Welcome to the Coatesville Dems Blog

Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The "Key pillars in the global architecture of U.S. power." "are starting to crumble" - Alfred McCoy - Trump, Sampson like, is pushing hard against those pillars.

Time to re-read:

In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power 

"And Trump says, “We’ve got some very powerful submarines, which we’re going to have in the area.” And Duterte says, “Yeah, I’m going to call,” he says, “Yeah, I’m gonna call Xi Jinping about that. I’ll be talking to China." 
And it’s clear that Trump is trying to court the man, trying to impress him with U.S. strength, and every time Trump tries to do it, Duterte responds, “I will call China.” It’s a clear indication of China’s rising power along that Pacific littoral. Also, China has been conducting a very skillful geopolitical strategy, so-called “One belt, One road” or “Silk Road” strategy"
"Moreover, there are going to be implications for the United States. Most visibly, I think that when the dollar is no longer the world’s unchallenged, pre-eminent, global reserve currency, the grand imperial game will be over. Look, what we’ve been able to do for the last 20 years is we send the world our brightly colored, our nicely printed paper, T-notes, and they give us oil and automobiles and computers and technology. We get real goods and they get brightly colored paper. Because of the position of the dollar. When the dollar is no longer the global reserve currency, the cost of goods in the United States is going to skyrocket."

I wrote this Saturday July 29, 2017:

We know that the "War on Drugs" was an invention to keep black Democrats and "Hippies" from voting and CIA heroin and cocaine was a huge part of that War on Drugs.

The French Foreign Legion in Vietnam transported South East Asia heroin to help finance their war against Vietnam. The CIA picked up the "French Connection and ran with it. 

CIA heroin & cocaine helped Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump to keep black voters locked up and away from polling places. 

When the CIA needed to finance their wars in South America and Afghanistan the business model they used to funnel heroin from Vietnam to France and to the US only needed to be modified.

Alfred McCoy wrote the first book about the “War on Drugs” and the CIA:

Alfred McCoy is the Harrington professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of the now-classic book “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.” 

"AM: There are, I think, multiple factors that lead to an imperial decline. If you look at the key aspects of the U.S. global power, you can see a waning of strength in every one of those. One of the key things that I think very few people understand, after World War II, the United States became the first world power, the first empire in 1,000 years to control both ends of the vast Eurasian continent. Now Eurasia, that enormous landmass, is the epicenter of world power. It’s got the resources, the people, the civilizations that — you’ve got to control that to control the world. And the United States, through the NATO alliance in Western Europe and a string of alliances along the Pacific littoral with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia, controlled the axial ends of the Eurasian landmass.

And then we link that with layers of power, treaties multilateral defense treaties, starting with NATO in Europe, all the way to SETO and ANZUS with Australia, the Japan Mutual Security Treaty, the South Korea U.S. Mutual Security Treaty, the Philippine U.S. Mutual Security Treaty. And then we had fleets, we had the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, the Seventh Fleet at Subic Bay Philippines, later the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf. We had hundreds of military bases. By the end of the Cold War we have about 800 overseas military bases.

Most of those were arrayed around the Eurasian landmass. In the last 10 years as drone technology has developed, we’ve laid the latest layer upon that, which are the drone bases. There are 60 U.S. drone bases that stretch from Sicily all the way to Andersen air base on Guam, and that, given the range of the most powerful drones, the Global Hawk, it gives us surveillance and then with Predator and Reaper, strike capacity, all the way along that rim, and that has been, if you will, the key pillars in the global architecture of U.S. power.

And those pillars are starting to crumble. The NATO alliance is weakening under Trump, with the rise of Russian pressure on that alliance, but more particularly, our capacity to control those critical allies along the Pacific littoral is beginning to weaken. Jeremy, your organization The Intercept had, last April, a very important document that leaked out, the transcript of that phone conversation between President Trump and President Duterte of the Philippines, that should have had front page coverage all across the world, and every serious American newspaper. It got good coverage, but not the coverage it deserved.

If you read that transcript closely, you can see the waning of U.S. power along the Pacific littoral. Donald Trump is calling up, he’s got a fellow demagogue in the person of Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, who has killed about 8000 people in his so-called drug war — people blown away, bodies dumped in the streets of Manila and Cebu and elsewhere in the country, and he’s calling up and congratulating him and trying to bond with him, you know, autocrat to autocrat. And then Trump shifts the conversation and says, “Well, we got this problem in Korea. Kim Jong-un is unreliable.” And Duterte says, “I’m going to call China, I’ll talk to Xi Jinping about that.” And Trump says, “We’ve got some very powerful submarines, which we’re going to have in the area.” And Duterte says, “Yeah, I’m going to call,” he says, “Yeah, I’m gonna call Xi Jinping about that. I’ll be talking to China.”

