Yes, Andrew Cuomo Can Be Nominated for President in 2020.

New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo surrounded by his father and former NYS Governor Mario M. Cuomo, and his mother, Matilda R. Cuomo.

James Larocca, a former colleague from the first Administration of Governor Mario M. Cuomo of New York in the mid-1980’s, writing in the Long Island newspaper, Newsday (March 26, 2020), questioned whether the Democratic National Committee could nominate Andrew Cuomo for President this year.

Larocca, a former State Transportation Commission, candidate for Governor himself, and current Village Trustee in the Suffolk County village of Sag Harbor, made a straightforward case for Cuomo, contrasting the New York governor’s leadership against the utter failure of Donald Trump, and the lack of command of the crisis coming from either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders:

“Contrast this with Cuomo’s management of the coronavirus emergency in New York. He has been clear-headed and clear-voiced, and that has been comforting. As a result, New Yorkers and their families understand what they must do to survive. And the governor is out there managing the state’s response, relentlessly foraging for critical medical supplies and equipment, and pushing the Trump administration and the federal bureaucracy to make better decisions.

Can the Democratic Party nominate a candidate in its convention other than one who has come through the primary process? No one apparently knows for sure. But if a nominee is not chosen on a first ballot at the convention, primary-chosen delegates can be released and the convention can open up to other candidates.”

The answer to the procedural question raised by Jim Larocca is a resounding, YES!

If Democrats want to win the war vs. the continuing Corona Virus both immediately and in the long-term, we should be pushing for the first deadlocked — or contested — Democratic National Convention since 1952. While Joe Biden has a sizeable lead in elected delegates as of today, with the majority of delegates yet to be decided in a peculiar primary year, nothing is a foregone conclusion. Biden has a 300+ delegate lead over Sanders — 1,215 over 910 — but is still some 776 delegates short of clinching the nomination.

Nate Silver’s 538 is projecting that if all of the remaining primaries are held between now and early June — a big “IF” — considering the accelerating pace of the Corona Virus around the nation and ESPECIALLY in New York, where the Democratic Presidential Primary was scheduled for April 28, 2020 — Biden is on track to win more than the 1,991 Delegates needed for nomination. But those political calculations may become moot, if the apocalyptic progress of the pandemic ends the primary season NOW, and puts the decision in the hands of the Democratic National Committee.

There is no historical precedent for what we find ourselves experiencing at this very moment. It may come down to an appeal by Democratic leaders, including former President Obama, to either Joe Biden, to release his delegates in favor of Andrew Cuomo, or to the 766 Super Delegates (Members of Congress, Governors) to back Biden, and put him over the top. It’s hard to see Democratic public officials — up for re-election — flocking to support Biden — who only appeared from his basement once via television during the COVID-19 crisis — when they’ve seen what a powerful difference a compelling candidate like Cuomo can make.

Alternatively, DNC leadership could declare the primary process complete, and immediately plan for an electronic or by-mail first ballot vote in July, allowing States which have not yet decided, to hold their primaries by mail-vote, or simply permit the State Party organizations to select who will represent their State at an in-person, or virtual, national convention. Some of these changes may require emergency State legislation.

The only example Democrats can look back to for a small measure of instruction is the 1952 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, when State Party organization’s did choose their national delegates. That was the last time any major party convention went past the first ballot to select a nominee. One dramatic change between that Convention 68 years ago, and today, has made a contested convention more likely. In 2018, Democrats, for the first time in modern history, passed a rule change preventing 766 so-called “super-delegates,” — DNC Members, Members of Congress, Senators and Governors, and “distinguished party members like ex-Presidents or Vice-Presidents — from casting their votes on the first ballot. This change alone could guarantee that no candidate will have enough delegates to win the Democratic Nomination on the first ballot.

