This Saturday, June 26, I’ll join many other Philadelphia citizens in the Freedom Ride For Voting Rights, sponsored by the union UNITE/HERE, to go to DC to join voting-rights activists and continue to advocate for the For The People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and statehood for the District of Columbia.
The US Senate failed to stop the filibuster on the vote for the For The People Act, but the fight is definitely NOT over. We’re continue to get in touch with OUR senators and Congress-members to let them know we’re not AT ALL giving up on the fight for our rights.
We must continue to resist the impediments Republican state legislatures are erecting to prevent people of color from voting; since they must resort to such despotic tactics, the Republican Party has shown it has no ideas to offer the American people, itself as unfit to govern. They must never get the ideas that we’ll just give up and put up with the loss of our votes and our voices. In the ‘fifties and ‘sixties, brave activists have literally died to advance voting rights; we must never let them down.
The presidential “debate” this past Tuesday shows once again the kind of bullying rich brat donald trump remains, and the kind of dictator he aspires to be, along with Putin and Kim Jong Un. He constantly interrupted Biden an Chris Wallace, like it was his manorial right as one of the socio-economic elite. Biden, a way more mainstream politician with experience in debating, had to finally bark, “Will you shut up, man?”, realizing trump wont’ follow any rules, either of democracy or common decency.
Wallace asked trump if he would condemn the white supremacist-neo-fascist elements that have rallied to his campaign; trump kept talking about alleged left-wing violence and said (talking like the ignorant bully-boss he is) “Gimme a name.” Biden mentioned the proud Boys, a notorious neo-Nazi gang of thugs ( https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2020/09/25/moment-proud-boys-have-been-waiting). trump said to them, “stand back and stand down,” telling them to get ready for action.
This is no longer politics as usual; to remain in the White House, trump will utilize every lever of state power, and his hold on his cult followers, encouraging terrorism against his opponents, breaking every law and allowing Russian intelligence agencies to spread misinformation over social media, so that we don’t know who or what to believe. this is the kind of “man” we have as our “president.”
No more of this! No more being pushed around! The civics lessons of junior high no longer apply! We’re NOT giving up, we WILL vote, we WILL take to the courts AND the streets, we WILL save our democracy! Are you ready, Americans?
Greetings, and L’Shana Tova, a sweet and happy and prosperous new year to all of you fine Americans. We are in the midst of the High Holy Days, Rosh haShona and Yom Kippur.
What a test our nation is going through! Can we remove this plague of a President who has undermined our nation’s economy, security, and honor, using the democratic process? Can we elect a person who is essentially decent to office, who knows and respects the Constitution and the people of this nation? I believe w can do it, but we must stay together and strong, and not let any thugs that trump has intimidate us, either with fist, guns, or lawsuits.
We see now how trump, the commander-in-chief, thinks of those in military service, in the Atlantic Monthly article, calling them “suckers” and “losers.” (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/trump-americans-who-died-at-war-are-losers-and-suckers/615997/) This, from a “man” who talks all bad-ass against peaceful demonstrators and his opponents for his fans (who are just as ignorant and bullying as he is), but utilized his father’s connections to evade the draft for Viet Nam, one of them for the “bone spurs” of legend-while lower-income kids went to die in a useless, tragic war.
ON September 8, the New York Times had an article about the incompetence of the trump campaign‘s financing system. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/us/politics/trump-election-campaign-fundraising.html) trump had a campaign bank account of $1.1 billion late last year, and that gave him a bid advantage over the potential Democratic candidate; but by July, over $800 million has been spent, much of it on fundraising under the then-campaign manager Brad Parscale; campaign ads during the Super Bowl, amounting to $11 million; trump’s legal expenses; and lobbyists. The trump campaign has been a nice cash cow for Parscale and others to tap into, and now the campaign has to watch its spending, just as election day gets closer. (It’s November 3, remember that.)
Now we have the book by Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, Rage (https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/17/politics/bob-woodward-donald-trump-new-book/index.html), written after Woodward taped interviews of trump from December through July. trump, according to Woodward, knew the danger posed by the Coronavirus, but refused to treat it like the emergency it is, and choosing to keep saying it’s no big deal, just the regular flu you get event winter, and claiming he “didn’t want to cause a panic.” Panic for whom? The stock market, which is the only part of the “economy” that matters to him, the only thing doing well under his watch?
trump claimed he wanted to be like Churchill during World War II, but a real leader, like Churchill or FDR, would have told the public the facts-that we’re up against a killer disease, and it’s going to be rough for a while, but if we all pull together, show some discipline in wearing masks and social distancing for a while, we can beat this thing. But NOOO, he chose to keep holding his big rallies, while his fans refuse to wear masks and rub up against each other; he also ridiculed mask-wearing, like it was unmanly, denying the virus was serious, and talking about ingesting cleaning fluids into the body. So, due to his inaction and incompetence, over six million Americans have been infected by the COVID-19, and now over 200,000 died, who did not have to die.
