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andym's Journal
andym's Journal
June 11, 2023

What would Trump's MAGA defense look like?

He might claim he is entitled to those documents because he is the "rightful" President. Will that help him? No, because he is of course not President. But that's a guess of one reason he kept the documents in the first place, as props to prove he is "really" President to others.

February 18, 2023

Jimmy Carter to begin receiving hospice care

Source: CNN

By Aaron Pellish, Shawna Mizelle and Betsy Klein, CNN
Updated 6:31 PM EST, Sat February 18, 2023

Former US President Jimmy Carter will begin receiving hospice care at his home in Georgia, according to a statement from The Carter Center on Saturday.

"After a series of short hospital stays, former US President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention. He has the full support of his family and his medical team," the statement said.

Jason Carter, a onetime Democratic state senator in Georgia and the former president's grandson, said he visited Friday with his grandparents and that "they are at peace and - as always - their home is full of love."

Jimmy Carter, who turned 98 last year, became the oldest living US president in history after the passing of George H.W. Bush, who died in late 2018 at 94. The nation's 39th president has kept a low public profile in recent years due to the coronavirus pandemic but has continued to speak out about risks to democracy around the world, a longtime cause of his....

This story and headline have been updated with additional information.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/18/politics/jimmy-carter/index.html

Perhaps our most underrated President. Jimmy Carter brought a breath of fresh air with insisting on the highest ethical behavior from the USA. He was far-seeing in his promotion of solar energy, and he knowingly sacrificed his own career to appoint Volcker as Fed Chairman to tame stagflation, which eventually led to the low-inflation, economic growth of the 80's. He is a Nobel Peace prize winner who played a key role in the Camp David Accords. Ahead of his time, Carter began the deregulation of over-regulated industries like trucking.
November 4, 2022

Good talking point for talking with independents: Republican tax cuts are very bad for inflation

as they potentially stimulate demand which will only make inflation worse as "supply and demand" drives prices. Tax cuts are the centerpiece of their limited policy wishes outside of the culture wars. Meanwhile the Fed is raising interest rates to stop inflation by trying to slow the economy in order to reduce demand.

Basically use their own brand against them. It goes without saying that deregulation to the extent it stimulates business activity is also bad for inflation.

This counters the thinking that has been held since Reagan that the GOP is somehow always good for the economy, which has been helping the GOP in the polls.

October 5, 2022

Free speech-our most powerful constitutional right, but dangerous, and independent of etiquette

The ACLU has defended the free speech rights even of Nazis to express themselves as they did in Skokie Illinois in the 1980s. Democrats like Mike Dukakis were called out for supporting the ACLU. This aspect means that government is not supposed to regulate speech in any way, but for example, there are laws that prevent calling for imminent lawless action. These invoke the "harm" principle which can be an exception, even legally in the USA. But potential harm legally does not appear to extend beyond physical threats.
See these link for a detailed explanation:

That kind of free speech (based on the Constitution) defines what's legal especially with regard to government intervention, but not what social etiquette or norms demand. There is a huge battle in the US over what constitutes proper social etiquette in speech. That is why there are debates about what words should be allowed in normal public discourse. Many find emotional harm in the some speech, but limiting their use is social, not legal. Some people even dedicate their lives to determining which words should be allowable. In the US, there are the culture wars, part of which center on which words are socially acceptable and to whom. Here too the the harm principle is employed, but the harm is typically not physical, but social, emotional etc. Some of these debates play out on DU, but they are widespread in academia and society, having political overtones.

The danger of unabated free speech is that it allows conspiracies to proliferate and demagogues to arise that could cause serious harm and mischief-- QAnon is one example and allowing fascist nationalists to achieve political power is another. Trump is easily an example of the latter. How to counter manipulative speech and disinformation is a major problem of our times given the technical advancements that allow mass communication for all.

August 13, 2022

Idea: He took the documents because he considers the Presidency to be his personal possession

The documents help assure him he is still the real President in his own addled, self-centered mind, even though I'm sure he knows he lost, he could never accept losing, as Mary Trump has stated. The possession of the documents are to him "proof" he is the real President and that he "owns" them. He clearly has a strong sense of ownership from Mary Trump's book. Why nuclear documents too? Because only a real President could have access to such things in his childish mind. They are a talisman.

Since he thinks they belong to him, I could envision that he could sell them at some point as a matter of course, but don't think that is the main reason.

A question is would he attempt stupidly show off by gifting some secrets to US enemies who he considers to be friends like N Korea's Kim-- that would not be beneath him. Showing off is his secondary motivation IMO.

