The End of Democracy in America

I know it seems like a ridiculous idea. The world’s greatest democracy founded on July 4, 1776 coming to an end. Every nation in the world striving to have a democracy tries to emulate the United States of America.  It is happening before our eyes.  Millions of our own citizens no longer believe fair and honest elections are possible.

The US Constitution

To ensure that there are unfair elections the GOP, the Republican Party, are passing laws to deny citizens the right to vote.  But of course many Republicans believe they are doing the right thing to protect the democracy.  

States with Republican legislatures have passed waves of new laws making it harder for constituents to vote in response to the 2020 election, experts say.

Republican lawmakers in state legislatures across the country are capitalizing on Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud to pass these measures. Nineteen states have passed 33 news laws this year that make it harder to vote, according to an updated analysis released Monday by the liberal Brennan Center for Justice.

The report, which covers legislative activity through September 27, finds that:

  • Four states bundled together an array of new voting restrictions into single omnibus bills: Texas, Florida, Georgia and Iowa.
  • Four states — Arkansas, Montana, Texas and Arizona — passed multiple laws to restrict voting.
  • Many state laws hit on common themes. Seven, for instance, imposed tougher identification requirements to cast ballots. Seven states also shortened the window to apply for a mail-in ballots.

Some states are discouraging voter participation by imposing arbitrary requirements and harsh penalties on voters and poll workers who violate these rules. In Georgia, lawmakers have made it a crime to provide food and water to voters standing in line at the polls — lines that are notoriously long in Georgia, especially for communities of color. In Texas, people have been arrested and given outrageous sentences for what amount at most to innocent mistakes made during the voting process.

 Large majorities of Republicans continue to believe the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and elected Republicans around the country are acting on this conspiracy theory — attempting to lock Democrats out of power by seizing partisan control of America’s electoral systems. Democrats observe all this and gird for battle, with many wondering if the 2024 elections will be held on the level.

I can see only two possibilities. 1) A military civil war that will result in the loss of lives.  Those with the guns winning and resulting into a police state. 2) The splitting of the nation into multiple countries.  The liberal west coast as one nation.  The Midwest and the South another country and the Northeast a third country.

Historians will note that no government lasts forever.

The United States came close to seeing the end of Its World Renowned Democracy

What we had here was an attempted coup to take control of the United States government and end democracy.  Just don’t count the ballots and say they are not legitimate. It was Vice President Mike Pence who refused to take part in that effort and resulted in the swearing in of Joe Biden as the 46th president.

Fox News program hosts were among those who implored former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to help stop the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to the committee investigating the attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. In public, those same hosts deflected blame from Trump.

Even Donald Trump Jr. tried to reach his father but was blocked by Meadows.

The fight for the presidency is not over.  It has been reported that 60% of registered Republicans do not recognize Joe Biden as the legitimate president.

If Republicans will not accept a loss then there is no democracy.  As it stands now the United States is on the path to becoming a democracy in name only.  That is the system in Russia, Turkey, and other autocracies. Is that what Americans want?

Thanks Joe, You Had Your Turn!

President Joe Biden is in serious trouble despite the fact that his infrastructure bill has been passed.  His social infrastructure bill of $3 Trillion has been striped down to a mere $1.75 Trillion and is looking to be stripped to an even smaller size. Inflation reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just reported that inflation rose 6.2% in the past year. Add to that the supply chain issues that are causing shortages in the things we want, the sloppy withdrawal from Afghanistan, the unconquered COVID-19 pandemic, the likely control of Congress passing to the Republicans next November and you have the formula for a one term president.

The infrastructure bill that will be signed on Monday November 15 will deliver $550 billion of new federal investments in America’s infrastructure over five years, including money for roads, bridges, mass transit, rail, airports, ports and waterways. The package includes a $65 billion investment in improving the nation’s broadband infrastructure, and invests tens of billions of dollars in improving the electric grid and water systems. Another $7.5 billion would go to building a nationwide network of plug-in electric vehicle chargers, according to the bill text. The public is not impressed.

