Joe Biden Officially Wins 2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination; No One Notices, Cares

After a batch of state primaries you probably didn’t hear about yesterday, Joe Biden is now the official winner of the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. But then again, you probably didn’t hear about that either, because Biden is not only one of the least exciting Democratic candidates in history — even compared to Hillary — but we also have bigger fish to fry right now.

You might be thinking “coronavirus” when we say “bigger fish to fry,” and it’s true, COVID-19 is still a fairly big problem in the United States. By the time Election Day comes around, it might be an even bigger problem. Especially when considering how brutal fights over whether or not to open up universal absentee ballots are likely to become. But coronavirus isn’t the fish we’re talking about.

Truth be told, there’s a long list of bigger fish.

First and foremost, unrest. Many have noted that the U.S. has perhaps hit an inflection point during which we’re forced to deal with our institutionalized racial bias against African Americans. But the truth is that few Republicans are rethinking their party’s values when it comes to “black lives mattering” or their rights in general. With a president who is working to divide our country like never before, it’s difficult to see the current unrest or polarization declining in time for Election Day. If anything, it will likely become worse.

And then there’s the distinct possibility that Trump loses the Electoral College by a slim margin. Can you see it happening? We can. Can you see Trump conceding defeat to Joe Biden, who he’s been calling a criminal for the last, well, for as long as we can remember? We cannot.

No matter who wins the presidency in 2020, it seems most likely that the divide between the two major political parties will only grow stronger — and that means more unrest in the early months of 2021, after one president or the other is sworn in during a growing upheaval.

It’s Time To Admit That Joe Biden Has Won The 2020 Democratic Nomination For President

Bernie Sanders supporters won’t want to hear this — and for good reason — but Joe Biden has created an insurmountable lead. Sanders is down and out through some incredible misfortune, but is that a good thing? It’s almost as if the current viral outbreak is tailor-made to tell the people of our country, “Vote for the guy who wants you to have paid sick days and guaranteed healthcare!” But we weren’t listening.

The novel coronavirus covid-19 is extremely dangerous — far more so than most of us realize. 

Reproduction rates are difficult to calculate. These numbers, however, show us how many people a virus could potentially infect. For example, the flu has a value of R1.3. That means that a person infected with the seasonal flu will infect another 1.3 people on average. It has a fatality rate of only .1 percent, which seems quite low until you see how many people die each year — approximately 645,000 people around the world.

Many of us have taken to sharing memes on social media websites. They take a supposed expert’s viewpoint that we shouldn’t be panicking. And while that may be true, they leave out important information when comparing coronavirus to the flu. After all, they say, covid-19 hasn’t killed that many people, while the flu kills hundreds of thousands every year!

Covid-19 has a value between 2.0 and 2.5. That means a person infected with covid-19 is likely to infect at least two more people with the virus. The presumed fatality rate of covid-19 is around 2 percent (although it may fall significantly when we gather more data), and varies by country. Today marks the day we’ve hit over 200,000 cases and only around 8,000 deaths. No big deal, right?

Until you start making more meaningful comparisons. For example, the Spanish flu of 1918 killed up to 50 million people when the world’s population was much lower. Certainly, it hit people at the height of WWI, and that was a major cause of its spread. However, it killed those tens of millions of people with a rating of only R1.8 — meaning covid-19 is more contagious than the Spanish flu.

The Spanish flu also had a fatality rate of around 2.5 percent, making it only minutely more deadly than the current outbreak. That’s why governments are starting to take such drastic measures to prevent the spread of this virus. Because they’re finally starting to wake up to the reality of what it might actually do.

Sanders’ policies — had they already been implemented before this outbreak — would have prevented much of the heartache that will follow. We’re on the brink of financial and personal disaster, and it’s up to us to find a way to deal with it pragmatically. Thus far, we haven’t showed we have the motivation to do that.

Common Criticisms Of Bernie Sanders — And Why They’re Nonsense!

Everyone has an opinion on Bernie Sanders. As the race for 2020 heats up, so do the criticisms that candidates must endure. Somehow, the Democratic field is still crowded going into South Carolina on February 29, and then Super Tuesday on March 3 — when many of the nation’s delegates are up for grabs. Sanders is currently the clear frontrunner, but there are plenty of opinion pieces cropping up about how his apparent lead is a mirage. Are they right?

Short answer: No.

