Mitrano and Reed on election integrity

Tracy MitranoWhat a difference! Mitrano proposes to do more, Reed even less.

Tom Reed tells us what we have been told repeatedly much of our lives: “Better dead than red; Russia is not our friend.” Describing Russian activity as “meddling” trivializes a hostile attack on our country. Mischaracterization of the Mueller investigation–limited to a search for collusion with Americans, undermines faith in democratic electoral process–reflects Reed’s commitment to extreme partisanship rather than the public interest.

While Mitrano’s statement also lacks detail, Mitrano offers support for US intelligence services, identifies foreign interference in elections–cyberwarfare–as a problem and proposes to address it.

What few dare say is that foreign interference did succeed in changing the course of history in 2016, and unless we take action, will succeed again and again in the future.

election meddling

Tracy Mitrano’s statement

PENN YAN — In response to the president’s excruciating July 16 press conference in Helsinki, Tom Reed offered the weakest of statements. Using playground language—“Russia is not our friend,” “meddling”—Reed called for an end to the Mueller investigation while never once standing up for the outstanding work of our intelligence community and justice department.

Neither Reed nor the president takes cyberattacks seriously, because neither Reed nor the president understands them. As a cybersecurity expert, I am certain that 21st-century warfare will be cyberwarfare. The hacking of 2016 was just the first skirmish, and I want to make sure that America is well-fortified into the future. Right now, we are terribly vulnerable, and neither Congress nor our executive is doing anything to improve our position.

We have three branches of government so that no one branch will have too much power. Our district must send a person to Congress who will question and push back against dangerous or craven executive speech and actions. Tom Reed is not that person; I will be.

Posted in 2018, Congress, Political, Reed's Views, Trump | Tagged , , | 3 Comments


disruption.jpgWe are going to hold China accountable and I believe the President made it very clear, he was going to disrupt our trade not only with China, but with others across the world looking for that fair and balanced trade opportunity.–Rep. Tom Reed, facebook, July 11, 2018

Kudos and a tip of the hat to Phil Ebersole whose work is cited below.

An American President is most effective when playing a lone hand–making up alternative facts, meeting in secret with foreign leaders, ignoring allied governments, members of Congress, and administration officials, and calling previous administration policies stupid.

No experience in politics is necessary; the right, bright person will know what to do. The fake media and so-called experts are always wrong, so why pay attention to them? As for administration officials, family members, Fox News personalities, and cronies will do as well as any. Read a brief, why bother?

Kim said he favored disarmament; that’s good enough. Putin says he favors good relations with the US; why not? I don’t know why he would interfere with our election, so I think he didn’t do that.

Collusion started with the Democrats, treason started with the Democrats, and now the Democrats are trying to point the finger in the other direction to keep the heat off of them. What’s up with the four hundred million that Hillary received ? What’s up with the billions Obama gave Iran? What’s up with the uranium deal that Hillary made? What’s up with the left trying to blame the right for all the problems created during the Obama Administration. The treason runs deep in the Democratic Party and has for a long time. (harvested from facebook)

“I care about ensuring that American workers are competing on an even playing field. We need to negotiate trade agreements that are fair to the American worker, which is why I support the President in placing tariffs on China. For years, bad foreign actors, such as China, have taken advantage of these trade deals and hurt many of our companies in the process. It’s time to implement new trade policies so that we have rules in place that are realistic and enforceable so that American businesses can create jobs and enhance our economy.”–Rep. Tom Reed

This record setting optimism is no accident. It is a reflection of the game-changing tax reform passed six months ago. Manufacturers are expecting surges in hiring, investments and wages as a result.–Rep Tom Reed, facebook, June 22, 2018


Posted in 2018, Congress, Political, President, Reed's Views, trade, Trump | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Nuclear Weapons



If Kim Jong-un does not commit to peace it will only leave the United States with the option of military force.–Rep. Tom Reed, facebook

Once the Soviet Union exploded a hydrogen bomb, it was clear that nuclear war was out of the question. A compromise was reached–the AEC continued to make bombs which now were to be used for deterrence. The theory was that no country would dare to use these weapons if “mutually assured destruction” would be the consequence.  Eventually it became clear that significant use of these weapons would be self-destructive–nuclear winter and radiation poisoning. Keeping large numbers of nuclear weapons for deterrence no longer made sense.

