Here is the epitaph that will not be read for any current, conservative Supreme Court justice Saturday, Sep 19 2020 

Frontpage of the September 10, 2020 Chicago Tribune:

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Ginsburg’s death just over six weeks before Election Day is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known.

In a statement released just over an hour after Ginsburg’s death was announced, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared unequivocally that Trump’s nominee would receive a vote, even though the Republican-controlled Senate did not give President Barack Obama’s pick a vote in the months ahead of the 2016 election.

Chief Justice John Roberts mourned Ginsburg’s passing. “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice,” he said in a statement.
Ginsburg announced in July that she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for lesions on her liver, the latest of her several battles with cancer.

Ginsburg spent her final years on the bench as the unquestioned leader of the court’s liberal wing and became something of a rock star to her admirers. Young women especially seemed to embrace the court’s Jewish grandmother, affectionately calling her the Notorious RBG, for her defense of the rights of women and minorities, and the strength and resilience she displayed in the face of personal loss and health crises.

Those health issues included five bouts with cancer beginning in 1999, falls that resulted in broken ribs, insertion of a stent to clear a blocked artery and assorted other hospitalizations after she turned 75.

She resisted calls by liberals to retire during Obama’s presidency when Democrats held the Senate and a replacement with similar views could have been confirmed. Instead, Trump will almost certainly try to push Ginsburg’s successor through the Republican-controlled Senate — and move the conservative court even more to the right.

Ginsburg antagonized Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, including calling him a faker. She soon apologized.
Ginsburg’s appointment by President Bill Clinton in 1993 was the first by a Democrat in 26 years. She initially found a comfortable ideological home somewhere left of center on a conservative court dominated by Republican appointees. Her liberal voice grew stronger the longer she served.

Ginsburg was a mother of two, an opera lover and an intellectual. At argument sessions, in the ornate courtroom, she was known for digging deep into case records and for being a stickler for the rules.
Ginsburg argued six key cases before the court in the 1970s when she was an architect of the women’s rights movement. She won five.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg does not need a seat on the Supreme Court to earn her place in the American history books,” Clinton said at the time of her appointment in 1993. “She has already done that.”

On the court, her most significant majority opinions were the 1996 ruling that ordered the Virginia Military Institute to accept women or give up its state funding, and the 2015 decision that upheld independent commissions some states use to draw congressional districts.

In the most divisive of cases, including the Bush v. Gore decision in 2000, she was often at odds with the court’s more conservative members — initially Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

The division remained the same after John Roberts replaced Rehnquist as chief justice, Samuel Alito took O’Connor’s seat, and, under Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined the court, in seats that had been held by Scalia and Kennedy, respectively.

Ginsburg would say later that the 5-4 decision that settled the 2000 presidential election for Republican George W. Bush was a “breathtaking episode” at the court.

She was perhaps personally closest on the court to Scalia, her ideological opposite. Ginsburg once explained that she took Scalia’s sometimes biting dissents as a challenge to be met. “How am I going to answer this in a way that’s a real putdown?” she said.

Scalia died in 2016.

Ginsburg authored powerful dissents of her own in cases involving abortion, voting rights and pay discrimination against women. She said some were aimed at swaying the opinions of her fellow judges while others were “an appeal to the intelligence of another day” in the hopes that they would provide guidance to future courts.

Joan Ruth Bader was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933. Her older sister, who gave her the lifelong nickname “Kiki,” died at age 6, so Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn’s Flatbush section as an only child.

Ginsburg graduated at the top of her Columbia University law school class in 1959 but could not find a law firm willing to hire her. She had “three strikes against her” — for being Jewish, female and a mother, as she put it in 2007.

She had married her husband, Martin, in 1954, the year she graduated from Cornell University. She attended Harvard University’s law school but transferred to Columbia when her husband took a law job there. Martin Ginsburg went on to become a prominent tax attorney and law professor. Martin Ginsburg died in 2010.

She is survived by two children, Jane and James, and several grandchildren.

