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Member since: Mon Jul 11, 2005, 11:05 AM
Number of posts: 858

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

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!

Biden predicts Trump will try to delay November election

By Marty Johnson - 04/24/20 07:13 AM EDT

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday at an online fundraiser predicted that President Trump would try and push back November's general election because the president thinks that is the "only way he can possibly win."

“Mark my words I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Biden told supporters, adding that doing so is "the only way [Trump] thinks he can possibly win.”

Biden also criticized Trump’s apathy towards the U.S. Postal Service’s dire financial situation, asserting that the president is “trying to undermine the election with false claims of voter fraud and threatening to block essential COVID assistance if any extra funds go to the U.S. Postal Service.”

“It’s un-American,” Biden said of Trump’s behavior.

“We have to figure out how we are going to conduct a full and fair and safe election in November and no one should have to risk their lives to cast a ballot,” Biden added.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said that as president he would restore the Voting Rights Act, and support same-day voter registration while working to pass the Safe Elections Act which would "boost funding for states to file a new secure, paper-based ballot voting systems."

Head to head, Biden will crush Trump.

Biden builds early lead in battleground states

Former Vice President Joe Biden is leading in key battleground states that President Trump must win to secure a second term in office.

Polls released this week have mostly bad news for Trump, who finds himself trailing in new surveys of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The president won all three states in 2016 and they will be among the most hotly contested battlegrounds in November.
By Jonathan Easley - 04/24/20 06:00 AM EDT

Biden is benefiting from having a higher favorability rating as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

The former vice president has built a lead among seniors in Florida, who broke for Trump in the past election.

He is also running up the score among blacks, Latinos, women and white people with college degrees, leaving Trump, at least at the moment, with a narrow path to reelection that depends heavily on non-college educated middle-aged white people.

“Trump has always had a ceiling, and he’s at or below that ceiling now because any temporary rally-around-the-flag bump he got has evaporated and did not translate into new votes,” said Democratic strategist Addisu Demissie, who served as Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) presidential campaign manager.

“We can’t forget, there are a lot of noncollege-educated middle-aged whites in some of these battlegrounds, and Trump is winning by healthy margins here, so it’s good to be circumspect. At the same time, Trump’s path to victory looks very narrow, just as it was in 2016. I think the range of outcomes here is something between Biden winning in a blowout and Trump winning a very close election.”

Biden has led in most polls this cycle in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but his move to the front in Florida is new.

I read one article (where?) that pushed the narrative that Biden is only leadiang because he is a generic Dem against an unpopular president. But Joe is appealing to voters because of what he stands for and how they see him, not just against Trump--though that is a factor. The media has consistently tried to blunt Joe as lacking an enthusiams gap and other narratives. Go ahead guys, underestimate Joe again. Meanwhile, Joe is right on track.

Jill Biden says Michelle Obama would be 'wonderful' as vice president

Looks like there is a movement going on.

New Day

“I’d love it if Michelle [Obama] would agree to it. I think she's had it with politics. She's so good at everything she does. That would be wonderful,” @DrBiden says when asked if the former first lady would consider being Joe Biden’s running mate. https://cnn.it/3eTkdn1

Read more:


RCP Average for April to date: Biden +5.9

The general mood of the country is on Biden's side. Only FOX News this month gave Trump a break with a tie. The highest spike for Joe was +11 in a CN poll earlier in the month with Trump at his lowest (53 : 39--also Trump's lowest number. Joe broke 50% twice, once in the CNN poll and one in a Harvard/Harris Poll (both 53%).

While Battleground states are the most meaningful measures, it doesn't hurt to take the pulse of the nation sometimes.

The trajectories show Biden (blue) and Trump (red) maintaining a relatively even spread so that while the numbers to up and down, the spread remains roughly the same for recent polls.

Joe is ahead virtually al along,but the average spread is beyond the margin of error, it is too close to be complacent.

We need a surge for Joe to beat Trump. If Trump is going stir crazy in the WH, he can leave--next January!!

Go Joe!

Lockdown Protestors and Zombies graphic.

I saw a great comparison earlier, but can't find it. So I made my own.

Oh, in case it is hard to tell, the zombies are the bottom row. Or is it the top row? Now I'm confused. Lol!

Biden Leads Trump in Michigan, Pennsylvania: Campaign Update (error in article corrected)

[Bloomberg] Emma Kinery ,Bloomberg•April 23, 2020


(Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden has significant leads over President Donald Trump in Michigan and Pennsylvania, two Fox News polls showed.

The polls both found the presumptive Democratic nominee leading the incumbent president by 8 points in the swing states, which could have a decisive role in the November election. Fox found Biden ahead in Michigan 49% to 41% and leading 50% to 48% in Pennsylvania.

This is incorrect. The following from 538: Pa. Apr 18-21, 2020
A- Fox News 803 RV Biden 50% 42% Trump Biden +8

Trump narrowly won both states in 2016.

The polls were conducted April 18-21 and had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Nationally, Biden leads Trump 48% to 42% in the RealClearPolitics polling average.

Biden to Speak at Granddaughter’s Graduation (3:39 p.m.)

Going in the right direction, but we need to keep it going well into the double digits. Ever vigilant.
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