am hopeful that a vaccine will be found. At present, it looks very possible that it will require two shots, an initial one and a booster shot, a few months later.

Biden will need to convince Americans to take the vaccines. It won’t be easy, as Trump has eroded the trust in American institutions like the FBI. Justice, State and Defense, FBI, Chief of Staff and National Security Agency. Each one are cases where he fired the Department head, with extremely bitter remarks.

He had further accused the Director of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Fauci of “being a Democrat” even though Dr. Fauci had been completely apolitical his whole career.

So, Biden’s best allies are medical professionals, the public health officials of every state, and Republicans in Congress, who can put American’s health above everything else.

— Biden will help extend vaccinations worldwide, for the benefit of all

We have to take a leadership role in the vaccination of 7.8 billion people in the world. This means working with the World Health Organization and other countries, instead of competing with them. It we miss this opportunity, China and Russia will see a golden opportunity to extend their reach into some of the poorest countries in the world, with huge promises but little in the way of deliverables.

World leadership isn’t an option. Our economy depends on the world economy. Trump has effectively pulled out of the World Health Organization and laid the blame of the virus on 1.4 billion Chinese. We must get ahead of the virus, not behind it. There are 2.8 million Chinese tourist that come to the US every year. Good relations help everyone.

— Biden will keep American’s insured

People will be getting sick and dying as experts try work out problems with vaccine formulations, manufacture and delivery. And of course, public acceptance. In the meantime, people will depend on health insurance to help them pay for their medical needs. Hospitalization stays for some individuals can be extensive, as more treatments help fight Covid-19. As we get smarter fighting the disease, the cost increases.

This is a terrible time to lose your Obamacare insurance. But that’s Trump plan and the third reason to elect Biden.

Trump and the Republican party began in 2017 a strategy to “Repeal and Replace” Obamacare. The individual mandate tax was eliminated, for two reasons: (1) It made the program less effective as fewer young people would likely sign up and (2) It made the program vulnerable to a new Supreme Court challenge. The first reason fits a Republican strategy, of after failing to come up anything better, they made Obamacare worse, so their alternative might look better. And that’s really awful.

Now, the second reason is just as terrible. Trump was always saying his plan was so much better to what we have now, but the comparisons were always bad. We’ve created “junk insurance” which gives coverage, except when it is critical and really expensive.

If you destroy what we have now, there are no more comparisons. We are no longer comparing a new building to an existing building, but to a vacant lot.

Obamacare was deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court in a narrow ruling in 2012, which included the individual mandate. So, Republicans pulled out the tax mandate, and then argued that the purposely crippled Obamacare law is now unconstitutional. So, if Trump ran a hospital, he would be giving out medicine strong enough to kill a patient and still claim he cared for people. Oral arguments will begin in November soon after the elections.

So, with Biden, Americans can have affordable insurance, which admittedly has defects. With Trump, you have recycled 2016 promises and nothing else.

Biden will:

  • Lead the way with a full vaccination program
  • Extend vaccinations assistance worldwide
  • Keep American’s insured to help with medical expenses.

In my next blog, climate change will be discussed.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

I am tired of our erratic president

If there is a common tread of everyone who has worked closely with Donald Trump, it is his erratic actions and his inability to work within the system. It is what caused General Mattis, our former Secretary of Defense e to quit. Similarly, Rex Tillerson, our former Secretary of State, also resigned. His long time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, describes Trump’s total disregard for ethics and honorable and looks simply at what is best for himself. Similarly, our former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, describes Trump as highly impulsive and self-serving.

The long awaited stimulus package negotiations was obviously going too slow for Donald Trump, so in a tweet, the negotiations were ended. It is likely Steven Mnuchin didn’t even see this coming. It was likely that the only way to get the bill passed in the Senate, would be with the help of Democrats.

Passage of the stimulus bill was vital to keeping certain sectors of our economy from failing and helping those affected by Covid-19 regulations get by with rent and basic essentials until there is a vaccine, likely to happen in 2021.

So, passage of Stimulus II was only going to be a bipartisan victory, not an exclusive Republican victory like the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, which I believe will happen. It might not be completed by election day, but she will be soon on the Supreme Court.

Please do not elect Donald Trump to another four years. Joe Biden could have gotten Stimulus II through both houses of congress, because he understands the process and has the patience.

Stay tuned,

Dave

September 29 debate – Part II

The presidential debate was a mess, with excessive rudeness and interruptions. Wallace is trying to be neutral, but Trump felt he could overpower Wallace. Midway through the discussion, Wallace makes his frustrations clear to President Trump,

“I’m the moderator of this debate and I would like you to let me ask my question and then you can answer your –” and before he’s finished, Trump interrupts.