We have arrived at a tipping point in which one small event could turn America into a horrifying dictatorship. Friday, Sep 18 2020 

Question: Which is the greater danger to America and your freedoms: Protesters against bigotry and police brutality, or a dictator aided by a brutal military?

Lest you believe that for some unknown reason, America is immune to the horrors of a dictatorship, that also is what Chileans believed.

Here is what happened in Chile

The military dictatorship of Chile was a right-wing authoritarian military regime that ruled Chile for seventeen years, between September 11, 1973 and March 11, 1990.

The coup was the result of multiple forces, including pressure from conservative and women’s groups, certain political parties, union strikes and other domestic unrest.

The dictatorship was established after the democratically-elected socialist government of Salvador Allende was overthrown in a US-backed coup d’état on 11 September 1973.

During this time, the country was ruled by a military junta headed by General Augusto Pinochet. The military used the alleged breakdown of democracy and the economic crisis that took place during Allende’s presidency to justify its seizure of power.

The regime was characterized by the systematic suppression of political parties and the persecution of dissidents to an extent unprecedented in the history of Chile.

Overall, the regime left over 3,000 dead or missing, tortured tens of thousands of prisoners, and drove an estimated 200,000 Chileans into exile.

The Chilean dictatorship was at first supported by many Chileans — conservative groups, women’s groups, political parties, and domestic unrest. Only when they were trapped did they come to rue their support.

Keep all of the above in mind as you consider the situation in the U.S.:

Report: Barr suggested charging violent protesters with sedition
Attorney General William Barr last week urged federal prosecutors to consider filing sedition charges against people accused of violence at protests against racial injustice,

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the conference call. Some of the people on the call reportedly were alarmed by the unusual suggestion of charging rioters with insurrection.

Barr also reportedly asked the Justice Department’s civil rights division whether Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan could be criminally charged for letting people establish a police-free protest zone in the city this summer. Durkan, a Democrat President Trump has criticized, called the suggestion of criminal charges “chilling” and an abuse of power.

Trump and Barr are avid defenders of the Constitution, so long as their support is limited to the current translation of the 2nd Amendment.

As for other parts of the Constitution, not so much. They want to prosecute protesters as traitors to America. The purpose: To chill all protests.

This makes Attorney General Barr, the purported defender of the Constitution, America’s biggest legal threat to our Constitutional rights.

When law enforcement forcibly cleared protesters from Lafayette Square to make room for trump’s photo-op at St. John’s church, federal officials began to stockpile ammunition and seek devices that could emit deafening sounds and make anyone within range feel like their skin is on fire.Pax on both houses: Trump's Defeated Defenders Can Only Wimper

The Provost Marshal of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region looked for two things: a long-range acoustic device, a kind of sound cannon and a heat ray weapon).

There have been questions about whether the heat ray weapon worked, or should be deployed in the first place. It uses millimeter wave technology to essentially heat the skin of people targeted by its invisible ray.

The lead military police officer in the National Capital Region wrote the ADS device “can provide our troops a capacity they currently do not have, the ability to reach out and engage potential adversaries.”

Pentagon officials were reluctant to use the heat ray device in Iraq.

In late 2018, the Trump administration had weighed using the device on migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border — an idea shot down by Kirstjen Nielsen, then the Homeland Security secretary, citing humanitarian concerns.

Humanitarian concerns (i.e. political concerns) prevented Trump from using a cruel device on migrants, but then Trump’s administration considered using the same, inhumane device on American protesters.

Excessive Force Used Against Protesters Outside White House, Guard Commander Claims
Crowds were peaceful when Park Police began to aggressively clear them from the area ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech at St. John’s Episcopal Church, according to Maj. Adam DeMarco.

“From my observation, those demonstrators — our fellow American citizens — were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights,” DeMarco said in his statement. “Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.”

DeMarco’s account runs counter to the way Attorney General William Barr described the protesters in a June 7 CBS News interview.

“The Park Police was facing what they considered to be a very rowdy and non-compliant crowd,” he said during the interview. “And there were projectiles being hurled at the police.”

