Monday, April 08, 2024

A chilling reminder from 8 years ago today...

A chilling reminder from 8 years ago today...

I know it's not a perfect record, but...

Given the commitment (and, in many instance, remarkable acheivements) of the Biden administration on

• climate care

• historic jobs recovery, post-pandemic

• historic post-pandemic economic boom

• defending the rule of law

• pursuing equal justice before the law for LGBTQ+ Americans

• taking leadership in the rules based world order

• seeking equitable taxation at every income level

• funding infrastructure and evidence based science

• protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

• pursuing equal justice for black and brown Americans

• pursuing accountability for Jan 6 criminals

• pursuing equitable women’s health care

• defending American democracy

I wonder how man progressives, in order to punish a candidate who has not met all their expectations, will enable the election of a candidate — as, I think, too many chose to do in 2016 — who is on the record *supporting* discrimination against women, brown and black Americans, sexual minorities, religious minorities, and immigrants… 

...and who is on the record *against* climate and environmental responsibility, cooperation in the World Health Organization, working for equal justice under law for every American, protecting equal voting rights for every American, national protection for equitable women’s health care, equitable taxation, defending Ukraine and NATO allies… 

...and who is on the record *in support of* his followers' political violence, the suspension of US Constitional standards that stand in his way, coddling wealthy free-riders, government interference in sexual and reproductive health care, white nationalist leaders, and global authoritarianism….

If it was the best I could do, I would hold my nose and *vote against…*

• fascism

• sexism

• racism

• election denial

• political violence

• a free ride for rich people

• government interference in 

• women’s health care

• discrimination against religious minorities

• white nationalism

• Putin Republicans

• global warming

• authoritarianism

If that was the best I could do, it would still worth doing … it would still worth my vote.

If it was the best I could do, I would hold my nose and *vote for…*

• legal rights of American women

•  climate care

•  women’s health care

•  the rule of law

•  equal justice before the law for LGBTQ+ Americans

•  leadership in the rules based world order

•  fair taxation at every income level

•  infrastructure

•  Social Security

•  equal justice before the law for black and brown Americans

•  leadership in NATO

•  accountability for Jan 6 criminals

•  evidence based science

•  democracy

If that was the best I could do, it would still worth doing … it would still worth my vote.A chilling reminder from 8 years ago today...

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

up + down the ballot

Six years later.

About 8 million Americans aged into the voting pool between the general elections in 2016 and 2020 …. and about 8 million more between 2020 to 2024.
Tell our youngest voters -- your grandkids and kids, nieces and nephews, colleagues and friends -- the truth about which candidates, up and down the ballot, have the most convincing records of defending the dignity, rights, health, voices, and contributions of women, people of color, working people, old people, political, social, sexual, and religious minorities, low income as well as middle and upper income Americans ... which candidates have the most convincing records of seeking to deliver equal justice and accountability before the law for *every* American without fear or favor ... which candidates have the most convincing records of defending and supporting the rules-based international order that has enabled us and our allies to resist authoritarians, aristocrats, *and* anarchists at home and around the world ... which candidates have the most convincing records of understanding, accepting, and acting on the best evidence-based knowledge and practices in response to climate change ... which candidates, up and down the ballot, have the most convincing records for protecting Americans from unregulated, unrestrained gun violence....
Our youngest voters are, on balance, more broadly and deeply exposed to all these things than our oldest voters (on balance). So tell them what you see. Talk them what you know. Tell them you are with them — even if 1/2 the other olds are not — and that you hope they'll be with you, too ... because long life has shown you we can do hard things, good things, fair and equitable things *together.*

Saturday, March 02, 2024

Updated . One man holds the power to kill a democracy...

... and all he has to do is stall.

Updated . April 21 2024

It was a long time coming, but one man holds the decides to not use his power to kill a democracy...

Here’s hoping…

This week the Kyiv Post reports:

Ruslan Stefanchuk, the head of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, wrote on his Facebook page that the speakers of 23 parliaments, along with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, have written an open letter to the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Mike Johnson.

They are urging him to submit the draft law that will provide Ukraine with $60.06 billion in military aid to continue its fight against Russian aggression. 

Stefanchuk, who initiated the letter, expressed gratitude to his colleagues for “their quick and widespread support.”

Here's the transcribed text of that letter.  

27 February 2024

Dear Mr Speaker. 

In  recent  days  a  solemn  anniversary  loomed  large,  commemorating  the  two  year  mark since Russia and its dictatorial regime invaded Ukraine in an unprovoked and unjustified act of aggression. This invasion has obviously endangered not only the independence sovereignty and  territorial  integrity  of  Ukraine but has also challenged the entire democratic, world jeopardizing the security in the whole European and Euro-Atlantic area.