See below the discussion on health care. Wallace’s question was preceded by three statements of fact: (1) The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Nov 10, 2020 on the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, (2) There is no comprehensive to replace it, contrary to Trump’s repeal and replace campaign promise and (3) You signed a largely symbolic executive order to protect people with pre-existing conditions five days before this debate (Direct quote from Wallace).

The question to Trump was mired in interruptions. Wallace asks, “So my question, sir, is what is the Trump health care plan?”

Here’s the discussion from the transcripts. Note, towards the end, I have included only comments from Chris Wallace.

WALLACE: Mr. President, the Supreme Court will hear a case a week after the election in which the Trump administration, along with 18 state attorneys general are seeking to overturn —

TRUMP: That’s right.

WALLACE: — Obamacare, to end Obamacare. You had spent the last —

TRUMP: Because they want to give good health care —

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: If I may ask that question, sir.

TRUMP: Go ahead.

BIDEN: Good health care. (– Biden interrupts)

WALLACE: Over the last four years, you have promised to repeal and replace Obamacare but you have never in these four years come up with a plan, a comprehensive plan —

TRUMP: Of course, I have.

WALLACE: — to replace Obamacare.

TRUMP: Of course, I have.

WALLACE: Well, I’ll give you an —

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I got rid of the individual mandate.

WALLACE: — when I finish, I’m going to give you an opportunity —

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me. I got rid of the individual mandate which was a big chunk of Obama —

WALLACE: That is not a comprehensive plan.

— Trump wants to talk about Obamacare, Wallace is looking for Trump to talk about his plan, and he doesn’t want to do this.

TRUMP: That is absolutely a big thing. That was the worst part of Obamacare.

WALLACE: I didn’t ask —

— Trump interrupts Wallace, to redirect the discussion to Obamacare.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Chris, that was the worst part of Obama —

WALLACE: Sir, you’re debating him, not me. Let me ask my question —

— Trump interrupts Wallace

TRUMP: Well, I’ll ask Joe.

— Trump now wants to be moderator! Wallace response is simple.

WALLACE: No —

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: The individual mandate was the most unpopular aspect of Obamacare. I got rid of it. And we will protect people with preexisting condition.

— Trump interrupts Wallace

WALLACE: I’m the moderator of this debate and I would like you to let me ask my question and then you can answer your —

— Trump interrupts Wallace.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Go ahead.

WALLACE: You, in the course of these four years have never come up with a comprehensive plan to replace Obamacare and just this last Thursday, you signed a largely symbolic executive order to protect people with pre-existing conditions five days before this debate.

So my question, sir, is what is the Trump health care plan?

Trump talks about future plans to bring down cost of prescription drugs, and fails to discuss “pre-existing conditions.”

WALLACE: What about pre-existing conditions?

WALLACE: As I say, this is open discussion. Let me ask you about…

— Trump interrupts Wallace again.

WALLACE: Sir, you’ll be happy, I’m about to pick up on one of your points to ask the vice president, which is, he points out that you would like to add a public option to Obamacare, and the argument that he makes and other Republicans make is that that is going to end private insurance and will…

BIDEN: It is not. Sorry.

WALLACE: If I can ask you the question. It will end…

— Trump interrupts Wallace as he asks Biden a question. Trump is turning Wallace’s question as a statement of fact. Trump feels it is his turn to talk even as Wallace says this is a question for Biden to answer.

TRUMP: Not what your party says, by the way.

WALLACE: It will end private insurance and create a government takeover of health care.

BIDEN: It does not. It’s only for those people who are so poor they qualify for Medicaid, they can get that free in most states except governors who want to deny people who are poor Medicaid. Anyone who qualifies for Medicare — excuse me, Medicaid would automatically be enrolled in the public option.

The vast majority of the American people would still not be in that option. Number one. Number two…

— Trump interrupts Biden.

TRUMP: Joe, you agreed with Bernie Sanders’s far left on the manifesto, we call it.

— Trump now is asking the question, trying to redirect the question away, to an attack on Bernie Sanders.

===== From this point forward, I will only show Wallace’s comments.

WALLACE: Mr. President, can you let him finish, sir?

WALLACE: Please let him speak, Mr. President.

WALLACE: Mr. President… (Trump cuts him off)

WALLACE: Gentlemen, you realize that you are both speaking at the same time. Let the president — go ahead, sir.

WALLACE: I’ve got to… (Trump cuts him off)

WALLACE: I have to give you roughly equal time. Please let the vice president talk, sir.

======

So, there are a number of tactics going on. First, Trump knows oral arguments will be on November 10, so above all, he wants immediately to change the subject to what was so horrible about Obamacare. He interrupts Wallace’s question eleven times.

Trump is pushing his own accomplishments and ignores the fact that the Supreme Court case is being asked to rule that the entire law is unconstitutional because it no longer contains the individual mandate.