DeMarco: “I asked my Park Police liaison if tear gas would be used because I had observed tear gas canisters affixed to Park Police officers’ vests, and I knew that tear gas had been used against demonstrators the previous evening,” he said in the statement. “The Park Police liaison told me that tear gas would not be employed.”

“General Milley told me to ensure that National Guard personnel remained calm, adding that we were there to respect the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights.”

Peaceful protesters were violently cleared so Trump could have his picture taken holding a bible.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., Park Police, led by Civil Disturbance Units and horse-mounted officers, were joined by Secret Service and other law enforcement personnel as they began the clearing operation, DeMarco said.

“I heard explosions and saw smoke being used to disperse the protesters,” he said in his statement. “I could feel irritation in my eyes and nose and, based on my previous exposure to tear gas in my training at West Point and later in my Army training, I recognized that irritation as effects consistent with CS or ‘tear gas.’ Later that evening, I found spent tear gas canisters on the street nearby.”

“From my vantage point, I saw demonstrators scattering and fleeing as the Civil Disturbance Unit charged toward them; I observed people fall to the ground as some Civil Disturbance Unit members used their shields offensively as weapons.

“As I walked behind the Civil Disturbance Units pushing westward on H Street, I also observed unidentified law enforcement personnel behind our National Guardsmen using ‘paintball-like’ weapons to discharge what I later learned to be ‘pepper balls’ into the crowd, as demonstrators continued to retreat.”

At around 7:05 p.m, DeMarco said he saw Trump walking onto H Street from Lafayette Square, near St. John’s Church, accompanied by his security detail.

“Having served in a combat zone, and understanding how to assess threat environments, at no time did I feel threatened by the protesters or assess them to be violent,” DeMarco said in the statement.

“In addition, considering the principles of proportionality of force and the fundamental strategy of graduated responses specific to civil disturbance operations, it was my observation that the use of force against demonstrators in the clearing operation was an unnecessary escalation of the use of force.”

And all this — the tear gas, the use of shields offensively, the consideration of a heat ray weapon and a deafening-sounds weapon — all this were used against peaceful demonstrators, just so Donald Trump could have a photo-op holding a bible.

Now imagine what horrors might have been committed had the demonstrators really been a threat to anyone or had Trump’s mission been more vital to American security than a photo-op.

In Barr, Trump has quasi-legal support for the notion that the President of the United States is a supreme, king-like figure whose power cannot be questioned, and whose crimes cannot be punished.

William Barr’s full-throated defense of the Unitary theory of executive power is built on a fictional reading of constitutional design

Attorney General William Barr’s November 15 speech before the Federalist Society, delivered at its annualNational Lawyers Convention,received considerable attention.Barr attackedwhat he views as progressives’ unscrupulous and relentless attacks on President Trump and Senate Democrats’ “abuse of the advice-and-consent process.”

Ironies notwithstanding, the core analysis of his speech is a full-throated defense of the Unitary theory of executive power, which purports to be an Originalist view of the Founders’ intent.

This defense, however, reveals the two fundamental flaws of the Unitary view: first, that it is built on a fictional reading of constitutional design; and second, that its precepts attack the fundamental tenets of the checks and balances system that the Founders did create.

Barr’s speech begins with his complaint that presidential power has been weakened in recent decades by the “steady encroachment” of executive powers by the other branches.

No sane analysis of the Reagan era forward could buttress Barr’s ahistorical claim.

Barr claims that the Founders’ chief antagonist during the Revolutionary period was not the British monarchy but an overbearing Parliament. Had Barr bothered to consult the Declaration of Independence, he would have found the document to direct virtually all of its ire against “the present King of Great Britain.”

Barr dismisses the idea of inter-branch power-sharing as “mushy thinking.” Yet the essence of checks and balances is power-sharing.

Americans fought and died in the Revolutionary War to free us from the overbearing power of a king, which Barr now wishes to re-install. A “King Trump” would be just fine in Barr’s “unitary President” world.

Donald Trump vs. The Media: Who Will Win the War? | Analysis

Since Donald Trump took office as President of the United State he has consistently portrayed the media as a force for evil against him.

