As A Progressive

As the 2024 election creeps in at its petty pace I thought I would put down a few of my thoughts.

The mid-terms have happened and the inevitability of a new direction for the Congress and the nation has passed.

I read an article that thinks there is a new direction for the congressional Progressives….

The much predicted and by some feared red wave turned into, as people are saying, a splotch of ketchup on the wall at Mar-A-Lago. Instead of overwhelming Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, the November 8 election produced a return to Democratic Senate control with prospectively a one-seat gain depending on December runoff results in Georgia. As of this writing, the House is still up in the air, but the best the Republicans can expect is a several-seat majority. It was a better result for Democrats than almost anyone expected, running against the tide of high inflation and the usual losses of a first term president’s party in the midterms.

It is clear Roevember happened, that women enraged by the Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v. Wade abortion rights came out in numbers not captured by polls. In addition, younger people, also underrepresented in polls, swung heavily toward the Democrats. Trump’s presence in the election turned into a minus for Republicans, as extreme right candidates endorsed by him were defeated across the country. This election very likely signals that the kind of far right politics signified by Trump has reached its high water mark and is receding in a demographically changing nation.

Midterms Reveal Progressive Possibilities in a Changing Nation

To be honest I do not see it.

First of all I am old and I am NOT a liberal! To me that is an insult. I am not necessarily a Dem either…to me most are just as sick and lazy as the GOP….when in power they accomplish little and bitch a lot.

I am a Leftist or better these days a Progressive. I believe it should always be about the country and its people. The government should not be held captive by the oligarchs that want it all and give nothing in return.

As a Progressive I am very disappointed in our country and its people we have such potential and we never build on that potential… what is it that I and others like me want?

Given his political leanings, Ellinger described himself as a “Silent Generation progressive.” But that’s not the norm for voters his age. In fact, Americans in Ellinger’s age group — those over the age of 65 — were the most likely of any age group to say that they approved of former President Donald Trump’s job performance, and registered voters from his generation were the most likely to favor Republican candidates, according to the Pew Research Center. And among registered voters, Silent Generation men were more likely than women of the same age to favor Republicans as well.

This is in line with the conventional wisdom that there’s a consistent age gap in our politics today, where older voters vote red and younger voters veer blue. And there are myriad reasons why this is the case. For one, older Americans are more likely to be white and religioustwo demographic groups that also tend to vote Republican. They’re also more likely to favor less government intervention and are more prone to believing that increased diversity isn’t a good thing for the country — which is in line with many Republicans’ way of thinking.

But these sentiments weren’t shared by the four voters older than 50, including Ellinger, whom I spoke with for this piece. In fact, many were closer to younger generations — like Gen Z or millennials — when it came to their political beliefs; climate change, racial justice, abortion access and higher wages were among some of the top policy priorities they listed, even if they were skeptical that Congress would address these things in their lifetime. Moreover, even though almost everyone I talked with said they wished the Democratic Party would go further left and support policies championed by, say, members of “The Squad,” a progressive group of Democratic lawmakers made up mainly of women of color, they didn’t begrudge President Biden for not pushing forward a more progressive political agenda, as he once promised. Rather, several applauded him for the work he’s done in office post-Trump, but wished the Democratic Party itself would invest more in building a younger, more liberal bench of successors. 

“I do feel like the lack of constant generation change has left Democrats a little stuck,” said Pamela M., a 52-year-old from rural Maryland who preferred to use only her first name and last initial for privacy. “They don’t know how to advertise and haven’t had a great ground-game strategy in a way that a wide swath of people respond to.”

What Do Older Progressive Voters Want?

My political views have not changed since I was 17 years old…that is damn near 60 years I have held my principles and have been for the most part disappointed by the lack of progress for this country.

What is it that you want in this coming election?

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Foreign Policy And The Mid-Terms

The 2022 mid-terms is almost complete and the House will switch to the GOP and the Senate remains in Dem hands….with the results it may bring change in our foreign policy….

Mid-term elections rarely deal with foreign policy, and this year’s mid-terms were no exception.  However, the elections will have consequences for U.S. foreign policy, and the Biden administration could exploit various openings if it acted “outside the box.”  There is room for President Joe Biden to take new initiatives in the field of national security, even as Republicans are poised to take over the House of Representatives.  Biden’s domestic and legislative agendas are essentially dead on arrival with Rep. Kevin McCarthy or any of his troglodyte colleagues as Speaker of the House.  Biden knows, moreover, that forward movement on foreign policy is less difficult than advancing a liberal domestic agenda.

