Georgia demoted McConnell; what comes next?

Joe Biden will begin his presidency with a legislative majority in both the House and Senate for the first two years of his presidency.

Democrats need to take a lesson from the Republicans who have proven themselves wholly unfit to govern, and use that majority to its full effect to put out a full and complete repudiation of McConnell and Trump’s legislative policy.

First priority, after correcting the COVID Vaccination rollout, should be appointing an Attorney General who will investigate and prosecute the crimes committed by the Trump administration.

Second priority should be addressing their assault on the judicial branch of government through impeachment, where possible, of his appointments and by adding seats to the Supreme Court bench to eliminate the Republican majority and the power of the three Trump appointed Justices.

While all that is happening, rebuilding the CDC, reconnecting with the WHO and UN, treating white supremacy militias as domestic terrorism cells, releasing the caged immigrants and returning their abducted kids back to them, rejoining the Paris Accords, police reform, and ending funding to the border wall should all be taken care of.

Improving the ACA and working toward a single payer health care system needs to begin. 

A national minimum wage that provides a living wage, tied to inflation rates needs to be established.

And, the government needs to make a massive commitment to national infrastructure including job training and placement programs to create and fill the jobs necessary, not just to repair and maintain the current infrastructure, but to also upgrade it for the future.

Biden may not be the progressive I wanted, but he is an improvement over Trump, he will assemble a competent cabinet and empower them to lead without heavy handed micromanagement, and he will sign the bills put in front of him by a Democrat majority congress.

This means he will be as progressive as the Congress we, as voters, give him.

So, while we expect him to get to work on repairing the damage of the McConnell/Trump era, we need to get to work on the 2022 midterm elections to provide him an even stronger congressional support system to write the policies and create the budgets we want signed by the President.

The incredible work to drive record breaking voter registration and turnout to defeat Trump and flip the Senate was just the first step, not the end game. Don’t sacrifice the momentum. This is our opportunity to truly start checking and correcting our #Culturalinertia.

Don’t Fear the Reaper… Defeat Him or Avoid Him.

When it comes to climate change policy, economic stimulus and pandemic relief efforts, health care, or anything else that might actually benefit the majority of Americans instead of a few of the ultra rich, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had this to say about himself before the 2018 midterms, and he still believes it now:

“If I’m still the majority leader of the Senate after next year, none of those things are going to pass the Senate. They won’t even be voted on. So think of me as the Grim Reaper: the guy who is going to make sure that socialism doesn’t land on the president’s desk.”

Source: CBS

This means that unless we help folks like Stacy Abrams and organizations like Fair Fight and Act Blue in Georgia do everything possible to flip both of its Senate seats during the January runoff elections, for Biden to be effective he will have to do one of two things, either compromise with Grim Reaper or find a way to thwart him.

We cannot allow the new administration to compromise on matters of civil and human rights, we cannot allow him to ignore the science and reality pertaining to pandemic prevention and its necessity to protect both our people and our real economy instead of protecting stock prices to the detriment of everyone and everything else.

So, how will that work?

Presidential Appointments

To create an effective cabinet Biden is limited to two options as long as the self-labeled Grim Reaper remains Senate Majority Leader.

Option 1 is compromise and only install right leaning moderates to cabinet positions in order for McConnell to bring them to a Senate confirmation vote and push the Republicans to approve them.

Option 2 is to follow Trump’s lead and appoint a host of permanently “Acting” cabinet members and officials without ever seeking Senate approval until McConnell can be removed.

Executive Orders

First, any action or policy that Trump created or ended by Executive Order can be reversed the same way.

For some issues that can be an instantaneous fix, for most it will take time to self-correct. The various departments and agencies will have to update the policies and procedures and retrain, and if the change requires a public notice and comment period that will still have to be honored by each affected organization.

While others, such as reconnecting separated refugee families with their abducted kids, may actually prove to be impossible depending on the record keeping and evidence destruction of Trump’s criminally complicit sycophants within the agencies responsible.

Secondly, Biden can follow Trump’s leads and create new policy through Executive Order. We know that without legislative support any policy made this way will only be as lasting as a new president changing it the same way as described above, or both the House and Senate working together to pass a law which will either solidify or override it.

These options may provide the Biden/Harris administration with their only option for working around a Senate Majority Leader intent on killing all of their proposed legislative efforts before any can ever see the possibility of a chamber vote.