It began in his first press conference and has continued throughout. “Bashing media organizations may be Donald Trump’s most consistent hobby,” wrote The Economist.

President Trump has defined “fake news” as any report he deems unfavorable, political- and media-watchers say, and he has intensified the attacks throughout his term.

“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

Much to the surprise, the regret, and the agony of their citizens, many democratic nations have become dictatorships. The reasons always are the same”

  1. Dictators fear, then disparage, then discredit, then destroy the independent media. When the public sees and hears only the dictator’s side, public support is assured.
  2. All dictatorships use the same excuses: National security and law-and-order. Any protest or disagreement with the dictator is considered treason and sedition (as Barr has proposed), to be punished in the most brutal way. They are arrested and even tortured and murdered
  3. The dictator turns the military against the citizens. A military always does as ordered, even when the orders are immoral, unlawful and/or inhumane. Those few in the military who object are punished (See: Colonel Vindman)
  4. Dictators demand absolute power. Attorney General Barr procured his job by writing a paper supporting the Unitary vision of the Presidency — complete and exclusive control over the Executive branch, foreign policy preeminence, and no sharing of powers among the branches.
The fascinating mystery of Trump's approach to Putin - CNN

“Would you like a Trump Tower, Moscow?”

Now, American elections approach — elections that Russia is attempting to turn toward Trump (just as the U.S. supported dictator Pinochet against Chile’s democratically elected Allende).

Trump and his minions continue their attempts to disenfranchise Democratic voters all over the country by gerrymandering, interfering with postal operations, the closing of polling places in Democratic areas, and other methods.

Trump already has said that if he loses, as President he will consider the election illegally “rigged,” and he has considered not abiding by the results.

Trump has installed Barr, to give a legal veneer to a dictatorship (i.e. the unitary President), but to “legally” punish all who oppose Trump.

Trump does not even attempt to hide his admiration for dictators Putin, Kim, Duterte, et al.

The vast majority of protests against bigotry and police brutality are peaceful. You wouldn’t know that if you listen to Trump.

He already is playing the “law-and-order” card with regard to protests. Violent Trump supporters — QAnon and white supremacists — have begun to infiltrate the otherwise peaceful protests to give Trump an excuse for a military response to Constitutionally protected demonstrations.

The citizens of formerly democratic nations — Germany, Cuba, Chile for example — believed “it couldn’t happen here.” Yet, much to their dismay, it happened with the support of those who valued the siren song of harsh rule by a strongman over democratic rule and justice for all.

In a democracy, the injustice done to you is an injustice done to me. Sadly, the bigots among us don’t subscribe to that decency. They fear and despise the elements of our society who are in various ways “different,” and welcome Trumpian harshness.

That polls that show Trump with more than 45% support indicates the tenuous grip we Americans have on our democracy. Nearly half of America supports the dictatorship of a psychopath.

In summary:

We have arrived at a tipping point in which one small event could turn America into a horrifying dictatorship, that could inflame the entire world for decades.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


The most important problems in economics involve:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


It’s all about the mask, stupid Wednesday, Sep 16 2020 

Way, way back, on May 5th, 2020, we published, “The surprisingly simple way to open America in 14 days and avoid a depression.” It said:

“COVID-19 transmits primarily through the air by droplets. Stop the droplets and you stop the transmission. The incubation period is 14 days. If everyone wore a mask, even just a simple cloth mask, the virus would cease to be transmitted in two weeks.

“We wouldn’t have to wait for a vaccine or a cure. We all could go back to work.”

The easily understood reasoning was:

  1. If you inhale just one viral particle, you won’t get sick. It takes a larger viral load to make you sick.
  2. If I wear a mask, most of my viral droplets won’t reach you, and
  3. If you also wear a mask, those few droplets that do travel all the way to you, will be intercepted by your mask. 
  4. Thus you’ll actually inhale so few, if any, of my virus-containing droplets (and vice-versa), and the viral load will be so low, our immune systems will be able to deal with them. 

This does not require a degree in rocket science or even in viral science, neither of which I have. It is clear, easy, simple common sense, most of which I have learned from my wife.