We also honor the memory and work of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg; may her memory be a blessing and an inspiration for those who want to use the law for the rights of all Americans, particularly women and LGBTQs.
BUT-Ginsberg’s body was still warm when Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader (and apparently High Overlord) of the Senate decides to want to push through a nomination for her replacement ton the Court, a few weeks before the election. Those of us with historical memory remember ow McConnell, in 2016, would not allow a vote on a replacement for Antonin Scalia, saying, in all piety, that the newly-elected President must make the appointment.
The public has come out against the game-playing McConnell and the Senate Republicans on the appointment of Ginsberg’s replacement, saying the nomination must take place after the election. Already the party is losing popularity, and McConnell himself is facing a strong reelection opponent in Amy McGrath, and former Marine fighter-pilot. Doesn’t he know the trouble the party is in? Is he so disconnected from the reality all of us Americans face day by day-a pandemic killing our loved ones; jobs lost due to shutdowns, and people facing eviction and hunger; and racial division, stoked by the tangerine tumor in the White House, who actually believes that the raving racist mobs at his a=rallies are the true American people.
Americans, this is not our government-not our Senate, not our President. We deserve better than this mess. And, if his former attorney Michael Cohen can be believed, he won’t leave quietly, but he’ll hang on to power by force if necessary. The civics lesson days of American politics are over; we can no longer bargain with the Republican Party like they’re a responsible political player you can deal with over cocktails and at the golf course after hours. They have become the host of the viruses of racism, theocracy, and plutocracy in this country. As the kids of today have done, we must take to the streets and show our numbers, to come together in solidarity, as we also have during the pandemic, i=n seeing how everyone is doing, in delivering food packages, and in other ways. That is how we’ll beat the twin viruses of COVID and trump.
Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! America will be free! Bye!
I speak today about the holiday of Rosh ha-Shona; the memory and work of Ruth Bader Ginsberg; the Republican rush to fill her former seat in the Supreme Court, and Mitch McConnell’s unwillingness to do anything for Americans during the pandemic; and the need of working and low-income people to educate, organize, and vote.
Yesterday I spent all day at my division polling station, in the Election Board of my division of my ward in Philadelphia-I served as Machine Inspector. I helped set up the voting machine and turned it on, to help people get ready to vote, the most basic and simple-and essential-function of a democracy (what’s left of it in this country). I showed people how to use the machine if they were a little confused; and when the polling station closed I helped take the cartridge out of the machine, along with the tape that counted the votes, and closed the machine. It was a great day, rough in spots, but I enjoyed my work in advancing the democratic process. I hope all of you voted, and I encourage you to play a role in your own communities.
As a committee-person for my ward, I join my other committee-people to listen to candidates for City offices in Philadelphia this year-Mayor, district City Council-member, Council at Large, Sheriff, City Commissioner (in charge of the voting system), Register of Wills, and Common Pleas and Municipal Judges. We ask the candidates questions about legalizing marijuana and sex work, reentry programs for ex-offenders, the Soda Tax, the ten-year tax abatement for real estate developers, gentrification, funding pre-K education, low-income housing, the $15.00-an-hour minimum wage, publicly-funded political campaigns, avoiding foreclosures on homes for sheriff sales, among others. These candidates come from various backgrounds, including immigrant and working-class histories; these are people sincerely trying to change the lives of their constituents.
I urge you to get involved in the affairs of your communities where you are, ask questions of candidates-maybe be one yourself-and for God’s sake get out and vote.
A special meeting of Philly For Change-one of my favorite groups-will take place on Monday, April 15, 2019, at 7:00 PM, at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia. There, we will meet the following candidates:
Maria Quinones Sanchez, City Council, 7th Councilmanic District;
Isaiah Thomas, Adrian Rivera-Reyes, Asa Khalif, and Fernando Trevino, for City Council at Large;
Jen Devor and Kalil Williams for City Commissioner;
and judicial candidates Wendi Barish, Gregory Weyer, Dave Conroy, and Jennifer Schultz;
and a discussion on voting machines led by Rich Garella.
This will be the last meeting before endorsement. I hope to see you all there.