About seventy years ago, my school class practiced “duck and cover.” When we saw the flash of a nuclear explosion, we were supposed to quickly duck under our school desks. I don’t know if anyone thought this would keep us safe.

We built “fallout shelters.” These were intended to create an illusion of safety, to alloy fear of nuclear war. I don’t know if Elmira was ever on a list for a nuclear bomb, but some houses here still have shelters in the basement.

In the 1960s, power company employees were shown a movie explaining that nuclear war was a realistic possibility not to be feared. The movie explained that transmission lines and transformers would survive. We were given an alternate work location in case the company offices were destroyed and told to report to work to help restore electric power as soon as the “all clear” was given. By then I knew this was nonsense.

Forty years ago, more or less, I attended a lecture in Detroit by physicist Hans Bethe on nuclear disarmament. Bethe favored disarmament, but maintained that the goal of completely eliminating nuclear weapons was unrealistic. He said the USA should retain a minimum number of nuclear weapons for deterrence, an opinion that was loudly challenged by his mostly anti-war audience.

To some extent, Bethe’s views have been vindicated. Some nuclear disarmament has occurred, the US maintains far more than a minimum of these weapons, and none has been used in war since 1945. One might think the deterrence policy has been successful, and perhaps it has been responsible for forestalling nuclear war.

The deterrence policy works when all agree that first use is unthinkable. When President Trump threatens to destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons or Iran’s nuclear installations, whether the first use of nuclear weapons is threatened or not, deterrence is threatened. An attack aimed at destroying nuclear weapons whoever has them, signals the end of the policy of deterrence, since deterrence can no longer be trusted. This could have terrible consequences.

Russia and the United States aren’t the only countries subscribing to deterrence. Others include China, India, Pakistan, and Israel. I don’t think N. Korea plans war; they have too much to lose and nothing to gain. Deterrence should work with Korea as well as with other countries.

Nuclear weapons and ICBMs aren’t the only danger. Nuclear weapons might be moved to the target in a truck, a ship, or a submarine. Chemical and biological weapons are  a threat to life on earth as the poisonings in Britain remind us.

I left Bethe’s lecture undecided–I respected Bethe’s opinion but would feel safer if nuclear armaments could be wiped out like smallpox. US Korea policy has prevented war for more than fifty years; nuclear deterrence has been effective even longer. I fear the consequences if either is abandoned. I fear President Trump has no advisers nearly as wise as Hans Bethe.


Posted in Trump, War | Tagged , , | 9 Comments


In the Supreme Court of the United States, the Justices typically recuse themselves from participating in cases in which they have financial interests


I am not aware of an instance when a Justice chose to recuse due to nomination by a certain President.

Supreme Court Justices, once appointed to life terms, are supposed to be immune to improper influence. This assumption is false if Justices do act in the interest of the President who nominated them or their political party.  Could a Justice nominated by President Trump rule on a case in which Trump is a defendant? The answer may well be yes. It would be up to the Justice to decide. In the Nixon tapes case, Chief Justice Warren Burger and Justice Harry Blackmun, both nominated by Richard Nixon, participated.

When Justices Recuse, and When they Refuse


Posted in Constitution, Supreme Court, Trump | 4 Comments

NY-23 Unity Rallies in Corning & Olean

Many different, but similar collections of political grassroot groups have been working behind the scenes to energize the voters of the NY23rd. I don’t know, or need to know  the details of how they evolved from being unhappy constituents to leaders who fire-up hundreds to Town Hall Meetings, and Rep. Reed’s offices. sociologists and political historians may work on that later.

Two of these grassroot collections have organized rallies for this week to celebrate to the recent Democratic Campaign and Primary.

One will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, July 10) at from 5 PM to 6:15 at 89 West Market St  in Corning (the park next to Rep. Reed’s Office.) From their Facebook page:

The Democratic Primary for the 23rd Congressional District Seat is over and Tracy Mitrano is now the candidate for the Democratic Party! Citizens for a Better Southern Tier (CFABST) plans to hold a celebratory Unity Rally in Corning on Tuesday July 10th. CFABST has invited all five of the candidates for the Democratic Congressional Primary as well those running for local office to speak.