Despite having Harry Truman as an incumbent President, Democrats entered the 1952 election cycle deeply divided with Truman supported by only 36% of Democrats nationwide, according to a Gallup Poll. In the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Democratic Primary in February, 1952, Truman was toppled by semi-progressive Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, who was then conducting televised Senate investigations into organized crime, and surfing a wave of public support.

Just as Lyndon B. Johnson would do 16 years later, Truman interpreted his weak New Hampshire primary showing as a message to not seek re-election. With Truman out, Kefauver became the front-runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and he was locked in a tough battle with Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, a staunch segregationist, and the liberal Averell Harriman of New York, who served as President Truman’s Secretary of Commerce, and later became Governor of New York. No one arrived at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that year with anywhere near the 616 delegates needed to win the nomination.

The Convention opened with a welcoming speech by the Governor of Illinois, Adlai E. Stevenson II, whose grandfather by the same name served as Vice President under President Grover Cleveland. Young Adlai’s speech was so well received, it began a boomlet for him to seek the nomination — something he had steadfastly resisted until that moment. Truman, who fought hard to integrate the Armed Services forcing segregationists like Strom Thurmond into their own Dixiecrat Party in 1948, was adamantly opposed to having an anti-integrationist like Russell as the Party’s standard bearer. President Truman threw his backing behind Stevenson, persuading Averell Harriman to pledge his 121 delegates to the Illinois Governor after the second ballot. With strong support from Harriman and Truman, Stevenson stormed past the two Southern Senators on the Convention’s third ballot, tallying 617 votes to the combined total of 540 for Kefauver and Russell.

While the political circumstances in 2020 are far different than those in 1952, the mechanics could work in a similar fashion, if Democratic party officials determine that because of the pandemic-shortened primary season, they need to have open balloting to pick the party’s Presidential candidate.

If Biden goes into the first ballot with his 1,215 committed delegates, Sanders with his 915, and Bloomberg, Warren, Buttigieg and Klobuchar with their approximate total of 130 delegates, that would set up a second ballot showdown — when not only are all committed delegates free to vote their conscience, but the 766 Super Delegates — elected officials — are unleashed to vote for the candidate of their choice.

With some 1,900+ delegates needed for a first ballot victory, it’s possible that no single candidate will have enough to win. Enter Andrew Cuomo.

A fresh, new Democratic ticket — a result of a consensus, led, most likely by Nancy Pelosi who would hold sway over some 230 Congressional Democrats with an acute interest in who will head the Democratic ticket, could play a powerful role in deciding who will head the ticket that could determine control of Congress. Based upon his outstanding leadership in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis in New York, it’s easy to foresee someone — especially from the New York State delegation — putting Andrew Cuomo’s name in nomination.

Conceivably, it could take a second, third or even fourth ballot for one candidate to aggregate enough support to win the nomination, the way Adlai Stevenson did after three ballots in 1952, but it’s highly likely that if Cuomo were drafted to be nominated, after the first ballot, he would win the Democratic Nomination by acclamation.

Cuomo has clearly demonstrated that even from his position of Governor of New York, history has its eyes on him to become the wartime president this pandemic-pummeled nation is demanding.

Not even the Democratic Party could resist that call.

I’m Voting for Joe Biden, Democrat.

I’m voting for Joe Biden in the March 3, California Super Tuesday primary.

I’ve held onto my ballot until the last possible moment, because — despite working hard knocking on doors and making phone calls for Mike Bloomberg, as the candidate I thought had the best chance of beating Donald Trump, all that has changed — especially in California.

After a full-year of contributing to and supporting Elizabeth Warren, whom I met a decade ago and agree with on most issues, the chaotic Iowa Caucus convinced me that it was time to take some drastic action. The Democratic Party apparatus and its ineffectual leader Tom Perez, failed miserably, shocking party activists across the country, about how thoroughly unprepared we were as national Democrats to take on the Trump juggernaut. Iowa became a flashing red light: something dramatic had to be done and fast, if we were going to save the country from the lawless, soulless Trump and his fellow White Supremacists. With Mike Bloomberg offering to finance and build a shadow infrastructure for the Democratic Party to support candidates for the Senate, House and Presidency, the choice to me was compelling. Amateur hour was over. It was time for a well-financed candidate with pockets deeper than the GOP’s to take on Trump.

