Closing Thought–25Feb21

The Supreme Court is supposed to be the referee in our political system…..unbiased opinions based on the facts and the Constitution……so when a justice helps propagate a lie then the whole system is in danger.

What am I talking about?

Something that a long standing SCOTUS associate said recently…..

While it may not have been a complete surprise that Clarence Thomas dissented from his more liberal colleagues in a Supreme Court election case on Monday, what is causing some head whips is his apparently firm support for former President Trump’s debunked claims of election fraud. The case the high court declined to hear came out of Pennsylvania, where Republicans challenged an extension to the deadline for mail-in ballots due to the pandemic. Thomas, along with Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, disagreed with their colleagues’ decision to turn the case away, with Thomas arguing that even though the number of affected mail-in ballots wouldn’t have turned the election in Trump’s favor, the Supreme Court still should have addressed the underlying legal questions in case future votes see a narrower gap. His reasoning, however, as laid out in a 11-page dissent, relied partly on baseless fraud claims pushed by Trump and his allies, reports USA Today.

Thomas’ argument, which mentions “fraud” 10 times, per CNN: that even though rampant fraud wasn’t evident in the Pennsylvania case, mail-in ballots are especially vulnerable, and “an election free from strong evidence of systemic fraud is not alone sufficient for election confidence.” He also quoted a New York Times article calling fraud risk “vastly more prevalent” for mail-in ballots than during in-person voting—the same article said “fraud in voting by mail is far less common than innocent errors”—and mentioned “the high degree of subjective judgment” in tallying ballots. Alito and Gorsuch’s dissent didn’t bring up fraud. Per Slate, voter fraud with mail-in ballots is “vanishingly rare.” CNN notes that Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas, has also pushed the fraud narrative. Prominent Democrats are pushing back, and a UC-Irvine election law expert suggests Thomas shouldn’t even have addressed it, telling USA Today it’s an issue “wholly divorced from the actual legal question in the case.”

There has been NO evidence of widespread voter fraud and yet Thomas helps spread a lie…..does not bode well for the independence of the Supreme Court.

The Court has become too partisan to be a true “referee’ in the working of the government and nation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Minimum Wage Debate

The biggest debate since the new president too his throne in the ivory tower is that of a raise in the minimum age to $15…..Arkansas’ senator wants to scale it back to $10 per hour….but in Arkansas the minimum wage is $11….so is he trying to back peddle the wage for all including those in his home state of Arkansas.

There are some spineless Democrats that will not go along with people earning a decent wage…..

Senate Democrats are facing internal divisions over efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which could result in the proposal being watered down or jettisoned from the coronavirus relief bill.

The wage hike is part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal, and it has the support of powerful progressives in both chambers and members of leadership.

But because of the 50-50 Senate split, proponents need to win over every Senate Democrat. That’s setting up a fight over the wage increase as they craft the final version of the relief package.

“I support the increase in the federal minimum wage to the $15 level. I think it’s way overdue that we change it. And I think it would be a good thing to do. There may be other members, even on the Democratic side, who have some concerns about it,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/537464-minimum-wage-push-sparks-democratic-divisions

The whole minimum wage debate is fake….that simple…..

Capitalism’s “conservative” defenders yet again oppose raising the minimum wage. They fought raising it in the past much as they tried to prevent the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) that first mandated a U.S. minimum wage. The major argument opponents have used is this: setting or raising a minimum wage threatens small employers. They may collapse or else fire employees; either way, jobs are lost. What is conveniently assumed here is a necessary contradiction between minimum wages and small business jobs. That assumption enables opponents to claim that not setting a legal minimum wage, like not raising it, saves jobs. The system thus presents very poorly paid workers with this choice: low wages or no wages.

“Liberals” in the United States have mostly accepted the assumption of that contradiction, the necessity of that final choice. However, they try to demonstrate that the social gains from a higher minimum wage would exceed the social losses from the reduced employment they admit. Their idea, in effect, is that a higher minimum wage would increase demand for goods and services. Any workers fired because of the minimum wage would be rehired elsewhere to meet the rising demand. Countless empirical studies by conservatives and liberals yield, as usual, correspondingly conflicting conclusions.

The Fake Debate Over a Minimum Wage

With conservs like the Dem Manchin the raise could be in jeopardy…..so if this coward gets his way is there a Plan B to combat the corporate stoolies like Manchin?

The budget tool that Democrats are using to steer Biden’s plan through Congress without GOP support, known as reconciliation, is laden with thorny restrictions waiting to ensnare the $15 minimum wage boost they’ve added to the next tranche of coronavirus relief. The wage increase is also running into strong headwinds from two influential Senate Democratic centrists, Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who are both resistant to enacting the sweeping policy change through the powerful budget process.

The White House and Democratic leaders have been waiting to see how the Senate’s parliamentarian, its official adviser on procedural matters, opines on the wage increase. Both Democrats and Republicans are expected to meet with the parliamentarian on Wednesday to argue their case. Her ruling could follow soon after the arguments.

In the meantime, Democrats are already weighing several options to try to save the wage hike from fully imploding and make it more palatable for moderates in their own party — from whom congressional leaders need lockstep support in order to muscle the Covid-19 aid package through the Senate with a simple majority vote before unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans in mid-March.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/22/democrats-minimum-wage-increase-plan-470860

I do not believe that a compromise should be had…..go big and demand people get a living wage….something the Dems have been promising for decades and never come through with a plan.