Wear a cloth over your face, and less of your spit won’t travel as far, nor will the other guy’s spit, and les of his spit won’t get to you.

Really, is that so hard?

But at the time, mask-wearing was derided as unnecessary, un-masculine, unproven, and un-American as it supposedly interfered with our God-given freedoms, i.e. freedoms to infect other people, freedoms to get sick, freedoms to overwhelm hospitals, and freedoms to die. (To conservatives, all freedoms are “God-given” — carrying guns, or shooting protesters — those sorts of freedoms.)

Subsequently, we have learned the President knew about the way COVID-19 is transmitted, and how serious it is, but he didn’t want to “panic” people. (He prefers to bigot-panic “white, suburban housewives” that given the right to vote, criminal blacks and Latinos will move into the suburbs, looting, burning, pillaging, and raping said housewives).

The President, who claims to have “done everything he could to stop the virus, sets a precedent for not wearing masks by not wearing one himself, and by holding mass ego-stroking rallies attended by future Darwin Award winners.


Trump, Nevada

Future Darwin Award Winners: Only supporters who would appear in TV footage of the event, had to wear masks

Now, it’s a long, long time from May to September, and incredibly, mask-wearing is still controversial, at least among Trump followers, who not only don’t wear masks, but demand that others not wear masks, either. (Presumably, these are the same people who don’t cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, or who insist on smoking in restaurants and airplanes, or who lick other people’s spoons.)

But belatedly, science is beginning to catch up with common sense, and overcome Trumpian nut-case politics:

CDC director says masks are ‘more guaranteed’ to protect against COVID-19 than a vaccine

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is once again stressing the importance of masks in the coronavirus pandemic, calling them “more guaranteed” to protect against COVID-19 than a vaccine.

CDC Director Robert Redfield testified before Congress on Wednesday and emphasized to lawmakers that face masks are the “most important, powerful public health tool we have,” urging “all Americans” to “embrace” them because doing so could bring the COVID-19 pandemic “under control.”

“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” Redfield said. “Because the immunogenicity may be 70 percent, and if I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will.”

Well, wearing masks may, or may not prove to be more protective than vaccination, but this much I absolutely, positively can say: Wearing masks is more protective than any non-existent vaccine.

So, until a safe, proven vaccine is developed and given to everyone, there is only one, sensible alternative — the one Trump advises against.

These comments from Redfield come after President Trump, who for months resisted wearing a face mask in public, claimed during an ABC town hall on Tuesday that despite what public health experts have said, “a lot of people,” such as “waiters,” think masks are “not good.”

Well, there you have it: Trump’s oft-spoken “a lot of people:” In this case, waiters. (“A lot of people said (Russian bounties) are a fake issue.” “A lot of people think Edward Snowden is not being treated fairly.” “A Lot of people say George Soros is funding the migrant caravan.” “A lot of people’ say there were spies in my campaign”)

By the way, I ate at a restaurant today. Though we were outdoors, our mask-wearing waiter — smarter than Trump –took our orders while standing several feet away. We also work masks.

Redfield told Congress on Wednesday, “We have clear scientific evidence: [masks] work, and they are our best defense.”

During the hearing, after Trump earlier this week claimeda COVID-19 vaccine could be ready in just three or four weeks, Redfield predicted that one could be “initially” available in “very limited supply” in November or December. But in terms of when a vaccine could be “generally available to the American public,” Redfield said this could come in “late second quarter, third quarter 2021.” Brendan Morrow

In summary, we told you in May what Redfield is telling you in September. There are four takeaways from this post:

  1. Dummies don’t wear masks.
  2. Dummies tell other people not to wear masks.
  3. Dummies believe anything Donald Trump says.
  4. Dummies will vote for Trump.

How do I know this? A lot of people say so.

Wear the damn mask.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


The most important problems in economics involve: Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest. MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

COVID-19 is the most important event in 80 years, but this is far more important yet. Tuesday, Sep 15 2020 

COVID-19 may kill at least a half-million Americans and five-million worldwide, just in the next two or three years, unless we are able to develop a vaccine and unless people will be encouraged to take it.