First of all, the mid-terms will affect Biden’s agenda for Ukraine, particularly the ability to continue the current pace of military assistance to President Volodymyr Zelensky. Since the war began nearly nine months ago, the Biden administration has authorized and the Congress has approved more than $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. McCarthy has already stated that a Republican-led House would be unwilling to approve “blank check” assistance to Ukraine.  Three of the leading Republican supporters of military assistance to Ukraine—Rob Portman (OH), Richard Burr (NC), and Ben Sasse (NE)—are leaving the Senate, and the Republican leadership in 2023 will be far more concerned with beating up the Biden administration over the withdrawal from Afghanistan than with challenging the Russian occupation of Ukraine.

The mainstream media as well as the British Economist believe that Russia needs to suffer a decisive defeat in Ukraine so that Vladimir Putin’s failure is unambiguous, but it is already obvious—even to some Russian politicians and oligarchs—that Moscow has failed miserably.  Continuing the war could lead to an expanded conflict that involves the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), particularly the United States, and could lead to the use of tactical nuclear weapons.  If Ukraine suffers greater economic losses, then there is great risk to the kind of democracy that Zelensky and his colleagues say they want to create.  Greater conflict will also test the patience of West and East European states that will have to get through the winter with limited access to Russian oil and natural gas.

It is time to talk.  Ironically, it is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who has been the most outspoken about getting to the negotiating table.  It is wrong for the military adviser to the president to go public with policy advocacy, but in this case his ideas deserve a sounding within the National Security Council.

The Mid-Term Elections And American Foreign Policy

Personally I would like to see a major change in our foreign policy but I am not very optimistic basically because the defense people have lobbyists with buckets of money to throw at our members of Congress…so change, in my opinion, will e very little and as usual too late.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

12 Takeaways From The Election

Even though the final tally is not in there are a few things that the election showed the nation.

First a theory on modern American politics…..

These days, it seems that Democrats will vote for Democrats, and Republicans will vote for Republicans, no matter what happens during the election cycle. This “calcification” of American politics is explored in a New York Times essay by Ezra Klein, who draws from the work of political scientists John Sides, Chris Tausanovitch, and Lynn Vavreck in their new book. Klein points to a stat he finds “shocking”—in 1952, 50% of voters saw a big difference between the two parties, but that figure had risen to 90% by 2020. Decades ago, then, if voters were disillusioned by a particular candidate in their own party, they might consider voting for a rival because the parties weren’t seen as so fundamentally different. These days, there’s little chance of that.

Meanwhile, a second issue—”parity”—throws another wrench into things. We have roughly a 50-50 split between Republicans and Democrats, meaning that even a tiny change in voting patterns has a pronounced effect. “Because politics is so calcified, virtually nothing matters, but because elections are so close, virtually everything matters,” writes Klein. Elaborating: “So even as calcification means fewer minds change in any given election, parity means those small, marginal changes can completely alter American politics.” His piece explores how these factors help explain the 2016 and 2020 elections. Read the full essay, which also discusses a third theory, “cultural backlash,” and how it works in tandem with the other two to explain a great deal about current American politics.

What about all those ‘independents’ we hear so much about?

Did you get what you voted for?

Let’s look at the 12 things that have been noticed…..

+1. The official song of the 2022 mid-terms should be Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. The widely expected “red wave” did not emerge but neither did the Democrats’ promised “blue tsunami.” Something different or in-between took place, full of mixed messages that have provided opportunities for both of the two sadly dominant US capitalist-imperialist parties to claim victory.

+2. David Brooks continues to be a statistically illiterate moron. In his New York Times column and on his election night television commentary on “P”BS, this ridiculous blowhard saw the mid-terms as yet another opportunity to claim against all evidence that the Trump and DeSantis (see below)-era Republicans are a party of “populism” and “the working class.” This childish narrative, widely shared across the chattering skull and pundit class, is based on extreme false conflations between the lack of a college degree and rural residence on one hand and working-class status on the other hand. It leaves out people of color to a shocking degree and naturally deletes the racism, sexism, fundamentalist Christianity and general related authoritarianism (indeed neofascism) that by far and away trump economic anxiety as the driving force behind Republi-fascist voting (including the votes of actual working-class Republi-fascists). It helps the militantly elitist and fascist Republicans falsely and ludicrously brand themselves as the party of everyday working people.

