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Profile Information

Member since: Mon Jul 11, 2005, 11:05 AM
Number of posts: 834

About Me

White, male, expatriate living in the mountains of central Taiwan, Oregon permanent address, 34 years of age. Born in St. Louis. Army brat lived all over. Veteran of the Korean War (sieved in Libya and Austin, Texas). Ph.D. in anthropology and linguistics, Indiana University. Career in linguistics and ESL at numerous US and foreign institutions. Spent most of my career as a director of English as a Second Language programs. Taught at National Chi Nan Unversity, Puli, Taiwan over the years 1995-2016. Retired as an orchard keeper with my life partner Judy Wu of the Bunun Austronesian tribe in our mountain hideaway cabin, High Mountain Orchards.

Journal Archives

Daily Beast: Trump Needs a Villain to Demonize, and Joe Biden Ain't It


Matt Lewis, Senior Columnist
Updated Jun. 25, 2020 4:00AM ET
Published Jun. 23, 2020 3:51AM ET


So why is Biden so hard to hate? Like Trump, Biden is an established brand with near 100 percent name recognition. We have lived with Biden for decades, and not just as a reality TV star. If he were going to do something either crazily radical or insanely corrupt, we figure, he would have done it already. They’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink at him, but it has proven almost impossible to begrime the Biden brand.

Biden is TEFLON (Too Empathetic For Lies or Nonsense)

Biden picking up support among white fundamentalist Evangelicals


Growing evangelical support for a key Democrat could spell trouble for the GOP in November: report.

Published 3 hours ago on June 22, 2020 by Alex Henderson, AlterNet.

The correct terms are used here. Not Evangelical Christians, but "White fundamentalist Evangelical Christians." There are Black evangelical Christians and white evangelicals in moderate and liberal churches such as the Episcopals (my church), Lutherns, Methodist and some Presbyterians. Evangelical comes from the Greek for "Good News" and historical does not have a pejorative connotation. The world was created in 7 days about four to ten thousand years ago, bible thumping fundamentalist are the ones supporting Trump, but not all (including most of my family who tend to support Trump) are dummies. There is some hope they can rescue their reputation, but the idiot televangelists and other fundamentalist goons are locked into his orbit unfortunately. The collapse of Trump could bring in invigorating new movement into this group. Even in one of my relatives fundamentalist church, she complains of Neve-Trumpers. There are other reasons for not being a fundamentlist, but a least they could support descent conservatives favoring their views on abortion, school prayer, and such, without coming out as anti-science advocates. Anyway, I am a moderate Episcopal evangelical and deplore the backwardness of the fundamentalist (primarily Southern Baptist) Christians.


Although Democrats do plenty of campaigning in churches, one group of Christians they often struggle with is fundamentalist evangelicals. Nonetheless, Barack Obama reached out to that group during his 2008 campaign. And Gabby Orr reports in a new story for Politico that evangelical support for former Vice President Joe Biden could be a growing threat to President Donald Trump’s reelection prospects.

From Fox poll: Biden's lead widens to 12 points over Trump 50:38



The survey finds Biden at 50 percent and Trump at 38 percent. Biden led Trump 48 to 40 in the Fox News poll in mid-May. The former vice president has surpassed the 50 percent support mark in the RealClearPolitics average, where he leads Trump nearly 9 points overall.

Trump appears to be dragged down in the Fox News poll by his response to the civil unrest over police treatment of African Americans.

Fifty-six percent of voters said they disapprove of Trump’s response to the demonstrations, while 60 percent have positive views of the protests.

Biden breaking 50 and Trump underwater below 40. We have to keep up the momentum (JOEmentum) until the seemingly so0-far-in-the-future election. Wish the election were held today.

POLL: Trump finally dipping to high thirties: Biden 46, Trump 38.


Looking better, but need Biden plus 50 and Trump minus 40. Can't believe he still is in the 40s by any measure. Looking for a conflation of GE-Disapproval Biden 56%, Trump 38%, Then I will feel more comfortable!

General Election: Unfortunately it is an All Adults not a likely Voters.
Biden 46% (compared with a 2-point Biden lead in Reuters/Ipsos polling last week)
Trump 38%

Approval Rating:

Disapprove: 56% (+5 from mid=April)
Approve: 41% (-4 from mid-April)

Not much good news for Trump down the line, but it is still early for GE nationwide predictions.

GE Thread: Trump's ratings still tanking. Monmouth University Poll.

43% approve (44% in April)
51% disapprove (49%)

Trump’s response to #COVID19 outbreak:
42% good job (46% in April / 50% in March)
51% bad job (49% / 45%)https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/monmouthpoll_US_050520/

Biden Camp Finds Selling Point in Ailing Economy: His Work on 2009 Recovery

Glenn Thrush, ,The New York Times•May 5, 2020

It sort of made him
. Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman who served as Obama’s transportation secretary
First portion snip. Read more at the link.

Joe Biden had just been sworn in as vice president. All he needed now was a job.

