How Masks Matter

OK. Seriously, what is the latest on masks? Bottom line: if most people wear an effective mask we can significantly curb viral transmission

It is increasingly clear that there are differences in mask quality and protection. Here is one example of a recent report:

Fitted N95, no valve (14 in photo)
3-layer surgical mask (1)
Cotton-polypropylene-cotton mask (5)
2-layer polypropylene apron mask (4)
2-layer cotton, pleated style mask (13)
2-layer cotton, pleated style mask (7)
Valved N95 mask (2)
2-layer cotton, Olson style mask (8)
1-layer Maxima AT mask (6)
1-layer cotton, pleated style mask (10)
2-layer cotton, pleated style mask (9)
Knitted mask (3) NOT GOOD
Double-layer bandana (12) NOT GOOD
Gaiter-style neck fleece (11) USELESS

Read a more in depth study here:

Another set of data looks at transmission among airline passengers on Emirates and specifically on their 8h flights Dubai – Hongkong. Emirates has a strictly enforced mask policy. Even on completely booked flights with, for example, 7 COVID+ passengers, there was no transmission to other passengers!

Their conclusion is that strictly enforced mask usage works.

The bottom line: if most people wear masks we can significantly curb viral transmission. It is useful to have an effective mask too.

The following graph plots adherence to mask policy versus quality of the mask used. With poor quality masks it does not matter whether a high percent of people use a mask. And with poor adherence to mask wearing rules, even those that wear a high quality mask are not protected. One needs both a good mask and strict mask use enforcement.

Posted in Coronavirus, Health Care, Trump, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Prop #1: Yes or No?

Prop #1 asks voters (on the back of the ballot for Nov 3rd) if we’d like the term length for our Suffolk County legislators be four years rather than the current two. A no vote advocates keeping them on a short leash.  A yes vote advocates giving them breathing room to do the job they were hired for without having to continually raise money for the next campaign.

The Democrats, who currently hold the majority in our legislature, put this referendum on the ballot.  The vote to put it on the ballot was straight party line: 10 Democrats votes for, 7 Republicans votes against and one Republican abstention.
Cheers, Bob Wick

See more info here:

And here is the opinion of Newsday’s editorial board:

Newsday recommends voting no on Proposal One.

Proposal One: This would lengthen the term of office for a Suffolk County legislator to four years from the current two years. A similar proposal put to voters in 2002 was defeated handily. County residents would be right to again reject this proposition. Continuity in county government is provided by a four-year term for the county executive, which is appropriate for that position. A two-year term for lawmakers gives the public a way to more frequently register disapproval and course-correct if it is dissatisfied with the direction of county government.

Posted in 2020 elections, long island | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Pennsylvania: the Key Battleground

Pennsylvania (PA) is the tipping point: I read that if Biden wins PA, he has 90+% chance of winning the presidency. If he loses PA he has a less than 50% chance.

Both sides now see Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral college votes, as a must-win prize on the path to the 270 needed to win the White House, according to Democratic and Republican strategists. They also increasingly view the battle for those votes as one that could well continue beyond Election Day — with a growing list of balloting disputes and lawsuits setting the stage…”

There are about 9000 polling precincts in PA. The PA Poll Observer team plans to put 2 poll observers in each polling station: one inside the station and one outside. NY residents are allowed to be outside, but not inside, poll observers.

Together with 790 other volunteers I attended a 2.5 h training session earlier today. It was excellent. If you don’t mind the grueling Nov. 3rd hours (6:30 AM to 8:30 PM) and being exposed outside for the day, I think this is probably the most productive volunteer work you can possibly do for this election.

“Trump can continue making a fool of himself, and Biden could win all of the swing states on Election Day; but we still can’t rest easy until January 20. Yet the bigger the win, the less likely it is to be overturned. I sure wish this were all safely in the history books instead of unfolding insanely day by day.” ROBERT KUTTNER Follow Robert Kuttner on Twitter Robert Kuttner’s latest book is  The Stakes: 2020 and the Survival of American Democracy.

To be a PA election observer use this link:

Also sign-up here:

Posted in 2020 elections, Biden, democrats, Fair elections, Trump | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments Living a Double Life

PRESS RELEASE: October 16, 2020

CONTACTS:  Jacquelyn Gavron,,

                         Amy Turner,,

NY-01 Constituents’ Website——Reveals Troubling Discrepancies 

With Rep. Zeldin “living a double life”—as Newsday recently put it—it’s almost impossible for voters to know where he stands on critical issues. “At home in his district,’’ Zeldin presents himself as a “bi-partisan player” seeking solutions, but in Washington, D.C. Zeldin is a “Trumpist-star,” who has voted in line with the president’s positions 91.7% of the time, often to the detriment of NY-01.

Frustrated by the discrepancy between what Zeldin says for local consumption (in social media posts, emails, and his official website) and how he has voted in Congress, a team of constituents from across NY-01 has launched a website——to fact-check his claims—including Accomplishments on his official website—and provide voters with the information needed to make an informed choice. 

The new Fact Check section on Zeldin’s “Accomplishments” reveals troubling discrepancies on critical issues including Healthcare, Covid-19, Environment, Women, and Veterans. Here are just a few examples (there are many more):

  • Zeldin says he’s “fighting for women,” but he voted against a bill making it illegal for employers to discriminate against women who are pregnant or have medical needs related to childbirth.
  • Zeldin voted against a bi-partisan bill to lower drug costs by letting the government negotiate prices with big pharma, even though he promised to “lower the cost of prescription drugs.” 
  • Zeldin claims he’s “safeguarding the environment,” but he voted to repeal the Clean Water Rule and end Clean Air Act standards.

NOTE: The information on has been obtained from and other publicly available sources.