+3. The Democrats’ claim of victory is weak tea. Yes, they avoided a complete shellacking at the hands of the Republi-fascists (Rfs). Revanchist Trumpian reptiles like the open Christian white nationalist Doug Mastriano, the Oath Keeper who wanted to take for the Arizona election system (Mark Finchem), the noxious far-right television quack Mehmet Oz, and perhaps (fingers crossed) the AR-15-toting maniac Lauren Boebert went down to humiliating defeat. There was no big red wave. Great, but the fact of the matter is that the January 6th Party of Fascist Insurrection is about to take over the gavel and agenda in the US House of Representatives and still has a chance of controlling the absurdly powerful US Senate. If the fake-“populist” Rfs get Congress, that puts them in charge of two of three branches of the federal government: the legislative branch and the judicial branch, currently topped by a 5-4/6-3 far-right majority well to the starboard side of the populace.

+4. Another election cycle goes by where the US pretends to have a democratic system despite: the absurd right-leaning partisan gerrymandering of the US House and state legislatures; the preposterous right-tilted malapportionment and absurd power of the US Senate; the ridiculous undemocratic Electoral College; the extreme power of the absurdly lifetime-appointed Supreme Court; the toxic and ongoing anti-democratic horror that is “states’ right;” the openly arch-plutocratic power of the nation’s campaign finance and corporate media systems.

+5. The plutocratic corporate tool and geriatric imperialist Joe “Burn Pit” Biden – an open agent of potential nuclear Armageddon – will likely decided to run again in 2024 on the basis of his party not getting its head as completely caved-in as was widely expected. Super! If he wins again, he can be 86 years old at the end of his second term, assuming that he and Putin don’t blow up the world over Ukraine in the meantime.

+6. “Burn Pit” Joe will dig Republi-semi-fascist control of the House (and perhaps Senate). It will give him a welcome excuse for his and his dollar-drenched neoliberal party’s failure to win and advance even semi-progressive policies (“we don’t have the votes”) and for him to pursue his beloved pastime of “reaching across the aisle” (since “we have no choice” and must “find common ground” to “get things done”). It worked for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

+7. Potential global nuclear war and global warming – two grave existential menaces both rooted in the anarchic madness of capitalism-imperialism – were largely if not completely absent from the mid-term elections. With all due respect, what in f*#k are we supposed to make of a “democratic” elections and party system that pushes the two biggest issues of our or any time to the margins of public debate and consciousness?!

+8. Also missing from the mid-terms: the rest of the world. This deletion is nothing new of course. As the most powerful oppressor state and empire in the history of humanity, the United States has been sucking up the wealth and health of much of the rest of the world for at least the last 77 years (the global Pax Americana was born at the end of World War II). It is by far and away the leading force behind numerous forms of planetary misery, with the climate catastrophe now in the lead. As usual, the notion of the United States having any core responsibility to nations and people outside its borders was completely missing in electoral action.

+9. “It was Roevember.” I have on social media seen numerous liberals and even progressives claim that the mid-terms showed the “brilliance” of the Democrats’ campaigning against the Supreme Court’s June 24th, 2022, Dobbs v. Jackson decision – the horrific ruling that killed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Court decision that had established women’s constitutional right to an abortion. This exaggerates the extent of Democrats’ mid-term success and grants undeserved cover to the Democrats’ refusal to meaningfully mobilize masses against the well-telegraphed Dobbs decision – a decision partly rooted in the cynical calculation that the abolition of a basic human and women’s right would work to their advantage in the mid-terms. But worst of all, it strikes me as a big raised middle finger to the many millions of childbearing-age females stuck in the 22 or so states that have essentially banned safe and legal abortion following Dobbs. Wtf did the mid-terms do for women and girls with current or future unwanted pregnancies in Republi-fascist prohibition states like Ron DeSantis’s and Greg Abbot’s Florida and Texas? Is Joe Biden now about to wake up and (as Rise Up for Abortion rights demanded on the date of the Dobbs ruling) properly declare the war on abortion a national public health emergency and issue an executive order granting women and girls access to safe and legal abortions without apology on federal lands and military bases across the whole United States? No, he isn’t.

+10. Democrats are crowing about how many of Trump’s preferred MAGA candidates went down, reveling in his potentially waning chances of coming back to the White House in 2025. Okay, but they might want to reflect on the rising star of Ron DeSantis, who might be a more dangerous fascist than Trump. DeSantis rolled in Florida, making big incursions into the Miami-Dade Latino vote. He is one evil motherfucker and a force to be reckoned with. (How far is DeSantis’ “political stunt” of deceiving Latin American migrants onto an airplane and dumping them like human garbage in a northern liberal enclave from packing people into boxcars and shipping them to concentration camps?) On the other hand, and on the positive side for the Dems, they have reason to hope for a Trump-DeSantis war inside the Republican Party. If Trump goes all out with narcissistic rage against DeSantis’s ascendancy, he could help sabotage the party heading to 2024.

