Monday, June 29, 2020

Trump May Lose- Lets Help Him

David Dayen. the American Prospect
Plenty of leaders have failed during the pandemic. But I think we can agree that a president has more agency than anyone else in moments of national crisis. From the very beginning, Trump tried to push off that responsibility to the states, because of his aversion to being blamed for anything. But responsible he is, in numerous ways.

Trump’s CDC so botched testing that hundreds of thousands of Americans were infected before we had the information. He’s admitted to deliberately slowing testing at key points to make the numbers look better. He actively cheered reopening way too soon and offered no federal support for states to prepare. The FEMA program of commandeering and shuffling personal protective equipment was the work of a criminal gang. His attitude toward the virus was to dismiss its grave implications, 
even now amid the unending first wave. His campaign manager is in quarantine, and advance staffers have contracted the disease; his approach is crumbling around him. And the continual pronouncements of the great job he’s doing, amid 125,000 deaths and untold long-term damage to people’s lungs and their livelihoods, recalls Nero and the fiddle.

Americans habitually reject incompetence in their leaders. Before being feted as a kindly painter, George W. Bush was the most loathed man in the country, because he got us bogged down in a war based on lies, let an American city drown, and presided over a crushing financial crisis. He was bad at his job, in public. Herbert Hoover was bad at his job as millions suffered during a presidency shaped by the Depression. The nation rejected them. They’re in the process of rejecting Trump.

There’s a way for a hypothetical president to succeed in the next four months and eke out re-election: universal masking, massive support for testing and army field hospitals and contact tracing where needed, a wide-open money spigot to individuals financially affected. It’s actually a pretty simple formula.

Trump won’t do it. He’s taken the position that everything’s fine, and thinks that moving off that would show weakness. And even if he wanted to do what might seem simple for a replacement-level president, he’s so far below that standard as to make such steps impossible. This is why he should, actually, resign, 
as Chris Hayes called for yesterday. Instead we’ll have to settle for him being snubbed at the polls in four months.

Trump’s entire political career has been built on hucksterism and grievance. You can fool people with hucksterism for a long time, but not 
once slapped by reality. Then the sheen wears off. BSing his way through served Trump well in business, which we’re discovering is much more forgiving than government. But you can only whine for so long, as Biden noted yesterday, before it becomes pathetic. Trump can’t figure out how to attack the coronavirus, and without doing that work he cannot attack Biden. He knows he’s going to lose (Biden “is going to be president because some people don’t love me, maybe,” Trump said to Sean Hannity on Friday), because he’s incapable of the governing that would prevent it.

This is the important point. A president has to be president, not just play one on TV. They cannot just express competence, but actually succeed. The difficult truth is that Trump is carrying on a tradition. We’ve done very little to arrest our long-term crises for several decades. The next president needs to actually deal with them. FDR’s descendants 
wrote an open letter to Biden, urging outsized ambition to fill in the existing cracks exposed by this crisis. Passivity—at income and wealth inequality, at unequal treatment, at structural racism, at a raging pandemic but also the everyday failures we faced before—will only lead to disapproval and decline.

So when Biden wins, he needs to salve the festering wound that is American government, or we’ll get another in a series of wave elections that haven’t really ended since 2006. Trump’s humiliating defeat sets the course for Biden’s presidency: tangibly govern.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Trump Is Feeding America’s Coronavirus Nightmare
“It’s going away” only in the president’s delusion.
Opinion Columnist
·      June 24, 2020
U.S.  red.
European Union   grey. 

U.S. Fails to Flatten Curve. 


The Revolt of the Cities—Again.

The Revolt of the Cities—Again.: New York’s primaries confirm a major new reality of American politics: Our cities are turning overwhelmingly left.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

"Rise" | June 20th Poor People's Campaign Promo

JOIN THE MOVEMENT ON JUNE 21: The Mass Poor People's Assembly and Moral March on Washington is a 2.5 hour program that will be broadcast on Sunday June 21 at 6PM EST/ 3PM PST, right here at Join us!!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Trump Rally 2020

In the United States, where the world’s largest known outbreak has infected more than 2.2 million people, several states repeatedly set record daily highs for new cases. 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Defund, Dismantel, Sacramento County Jail system

For months now our County Board of Supervisors have failed to implement any way for our community to be heard in their decision-making process (outside of submitting e-comments), so we hope you can join us on Monday for a community-created space for public comment so that they can hear us well before they make their decisions on Tuesday.

Why must we pressure Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to defund law enforcement, in addition to the City Council?

- Sacramento County is the body that approves the budget for the Sheriff’s Department and its operations of our two jails — the Main Jail downtown, and RCCC jail in Elk Grove.

- All local law enforcement agencies (CA Highway Patrol, City Police Departments, and Sac County Sheriff's Deputies) incarcerate community members in Sacramento County jails, as the first stop post-arrest and pre-trial, and conditions inside are known to be some of the worst in the state. Defunding police on the County level also means defunding cages.

