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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 73,474

Journal Archives

Barack Obama in Florida doing what only Barack Obama can do.....


A Trump win or a disputed result are Canadians' worst fears

(Guardian UK) Before every US presidential election, a few disgruntled Americans can be relied on to promise that they’ll move to Canada if the results don’t go their way.

Canadians watch US elections with close attention – and occasional horror – but they rarely expect many voters to make good on that vow. A few do make the move; most do not.

However, in recent weeks the political temperature in the US has mounted: senior Republicans have called for supporters to “guard” polling stations, and right-wing militias have openly called for armed revolt in the event that Donald Trump loses.

In Canada, fears are growing that the fallout from a contested vote could spill across the border.


“I’ve made no bones about saying that the greatest damage to the US-Canada relationship is Donald Trump,” said Bruce Heyman, former US ambassador to Canada. “(Trump) has never admitted failure. So when you get down to an election where you either win or lose, he has a hard time accepting the fact that he can lose. He has never used the words ‘defeat’ or ‘loss’ in terms of the election.” ..............(more)


'A stronghold of the Democratic Party': How older Black voters could propel Biden to victory

(NBC) Oglatha Ingram takes the potential hazards of the coronavirus seriously — but she has no reservations about waiting in line to vote in the presidential election.

"I think America's integrity is at stake," said Ingram, 67, a social worker in Pennsylvania. She said she plans to wear two masks to cast an in-person ballot for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Black voters are expected to vote for Biden over President Donald Trump by about an 80-point margin, according to polling estimates. But political analysts say Black voters over age 65 in particular are expected to play a pivotal role in deciding Biden's fate.

"Black older voters are truly the stronghold the Democratic Party has in terms of consistency, reliability and turnout," said Chryl Laird, an assistant professor of political science at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. ..............(more)


Police: Florida man has sex with stolen pool toys 'instead of raping women'

PALM BAY, Fl. (1010 WINS) – A Florida man told police he steals pool toys and has sex with them to keep himself from raping women.

Christopher William Monnin was arrested last Thursday after a string of burglaries in Brevard County.

Police arrested the 35-year-old after they allegedly found him bicycling with a white garbage bag full of deflated pool floats.

Police say he had a stash of 75 pool toys at a vacant house; among them were pool floats of ducks, bacon, watermelon and NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, according to Newsweek. ......(more)


Democrats expected to make gains in Michigan House elections. Could it end in a tie?

(Detroit Free Press) LANSING — Michigan Democrats, focused on seats in Oakland County that are increasingly trending their way, hope to take control of the state House in the Nov. 3 election.

State Republicans, who are largely playing defense but hoping to flip a seat or two now held by Democrats, are fighting to maintain the 58-52 edge they won in 2018 and the House majority they have enjoyed since the 2010 vote.

According to at least one expert, there is a realistic chance the election could result in a 55-55 tie, for the first time since 1992. ...........(more)


With one week left, Trump team rolls out new campaign message: Let the coronavirus win

With one week left, Trump team rolls out new campaign message: Let the coronavirus win
Over 225,000 are dead, but Trump is still committed to his March theory that it's all a hoax aimed at hurting him

OCTOBER 26, 2020 5:00PM

(Salon) In the last week before Election Day, Donald Trump and his team have decided the best possible message on the coronavirus pandemic is the same one Trump wanted back in the spring.

"I wanted to always play it down," Trump told Bob Woodward in a taped conversation on March 19. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

By "panic," of course, Trump meant he didn't want people to have negative feelings that he was worried might imperil his re-election. With the confidence borne from never facing meaningful consequences for decades of sociopathic behavior, the president embraced the idea that as long as he kept accusing the media of exaggerating the virus in order to damage him politically, the public (or at least his public) wouldn't take the coronavirus seriously.

On Feb. 28, when the coronavirus had only just started to threaten the U.S., Trump gave a speech in South Carolina where he declared, "This is their new hoax," saying that "Democrats want us to fail so badly" that they were willing to exaggerate the threat of the virus in order to endanger his re-election.