+12. Bourgeois-democratic American Style election outcomes, even decent ones, don’t achieve very much for the people without mass mobilization in the streets and public squares beneath and beyond the election cycle.

Anything to add?

Howard Zinn made one of the best observations….

“The Election Madness…seizes the country every four years because we have all been brought up to believe that voting is crucial in determining our destiny, that the most important act a citizen can engage in is to go to the polls and choose one of the two mediocrities who have already been chosen for us…No, I’m not taking some ultra-left position that elections are totally insignificant, and that we should refuse to vote to preserve our moral purity. Yes, there are candidates who are somewhat better than others, and at certain times of national crisis (the Thirties, for instance, or right now) where even a slight difference between the two parties may be a matter of life and death…I’m talking about a sense of proportion that gets lost in the election madness. Would I support one candidate against another? Yes, for two minutes—the amount of time it takes to pull the lever down in the voting booth…But before and after those two minutes, our time, our energy, should be spent in educating, agitating, organizing our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in the schools. Our objective should be to build, painstakingly, patiently but energetically, a movement that, when it reaches a certain critical mass, would shake whoever is in the White House, in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice. Let’s remember that even when there is a ‘better’ candidate (yes, better Roosevelt than Hoover, better anyone than George Bush), that difference will not mean anything unless the power of the people asserts itself in ways that the occupant of the White in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice. Let’s remember that even when there is a ‘better’ candidate (yes, better Roosevelt than Hoover, better anyone than George Bush), that difference will not mean anything unless the power of the people asserts itself in ways that the occupant of the White House will find it dangerous to ignore…Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war. Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”

The Right needs to give up on the rhetoric that the Dems are socialists….why?

The Democratic Party used to be shaped–at least partially–by social movements–especially labor and civil rights. Now it’s shaped by the movements of money: does Raytheon want more war in Ukraine? Does Goldman Sachs need a bailout? Who does Cargill think will provide the biggest ag subsidies?

None of that is of a socialist nature….but that is not important as a lie will win some votes huh?

Now we wait on the 2024 election and its candidates.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Humor That Was The “Red Wave”

I admit it I was on the side that the Dems would f*ck up a wet dream and lose their control of Congress….although the final count is not in it seems they may just squeak by with a win…..

The publication, The Week, has put together the best cartoons about the non-existent ‘Red Wave’…..

Political Cartoon.

Political Cartoon.

Political Cartoon.

Political Cartoon.

Political Cartoon.

Political Cartoon.

Political Cartoon.

Did the American choose the country over some aging personality?

We still wait for the announcement of the control of the House….and we wait.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2022 Mid-Terms

As of this writing the results are not totally counted…..the House is leaning ‘red’ and the Senate is up for grabs…..

Voting was not anything to brag about….but it seldom is in the mid-terms.

I have tried to help people to grasp the complexities of our political system…..I have said I think that the voter is uninformed that they believe whatever some yahoo tells them as ‘true’…..and there are times that reinforce my fears and then there are times that just make me feel that the voter is just suffering from the stupids.

This vote outcome just makes me shake my head…..

Anthony “Tony” DeLuca died last month, in the middle of his re-election race—which he won anyway, by a huge margin. DeLuca, 85 and the longest-serving state representative in Pennsylvania, died of lymphoma less than two weeks after the deadline to change the ballot, the Guardian reports. He was the choice of nearly 86% of voters, with Green candidate Queonia “Zarah” Livingston coming in second with 14% of the vote, the AP reports. A special election will be held to fill the seat, which will be vacant until then. A date has not yet been set.

“While we’re incredibly saddened by the loss of Representative Tony DeLuca, we are proud to see the voters continue to show their confidence in him and his commitment to Democratic values by re-electing him posthumously,” the Pennsylvania House Democratic campaign committee said. DeLuca had represented the state’s 32nd Legislative District for 39 years. Some were posting about his re-election on social media as an example of voter fraud, despite no evidence of that. “Under Pennsylvania law, there was no way to remove Rep. DeLuca from the ballot,” says a rep from the aforementioned committee. Adds an Allegheny County spokesperson, “This is not the first time this has happened either.”

“Not the first time”?

Why would anyone vote for someone that cannot actually represent them?