Now is the time!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Get Those “Domestic Terrorists”

This is my thoughts on the new legislation that would fight domestic terrorism…..from my opinion blog.

History is not good with past attempts to fight these movements.

Gulf South Free Press

After the events that unfolded on 06 January…there has been a new focus on “domestic terrorists”….those home-grown terrorists that are doing damage to this republic.

I gave my readers a little background on my primary blog, In Saner Thought…….https://lobotero.com/2019/08/15/call-it-domestic-terrorism/

After the insurrection the Congress has acted with the introduction of H. R. 350……Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021…..

Sponsor: Rep. Schneider, Bradley Scott [D-IL-10] (Introduced 01/19/2021)
Committees: House – Judiciary; Homeland Security; Armed Services
Latest Action: House – 01/19/2021 Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Homeland Security, and Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. 

Interesting, yes?

If interested in what this bill has contained within it…..

But where was this concern say 2010?

Looks like it is only a…

View original post 756 more words

Afghanistan–The Future

This post is about the future of US troops in the country…

Trump admin reached an agreement with the Taleban about the removal of US troops from the country…..but that may be put on hold with the new admin that wants to keep troops involved in the country for the present.

A new report that was ordered by the Trump admin tells a disturbing tale…..

When a report comes out of Washington that has been co-authored by a who’s who group of, among others, former Secretaries of Defense, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Ambassadors, and U.S. Senators, it’s a good bet the results are solid. Unfortunately, in the case of the recently released Afghan Study Group’s report to Congress, this stable full of eminent members produced a policy paper that, if followed, would replicate the previous 20 years of costly, failed war – and cement that failure well into the future.

The congressionally mandated study group was formed in April 2020 with the charge to, “consider the implications of [President Trump’s February 2020] peace settlement, or the failure to reach a settlement, on U.S. policy, resources, and commitments in Afghanistan” and then make policy recommendations for Congress and the new Administration.

That is an appropriate charter, and those areas of study are factors Congress and the White House need to consider. Regrettably, however, the commission was filled with many of the very architects of America’s failed Afghan policies of the past two decades.

Their “new” recommendations look disturbingly similar to the policies that produced so much failure over the past two decades. Fortunately, there are superior, logic-based alternatives available to the Biden Administration for implementation.

Afghan Study Group’s New Report Would Guarantee Failure

Biden will have a decision to finally make…..and there seems to be only three options for him….

According to a report from Vox, President Biden has been presented with three options for how to either end the war in Afghanistan or prolong it. The Biden administration is currently reviewing the US-Taliban peace deal that was signed last year, which set May 1st as a deadline for a US withdrawal.

The first option is for President Biden to adhere to the deadline and withdraw the remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by May 1st. The second option is to seek an extension of the deadline through negotiations with the Taliban. The third option is to scrap the deal and remain in Afghanistan indefinitely.

The report said the Biden administration will likely choose option two, citing unnamed US officials and experts that spoke with Vox. But it’s not clear if the Taliban has any interest in negotiating a deadline extension, as the group has been appealing to the US to withdraw.

The idea of an extension is to remain in the country while the Taliban and the US-backed Afghan government reach a deal to end fighting. But there’s no telling how long this could take or if an agreement could ever be reached.

Since the US-Taliban deal was signed, the Taliban has not attacked US or NATO forces, and no US troops died in combat in Afghanistan for an entire year, a first since the war started. But that will all change if the US stays in Afghanistan without the consent of the Taliban. It will mean an escalation of the almost 20-year war.

US officials also told Vox that the administration’s review of the US-Taliban deal is almost done, and an announcement is expected soon.

(antiwar.com)

But the rhetoric says that the US is going to be in Afghanistan until the weapons makers find a backbone and put needs of country above profit…..and that will not happen in my lifetime.

In case you doubt my words…..

Earlier this month, a study group established by Congress recommended that President Joe Biden extend the May 1 deadline for withdrawing troops from America’s longest war. It’s a strategy that many experts say runs the risk of abrogating the U.S.-Taliban agreement and potentially setting back the potential peace process in Afghanistan — or even dooming it to failure.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a striking similarity in the backgrounds of the individuals involved in these critical recommendations, which are likely to influence whether Biden maintains a “conditions based” U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan. Two of the group’s three co-chairs and nine of the group’s 12 plenary members, comprised of what the group refers to as “members,” have current or recent financial ties to major defense contractors, an industry that soaks up more than half of the $740 billion defense budget, and stands to gain from protracted U.S. military involvement overseas.

There was more diversity in views and financial interests among the 26 “senior advisers” that the group consulted. At least three of these advisers have warned publicly that the suggested troop withdrawal extension may pose significant risks. But the study group’s plenary is deeply intertwined with the military industrial base, with nearly $4 million the group’s co-chairs and plenary have received in compensation for their work on the boards of defense contractors.

Weapons biz bankrolls experts pushing to extend Afghan War

Oh goody!  A multi-generational war!

We are looking at another 20 years of this conflict if things do not change…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”