This further confirms what Trump told Woodward in the spring: He knows he's lying when he accuses his opponents of exaggerating the pandemic. He remains confident that he can brazen this out, and believes his lies have the power to erase the millions infected and the death toll that's quickly approaching a quarter of a million. (Either that, or he recognizes he's got no other options.) ..........(more)


"Our real problem is that our democracy is not a democracy"

from Salon:

OCTOBER 27, 2020 11:00AM (UTC)

Donald Trump is not the central problem in American politics, and neither is the 2020 presidential election, as dire and urgent as those things seem at the moment. Our real problem is that our democracy is not a democracy, and that many Americans — most of them, I would argue — feel powerless, disenfranchised and despairing, confronted with a dysfunctional system that thrives on massive inequality and serves the interests only of the richest and most powerful. Those systemic problems made Trump's presidency possible in the first place, and created the circumstances that make this election seem like a last-ditch struggle against autocracy.

I'm here to tell you there are signs of real hope — but they have almost nothing to do with the question of who wins next week's election. Don't get me wrong: I'm invested in the outcome too. But I also suspect that in the longer arc of history, it might not matter all that much.

If you're reading this during the last days of October 2020, almost anywhere in the world, you don't need me to tell you that the final stretch of this presidential campaign has been agonizing. It's probably closer to the truth to say that the last four or so years of our nation's history have felt agonizing, not to mention draining and dispiriting, and that the coronavirus-dampened 2020 campaign has distilled all that into its purest form.


Trying to stir up drama in a race that has remained virtually stagnant ever since Biden locked down the Democratic nomination in March — at virtually the same moment as the coronavirus shut down the country — the mainstream media keeps gleefully reminding us that it remains possible Trump could win again, by fair means or foul. There's something to be said for steeling yourself against bad outcomes, but too many people in the left-liberal quadrant of politics — as in almost all of us — seem to be obsessed or paralyzed by those possibilities. We devour the latest polls but tell ourselves not to believe them, casting salt over our shoulders and muttering incantations to the numinous entities of our choosing.

Like frightened children left alone in the dark, we invent bogeymen and invest them with immense power: "Shy Trump voters" will come out of the woods and turn the tide; the Postal Service will delay or destroy millions of votes; Republican legislatures in swing states will defy the voters and appoint their own slates of electors; Justice Amy Coney Barrett, newly fitted for her robes, will write an eloquent Supreme Court opinion finding that according to the Constitution's original intent, votes in heavily Democratic precincts simply don't count. Somehow or other, Trump will refuse to yield power even after a conclusive defeat, and somehow or other — with the help of Russian propaganda, Bill Barr's devious machinations and the fine print of the 12th Amendment — he'll get away with it.


America's climate of near-permanent electioneering, in which the next presidential campaign starts as soon as the midterm elections are over, is itself a symptom of unhealthy democracy. Our quadrennial search for a messiah, or for the least bad option — staged as a mediocre, long-running entertainment spectacle — sucks up so much time, so much psychic energy and so much money that it is better understood as an impediment to democracy than as its demonstration or its instrument. ...........(more)


Time to dump the presidential dilettante -- he's a cruel and incompetent failure

Time to dump the presidential dilettante — he's a cruel and incompetent failure
Donald Trump is blindingly cruel and stupid, and has done immense damage to America. This is our last chance

OCTOBER 27, 2020 12:00PM

(Salon) In the earliest days of the Trump crisis, just about a month after the inauguration, I received the horrifying news that my best friend and podcast partner, Chez Pazienza, had died of a drug overdose.

It was the evening of Feb. 25, 2017, and the shock still hasn't quite worn off. In fact, I ask myself nearly every day what Chez might've said about the most recent atrocity committed by the chief executive. I'll never know for sure, but there's something comforting in that exercise, imagining how he'd frame this dark ride with equal parts Gen-X angst, stinging Bourdain-ish erudition and artistically worded blue streaks that would've made George Carlin applaud.