Legislative Compromise

The last and least desirable option, in my opinion, is to attempt to find a legislative compromise with the Reaper. McConnell has; however, proven himself to be one who does not negotiate in good faith, and his idea of compromise is “You surrender to my blackmail terms.”

The only bargaining chips Biden has, as long as we hold him to a requirement of being uncompromising on human and civil right, factual science and truth, are these:

  • Increased tax breaks for the rich.
  • Less corporate regulation and oversight
  • Less environmental protections

How do we defeat the Grim Reaper?

If you want to avoid all that, you better damn well be doing everything you possibly can to ensure the Democrat candidates for Senate in Georgia, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, win in the January run-offs.

If both win, the Grim Reaper will be demoted to the Senate Minority Leader and the Biden/Harris administration will have a thin majority in both the House and Senate allowing them to pass any legislation that does not require a supermajority vote in either chamber.

Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand, don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly, don’t fear the reaper
Baby I’m your man

(Don’t Fear) The Repear,” Blue Oyster Cult, 1976

A Field Guide to Changing the #Culturalinertia – Part 1

This is not about the candidates for President this election cycle, but the people voting in the election.

Over the years, this blog, and the accompanying Facebook discussion page, have contained an ongoing theme of identifying and discussing ways to address the aspects of our culture we cling to consciously or subconsciously to hold us back. We have been calling this our Cultural Inertia.

An evaluation of the current election results so far has proven to me that I need to approach discussing our #Culturalinertia a bit differently. Over the next several months, I will be posting an ongoing, and cumulative guide on how we need to start dealing with this. Each post will give us the next step to begin working on to make dramatic overall shifts.

As of the time of this writing, 68.6 million people, and counting, have voted for at least four more years of malevolent incompetence, lies, criminality, fascism, racism, sexism, religious bigotry, and weaponization of faux (and real) Christianity through legislation. That’s over 5.5 million more than voted for Trump in 2016.

We can’t not have a serious talk about this.

We cannot truly have freedom in a multicultural society while any of these people remain in positions of power and influence over the lives of others and adhere to these belief systems. Whether that power and influence comes from the office of the presidency, elected or appointed members of government, judges, doctors, nurses, police, first responders, loan approval officers, Neighborhood Watch groups, Home Owners’ Associations, or anywhere else is irrelevant. What matters is that the power to oppress must be removed from the people that would take advantage of it.

Which brings us to:

Step 1

Stop watching what’s happening and passively saying and thinking that “This isn’t America” or “This isn’t my America.”

Because this is America.

This is the America we have always had.

Trump didn’t change the hearts and minds of half of American voters. He simply gave them permission to be open about it to others.

Some still cannot bring themselves to openly admit their believes, so they lied to the poll takers, and their friends, and their family and said they would vote against him. Then they went in the voting centers and pulled the levers, punched the tickets, placed their mark, and pressed the buttons to select his name on the ballot anyway.

As Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station recently stated:

This is the America people of color have been telling us we were part of since its founding.

What Trump has done for the rest of us is remove the blinders so we can no longer pretend we don’t see it happening all around us.

We now know we have neighbors and family members who are among those who adhere to these abhorrent ideologies.

So, what can you do about it?

Start telling yourself, “This isn’t the America I want in the future,” and start actively working to change it by aggressively standing up and calling it out every single time you see it.

No matter who is doing it.

Be Bold. Be relentless. Be uncompromising.

Do not back down.

Do it online and offline, in public and in private.

Don’t fall into the trap of maintaining negative peace. Don’t avoid the necessary conflict to resolve a problem at the expense of allowing the problem to fester, spread, and worsen.

Do not agree to disagree on matters of human and civil rights.

Do not accept that we are all entitled to our opinions when challenging an opinion that is harmful or detrimental to others.

“Get in good trouble.” ~U.S. Rep. John Lewis

Focus on that step for a while, and then I’ll give you Step 2.

A Deep Dive Into the Numbers

My nephew, who turns 16 this year, is a math wiz, and loves statistical analysis, he has also taken a strong interest in modern politics.

Last week he took on the task to analyze polls and historical data to predict how the electoral college plays out. This is his work…

DC, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland, California, New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, Washington, Connecticut, Maine’s 1st District, New Jersey, Oregon, and Illinois are very safe for Biden, with current polling averages by FiveThirtyEight showing him up 15 points or more. These states combined are 183 electoral votes.