And it’s clear that Trump is trying to court the man, trying to impress him with U.S. strength, and every time Trump tries to do it, Duterte responds, “I will call China.” It’s a clear indication of China’s rising power along that Pacific littoral. Also, China has been conducting a very skillful geopolitical strategy, so-called “One belt, One road” or “Silk Road” strategy and what China has been doing since about 2007 is they’ve spent a trillion dollars and they’re going to spend another trillion dollars in laying down a massive infrastructure of rails and gas and oil pipelines that will integrate the entire Eurasian landmass. Look, Europe and Asia, which we think of as — we’re learning in geography in elementary school that they’re two separate continents — they’re not. They were only separated by the vast distances, the steps in the desert that seem to divide them. Well China’s laid down, through a trillion dollars investment, a series of pipelines that are bringing energy from Central Asia across thousands of miles into China, from Siberia into China.

They’ve also built seven bases in the South China Sea and they’re taking control over these — spent over $200 million in transforming a fishing village on the Arabian Sea named Gwadar, in Pakistan, into a major modern port. They’ve also got port facilities in Africa. And through these port facilities they’re cutting those circles of steel that the United States laid down to kind of link and hold those two axial ends of Eurasia. So we are slowly, because of China’s investment, its development, some of our mismanagement of our relationships and long-term trends, those axial ends of Eurasia they’re crumbling. Our power, our control over that critical continent is weakening, and China’s control is slowly inexorably increasing and that is going to be a major geopolitical shift. One that is going to weaken the United States and strengthen China...

AM: Sure. How do I see it happening? There are the geopolitical shifts that I just described. The other thing of the long-term trends, the issues of economic waning, U.S. economic strength. China is slowly, is steadily surpassing the United States as the number one economic power. That’s one long-term trend. And China will therefore have the resources to invest in military technology.

The second thing is, we speak of crumbling U.S. infrastructure, one thing that nobody talks about very seriously in a sustained way is the intellectual infrastructure of the country. The OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the rich countries club, conducts these tests every couple years, the PISA tests, and they test 15-year-olds. In the latest rounds of tests, Shanghai students have come number one in math, science, and literacy.

U.S. students have been somewhere, in math and science, somewhere between 20 and 30. And so you might say, “Who cares about a bunch of 15-year-olds with braces, backpacks, and attitudes?” Well, by 2030, those 15-year-olds are going to be in their 20s and 30s. They’re going to be the super smart scientists and engineers that are coming up with the cutting edge technology. Technology, for example, like photon communications. China is evidently going to lead in this, that means that China can communicate with its satellites and its entire cyber and space and military apparatus without fear of being compromised. We have not developed the same level of photon communications as China. We’re much more subject to being hijacked and manipulated.

So, those kinds of trends in raw military power. The sort of the erosion of U.S. educational standards within 10 or 15 years can have some very serious implications for our military technology. It means you just don’t have the scientists, the technology, the innovation that has been so central to U.S. global power for so many years. And so that waning, the geopolitical shifts, you know, those invisible movements of a power arrayed across the landscape. And then the technological and educational shifts coming together means that there are all kinds of ways for the U.S. to lose power. Either with a bang or a whimper. But by 2030, it’s pretty much over for our global dominion.

JS: And is that, is that in your opinion a bad thing?

AM: Well, yes it is, and I here, you know I speak, you could call me, you know a narrow American. But, OK, every empire — if you think we’ve had empires in the world for about 4,000 years. Some have been more benign and beneficent, others have been absolutely brutal. If you want to go to the most brutal empire, I think in human history, the Nazi empire in Europe. It was an empire. It plundered. Much of that mobilization of labor was just raw exploitation. It was the most brutal empire in human history and it collapsed. The Japanese empire in Asia, which was arguably the biggest empire in history, was a second runner-up for raw brutality, they collapsed. The British empire was relatively benign. Yes, it was a global power, there were many excesses, many incidents, one can go on, but when it was all over, they left the Westminster system of parliament, they left the global language, they left a global economy, they left a culture of sports, they created artifacts like the BBC.

