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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired for two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

11-3-2022 - Joe Biden Speaks Out, Reasons NOT to Vote for Rubio, More on DeSantis, Republican Attacks on Biden's Accomplishments, and Much More!

 

Five Days to Election Day!

Vote*

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Important:  At this point, Forget about sending a mail-in ballot by mail.  It might not make it in time.  Instead, drop it in a drop box, if one is available, or be sure bring it with you to an early voting location or your actual polling place. (Otherwise, your vote might have to be a ‘provisional’ one.)

Please Forward this Blog posting to your friends, relatives, and neighbors, or direct them to visit

https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com

* As I have repeatedly pointed out, there are many important things at stake in this election:   

1. The right of women to choose an abortion, 

2. Keeping military-type weapons out of civilian hands, 

3. Guaranteeing voting rights to all Americans, and most of all

4. The preservation of American democracy 

 

Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress are needed.  Your votes are crucial!  The votes of women and persons of color may decide the future direction of America.  Vote!  And get others to do so, as well!


JL

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Biden Speaks Out

For those of you who missed President Biden's remarks last evening, he echoed a lot of the facts of which those who follow honest media are aware.  Here are a few excerpts from the New York Times' report on his speech, which alerted America (1) to candidates who will not commit to accepting an election's result, (2) to the false stories being spread about Speaker Pelosi's husband's assailant, (3) to armed election monitoring that threatened voters, and (4) once again, to the defeated former president's efforts to get Georgia's Secretary of State to fiddle with election returns.

JL

“As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America, for governor, Congress, attorney general, secretary of state, who won’t commit, they will not commit to accepting the results of the elections that they’re running in,” Mr. Biden said, flanked by a series of flags in the capital’s train station. “This is the path to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful. And it’s un-American.”

The president condemned the violent attack that hospitalized Paul Pelosi by a hammer-wielding assailant who the police say was seeking to kidnap his wife, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Among those who have spread false stories about the attack is former President Donald J. Trump, repeating the same sort of baseless stories he promoted for years about others he considered adversaries.

Mr. Biden also expressed concern about Republican tactics that might intimidate voters in the name of election monitoring. A federal judge in Arizona this week restricted a group that had been planning to operate near polling places from taking photos of voters, openly carrying firearms and posting information about voters online.

The president cited among other examples Mr. Trump’s efforts days before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to pressure Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to “find” him enough votes to reverse the outcome of the election in that state. Such tactics, Mr. Biden said, gave rise to political violence and intimidation of election officials."

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We're Not Finished with Ron

Before we get on to reasons why NOT to vote to re-elect Marco Rubio to the Senate, here is something I would like to add to the reasons NOT to re-elect Ron DeSantis as Floriduh’s Governor that the previous posting of Jackspotpourri listed. 

The following letter appeared in the South Florida SunSentinel on Tuesday, November 1, written by two attendees at the televised debate between DeSantis and Charlie Crist last week:

'As Democratic Women’s Club members who went to the Crist-DeSantis debate in Fort Pierce, we found the experience far from peaceful. We and other Crist supporters were very uncomfortably snaked through a rowdy DeSantis rally occupying both sidewalks, blocking the way to the theater entrance. This was difficult and, for the disabled among us, dangerous. We later learned DeSantis supporters were already seated. Scripps News ran the check-in and took nearly an hour to process 150 Democrats. Dozens of us, credentialed to enter, were turned away when police closed the doors a half hour early. We were informed the theater was at capacity. It was not. Those who got in reported that Crist supporters were repeatedly confronted by armed men in black. They were warned not to clap too long or comment and would be ushered out by police if they did. This was particularly intimidating to our African-American members, including the President of the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida. DeSantis supporters had the latitude to be as raucous as they wished without a single admonishment. Armed men in black, police and sheriffs, 10 or 12 in all, sat on both sides of the stage, training their eyes and seemingly indignant posture toward Crist supporters on the right side of the room. Our conclusion is, be prepared. Expect that the rules don’t apply when dealing with DeSantis, whose supporters value raw power over fairness. And expect that if DeSantis is reelected, things will get worse.'

This moved me to send the following letter to that newspaper's opinion page: 

'The letter in Tuesday's paper describing the experience of Crist supporters at the Fort Pierce debate last week should serve as a warning to those foolish enough to vote for Ron DeSantis' re-election, or for that matter, for any Republican supporting him.  At least some law enforcement there wore black shirts instead of brown ones.'

It's very simple.  If you believe in democracy, you cannot vote for Ron DeSantis.

 JL

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Reasons NOT to vote for Marco Rubio

It is more difficult to come up with reasons NOT to vote for Marco Rubio than it is for Ron DeSantis.  He is a skillful, youthful, debater and pirouettes between words with the moves of a ballet dancer. And after he finishes speaking you are left with nothing.

If I wanted to hire a lawyer to kill a speeding ticket, one who had all the right courtroom connections, or place me in Camp LeJeune during the 1960s so I could join a class action lawsuit, he would be my man. Almost all the reasons given in the last posting for NOT voting for DeSantis also apply to Rubio, but he is skilled enough to avoid providing hooks on which to hang a MAGA hat.  But they are there for those who want to hang one there.  Let's take a look.