Warren’s already-weakened candidacy began to wobble even more after floundering finishes in Iowa, and New Hampshire, two states she was once expected to win. I was willing to abandon the candidate of my heart to support a much more pragmatic person like Bloomberg, for whom I’d crossed party lines to vote for as NYC Mayor 15 years ago. Bloomberg did a superb job rebuilding NYC after 9/11, and had the vast resources to resuscitate a comatose Democratic social media presence, and spend billions of dollars to dump Trump and go-toe-to-toe with the GOP in every Senatorial and House race in the nation.

But, in a mere two weeks, Bloomberg’s campaign flopped, despite a terrific, well-run operation in our local town of Napa, California. His overly centralized campaign brain-trust, made a fatal mistake at the outset by agreeing to have Bloomberg appear in the Nevada Democratic Presidential Debate, after the dumb DNC had denied Cory Booker — a superb candidate — a place on the debate stage. Bloomberg’s top staff had the perfect reason to refuse any debates until after Super Tuesday: If the DNC wouldn’t change the rules for Cory Booker, Bloomberg’s staff should have argued that they did not want Tom Perez to change the rules for Mike. Bloomberg could have entered the Presidential race on the high road, demanding fairness for the last standing candidate of color to remain on the debate stage. In fact, because he committed to use his billions to build the Party, Bloomberg could have insisted that Booker be included in the next debate. Booker wasn’t, and Bloomberg was, a tone-deaf and tactically terrible action which backfired.

Instead, the Bloomberg team, not only made the ill-informed decision to throw Mike Bloomberg into the Debate — after San Francisco’s former Mayor and California’s former House Speaker Willie Brown had advised them what a bad political move that would be — but then, Bloomberg top-staffer Howard Wolfson admitted to the New York Times that he had failed to properly prepare Bloomberg for his first high-stakes debate in 11 years. Not only had the Bloomberg boys (and they were all men) bungled the decision about having Mike participate in the debate, but they confessed that they hadn’t thoroughly prepared him for what to expect. Why that team wasn’t fired the following day for such a consequential blunder….I’m still shaking my head.

Despite the deep damage that was done to Bloomberg’s on-the-ground campaign — with dozens of volunteers quitting after his Nevada debate debacle — I soldiered on, making hundreds of calls and knocking on dozens of doors. I believed that a national Democratic ticket headed by Sanders would hand Trump re-election, rob us of our best chance in a generation to take back the US Senate, and cost us the Supreme Court for the rest of my lifetime.

The courageous Democratic Senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, the tough prosecutor of the KKK members who murdered the four little Black girls in a Birmingham Church in 1963, would be in real danger of holding onto his Senate seat this year, if he had to defend Bernie’s bizarre political history, and his $60 trillion spending plan. Despite the delusions of the Sandernistas, there’s no way on Alabama’s Camelia-blooming-earth that Bernie helps Doug Jones win re-election. And, a Sanders-led ticket would have a reverse-coattail effect for Mark Kelly in Arizona, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, Amy McGrath in Kentucky, Sara Gideon in Maine, Theresa Greenfield in Iowa, M.J. Hegar in Texas, Barbar Bollier in Kansas, or Jaime Harrison in South Carolina — all locked in tight US Senate races that could flip the Senate.

Clarity came in the form of James Clyburn, the long-time South Carolina Congressman, who answered the call of his ancestors to save the nation. Revered across his state, Clyburn endorsed Joe Biden and in Biden’s own words, “carried me home on his shoulders,” as well as the entire National Democratic Party. Biden’s blow-out victory among a highly diverse electorate — and with turnout that nearly matched the Obama record of 2008 — brought his own campaign back to life, and lighted up the path to victory for the Democrats in November.