So the U.S. empire has been, and we’ve had our excesses, Vietnam, we could go on. Afghanistan. There are many problems with the U.S. exercise of its power but we have stood for human rights, the world has had 70 years of relative peace and lots of medium size wars but nothing like World War I and World War II. There has been an increase in global development, the growth of a global economy, with many inequities, but nonetheless, transnationally, a new middle class is appearing around the globe. We’ve stood for labor rights and environmental protection. Our successor powers, China and Russia, are authoritarian regimes. Russia’s autocratic, China’s a former communist regime. They stand for none of these liberal principles.

So you’ll have the realpolitik exercise of power, all the downsides with none of the upsides, with none of the positive development. I mean we’ve stood for women’s rights, for gay rights, for human progress, for democracy. You know we’ve been flawed in efficacy, but we’ve stood for those principles and we have advanced them. So we have been, on the scale of empires, comparatively benign and beneficent. And I don’t think the succeeding powers are going to be that way.

Moreover, there are going to be implications for the United States. Most visibly, I think that when the dollar is no longer the world’s unchallenged, pre-eminent, global reserve currency, the grand imperial game will be over. Look, what we’ve been able to do for the last 20 years is we send the world our brightly colored, our nicely printed paper, T-notes, and they give us oil and automobiles and computers and technology. We get real goods and they get brightly colored paper. Because of the position of the dollar. When the dollar is no longer the global reserve currency, the cost of goods in the United States is going to skyrocket.

We will not be able to travel the world as we do now. We won’t be able to enjoy the standard of living we do now. There will be lots of tensions that are going to occur in the society from what will be a major rewriting of the American social contract. This will not be pleasant. And arguably, I think it’s possible if we look back, we could see Trump’s election and all the problems of the Trump administration as one manifestation of this imperial decline.


Donald Trump and the Coming Fall of American Empire

Monday, March 30, 2020

UPDATE Watching the Democratic Party destroy itself under the leadership of Tom Perez MAYBE IT'S TIME TO CALL TOM PEREZ A MURDERER:


The delayed primaries are admittedly unlikely to change the final outcome of the Democratic race, considering Biden’s significant delegate lead over his rival, the democratic socialist senator Bernie Sanders. But the country’s necessary focus on coronavirus has left Biden mostly on the sidelines as he tries to pivot to his likely match-up against Donald Trump in November. The status of the party’s summer nominating convention also appears to be up in the air, which could rob Biden of another key opportunity to make his pitch to voters to choose him over Trump.
Coronavirus upends US election cycle as officials scramble to protect voters 
Primaries have been delayed and conventions are in question as calls for voting by mail raise concerns of their own 
Joan E Greve 
Last modified on Mon 30 Mar 2020 06.02 EDT

Thursday, March 19, 2020

My wife was judge of elections. I was an election officer.  
I broke up fights at polls. I was the man people in Coatesville called when there was a problem at the polls in Coatesville. 

I protected voters & election officers.  

Jamming Biden onto the general election is more important to Perez than keeping election officials & voters safe.  

Too soon to call Perez a murderer. 


Friday, March 27, 2020

UPDATE- Wondering how many more people figured out that Russia, China & Iran are hacking our medical systems?

At medical office. Can I pay with my iPhone? “We don’t do that.” I said sure you do, clicked twice & paid. 

Medical offices have got to be easy to hack. Our medical systems are geared for profits. It makes sense to me that the primary purpose of security in our medical systems is protecting financial transactions not patient information security. Once CORVID-19 was discovered China, Russia & Iran were likely planning their cyberattacks on U.S. medical systems.

I Watched “Kill Chain” on HBO. 

Halfway in I began thinking it’s just as easy for Russia to hack our medical systems as our voting system.