On the other hand, Nebraska’s 3rd District, Wyoming, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Idaho, North Dakota, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Dakota are very safe for Trump, with current polling averages by FiveThirtyEight showing him up 15 points or more. These states combined are 63 electoral votes.

Likely Biden States:

New Mexico and Colorado haven’t always been blue, but these last 3 presidential elections they certainly have. With some positive polling for Biden in these states this election, it seems very unlikely that these states go to Trump.

Virginia is a red state, right? Wrong. Much like New Mexico and Colorado, Virginia has gone blue the last 3 presidential elections. While in 2016 Clinton’s vice president pick Kaine was from Virginia, it is hard to truly know how much of an effect that had. Whatever the case was, Virginia is polling strong for Biden this year.

Maine has voted Democrat for the last 7 presidential elections, and doesn’t seem to be stopping this year, with Biden having an apprixmately 14 point lead over Trump in the polling averages.

New Hampshire seems relatively solidly in Biden’s favor, even with it having been considered a swing state in the past, and being relatively close last year.

Minnesota went to Clinton last election, and this election it doesn’t seem likely that that story will be different. Biden leads Trump by over 9 points in this state, and with Clinton having won this state in 2016, it seems very likely Biden will keep this state.

Michigan and Wisconsin are part of a group of 3 key states that will likely help decide the election, along with Pennsylvania. In this prediction, they will be called the rust belt. Michigan and Wisconsin certainly are the most blue of the rust belt, and were extremely close states (especially Michigan) in the 2016 election, even though they had gone to Trump in the end. This year, Biden has an 8 point lead in these states, which makes it seem likely Biden will win these states.

Likely Trump States:

Nebraska has voted red for many years, and is unlikely to change this year. This state would likely be safe if it weren’t for FiveThirtyEight showing Trump up by only a bit under 10 points.

Tennessee is likely to go to Trump, as Trump has a solid lead of just under 13 points.

In Utah, Trump is ahead by under 11 points. As with many of the other red states in the likely column, this state has been solidly Republican for many elections.

Nebraska’s 1st district does not have a lot of info around it. However, there is one poll listed on FiveThiryEight showing Trump up 2 points. However, last election Republicans won Nebraska’s 1st district by over 20 points. Therefore, this district will be considered likely in this prediction.

Kansas is also a reliable vote for Republicans, having voted for them in the last 13 presidential elections. While it doesn’t seem likely it will flip, it is up only just over 10 points for the Republicans.

Indiana mostly votes red, although they did vote blue in 2008. Granted, Republicans did win Indiana by a bit under 20 points in 2016. Either way, Trump is up nearly 10 points over Biden in Indiana.

Even with the Republicans winning Missouri by almost 20 points in 2016, the polls show it surprisingly close in comparison at an approximately 7 point lead for Trump.

Montana is a surprising case, having the Republicans win by over 20 points in 2016, to leading in the polls by just under 5 points, and it’s been narrowing up recently.

South Carolina, unlike their neighbor to the north (more on that later), is still likely to go red this election, with Trump up around 7.5 points.

Alaska is an interesting case, as this is one of Trump’s best times in the polls over the last few months, with a bit under an 8 point lead. Yes, a nearly 8 point lead is good compared to the rest of Trump’s polls this year in Alaska, the state that went to Trump by over 25 points in 2016.

It is amazing to see many of these likely Republican states not safe. It really goes to show Biden’s power this election. States like Alaska or Nebraska shouldn’t be this close, but they are.

Lean Biden States:

Pennsylvania is the other state in the rust belt. This state is considered by many to be the key state, and is shown to be the most likely tipping point state by FiveThirtyEight. This is good news for Biden, as he is ahead nearly 5 points in Pennsylvania polling.

Nevada was a swing state that went to Clinton last election, and this election seems fairly favorable for Biden, with nearly a 5 point lead over Trump.

Arizona has actually become more blue over the years, with only an approximately 3.5 point victory for Trump in 2016, whereas it was much larger for Republicans in 2012 and 2008. This year, Biden is actually polling ahead of Trump in Arizona, with a lead of nearly 3 points. This state seems like it will go to the Democrats, but it could go either way.