During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama had assured Biden that he would be consulted on every major decision. But many on the new president’s team were still Biden-skeptical, and Obama was not sure the meandering former senator had the discipline to be an effective governing partner, people close to both men said.

So, during a private lunch in February 2009, Biden slid a memo across the table to Obama, outlining a role to erase those doubts: quarterbacking the implementation of the $787 billion economic stimulus that had been rammed through Congress a few days earlier in the depths of recession.

“Sounds good to me,” said Obama, barely glancing at the memo, according to two people familiar with the exchange.

Obama was already pivoting to health care reform, so why not encharge Biden? As it turned out, Biden’s work on the rollout, implementation, oversight and selling of the 2009 stimulus — officially the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — was the most sustained, and perhaps the most significant, assignment of his time in office.

Eleven years later, in an election season defined by a pandemic, economic collapse and a far-larger relief package, Biden’s campaign is hoping to leverage his stewardship of the 2009 stimulus as a point of contrast with President Donald Trump — whose White House is pushing back at congressional oversight of $2.7 trillion in new spending even as a host of problems has emerged, especially chaos in the small-business loan program.

“The central question of this election will be who can dig us out of a historic economic hole, so his leadership of the recovery act should be his core résumé selling point,” said David Plouffe, Obama’s top political adviser and a Biden surrogate.

An examination of that critical two-year period, drawn from interviews with 30 people involved in the effort, offers a glimpse of Biden’s strengths as a manager — his enthusiasm, focus on detail and knack for leading a first-rate team that moved the money out quickly and minimized waste and fraud. It was “one big competence test,” and Biden aced it, his longtime lieutenant, Ron Klain, said in an interview.

But the stimulus says more about the kind of vice president Biden was than about the kind of president he would be. While he became the expediter-in-chief and offered Obama advice and tactical suggestions, he made none of the major strategic calls about the size and composition of the program, aides said. Nor did he seriously push Obama — as he is now pressuring Trump — to fight for a bigger funding package, even though former officials said he conceded the stimulus was probably too small.

There was nothing ambiguous, though, about the impact of the stimulus on Biden’s political fortunes.

“It sort of made him, to be honest, in the eyes of the Obama people,” said Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman who served as Obama’s transportation secretary.

He did it once as VP, we need him do do it again as President. President of all Americans, not just red state Trumpicans.
He will beat Trump like a drum.

Budowsky: If Joe Biden were president today. An Inspiring OpEd

By Brent Budowsky, opinion contributor — 04/29/20 07:15 AM EDT

Whole article. Worth a read.

If former Vice President Joe Biden were president today, the American president would not have gone on worldwide television to tell the people to inject into their bodies substances that would have killed many of them, and poison control centers would not be getting urgent calls from citizens who tragically followed the ignorant medical guidance from President Donald Trump.

If Biden were president today, he would have used the full force and power of the presidency long ago to mobilize for an exponentially greater availability of testing. Our president would not be pushing to reopen the economy without sufficient testing that could well create an October surprise of a second wave of the deadly virus, which many experts believe would be more deadly than the first wave, that would force our economy to be shut down again and cause a second wave of human and economic tragedy shortly before the election.

On Jan. 27, 2020, Biden, who was so right about the war against COVID-19 when Trump was so wrong, wrote an op-ed for USA Today warning about Trump and calling for a national mobilization to unite America, bring in our leading medical experts and take the aggressive action that Trump did not take in January, February or the first half of March.

If Biden were president, in January he would have acted like a commander in chief leading a nation at war against a deadly enemy—while Trump acted like a television personality praising his ratings, attacking his opponents, and blaming others for his failure to act effectively from January until today.

The COVID-19 crisis of catastrophe demonstrates the best of Biden compared to the worst of Trump. Biden is the voice of experience, a champion of unity, a believer in science, a man who values knowledge, a manager who knows how to delegate, a supporter of social justice and a leader, unlike Trump, of genuine decency and compassion.

Today Biden, a lifetime champion of small business, expresses outrage that so many of the small businesses that comprise the heart of America were unable to receive support promised in legislation, because some of the largest banks in the world gave preferential treatment to some of their wealthiest clients who exploited loopholes in the law to pretend they are small business.

Biden is blasting some of those banks for this abuse, telling Politico that many of them are “only alive because of the American taxpayer” and demanding that loans be given to real small businesses on Main Street and not the wealthiest banks giving priority to their wealthiest clients.

Biden cares about senior citizens in ways that Trump does not, which is why so many seniors are supporting Biden, like so many of their grandchildren are doing.

Biden’s heroes are the doctors, nurses and other hospital employees which is why, if Biden were president, he would have fought like a lion and won for a national mobilization to get them the medical equipment they were pleading for — while Trump ignored them — throughout January, February and March.

If Biden were president, fewer Americans would have been infected, fewer Americans would have died, fewer jobs would have been lost, and the economy would not be suffering nearly as much as it is today. Biden, as he wrote in January, was aware of the magnitude of the danger and urgency for a national mobilization while Sleepy Donald lagged months behind and conducted ludicrous news conferences that alarmed even many Republicans in Congress.

