Sunday, January 14, 2018

On Trump's Latest Racist Comments

Donald Trump's reference last Thursday to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as "shitholes" should certainly come as no surprise given his long, openly racist record. The two positives to take from this are that first, it makes it crystal clear that racism is not an issue confined solely to the past in American society, and that second, it provides cause for the majority of decent Americans to once again reaffirm their commitment to strive to continue the struggle to effectuate the founding words of the nation, that "we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal." There was no better time for this to come to a head than on the eve of the annual Martin Luther King holiday.

Trump's documented record of racism is a long one. It dates all the way back to the 1970s when he was fined as a discriminatory landlord. It continued through his anti-Obama "birther" pronouncements. His 2016 presidential campaign statements against Mexicans and blacks were right up the same alley. Trump's Charlottesville comments last year opining that there were "many fine people" among the neo-Nazis and Klansmen there chanting anti-Semitic, anti-Latino and anti-black slogans earned him the full-throated endorsements of the the America's Nazi, Klan, and so-called "alt right" movements.

Condemnation from the Haitian government, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the African Union have made it clear how much international damage has been done by referring to entire races and continental populations as people devoid of human worth. Now that such blatant racism is out in the open and globally recognized, it is more important than ever that decent Americans, regardless of their overall political beliefs, publicly reject these sentiments in favor of the conviction that we are all God's children who deserve the dignity and love due fellow human creatures. 


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Help Save Healthcare for Children: Action Needed

It's been more than 100 days since Congress allowed the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP, known as Healthy Families in California) to lapse. Even in this Congress this inaction stands out as one of the cruelest failures imaginable.

9,000,000 low-income children and pregnant women will permanently lose comprehensive and affordable health care coverage if Congress doesn't act. We must hold their feet to the fire as passionately and effectively as we defended Obamacare last year.

Dozens of the nation's leading health care and children's advocacy groups have organized a day of action to #SaveCHIP. Here's how you can help:
  • Use this fact sheet and this toolkit to call your representatives and senators at (877) 233-9025 and request they fund CHIP for five years as part of the Jan. 1‌9 vote to fund the federal government;
  • Help get the word out on social media -- use #SaveCHIP to educate your friends and family about why this is so important to millions of Californians;
  • Tell your coworkers, neighbors, and friends to join you! The more people speak out about the importance of CHIP on the same day at the same time, the greater the impact on Congress.
Republicans just gave trillions of dollars to the ultrarich in tax cuts. There is simply no excuse for cutting off this life-saving and life-changing healthcare for children and pregnant women.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Rancho Bernardo Democratic Club 2018 Kickoff and 2017 Year in Review

 Since moving to Rancho Bernardo full time Joan and I have been attending the monthly meetings of the RB Democratic Club. It's an active club, well plugged in to the San Diego Democratic scene.  Here's the announcement about the club's January 20 kickoff event and a compilation of the speakers who have appeared at the club meetings throughout 2017. Keith Mikas is RB Dems President.

Greetings and happy New Year.

Remember Saturday, January 20 at 6 PM (yes one year since T day) will be our welcome back party for the club. Location: The Westwood club in Rancho Bernardo, 17394 W. Bernardo Drive, San Diego, CA 92127. This is a free event and we’d love to have all club members there. If you need a ride or would like to carpool please contact Jodi Tadder (Mobil 858 – 277 – 4576).

A little look back at what we accomplished last year as a club.

All four candidates running for the 49th Congressional District spoke or visited our club: Doug Applegate, Mike Levin, Paul Kerr, & Sara Jacobs.
Our state senator, Toni Atkins, soon to be President Pro Tem of the Senate, stopped by for questions and answers.
All five candidates for Council District Two race were invited to speak. However, the three candidates Jennifer H. Campbell MD, Bryan Pease & Jordan Beane, made it and spoke at our meeting.
In countywide races all three candidates or their surrogates came and spoke to our club: Assessor/Recorder Clerk:  Matt Strabone, Sheriff:  Dave Myers & District Attorney &  GeneviĆ©ve Jones-Wright.
IBEW representatives, James Alvernaz, came out to our club to update us on the new union Democratic club and ways that we should all be actively supporting unions.
The current four Democratic candidates for San Diego County Board of Supervisors District 4, Ken Malbrough, Lori SaldaƱa, Omar Passons & Nathan Fletcher, stopped by and spoke.
The sole Democratic candidate running for San Diego County Board of Supervisors district 5: Easter Sanchez (currently city councilmember for Oceanside).
We had a first this year, we endorsed our first candidate as a club, Sunday Gover, who is running for our state assembly district 77.
We hosted a “Spring into Action” event where local Democratic representatives from city, county and the federal level came and talked to us: Jessica Hayes, Tommy Hough, & Jennifer Sosa.
In 2018, we have a Judicial Offices race in San Diego Superior Court.  One of the two candidates, Matthew Brower, spoke to our club about the importance of this race.
We also heard from: The City of San Diego Mayor’s homeless Czar, Stacie Spector, Carl Yaeckel from San Diego citizen’s climate action, and lastly an update from Rancho Bernardo Community Council President Robin Kaufman, who knows about all things Rancho Bernardo.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

