Saturday, August 20, 2022

A Discussion About Our President - Based upon Promises to Keep by Joe Biden - Continuing


I've been reading Promises to Keep off and on for weeks and have just a few pages to finish this weekend. As I read, I felt more and more aware of just how much knowledge and experience Joe Biden has! And how lucky we are to have this man as our president at this time in America...

First, again, I want to establish myself as a political animal. I am
"It was more about doing good
 than being good."

now a confirmed democrat--for Biden, but for many years of my life, in fact, probably the first six decades, I was a cat...Yes, a cat! You know, one who sleeps through life, eating when fed, or if feral, going out to search for food when hungry... Specifically, I knew who was president and some of the things happening, but in a full-time job that included long hours and much pressure, and from which I ultimately went into job burnout and walked out, well, I didn't have the time or take the time to know what was happening nationally and world-wide...

Probably just like the majority of Americans, right? Anyway, just because I wasn't sure I wanted to be a jackass, so I went out to google the meaning...and found this instead! LOL  I predict most of us will be just as confused except that the creator had been bullied and apparently felt we, as citizens, may often think of politicians as bullies? Let me know if you can add to this tail...LOL

Anyway, what I discovered more and more is that my choice for our president has some really sound basis for doing so--at least from my personal opinion. Consider this issue...even before I read this book, I was opposed to solicitation of funds for candidates from the citizens! Still am, for that matter, although I did break down and contribute to Biden...because of fear and my assurance that he was the right man at this time! My point of reference was my background in Personnel and then in academic administration where the university, itself, paid for advertising and interviewing potential candidates. To me, this made sense. We all had already contributed to the government through taxes. So, why wasn't our taxes used to search and seek out those to fill vacant positions. While I recognize that the government is far larger than the average corporation, it is also a decentralized organization, each with individual budget the head of each unit would need to plan for replacement of personnel, just as part of the normal annual budget planning. Believe me, it is really not a hard process to develop and operate an active personal services budget!

I admit though that I was surprised to see that Biden had written on this same subject!

Jim Eastland and I got off to a less auspicious start. I got crossways with him right away—on campaign finance reform. One of the few issues I really dug into my first year was election financing. There has been constant public plaint about public office being bought by big money and big corporations. And it’s a justifiable concern. 
Back in 1973 the liberals in the Senate were calling for reform along the lines of setting strict limits on individual and corporate campaign donations. But with another freshman, Dick Clark of Iowa, I was making the pitch for total public financing of elections, and Mansfield asked me to make a presentation about our proposal in the Democratic caucus. 
Freshmen rarely spoke in caucus, but I made my pitch. Once I got on a roll, I just kept going. Public confidence in the process was eroding with every election cycle, I reminded my Democratic colleagues, and the scandals surrounding the Nixon reelection campaign finances had been a new low point. Public financing was a way to win back the trust. We would never again have to worry about who our contributors were or what high crimes and misdemeanors stuck to them. It would free us all. We’d be beholden to no individual and no interest group. We’d be answerable to our true constituents only—the American people. 
And our proposal was simple: The government would finance every congressional election. A sitting officeholder, like those of us in the room, would get a certain amount of funding to work with, and because of the obvious advantages of incumbency, challengers would get that same amount plus an extra 10 percent. A minimal amount—a few dollars—from every tax return could easily fund federal elections, I explained. I’d done my homework; I had the math. When I finished talking and sat down, there was silence.
“Any comments?” Mansfield asked the room. Still dead silence. Nobody said a word. The senior leadership—Bob Byrd, Daniel Inouye, and Eastland—sat rock still at the front table. Eastland was chewing hard on his cigar. 
Later that day, in the cloakroom, Warren Magnusson literally yelled at me: “Biden, goddammit, get over here…. I want you to cut the crap. Shut it down. I didn’t spend thirty years in the U.S. Senate to give away my seat to some sniveling little jerk who got 10 percent more money than me.” 
But in the caucus that day, after the interminable silence, it was Eastland—and Eastland alone—who finally spoke up. “They tell me you’re the youngest man in the history of America ever elected to the U.S. Senate,” Eastland said, still chomping on his cigar. Actually, I was the second youngest ever elected, but it didn’t seem a good time to correct him. “Y’all keep making speeches like you made today,” Eastland continued, “and you gonna be the youngest one-term senator in the history of America.” 
With that Mansfield banged the gavel: “Adjourned!”