Posted in 2020 elections, Trump, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Zeldin’s complete Environmental Record

Latest update of Zeldin’s environmental voting record below. 
The spreadsheet itself (all 193 bills since Zeldin was first elected) is linked in Excel format:

This is our last update before the November 3rd election. It covers the 21 bills tracked by the League of Conservation Scorecard so far in 2020.So far in 2020, Lee Zeldin has voted against the environment in 14 of these bills and for the environment in 7, for a year-to-date score of 33%. Zeldin’s lifetime score (to date) is 15%. Although Zeldin’s lifetime score has crept up by a few percentage points over the last 2 years, it remains embarrassingly low when viewed in context: the average LCV score of a Member of Congress last year was 59%. Some highlights of Zeldin’s environmental voting record so far in 2020: He voted to permit Trump’s EPA to issue weak standards on soot pollution. He voted against more federal infrastructure funding for clean energy, clean water and mass transportation. He voted not to restrict funding for resumption of nuclear testing. He voted against increases in funding for climate, oceans, coastal science, energy efficiency and renewable energy. He voted against increases in federal funding for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds. And he voted against funding for replacing lead service lines providing drinking water to predominately minority and low income neighborhoods. On the plus side, Zeldin voted for full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program he has long supported. LWCF funds are used to protect and enhance public lands and to provide community recreational facilities. This bill passed the Senate and was signed into law. Finally, and in seemingly contradictory fashion, on the same day Zeldin voted for greater regulation of PFAS chemicals, which are suspected carcinogens, but against a bill to close a loophole in the Clean Water Act that permits PFAS to be discharged into waterways. Details can be found in the linked spreadsheet:

To sum it up, he has voted the wrong way on bills to mitigate climate change 92% of the time, to be exact, despite the double talk, evasions & obfuscation he dished out in his video presentation at the NYLCV climate change forum a few days ago.

Best, Marc Rauch and Suzi Kondic

Posted in 2020 elections, Environment, EPA, Trump, Zeldin | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s chearleader: Lee Zeldin

Don’t let him fool you: LZ will take away your healthcare, your reproductive rights and destroy the environment. Another 4 years of DT and another 2 years of LZ spells disaster. VOTE GOROFF for Congress, Biden/Harris for the top of the ticket.

A message from Nancy Goroff: End Citizens United just named Lee Zeldin, one of Trump’s most complicit and self-serving friends in the House, to their Big Money 20 list of top targets who are rigging the system to benefit themselves, their wealthy donors, and the corrupt establishment. As Zeldin becomes more complicit in supporting Trump’s denial of science and putting corporate interests ahead of Long Island families, his chances of winning this race are slipping. But this race isn’t ours just yet. This race is a statistical tie. If we can sustain our communication and field strategies with meaningful voter targeting, we will win. With 19 days left, help us close that gap now:

Posted in 2020 elections, long island, Trump, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Schedule of Local Debates

Submitted by Tina Plesset:

The Scheduled local debates are:

Oct 13, 7 pm – Goroff (D) and Zeldin (R) on the environment. Sponsored by LCV.  NY CD-1 congressional race. This is a ZOOM forum. Registration is online here.

Oct 19, 7 pm – Goroff (D) and Zeldin (R). Sponsored by LWV. This debate can be viewed by the public live at 7 p.m. and thereafter on Southampton Town’s SEA-TV YouTube channel.

Oct 20, 7 pm – Ahearn (D) and Palumbo (R). Sponsored by LWV. NY State Senate race (1st Senatorial District). Program available live to the public and thereafter on the Southampton Town SEA-TV’s YouTube channel  

For each League of Women Voters (LWV) debate, questions may be submitted in advance, by Saturday, Oct. 17, to Voter Services Committee chair Barbara McClancy at Questions will be asked on camera by the LWV debate moderator.

Get more information here:

Lets Rock the Vote!

Posted in 2020 elections | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lawn Sign Thefts

It is the norm in October prior to elections: political lawn signs for one candidate or another arouse irrational anger and signs are mutilated or just stolen. Posting a sign is protected by the law, even if the sign is not on your property. Signs are costly and the cost is covered by individuals, or campaigns, or local Democratic and Republican parties. As such they are private property.

Think of it this way: If you park you car (private property) in a public spot, and it is stolen or damaged by another party you have a claim. Same goes for lawn signs, whether they are posted on your own lawn or perhaps at a cross-section on town property.

The internet is rife with ideas on how to protect your signs. Here are some fun ideas:

  1. well-lit area, close to your home.
  2. security cameras
  3. barbed wire around them
  4. trap: mix Vaseline and glitter and put that on the edges of the sign
  5. slather dog poo on strategic parts of the sign
  6. hot sauce…so when they rub their eyes after the fact…
  7. electrify the next sign…

Just google “how to protect your political lawn signs”

A simple method is to elevate your sign beyond reach. You will need a ladder! So will anyone who wants to remove the sign!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Vote NO on Proposal #2

While we are all concentrating on the front of the ballot, there are 2 proposals on the back. #2 is of particular concern. Here is why.

Your drinking water is at risk!

While everyone was home and grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, Suffolk County politicians quietly circulated a resolution that would raid our Drinking Water Protection Program yet again.  Well, we noticed and we’re taking a stand.

Suffolk County Proposal #2 / Resolution 547-2020 would move “excess funds” in the Drinking Water Protection Program Fund to the Suffolk County Taxpayers Trust Fund, a general fund. “Excess” does not refer to funds that are not needed to protect drinking water of county residents.  Instead, “excess funds” are those that have not yet been spent.

A vote AGAINST Suffolk County Prop #2…

  • Would enforce a court ruling that requires the repayment of millions of dollars illegally raided from the Drinking Water Protection Program Fund
  • Would ensure the availability of money to protect residents’ drinking water
  • Would maintain enough money in the tax stabilization fund to assist taxpayers in existing and new sewer districts

A vote FOR Suffolk County Ballot Prop #2…

  • Would move funds from the Drinking Water Protection Program to a general fund, which can be used for whatever politicians want.
  • Would “forgive” the repayment of tens of millions of dollars back to the water protection fund, that had been illegally raided from the water protection fund to the general fund, which can be used for whatever politicians want.

Long Island is Facing a Public Health Crisis

Long Island has the most contaminated water in the state.  It also has some of the highest concentrations of nitrogen in our groundwater in the country.  This is a public health crisis!  We need these funds now, more than ever.

Posted in 2020 elections, long island, Uncategorized, water quality | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Voters Should Not Be Intimidated

Submitted by Francesca Rheannon:

There are strict limits on what the military, law enforcement, and private militias or other vigilantes can do at the polls.

By Sean Morales-Doyle ,

Daniel I. Weiner ,

Wendy R. Weiser ,

Michael German ,

Elizabeth Goitein .

From The Brennan Center

Last Updated: October 7, 2020 Published: October 6, 2020

As Election Day nears, President Trump has increasingly threatened to instigate voter intimidation. First, he has insinuated that he will deploy law enforcement officers or call up the National Guard to root out election-related crimes at the polls or call up the National Guard. (Spoiler alert: voter fraud is vanishingly rare). The president has abused his authority over law enforcement before, most notably when he deployed federal agents — and threatened to deploy the military — in response to domestic protests earlier this summer.