Was it really support for him or just was it actually uninformed voters or just plain apathy?

This does not make me confident on the decisions by the voters.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Day After

Wednesday, 09Nov22, the day after the midterm election…..the tallying is still being counted and ‘verified’….we still have no definitive answer as to which party will control the Houses of Congress….but I will give my reader the info as we know it now.

In Congress, Maxwell Frost is going to be the voice of his generation. The 25-year-old Democrat cruised to victory over 51-year-old Republican Calvin Wimbish in Florida’s reliably blue Orlando-area 10th District and will be the first member of Generation Z in Congress, BuzzFeed reports. Frost, who will also be the first Afro-Cuban in Congress, is just old enough to serve in the House of Representatives and just young enough to count as a member of Gen Z, defined as people born between 1997 and 2012. In other firsts:

Maryland has elected its first Black governor, the New York Times reports. Wes Moore, a Democrat, will replace retiring Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

  • Maura Healey, Massachusetts’ attorney general, will be the country’s first openly lesbian governor, the AP reports. The Democrat defeated Trump-endorsed Republican Geoff Diehl and will replace Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who decided not to run for a third term.
  • In Arkansas, Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be the state’s first female governor. The former White House press secretary is also the first daughter in US history to be elected governor of a state her father formerly led, CNN reports.
  • Most of the final forecasts heading into Election Day gave Republicans a good chance of reclaiming control of the Senate, if only by a slim margin. With polls closing across America Tuesday night, the actual tally remains impossible to predict because of too-close-to-call races in key states. A look at some of the notable results rolling in:

In Ohio, Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance defeated Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan for a seat Democrats had hoped to flip, the AP reports.

But in New Hampshire, Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan edged GOP challenger Don Bolduc to keep a seat that Republicans had hoped to flip, per the AP.

In Pennsylvania, media outlets including the AP had called the closely-watched race between John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz for Fetterman by the early hours of Wednesday.

  • But big races in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin remained too close to call. More on Georgia, which is likely headed to a runoff, here. As of 2:30am ET: In Arizona, with 58% of the vote in, Democrat Mark Kelly led Republican Blake Masters 53.4% to 44.4%; in Nevada, with 56% of the vote in, Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto led Republican Adam Laxalt 50% to 47.1%; and in Wisconsin, with 98% of the vote in, Republican Ron Johnson led Democrat Mandela Barnes 50.7% to 49.3%.
  • Marco Rubio in Florida, Chuck Schumer in New York, and Rand Paul in Kentucky were among the no-surprise early winners. Republicans had hoped to notch an upset in Colorado, but Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet won a third term, reports Politico.
  • Other unsurprising results that rolled in later included Democrat Patty Murray winning re-election in Washington state, Democrat Alex Padilla being easily elected to his first full term as a senator in California, and Democrat Brian Schatz winning re-election in Hawaii.
  • In Alabama, Republican Katie Britt will become the first elected female senator for her state, per CNN.
  • In Oklahoma, Republican Markwayne Mullin will become the first Native American in the Senate in nearly 20 years, per the AP.
  • Iowa’s Sen. Chuck Grassley, already one of history’s longest-serving senators, has won an eighth term, Axios reports. The 89-year-old Republican could now serve until he is 95.
  • In Utah’s most closely-watched Senate race in decades, Republican Mike Lee fended off independent challenger Evan McMullin to win re-election, the AP reports.
  • As of 2:30am ET, the only other Senate race still not called was Alaska. The Republican party appears very likely to hold onto its Senate seat in the state that’s up for grabs, but it’s not yet clear who will be seated in it due to the state’s ranked-choice voting system. If no candidate gets 50% of the vote outright in the first round, candidates are eliminated and more rounds of voting are held until there are just two candidates left and one of them wins. On Tuesday, Donald Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka and current Sen. Lisa Murkowski were leading in early returns, the AP reports.
  • In its last forecast, FiveThirtyEight described the chamber’s fate as “on a knife’s edge” and gave the GOP a 59-in-100 chance of coming out on top. “That isn’t much better than the probability of calling a coin-flip correctly, although the GOP may have the slightest of edges.” That’s because of the five tightest Senate races, four of the seats are held by Dems. They have to either hang on to all four, or retain three and grab the GOP seat. The races: Arizona, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
  • Of the 22 midterm elections from 1934-2018, the American Presidency Project at UC Santa Barbara notes the president’s party has lost an average of four Senate seats, though it has managed to gain seats six times.

I will keep you updated as soon as I have something to report.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is Political Violence Possible?