Equally important was the turnout from Joe Cunningham’s Congressional District in Charleston, SC, — heavily for Biden — underscoring a strong desire for someone at the head of the ticket to preserve Democratic Members of Congress in swing districts. Biden’s smart shout-out to Jaime Harrison, the determined Democrat locked in a dead-heat with Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina Senate race, was also extraordinarily important.

As we watched the historic results coming in from South Carolina, my wife Carol and I, discussed what we would do with our Super Tuesday ballots. What would have the greatest effect of reducing Bernie Sanders’ California Delegate total, help elect the eventual Democratic nominee and defeat Trump and the Republicans? Carol was fluctuating between Warren and Klobuchar, but their poor performances in South Carolina had knocked them out of consideration. The fundamental question we faced was this: who, other than Sanders, would have the best chance of crossing the 15% threshold in California to win some delegates of their own? Who could we support?

I checked several California-based polls which reinforced what I learned while working on the Bloomberg campaign: Bloomberg was topping out in California at 12%, with both Biden and Warren having the best chance to slow a Sanders’ stampede. Neither one of us could see Warren — who hurt herself badly in the South Carolina debate — going all the way to the White House. I informed the local Bloomberg campaign officials that I could not, in good conscience, ask Democrats to vote for Mike Bloomberg any longer, when I believed, after South Carolina, my vote would have more value for Biden, who could cut significantly into Sanders’ delegate haul, with every point over 15% he received on Super Tuesday. If Warren did that too — even better.

And, since Biden needs money, staff and campaign infrastructure as Rep. Clyburn bluntly told him, the best way Bloomberg could now defeat Donald Trump — his initial rationale for entering the Presidential race — would be to endorse Biden after Super Tuesday, and commit money and staff to Biden and the National Democratic Party to crush Trump and the GOP. It’s why I backed Bloomberg in the first place, and it is, in my judgement, the best way to invest his billions to save the country.

So, I’m voting for Joe Biden on Super Tuesday, and I urge Mike Bloomberg to make the next day, Super Wednesday, by backing Biden as well.

A Viral, Orange Blob Meets the Political One, Who Only Knows of Corona,Queens.

The NIAID (National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases) electron microscopic image of the new Corona Virus, represented by the orange blobs.

If you’re not outraged yet by the systematic crippling of public health and science by Donald Trump now that we have the Corona Virus serial killer on the loose — ironically, an orange blob of a virus according to electron miscroscopic images from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases — than you’d better check your pulse. You may already be dead.

Trump’s vicious, inhumane and vile ideas while in office have already torn families apart, and inspired right wing fanatics to shoot Jews, gays, immigrants, and people of color. Now, as this new global health threat explodes around the world, his incompetence and malfeasance in office will kill even more people.

The dangerous science and fact-denialist came into office with a vendetta against scientists and any expert whose mind he could not bully into submission. He directed his Agriculture Secretary to eliminate the jobs of some of the most world-renowned scientists; left vacant hundreds of critical public health positions at the Centers for Disease Control, the single most important US Infectious Disease agency, whose leaders Trump is now trying to muzzle.

Trump dismantled the National Security Counsel’s office which concentrated on Pandemics and how to deal with them. He fired scientists and long-serving career professionals from key positions across the entire US Government because he saw them as part of the “Deep State.” Their only crime was doing their jobs to protect the American people, and telling Trump the truth, on issues as diverse as diseases, food contamination, airline safety and climate change.

But don’t take my word for it. Just Google “Trump’s War on Science.” Some 53 million articles and videos are at your fingertips. His attacks on reason and facts, and especially on scientists, medical health professionals or military experts who understand grave international dangers, go back to the very beginning of his Know-Nothing campaign for President, when the Orange Blob from the High Tower first began calling Climate Science a hoax.