So, the tactics are to pre-emptively interrupt the moderator, and then answer a question more to one’s liking. Also, since the question was posed to Trump, he feels it is his time, and can interrupt Biden. A statement of fact from a moderator for Trump is a question in terms of a point of dispute.

Part III on the debate is in preparation.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Republicans who will not back Trump

“Folks we are better than this”  Elijah Cummings favorite saying.   A new book will be coming out soon.  It may have been in preparation prior to his untimely passing.  He always had a very positive spirit.

A long list of well known Republicans will not vote for Trump,  Some will do it quietly, with no explicit endorsement of Biden.  See Forbes article at the bottom of this blog.    Many names are very familiar, such as John Bolton, Colin Powell, Jeb Bush and  George W. Bush, Chief of Staff, John Kelly recently stated he wished there were other choices.  Former Defense Department Secretary under Trump, General Mattis, has voiced opposition to Trump.   Other ex-Trump officials have spoken out against him as well, including Homeland Security advisor Tom Bossert, communications staffer Omarosa Manigault, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security advisor John Bolton,

Former Homeland Security Department Chief of Staff Miles Taylor accused Trump of withholding disaster aid from blue states and claiming “magical authorities” above the law. Miles Taylor served at the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, including as chief of staff. As so many have reported, Donald Trump looks first as policy as a marketing scheme to get himself re-elected.  It is more of what would be popular among his base.  This comes from many lifelong Republicans including the former Director of the National Security Agency, John Bolton.  Bolton is not endorsing Biden, just not voting for Trump.

Among those voting for Biden are Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell  and  Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett Packard CEO and GOP presidential candidate.  She was briefly the running mate of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), so her political views are similar to Ted Cruz,  She cannot support Trump.  Carly Fiorina stated,  “Character matters, as does leadership and [Trump] has neither.”

Policy can’t be what makes the president looks good on Fox News.   His acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention contained 20 lies or misleading statements.  I will post the list soon.

Excerpts from  Miles Taylor:

The president has tried to turn DHS, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, into a tool used for his political benefit. He insisted on a near-total focus on issues that he said were central to his reelection — in particular building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. Though he was often talked out of bad ideas at the last moment, the president would make obviously partisan requests of DHS, including when he told us to close the California-Mexico border during a March 28, 2019, Oval Office meeting — it would be better for him politically, he said, than closing long stretches of the Texas or Arizona border — or to “dump” illegal immigrants in Democratic-leaning sanctuary cities and states to overload their authorities, as he insisted on several times.

John Kasich ran for President as a Republican.  He will Biden a unifier.  He talked about restoring and rejuvenating America.

The Honorable John Kasich
Former Governor of Ohio
Democratic National Convention
Monday, August 17, 2020

America is at a crossroads. Sometimes elections represent a real choice, a choice we make as individuals and as a nation about which path we want to take when we’ve come to challenging times. America is at that crossroads today. The stakes in this election are greater than any in modern times.

Many of us have been deeply concerned about the current path we’ve been following for the past four years. It’s a path that’s led to division, dysfunction, irresponsibility, and growing vitriol between our citizens. Continuing to follow that path will have terrible consequences for America’s soul because we’re being taken down the wrong road by a president who has pitted one against the other. He’s unlike all of our best leaders before him, who worked to unite us, to bridge our differences, and lead us to a united America.

I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country. That’s why I’ve chosen to appear at this convention. In normal times, something like this would probably never happen, but these are not normal times. I’m proud of my Republican heritage. It’s the party of Lincoln, who reflected its founding principles of unity and a higher purpose. But what I have witnessed these past four years belies those principles.

Many of us can’t imagine four more years going down this path, and that’s why I’m asking you to join with me in choosing a better way forward. I believe the best of America lies ahead, but only when we rediscover our shared belief in the United States of America, for our children’s future, which can be bright, hopeful, and inspired if we choose to make it so.

I’ve known Joe Biden for 30 years. I know his story of profound grief that has so deeply affected his character. I know Joe is a good man, a man of faith, a unifier, someone who understands the hopes and dreams of the common man and the common woman, a man who can help us to see the humanity in each other. He knows that the path to a restored and rejuvenated America lies in respect and unity and a common purpose for everyone.

Yes, there are areas where Joe and I absolutely disagree. But that’s OK because that’s America. Because whatever our differences, we respect one another as human beings, each of us searching for justice and for purpose.

We can all see what’s going on in our country today and all the questions that are facing us, and no one person or party has all the answers. But what we do know is that we can do better than.

August 17-20, 2020

____

Former cabinet officials have witnessed Trump’s craziness.   I hope to add to this blog.  Please see the Forbes article.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

All The Republicans Who Have Endorsed Joe Biden For President