1.  Abortion – Rubio is for a national ban on a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, but he makes it clear that he would include ‘exceptions.’  He doesn’t name them and for all intents and purposes, they don’t exist.  In fact, the only ‘exceptions’ he will make are those the rest of the Senate Republicans accept.  No woman should vote for him.

2.  Immigration – He is against it unless the immigrant is fleeing Cuba, which describes how his parents got here.

3.  The Environment, Climate Change, Gun Control, Education, Social Security, Medicare, Health Care, Voting Rights, Crime, the Economy, and almost Anything Else -  He says the right things, depending upon his audience, but when it comes to voting on legislation to get things done, he sticks with the Republican party line, just as his Floriduh colleague, Senator Scott, does but with no pretense of thinking or doing otherwise. (Rubio, like the rest of the Republicans, has no national agenda … other than trying to demean and defeat Democrats, including the President.)  

   

Floriduh's two Senators. Rubio is the one with hair.
                                                                                   

To better hide his true colors, he manages to frequently miss votes in the Senate on measures where it would not make any difference in the vote’s outcome, but when the chips are down, as in both of the Senate votes on the House’s two impeachments of the defeated former president, he voted as a loyal, right-wing, M.A.G.A. Republican.

4.  Self-Respect – The man has none. (So how can he have any for the citizens of the State he represents?.)  During the Republican presidential primaries in 2016, the defeated former president mocked and insulted him, addressing him directly as ‘Little Marco.’  Yet, after the election, Rubio did not hesitate to kneel to kiss his ring … or his butt, for that matter.  Would you have behaved differently?

JL

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Are Republicans More Dangerous than 

Communists or NazisYes!

  • Just as Americans fought the Redcoats, their Tory supporters, and their Hessian mercenaries here during the Revolutionary War, 
  • just as they battled the Confederate Secessionists in the Civil War, 
  • just as they fought against the Germans in the First World War, 
  • just as we fought that country and Japan in the Second World War, and 
  • just as we continue to oppose totalitarian regimes throughout the world, opposing Communism and those rekindling Nazi beliefs, America will arise to defeat the current threat to our democracy right here at home, the Republican Party! 

In a different way, that threat is even more dangerous than Communists or Nazis ever were because it is masked by the supposed respectability of the Republican Party.  In reality, that respectability is non-existent today because of that party’s dependence upon the votes of the misguided followers of an unscrupulous, lying, defeated former president whom they are afraid to denounce.  Politely stated, these folks suffer from 'a vulnerability to misinformation.'

Right now, today, listen to what Republicans are saying, even mischaracterizing the attack on Paul Pelosi, the House Speaker's husband, as they twist the story so that their constant lies are absolved from responsibility.  They did the same thing when the Capitol was attacked on January 6, 2021.  The Nazis or the Communists never invaded our Capitol!  But there are Republicans who refuse to denounce the insurgents who did exactly that.  They share their guilt.  


And millions of Americans listen to them, as they do to the liars on Fox News and throughout social media, unable to distinguish lies from reality. Josef Goebbels, over on the left, would be proud of them.  They are suffering from 'a vulnerability to misinformation.'


JL

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Americans Who are Out of Their Minds

Anyone who is enrolled in Medicare or who receives Social Security benefits would be out of their minds to vote for Republican Congressional or Senate candidates.  The very influential Senator Rick Scott seriously advocates ending all such benefit programs every five years, necessitating their repassage by Congress.  And this also would apply to those whose health care is made possible by the Affordable Care Act as well! 

Scott, incidentally, accuses Democrats of wanting to destroy Medicare because he sees a large reduction in its funding.  Actually that reduction represents the savings from the reduced costs of drugs (like insulin capped at $35) provided through Medicare which President Biden’s programs have made possible.  So the ever-lying Republicans try to turn that against Democrats.  Who is dumb enough to believe that?  In 2020, seventy-four million were.  And that is democracy’s Achilles heel.

 JL

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Polls - Don't Trust Them

There is too much is going on these days to put much weight on what pollsters are saying.  The credibility and honesty of some polls have even been questioned. 

 

The legal problems of the defeated former president and some who served in his administration are not being ignored by voters.  The conservative direction Supreme Court decisions have been taking influences people both positively and negatively as well.  There is really no certainty as to the degree voters are influenced by Republican claims that Democrats have allowed crime to flourish and Democratic claims that Republicans are out to replace our democracy with something else.  The importance of inflation in an economy with close to full employment with money pouring in from the President’s economic recovery programs are other puzzling factors on to which pollsters cannot get a good handle.  

Watch for many election polls to be far off the mark.  

 JL

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Republican Attacks on President Biden’s Accomplishments

I was about to provide a link to Professor Heather Cox Richardson’ Nov. 1 posting on ‘Letters from an American’ on this subject, but instead, decided to give you the whole thing.  The coloring of certain passages is my doing.  Americans who vote for Republicans, as I point out elsewhere today, are out of their minds. But please read Professor Richardson's words and make up your own minds.