Ah yes, Florida, home of close elections. Trump won it by just over a point in 2016, Obama won it by just under a point in 2012, Obama won it by just under 3 points in 2008, Bush won it by 5 points in 2004, and let’s not discuss the 2000 election. In general, Florida tends to be a close state, and it seems like it will continue that tradition this year. Currently, Biden is leading by around 2 points in the polls in Florida. With Florida’s history, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it go either way, but for the moment it seems to be going to Biden.

North Carolina is another one of those states that have classically tended to be Republican, but now seem to be Democrat. Admittedly, North Carolina did go to Obama in 2008, although barely. This year, Biden has almost a 2 point advantage over Trump according to polling. This still isn’t enough to overcome the polling error from 2016, but this year isn’t 2016.

Georgia has swung back and forth in the polls this election, but currently Biden, surprisingly enough, is ahead over a point in polling data. In the last few elections, Democrats have lost by about 5 or more points in Georgia, so it is impressive to see Biden ahead this year.

Biden seems ahead in Maine’s 2nd district (he has a 3.2 point lead), but due to less polls it’s harder to say for certain. What can be said for certain is that in 2016 Trump won by nearly 10 points, while in 2012 Obama won by over 8 points.

In Nebraska’s 2nd District, it also seems like Biden will win, with a 4.5 point lead.

Lean Trump States:

While Texas has been going more and more blue over the last few years, it seems unlikely that this election is the year that it fully goes blue. Trump has an admittedly low 1 point lead over Biden, but it still seems likely it will go Republican. Given current trends, maybe next presidential election will be the one where we see Texas go blue.

Tilt Trump States:

Ohio’s prediction is honestly tragic. For the last 14 presidential elections, Ohio has voted for the winner of the election. However, this year, it seems to have shifted too far to the right. Currently Trump is ahead 0.8 points in the polls in Ohio, although in general it seems like Biden will win the election, which would break Ohio’s streak. We will see though, as it is a close race in Ohio.

Iowa has been the weirdest state to watch during the making of this prediction. It has been fluctuating back and forth between the 2 candidates for the last month. It has settled to be Biden territory for most of October, but now it has jumped up into being a Trump state. This state is really hard to call either direction, but as Election Day is just around the corner, and Trump has a lead of 1.6 points, it seems it will go to Trump. That being said, early voting was occurring while Biden was in the lead in the polls, so it could swing to Biden. It seems likely this will be the closest state of them all.

And that has been every state! Based on this prediction, here are the predicted results: Biden 351, Trump 187. However, as this prediction does list states based on their likelihood to go to each candidate, included below is what would happen if certain levels of change from the prediction would happen.

To clarify, the wave scenarios outlined below are based on what would happen if various levels of change in the prediction happened, with a blue wave meaning Democrats win tilt Republican states, a blue tsunami meaning Democrats win lean Republican states, and a blue blow-out meaning Democrats win likely Republican states. This also goes for the red waves, but in the favor of the Republicans. This is why the red wave has no change, as there are no tilt Democrat states in this prediction.

Blue Blow-Out: Biden 475, Trump 63


Blue Tsunami: Biden 413, Trump 125


Blue Wave: Biden 375, Trump 163


Standard Prediction: Biden 351, Trump 187


Red Wave: Biden 351, Trump 187


Red Tsunami: Biden 252, Trump 286


Red Blow-Out: Biden 183, Trump 355

Some of the sources:


FiveThirtyEight Forecast: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/


FiveThirtyEight Polls: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/


FiveThirtyEight 2016 Data: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/


Historical Results:

https://www.270towin.com/historical-presidential-elections/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_United_States_presidential_election#

(and various other Wikipedia articles)

If you wish to see a map form of this prediction, go to this link:

https://www.yapms.com/app/?m=4frs

Buckle Up, The Rest of This Ride Is Over Some Dangerous Terrain.

We are 100 days from November 3rd, and it is imperative that Donald Trump is removed from office. During the next 100 days he, his administration, and the Republican party will be pulling out all the corrupt and authoritarian measures possible to ensure their reelection and retention of power.

We must prepare ourselves for that, but we must also begin to prepare ourselves for what comes next. If we fail to show up and not just vote to remove Trump from office but to overwhelmingly repudiate the modern Republican platform and rhetoric on both local and national levels, they will see their reelection as not just a mandate to continue that but permission to escalate it further over the next 4 years.