On top of this, in the first nationally televised presidential debate the president called for his supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully,” especially in Philadelphia. The Republican National Committee (RNC) claims to be gearing up for an aggressive “ballot security” operation involving 50,000 poll watchers, which many worry could include plans to intimidate voters. In 2017 a court freed the RNC from a 35-year-old consent decree that required the committee to obtain judicial approval of any such operations to ensure that they would not illegally intimidate or discriminate against voters or interfere with their right to vote.

There is a shameful history in parts of the country of armed officers, on duty or off, targeting Black voters and other voters of color for intimidation. Their mere presence in polling places could raise reasonable fears among groups that are frequently the target of racial profiling and police misconduct.

But the law is crystal clear: it is illegal to deploy federal troops or armed federal law enforcement officers to any polling place. State and local laws and practices place limits on the role of law enforcement and poll watchers. And a host of federal and state laws, many of which also carry severe criminal penalties, prevent anyone — whether a law enforcement officer or a vigilante — from harassing or intimidating voters.

The U.S. Military

Bottom Line: It would be illegal — and in many cases a federal crime — for the president to deploy the military to interfere with the election.

The Concern: President Trump has threatened to deploy the military to U.S. cities in response to protests; these threats have often been linked to his partisan attacks on Democratic mayors and governors. Although Trump has not explicitly said he would deploy troops to the polls, his threats to send in law enforcement echo his recent response to those protests. These threats, and Trump’s politicization of the military in other contexts, recently prompted two members of Congress to ask Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley whether he would obey an order to send active duty military to polling places.

Why It’s Illegal: Any deployment of troops or other armed federal agents to a polling place is a federal crime (unless the country is literally being invaded). The law, which dates back to 1948, says:

Whoever, being an officer of the Army or Navy, or other person in the civil, military, or naval service of the United States, orders, brings, keeps, or has under his authority or control any troops or armed men at any place where a general or special election is held, unless such force be necessary to repel armed enemies of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both; and be disqualified from holding any office of honor, profit, or trust under the United States. footnote1_pbthrbt 1

Other federal statutes also prohibit the military from interfering in our elections. footnote2_9e40ia2 2  And the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 bars troops from being deployed on U.S. soil generally. footnote3_kdryp8q 3  There are exceptions to the law that Trump has tried to exploit, but they do not allow him to circumvent the explicit prohibition on using the military to interfere in elections.

In short, the president cannot deploy the military for any purpose connected to an election. The military knows this. A 2018 Defense Department directive confirms that military personnel “will not conduct operations at polling places.” footnote4_4asq9ar 4  Likewise, when asked by the two members of Congress whether he would send troops to polling places, General Milley made clear, “I do not see the U.S. Military as part of this process.” Any officers who try to cross this line could be prosecuted.

The Department of Homeland Security

Bottom Line: As with the military, it would be a crime for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deploy any of its agents — including those from the Federal Protective Service, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — in connection with an election.

The Concern: Over the summer, in response to civil unrest accompanying the wave of peaceful protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, the Trump administration recklessly deployed agents from the Federal Protective Service and Customs and Border Protection to Portland, Oregon, and other U.S. cities over the objections of state and local officials (a number of whom have filed lawsuits that are pending in federal court). The administration claimed that the agents had been deployed only to protect federal property, but they allegedly assaulted protesters and carried out arrests far from federal buildings. This history, coupled with the president’s recent threats, raises understandable fears that DHS forces might be deployed to intimidate voters.

False rumors are also now spreading about plans for ICE agents to patrol the vicinity of polling places and even arrest voters they suspect of being undocumented. Some of these rumors appear to have come from groups that are intentionally trying to suppress the vote among Latinos and other people of color. These rumors create real fear in communities ICE has targeted with increasingly aggressive tactics.

Why It’s Illegal: Any deployment of DHS agents in the vicinity of a polling place or any place where votes are being counted would violate the same criminal statute that applies to all armed federal officers. The Department of Justice’s own election crimes manual confirms that the statute bars any armed federal agent from election sites. footnote5_a81tngb 5  Indeed, when asked about the president’s threat to send agents to the polls, the acting head of DHS responded point-blank: “We don’t have any authority to do that at the department.”

It is also illegal for anyone to intimidate or threaten voters, disenfranchise voters, or target voters based on their race or ethnicity — federal agents included. The use of federal agents to intimidate voters is a crime under section 11 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). footnote6_kr4w7zk 6  Courts have held that the law forbids tactics such as following alleged suspectsrecording license plate numbers, and brandishing weapons. footnote7_ojs1pyq 7  The consequence for an intentional violation? Up to five years in prison. footnote8_zt6hq83 8

Federal law also makes it a crime for people (including government officials) to conspire to deprive someone of the right to vote or the right to be free from discrimination. footnote9_eg4sn4p 9  For this offense, violators face up to 10 years in prison. The Constitution too prohibits government officials (including ICE and other federal agents) from targeting voters of color for enforcement actions. footnote10_sd5sjdy 10

Even aggressive DHS operations unconnected to an election may be out of bounds during the election. The Constitution limits otherwise legal federal law enforcement activities if they interfere with areas of fundamental state concern. For example, federal courts have blocked ICE agents from entering state judicial facilities to arrest undocumented immigrants because it disrupts states’ ability to operate their own court systems. footnote11_t4jfary 11  The same logic would bar operations by ICE (or other parts of DHS) that could significantly interfere with a state’s ability to conduct a free and fair general election. footnote12_cq1hexe 12

The Department of Justice

Bottom Line: At the polls, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is limited to observing elections for compliance with federal voting rights laws for subsequent enforcement efforts. It cannot interfere with the voting process or send agents to investigate other laws.

The Concern: Attorney General Barr, who has frequently repeated the president’s lies about purported voter fraud, has asserted the right to send DOJ agents to the polls for a variety of reasons, including to investigate potential election crimes. His statements, coupled with the president’s own threats to have U.S. attorneys at the polls, have led to fears that Trump and Barr will seek to use DOJ’s authority to meddle in the election.