The longer answer requires a closer look at those criticisms. We’ve all heard about how his win in New Hampshire is blunted because it was so much more decisive in 2016, when he won against Hillary Clinton by more than twenty points. But how is that fair? How is that a sensible criticism? In 2016, it was basically one man, one woman race. In 2020, there are at least seven candidates who could still claim delegates on Super Tuesday!

Another common criticism says that Bernie’s winning streak is only due to the delegate split between opposing moderate candidates. That also makes little sense based on the information that we have.

First, polls don’t just request information on who participants would like to see win the Democratic nomination. Those polls request information on second choices. The data shows something peculiar: even Joe Biden’s supporters would split off to the Bernie camp in a plurality over other candidates. Moderates dropping out of the race wouldn’t necessarily hurt his chances of winning. 

One has to ask why that’s the case. Well, we know the answer to that too. Polls also show us that voters want the person most likely to beat Trump in 2020 to win the nomination — which is why they’re still supporting moderates. What happens if they realize that Sanders has won in head to head matchups against Trump for five years running? According to most polls, he’s got the best shot of beating Trump even if no one realizes it.

And anyone with half a brain knows what happens when Elizabeth Warren drops out of the race, as she will almost certainly do after Super Tuesday. Her supporters are also far more likely to follow Bernie. His lead over the other candidates is extremely solid — and much of the mainstream media (MSM) isn’t giving him the credit where it is due.

Many also contend that Sanders has no support. In Congress, that may be true. But that’s a symptom of a legislative branch that won’t actually represent the people more than a single senator who doesn’t have the support of the people. Bernie has the support. Congress just doesn’t care.

For information on bills that Bernie Sanders has written or cosponsored, check his Govtrack page.

Does Trump’s Behavior Constitute “High Crimes and Misdemeanors?”

We’ll answer the question outright: Yes. Trump’s lawyers have argued that his activities as POTUS do not rise to the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors, the bar required for a public official’s impeachment. They say that articles of impeachment must relate to a crime committed (which is contradictory to arguments already explored by the president’s supporters, i.e. that he can’t even be impeached no matter what, because he’s president).

But is that true?

It comes down to what the framers of the United States Constitution actually meant when they used those words. To know that, we need to know the definitions of “high crimes and misdemeanors” as they were in the late 1700s when the clause was actually written into the document.

The definitions of those words back then were a lot different than they are now. Generally, they described behavior by public officials who had violated the public trust in some way. Alexander Hamilton — one of our Founding Fathers — said as much in his Federalist Paper No. 65. And that’s very much in line with how public officials have actually been impeached since the provision was written.

There’s a lot of precedent for impeachment, but law professor Frank Bowman says that it basically gets thrown out every time someone new is put through the gauntlet. “The defenders of the impeached officer always argue, always, that a crime is required. And every time that misconception has to be knocked down again.”

He exemplified the meaning behind his statement further: “Let’s say the president were to wake up tomorrow morning and says, ‘All this impeachment stuff is kind of getting on my nerves. I think I’m going to Barbados for six months. Don’t call me, I’ll call you,’ and just cuts off all contact and refuses to do his duty.”

“That’s not a crime,” he says. “It’s not violating a law. But could we impeach him? Of course we could — otherwise what’s the remedy? We have a country without a president.”

Gerald Ford famously said: “An impeachable offense is whatever the majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”

Although many legal scholars might take issue with that statement, and there’s also a lot of precedent that goes into the decision-making process, it’s certainly more in line with the truth.

Oh, and news flash: the president did commit a crime. The Government Accountability Office finally released its report on whether or not the Trump administration broke the law by withholding Congressionally appropriated monies from Ukraine, ruling that, indeed, he did.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the ruling explained. “OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act.”

Does It Matter Why Trump Held Up Money Bound For Ukraine?

Not everyone is following the televised impeachment hearing testimony. If you’re not, then here are the highlights: Democrats are trying to make a case that President Trump held up a Ukraine security aid package in order to extort or bribe “a favor” from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It’s a good case based on the facts. 

Republicans are saying that the Democrats are all wrong, and that the only reason they’re moving forward on impeachment is because that was the plan since Trump was elected. They say that Trump held up security aid because he was disturbed by corruption in Ukraine, which is why he asked for investigations regarding long-ago debunked conspiracy theories he himself helped make popular. Trump, there, is not guilty of high crimes or misdemeanors, they say. It’s a bad case based on voter sentiment and emotion, but not the fact.