CFABST will have tables where anyone not yet registered to vote in the November 6 election may do so for any party they choose; a table for the Political Action Committee (a PAC seeking to have a responsive representative Congress); and a table with campaign literature for the winner of the June 26 primary.

Please come hear what the candidates have to say and how we can elect a Representative in November who will work tirelessly to create good jobs, to repair and build infrastructure, to improve quality of life for ALL of the citizens of the 23rd Congressional District.

Citizens for a Better Southern Tier is a non-partisan, peaceful grassroots organization that provides a voice to ensure all concerns are heard and addressed by their elected officials. Specifically, we are a group of 23rd District Independents, Democrats and disenfranchised Republicans who are seeking a representative who will stand up to injustice and fight for the people of the District. We will NEVER endorse any candidate; but based on his record, we do not think Congressman Reed is a person who represents us now, nor can do so in the future.

The second rally will be on Saturday, July 14 at Lincoln Park, 131 South Union Street in Olean. It starts at 2 PM. This is from the event Facebook page:

Join us as we come together in unity to celebrate the nomination of Democratic candidate Tracy Mitrano who will bring real representation to the 23rd Congressional district. Voters of all parties are encouraged to attend and express their support for the candidate. Sponsored by NY 23 United, a coalition of over 30 grassroots political organizations from across the 23rd district.

The event will include speeches by Tracy Mitrano and most of the other Democratic candidates for Congress. Also included will be tables where attendees can register to vote, pick up an absentee ballot, or sign up to help Tracy Mitrano’s campaign. Attendees should bring their own chairs or blankets if they wish to sit. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the John Ash Community Center, 112 N. Barry St. Olean, NY. Ms. Mitrano has also received the nominations of the Working Families Party and the Women’s Equality Party.

The Cook Political Report considerd the NY-23 as a “Solid Republican”. They look at numbers–number of registered voters from all parties andt the amounts for donations for each candidate.  It seems that they are not considering the enthusiasm of the electorate.

This is not the earlier NY23rd elections. We didn’t have rallies after the nominations of John Plumb, Martha Robertson, nor Nate Shinagawa. Things are different in 2018. We can defeat Tom Reed. It is not going to be easy. We will need to have a record voter turnout for a mid-term election.

The Unity Rallies will help. Thank you grassroots groups.

Posted in 2018, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Max’s & Tracy’s Statements







Max Della Pia conceded the congressional race to Tracy Mitrano this afternoon

From Max’s Facebook page:

I would like to congratulate Tracy Mitrano on her victory in the Democratic Primary. Although the final results of the primary election will not be certified until at least Thursday, it has become clear that the absentee ballots did not break in our favor. I believe it is important to begin the work of uniting as a party as soon as possible: that is why I am making this announcement this evening. I pledge to her my full support to ensure she defeats Tom Reed this fall.

I want to thank everyone who supported me through this year-long, primary process. First and foremost, I want to thank my wife, Nancy, my children, and my grandchildren. Each of them sacrificed something to get me this far. I missed the birth of our third grandchild, Olivia Rose; our 34th wedding anniversary; and time together. As a family, we decided it was worth it to try to make our country better and to serve, one more time. My life has always been about service and I do not regret my choice to run, not for a moment. It was a sacrifice, but it was well worth it.

To my volunteers and staff, thank you for your hard-work, your support and encouragement. You have all been amazing, sharing your gifts, your time, and your passion to make things better for our country and our district. Thank you. I am blessed to have you as friends for life. Each and everyone of you is a gift. Your engagement gives me hope for the future of our country, a country we all love. Always remember that you can make a difference. Don’t ever give up.

To my fellow primary candidates, I want to thank you all for your friendship, your commitment, and drive. We must all, as a team— work together—unified—to make sure a Democrat wins this district, in November. You, your families, and your volunteers, all sacrificed so much to help you. For all that sacrifice, I thank you.

Here’s the bottom line, folks—unless we all commit ourselves to work together and put all our shoulders to the wheel to win, all of our efforts up until now will be for naught. We are all better candidates because of each other. Each one of us. Now, working together, we can make a stronger, better party that can and must win in November. I have said, again and again, how very honored I am that the people of the 23rd District trusted me with their personal, and sometimes heartbreaking, stories. I have said I would work to help their stories have a happy ending. Let’s work together to make sure that still happens. The people of the 23rd District are counting on us. We can’t let them down. United, we can offer a future they deserve. Thank you all again, and onward to November!