 In 2018, Russian state hackers were found to have infiltrated the systems of key pieces of United States infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI found in a report that the hacks “affected multiple organizations in the energy, nuclear, water, aviation, construction, and critical manufacturing sectors.” 
It was an attack that took considerable effort. Yet, once inside, with the ability to affect this wide swath of American society, the Russian government didn’t seem to do anything in particular. Experts believe that the attack was more of a scouting expedition, meant to understand U.S systems from the inside-out. There’s far too little known to the public to make any concrete assumptions about the goals of the HHS hackers, but the attack could have offered insight into how the U.S rapid response network operates, and the system’s capabilities. 
The HHS is only the latest actor involved in fighting coronavirus to have been the victim of cyberattacks. Two private labs focused on creating coronavirus test kits, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, were involved in 2019’s massive American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA) hack, which HealthITSecurity.com declared the worst hacking incident of the year. 
The AMCA, a billing provider for the medical service industry, saw the information of over 20 million Americans leaked online. The vast majority of this leaked patient information, consisting of personal and financial information, came from Quest and LabCorp, which saw 12 million and 7.7 million victims respectively. 
The Inverse Analysis 
Under normal circumstances, the healthcare industry is already a prime target for hacking. As an industry, having quick access to information can make the difference between life and death, and it is not as always technically proficient as other industries. But the novel coronavirus makes these extraordinary times. Cyber-attacks against the crucial elements of healthcare infrastructure around the world will almost certainly continue. The only question is which will be the first one to succeed.

"In advance of the 2020 Presidential election, KILL CHAIN: THE CYBER WAR ON AMERICA’S ELECTIONS takes a deep dive into the weaknesses of today’s election technology, investigating the startling vulnerabilities in America’s voting systems and the alarming risks they pose to our democracy. From filmmakers Simon Ardizzone, Russell Michaels and Sarah Teale, the team behind HBO’s 2006 Emmy®-nominated documentary “Hacking Democracy,” and producer Michael Hirschorn, KILL CHAIN follows Finnish hacker and cyber security expert Harri Hursti as he travels around the world and across the U.S. to show how our election systems remain dangerously unprotected."

"Hursti has a long history of drawing attention to the vulnerabilities of election technology. In 2005, he hacked into a widely-used voting machine in Florida; despite widespread public outrage, the same machine is slated for use in many states in the 2020 election. In Kill Chain, with humor and candor, Hursti travels across the country and to his homeland of Finland to assess the current state of election security and whether improvements touted by the election technology manufacturers since his 20045 hack have, in fact, made elections safer. 

Returning to Florida, Hursti learns that prior to the 2016 election, the FBI alerted officials that a foreign power had targeted a Florida vendor that runs voter registration in eight states, an attack capable of wreaking havoc on election day.
Despite claims by election-machine makers that they keep units under lock-and-key, Hursti finds a warehouse in Ohio full of AccuVote TSX machines, a model that will be used in the 2020 election, being sold on eBay. 

During Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election, Secretary of State and Republican candidate Brian Kemp had oversight of the election process and fought against replacing outdated, insecure Accuvote machines. Hursti and other election monitors are in Georgia on election day, as machine errors create lengthy wait-times at many polling places. 

Also in the film, a hacker, based in India, reveals that he hacked into Alaska’s voting systems on the day of the 2016 presidential election and could have changed any vote or deleted any candidate.   

In an interview this week, Hursti, a founding partner of Nordic Innovation Labs, a global technology solutions company, warned that the real question about the 2020 election is “who will be the actors” hacking them. 

“There are a bunch of actors already flexing their muscles. It will be a tug of war between the different actors,” he said.
Beside violating the security of the election process, their secondary goal, he added, may be to “undermine people’s trust in society.”  

“The only way forward is with hand-marked ballots,” he noted, adding that barring this, “We should do everything we can to improve the security of election infrastructure.”   
As Senator Amy Klobuchar says in the film, “It’s not just about hardware, it’s the hardware of our democracy.” 

New Documentary Debuting Tonight Explores Weaknesses In U.S. Election Technology

"Attack phases and countermeasures

Computer scientists at Lockheed-Martin corporation described a new "intrusion kill chain" framework or model to defend computer networks in 2011.[6] They wrote that attacks may occur in phases and can be disrupted through controls established at each phase. Since then, the "cyber kill chain™" has been adopted by data security organizations to define phases of cyber-attacks.[11]

A cyber kill chain reveals the phases of a cyber attack: from early reconnaissance to the goal of data exfiltration.[12] The kill chain can also be used as a management tool to help continuously improve network defense. According to Lockheed Martin, threats must progress through several phases in the model, including:

  • Reconnaissance: Intruder selects target, researches it, and attempts to identify vulnerabilities in the target network.
  • Weaponization: Intruder creates remote access malware weapon, such as a virus or worm, tailored to one or more vulnerabilities.
  • Delivery: Intruder transmits weapon to target (e.g., via e-mail attachments, websites or USB drives)
  • Exploitation: Malware weapon's program code triggers, which takes action on target network to exploit vulnerability.
  • Installation: Malware weapon installs access point (e.g., "backdoor") usable by intruder.
  • Command and Control: Malware enables intruder to have "hands on the keyboard" persistent access to target network.
  • Actions on Objective: Intruder takes action to achieve their goals, such as data exfiltration, data destruction, or encryption for ransom.
  • Defensive courses of action can be taken against these phases:[13]