But then again, it doesn’t really matter what story you believe: Trump blatantly committed illegal acts by holding up the money for any reason — because he didn’t notify Congress that he was doing it.

You see, the power of the American purse belongs to Congress — and only Congress.

The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (ICA) was written in order to guarantee that a president couldn’t just willy-nilly subvert the law and take that power away from Congress to instead meet the purported needs of the Executive branch. But that’s exactly what Trump did.

The law was written because other presidents have tried to do exactly the same thing in the past. Nixon decided to withhold Congressionally appropriated monies if he didn’t agree with how or where they were to be spent. The ICA gives presidents the ability to impound or defer Congressionally appropriated monies only for certain reasons, none of which jive with “I was worried about corruption, but only after you caught me.”

And it’s that Republican defense that really rubs everyone else the wrong way. They say that there was no wrong done because Trump eventually released the security aid package to Ukraine. The problem is, he didn’t do this until Congress found out he was holding it up in the first place — something he is, by law, required to tell them about under the ICA. More than that, he’s required to tell them why he thinks he has the authority to do it. He did no such thing.

That’s illegal — and certainly meets the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors required to impeach a sitting president. He withheld Congressionally approved money illegally, he failed to give a reason for his decision (and still hasn’t); also illegal, and what’s more, we know that the Trump administration was told that these were illegal acts and how to follow the law — but he decided to break it anyway. That’s as blatant an overreach of presidential authority as there has ever been.

Are Democrats Really As Divided As They Seem Headed Into The 2020 Election?

If there’s one thing we keep hearing on repeat no matter the bias of the mainstream news we choose to consume, it’s this: the Democratic party is a deeply divided one. But it’s important to remember that people said the same thing about the Republican party headed into 2016 — and look how that turned out. If you listen to the talking heads, it’s a tug of war between progressive Democrats and moderate Democrats.

But that’s a load of hooey. 

A plurality of Americans define themselves as Independent. It means they might typically swing further left or further right, but they want to choose the best man (or woman) for the job. According to a September 2019 Gallup poll, only about 29 percent of Americans identify as Republican. Only 31 percent identify as Democrat. 49 percent on those who identify as Independent lean left while 44 percent lean right.

The Republican party is extremely influential. Those on the core right are extremely well-versed in convincing everyone else that their party is better for the economy or that those on the left will take their guns or convert the country to socialism (which most people fail to adequately define or understand, but that’s an entirely different topic).

None of that is true. The Constitution can be amended, but if you believe that it can be amended enough to change the core of America into a socialist machine, you should probably be taken out of the equation entirely. It’s impossible.

And Democrats want gun control. They don’t want to take everyone’s guns away. Liberal or conservative, Americans are not divided on this issue. 

More important are the other issues that could be determining the outcome of elections. Most people say they vote for a better economy. But they’re obviously not voting based on facts. Over the last hundred years, Democrats in office have delivered far faster growth, on average, than their Republican counterparts. 

And then there are the beliefs that the majority — different than a plurality — of Americans believe. Here are a few of the most relevant to the modern era:

An awe-inspiring 82 percent of us believe that the ultra-rich have too much control over politics (that means those people should be voting Democrat).

A whopping 69 percent believe big business has too much control over politics (that means they should be voting Democrat). 78 percent are for increased regulations. Democrat again.

82 percent believe inequality is a big problem. Democrat.

96 percent believe money is the core problem for our broken political system. Democrat, Democrat, Democrat.

80 percent believe we should make sure corporations are paying their fair share of taxes. Democrat!

60 percent believe the government should make sure each of us has access to healthcare coverage. Democrat.

63 percent believe four-year colleges should be free. Democrat.

76 percent are concerned about climate change. Democrat.

84 percent believe in universal background checks for all gun purchases. Democrat. 

The list goes on, and on, and on. Turns out we’re not that divided at all.

Will Trump Impeachment Help Him Get Reelected?

There’s a reason why Nancy Pelosi was so reluctant to impeach Donald Trump for so long. She knows that when Republicans launched the same attack on former president Bill Clinton, it hurt them in the next round of elections. She doesn’t want impeachment to have the same end for Trump and his Republican cronies that it did for the Democrats when Clinton was impeached. Trump, after all, thrives the most when he is enveloped in chaos. 

