Will stimulus work?

stimulus

In an article in Politico, Joshua Zeitz discusses the question of making the stimulus work. He writes:

Sweeping in its ambition, the (CARES ACT) package endeavors to infuse hundreds of thousands of small businesses, tens of millions of individuals and families, hospitals and health care systems, as well as the nation’s largest employers, with cash and liquidity.

But passing the bill was easy. Making it work is the hard part. Massive stimulus packages don’t just need votes. They require expertise, professionalism and skill to execute, and it’s not at all clear that the Trump administration has enough of that to make this program work.

Will the money get to the right people and will they use it as intended to stave off depression? Will businesses use the money to retain employees who are unable to work? Will individuals stuck at home spend money on goods and services as intended. There is reason for doubt.

Joshua Zeitz is an American historian. He is the author of  books on American political and social history He has written for The Atlantic,  The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic,  Dissent, and American Heritage.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/04/04/does-the-trump-administration-have-the-talent-make-the-stimulus-work-163982

 

Posted in Congress, Economics, Political, President | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Is it dangerous to live or have lived in Detroit?

As a former resident of the city, I wonder if my life there put myself and my family at risk?

Higher-than-average rates of certain chronic conditions, including asthma, may make Detroit residents more vulnerable to severe complications of the disease. The prevalence of asthma is 29 percent higher among adults in Detroit than those living in the rest of the state, according to a 2016 report from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

I was aware of pollution:

  • Smoke from coal furnaces
  • Smoke from leaf burning
  • Industrial smoke
  • Emissions from chemical plants
  • Asbestos in old schools and churches

Nothing unexpected or  unusual for the time.  But now:

Wayne State University study found elevated levels of high blood pressure in Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties, the very places now surging with COVID-19 cases. Michigan also has rates of type 2 diabetes that are slightly higher than the rest of the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Is the prevalence of diabetes and high blood pressure an environmental effect or a demographic effect?

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/coronavirus-comes-detroit-why-certain-michigan-residents-are-higher-risk-n1172096

Posted in Health Care | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Problem Solvers release plan

PelosiWe’re working hard to get immediate relief to the American people during this Coronavirus outbreak…–Rep. Tom Reed

 

The Problem Solvers Caucus’ proposed recommendations include:

  1.  Economic Response for Businesses, Employees and the Self-Employed
  • Immediate, Direct Financial Payments to IndividualsLimited only to the crisis, significantly increase unemployment insurance benefits, including payment amounts, for hourly and salaried workers, under a certain income threshold. This relief should focus on mid-to-low-income workers and furloughed workers. Provisions to be made for freelancers and the self-employed to ensure the same relief.
  • Bridge Loans to Help Keep Businesses in Business: Low-or-zero-interest loans to businesses of all sizes willing to keep their employees (furlough, but preserving benefits) in their positions during the coronavirus crisis.  Must include long-term repayment options, and not exclude any industries.
  • Allow Individuals and Businesses to Defer Mortgage Payments and RentDuring the national crisis, stay all foreclosure and evictions proceedings.
  • Contract and Insurance Protections for Existing Contract and Business Insurance PoliciesLegislatively declare the coronavirus a public health crisis, and, as such, a qualifying event for all existing force majeure contract provisions and business interruption insurance policies.
  • Loan Deferral and Forbearance: Develop and allow loan deference, modification, and forbearance mechanisms for individuals and businesses of all sizes, during the crisis (e.g. mortgages, lines of credits, student loans, and other qualifying loans).
  • Refundable Tax Credit to Employers for Employee RetentionDuring the crisis, provide immediately advanceable, refundable tax credits for employee retention by employers — including maintaining employment status or providing benefits for furloughed employees.

 

  1.  Health Care & Food Security Needs
  • Speed Testing to Market: Provide additional regulatory relief at FDA and CDC for market-based testing solutions and essential supplies (e.g. testing kits, ventilators, PPEs, reagent supply, and hospital conversion).
  • Childcare Enhancement: Reflecting new work and school environment, enact childcare assistance policies and regulatory relief to provide childcare coverage during term of crisis.
  • Price GougingEnact applicable measures to strictly enforce anti-price gouging measures.
  • Medical Personnel and Supplies:  Where available, deploy federal government excess medical personnel and equipment capacity, including military sources (e.g. vents), to affected areas needing service.
  • GI Benefits: Correct the technical glitch, so that, during this time of crisis, veterans can utilize GI benefits for online learning.

 

  1. Infrastructure Investment: Passage of a significant infrastructure package which would stimulate job growth and allow for borrowing at historically-low interest rates.

These seem reasonable; I wonder how many will be enacted? Support for Hospitals and people who must work–doctors, nurses, pharmacists, public servants, grocery clerks–should be considered. We need somehow to stop those who endanger themselves and others with indifference. What else was missed?

https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/problem-solvers-caucus-release-health-crisis-economic-revival-package/

Posted in Economics, Health Care, Reed's Views | Tagged , , , | 42 Comments

Government of, by, and for the Government.

spyErik Prince, the security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration, has in recent years helped recruit former American and British spies for secretive intelligence-gathering operations that included infiltrating Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda, according to interviews and documents.–New York Times

Mark Mazzette and Adam Goldman, reporting in a front page article in The New York Times for Sunday, March 8, report on infiltration of domestic organizations by operatives with close ties to the Trump Administration.