  • Detect: determine whether an attacker is poking around
  • Deny: prevent information disclosure and unauthorized access
  • Disrupt: stop or change outbound traffic (to attacker)
  • Degrade: counter-attack command and control
  • Deceive: interfere with command and control
  • Contain: network segmentation changes

A U.S. Senate investigation of the 2013 Target Corporation data breach included analysis based on the Lockheed-Martin kill chain framework. It identified several stages where controls did not prevent or detect progression of the attack.[10]...

Critiques of the cyber kill chain

Among the critiques of Lockheed Martin's cyber kill chain model as threat assessment and prevention tool is that the first phases happen outside the defended network, making it difficult to identify or defend against actions in these phases.[15] Similarly, this methodology is said to reinforce traditional perimeter-based and malware-prevention based defensive strategies.[16] Others have noted that the traditional cyber kill chain isn't suitable to model the insider threat.[17] This is particularly troublesome given the likelihood of successful attacks that breach the internal network perimeter, which is why organizations "need to develop a strategy for dealing with attackers inside the firewall. They need to think of every attacker as [a] potential insider".[18]"



Kill chain

This article is about the military and information security concept.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Tom Perez will forever be the man who infected voters & election workers with a deadly disease to stop Bernie Sanders.

My wife was judge of elections. I was an election officer. 

I broke up fights at polls. I was the man people in Coatesville called when there was a problem at the polls in Coatesville.

I protected voters & election officers.  

Jamming Biden onto the general election is more important to Perez than keeping election officials & voters safe. 

Too soon to call Perez a murderer.  

Tom Perez is a monster.  But not murderer. Not yet. 

In a few months we will know how many people Tom Perez murdered.

"That Tom Perez is encouraging this, and threatening states who postpone in-person voting, is criminal," Grim tweeted, referring to a DNC memo sent last Wednesday warning that states could face a "delegate penalty" if they push back their scheduled elections. 

"It's not out of the question that when this is over there could be demands for prosecutions of those who knowingly did this," Grim said.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How many Chester County PA election officers will be dead by November 3 2020?

To Coronavirus polling places are breakfast, lunch & dinner. The ideal place to branch out in their feast on human blood.


My wife was judge of elections in Coatesville Pennsylvania Chester County Precinct 110 for 10 years. I was an election officer. 

I believe Chester County has one of the best operated election services in the U.S. 

I'm sure someone is working on developing training now. It's hard to find people who will volunteer to work a 4AM to 11PM or later day in normal circumstances. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


Over 1600 people, including medical professionals, have signed. Public health professionals, scientists, advocates, elected representatives, and others are encouraged to add their name to this letter here.

UPDATE—9:50 PM ET Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton orders polls closed as a health emergency. In-person voting is postponed. Mail-in voting likely to be extended.

UPDATE — 7:50 PM ET Democratic Judge Richard Frye denies the Ohio state government’s request for a temporary injunction to reschedule in-person voting.

UPDATE — 3:50 PM ET Ohio went to court to postpone in-person voting portion of their primary to June 2. They filed a lawsuit on behalf of voters, who will be disenfranchised.


Original Letter

*To DNC Chair Tom Perez and Members of the Democratic National Committee, the Secretaries of State of Arizona, Florida, and Ohio, and the chair of the Illinois State Board of Elections:

The next round of Democratic presidential primaries are scheduled for March 17 in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, amid a deadly pandemic. This is a dangerous state of affairs.

All four states have declared states of emergency or have patients in quarantine in response to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak.

On March 14, Georgia moved their primary from March 24 to May 19. Louisiana rescheduled their primary on April 4 for June 20.

Hundreds are sick and multiple people have died. It has resulted in numerous cancellations and postponements, including presidential campaign events in Cleveland and Tampa.

In the swing state of Ohio, the state’s Health Department Director Amy Acton said there is evidence one percent of Ohioans may be carrying the coronavirus. That means 117,000 may have have COVID-19.

A day before the scheduled March 17 primary, Ohio recognized the risks and postponed in-person voting to June 2.