Today is one of our most important days….voting in the 2022 midterms.

There have been many different takes on what we can expect on the outcome of this vote…..some say House and Senate will switch….and some think there is the possibility that the outcome will generate some sort of violence.

Let us look at the later more closely……

Polls in recent months have gauged Americans’ views on political violence in a few different ways, but they almost always capture some segment of the population that deems political violence acceptable. When asked whether the use of force or violence was justified “to advance an important political objective,” 1 in 5 Americans said it was, at least sometimes, according to a survey from researchers at the University of California, Davis, conducted in May and June. And in a Reuters/Ipsos poll from September, 17 percent of Americans somewhat or strongly agreed that political violence against those they disagreed with was acceptable, with slightly more Democrats agreeing with the statement than Republicans or independents. However, just a small fraction of registered voters said taking up arms or a civil war was necessary to fix our democracy in a recent New York Times/Siena poll.

As striking as some of those results are, some research suggests Americans’ true views are much more passive. Some of these responses can be chalked up to respondents not paying close enough attention, vaguely worded questions or both, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in March. The study’s authors found that, when engaged with the survey and presented with specific examples of political violence, between 89 and 100 percent of respondents wanted a suspect in a politically motivated violent crime charged.

Regardless, the reality is that threats of political violence are on the rise, and it’s making Americans concerned. When asked whether they were “concerned that extremists will commit acts of violence after the election if they are unhappy with the election outcome,” 64 percent of Americans said they somewhat or strongly agreed, in a Reuters/Ipsos poll fielded in October. Similarly, 48 percent of Americans said they were very or somewhat concerned about the possibility of violence associated with the 2022 midterms, according to a UMass/YouGov poll conducted in October. And Black Americans are much more likely than white or Hispanic Americans to expect “displays of violence” related to the midterms, according to a Grid-Harris poll, also from October. When asked whether they thought election results would spark displays of violence in their area, 40 percent of Black Americans said it was very or somewhat likely, compared to 23 percent of white Americans and 36 percent of Hispanic Americans.

What Americans Think About Political Violence

The most recent poll, 04Nov22, shows that the fear of political violence weighs on American minds…..

Some high-profile Republicans have made light of last week’s attack on Paul Pelosi, but roughly 87% of Republicans overall say they are either somewhat concerned or very concerned about politically motivated violence in America, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll. The poll found that 88% of Americans are concerned about political violence, including 95% of Democrats and 86% of independent voters. But while the concern was bipartisan, people were split on which side is to blame: Some 31% blame the GOP, 25% blame the Democratic Party, and 32% blame both parties equally, per ABC. Only 11% didn’t blame either party.

Women are more likely than men to be concerned about politically motivated violence, and the level of concern tends to go up with a person’s age, the poll found. The Post reports the FBI and other agencies issued an alert last week warning that in the 90 days after the midterm elections, “perceptions of election-related fraud and dissatisfaction with electoral outcomes likely will result in heightened threats of violence against a broad range of targets—such as ideological opponents and election workers.” The poll was taken in the days after the Pelosi attack, which police say was carried out by David DePape, a 42-year-old Canadian citizen. DePape’s online postings included numerous far-right conspiracy theories, the Los Angeles Times reports.

This is not an irrational fear….the chances are real we Americans need to move past this sort of barbaric behavior.

I have not voted for a presidential winner since 1976 and Jimmy Carter….but as Left leaning as I was I never thought about committing violence because my ‘guy’ lost.

Please get out and vote….our country needs your participation if we are to ever heal the divide.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Election Day 2022

This is a breakdown done by the site gives a look at what could be the ‘spoilers’ for the mid-terms…..

Election Day, the FiveThirtyEight forecast has numbers that won’t surprise anyone who’s been following political coverage. The site gives Republicans an 83% chance of taking the House and a 54% chance of taking the Senate. The site’s Nate Silver, however, runs through three points that will go a long way in determining how Tuesday actually plays out.