That’s why impeachment might just help him get reelected in 2020.

There’s also a more critical matter to consider: all the news surrounding inevitable impeachment is stealing time away from the Democratic candidates for 2020, who haven’t been seen or heard from since the whole Ukraine situation exploded — even though they’re still on the campaign trail, fighting hard for their chance at the highest office in the world.

If the impeachment inquiry were to drag on, this trend would likely continue. That’s why it’s in Pelosi’s best interest to end it as quickly as possible. And that seems to be her gambit, which is why the White House is doing its best to run interference and stall for as long as possible. The fiasco emboldens Trump supporters and mutes everyone else’s. 

There’s also the reality that impeachment will likely end up going nowhere. Mitch McConnell has no choice but to move forward with a “trial” if Trump is impeached, but he also gets to decide how long the trial takes. He’ll probably hurry it along, but he could also delay or spread out proceedings to interfere with Democratic campaigns. 

Then there’s another possibility: the Senate might actually remove Trump from office, even though they seem to be in complete support. The loudest Republican voices have already turned on him for abandoning the Kurds to a potential invasion by Turkey. For a party that has continually defended him no matter what, this is a huge change of pace. It’s not like this is the first egregious decision Trump has made while in office. It’s only the most recent, and the cacophony of voices deriding his choice is loud and clear.

Add that to the fact that Republicans voted alongside Democrats in the Senate to pass a non-binding measure saying that Trump should release the whistleblower complaint and call transcript (he subsequently did), and something funny seems to be happening in Congress.

If all that weren’t enough, former Trump executive Barbara Res said she believes he will resign to save face before properly impeached. We know he doesn’t want the stain on his presidency, and we know he’s always out for himself. Leaving office would catapult Pence into the spotlight for reelection prospects, and while we know how Trump’s base feels about Trump — we have no idea if that excitement extends to the vice president.

Democrats might have an easier path to the presidency in 2020 than anyone expects.

How Many Democrats Have Already Dropped Out Of The 2020 Presidential Field?

Those who decided to run in the 2020 presidential race made a few assumptions about how their campaigns would likely play out. One of those assumptions was, at least in part, based on how the previous Republican race played out in 2016. With quite a few people to choose from, potential candidates were up and down and all around in the polls. But that isn’t what happened in the Democratic race for the White House this year.

While Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders have all grappled for those top three spots, polls have remained mostly unchanged since they announced their candidacies. Those who have struggled to pull themselves up from the bottom have basically failed to gain any real momentum.

That’s led quite a few to drop out of the race already: Mike Gavel, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper, Seth Moulton and Eric Swalwell will no longer be seeking the nomination.

Many of those who dropped out hadn’t qualified for the upcoming debates, which will now be held with only a single group during one night. Others said their decisions were based on what they can do for their country now when a run for the presidency would likely only amount to wasted time and resources.

Many of these drop-outs will seek reelection to past offices where they can prevent Republicans from gaining office.

One of the biggest names on the list was that of Gillibrand, who said, “A woman nominee would be inspiring and exciting. [But] I will support whoever the nominee is, and I will do whatever it takes to beat Trump.”

And then there’s one of the biggest underdogs on the list, Inslee, who said, “I’m going to help all the other candidates raise their level of ambition on [climate change.] We need all of them to raise their game.”

Inslee was the only candidate who made the entire campaign about the challenges we face when trying to avert climate change disasters, but his arguments failed to persuade the people — and the DNC has refused to hold a climate change debate.

Candidate Joe Biden still remains the strongest contender in the race, but many have argued his policies are too moderate to guarantee (or even make likely) his election in a progressively left-leaning party. 

If Sanders or Warren were to drop out of the race before the primary season begins, many political analysts wonder whether or not the tide would begin to shift against Biden. Supporters of the former two candidates know they have similar policies, so it makes sense that they would flip to the other side rather than lend their support to Biden, who has consistently been maligned for his age and failing performance.

What Are The 2020 Democratic Candidates Doing About Man-Made Climate Change?

Joe Biden remains one of the top contenders to attain the highest office in the world, but from an environmental point of view he might be one of the least ambitious. While he does plan to reduce emissions to zero by 2050, and that sounds good, the science says that we don’t have nearly that much time to make it happen. 2030 might not be politically realistic, but as Washington Governor Jay Inslee said to Biden: “Survival is realistic.”

