Amy Klobuchar started out with little name recognition and not much money and she’s still a strong contender after a few lesser states have been heard from. In the Democratic primary the …
Amy Klobuchar started out with little name recognition and not much money and she’s still a strong contender after a few lesser states have been heard from. In the Democratic primary the front-runner is an older guy in a bandwagon who is promising everything to everyone, but yet hasn’t told us exactly how we’re going to pay for any of it. He’ll be 79 by election day and would be 87 by the end of a second term; he had a heart attack at age 78. I’m saying that Amy should not withdraw and get out of his way. The time for any sort to realistic assessment will be on March 3, when party nomination votes will be cast in 14 states, including California and Texas.
But every time I hear Bernie talk, the many IFs in the background of his remarks seem to fade behind the rebirth of Democracy he vigorously paints. For instance, whom would he choose as his vice-president? He says it “would not be an old, white guy.”
And in the meantime, the biggest problem remains Donald Trump, and I will vigorously support whomever the Democrats choose to run against him.
TRUMP GRANTS CLEMENCY TO POLITICAL, CORPORATE CRIMINALS. That was the page-one headline in The Seattle Times last Wednesday on the story by The New York Times. THE 11 CRIMINALS GRANTED CLEMENCY BY TRUMP HAD ONE THING IN COMMON; CONNECTIONS was the headline on another New York Times story on Yahoo! Elsewhere on the Internet Thursday: TRUMP RENEWS ATTACK ON JUSTICE SYSTEM . . . RUSSIA BACKS TRUMP’ S RE-ELECTION . . . TRUMP ATTACKS ‘DIRTY COPS’ FOR GOING AFTER HIS FRIENDS . . .
Attempting a display of individual power to salve the sting of the impeachment of which a weak-kneed Senate found him innocent, Donald took some of the following action. He said it was on the advice of friends and business associates. Bernard Kerik, for instance, was found guilty of tax fraud and lying to the government. He was a frequent guest at Trump’s private club Mar-a-Lago and a Fox News pundit. More than a dozen people spoke on his behalf, said Trump, including Rudi Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer; Geraldo Rivera, a Fox TV personality and Eddie Gallagher, former Navy SEAL and accused war criminal, whose demotion last year was overturned by Trump.
And, of course, there was Rod Blagojevich, former Illinois governor freed after serving 8 of a 14-year sentence for attempting to sell former President Obama’s Illinois senate seat for personal gain. He, also, once appeared on TV’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” hosted by Trump.
The sudden timing of this clemency and pardoning maneuver seems aimed at lessening in the public mind the severity of crimes against our Democratic society—such as, say, something for which a president might be impeached.
Others included Michael Milken, famous investment banker of the 1980s (“Junk Bond King”); long-time friend and billionaire (real estate) Richard LeFrak; Nelson Peltz, billionaire investor who just last Saturday hosted a $10-million fund-raiser for Trump’s 2020 campaign . . . Donald also pardoned four others and commuted several more, including the final 27 of the 35-year sentence given to Judith Negron for Health Care fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
All seem to be wealthy friends of one sort or another of Donald Trump who have been found guilty of major types of corruption against the public. It would be more meaningful if he unlocked the cell doors of a few thousand of the young Blacks and Latinos so readily found guilty of minor marijuana crimes.
In 2017 Trump issued a “full and unconditional” pardon to Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, reputed to have been involved in the deaths of various Mexican immigrants. Arpaio eventually was found guilty of contempt of court. He is on the ballot again this year at age 87.
Of the 1,654,282 arrests for drug law violations in 2018, 86.4% (1,429,300) were for mere possession of a controlled substance. Further, 40.1% of drug arrests in 2018 were for marijuana offenses—663,367. Of those, an estimated 608,776 arrests (36.8% of all drug arrests) were for marijuana possession alone. By contrast in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses, of which 646,042 (40.9%) were for possession alone. Despite similar usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.
Tuesday night’s debate has not been factored into the foregoing remarks, which were submitted Wednesday. I’ll see what I can hunt-peck-and-squint out for a week from now. I’m also holding my ballot until after “Super Tuesday.”