That is an awful lot of deaths, but it pales in comparison to the people who will suffer and die because of global warming.

More Than 250,000 People May Die Each Year Due to Climate Change
By Rachael Rettner January 17, 2019

In the coming decades, more than a quarter-million people may die each year as a result of climate change, according to a new review study.

In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that climate change would lead to about 250,000 additional deaths each year between 2030 and 2050, from factors such as malnutrition, heat stress and malaria.

But the new review, published Jan. 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine, said this is a “conservative estimate.” That’s because it fails to take into account other climate-related factors that could affect death rates — such as population displacement and reductions in labor productivity from farmers due to increased heat, study co-author Dr. Andrew Haines, epidemiologist and former director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told CNN.

In addition, the WHO estimate didn’t take into account illnesses and deaths tied to disruptions in health services caused by extreme weather and climate events, the review said.

Climate change is the single, most important, species-survival event to take place since humans began to walk the earth. Yet it doesn’t receive the media attention of COVID-19, or police brutality, or the stock markets, or sports.

While an entire, multi-page section of your daily newspaper is devoted to sports, the looming extinction of our species garners only the occasional article.

Yet, climate change is actively denied by Donald Trump and his science-illiterate followers.

One might hope that the potential suffering and eradication of a substantial portion of our children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren, would merit a bit more seriousness. Sadly, we must endure “present bias,” in which future lives are discounted vs. current comfort.

Even those who wish to address the threat to the survival of the human species are blocked by ignorance and myths.

Joe Biden sets out aggressive plan to tackle climate change
By Evan Halper, Staff, writer, July 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden unveiled a proposal for rebuilding the economy Tuesday that focuses heavily on restoring American leadership in the fight against global warming, directing government recovery efforts toward expanding clean energy and rapidly reversing the Trump administration’s abandonment of climate efforts.

In a speech in Wilmington, Del., the former vice president called for a massive green jobs and environmental justice program that would invest $2 trillion in his first term on building new renewable energy infrastructure.

“Climate change is a challenge that’s going to define our American future,” Biden said. “I know meeting the challenge will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to jolt new life into our economy, strengthen our global leadership, protect our planet … We’re not just going to tinker around the edges. We’re going to make historic investments that will seize the opportunity to meet this moment in history.”

The spending would go toward expansion of high-speed rail, building electric cars and greatly increasing the use of wind, solar and other renewable technologies to generate power, among other goals. Under Biden’s plan, the U.S. would fully end the use of oil, coal and other fossil fuels to generate electricity by 2035. He would bring the nation to net zero emissions of greenhouse gases no later than 2050.

The plan is notably more aggressive than the one Biden campaigned on during his party’s primaries, part of an overall move in which he has embraced some of the proposals of his more progressive rivals in an effort to unify the party for the general election.

This is the “aggressive” plan — 30 more years of global warming?? Thirty more years of increasing death rates as the world gets warmer and warmer?

We won’t get into the non-science or pseudo-science of global warming deniers. If you want to see the claims, go here. I’ll go along with the scientific majority on this.

If the scientific majority is wrong, and we take action, we’ll only have devoted a lot of time and money to controlling CO2, while creating millions of jobs. If the scientific majority is right, and we take action, we’ll save humanity. 

Compared with Biden’s earlier proposals, the current one would spend more, do it faster and aim more investment toward disadvantaged communities.

“The science tells us there is no time for delay on climate change,” the plan says. “Biden will make a $2 trillion accelerated investment, with a plan to deploy those resources over his first term, setting us on an irreversible course to meet the ambitious climate progress that science demands.”

Why only $2 trillion? That’s less than the U.S is spending to remediate COVID 19 — i.e. to deal not only with the disease itself, but also dealing with its current and future effects on people and the economy.

Consider the current an future effects of global warming:

Arctic ‘transitioning’ to a new climate
Extremes are becoming routine, study suggests.

The Arctic has started to transition from predominantly frozen to an entirely different climate, according to a new report.

Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists from the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) say the planet’s north has warmed so significantly that its year-to-year variability is moving outside the bounds of any past fluctuations, signalling the move to a new normal.