Why It’s Illegal: DOJ is subject to the same restrictions as other federal agencies, including the absolute bar on deploying armed agents to polling places or other locations where an election is being held. As the department’s own election crimes manual states, prosecutors have “no authority to send FBI special agents or [U.S. marshals] to polling places.” footnote13_2dadkyu 13  Even investigative activities anywhere near polling places require special permission. footnote14_o5e05w5 14

In short, Attorney General Barr, to the extent that he is asserting a right to deploy armed agents to the polls or other election-related sites while voting is ongoing, is simply wrong. If he did try to send armed agents to polling places during an election to investigate potential crimes or “enforce civil rights” (two pretexts he’s mentioned), he would be committing a federal crime. Legitimate election crime investigations should be conducted only after voting is complete, as typically happens, including most recently in the wake of revelations of absentee ballot tampering by a GOP operative in a 2018 North Carolina congressional race. Election Day disturbances should be handled by state officials.

While armed DOJ agents are not allowed at the polls, the department may under certain circumstances send unarmed representatives under its election observation and monitoring programs. These unarmed civilian federal employees are tasked only with observing and monitoring voting processes for compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act and reporting back to a court or DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. footnote15_9h3i7qb 15  They have no power to enforce the law. footnote16_6wy6jf0 16  In fact, monitors do not even have the authority to enter polling places without permission from state or local election officials. footnote17_76gi9yx 17  The federal observer program, which was severely limited by a Supreme Court decision that gutted a core provision of the Voting Rights Act, footnote18_6k9uh36 18  is now restricted to a small number of places where a court has ordered it (right now, just Evergreen, Alabama, and Pasadena, Texas). footnote19_5nx244x 19

State and Local Law Enforcement

Bottom Line: State and local law enforcement can sometimes be at polling places, but never under orders from the president and always subject to numerous restrictions.

The Concern: The president’s threat to send law enforcement to the polls included local officials such as sheriffs. Even without such threats, the long history of discriminatory policing and official voter suppression in many places provides ample reason to worry that the presence of any law enforcement at the polls may intimidate some voters, especially voters of color.

What’s Legal and What Isn’t: The federal government, including the president, has no authority whatsoever over state and local law enforcement, footnote20_eszyxqh 20  and certainly no power to call them to the polls.

State and local law enforcement officers may have the right to be at the polls for the purpose of helping election officials ensure a safe voting environment. If, for example, private citizens try to interfere with the right to vote, election officials may call law enforcement in to protect the public and ensure no one is deterred from voting.

But there are a variety of legal restrictions placed on state and local law enforcement. In some states, including Pennsylvania and California, officers who show up to the polls without being called there by election officials have committed a crime. footnote21_bennng3 21  In a number of other states, including Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, officers at the polls must obey orders from election officials. footnote22_iy8omtz 22  And under no circumstances may state or local police intimidate voters, prevent people from voting, or target particular racial or ethnic groups. These are all violations of federal law. footnote23_1nnbis9 23  Many states also have their own robust voting rights protections. footnote24_lxctrkk 24

In practice, election officials and law enforcement typically develop plans ahead of elections to ensure that voting processes will be orderly and fair, including through intrastate working groups coordinated by election officials to game out and plan for a variety of scenarios.

The National Guard

Bottom Line: The president cannot deploy armed National Guard units to the polls or exert any control over units at the polls. There are also limits on states’ use of the National Guard, including the general prohibitions on intimidation and discrimination.

The Concern: As with the military and federal law enforcement, President Trump has misused his authority over the National Guard. His June deployment of eleven states’ guard units to counter protests in Washington, DC, was widely criticized. Given this history and the president’s recent statements, some worry about guard units being deployed to harass or intimidate voters or election officials.

What’s Legal and What Isn’t: National Guard units under federal command are part of the U.S. military, footnote25_x0jejnn 25  and so deploying them to the polls would be a federal crime, just like it would be for the other military branches. Moreover, using them for law enforcement purposes would in most circumstances violate the Posse Comitatus Act.

These prohibitions do not apply to guard units under the command of a state government. Some states, however, have laws of their own prohibiting the deployment of guard units to the polls. In California, for example, it is a misdemeanor for active-duty guard members (like other law enforcement officers) to enter voting locations in many circumstances. footnote26_u2gott0 26  In every state, guard units under state command are also subject to the same federal and state voting rights and antidiscrimination laws as state and local law enforcement, which means that they would be subject to criminal penalties for voter intimidation or other forms of election interference.

During the primaries, in the face of a nationwide poll worker shortage due to Covid-19, several states did deploy guard units to serve as emergency election workers. Those units were generally unarmed and served as ordinary poll workers or performed other administrative tasks. Such a deployment, while appropriate in the case of last-minute emergencies, is generally a last resort; during the primaries the deployments came at the request and direction of election officials. There should be less need for similar deployments this November, as election officials have been working hard to recruit new poll workers. (In the event that guard members are needed to fill staffing gaps, they should wear civilian clothes and their duties should be limited to those of poll workers.)

Guard units may also be deployed in “hybrid” status, in which they serve a federal mission set by the president or secretary of defense (and are paid with federal funds) while remaining under state command and control. footnote27_s9kbqz7 27  State governors, however, must consent to use their guards for the mission in question. footnote28_s8wkfyd 28  Moreover, guard units in this status arguably act under the authority of the president or secretary of defense and therefore would still be subject to the criminal prohibition on federal military officers stationing “armed men” at the polls. Guard units in hybrid status are still subject to state laws limiting their use at polling stations, as well as all federal and state voting rights and antidiscrimination laws.

Off-Duty Law Enforcement

Bottom Line: Off-duty members of the military, National Guard, and law enforcement are entitled to vote in person, serve as poll workers, and engage in other democratic activities at the polls, but they must follow the same rules as other members of the general public.

The Concern: Decades ago, the Republican Party recruited off-duty police officers to show up to the polls armed and wearing official-looking uniforms to engage in so-called “ballot security” efforts targeting Black and Latino communities. As a result of the Democratic Party suing to challenge the practice, the GOP’s operations were monitored by a federal court for 35 years. In 2017 the court order that provided for that monitoring expired. This year, in the lead-up to the first presidential election free from such oversight, the Republican National Committee is reportedly preparing to send out tens of thousands of poll watchers. The concern is that history will repeat itself.

What’s Legal and What Isn’t: Poll watchers are allowed to monitor elections in most states. Off-duty military members and law enforcement may generally take part in such activities, and of course may also be at the polls to vote themselves.