In One 30-Minute Interview, Trump Makes 24 False or Misleading Statements

To wrap up the year here's a good reminder of what we face in a president who lies on a gargantuan scale. See as compiled by Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Friend's Letter on Unjust Tax Bill

Today I am publishing an e-mail letter written by my good friend Jeff Deiss on the topic of the unjust and financially irresponsible Republican tax bill currently making its way through congress. I'm sure you will be as impressed by the cogency of his points as I am. Here is Jeff's missive:

Dear Senator McCain/Flake,

I am writing you about the pending tax reform bill in a sense of desperation.  I am a California citizen, but given the divided nature of politics in the US, it would be of little use to write to either my Congresswoman or Senators.  Given the Republican majority, their votes will not decide the outcome, and indeed they have not been able to participate in any significant way throughout the legislative process.

I urge you to reconsider your support of the pending tax bill.  It is ill-conceived, mean-spirited, financially imprudent, and profoundly unjust.  Consider just a few of the features of the bill:
  • A significant tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, who notwithstanding their tax burdens are already doing well.
  • A significant tax cut for large corporations, who already have significant cash reserves and are not tax-constrained in undertaking new investment.
  • A serious loss of government revenue at a time when our deficit is already a matter of widespread concern.
  • A new taxation principle that will tax wages at a higher rate than contractor income.
  • The loss of tax features that support affordable housing, historic preservation, and renewable energy development. 
  • A reduction in the mortgage tax deduction that penalizes Americans unevenly - striking only citizens who have the misfortune of living in high housing costs states such as California.
  • Elimination of the local and state tax deduction that also penalizes Americans unevenly - again striking only citizens who have the misfortune of living in states with a high local/state tax rate such as California.
I am astonished by the flagrancy of this ill-conceived, mean-spirited, financially imprudent, and profoundly unjust tax bill.  I am an American, but my representatives have neither been consulted nor had input.  Who will stand up for me and my fellow Californians?  I am turning to you because I know and appreciate that you have repeatedly had the courage to vote against partisan blocs and instead side with the best interests of all Americans.  I urge you to oppose the final tax bill and save the nation from further division and just as importantly the anguish of having to later unwind what would quickly be viewed as a broken, discredited tax system.


Jeff Deiss
Oakland, California

Monday, December 4, 2017

I joined the demonstration last Tuesday at the Vista office of Congressman Darrell Issa, Republican of California's 49th district. Though he was not considered vulnerable, the 8-term incumbent was surprisingly re-elected by only 1621 votes a year ago, the closest margin of any House member who wasn't defeated. This surprising vulnerability has engendered a blood-in-the-water response from local Democrats, who are aroused and eager to unseat Issa. Demonstrations have been held at his office in Vista every Tuesday for a year, with 300-600 people showing up every time.

 Here's a picture of me at the most recent one. As you can see, part of my objection to people like Issa is personal in nature!  

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, hat and outdoor

I live in the adjoining 52nd District, represented by Democrat Scott Peters. I still wanted to register my disgust with Issa and the rest of the GOP congress for their regressive moves on immigration, taxes, health care, equality, and in not standing up to the appalling demagoguery and dishonesty of President Trump. Issa himself is reputedly the richest man in congress with a net worth of around $400 million. He earned notoriety as chairman of the House Investigations committee, spending years trying to trash President Barack Obama without cause, and finding nothing, of course, to charge him with.   


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Trump a Clear and Present Danger to America

Another day, another preposterous lie. So passes one more day in the Administration of Donald J. Trump. I truly feel we are in grave danger under this man. We find today the president tweeted that Time Magazine called him up and let him know he was "probably" going to be chosen as Man of the Year for 2017. He claims he turned down the offer because it would involve a major photo shoot. The magazine reports that it never reveals its choices ahead of time, which this year will be December 6. In other words, Trump was making this up. (Source.)

We have come to expect constant prevarication from Trump, to the extent it is becoming almost accepted as normal. The Washington Post, for example, has been keeping track of Trump's "false or misleading statements" and at last count had them at 1,318.  But it most decidedly is not normal. This level of lying makes Richard Nixon look like Mother Theresa. I fear that behavior like this is evidence of grave psychological problems. Not only is the sheer quantity breathtaking, but the nature of a lie like this is sorely troubling.

Consider someone so insecure that even though he is President of the United States he must concoct self-aggrandizing lies to try to impress people that he really is "somebody." Being president in itself is apparently not enough. Keep in mind that Trump actually was chosen Time's person of the year for 2016 owing to his election to the presidency that year. Yet he is so desperate for approval that he must fabricate the tale that he was going to win it again this year too, except, of course, that he decided to turn it down as unworthy of his time. And wanted to make sure everyone "knew" that, too.

This is a seriously deranged individual with fleets, armies, and nuclear weapons at his instant command. I tremble for the safety of the nation, and indeed the world.