As of this week, the Corona Virus has infected 83,000 people around the world and killed 3,000. Financial markets have tanked, with many worried about the extraordinary economic disruptions caused by quarantines, flight cancellations, and the postponement of large events — like Venice, Italy’s Mardi Gras’ festival. All schools in Japan have been closed for the entire month of March. Stock markets in the US, where a few hundred possible cases of Corona Virus have been reported, dropped more than 3,000 points in one week — the biggest losses since the Great Recession of 2008.

With the first new confirmed case of an American testing positive for the virus in Northern California — in a town less than 30 minutes from where I live — the actual virus is beginning to replicate itself faster than Trump’s 16,000 lies can travel virally on social media. Most frightening about this California case in the Solano County town of Vacaville, is that while no one yet knows how it was contracted, evidence is emerging — through a whistleblower’s report — that points to Trump’s own Administration spreading it through their abject stupidity and negligence.

In keeping with their pattern of covering-up all truth, Trump and his HHS henchmen are trying to crush a career professional with decades of experience in public health — the whistleblower — at Health & Human Services, who told of how the agency’s political appointees put the lives of more than a dozen of their own health workers at risk. Without training their own front-line employees to take any basic health precautions, HHS hastily send them to Travis Air Force Base in neighboring Solano Country, California, to process the first American travelers returning home from China, who were exposed to the Corona Virus. Within one week, after the unprotected federal workers came in contact with the possibly-infected passengers, one member of the community in Vacaville — who never travelled to China — became infected with the highly contagious virus, went to a local community hospital, where she was initially refused testing for the disease, and may have exposed others. Sent to the University of California Medical Center in Davis for further examination, she tested positive.

The Trump Administration’s response to the whistleblower’s vital information was to abruptly transfer the career public health specialist, threaten termination, and, of course, deny all of her well-documented allegations. The action perfectly reflects the war against science and the facts going on in all critical agencies of the federal government under Trump’s Torquemada like terror-tactics toward the truth.

Two years ago, obsessed with anything Obama, Trump cut the Obama-era health security programs, dismantled the global health security team, and eliminated the highest government office specifically focused on pandemics, located within the NSC. Later the same year, the CDC was forced to cut its’ own highly effective preventative efforts against global disease outbreaks by 80%. In an effort to manage the drastic cuts, the Agency scaled back on its work by no longer focusing on China, according to an article in Fortunemagazine. Trump had killed the very agencies designed to prevent us from being killed by out-of-control diseases.

Fortune also reported that another $30 million from an emergency response pool of money was cut from the Complex Crisis Fund of the State Department (a fund set up by Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State), used to deploy infectious disease experts around the world. By the end of 2018 Trump called for the gutting of $15 billion of the global disease-fighting budgets of the CDC, National Security Council (NSC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Health and Human Services (HHS) in the process.

So now, with the Trump administration facing a murderous, viral orange monster, and desperate for the funding it eliminated for fighting epidemics and global diseases, a global crisis of enormous proportions is literally in our backyard. This real, not imagined, threat to human life wasn’t brought into this country by an illegal immigrant or a terrorist — but by Donald Trump, and his willful ignorance about science and the real world we live in — not the hermetically sealed bubble in which he dwells.

Tragically, we are now all suffering the consequences of Trump’s incapacity to grasp anything but the distant memories of his childhood — still stuck in the back seat of his mother’s rose-colored Rolls Royce, looking out the vehicle’s tinted windows, watching the world he never wanted to come into contact with whirl by, passing through the dirty streets of Queens, NY, and the only Corona he ever knew. Until now

·

This Progressive Likes Mike.

Amateur hour is over.

If the chaos of the Iowa Caucuses and Trump’s vicious “victory” lap and illegal, revenge-porn firing of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman proved anything, it’s that it’s time for the novelty candidates and the ideologues to get out of the way. Nothing is more important than removing the sociopath from the White House. Nothing.

It’s why as a progressive Democrat with 50 years and about as many left-wing candidates under my belt as bonafides, I’m backing Mike Bloomberg and working hard for him to do well in the California Democratic Primary on March 3, with it’s motherlode of 495 Delegates, or 25% of the total needed to secure the Presidential nomination.