I'm convinced, however, that it wasn't really an overdose that killed him. Sure, it was the weapon of choice, but it wasn't the ultimate cause of death. Chez possessed the ability to foresee this Trump crisis stretched out in front of him — maybe not the specifics, but a general concept in his big brain for the horror show that was awaiting us. I believe it was the crushing reality of not only being force-fed a Trump presidency every day but also covering it professionally that forced him to drift back to his old addictions to ease the pain. And I wish more than anything that I could have stopped him.

Nevertheless, Chez could clearly see the incoming abuses, the crimes, the ungainly nonsense, the recklessness, the racism, the petty vindictiveness — all of it.

In 2015, he accurately forecast that Trump, if elected, would spitefully withhold federal funding from regions that refused to support his cruel whimsy. Naturally, we've watched this play out with Puerto Rico, California and most recently Pennsylvania, where Trump, this week, threatened to withhold funding for the commonwealth because of Gov. Tom Wolf's COVID plan. In Trump's view, responsible leadership is worthy of punishment because it makes him look bad by contrast, while incompetence, mainly his own, is routinely lionized. ..........(more)


Organizers Are Gearing Up to Resist Far Right Intimidation at Polls

(Truthout) As the election approaches, progressives are experiencing a lot of fear and anxiety. Of course, a major fear — beyond Trump winning — is that he will lose but refuse to step down. But far right intimidation at the polls themselves, as well as pre- and post-election violence, are also possibilities — and progressive organizers are making plans for all of these scenarios.

Already there have been ominous signs. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power. Attorney General William Barr has made numerous false claims about fraudulent mail-in ballots. And violence on the streets seems to be ramping up in intensity. This includes three recent killings of activists (two on the far right, and one of a self-described antifascist), as well as the arrests of a militia group for planning to kidnap the Michigan governor.

The intensity of far right chatter about the election is also increasing. Rachel Carroll Rivas of the Montana Human Rights Network told Truthout they’ve heard “a lot of vague noises” about forthcoming plans — a sentiment echoed by many others who monitor the far right. But public concrete plans are scarce; she only knew of one militia group making threats, and they only said they had a “plan to do whatever is necessary” after the election.

The biggest immediate concern is that the far right groups will intimidate voters at the polls. During the first presidential debate, Trump said, “I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it.” Donald Trump Jr. amplified his father, calling for an “army for Trump’s election security operation.” .............(more)


US, Global Corporate Giants Not Amused Mexico Finally Forces Them to Pay the Taxes They Owe

US, Global Corporate Giants Not Amused Mexico Finally Forces Them to Pay the Taxes They Owe
by Nick Corbishley • Oct 25, 2020 •

American Bar Association, Mexican business lobby, ambassadors from the US, Canada, etc. in uproar over holding executives accountable and threatening them with criminal probes. 70 Mexican officials also investigated.
By Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET:

The American Bar Association (ABA) this week lambasted the Mexican government for using heavy handed tactics, including criminal probes into tax fraud, to motivate corporate tax dodgers to finally settle their tax bills. The complaint echoes a similar broadside from the International Bar Association last month and reflects growing frustration among companies about the government’s use of more stringent audits, tighter surveillance methods, and the threat of tough legal action to crack down on corporate tax dodgers and tax frauds.

The Government says it has launched criminal proceedings against 43 companies that owe 55 billion pesos ($2.6 billion) to the treasury in unpaid taxes dating back to 2010. Most other companies that have been subject to audit in recent months have agreed to settle their tax debts.

Thanks largely to its zero tolerance approach toward corporate tax dodging,the government so far this year through August has already collected over 60% more in taxes from large corporate taxpayers — 155 billion pesos ($7 billion) — than in the entire year 2019, Raquel Buenrostro, who heads Mexico’s SAT tax authority, told Reuters.

But authorities had reviewed only 627 large companies so far, she said, and over 11,000 companies, each with annual income above 1.52 billion pesos ($72 million), have not yet been audited, and more work needs to be done. ..............(more)


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