In a new WaPo-ABC poll In a new WaPo-ABC poll

  • 63% of respondents said Biden has accomplished “not very much” or “little or nothing” so far in his presidency. A full 45% said he’s done “little or nothing” — that’s worse than the numbers for then-Presidents DONALD TRUMP, BARACK OBAMA or BILL CLINTON at comparable points in their presidencies.
  • Just 31% said he’s kept most of his major campaign promises — also a worse figure than Trump, Obama or Clinton received.
  • 70% rated the economy as “not so good” or “poor.”

    While the 2024 presidential election is three years away likely candidates are laying their plans now. The winner will not be President Joe Biden nor past president Donald Trump. We want a unifier but politics will be getting in the way.

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Every election results in one winner and losers.  The winner won the most votes.  That is the American democracy.  With two major political parties the winner will likely be a Republican or a Democrat.  The first national election was 1789.  The election system has made America the example for the rest of the world.

In Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe by a margin of 50.9 percent to 48.4 percent as of midday Friday. In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Republican Jack Ciattarelli by a nearly identical margin, 50.8 percent to 48.5 percent.

In Virginia, McAuliffe conceded defeat the morning after the election. In New Jersey, Ciattarelli refused to concede.

This is the new GOP response when their candidate loses an election. If we win no matter how close it was a fair election. If our candidate lost there was cheating and fraud.

This is all taken from the Donald Trump playbook.

If this becomes the standard then we can kiss the American democracy goodbye.

Los Angeles – Cesspool of Corruption

Jose Huizar former Los Angeles city councilman seeks to gut corruption case, says alleged $1.5 million in gifts were not bribes.  They were just little gifts of appreciation says his lawyer.

Former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander was sentenced in January 2021 to 14 months in prison for lying to federal authorities about his dealings with a businessman who provided him $15,000 in secret cash payments and a debauched night in Las Vegas.

Marilyn Louise Flynn, 83, was dean of USC’s School of Social Work when she allegedly paid off Mark Ridley-Thomas, now an L.A. city councilman, when he was on the county Board of Supervisors.

Englander, Huizar and now Ridley-Thomas.  The council is a cesspool of corruption.  The battle over which district includes USC and the surrounding area has something to do with prestige and probably some kind of kick back in an area ripe for development.  After all it is the city council that finally approves every new development.  Since there is little development in the mid San Fernando Valley no one even wants to represent that area since there is little likelihood of new development.

As Pat Morrison wrote in her October 26, 2021 Los Angeles Times column “In 2015, as civic guru Rick Cole was departing his post as deputy mayor in L.A., he explained to me that “a lot of checks and balances are built into the system to avoid corruption and half-baked ideas, but … ironically, most were designed by reformers [who] were petrified of abuse of power. The charter was designed to prevent corruption, not to enable effectiveness. They took effective government for granted. So when you ask questions like, “Who’s responsible for the miserable state of L.A. streets?” you can blame anyone, because almost anybody has a piece of the problem and almost no one has the power to fix it. To avoid one problem, we so diffused power and hamstrung accountability, it’s no wonder we have the results we all complain about.”

California’s Government is a Failure

Larry Elder was a gift to Governor Gavin Newsom. Follows are his views.

Elder opposes the minimum wage and gun control. He’s said he doesn’t believe that a gender wage gap exists, and has called the climate crisis a “crock”. He has suggested that fatherless families drive up crime rates in Black communities. During the coronavirus crisis, he has given a platform to Covid-19 conspiracy theorists, including a self-identified physician who promoted the false claim that coronavirus vaccines were being pushed in minority communities as “population control”. Elder has said he has been vaccinated but has vowed to repeal California’s mask and vaccine requirements if he wins the governorship.

The Elder platform is the reason Newsom was not recalled.

Forget the social issues that divide Democrats and Republicans. California’s state government has failed.

The list of things that our California government has failed to address is long.  Neither Jerry Brown nor Gavin Newsom and the Democratic Party controlled legislature has addressed any of these issues in a meaningful way.

In the long term climate change is an issue but there are many other issues that demand immediate attention.

-The income gap.  California has more millionaires than any other state but also has one of the highest poverty rates.

-Low minimum wage law.  The low rate of pay perpetuates poverty.