Evidence here-- it's a small leap for someone like Trump for the idea as to his believing he owns the documents, to the idea he owns them because he remains President.

July 26, 2022

Abortion views by state suggest possibility of Democratic gains in some red and purple states

if legal abortion is emphasized as an issue. Take a look here

Red states where legalized abortion "Legal in all/most cases" has greater support than illegal abortion include:
Kansas (tied at 49%)
It's almost even in Wyoming as well 48:49% and South Dakota 48:50%

Purple States where abortions should be "Legal in all/most cases" has greater support than illegal abortion include:
New Hampshire
North Carolina

Every blue state supports legalized abortion and the rest of the red states oppose it, some very strongly such as WV (35% legal: 58% illegal).

July 3, 2022

Newsom attacks DeSantis for taking away freedoms (video)


Video from CNN article I posted in Editorials and Other Articles
Please repost wide and far.
July 3, 2022

Finally Democrats (Newsom) attack DeSantis and GOP with a winning message on taking away freedoms

Gavin Newsom goes on the air against Ron DeSantis as political rivalry grows
By Edward-Isaac Dovere and Steve Contorno, CNN
Updated 12:15 PM ET, Sun July 3, 2022

Newsom now is going on the air against DeSantis in Florida -- with what he says is not the first ad of the 2024, or even the 2028, presidential race -- with the goal of trying to get Democrats to reclaim a sense of collective identity that could enable them to beat Trumpism in the long term.


"It's Independence Day -- so let's talk about what's going on in America," Newsom says in the ad, standing in the California sun, tieless, as "America the Beautiful" fingerpicks in the background. "Freedom is under attack in your state."

Those last words flash across the screen in red, followed by a photo of DeSantis shaking hands with former President Donald Trump, and then another of the Florida governor as Newsom ticks through Florida laws to ban books and restrict voting, speech and access to abortion.

"I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight -- or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom: Freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate, and the freedom to love," Newsom says as the images proceed from an aerial shot of the Santa Monica Pier to a rainbow flag waving in the hands of two women with arms around each other. "Don't let them take your freedom.""


This is a winning message from a smart Democrat.
June 25, 2022

Talking point: Republicans want to take away your freedoms, especially a freedom of privacy

with special emphasis on sexual relations, including contraception, etc. Tell folks, that's just plain un-American. Their argument, if a right is not explicitly spelled out in detail in the Constitution it doesn't exist, which will certainly limit freedoms.

June 15, 2022

Two Americas or "Poll: Half of Americans now predict U.S. may 'cease to be a democracy' someday"

"Poll: Half of Americans now predict U.S. may 'cease to be a democracy' someday"
Andrew Romano·West Coast Correspondent
Wed, June 15, 2022, 2:00 AM

In this eye-opening poll we see that there are two Americas not in the sense of John Edwards' rich and poor, but rather two groups of ideologically partitioned people who believe the other group to be a problem that will lead to the loss of American Democracy:

A Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that a bipartisan majority: most Democrats (55%) and Republicans (53%) now believe it likely that the US will “cease to be a democracy in the future.”

--snipped out lots of interesting poll data-- basically less than 50% of Americans paying attention to Jan 6 hearings, with Republicans by a large majority disbelieving the committee and dismissing it. It's very much worth reading this poll-based article linked above.

"But if Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are largely dismissive of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, then why are most of them pessimistic about the future of democracy? For the same reason most refused to watch the hearings in the first place: because they see Democrats — not the Trump supporters who invaded the Capitol — as the real problem. And Democrats largely feel the same way about Republicans.

When asked to choose the phrase that best “describes most people on the other side of the political aisle from you,” a majority of Republicans pick extreme negatives such as “out of touch with reality” (30%), a “threat to America” (25%), “immoral” (8%) and a “threat to me personally” (4%). A tiny fraction select more sympathetic phrases such as “well-meaning” (4%) or “not that different from me” (6%).

The results among Democrats are nearly identical, with negatives such as “out of touch with reality” (27%), a “threat to America” (23%), “immoral” (7%) and a “threat to me personally” (4%) vastly outnumbering positives such as “well-meaning” (7%) or “not that different from me” (5%).

Meanwhile, the number of Trump and Biden voters who say the other side is primarily a threat to America (28% and 25%, respectively) is double the number who say the other side is primarily “wrong about policy” (14% and 13%)."
The current level of political polarization, led by politically-oriented propaganda outlets such as Fox News is leading the US astray. The problem is that politically oriented media/websites/social media are polarizing, but some are necessary as means to effectively counter the most powerful propaganda sources such as Fox News by organizing against distortions and lies.

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