Erik Prince, the brother of controversial Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, is linked to efforts to infiltrate and damage the National Federation of Teachers, which Secretary DeVos has attacked as having a stranglehold on politicians.

Whether or not the Trump Administration can be directly linked to spies working on its behalf, these activities aren’t fair play. Moles, hidden cameras, stolen documents have no place in our society. Even though Nixon had to resign and courts have ruled against these practices repeatedly, they go on unrestrained. Rather than government of, by, and for the people, this is government of, by and for government.

 

 

Posted in Campaigning, Education, Political, Rights | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Can Trump pardon Stone?

pundit…he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.–Article II, Section 2 of The Constitution

ooooo

Can Trump pardon Stone? Professor Corey Brettschneider, writing for Politico, claims he can’t.

Brettschneider writes:

Many scholars agree that once a president has been impeached, he or she loses the power to pardon anyone for criminal offenses connected to the articles of impeachment. Less noticed is that even after the Senate’s failure to convict the president, he or she does not regain this power.

  1. Is Corey Brettschneider’s argument valid?
  2. Is Stone’s case a “Case of Impeachment?”
  3. Could VP Pence pardon Stone?
  4. Who would have standing to challenge a pardon in court?

There is no precedent; the Supreme Court would have to decide.

 

Corey Brettschneider is professor of political science at Brown University and visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School. He is the author of The Oath and the Office: A Guide To the Constitution For Future Presidents.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/02/27/trump-pardon-roger-stone-constitution-117757

 

Posted in Trump | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

Colorado Wilderness Act of 2019

H.R. 2546 — Colorado Wilderness Act of 2019

CRS Summary:

This bill designates specified lands in Colorado managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the Forest Service as wilderness and as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

The bill designates specified lands in Colorado administered by the BLM, the National Park Service, and Bureau of Reclamation as wilderness and as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Such lands shall be incorporated into the West Elk Wilderness.

The Department of the Interior may continue authorizing competitive running events currently permitted in the Redcloud Peak Wilderness and Handies Peak Wilderness Areas.

The Colorado Army National Guard, through the High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site, may conduct aerial navigation training maneuver exercises over the wilderness areas designated by this bill.

The bill designates specified lands managed by the BLM as (1) potential wilderness areas, and (2) as the Pisgah East Wilderness and the Pisgah West Wilderness upon publication by Interior of a notice in the Federal Register that all nonconforming uses of such lands authorized by this bill have ceased.

The bill provides for the securing, adjudication, and use of U.S. water rights for certain of the wilderness areas designated by this bill.

Amendments offered:

Amendment House Reed’s vote      Issue

DeGette (D)              YES         NO    Additional Areas

McClintock (R)         NO          YES   Require local approval

McClintock (R)        NO          YES   Exclude areas

Panetta (D)               YES          YES Manage fire, insects *

Brown (D)                YES           Voice Vote Consider veterans

Westerman (R)      NO            YES Exempt areas

Westerman (R)       NO            YES Strike all areas

Cunningham (D)  YES            YES Allow military overflights *

Tipton (R)               NO             YES   Study effect on military

Tipton (R)               YES             voice vote Study military aviation training

Kilmer (R)              YES             voice vote Respect states rights

Schrer (D)              YES             voice vote Study flooding

A motion to recommit failed. On passage, the bill was approved 231-183. Rep. Reed voted NO. This bill is likely doomed in the Senate.

*Except in two cases where approval was nearly unanimous, bipartisan Tom Reed was out of step with the majority.

http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.aspx?day=20200212

 

 

 

 

Posted in Environmental | Tagged | 1 Comment

Richard Nixon Wants a Retrial

thumbs-upThis letter by Rev. Gary McCaslin appeared in the Corning Leader on Sunday February 2, 2020. It is posted here with permission of the author.

Richard Nixon Wants a Retrial

We have heard the essence of Trump’s defense from Alan Dershowitz: “The President can do whatever he wants as long as he is doing it in the best interest of the country and the American people. Even if he gets caught in the process, our President hasn’t done anything wrong. Nothing actually happened that could be called impeachable because the defense money was delivered to Ukraine, Zelensky got his meeting and all is well.”

Now imagine Richard Nixon in heaven. Upon waking from a celestial nap, he hears the news of Trump’s dismissal and his first words are: “Wait a minute! I want a retrial! I never imagined such a creative defense! Please remember: ‘I am not a crook.’”

Nixon continues, “Yes there was a Watergate break-in and the burglars had money in their pockets from the Committee to Re-Elect the President, but the plan was foiled and nothing really happened. In addition, every effort to discover dirt about the Democrats to help my re-election was all done in the best interest of the American people.”

As we come back to reality, we recognize this as a preposterous scenario. However, the Dershowitz defense now protects the President more than the Constitution. In addition, with a unified Republican Congress, it is unlikely the two parties will ever be able to work together again. Any possible collaboration is met with a barrage of presidential tweets that demean, ridicule and reveal a President whose communication skills simply mirror those of a schoolyard bully.

We can do better America ~ we must elect a new President and a Congress who will restore our land to one that is ruled by the Constitution and not by a power-hungry dictator.

Posted in Trump | Tagged , | 4 Comments