-Homelessness. It’s not just the drug addicted and mentally challenged.  The poorly paid cannot afford an apartment.  Many are living in motorhomes.

-Lack of affordable housing.  Low cost housing units are in short supply and the building codes and zoning laws prevent construction due to regulations and high construction costs.

-Poorly managed state agencies.  Examples are the delays in payment of unemployment benefits, long lines at DMV facilities.  

 -High cost of college education. $46 per unit at two year community colleges.  State university’s fee is $396 per semester unit and $264 per quarterly unit.

-Water shortage.  Yes it is a natural disaster but where is the plan to ensure both agriculture and urban areas have adequate supplies?

-Death penalty.  A ballot measure retaining that law was passed by the public but Gavin Newsom has suspended its use.

-Bullet train. In their voter guides, Californians were informed of an estimate from the California High-Speed Rail Authority estimating that, “the total cost to develop and construct the entire high-speed train system would be about $45 billion.” Current estimates place the possible cost as high as around $100 billion.  Newsom has scaled back the project to 171 miles from Merced to Bakersfield.

-Taxes. California has the highest income tax rate in the nation.

First there is the issue of jobs that pay enough to live comfortably without the need for food stamps and rent subsidies.

The big employers have either closed or moved

  • Toyota: 3,000 jobs moved to Texas
  • Walt Disney: 2,000 jobs moved to Florida
  • Lockheed Martin: 5,000 jobs moved to Georgia
  • Rocketedyne
  • General Motors
  • Price Pfister
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise

When all of those companies left California the state government was silent in the press.

California needs new leadership.

Boston is About to Elect a Non-White Mayor

This is what scares White supremacists more than anything else.  White people are a shrinking part of America’s population.

Leading candidates for mayor of Boston

As reported in the Washington Post all the leading candidates are women of color.  The leading candidate for mayor of NYC, Eric Adam, is Black.  The leading Republican candidate, Larry Elder, in California’s recall election is Black.

Many states are passing voting restrictions to limit minorities ability to vote.  Those states are either in the South or are primarily rural agricultural with relatively small populations.

The next political battle is likely to be the congressional redistricting based on the 2020 census.  Look for many court battles.

What is worse is the divide that between White supremacists and the rest of us.  Those Whites actually fear their lives are in danger.

Hate is hard to combat!

Wars Make Money

The military–industrial complex describes the relationship between a nation’s military and the defense industry that supplies it, seen together as a vested interest which influences public policy.

Dwight Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States

President Eisenhower’s farewell speech to the nation the retiring president warned of the dangers of allowing a Military-Industrial Complex to take control of the United States. The Military-Industrial Complex is a term that denotes a symbiotic relationship between a nation’s military, economy, and politics.

The U.S. sent to Afghanistan nearly 600,000 small arms, 76,000 vehicles and 208 airplanes to Afghanistan’s military and police from 2003 to 2016, according to a 2017 Government Accountability Office report, one of the few such compilations. The U.S.-led military coalition documented deliveries of 174 Humvees, nearly three million rounds of ammunition, and nearly 100,000 2.75-inch rockets during the period, night-vision goggles and even small drones for intelligence gathering.

The Department of Defense has a handful of arms manufacturers. You may recognize some or the names: Colt, Daniel Defense, Remington Arms Company, and FN America. FN is also working to help develop new guns featuring revolutionary technology. Lockheed Martin Corp. is the largest arms manufacturer in the world. Boeing, Northrup Grumman, and Raytheon rely on the U.S. military for anywhere from 44% of their revenue (Boeing) to 89% of their revenue (Lockeheed).

“FN America was recently down-selected and contracted to produce two prototypes for the U.S. Army’s Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle program,” says Greg Livermore, FN’s vice president for product management.

All of those arms manufacturers are now trying to negotiate a situation that will result in fewer arms sales. Don’t you know they will be promoting another war? They don’t care where it is and how many lives are lost or how many injuries are sustained?

It was WWII followed by the Cold War that created jobs for Americans in those arms manufacturing companies. Many have said that wars are what keeps America out of depressions.

Are they correct?