But, as noted, voter intimidation and discrimination are illegal and often criminal. Many laws, such as the VRA, apply to private as well as governmental actors, and so would cover individuals who are off duty and acting in their personal capacities.

Many states also flatly prohibit openly carrying a gun into a polling place. footnote29_fcz7waj 29  Some states, including Texas, prohibit carrying concealed weapons as well. footnote30_odelmpa 30  Many states prohibit weapons in specific types of polling places, such as government buildings. footnote31_kifh1gz 31  Others have specific rules against brandishing a firearm in a way that could intimidate voters. footnote32_htpn1zt 32

The tactics that the RNC used to intimidate Black and Latino voters are just as illegal today as they were in the 1980s. Anyone who knowingly engages in such tactics can and should face legal consequences.

Private Militias and other Vigilante Poll Watchers

Bottom Line: Voter intimidation by poll watchers is illegal, and there are legal restrictions on who can engage in poll watching and rules in place to ensure accountability.

The Concern: During the first presidential debate, President Trump called for his “supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” and specifically suggested that they do so in Philadelphia. In the same debate, he told the Proud Boys, a violent extremist organization, to “stand by.” Especially in light of the expiration of the consent decree restricting the Republican Party’s “ballot security” operations, these statements have led to concerns of vigilante poll watchers engaging in voter intimidation.

Why It’s Illegal: Not just anyone can show up and watch the polls. Most states limit who can serve as a poll watcher, often to appointed representatives of a candidate or a party and, in some cases, to neutral, nonpartisan observers. In some states, such as Pennsylvania, poll watchers must be registered to vote in the county where they seek to observe the polls. These limits help deter misconduct and ensure accountability. In addition to limiting who can serve as a poll watcher, most states have strict limits on what poll watchers can do. States including Georgia, Florida, and Michigan prohibit poll watchers from speaking to voters. footnote33_n5tpzya 33  Many states allow poll watchers to challenge voter eligibility, but they must follow specified procedural and substantive limits. Poll watchers who abuse their roles may be ejected from the polling place.

State and local laws also restrict armed militias from appearing at the polls. Most states have laws or constitutional provisions prohibiting private groups from engaging in unauthorized paramilitary or law enforcement activities. Georgetown Law School’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) published a 50-state guide documenting the laws that state and local governments can use to stop private militias from engaging in paramilitary activities in public spaces. footnote34_p5qp5pj 34

Armed groups or individuals who claim to offer security services at polling stations will also be in violation of state and local laws. Virtually all states have laws that strictly regulate the provision of private security services, particularly armed security services. These laws typically establish licensing and firearms-permitting procedures to ensure security guards are properly vetted, trained, and insured. Depending on the state, providing security services without a license can result in civil fines and/or criminal penalties. footnote35_7098qfq 35

Even apart from all of these limits, both federal and state laws outlaw voter intimidation and conspiracies to prevent eligible Americans from voting, and election officials are prepared to respond and remove bad actors. State and local election officials also have plans and protocols in place to address any disruptions at the polls. Most have strengthened those plans as the threat level has increased. They will not be caught off guard.


Federal and state laws clearly prohibit any deployment of the military, law enforcement, or vigilantes to the polls to intimidate voters or engage in any operation unrelated to maintaining the peace while elections are being held. The president’s suggestions that law enforcement should act inappropriately or that vigilantes will storm the polls are simply designed to discourage voters, particularly voters of color, from voting and to undermine faith in our elections. It is important to call out Trump’s comments for what they are: not just calls for illegal action but also attempts at voter suppression. Voters should not be intimidated.


Posted in 2020 elections, Civil Rights, Coronavirus, Courts, democrats, disenfranchisement, DOJ, Fair elections, GOP, police, public health, Trump, Uncategorized, Voter Fraud, voting by mail, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump Is Killing Us

Letter to the Editor published in The East Hampton Star, October 8

Corrosive Effects

To the Editor:

The deadliest threat facing the American public isn’t the coronavirus, it’s the toxic brew of arrogance and ignorance that Trump and his loyalists have force-fed the country: the relentless denial of the risks of Covid (it’s like the flu, it only affects the elderly, it will disappear), the mocking of wearing a mask (not a good look), the touting of quack remedies (bleach, anyone?), the lack of testing (more positive tests make us look bad), and the raucous indoor rallies.

This lethal cocktail resulted in untold suffering and tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, and yet Trump barely seemed to notice, stating that the death toll “is what it is.”

But recent events have finally succeeded in focusing Trump’s mind. After egregiously flouting C.D.C. guidelines (as well as common sense) by introducing his Supreme Court nominee in a jam-packed Rose Garden with no social distancing and few masks, there is now a growing list of high-profile, Covid-infected attendees. And then there was the debate in Cleveland, where part of the agreed-upon rules was that all audience members wear masks. Apparently believing they are part of an elite brethren for whom rules don’t apply, Trump’s entourage shooed away those offering masks as if they were annoying gnats. But reality finally pierced the Trump bubble, and now the president and others in his inner circle are infected.

The corrosive effects of this administration will be felt long after they have gone on to their respective cell blocks (what can I say, I’m an optimist who still believes in law and order). To reclaim our collective sanity, and our democracy, we must vote this reprehensible con man and his Republican enablers out. Only then can we start rebuilding our place in the world with a president who understands the gravity of the situation, and who has sound plans for dealing with the most serious health crisis in our lifetimes.



Posted in 2020 elections, Biden, democrats, GOP, long island, Nancy Goroff, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized, Zeldin | 3 Comments

The Home Stretch

Just 25 days left to do everything we can to defeat Donald Trumpflip the Senate, and kick Zeldin out of office! And, if that weren’t enough, we must protect and grow the Democratic majority in the NYS Senate. (Fellow NY01 resident Ron Lauder is investing huge sums to defeat Dems! More info below.)

Let’s not wake up on Nov. 4 and think we could’ve done more…
If your inbox is overflowing as much as mine, you are overwhelmed with volunteer options. So I whittled it down and created an  election to-do list for myself, which I hope is of use to you!

1. Make a Voting Plan Now! We have three options:
Vote in Person Early
When: Saturday, 10/24 through Sunday, 11/1
Hours: Listed here
Where: Any early polling site in Suffolk Co. listed here. (On the East End: Windmill Village in EH, and Southampton Stony Brook U. in Southampton).