As a political activist who came of age in the ‘60’s in the anti-Vietnam War movement and lived on the urgency of issues and ideology in each election, in this election there is only one imperative: Beating Trump. Ideology is irrelevant in this death struggle for Democracy. Beating Trump is all that matters. Everything else is distraction.

In 1969, I was one of a nucleus of former Robert F. Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy supporters who overcame our seemingly insurmountable differences in the aftermath of the election of the noxious Richard Nixon in 1968, and formed the New Democratic Coalition. We were Reformers, and our express purpose was pushing the Democratic party to the left, on issues that ranged from expanding Medicare for all, to ending the War in Vietnam, to enacting strict gun controls in the year following the assassinations by gun violence of RFK and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some of my early colleagues in the NDC (which Mario Cuomo, who was not a member, affectionately named, “November Don’t Count” because of our ideological insistence) included Bella Abzug, Paul O’Dwyer, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Ed Koch (when he was still a liberal), and many of the leaders of the Women’s Strike for Peace, like Cora Weiss and Sarah Kovner. We worked with progressives of passion and hope, who rewrote American history like Allard Lowenstein, Senator Barbara Mikulski, US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Senator Paul Wellstone, and the first, and only, African-American Mayor in NYC’s history, David Dinkins.

We campaigned for every progressive Presidential candidate from George McGovern to Mo Udall; from Fred Harris to Teddy Kennedy, and Jesse Jackson to Barack Obama. We fought for more sweeping Voting Rights and Registration Laws, tough gun control legislation, compassionate welfare reform, more funding for public education, collective bargaining rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights and affirmative action programs. We won, and lost, many policy battles, and elections. We always got up the next day, picked ourselves up, dusted off our bruises, and started anew — never giving up nor giving in; never surrendering. We had purpose and decency on our side, and, the nobility of our causes was what propelled us.

A few years later we learned to meld our progressive ideals with pragmatism. I worked with Mario Cuomo for nearly a decade when he was Governor of New York, and we fearlessly — and successfully — took on Ronald Reagan in the battle over State & Local Tax deductions (SALT), and waged a seismic struggle to shut down the unsafe Shoreham Nuclear Power plant. With tenacity and political savvy, we won both battles against overwhelming odds and enormous political and financial power. We had learned how to mesh our progressive beliefs with Cuomo’s pragmatic, respect-for-the-law, high-integrity approach to governing and we uplifted millions of lives in the process. I saw a similar strain of progressive pragmatism in Bloomberg.

I was living in New York when Mike was first elected Mayor of NYC in the awful aftermath of the 9–11 attacks on the World Trade Center, which killed nearly 3,000 of my fellow New Yorkers, and left the rest of us with varying degrees of traumatic stress. Undaunted and upbeat, Bloomberg took control of a City still reeling from the unimaginable, with many of us unable to get past the hundreds of “missing” photos of mostly bright young people, pinned to the mournful walls of St. Vincent’s Hospital. Mayor Mike carried our suffering City on his strong shoulders for months, while Donald Trump, slinking toward insufferability, bragged that his building at 40 Wall Street was now, not only, the tallest in New York (with the World Trade Center in cinders) but also eligible for $150,000 of special federal financial assistance from a 9/11 relief fund. Trump was shameless and soulless then, too, in our nation’s darkest hour.

It was Bloomberg, who, living around the corner from me, took the subway to work instead of a limo, buoying our spirits each day, and lifting 8,000,000 New Yorkers out of the darkness of post-9/11 despair, with his indefatigable attitude that anything was still possible for a resilient City and its people. It was Bloomberg who regularly met with Black community leaders and civil rights organizations after they had been deliberately excluded from New York’s City Hall for the entire eight ugly years of intentional racial division during Rudy Giuliani’s mayoralty. And it was Bloomberg, who, while still a Republican, opposed President George W. Bush’s nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice, believing that Roberts was not committed to upholding Roe v. Wade.