Inslee is the candidate with the most explosive plan for battling man-made climate change. Other top-tier candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have offered their own, but they aren’t nearly as detailed as Inslee’s. His entire campaign is about this one issue, because he (rightfully) believes it’s the most important obstacle humanity has ever faced.

Speaking to Biden at one of the Democratic debates, he said: “These deadlines are set by science. The science says we have to get off coal in ten years. Your plan does not do that. We have to get off of fossil fuels from our electric grid in fifteen. Your plan simply does not do that.”

Biden’s plan really does provide people with something to chew on: his policy idea to double the number of offshore turbines is a good one until you find out that the United States only has one working — and doubling the number to two won’t do us much good. His idea to make sure we have 500,000 charging stations for electric cars sounds great until you find out that the U.S. has nearly 300 million gas guzzling vehicles on the road — and a half-million charging stations won’t really make a dent.

Inslee’s ideas are far more concrete, and far more based on what we can actually achieve — even though they sound far-fetched. Perhaps the most controversial idea he has is actually killing the Senate filibuster so Democrats have a better chance of implementing new policies in the future.

What other policy proposals are found within Inslee’s plan? First and foremost, he wants to bring back and then invigorate the environmental protections dismantled by the Trump Administration. He would build a stronger EPA. He would go after corporations for the damage they’ve done to our fragile environment. He would hold people who pollute accountable for their actions. Fracking, fossil fuel subsidies, coal and oil: they would all become stories of a terrible past.

He plans to make all new vehicles and buildings 100 percent net zero-emission by 2030. All electricity would be made carbon-neutral within the same time period.

Are these dreams big and bold? Yes. But they’re what we need right now. Any less, and our world may not make it through the century.

An Idiot’s Guide To The 2020 Democratic Candidates: Part 3

Folks, they have literally not stopped. The Democratic contenders for the presidency continue to line up, all vying for the public eye and greater political trust. The first two debates have already passed us by, and it seems most people saw Elizabeth Warren having won night one, and Kamala Harris on night two. Here are the final ten Democrats in the running for 2020 (so far):

  • Julian Castro. Once considered a potential candidate for Hillary Clinton’s running mate, he was also Obama’s former Housing and Urban Development Secretary back when titles meant something when you worked in the White House.
  • John Hickenlooper. Why do we love him? He’s against the fool’s war on drugs. He oversaw Colorado’s marijuana legalization and stricter gun laws, including universal background checks.
  • Jay Inslee. He’s focusing on climate change for his platform, and has some experience behind his campaign: he spent time in the U.S. House of Representatives before winning the Washington Governorship.
  • Amy Klobuchar. She’s serving her fourth term as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota, part of the region where Trump faltered in stunning fashion during the 2016 election.
  • Wayne Messam. His parents were Jamaican (have the birther comments started yet?) but he was born here in the states. This African American candidate had a successful college football career before going into construction. Success seems to follow him wherever he goes, because he got into politics to become mayor of Miramar, Florida.
  • Seth Moulton. He’s a guy most comfortable in military uniform, and he served in Iraq, after which he was given the Bronze Star Medal. He was also awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his service.
  • Beto O’Rourke. He’s an older gent with almost boyish good looks, and he loves to stand on tables. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives and nearly bested Senator Ted Cruz during last year’s race. He curses on occasion, and we love him for it.
  • Tim Ryan. Perhaps no one would recognize his name if he hadn’t recently tried to sweep Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House (he failed if you hadn’t noticed). He acquired a law degree while in New Hampshire, but he resides in Ohio.
  • Eric Swalwell. He is currently serving his fourth term as a representative from California, and has built his platform on “buying back” America’s assault weapons. Best of luck, buddy.
  • Marianne Williamson. She’s a jack of all trades, successful in business, teaching, and has already run for office in the U.S. House of Representatives in California as an independent, where she came in fourth. She’ll have to prove she can go a lot further than that if she wants to continue in this race.

Recently, ten of the contenders traveled to Houston, Texas to talk about schools, teachers, and testing in order to make their views on America’s educational system a little more obvious. Some of the public attendees spoke about their fears for our current healthcare system: what happens when you have an accident and cannot pay? Thankfully, the Ceja Law Firm can help if you reside in Texas. Check out their website.