State officials in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, with the support of the Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders presidential campaigns, should reschedule the primaries for May, when states such as Indiana, Oregon, and Kentucky have their primaries.

Until May, mail-in voting should be implemented throughout under the guidance of health and election authorities.

We have seen long lines of voters in states like Texas and Michigan. The amount of time standing in line with hundreds or even thousands of other voters substantially increases the likelihood that someone will get sick.

By postponing primaries, state governments will be able to keep resources focused, and they will not need to worry about the distraction of running primaries while responding to this pandemic.

This will also give time for the states to implement alternative voting mechanisms, such as vote-by-mail, at a sufficient scale if the pandemic continues to be an emergency for these states.

Furthermore, polling place workers, who are generally retired volunteers over 65 years-old, should not need to be exposed to the risk of contracting the coronavirus while managing precinct locations.

We should note that we do not believe that a public health crisis or a state of emergency should ever be used as an excuse to cancel elections. The Democratic primary season concludes in early June; the party has full flexibility to schedule state-level races at any point before then.

In addition to our primary concern about public health, we believe this would be beneficial to the democratic process.

As people are understandably avoiding public places and crowds, we expect turnout to be depressed. Rescheduling the primaries would ensure that more people are allowed to exercise their right to vote without fear.

It would also be particularly good for down ballot races in the Democratic Party primary. Candidates in city, county, and state races will likely benefit from higher turnout.

Cancellations and closings help doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a chance at saving lives.

For the health of our fellow citizens and our democracy, please act now to postpone the upcoming March primaries until May.

Medical and public health professionals, scientists, advocates, elected representatives, and others are encouraged to sign on to this letter here.



The new coronavirus hampered efforts by voters to get to the polls in some states on Tuesday as the global pandemic left the Democratic presidential primary consumed with uncertainty.

Leaders in Ohio called off their primary just hours before polls were set to open, citing the need to combat the coronavirus. Voting moved forward in Florida, Illinois and Arizona, but challenges emerged as some poll workers didn’t show up and those who did tried to create distance among voters to comply with new health guidelines limiting large gatherings.

In Florida, the Palm Beach County elections department said many workers failed to show up in at least five locations. The county had 800 volunteers back out as of Monday, with just 100 new volunteers offering to take their place.

No other major problems were reported in Florida, but a coalition of voting-rights advocacy groups filed a lawsuit seeking to extend mail voting in the state's primary by 10 days.

In Illinois, there was a scramble to relocate about 50 Chicago-area polling places after locations canceled at the last minute and said they would not be available for use on Tuesday. Timna Axel, director of communications for the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, said voters have been calling the group’s hotline all morning to get help finding their polling places.

The steady flow of calls — including from some polling place workers — is “unusual for a primary,” Axel said.

Meanwhile, Cook County, Illinois Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough encouraged poll workers to mark space on the floor at polling sites to keep voters a safe distance apart and avoid spreading the virus. She tweeted a photo of a roll of blue tape, a piece of string and a tape measure along with a note that read: “THIS PICTURE CAN SAVE LIVES.”

Chicago Tribune

Associated Press |

Mar 17, 2020 | 1:02 PM

Monday, March 16, 2020

Democrats needn’t worry. Donald Trump is too nice a guy to bring up "MBNA Joe" Biden’s extensive public advocacy of everything Trump ran against in 2016.

Trump ran against Joe Biden's public policies in 2016. It's how Trump won.

Joe Biden's public policies got Trump elected as President of the United States.

“When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well,” he told the Senate in 1995. “I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ benefits. I meant every single solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time, and I tried it a fourth time.” (A freeze would have reduced the amount that would be paid out, cutting the program’s benefit.)...

“The American people know we have to fix Social Security,” Biden said in 2007. “They know we’re going to have to make some tough decisions.”

In his 2007 interview with Russert as a presidential candidate, the “Meet the Press” host asked, “Senator, we have a deficit. We have Social Security and Medicare looming. The number of people on Social Security and Medicare is now 40 million people. It’s going to be 80 million in 15 years. Would you consider looking at those programs, age of eligibility…”

“Absolutely,” Biden said.

“ … cost of living, put it all on the table.”