Over these past two years the countries that remain committed to our shared values and believe in a world based on rules and respect to the UN Charter have united to help Ukraine and its people in repelling the brutal aggression that is claiming hundreds of lives every day. Our joint assistance has helped to stop the aggressor and liberate a large share of previously occupied  territories of Ukraine. We welcome the indispensable and prominent role of the United States in this joint effort. The US has consistently demonstrated strong bipartisan support for Ukraine's victory in its fight against the Russian invasion.

We also observe that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has had a significant impact on the development of the security situation in the world. We see that while Iran and North Korea have begun to provide direct military support to Russia, the criminal actions of the Kremlin regime have inspired other dictatorial and undemocratic regimes, become a catalyst for the escalation of old conflicts and put us on the brink of new confrontations. Today, the world is rapidly moving towards the destruction of the sustainable world order.

We see it as our responsibility and our task to prevent this descent into chaos and impunity and therefore  our countries are committed to further increasing our support to Ukraine and its defense forces, seeing it as a considerable investment in our individual and collective security. The axis of evil must be defeated, and all perpetrators brought to justice. This will serve as a significant deterrent to further conflicts and will  return a sense of control and security to our peoples.

We believe that thanks to your personal leadership the Congress will demonstrate historic bipartisan unity  in support of the collective efforts to assist Ukraine therefore we ask you to take the next step toward adopting a historic decision on HR 815 that will secure US assistance to foreign countries and provide Ukraine with the necessary funds to continue its fight.

Mike Johnson, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has not, at this time, released the text of the letter, nor has he yet permitted the bipartisan bill passed by the US Senate, to come to the floor of the House, where it is almost certain to pass. 

Speaker Johnson is (A) unjustifiably smug about being smarter than democracy's leaders in the US and around the world ... (B) weirdly dedicated to enabling Vladimir Putin's criminal acts in Ukraine, no matter what the cost to literally everybody else ... or (C) a genuine enemy of democracy and the rules-based international order.

None of these is a good look for a person who publicly claims the associations Speaker Johnson claims.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

They are supposed to represent the best of us.

Your Republican Member of the US House of Representatives will be home for the next 12 days — apparently at a loss about what the US Congress could possibly do to make anything better (or less worse) than it is right now. 

So, maybe drop by their local office, or a town hall meeting, and deliver a note asking why they support — or at least tolerate — the Putin Wing of the Republican Party in failing to protect US national security ... failing to even consider real immigration reform ... failing to act to support US allies who have supported us when we needed them. 

The US Senate is doing good-faith work for the sake of the nation and the world ... why isn't the House of Representatives? I don't think that's what people mean when they call it 'the lower house.'

Maybe suggest that, since Republican Members of the US House don't appear to be meaningfully interested in governance, you would be happy to repatriate them into the private sector and help them seek meaningful service in their local district.

Let them know they can demonstrate good faith by showing up for work early on February 28, and doing the job they signed up for. Maybe they could devise a buddy system to help them stand up the bullies and get the layabouts to put their shoulder to the wheel.

And, if you're a Putin Republican yourself, maybe revisit the Federalist Papers ... the US Constitution ... the Declaration of Independence. There's a lot of good stuff there about why people like Putin (and people who like Putin) are bad role models for creating a more perfect union.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Read It Yourself . Joe Biden’s Inaugural Address


Inaugural Address by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

The United States Capitol

11:52 AM EST [January 20, 2021]

THE PRESIDENT: Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice President Pence, distinguished guests, and my fellow Americans.

This is America’s day.

This is democracy’s day.

A day of history and hope.

Of renewal and resolve.

Through a crucible for the ages America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge.

Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy.

The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.

We have learned again that democracy is precious.

Democracy is fragile.

And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.

So now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.

I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here.

I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

You know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength of our nation.

As does President Carter, who I spoke to last night but who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime of service.

I have just taken the sacred oath each of these patriots took — an oath first sworn by George Washington.

But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us.

On “We the People” who seek a more perfect Union.

This is a great nation and we are a good people.

Over the centuries through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we have come so far. But we still have far to go.

We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility.

Much to repair.

Much to restore.

Much to heal.

Much to build.

And much to gain.

Few periods in our nation’s history have been more challenging or difficult than the one we’re in now.

A once-in-a-century virus silently stalks the country.

It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II.

Millions of jobs have been lost.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed.

A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.

A cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.

And now, a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges – to restore the soul and to secure the future of America – requires more than words.

It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy:



In another January in Washington, on New Year’s Day 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

When he put pen to paper, the President said, “If my name ever goes down into history it will be for this act and my whole soul is in it.”

My whole soul is in it.

Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this:

Bringing America together.

Uniting our people.

And uniting our nation.

I ask every American to join me in this cause.

Uniting to fight the common foes we face:

Anger, resentment, hatred.

Extremism, lawlessness, violence.

Disease, joblessness, hopelessness.

With unity we can do great things. Important things.

We can right wrongs.

We can put people to work in good jobs.

We can teach our children in safe schools.

We can overcome this deadly virus.

We can reward work, rebuild the middle class, and make health care
secure for all.

We can deliver racial justice.

We can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy.

I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real.

But I also know they are not new.

Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, and demonization have long torn us apart.

The battle is perennial.

Victory is never assured.

Through the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setbacks, our “better angels” have always prevailed.

In each of these moments, enough of us came together to carry all of us forward.

And, we can do so now.

History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity.

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.

We can treat each other with dignity and respect.

We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.

For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.

No progress, only exhausting outrage.

No nation, only a state of chaos.

This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.

And, we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail.

We have never, ever, ever failed in America when we have acted together.

And so today, at this time and in this place, let us start afresh.

All of us.

Let us listen to one another.

Hear one another.
See one another.

Show respect to one another.

Politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path.

Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.

And, we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this.

America has to be better than this.

And, I believe America is better than this.

Just look around.

Here we stand, in the shadow of a Capitol dome that was completed amid the Civil War, when the Union itself hung in the balance.

Yet we endured and we prevailed.

Here we stand looking out to the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream.

Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protestors tried to block brave women from marching for the right to vote.

Today, we mark the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office – Vice President Kamala Harris.

Don’t tell me things can’t change.

Here we stand across the Potomac from Arlington National Cemetery, where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.

And here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, and to drive us from this sacred ground.

That did not happen.

It will never happen.

Not today.

Not tomorrow.

Not ever.

To all those who supported our campaign I am humbled by the faith you have placed in us.

To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart.

And if you still disagree, so be it.

That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably, within the guardrails of our Republic, is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength.

Yet hear me clearly: Disagreement must not lead to disunion.

And I pledge this to you: I will be a President for all Americans.

I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago, Saint Augustine, a saint of my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love.

What are the common objects we love that define us as Americans?

I think I know.







And, yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson.

There is truth and there are lies.

Lies told for power and for profit.

And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders – leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation — to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.

I understand that many Americans view the future with some fear and trepidation.

I understand they worry about their jobs, about taking care of their families, about what comes next.

I get it.

But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you do, or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.

We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.

If we show a little tolerance and humility.

If we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes just for a moment.
Because here is the thing about life: There is no accounting for what fate will deal you.

There are some days when we need a hand.

There are other days when we’re called on to lend one.

That is how we must be with one another.

And, if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future.

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we will need each other.

We will need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter.

We are entering what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus.

We must set aside the politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation.

I promise you this: as the Bible says weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.

We will get through this, together

The world is watching today.

So here is my message to those beyond our borders: America has been tested and we have come out stronger for it.

We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.

Not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s.

We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.

We will be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.

We have been through so much in this nation.

And, in my first act as President, I would like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those we lost this past year to the pandemic.

To those 400,000 fellow Americans – mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

We will honor them by becoming the people and nation we know we can and should be.

Let us say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, for those they left behind, and for our country.


This is a time of testing.

We face an attack on democracy and on truth.

A raging virus.

Growing inequity.

The sting of systemic racism.

A climate in crisis.

America’s role in the world.

Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways.

But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with the gravest of responsibilities.

Now we must step up.

All of us.

It is a time for boldness, for there is so much to do.

And, this is certain.

We will be judged, you and I, for how we resolve the cascading crises of our era.

Will we rise to the occasion?

Will we master this rare and difficult hour?

Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world for our children?

I believe we must and I believe we will.

And when we do, we will write the next chapter in the American story.

It’s a story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me.

It’s called “American Anthem” and there is one verse stands out for me:

“The work and prayers
of centuries have brought us to this day
What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?…
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
I gave my best to you.”

Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our nation.

If we do this then when our days are through our children and our children’s children will say of us they gave their best.

They did their duty.

They healed a broken land.
My fellow Americans, I close today where I began, with a sacred oath.

Before God and all of you I give you my word.

I will always level with you.

I will defend the Constitution.

I will defend our democracy.

I will defend America.

I will give my all in your service thinking not of power, but of possibilities.

Not of personal interest, but of the public good.

And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear.

Of unity, not division.

Of light, not darkness.

An American story of decency and dignity.

Of love and of healing.

Of greatness and of goodness.

May this be the story that guides us.

The story that inspires us.

The story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history.

We met the moment.

That democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrived.

That our America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world.

That is what we owe our forebearers, one another, and generations to follow.

So, with purpose and resolve we turn to the tasks of our time.

Sustained by faith.

Driven by conviction.

And, devoted to one another and to this country we love with all our hearts.

May God bless America and may God protect our troops.

Thank you, America.