The biggest knock against Mike Bloomberg by many Democratic Presidential candidates this year is that the billionaire is buying the nomination with his money. It’s an odd charge, since not one of my fellow Democrats complained when Bloomberg spent $110 million of his own money in 2018 to help elect 21 Democratic candidates, flipping the House of Representatives from red to blue and making Nancy Pelosi Speaker. No one, except the NRA, had anything negative to say when Bloomberg contributed over $200 million to highly effective gun-control and gun-safety efforts around the country.

Not one Democratic Presidential candidate has criticized Mike’s motivation to spend hundreds of millions of dollars — perhaps billions, to not only Hold the House and Flip the Senate in 2020 — but to build grassroots organizations and keep 500 paid staff members in place around the country between now and November 3, to elect ANY Democrat over Donald Trump.

I don’t hear my fellow Progressives complaining that Bloomberg is drawing from his vast expertise in technology and spending whatever it takes to build an on-line presence to wipe out the advantage that Trump, his Russian operatives, and Right Wing trolls have over us on Facebook, Twitter and all social media.

I don’t buy the lament by some of my fellow Lefties that “no one becomes a billionaire without exploiting workers.” This is not the 1890’s or the 1930’s. We aren’t talking about fortunes being made on the backs of railroad workers as the Vanderbilt’s did, or, like the Rockefellers, off the sweat of oil-field workers, at the expense of the environment. We’re not even mentioning the fake, mini-fortune made by Fred Trump and Son by shaking down middle-income renters, and playing three-card monty with taxpayer money from federal, state or City housing programs.

The high-tech fortunes of Bill Gates and Mike Bloomberg fall into an entirely different sphere, delivering far more value to society than they extract from it. I doubt if anyone would seriously argue that Gates shouldn’t contribute billions of dollars to fighting HIV/AIDS and malnutrition around the world, because his money came from some undefined “exploitation,” or that Bloomberg is wrong to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to Johns Hopkins’ School of Public Health or to fighting gun violence.

Over the past several years, I’ve donated money to moderate and progressive Presidential candidates including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as to Democratic Senate candidates in key states I believe we can win in 2020. My contributions have always reflected my ideals and fundamental beliefs in justice, equality and the Rule of Law.

Those ideals, and not ideology, are more urgent to follow in this election, than ever before. Hair-splitting purity of political belief needs to be set aside for the immediate and practical reality of preserving our Democracy. There is one unifying imperative this year: Beating Donald Trump.

The best candidate to do that is Mike Bloomberg, and if he wants to spend half of his $60 billion fortune to do that, and bring along a Democratic Senate, God bless him.

2020 Super Bowl Champion: Nancy Pelosi Has Hammered the GOP

 

Whether or not her beloved San Francisco 49ers’ win the 2020 Super Bowl, Nancy Pelosi has already proven herself to be the political Super Bowl Champion of the year. She won the championship this time by running such a sophisticated play against the mysogynist Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP that they still can’t figure out what hit them, and probably won’t until they get hammered at the polls in November.

The first female Speaker of the House of Representatives in American History has, time and time again, demonstrated not only her strategic savvy and tenacity, but her intuitive genius of grabbing powerful men by their egos, and shoving it down their throats.

Pelosi has masterfully performed her magic on both the House Impeachment-for-Life of Donald Trump, and the Senate’s self-immolating vote to shut out witnesses and documents from the Senate Trial, which, as Nancy knew it would, became a nationally-televised, continuing cover-up of the crimes of the Trump Criminal Enterprise, with Mitch McConnell and his water boys of the GOP Senate showing that they were all in the loop.

Nothing else could have, on a play-by-play basis, exposed the utter corruption and complicity of McConnell and his mendacious members in the GOP as completely in cahoots with the most corrupt and lawless President in US History, than the fight over a fair trial, which, as Pelosi predicted, the rich old, White men’s Cover-Up Club running the Senate, would resist with all it’s deviousness.