Vote Absentee (by mail)
Request Ballot ASAP: Online Portal here (Deadline is 10/27 but with PO situation, don’t wait!)
Cast Ballot ASAP: By mail, postmarked no later than 11/3; or drop off at any early polling site between 10/24 and 11/1, or at a regular polling site on Election Day. Remember to sign the security envelope! Details here.

Vote in Person on Election Day
When: Tuesday, Nov. 3
Hours: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
Where: Your regular polling site–all slated to be open as of now

And to make sure our elections are fair and that every vote counts: 
Be a Poll Watcher: Email here or contact Biden campaign
Be a Poll Worker: Apply here

(For info on your voting rights at the polls, visit ACLU site.)
2. Send Zeldin Packing!
Outside Help is here!
314 Action Fund, The House Majority PAC, and Emily’s List’s PAC are all spending money in our district to help elect Nancy Goroff. Clearly they must think our district is flippable! Check out HMP’s anti-Zeldin ads here.

State of the Race 
Most recently, the DCCC dropped its own numbers from Tulchin Research that had Goroff in the lead 48-46 with Biden out front by a 51-45 margin. We have yet to see any contradictory numbers from the GOP.” Daily Kos

Make Callscontact David Goldstein
Write postcardscontact Tina Jacobowitz
Other volunteer opportunities: here
For everything you need to know about Zeldin’s awful record and his unwavering support for Trump, check out the Lee Zeldin Record website and please share widely!
3. Elect Biden and Harris to Restore our Democracy! 
In New York
A huge margin in the national popular vote (as well as in swing states) is the fastest way to short circuit Trump’s nefarious post election plans. Blue states like NY have an important role in running up the popular vote, so let’s also work locally!
Suffolk for BidenFB page
Make Biden calls with EH or SH Dems: here

In Swing States
Make calls: here
Adopt a swing statehere
Help Wisconsin this weekendhere
 4. Four More Seats!
At our September PEER meeting, The Nation’s investigative journalist 
John Nichols cautioned that without a Dem Senate, Biden is a lame duck.(Watch his informative and inspiring comments here)
Adopt a Key Battleground State here
Make calls with DSCC here
If you can’t decide which candidates most need your money, 
Donate to Get Mitch or Die Trying Fund, (split among 10 key senate races) here.
5. Protect the Results 
When we win, let’s be prepared to protect the results! Join the coalition of more than 80 groups ready to mobilize if Donald Trump refuses to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.
6. Join us on Oct. 20 at 6:30 pm (on Zoom) and hear from LI Progressive candidates for the NYS Senate: Christine Pellegrino, and for the NYS Assembly: Joe Sackman, Steve Polgar, and Dylan Rice. We need only one more vote to pass the NYHA! Register here.
7. Protect and Grow NYS Senate Majority
Our Senate seat
NYS Senate District #1has been in Republican hands for 30 years! With LaValle out of the picture, now’s the time to flip it. Please help Dem candidate Laura Ahearn!

Preserve and Grow Dem Majority in NYS Senate
Ron Lauder is going all out to win back the Senate for Republicans through the nastiest, lying attack ads that take a page from the “Big Lie” that all GOP candidates out here, including Zeldin, are pushing: Democrats are anti-police, and because of bail reform and “defund the police” violent criminals are about to take over our streets (law enforcement just announced that violent crime is down in Suffolk!)
Read more here and please help these incumbents:
Monica Martinez (Suffolk)
Jim Gaughran (Nassau)
Andrew Gounardes (Brooklyn) 
Kevin Thomas (Nassau) 

The attacks on Martinez and Gaughran are especially outrageous. Even before she became a state senator Martinez was working hard with community leaders and law enforcement in her hometown of Brentwood to end the scourge of MS13 and both she and Gaughran tried to act as a bridge between bail-reform advocates and (sane) law enforcement.
It’s been an incredibly long four years and we’ve all worked so hard…But let’s find the energy for one final push—during these last 26 days— and wake up on Nov. 4 free of this national nightmare and his #1 enabler, Lee Zeldin!

Onward to Victory!

Posted in 2020 elections, Fair elections, Trump, Uncategorized, voting by mail, Zeldin | Leave a comment

Republicans don’t like Teslas

David Dobrik

From Diane Saatchi:

Have you heard about  #join2020vote ?

Gen Z is definitely different. These folks are all in on social media. We got lucky — or were well advised — and we were able to reach a huge audience of potential voters who are now registered and ready.

Much has happened since the early messages about #join2020vote, so I want to share some stunning numbers with you.

Last Spring, worried about the 2020 general election and wanting to do something proactive, I started a get out the vote initiative aimed at first time and young voters. #join2020vote was created to register and motivate this cohort group. While we have made strides in our outreach it took a few different turns and some very fortunate networking to reach the Z generation. But when we did, oh boy, did we hit the jackpot.

Just this week through our efforts, as an incentive to registering, David Dobrik and HeadCount launched a campaign to give away five Model 3s Teslas. We woke Thursday morning to this message from Headcount… “We’re thrilled to tell you that David’s campaign passed 100,000 registrations last night (and over 250,000 verifications). Literally unprecedented in our history and the entire history of celebrity-led voter engagement initiatives.” Since then, new registrations increased to over 120,000. Read more about this it in the Forbes story here. The Instagram post alone logged 3.5 million likes and 1.77 million comments. The additional millions of shares and replies to comments cannot be counted.

How we arrived at headcount and David Dobrik is an interesting story, one I would love to share with you, but now, I want to get to the point. We’ve gotten this far without donations because we wanted to be sure of our strategy. There is no doubt its working and no doubt there is a committed pool of young voters ready to be heard. To put this success in content, a “When We Vote” event, led by Michelle Obama, along with Jennifer Lopez and other celebrities resulted in 82,000 people completing and starting registration. Our efforts resulted (so far) in over 120,000 completed registrations for new voters and 319,000 other interested voters who logged in to verify their registration.

As the online voter registration period is over October 5th in all but one swing state, our efforts will now turn to getting voters to the polls — early and on election day. Gen Z has the power in numbers to be the deciding demographic in this pivotal election, and we have plenty of ideas on how to continue the success of the Tesla give-a-way campaign. Time is running out, but with your help we can continue engaging young voters to ensure their voices are heard this election cycle. With more partnerships with influencers and use of social media in the works, the impact come November can be massive. 

