Sunday, December 10, 2023

Bits n’ pieces from east, west and beyond

by Compiled by Lorraine H. Marie
| November 18, 2022 7:00 AM

East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact.

A recent sampling:

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich assessed the recent election results: there was neither a red nor a blue wave: “Americans chose not to make any more waves. This was not a change election. It was a stability election.” The clear loser, Reich said, was Trumpism, since so few of his picks won.

Trump endorsed over 330 election-denier candidates. Before the mid-term vote, Trump told NewsNation, “I think if they win, I should get all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all.”

While the U.S. Senate is narrowly secured for Democrats, Politico says the status of which party will gain the House depends on votes yet to be counted.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, neither top U.S. Senate candidate got 50% of the vote due to a Libertarian candidate who had 81,193 votes. Incumbent Raphael Warnock had 35,000 more votes than his Trump-backed opponent; a re-vote is slated for Dec. 6. Reich noted that if Warnock wins, that will impact the power of two self-proclaimed Democrats who have blocked Democrats’ goals: Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

With the exception of an Indiana candidate, election-denier candidates, who could have become top election officials, all lost at the recent polls, The New York Times reported. The election deniers had hoped to take over election apparatus in “critical” states prior to the 2024 presidential election. One failed candidate, Nevada’s Jim Marchant, claimed at a rally that “when my coalition of secretary of state candidates around the country get elected, we’re going to fix the whole country, and President Trump is going to be president again in 2024.”

The Brennan Center, in a poll of some 600 election officials, found one in six had been threatened; 77% said the federal government is either doing nothing or “not enough” to support them.

Attitude shift: Rep. Mo Brooks, who spoke at the Jan. 6 rally that was followed by mob violence, now says “it would be a bad mistake” for Republicans to allow Trump to be their presidential nominee in 2024. Huffington Post reported that Brooks said “Trump has proven himself dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a lot of other things that alienate so many independents and Republicans.”

Conservative political columnist Max Boot said Republicans’ electoral losses also signified losses for Vladimir Putin, Saudi’s Mohammed bin Salman and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

Those hard right leaders had hoped for cooperation from Trump-type control of Congress, which could have benefitted them financially, and could have reduced aid to Ukraine, satisfying Putin’s war effort there.

Axios says the General Assembly of the U.N. approved a resolution saying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of international law, so Russia is liable for war reparations.

Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president, talked to ABC recently about the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, where he was forced into hiding due to mob violence.

“The president’s words were reckless. It was clear he decided to be part of the problem,” Pence stated. He was angered by Trump’s accusation that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done,” which was Trump’s desire to call the presidential election for Trump, rather than honor certification of votes for Joe Biden.

When he heard Trump’s statement, Pence said he told his daughter, also in hiding, “It doesn’t take courage to break the law. It takes courage to uphold the law.”

Pence recently released his memoir, So Help Me God.

Despite predictions for a “red wave” at the midterms, and despite predictions that the Dems messages about saving democracy and reproductive rights would not resonate with voters, various media admitted their predictions were wrong. With a string of mid-term losses for Trump-supported candidates, The New York Times says Republicans face whether to stick with Trump or go for a divorce.

How reproduction rights fared at the polls, CBS: voters in Kentucky, Vermont, Michigan, Montana and California supported ballot-based measures that secure decisions for women.

A U.S. food sanitation company faces allegations from the Dept. of Labor that they hired at least 31 children ages 13 to 17 to do graveyard shift cleaning at slaughterhouses.

The work included use of dangerous equipment, various media reported.

Hospice care agencies are being bought up by private-equity firms, and according to research in JAMA Internal Medicine, hospice care centers that become for-profit have fewer and less qualified nursing employees.

As well, their patients are more likely to be sent to emergency rooms and hospitals.

Former president Donald Trump has sued the House Jan. 6 committee in an effort to block their subpoena seeking his testimony, numerous media reported. He has also fought a subpoena for turning over his administration’s documents that would normally go to the National Archives.

Blast from the past: While Trump claims he has “absolute testimonial immunity” from Congress, that is contrary to precedent. Presidents John Tyler and John Quincy Adams were subpoenaed and cooperated. Presidents who voluntarily testified in front of Congress include Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Gerald Ford and Harry Truman.