Her masterstroke was withholding the Articles of Impeachment until educated the public about the need for “impartial justice” and a fair trial with witnesses and documents in the Senate. Nancy knew that by goading the gout-looking McConnell over how all Americans deserved a fair trial in the Senate, the teetering terrapin would puff up his multi-layered neck with too much air to try to scare her away, and never agree do what she was requesting. With one Phineas T. Bluster-like bellowing of “she can’t tell us how to run our house,” McConnell and the overmatched, quivering co-conspirators he led, were trapped by their own bellicosity.

Of course they whined for weeks about how Pelosi’s power play of holding up the Articles of Impeachment would ricochet back to hurt her, without realizing that their own words — especially Lamar Alexander’s — would be used to hammer them. They were strong, smug shrewd Reptiles of Raw Power, who would never waffle on witnesses or vote for a fair trial because that woman from next door told them to do it, and they could do whatever they damn well wanted.

“Harrummph,” McConnell indignantly harrumped, expanding the girth of his Galapagos-sized goiter. That uppity female would never tell them what do to — even if it meant their own extinction!

So, on the Friday before Super Bowl weekend, McConnell led his troop of Trump-terrified turtles, off of their slippery rocks where they were basking in kleiglights, down deep into the murky waters of the Senate swamp, until they disappeared from sight. They covered themselves so completely with mud, money and corruption, that no witnesses nor documents could ever find them, and they would be protected from tomorrow’s twitter tantrums of the Trump Child.

It’s why Cory Gardner of Colorado, being pounded by John Hickenlooper in early polls, caved in quickly. He knew we was going down, and was betting everything on the Impeached-for-Life-Trump winning re-election and giving him some sycophant’s job. Martha McSally of Arizona, who lost one Senate election two-years ago, was preparing to lose another, this time to the natural Democratic heir to John McCain, former Astronaut Mark Kelly. She, too, would need a new job next January, only now, the GOP Governor of Arizona couldn’t hand her a Senate seat.

In eight other states, from Maine to Texas, Iowa to North Carolina, Georgia to Montana and even McConnell’s own Kentucky and Lindsey Graham’s South Carolina, an outstanding crop of strong Democratic candidates — which includes four Veterans, an Astronaut and at least 6 women — are within striking distance of winning. Only three Senate seats need to be flipped to create a 50–50 tie, which a newly-elected Democratic Vice-President can break, sending Moscow Mitch to political Siberia.

The prescient Pelosi knew that the terrified terrapins couldn’t hide from their constituents forever, especially when some 75 % of the people who give them their air to breathe, were demanding a fair trial in the best American tradition, with first-hand witnesses called to testify to crimes committed right in front of their eyes. The slimy, mud-covered GOP Senators chose a cover-up over the call for fairness from their fellow citizens, refusing to believe that when their dark swamp gets drained in November, they’ll be naked before the world, hands cuffed together in the criminal loop they formed.

“Right Matters. Truth Matters.”

 

FROM CLOSING ARGUMENTS OF CONGRESSMAN ADAM SCHIFF, AT THE SENATE TRIAL OF THE PEOPLE OF THE US vs. DONALD TRUMP, 1/23/20:

“ If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost.

Framers couldn’t protect us from ourselves, if right and truth don’t matter.

And you know that what he did was not right. That’s what they do in the old country, that Colonel Vindman’s father came from. Or the old country that my great grandfather came from, or the old countries that your ancestors came from, or maybe you came from.

But here, right is supposed to matter. It’s what’s made us the greatest nation on earth. No constitution can protect us, right doesn’t matter any more.

And you know you can’t trust this President to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now. He’s done it before. He’ll do it for the next several months. He’ll do it in the election if he’s allowed to.

This is why if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed.

Because right matters. Because right matters and the truth matters.

Otherwise, we are lost.”