Please join this effort. We need to raise $100,000 immediately to complete our voter outreach initiatives through November 3rd. Will you please pledge to give or get $5,000 to help us meet this goal? All donations to HeadCount are 100% tax deductible. For now, asking for a pledge, if we raise $100,000 will go forward and reply with instructions. 

I am happy and excited to discuss our work to date and future plans with you so please let me know good/best time and number to call. Or, if easier, email or text (631 375-6900) with your questions.

With my best wishes and thanks, Diane

Posted in 2020 elections, Fair Labor Standards | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s Economic Fallout

Guestwords in the East Hampton Star: Trump’s Economic Fallout for Suffolk County and Long Island

By John Tepper Marlin and Steven Newman October 1, 2020

President Trump’s three main economic initiatives have been radical 2017 cuts in taxes (at the expense of states and localities), unprecedented high tariffs on Chinese goods, and “deregulation” of federal agencies (entailing rejection of science-based programs). These initiatives have turned Washington, D.C., and the country upside down. How has this worked out? Following are some outcomes.

Mr. Trump’s denial of Covid-19 gives him ownership of its economic impact: The virus is not just an act of God. Mr. Trump’s knowing denial of its threat and refusal to recommend wearing masks immediately was a betrayal of his country. The pandemic is a national challenge just as much as the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center towers. An early science-based national response would have greatly reduced the huge negative economic impact.

The corporate tax cuts did not deliver on business investment: The main idea behind the 2017 Tax Act was to reduce the top federal tax rate on corporations from 35 percent to 25 percent. At the last minute, the law, which skipped customary hearings and staff analysis, took the tax rate down to 21 percent, even lower than its major advocates had asked for. Mr. Trump claimed the law would close tax loopholes, about which his newly uncovered tax returns show him to be informed. But few loopholes were closed by the 2017 law. He said businesses would invest the money and thereby create jobs. But after a few months, corporations switched to using the money to buy back their stock, which made a negligible contribution to job creation. 

The impact of a fiscal change on the economy is measured by the “fiscal multiplier” — the change in gross domestic product for each dollar of change in tax cuts or spending. A 2015 Congressional Budget Office analysis concludes that fiscal multipliers are more successful for spending programs than tax cuts, for lower-income than for higher-income taxpayers, and for periods of recession than for booms. A widely cited fiscal multiplier for corporate tax cuts is only 0.32, compared with multipliers of 1.71 for an increase in food stamps, 1.55 for extending unemployment benefits, and 1.44 for infrastructure investment.

Tax cuts for individuals: The Tax Act substantially reduced tax rates for the top personal income brackets. When new money gets into the hands of average people, they spend it, because they have real needs that are not being met. This is not true for the very rich. Nevertheless, Mr. Trump argued that tax breaks should go to highest-income taxpayers. Policies that increase unemployment benefits, child credits, and food stamps are not only more equitable, they also generate more jobs.

The Tax Act’s cap on the SALT deduction hit New York State hard: The lowering of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent in 2017 was paid for in part by a radical cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT) at $10,000 per taxpaying unit, whether single or married and filing jointly. This cap was deliberately targeted at higher-tax blue states. New York State has suffered the most, as indicated by the July jobs data, the latest we have. Jobs were down from a year earlier in every one of the nation’s 49 metro areas with a 2010 census population of 1 million or more. They are below the level of five years ago in more than half of these metro areas. 

The five worst-hit metro areas in the country over five years include all three of the large New York State metros — Rochester, Buffalo, and New York City (which takes in a wide swath including Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, northern New Jersey, and a piece of Pennsylvania). The SALT cap was a shock to state and local officials, who are scrambling to address lost tax revenues, and one of the hardest-hit cities is New York, which, unlike the federal government, must raise new taxes, cut spending, or borrow. That’s a choice between higher taxes, fewer employees, or postponed fiscal stress. Cutting the quality of services, from sanitation and health care to schools, will affect real estate values just as much as high taxes. Coupled with new interest in less-dense living to avoid exposure to Covid-19, this is making the East End of Long Island a beneficiary. But Suffolk can’t afford to let the engine of its prosperity falter.

The cap on the SALT deduction encourages moves by higher-income residents: The cap on the SALT deduction has made it more attractive and urgent for higher-income individuals to move to lower-tax states and communities. Blue-state residents have been moving to red states and will presumably seek to raise standards of education and other government services in their new locations. One silver lining is that it doesn’t take very many people moving from a populous blue state to increase electoral support for quality education in a small red state. Residents of New Jersey and New York are moving to Florida, while Californians are moving to Idaho and Nevada. Residents of New York City are moving to less-dense communities like East Hampton. Activism for better-quality services may generate some surprises in future elections.

Stressed states and localities need cash and are not getting it: This fiscal year has caught nearly every government by surprise. The CARES Act gave the Federal Reserve the right to lend to states and localities, but the Fed is acting as if the facility is intended as a last resort, for municipalities that can’t obtain private financing. But the municipal bond industry and many state laws favor long-term investment, not financing an operating deficit. Forcing municipalities to cut spending while the coronavirus crisis is still at our door is reverse Keynesian of the kind that exacerbated the worst years of the Great Depression. 

Fortunately for the Town of East Hampton, the supervisor, Peter Van Scoyoc, and the town board have been able to keep the town functioning on a steady basis, but concentrating federal aid on businesses rather than local government means less fortunate communities face bleak options.

Tariffs on Chinese goods: Mr. Trump’s radical high-tariff moves are being paid not by Chinese producers but by American retailers and consumers, especially the fashion industry, which is suffering a knockout blow. China’s response to the U.S. tariffs has been to divert key supplies to Europe and has created shortages in this country — for example, in personal protective equipment and many medicines. China has meanwhile retaliated with tariffs on U.S. farm products. The relief program seems to have been concentrated on large agribusinesses, leaving small farmers without aid. 

Deregulation has created new risks: The president’s science-denying efforts to roll back environmental, pharmaceutical, and other safety regulations have increased risks in each of these areas and have hampered a national response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over all, the economy has fared poorly. Yet the stock market has had an astonishingly good run. The main reason is that some corporations have been buying back their stock and the Federal Reserve has been flooding the financial markets with liquidity to help banks make loans and stave off business bankruptcies. Historically, the total return on stocks in the S&P 500 since 1947 has been higher under Democratic presidents, 10.8 percent per year, versus a rate under Republicans of 5.6 percent per year. The top performance was under Presidents Clinton and Obama, while the most negative was under Nixon and George W. Bush. 