  • Polling errors: Pollsters generally don’t have a great track record of late, and if they’re off in either direction, the implications are huge. If Republicans beat their polling averages by 3 points, they’re a virtual lock to take the Senate, writes Silver. If, on the other hand, it’s Democrats who beat their averages by 3 points, things are “very rosy” for them. They’d likely keep the Senate and possibly the House, too. Might the polls be biased against either Republicans or Democrats? Yes and yes.
  • Turnout gap: If the polls are accurate, then everything comes down to turnout and to which party has done the better job of energizing their voters. Republicans have generally led on this front (not unusual for the party looking to reclaim power), but some major polls this week suggest that Democrats have narrowed if not closed the “enthusiasm gap.” The size of the actual gap on Election Day—ranging, say, from a 6-point gap favoring Republicans to a 1-point gap favoring Democrats—will have big consequences.
  • Candidate quality: Republicans should be in a better position in regard to the Senate. “If all races went according to the national environment plus the state’s partisan lean,” we might be looking at a 54-46 Senate in favor of Republicans. But some “relatively weak” candidates have given Democrats a chance. “The GOP may well pay a price for its inexperienced, unpopular and in some cases scandal-plagued candidates,” writes Silver. “Just how much of one could determine which party winds up with Senate control.”
  • Read the full assessment, in which Silver acknowledges that “nobody in the polling or election forecasting community has any right to be all that confident about what will happen on Tuesday.”

Few more thoughts for this important day….

There have been multiple warnings in recent days that polling errors and other wildcards could result in midterm election surprises—nonetheless, the final ratings offered by Sabato’s Crystal Ball on the day before Election Day will likely surprise no one. The ratings out of the University of Virginia Center for Politics predict a GOP net gain of one Senate seat, resulting in a 51-49 Republican Senate, and a GOP net gain of 24 House seats, resulting in a 237-198 Republican House of Representatives. As for governorships, the prediction is a net gain of one for Republicans, resulting in a gubernatorial count of 29-21 Republican

A number of closely-watched races have swapped columns: The Raphael Warnock-Herschel Walker Senate race in Georgia started out as a toss-up but is now in the “leans Republican” column. The Arizona gubernatorial race made the same switch. The John Fetterman-Dr. Mehmet Oz race to fill an open Senate seat in Pennsylvania was initially “leans Democrat” and has shifted to “leans Republican.” As for those aforementioned “wildcards,” the site notes that its prediction is the best Democrats can hope for is a night that’s “good but not necessarily great” for Republicans. Politico, in its own final election forecast, has the battle for House control as “likely Republican” but puts the Senate in the “toss-up” column. But the Hill notes that in its final forecast, the Cook Political Report shifted the Senate toward Republicans.

I will be traveling around my area to polling stations to see what is happening…..

Please exercise your right to vote and do so that will make this a stronger and better nation.

Tomorrow may well be a new day!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Inflation–How Did It Come To This?

Tomorrow we go to our polling stations and cast our votes for the ‘future’ of this nation.

We are told by the MSM that the most important issue of this election is the economy more specifically rising inflation…..watching the events and the sounds around this election I do not agree that it will be the deciding factor.

If that is true why has seemingly no one explained how it came to this.

One side blames Biden for the disaster of the economy and the other side blames…well whatever is the most convenient…..but just what or who brought us to this moment in our election process?

One of the culprits for this crisis is being dropped at the feet of the Fed.

The Federal Reserve has made two major policy blunders in the last 25 years. 

The first was being unaware that the foundation of the U.S. banking system had been eroded away by complex mortgage securities that carried high credit ratings but turned out to be toxic during a broad housing downturn. The resulting meltdown in valuations caused the global financial crisis in 2008 that hobbled the U.S. economy for years.

More recently, a misreading of the strength of the labor market and the persistence of price shocks sparked by the pandemic led to the highest inflation rate in 40 years and the final chapter of this saga is still to be written. The policy error paved the way to make 2022 the worst year in financial markets arguably since the 1930s. Both stocks and bonds have plummeted and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome “Jay” Powell is at the center of the financial turmoil, landing him on the MarketWatch 50 list of the most influential people in markets

Critics have pounced on the Fed. Powell’s insistence that rising inflation was “transitory” and would quickly dissipate once the economy reopened more fully has been called “probably the worst inflation call in Fed history” by Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser for Allianz. The economist Stephen Roach has compared Powell to former Fed chair Arthur Burns, whose indecisiveness under intense political pressure led to the crushing inflation of the 1970s. As recently as March 2022, when the Labor Department was reporting a 7.9% annual rise in consumer prices, Powell and the Fed were just wrapping up their injections of liquidity into financial markets.

How Powell, who is not a trained economist, is ultimately remembered will depend on whether he’s able to tame inflation without driving the U.S. into a deep recession. It could still all end relatively well, but the debate about what signs the U.S. central bank ignored and why will be studied and debated for years to come.

I tried last week to help fill in the gaps in our knowledge of inflation and even included some ‘solutions’ given by some in the GOP….