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 “The Biden White House has tried since President Joe Biden’s inauguration to move past the Trump years and to focus instead on strengthening democracy by rebuilding the American middle class and by renewing our alliances and friendships with democratic allies. As his message has repeatedly been drowned out by the cultural messaging of the Republicans, Biden has begun to criticize their economic plans more directly, especially in the last few weeks. Today the White House released a fact sheet laying out exactly what it would look like to have the Republicans’ economic plans put into effect.

The Republican Party as a whole has not put forward a legislative agenda before this election to attract voters. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told donors, lobbyists, and senators in December 2021 that the party would focus only on attacking Biden and the Democrats. A Republican operative told Jonathan Swan and Alayna Treene of Axios, “One of the biggest mistakes challengers often make is thinking campaigns are about them and their ideas…. No one gives a sh*t about that. Elections are referendums on incumbents.”

Other Republicans disagreed with McConnell and have offered plans that cater to their base but run the risk of alienating non-MAGA voters. The White House highlighted some of those points today, focusing on prescription drug costs, Social Security, and Medicare.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which passed in August with Democratic votes alone, allows Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs with pharmaceutical companies, caps the annual cost of medication at $2,000, caps insulin costs for those on Medicare at $35 a month, and lowers health care premiums for those whose coverage  comes from the Affordable Care Act.

The White House said that Republicans want to repeal these measures, and in October, Senate Republicans James Lankford (OK), Mike Lee (UT), Cynthia Lummis (WY), and Marco Rubio (FL) in fact introduced the “Protecting Drug Innovation Act” to remove the negotiation ability, price caps, and health care premium adjustments in the Inflation Reduction Act “as if such parts had never been enacted.” Lee explained that “price controls never work” but instead “exacerbate the problems they seek to resolve. Mandating fixed prescription drug prices will ultimately result in the shortening of American lives.”

Republican leaders have also called for policies that threaten Social Security and Medicare. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which funds senatorial campaigns, issued an eleven-point plan to “Rescue America” that called for—among other things—sunsetting all laws five years after passage and reauthorizing the ones that lawmakers wanted to keep. (Scott later added a twelfth point to the plan: cutting taxes.) 

When challenged that his plan would threaten Medicare, Scott has repeated a talking point that Politifact, the Washington Post Fact Checker, CNN, and FactCheck.org have all called false: that Democrats are threatening Medicare because they “cut $280 billion out of Medicare.” In fact, the Inflation Reduction Act saves the government—and therefore taxpayers—somewhere between $237 billion and $288 billion by permitting it to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies; it does not cut services. In other words, Scott is lying that reduced government spending on Medicare thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act—savings the Republicans want to end—is the same thing as calling to sunset the program in five years. 

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has called for making the funding for Social Security and Medicare discretionary, meaning it would have to be voted on annually, rather than leaving it as mandatory, covered by statute. “We’ve got to turn everything into discretionary spending, so it’s all evaluated, so that we can fix problems or fix programs that are broken, that are going to be going bankrupt,” Johnson told a right-wing radio show. “Because, again, as long as things are on automatic pilot, we just continue to pile up debt.”

Like the plans of other Republicans, those of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), chaired by Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, start from the position that taxes on the wealthy hurt workers by causing “the misallocation of capital, creating a less robust economy, and leading to slower wage growth and job creation.” The RSC released a budget in September that rejected the idea of raising taxes to stabilize Medicare and Social Security and instead called for increasing the age for Medicare eligibility to 67 and that for Social Security eligibility to 70. 

The Republican argument for weakening these popular programs is that they are too big a drain on the federal budget and that it is important to continue cutting taxes on the wealthy in order to free up capital for them to reinvest in the economy. This has been Republicans’ argument since 1980, but it has never produced either the economic growth or the tax revenue its supporters promised. In contrast, Biden and the Democrats maintain that cutting the nation’s social safety net will create hardship that will not be offset by tax cuts for the wealthy.  

Biden and former president Barack Obama, who has been speaking in states with close races, have repeatedly made the point that Americans pay into Social Security throughout their working lives and have earned the payments they eventually receive. Today, in front of an audience in Florida, Biden read directly from Scott’s plan to sunset laws, quoted Johnson’s plan to make Social Security discretionary, and said “Who in the hell do they think they are?”

  JL

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And Remember, It's Just Five Days to Election Day!

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* As I have repeatedly pointed out, there are many important things at stake in this election:   

1. The right of women to choose an abortion, 

2. Keeping military-type weapons out of civilian hands, 

3. Guaranteeing voting rights to all Americans, and most of all

4. The preservation of American democracy 

 

Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress are needed.  Your votes are crucial!  The votes of women and persons of color may decide the future direction of America.  Vote!  And get others to do so, as well!

It matters not whether you vote at an early voting location or wait until November 8, the important thing is that you …

                               Vote*

                                               *   *   *   *


JL                                        

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One last time, to How Many People Have You Forwarded This Blog Posting? 

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        That May Not Be Enough!

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   So forward it to a few more.  They may make a difference next week!

 

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