It’s a case of an open spigot for big business and a parched earth for states and local governments and nonprofits. This has left New York City in a financial crisis, but East Hampton has been relatively unscathed.

John Tepper Marlin has lived in Springs since 1981. He was for 20 years a federal government economist and the chief economist to three New York City comptrollers. Steven Newman, a resident of Queens, was chief of staff and first deputy to two New York City comptrollers.

Posted in Coronavirus, East Hampton, economics, economy, jobs, long island, stimulus, stock market, swamp, Tax Reform, Trump, Zeldin | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Trumpty Dumpty Blues

Posted in Coronavirus, Trump, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What are Trump’s chances?

What are the chances of hospitalization, ICU admission, and death in a COVID-19 patient like Donald Trump?

There is a ton of data relating to age of the patient, sex of the patient, obesity, pre-existing conditions, etc. There are important caveats, however: there may be different outcomes depending on the quality of the medical care, availability of new treatments, but also different outcomes depending on the timing of the infection within the course of the pandemic. Much of the data available on the web are analyses from Feb. through April 2020, early in the course of the pandemic. Current observations suggest that the case fatality rate (deaths per total diagnosed cases) is changing for the better. Much of the data is also different depending on the country or region selected for analysis. F. ex. in Southern and Western states of the US patients are younger than in the North Eastern states, according to recent trends!

For patients like D. Trump (74 yo; obese; male) the chances are:

hospitalizationabout 30%
ICU admissionabout 10-15%
death about 5-10%

NB: obesity, with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of just over 30 in Pres. Trump’s case, increases the death rate by perhaps about 2-fold.

In one study from Georgia of 305 Covid-19 patients that were hospitalized, 39% were admitted to the ICU, but among those older than 65, 54% were admitted to the ICU. Of those in the ICU 37-48% died.

DT is already hospitalized. He now has perhaps a 1:2 chance of being admitted to the ICU and if he is admitted to the ICU, maybe a 1:3 or greater chance of death.

Here are some graphs to illustrate:

Death rates in the Spring of 2020 in various countries
Overall Case Fatality Rate (death rate) in the US over time

And here is a related article on the likely reasons for hospitalizing DT.

Posted in Coronavirus, Health Care, Pre-existing Conditions, Trump | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

NY State Senators under Attack

From Sue in Brookhaven: 

The attacks from Ron Lauder on Democratic State Senators from Long Island are unconscionable as well as false. They also raise an important strategy question.

These attacks especially infuriate me: at the same time that Lauder has been all over the media during the High Holy Days decrying anti-semitism and hate, he is running attack ads against Monica Martinez (my senator). She herself (as well as her community) has been the victim of so much anti-immigrant anti-Hispanic hate. It seems incomprehensible. 

Even before she became a state senator, Monica was working hard with community leaders and law enforcement in her hometown of Brentwood to end the scourge of MS13 and start anti-gang programs in schools. As a senator she’s secured $500,000 for anti-gang efforts. MS13 has been largely closed down because of these joint initiatives.

Sen. Jim Gaughran is one of the loveliest and most thoughtful progressive senators we have in Albany. To add insult to injury as far as the nasty charges in these ads, Monica and Jim tried to act as peacemakers between the bail-reform advocates and law enforcement. And this is the thanks they get!

Lauder’s attacks do raise an important question. With the Supreme Court going conservative, we absolutely MUST win the NY Senate again and continue to build a progressive firewall. Having a super-majority in the NY State Senate just became critical. 

The campaign kitties of state senators, even in these swing districts, is pitiful (at the end of July, Monica had around $65,000 in hers) so even small donations can give them a big boost. If people can’t donate but can volunteer for a couple of phonebanks or share candidiate information on Facebook, that would also be great. 

Monica Martinez (Suffolk)
Jim Gaughran (Nassau)
Andrew Gounardes (Brooklyn)
Kevin Thomas (Nassau)

Thanks so much. Best, Sue

Posted in 2020 elections, anti-semitism, bigotry, Fair elections, long island, NYS legislature, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vote Him Out

Captain Sully Sullenberg

Watch this clip. Its about LEADERSHIP!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amy Klobuchar: the Cruz Hypocrisy regarding SCOTUS

People are already voting and they don’t buy in to phony Republican arguments for replacing Justice Ginsburg as soon as possible to insure enough Trump support on SCOTUS to overturn the election results if needed. Trump is not hiding his intent. This would be the death of democracy and the birth of tyranny.

We need an uprising from the majority of American voters. A revolution against tyranny. Yes, when the minority uses their ill begotten power to suppress the will of the people, that is tyranny and wide spread protests will ultimately happen.

If you are still hesitating about whether we are heading to a dictatorship, read this from Dana Milbank about the parallels between the present day Trump regime and the burning of the Reichstag on February 27, 1933!

Now lets go do our part: Phonebank! Text! Letters! Postcards!

Posted in 2020 elections, anti-semitism, Biden, bigotry, Civil Rights, Courts, disenfranchisement, Fair elections, fascism, GOP, Judiciary, public health, RBG, SCOTUS, Trump, Trump atrocities | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Is it Fascism yet?

LETTER in the Boston Globe
How fascist is it?
Updated September 24, 2020, 1 hour ago

The cult demands allegiance
“Is it fascism yet?” by Renée Graham (Opinion, Sept. 23) reinforced my fears about how dangerous Donald J. Trump is. The American carnage he vowed to remove from our country was actually his goal. The pandemic mismanagement confirms that chaos is his modus operandi. The cult of Trump enjoys the binary approach that Trump advocates. Threats, intimidation, and violence make them feel good. Trump struts on stage with the smug arrogance displayed by Benito Mussolini. The divisive rhetoric has echoes of Adolf Hitler. Trump may not be a dictator, but that is his goal. The walk across the street from the White House with a show of force to highlight the Charlton Heston moment with a Bible in hand sent an unmistakable message. The cult of Trump requires blind allegiance. Trump lies and people die, and the refusal to wear masks shows us how bald-faced the strategy is. It gives true meaning to “in your face.” I am reminded of the warning at the entrance to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum where an American liberator of a concentration camp says these things just don’t happen. Unfortunately, they did.

Steven A. Ludsin

Posted in bigotry, fascism, Religion & tolerance, Trump, Trump atrocities, Zeldin | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment