Category Archives: Uncategorized

Loving the Country and Dumping the Demagogue

Trump says he will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election. He says he wants to “get rid of the ballots.” A very scary and detailed article in The Atlantic describes Trump campaign plans to subvert or derail the electoral college process. 

The common thread of all of Trump’s threats and plans is distraction. Trump’s most outrageous statements take attention away from real issues: like hundreds of thousands of people dying from COVID-19, like the racism that he inflames and amplifies, like his ongoing effort to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, like the profits that billionaires are raking in during the pandemic, like his refusal to respond to climate change. 

Trump’s most outrageous threats are no more than sound and fury. They are meant to distract from the issues, from his sagging polling figures, and from his failures as president. They are meant to inspire fear and despair. 

Remember the booming voice and overwhelming power projected by the “great and powerful” Wizard of Oz? Remember when Toto pulled back the curtain to reveal a little man pulling levers and speaking into a megaphone? That’s Trump. 

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Who Profits in the Pandemic?

Photo by Jernej Furman, published under Creative Commons license.

As small businesses fail and lines at food banks lengthen, billionaires are getting richer in these pandemic times. Business Insider reports that U.S. billionaires’ wealth increased by $845 billion during the first six months of the pandemic. Take Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. His personal wealth increased from $73.2 billion to $113 billion, and Amazon shares rose by 40% in 2020. 

And it’s not just that billionaires are getting richer. They gap between the very rich and the rest of us is growing, and the poor are getting even poorer. The Institute for Policy Studies reports:

“Between March 18 and April 10, 2020, over 22 million people lost their jobs as the unemployment rate surged toward 15 percent. Over the same three weeks, U.S. billionaire wealth increased by $282 billion, an almost 10 percent gain.”

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Making your vote count

Misinformation about voting is everywhere this year. Despite that, voting has never been easier in Minnesota.

Each state, not the federal government, sets up voting rules. Some states encourage voting by mail. For example, Oregon mails a ballot to every registered voter, as there is no in-person voting. Vote-by-mail has been Oregon’s only voting for 22 years. 

Some states limit absentee or mail voting. In Texas, you can only vote by mail if you are unable to vote in person. If you are afraid of long lines and crowded polling places in Texas: tough luck! That’s your only option.

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Today’s Lies and Cover-Ups: September 9, 2020

Liar Liar Pants on Fire
Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Today, Trump admitted that he deceived the American people about COVID. But that’s not even the worst news of the day. A whistleblower complaint from a senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official says he was ordered to conceal evidence of Russian interference in the 2020 election because it “made the President look bad.” Top DHS officials also tried to alter a report to cover up white supremacist violence. 

Maybe I should feel happy that today’s news shows Trump’s lies so clearly. That’s not what I feel. Instead, I am deeply afraid for the future of my country. 

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Defamation: Just One More Presidential Duty

Last week’s story was about Trump using more than $50 million in campaign funds to pay for legal fees related to defense of his aides, family members, and campaign. Today, he is using the Department of Justice to defend him in a civil suit in New York. That means you and I are paying for his personal legal defense. 

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Fact Check: Kenosha

Justice for Jacob protest sign

This image was originally posted to Flickr by Becker1999 at https://flickr.com/photos/21426642@N07/50267630941. It was reviewed on 26 August 2020 by FlickreviewR 2 and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.

It’s only September 1, but Trump is already snowing the electorate with a blizzard of lies and distortions. Here’s a fact check on just his most recent statements about Kenosha:

“If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now,” Trump tweeted early on Aug. 31, 2020. “Also, there would have been great death and injury.”

Nope: not at all true. Continue reading

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Public Relations Trumps Public Health

Trump caricature 1

Our tax dollars—$250 million of them—are going to pay for a pre-election public relations campaign to “defeat despair and inspire hope” on COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services has asked for bids from communications firms for that amount. They will be paid for “harnessing the power of traditional, digital and social media, the sports and entertainment industries, public health associations, and other creative partners.”

In other words, for producing propaganda about public health. Continue reading

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Killing Social Security

Social_security_card

The Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security system looked at Trump’s promise to end the dedicated payroll taxes that pay for Social Security on January 1. The conclusion: this would bankrupt the Social Security system by 2023. The fund for disability payments would be empty by mid-2021. The fund for Social Security benefits would be gone by mid-2023. To make it personal: my social security check would be gone as of June 2023. My 94-year-old mother’s social security check would be gone. If you are over 65, your social security check would be gone. Continue reading

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Yes, You Can—Vote By Mail

mailboxes

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

For all the Trump-eting about post office failure, fraudulent ballots, and “twelve more years,” voting can still work—unless we give in to his hype and give up on the election.  That may be the real goal of the shock tactics employed against the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) over the past two months. I’m not going to give in to this nonsense. I’m going to vote, I’m going to mail in my ballot, and I’m going to make sure that it is counted. Continue reading

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Listen To Their Voices: Jacob Blake

Black Lives Matter

Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times by a Kenosha police officer. In front of his children. All captured on video. He is alive, but will probably never walk again. I could say a lot, but I will not say anything today. Instead, I urge you, my friends and family: Listen to the voices of Jacob Blake’s family and of Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers. Continue reading

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