Let’s end today with a personal note.

I am a born and bred New Yorker. When my brothers and sisters all over New York opened their windows across the city one night, and sang Frank Sinatra’s great song “New York, New York” to honor and stand with those doctors and nurses as their shift ended, I cheered them with a fist pumping passion that I have not felt since Osama Bin Laden met his maker in hell.

Biden understands this. Trump does not.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.

Hillary endorses Joe

By MARC CAPUTO 4/28/2020 03:03 PM EDT Updated: 04/28/2020 06:12 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton endorsed Joe Biden for president Tuesday in an event designed to showcase women’s issues during the coronavirus pandemic.

But it quickly turned into a forum for Clinton to bash the man who defeated her in 2016.

“I want to add my voice to the many who have endorsed you to be our president,” she told Biden during a webcast from their respective homes. “Just think what a difference it would make right now if we had a president who not only listened to the science — put facts over fiction — but brought us together, showed the kind of compassion and caring that we need from our president and which Joe Biden has been exemplifying throughout his entire career.”

"Think about what a difference it would make if we had a real president, not just one who played one on TV," she said.

The discussion between the two top Democrats featured sharp criticisms of Trump along with an expansive progressive policy wish list: higher minimum wage, universal health care, expanded unemployment compensation, abortion rights, paid sick leave, subsidies for domestic violence victims and protections for the federal program known as food stamps.

“Out of this terrible tragedy of the pandemic and the loss of life and loss of income and everything else that we’re suffering through, this is a moment of reckoning,” Clinton said.

President Clinton up next?

Good news along with overwhelming win in Ohio. Of course.

Sanders suggests an "incremental" approach to healthcare for Biden

Original title: Sanders outlines steps on health care for Biden
By Tal Axelrod - 04/25/20 04:38 PM EDT

Sanders, a vocal progressive and advocate for “Medicare for All,” recognized that Biden, a centrist, is unlikely to adopt a single-payer system. However, he said decreasing the age to qualify for Medicare from 65 to 55 and expanding coverage for children would be positive steps.

“My best outcome is to go forward in the direction of Medicare for All but not do it perhaps as quickly as I would want,” Sanders said on MSNBC on Saturday.

“At least what we should do is lower the eligibility of Medicare from 65 to 55 and cover all of the children in this country. And then we can figure out ways that we can expand and improve the [Affordable Care Act]," he continued. "Those are some of the things Joe Biden can do without embracing a full Medicare for All concept.”

This is certainly within the view that Biden has previously supported. Glad to see Sanders recognizing the political expediency of compromise. We are on the way to full unity if this view can be adopted widely by Democrats.

A fiery Politico Interview: Biden wants a new "hell of a lot" bigger Stimulus


In an interview, the 2020 candidate courts the progressive left by calling for a huge, new green infrastructure bill—while hammering banks, and Trump.

In a fiery half-hour interview with POLITICO, the presumptive Democratic nominee sounded a bit like his angrier and less moderate primary rivals, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, though in unexpurgated Biden style. The former vice president said that the next round of coronavirus stimulus needs to be “a hell of a lot bigger” than last month’s $2 trillion CARES Act, that it needs to include massive aid to states and cities to prevent them from “laying off a hell of a lot of teachers and cops and firefighters,” and that the administration is already “wasting a hell of a lot of money.”


But stimulus is a subject close to his heart, and he passionately contrasted his own management of President Barack Obama’s $800 billion Recovery Act in 2009 with President Donald Trump’s approach to the trillions of dollars flowing out of Capitol Hill.

The Obama stimulus was wildly controversial, but it won bipartisan praise for its strict oversight and unusually low levels of fraud. In the interview, Biden was at his most indignant when he recounted how he recruited a gruff law enforcement veteran and government watchdog named Earl Devaney to oversee the Recovery Act in 2009, and how President Donald Trump fired the Pentagon inspector general who had been selected to oversee the CARES Act almost immediately after he signed it.

“I wanted to bring in the toughest son-of-a-bitch in the country—I really mean it, I’m not joking—because we wanted to make sure we did it by the numbers with genuine oversight,” Biden said. “Right now, there’s no oversight. [Trump] made it real clear he doesn’t have any damn interest in being checked. The last thing he wants is anyone watching that $500 billion going to corporate America, for God’s sake.”


Biden repeatedly unloaded on big business and big banks, noting that “this is the second time we’ve bailed their asses out,” accusing the Trump administration of managing the stimulus for their benefit. He railed about banks like Wells Fargo that are “only alive because of the American taxpayer” giving their large corporate clients the first shot at CARES Act aid intended for small businesses. Over the last month, 26 million Americans have lost their jobs, and Biden said many of those jobs could be gone for good if mom-and-pop operations get left behind.

Biden hitting Trump where it hurts and offering help to those on the front lineof the Coronavirus outbreak.

This is the president we need.

Go Joe!

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