We will quickly see the escalation into a Martial Law police state enforcing apartheid laws. If we do show up and repudiate them, we need to prepare for Trump and McConnell to unleash Hell upon Earth during what would normally be considered a “Lame Duck” session through the final three months of the administration’s official power.

With nothing left to lose, there will be nothing but the current House of Representatives to hold them back. And we need to be prepared for the possible necessity of a forcible transition of power for the first time since our system of government was established.

It would be bad enough if this were all happening under otherwise normal circumstances, but the fact that it will also be happening during both an avoidable health crisis and an avoidable economic crisis will increase the difficulty of navigating these issues by at least an order of magnitude.

These next 6 months will determine the future of our nation and a significant portion of the world for generations to come.

Who Deserves Your Presidential Primary Vote?

Image Source: Getty Images

The Nevada Democratic party presidential debate was held on Wednesday Night, February 2020.

It was clear that few of the candidates made any significant new policy statements to sway anyone to change who they are supporting, with the exception of Bloomberg. He blew the debate in several ways, most importantly showing he can’t hold his own on the debate stage against a much milder version of attack than Trump will be throwing at the final candidate in the general election later this year. The Republicans will tear him apart in that campaign now that they know he is incapable of responding without a production crew and script writers propping him up and polishing it all in post production before the public sees it.

The remainder of the candidates on stage spent more of their time attacking each other’s policy stances and history than explaining their own, because at this point they have all already explained those as well as they intend to.

The most important thing for any non-Republican primary voter to consider is that regardless of policy stances, if the current Senate majority is not flipped, not one of these candidates will get any of their plans pushed through Congressional approval, and that means everything they hope to accomplish will have to be accomplished by Executive Order.

So the questions we must answer are:

Which candidate has the best chance of drawing enough disenfranchised voters back to the polls to defeat Trump in November, especially in the traditionally politically red and purple states with the most vital electoral college votes?

And,

Which candidate will inspire enough general election voter turnout to swing the Senate majority and defeat other Republican Trump supporting candidates further down ballot in the House, Governor’s races, and local elections.

Based on all current polling the progressive and moderate voters are divided nearly equally among the six current candidates, each will eventually coalesce behind two specific candidates much like in 2016.

So, instead of endorsing a specific candidate based on my views, here we will explore the best for you to vote for based upon your own views.

If you are a progressive liberal, your choice is between Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Either candidate will have the entire corporate lobby political infrastructure working overtime against them in favor of Trump if they win the party nomination. Sanders also carries the heavy political baggage of the willful ignorance of most American voters when it comes to an understanding of the Democratic Socialism label he has given himself. However, he is a massive draw for voters under the age of 40. Warren though, will be a bigger draw for female empowerment voters, especially those wanting to send a message against Trump’s incessant misogyny.

If you are more of an establishment moderate, Amy Klobuchar is your best bet. She has a proven track record of success in Republican states with far less of the earned and unearned political negative baggage that Biden carries along with him. She will also have the female vote support in general election for the same reasons mentioned above for Warren. Biden, deserving or not, has been damaged with those disenfranchised voters by Trump’s attacks, his own background of patriarchal misogyny, and guilt by association for all the closeted racists. To make matters worse, he exudes the same sense of entitlement that so badly damaged the Clinton campaign in 2016.

If you are a Democratic Corporatist, Pete Buttigieg is your most viable alternative. He has the corporate backers and he has the ability to remain calm and stoic under attack. His primary drawback will be inspiring homophobic voters to turn out for the down ballot races. As much as that shouldn’t be an issue, it is dangerously naive to believe it won’t be.

If you are a disenfranchised Republican that isn’t a homophobic, racist, toxic misogynist, then Buttigieg is still your best bet.

If you are a disenfranchised Republican that does have homophobic, racist, or toxic misogyny tendencies then your only choice from the six candidates on that debate stage would be Mike Bloomberg.

Regardless of whether your preferred candidate wins the primary or not, if you want to put an end to Trump, his policies, his criminality and crimes against humanity, and those that enable and protect him. You must not only show up and vote for the candidate that did win, you must also vote all those down ballot races. And you need to encourage others to do the same.

Finally, just so they are not left out, if you still identify as a Republican voter, your primary choice has been predetermined for you, but if you want to overcome your party’s de-evolution into morally bankrupt criminality and treasonous actions, clear those incumbents out of the down ballot races.