Sea ice has melted to the extent that even an unusually cold year will no longer have the amount of summer sea ice that existed as recently as the mid-20th century.

“The rate of change is remarkable,” says lead author Laura Landrum. “It’s a period of such rapid change that observations of past weather patterns no longer show what you can expect next year.”

And this:


  • Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earth’s poles. Global sea levels are rising 0.13 inches (3.2 millimeters) a year, and the rise is occurring at a faster rate in recent years.

  • Vanishing ice has challenged species such as the Adélie penguin in Antarctica, where some populations on the western peninsula have collapsed by 90 percent or more.

  • Precipitation (rain and snowfall) with severe floods has increased across the globe, on average.

  • Yet, some regions are experiencing more severe drought, increasing the risk of wildfires, lost crops, and drinking water shortages.

  • Ticks, jellyfish, and crop pests—are thriving. Booming populations of bark beetles that feed on spruce and pine trees, for example, have devastated millions of forested acres in the U.S.

  • Hurricanes and other storms are likely to become stronger.

  • Large parts of the U.S., for example, face a higher risk of decades-long “megadroughts” by 2100.

  • Less freshwater will be available, since glaciers store about three-quarters of the world’s freshwater.

  • Some diseases will spread, such as mosquito-borne malaria (and the 2016 resurgence of the Zika virus).

  • Ecosystems will continue to change: Some species will move farther north or become more successful; others, such as polar bears, won’t be able to adapt and could become extinct.

And we as a species, may not be able to tolerate the heat in many parts of the globe. Much of the world will become unlivable:

Unsuitable for ‘human life to flourish’: Up to 3B will live in extreme heat by 2070, study warns
Doyle Rice, USA TODAY

Temperatures over the next few decades are projected to increase rapidly as a result of human greenhouse gas emissions. 

Without climate mitigation or migration, by 2070 a substantial part of humanity will be exposed to average annual temperatures warmer than nearly anywhere today, the study said. These brutally hot climate conditions are currently experienced by just 0.8% of the global land surface, mostly in the hottest parts of the Sahara Desert, but by 2070 the conditions could spread to 19% of the Earth’s land area.

These are projections. They may be high or low. Yes, the situation could even be much worse than projected. Are we willing to take that chance with the future of our grandchildren and their grandchildren? Is this the legacy we wish to leave for future generations?

But it gets even worse:

Climate change will reduce food production which is predicted to lead to a net increase of 529,000 adult deaths worldwide by 2050, according to a 2016 study.

Climate change could also force more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030, according to World Bank estimates, which in turn, would make them more vulnerable to the health effects of the changing climate.

This planet is our only home, and will be our only home for the foreseeable future. We are like a tiny lifeboat in a giant ocean. The lifeboat is leaking but still, we argue about whether to fix the leaks. It’s madness.

Republicans warned the plan would further sink the economy and trigger the loss of millions more jobs.

“Today, Joe Biden gave a speech in which he said the core of his economic agenda is a hard-left crusade against American energy,” President Trump said during an hourlong Rose Garden polemic against Biden.

“He wants to kill American energy. This would do nothing for the environment but would cripple the American economy.”

Trump doesn’t want you to know that Biden wants to add stimulus dollars to the economy. This will create far more jobs than did Trump’s tax cuts for the rich.

Some key details, however, were absent from (Biden’s) proposal. Most notably, it does not specify how it would be paid for.

Senior campaign officials said a rollback of the Trump tax cuts, as well an increase in corporate taxes would be part of the payment plan, which the campaign vowed to release in the coming months.

The best part of Biden’s plan is that it would add $2 trillion to the economy. A rollback of tax cuts and an increase in corporate taxes would be unnecessary and counter-productive.

The U.S. federal government is Monetarily Sovereign., Unlike state and local governments, and unlike euro nation governments, the U.S. federal government neither needs nor uses tax dollars. It creates new dollars, ad hoc, to pay for all its spending.