It’s Election Time–It’s Inflation

If you want to help this country then please consider all angles….do not just vote for pasty faced old white guy….for their solutions are antiquated and not going to actually help in the 21st century.

Please take the time to vote.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

It’s Election Time–It’s Inflation

As I watch the news I hear daily that the major issue for the upcoming election is the economy most specifically it is the inflation that is crippling most Americans.

I do not agree….I agree that inflation is a huge problem but I disagree that the decision on voting will be decided by that problem.

First the big myth is that inflation is a hidden tax…..It is not a taxation but it is taxing….so to oversimplify the phenom politicians like the word “tax”.

Calling inflation “taxes” is simply inaccurate. People pay taxes to governments to achieve certain ends. Even if you think that government is inherently wasteful or lazy or inept and are sure that the pure magic of markets—which, again, were largely responsible for the pent-up supply chain problems that drove inflation—there are actions that happen as a result of those taxes paid. Schools, roads, defense, regulations of markets that have proven themselves when unsupervised inclined to cause disaster, all of this are benefits those taxes pay for.

So the GOP blames the Dems….the Dems blame the GOP…again it is an oversimplification.

First, the most important release from last week was the third quarter GDP data. It showed the economy growing at a 2.6 percent annual rate. This is a very healthy rate of growth and follows small declines reported in the prior two quarters.

The growth also should mean that we are again seeing positive productivity growth after seeing a record pace of decline reported in the first half of 2022. Productivity data are always erratic, and the numbers from the first half should not be accepted at face value (reported growth in the fourth quarter of 2021 was an impossibly high 6.3 percent), but there can be little doubt that productivity in the first half of this year was very bad.

The 2.6 percent growth in third quarter GDP was roughly equal to reported growth in hours in the payroll data, but there was sharp fall in the number of people who reported being self-employed. This should imply productivity growth in the neighborhood of 1.0 percent. We will get the actual figure this week when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports third quarter productivity data.

A 1.0 percent rate of productivity growth is not great, but hugely better than the declines reported in the first half of the year. Productivity was likely weakened in the first half by supply chain problems, huge turnover, and possibly some labor hoarding. These problems should have been less of an issue in the third quarter, and even more so going forward, as the economy is operating closer to normal in most sectors.

Weak productivity would be a major factor raising costs for businesses and thereby creating inflationary pressure in the economy. If we are back on a normal productivity path, this would be a big positive for inflation prospects going forward.

Inflation and Recession: Where Are We Now?

Since the GOP is hammering Biden on inflation for the mid-terms… would they solve the problem?

It’s perfectly reasonable for Republicans to batter Democrats on inflation. Gas prices have fallen way off their June highs, but the rising cost of living is still a problem for Americans from most walks of life, and Democrats are the party in power. That’s politics.

But now that Republicans have chosen inflation—and particularly gas prices—as their number-one issue for this political cycle, it follows that their candidates would have detailed plans to turn things around if they’re elected. That’s governing.

We asked the campaigns of eight Senate candidates in competitive races—J.D. Vance in Ohio; Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania; Herschel Walker in Georgia; Blake Masters in Arizona; Ron Johnson in Wisconsin; Ted Budd in North Carolina; Adam Laxalt in Nevada; and Mike Lee in Utah—the following:

  1. What is the candidate’s plan to lower gas prices?
  2. What is the candidate’s plan to fight inflation?

Will the GOP have all the answers to inflation?

I think not.

I do not believe that giveaways to the wealth will stop the ravages of inflation on us less fortunate….remember the beginnings of the idiotic ‘trickle down economics’? (a look back)

There is a way to hold down inflation….you go to the people that are fueling the problem….corporations…..

By now, you’ve probably heard the good news. After more than a year of surging inflation, gas prices are down, pandemic supply chain snarls are starting to ease, and shipping costs for companies are coming down. But instead of passing on the savings to customers, companies are making a different choice.

Big corporations are choosing to keep prices high for consumers, even as their own expenses, for things like materials and transportation, go down. While the Biden administration and its economic response to the pandemic have become easy scapegoats for those who wish to assign blame for stubbornly high prices, especially as midterm elections draw closer, the facts tell a different story. And ignoring the ways in which corporate price hikes are contributing to higher prices will only prolong the crisis.

This isn’t just speculation. My colleagues at Ground Collaborative and I pored over recent earnings reports from the nation’s biggest companies. We learned that their executives are admitting to the strategy of keeping prices high because it means bigger profits for their companies and massive payouts to their shareholders.

The outcome of the mid-terms will bring little relief for us mere mortals….

Sorry to be a downer.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”