The Democratic Convention and my 5 cent bet on Night Four

By David Lindsay, Jr. 8/22/20

On the first night of the Democratic National Convention we heard from a lot of good speakers, including: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Former Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Doug Jones, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. I think the final speaker was Former First Lady Michelle Obama. It was impressive.

The second night included:  Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Former Secretary of State John Kerry, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Former President Bill Clinton, and Former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Bill Clinton was limited to five minutes, and still stole the show.

The third night included: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Former President Barak Obama, and Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The night ended with Kamala Harris. Kamala was very good, but not as relaxed as when she gave her introduction speech a few weeks ago. Barak Obama reminded people that he is phenomenal.

Oh my gosh, I thought, who else is left to speak? What are they going to do on the fourth night? So I thought about it, and bet anyone five cents who wanted to bet, that on the fourth night, they would have a few or all of the remaining candidates for president, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Beto O’Rourke, Corey Booker, Michael Bloomberg, and perhaps several of the State Department officials who testified against Trump in the impeachment hearings: Fiona Hill, David Holmes, Marie Yovanovitch, and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.

There was a subtle intelligence to the convention organization, since all the really talented speakers went earlier, with the exception of Buttigieg who is young. Joe Biden wouldn’t have to follow either of the Clintons, either of the Obamas, Kamala Harris, or his own eloquent wife Jill Biden.

So I was right about the other candidates, and wrong about the State Department whistle blowers and brave patriots. I also missed the long piece on John Lewis, with excerpts of his speeches over decades. I missed historian and biographer Jon Meacham. I didn’t know about the impressive 13-year old with a stutter, and it was warming to be reminded that Joe overcame a serious stutter, and that the condition was part of why he became empathetic to others.

Then, to top it all off, Joe Biden gave what was probably the best speech of his life, with not a single slip, hesitation, or thought jump. He was presidential, and humble, energetic, thoughtful, and appropriately angry. He showed a range of emotions we don’t usually see from him. He communicated, that he is an experienced and accomplished leader who connects with people, listens and understands their issues. He can beat Trump on character, the economy, on climate change and the environment, civil rights, income inequality, and preserving our democracy. He will  protect Americans and American troops from pandemics and fascist dictators. He said that to fix the economy, we have to fix the pandemic, and that on day one, he would mobilize the whole country to respond appropriately, making sure we have ample testing and personal protective equipment. Only then we can safely go back to work or to school.

Besides strengthening social security and medicare, he will even get the post office working again.

Did you take the bet?  Do I get your nickel, or do I owe you one? At any rate, a penny for your thoughts.

Opinion | Democrats- Do Your Damned Duty! – by Charles Blow – The New York Times

David Lindsay:
I wish it were so easy, and simple, but I fear it isn’t.
David Leonhardt and Bret Stephens have both argued that impeachment right away would give Trump the foil he needs to play the victim card over and over. He would then be exonnerated by the Senate. It would give him a boost before the 2020 election.
Here is a comment, I was able to endorse:
Ron Cohen
Ron Cohen
Waltham, MA3h ago
Times Pick
As others have pointed out, time favors the Democrats, not Trump. He wants impeachment now, so he can be exonerated by the Senate before the 2020 campaign begins.

He doesn’t want the drip, drip, drip of further revelations during the campaign, which surely will accelerate once impeachment proceedings have begun.

There’s nothing in the Constitution that REQUIRES Congress to impeach—now, or ever. Those who argue that Congress has a “Constitutional responsibility,” or “duty,” to impeach are wrong. There is no such thing. Whether to impeach is a political decision, and it has always been regarded as such. Congress is free to leave the judgment to the voters if it feels that is a less divisive and more certain means of redress.

And that is exactly what will happen if impeachment proceedings are delayed until next year, when the campaign is under way. The final verdict will be made by the voters—by then more fully engaged and informed—who may well “convict” via the ballot box. There’s no certainty they will do so, but it is certain the Senate will not. Once Trump is out of office, of course, his immunity to prosecution will be gone.

17 Replies213 Recommended

Legalize Addictive Drugs – By David Lindsay Jr

If we legalize and regulate addictive drugs, much of these enormous profits from the illegal drug business would decrease dramatically. When alcohol was re-legalized after prohibition, armed gangs were disbanded and killings decreased greatly.

Many economists, at least privately, admit that we should legalize addictive drugs to ameliorate the negative effects. Herbert Stein and Milton Friedman are two famous right of center economists who have called for legalization.

   Legalization would allow us win the war on illegal drug trafficking, and it is probably the only way to win the war on drug trafficking.

It would not be simple. There would need to be investment and resources into drug addiction rehabilitation programs, jobs programs, support systems. We would need severe financial penalties and long jail sentences for  businesses and individuals that push addictive drugs onto non-addicts. The law has to be severe with people who turn citizens or patients into addicts.

Decriminalization would be an immediate place to begin, to get tens of thousands of petty drug users and sellers out of our jails.

We have a heroin epidemic in New England and the rest of the country right now. Much of the heroin is bad, and kills people. If heroin was legal and regulated, doses would be bad for you, but wouldn’t stop your heart. Countless young people, including my son Austin, would be alive after experimenting with the drug. It is the illegality of these drugs that make them unregulated. Bad batches kill people, like my son Austin. The huge illegal profits are destabilizing whole countries, and police forces, prosecutors and judges.

 

originally posted on Facebook.

Here is the same comment, cut to under 1500 words, to become a comment at the NYT today, after an article by Jessica Bruder, “The Worst Drug Crisis in American History”

If we legalize and regulate addictive drugs, much of these enormous profits from the illegal drug business would decrease dramatically. When alcohol was re-legalized after prohibition, armed gangs were disbanded and killings decreased greatly. Many economists, at least privately, admit that we should legalize addictive drugs to ameliorate the negative effects. Herbert Stein and Milton Friedman are two famous right of center economists who have called for legalization. There would need to be investment and resources into drug addiction rehabilitation programs, jobs programs, support systems. We would need severe financial penalties and long jail sentences for  businesses and individuals that push addictive drugs onto non-addicts. The law has to be severe with people who turn citizens or patients into addicts. Decriminalization would be an immediate place to begin, to get tens of thousands of petty drug users and sellers out of our jails. We have a heroin epidemic in New England and the rest of the country right now. Much of the heroin is bad, and kills people. If heroin was legal and regulated, doses would be bad for you, but wouldn’t stop your heart. Countless young people, including my son Austin, would be alive after experimenting with the drug. It is the illegality of these drugs that make them unregulated. Bad batches kill people, like my son Austin. The huge illegal profits are destabilizing whole countries, and police forces, prosecutors and judges.