I REMEMBER FEELING that day like I was playing high school football again and I’d just taken my first tough hit of the season. Now I had to prove I wasn’t going to stay down. Game on. Let’s go. I was respectful of my colleagues, but I was not intimidated. I understood how improbable it would be to push through public financing of campaigns: When a rabidly conservative southerner like Eastland and a liberal westerner like Magnusson agreed on something with that sort of vigor, I knew I wasn’t going to find much support. But I didn’t back off; I was determined to push this. 
A few weeks later I testified before the Senate Rules and Administration Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections. And I was perfectly candid. I went on the record about my experiences with the machinists union and the wealthy investors in Delaware and the sense I got that their donations to my Senate campaign came with strings attached. I told the subcommittee members I believed the system turned off people who really wanted to be involved: “The small contributor, in my opinion, feels what in the hell difference does it make whether I make the small contribution because those Democrats are the product of big labor and those Republicans are the product of big business.” And I told them that we public officials were being ripped off by the system, too: “There is a great deal of pressure, in the one particular area at least, to prostitute our ideas, if not our integrity.” 
I believed then that real campaign finance reform is the fastest way to restore some measure of public confidence in the system. Nothing would do more to bind politicians to the average citizen than a guarantee of clean elections. Thirty-five years later I still believe that.

Well, folks, I have to say I was laughing in glee when I came upon this first "proposal" from our now President... No, he was not successful then or at any time since, but that did not change how he and I...and maybe YOU, feel about big money buying our government positions?

Consider the former president. Not only was big money following him, but he also didn't give up any ownership of businesses that could be controversial. And we all learned about how he would go weekly to golf or to his present home in Florida where he would invite people for meetings and thus bring big bucks not only for the meetings but for housing... Surely you are aware that many hotels in many areas complained that they weren't even able to attempt to solicit people to stay at their facilities, given that the "understanding" was clear where they would be staying... Of course, there was the excessive budget used for the presidential inauguration ball(s), the government rental of property in Trump Tower, and, of course, the infamous reason for his second impeachment when he attempted to bargain government funds in order for the president of Ukraine conducting an investigation on Biden's son's employment there. In face, there were routine issues that arrived for him and his staff that were questionable...yet never addressed! 

I won't go into all of the other ethics issues that took place while he was in office, including, for instance, a deal for his daughter, Ivanka's business, with the Chinese, based upon their "visiting" there for governmental reasons...

But, worse, let's look at what has happened since The Big Lie took control of the republican party... Trump continues to solicit donations from his followers for this or that "lie" that he has been charged with...and millions are rolling in, even while so many criminal charges are underway, including the latest on the Trump Organization which has resulted in the chief financial officer being indicated and convicted...that it is hard for us to even keep track... Tell me, who would reasonably expect to be paying for legal fees on his crimes? Only those who have denied truth and work to undermine today's democratic nation!

And, of course, I should include the millions that were solicited for a "wall" by his crony, Steve Bannon... who has also been indicted for fraud... 

In my opinion, the real reason for their to be republican anger by citizens in the continued cry for money TO COVER LEGAL EXPENSES FOR HIS AND OTHER'S LIES! 

Go figure...I can't, for the life of me, wonder how in the world that so many can have been conned, so easily...while so many of us have seen right through the use of government funds for personal, conflict-of-interest purposes... You may recall that the Ethics director resigned shortly after Trump took office, because he could see that "ethics" was never part of any equation and figured he was going to be out of a job anyway, if he "tried" to do his job...

Money buys power. In my opinion, it has resulted in corruption for many that are in office and/or seeking office.  Men like Doug Mastriano and "Dr. Oz" who are running in Pennsylvania!!! They are running for one reason... while John Fetterman, for instance, while in state office, refused to use state money to open the house he could have had, and instead stay in his own home... While the governor candidate has acted on behalf of those, for instance, who had been sexually abused and who had suffered without action until Josh Shapiro took on the difficult task of dealing with proof, the concurrent pain, yet the need for recognition by those victims... This is just one of the things he has tackled quietly in PA... and, for this one, caring, choice to recognize this great need  is enough...I'd take him over anybody else from the republican party! We surely don't need men who are in it for the money--for the power--and for their own ego! One Trump was careful... do your research, check out their character, their actions, and their background... check out multiple news sources if you have concerns... I did! You Should be sure that those you vote for will bring about those types of actions that Biden has accomplished in such a short time, even though it seems long, doesn't it?

And if you don't know already what accomplishments have been made by Biden's administration, you aren't, in my opinion, watching the right news sources... Change your channels and discover MORE!

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