From Tracy’s email:

This late afternoon, Max Della Pia called me to concede the NY-23 Democratic Primary. I thanked Max for stepping up to run and mobilizing a strong base of supporters.

I would also like to thank all of the candidates for their courage in taking that extra step and running for office. They saw the challenges facing our District, and devoted their money, hearts, and lives to help the country we all love. Thank you to:

* Karl Warrington, who campaigned with real heart;

* Charles Whalen, who brought keen analysis;

* Rick Gallant, who spoke so powerfully for teachers and unions;

* Eddie Sundquist, who so effectively reminded us how this district has been failed by poor congressional leadership;

* Linda Andrei, who shined a light on the importance of meaningful healthcare reform; and

* Ian Golden, who galvanized the people who have felt disenfranchised from politics.

I also want to thank everyone who voted in the NY-23 Democratic primary. You are the backbone, the driving force, the spirit behind our growing movement to put people first. I decided to run for office because of you.  I share this victory with each and every one of you.

This crowded primary election was tough. But it also has been a shining example of the energy and renewed civic duty that has broken out across America this year.

Now is the time to heal this district.  What we have in common is far greater than that which divides us.  Let’s re-establish accountability and common sense in our politics.  Let us join together, farmers and small business people, urban and rural, young and elderly, minority and majority populations, immigrants and native-born.  Let’s work toward health care, education, labor, and immigration reform; robust infrastructure of roads, transportation, and internet; let’s build the foundation that will attract new investment and bring 21st century jobs to this district.

But for tonight, let us celebrate!  Let’s celebrate the hope we feel among all people of this district, friends, neighbors and family, a community spirit towards Republicans and Independents and Democrats alike.  Together, let’s put people first.



Posted in 2018 | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

On Trump vs Hawaii




Under these circumstances, the Government has set
forth a sufficient national security justification to survive
rational basis review. We express no view on the soundness
of the policy. We simply hold today that plaintiffs
have not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the
merits of their constitutional claim.–Chief Justice Roberts for the Court


The First Amendment prohibits the establishment of
religion and promises the free exercise of religion. From
these safeguards, and from the guarantee of freedom of
speech, it follows there is freedom of belief and expression.
It is an urgent necessity that officials adhere to these
constitutional guarantees and mandates in all their actions,
even in the sphere of foreign affairs. An anxious
world must know that our Government remains committed
always to the liberties the Constitution seeks to preserve
and protect, so that freedom extends outward, and
lasts.–Justice Kennedy concurring


Declarations, anecdotal evidence, facts, and numbers
taken from amicus briefs are not judicial factfindings. The
Government has not had an opportunity to respond, and a
court has not had an opportunity to decide. But, given the
importance of the decision in this case, the need for assurance
that the Proclamation does not rest upon a “Muslim
ban,” and the assistance in deciding the issue that answers
to the “exemption and waiver” questions may provide,
I would send this case back to the District Court for
further proceedings. And, I would leave the injunction in
effect while the matter is litigated. Regardless, the
Court’s decision today leaves the District Court free to
explore these issues on remand.

If this Court must decide the question without this
further litigation, I would, on balance, find the evidence of
antireligious bias, including statements on a website
taken down only after the President issued the two executive
orders preceding the Proclamation, along with the
other statements also set forth in JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR’s
opinion, a sufficient basis to set the Proclamation aside.
And for these reasons, I respectfully dissent.–Justice Breyer


The United States of America is a Nation built upon the
promise of religious liberty. Our Founders honored that
core promise by embedding the principle of religious neutrality
in the First Amendment. The Court’s decision
today fails to safeguard that fundamental principle. It
leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and
unequivocally as a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims
entering the United States” because the policy now
masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns.
But this repackaging does little to cleanse Presidential
Proclamation No. 9645 of the appearance of discrimination
that the President’s words have created.
Based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer
would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by
anti-Muslim animus. That alone suffices to show that
plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their Establishment
Clause claim. The majority holds otherwise by
ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and
turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation
inflicts upon countless families and individuals,
many of whom are United States citizens. Because that
troubling result runs contrary to the Constitution and our
precedent, I dissent.–Justice Sotomayor


Posted in Immigration, Terrorism, Trump | 3 Comments