“The answer is absolutely,” Biden said, reminding Russert that earlier in his career, he had been part of the small number of senators who had come up with the deal that raised the retirement age, and promised to protect each other from voters outraged at the cuts:

I was one of five people — I was the junior guy in the meeting with Bob Dole and George Mitchell when we put Social Security on the right path for 60 years. I’ll never forget what Bob Dole said. After we reached an agreement about gradually raising the retirement age, etc., he said, ‘Look, here’s the deal, we all put our foot in the boat one at a time.’ And he kicked — he stepped like he was stepping into a boat. ‘And we all make the following deal. If any one of the challengers running against the incumbent Democrat or Republicans attack us on this point, we’ll all stay together.’ That’s the kind of leadership that is needed. Social Security’s not the hard one to solve. Medicare, that is the gorilla in the room, and you’ve got to put all of it on the table.

At Iowa’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner in November 2007, weeks from the Iowa caucus, Biden again returned to Social Security. “The American people know we have to fix Social Security,” he said. “They know we can’t grow our way to a solution. They know we’re going to have to make some tough decisions. They’re ready to make those decisions. They’re ready to step up. We have to be ready to straightforwardly tell them what we’re about to do.”

As vice president, Biden was involved in multiple administration attempts to cut Social Security as part of a “grand bargain” with Republicans, all of them blocked by tea party Republicans, who couldn’t agree to any tax increases. In 2014, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said at a conservative event that Biden had privately told him he was supporting of raising the retirement age and means-testing Social Security benefits. “I asked the vice president, don’t we have to raise the age? Wouldn’t means-testing and raising the age solve the problem?” Paul recounted, with Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee on stage, adding that Biden said, “Yes in private, but will not say it in public.” Paul hadn’t been paying close enough attention.

A few years later, at a Brookings Institution event in April 2018, Biden addressed Social Security again. “Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What’s the first thing he decided we had to go after? Social Security and Medicare. Now, we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare,” Biden said, then added in a whisper: “That’s the only way you can find room to pay for it.”

Last week, the Biden campaign told Politifact that Biden was mocking Ryan and being sarcastic. Immediately after his whisper, he went into the kinds of adjustments to Social Security he thought should be made, the same type that Paul said he told him supported privately.

“Now, I don’t know a whole lot of people in the top one-tenth of 1 percent or the top 1 percent who are relying on Social Security when they retire. I don’t know a lot of them,” Biden said, alluding to the need to means-test Social Security. “So we need a pro-growth, progressive tax code that treats workers as job creators, as well, not just investors; that gets rid of unproductive loopholes like stepped-up basis; and it raises enough revenue to make sure that the Social Security and Medicare can stay, it still needs adjustments, but can stay; and pay for the things we all acknowledge will grow the country.”

When the program is popular, “adjustment” is a Washington euphemism for cuts. But you can count on Trump to use the more common term.


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Over the past 20 years, MBNA has been Biden's single largest contributor. And as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal note, Biden's son Hunter was hired out of law school by MBNA and later worked as a lobbyist for the company.

The Times also details just how helpful Biden has been to MBNA and the credit card industry. The senator was a key supporter of an industry-favorite bill -- the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" -- that actually made it harder for consumers to get protection under bankruptcy.

Biden's Cozy Relations With Bank Industry

"It was an unusually hot summer when Biden, then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced he was running for president. He burned bright. Past plagiarism brought him low. He dropped out of the race after just three months. 

That first failed presidential bid is worth revisiting not just because Biden believes he is the last best hope for Democrats to defeat President Trump. It is also worth examining because of how Biden defined his candidacy between the two economic poles of unfettered free market capitalism and a command economy. 

Even before he was Uncle Joe, Biden didn’t have time for fanatical economic piety or cultist protectionism. Take a look at his June 1987 announcement speech, an address he made from the financially strong Wilmington, Del.: “We cannot accept the naivete of free traders who ignore the flagrant abuses of our trading partners,” Biden said, “nor can we accept the morally bankrupt, easy answer on protectionism — an answer that smacks of defeatism. Protecting one job today at the cost of ten of our children’s jobs tomorrow is unacceptable.” 

Biden said that in 1987, when unemployment was just 5.7 percent, growth was 3.5 percent, and malaise was an ugly word the country had nearly forgotten. Things are different this side of the last economic panic. The numbers are even better, but jitters remain thanks to the great recession. But if an older and wiser Biden believes what a younger and more idealistic Biden believed, we are in for a wild 2020. 

Biden wouldn’t just be to the right of the other, grumpier national uncle, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on trade. Biden would be to the right of the grumpy yet jovial uncle currently in the Oval Office."


Washington Examiner

Joe Biden: The free trade champion of 2020?