- Sacramento Sheriff’s Department currently receives over $372 million dollars every year, and over one third of the entire budget, and their budget increases every year.

- Sacramento County recently approved a $7 million dollar design/build contract to begin designing a new jail tower behind the Main Jail downtown. This is just the beginning of what we know will be an extremely expensive project, with devastating human and financial costs. We demand the Board of Supervisors cancel the contract and invest the $7 million in community-based resources.

- Sac County’s jail population was reduced by over 30% due to COVID-19 related releases, and the County should be focused on continuing down this path by investing in housing, mental health care, diversion and re-entry efforts led by impacted people — not giving more money to the Sheriff’s or Probation Department.

- Sacramento County has been given $181 million through the CARES Act, which needs to be spent by December 2020. These funds have not yet been allocated to anything in particular, and we need to remind our representatives that none of this funding should go to the Sheriff’s Department, the DA, or Probation. These funds should be allocated to support Black communities, affordable and permanent supportive housing, mental health care, and community-led public safety programs.

See also:

Decarcerate Sacramento supports the demands put forth by Black Justice Sacramento and 8 To Abolition, which are based on the understanding that the only way to diminish police violence is to reduce contact between the public and the police, and to shift resources away from law enforcement entirely.
1. Defund the police
2. Demilitarize our communities
3. Remove police from schools
4. Free people from jails & prisons
5. Repeal laws that criminalize survival
6. Invest in community self-governance
7. Provide safe housing for everyone
8. Invest in care, not cops
Even the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Association blatantly admits that Sacramento funds law enforcement at the expense of almost everything else, and their mentality is to protect their money and power, not us.
Check out this quote from Kevin Mickelson, the Association president, talking about why the Sheriff’s Department makes campaign donations to pro-law enforcement candidates:
“Every budget cycle, the sheriff’s department is the largest item that the board has discretionary powers over. If there are any other hot button topics that people are going to want to fund, there’s really only three places that they can take that money from: the district attorney, the probation department or the sheriff’s department.” 

And that is what we intend to do. 

To participate in person:
- Meet at 700 H Street @ 10AM (side of County Administrative building closest to H Street). 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The Civil War Never Ended !

The Civil War That Never Ended. Today, in a superb column, my colleague Bob Kuttner writes of how our nation has descended into a kind of civil war, whose front lines are those of the protesters confronting the police. In its current form, this conflict has been building ever since the Republicans became the party of the white South, in a historic switch inaugurated by Barry Goldwater’s vote against the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and his nomination later that year as the Republicans’ candidate for president.

In the Prospect’s pages, I’ve been comparing our condition to the Civil War for quite some time—finding similarities to the Confederacy in the Republicans’ current war on black voting; noting the echoes of the antebellum South’s drive to extend slavery into the free states in the spread of right-to-work laws from Southern states to Northern ones—Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana—when they fell under Republican rule during the past decade; and equating the efforts of city and state governments under Democratic control to create sanctuaries where undocumented immigrants could be safe from ICE arrests to the efforts of Northern cities to hinder the seizure of former slaves and free blacks by Southern “slave hunters” under the Fugitive Slave Act.

Now, the video showing Minneapolis cops murdering George Floyd seems to have had a political effect somewhat akin to the South’s unprompted attack on Fort Sumter, which enraged the North and propelled the nation into open civil war. What united the North was not only an immediate sense of outrage, but also a sense that by the nation’s breaking apart, the very idea of a democracy would be threatened (that’s pretty much what Lincoln said at Gettysburg). Also uniting the North was a long-simmering anger at the South’s dominance of the federal government and its policies—a belief held even by many white Northerners not yet committed to emancipation.

Today, rather than seeing the murder of George Floyd as some outrageous one-off, the vast majority of Americans see it as a continuation of a national pattern of racist and brutal policing. A number of polls, including one in today’s Washington Post, reveal a public that has clearly been moved—even mobilized—to actions that curtail racist practices. According to the Post, 69 percent of the public see the murder as part of a broader pattern, 74 percent support the protests, while just 10 percent blame the protesters for the violence that occurred in the protests’ wake (14 percent blamed the police, 66 percent blamed “other people acting irresponsibly”). Fully 61 percent disapprove of Trump’s response to the protests, while just 35 percent approve it—a figure that reveals even some cracks in the Republican base.

So add to my friend Bob’s observation that we’re engaged in another civil war one further observation: As in 1861 (and 1865), a clear majority of Americans are with us. Today, they view Trump and Trumpism, as 1861 Americans viewed secession, as a threat to democracy itself. Today, a majority favors ending Trumpian and Republican (which is to say, white Southern) rule, as 1861 Americans favored an end to the slaveocrats’ control of the government.

To which all I can add is: To the barricades—not just the streets, but the voting booths (well, voting booths by mail) come November!