The whole question of “How will this be paid for” is obsolete. The federal government pays for everything by creating new dollars. Anyone who asks how a federal program will be paid for demonstrates abject ignorance about federal financing. The federal government never can run short of dollars.

Think of those tax dollars you work so hard to earn and then are forced to send to the U.S. Treasury. Those dollars are destroyed upon receipt, never to be used or seen again.  Rolling back tax cuts and/or increasing corporate taxes would take growth dollars from the economy and not help pay for anything.

Biden has also said he supports a carbon tax — a policy many environmental economists say is crucial to effectively curbing climate change — but there is no mention of that in the current proposal.

The only purpose of a carbon tax would not be to raise funds for the government, but rather to penalize and discourage the use of carbon-based fuel and products.

Far better, however, would be to reward and encourage the use of alternative eco-friendly, non-carbon-based products, just as the government now does to encourage the use of solar panels. The carrot is better than the stick, especially when the carrot will stimulate jobs and economic growth.

The audacity of the spending plan reflects the increased appetite among voters for taking action to curb global warming, as scientists warn time is running short and Trump administration rollbacks have left America isolated from the global effort.

“When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax,’” Biden said. “The word I think of is ‘jobs.’”

He aims to create 1 million new auto industry jobs by pushing the industry to take the lead in electric-vehicle manufacturing. High-speed rail is a focal point of the plan, as is a big investment in zero-emission public transit.

“Pushing” these industries should not mean “forcing” these industries; it should mean “rewarding” these industries. The federal government should use its unlimited power-of-the-purse to encourage carbon-zero business activities.

The goal for quickly decarbonizing the power sector would require new subsidies such as tax credits and grants to accelerate production of solar and wind energy technologies.

The federal government would also help subsidize the retrofitting of 4 million buildings to make them more energy efficient and aim to create 250,000 jobs “plugging abandoned oil and natural gas wells and reclaiming abandoned coal, hardrock, and uranium mines.”

And far better than more tax cuts for the rich or eliminating consumer protection laws would be this:

Much of the money would be aimed at disadvantaged communities.

“We have to make sure that the first people who benefit from this are the people who were most hurt historically,“ Biden said.

His plan sets a goal that low-income communities that have traditionally suffered disproportionately from pollution would receive 40% of “overall benefits of spending” by the federal government in areas such as clean energy and energy efficiency, green transportation and sustainable housing.

Trump has crippled our consumer protection agencies, not only by cutting regulations but also by removing experienced and competent leaders and installing incompetent, crooked, and/or inexperienced lackeys to run these agencies: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, HUD Secretary Ben Carson are but a few examples.

Underpinning the plan is a restructuring of key agencies in the federal government, restoring the climate-forward focus put in place by the Obama administration but then abandoned by Trump.

The Justice Department, for example, would launch a new Environmental and Climate Justice Division “to hold polluters accountable.”

“We’re going to hold accountable those CEOs of corporations that benefit from decades of subsidies that just walked away from their responsibilities to these communities, leaving the wells to leak,” Biden said.

Such an agency was championed by Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, an early rival of Biden’s in the presidential primary who ran on a platform dominated by confronting climate change. Biden adopted several of the ideas pushed by Inslee in his plan.

This article summarizes it best:

Climate change is causing injuries, illnesses and deaths, with the risks projected to increase substantially with additional climate change, threatening the health of many millions of people,” the report said. “The pervasive threats to health posed by climate change demand decisive actions from health professionals and governments to protect the health of current and future generations.”

The world is dying right before our eyes. Donald Trump is lying, denying, hampering, and hindering. The sand is running down the hourglass. The time to save the planet for our species rapidly is disappearing.

While Biden’s recommended $2 trillion is a notable start in saving the world, it is far too little and may be too late. How much is the future of humankind worth, especially when the money is free?

Efforts to save the planet not only will help assure our grandchildren’s futures, but money spent today will grow our economy today, providing jobs and money to those who need it, while narrowing the Gap between the rich and the rest.

Act now, or too soon there will come a tipping point, when having squandered all our opportunities, we watch helplessly as our little lifeboat in this vast ocean, sinks.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


The most important problems in economics involve:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


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