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Wednesday, November 4, 2020, less than 24 hours since the polls closed. Yeah, I thought Biden would win. I still do, but there is a chance that, for the third time in the last six presidential elections, the American electoral system will install the 2nd place candidate as the president.

Win or lose, I feel the pain and disappointment that millions of Americans feel and I share the fear that our democracy is slipping further away. …

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Some Lessons from the 2016 Election

Think the polls got the 2016 election terribly wrong? Think again.The national polling average shortly before the November 8th election had Hillary Clinton up by 3.2 percentage points, which was very close to the final difference in the popular vote. Remember, HRC won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million, which works out to about a 2.2 percent victory margin, certainly within the polling margin of error. If not for the archaic and undemocratic Electoral College system, Trump would have never become president.

Right now, Joe Biden is polling better against Trump than Hillary did that fateful November. Real Clear Politics currently has Biden with at 7.4 percentage points lead in their polling average, and their “No Toss-Up” map has Biden winning the Electoral College vote 337 to 201. In a normal election year these would be very reassuring numbers for Democrats. …

And in between the stops at the Cracker Barrel
And forty movies with Will Ferrell
I need some way to occupy my time
So I’m writing you a road song
I sure hope you don’t mind

Cherry Springs State Park in north-central Pennsylvania is an exceptional place. It is the only International Dark Sky Park in the United States east of the Mississippi. It is located in Susquehannock State Forest about 2,300 feet above sea level and has an exceptionally dark sky that has drawn astronomers and sky watchers for years. …

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The list of problems created or enabled by the Trump Administration grows on a daily basis. Even if the Republicans lose in November the long-term damage of deregulation, corruption, incompetence, conservative court appointments, and divisive hate speak, will take many years to repair. Racists and far right agitators will not simply fade away after election day or inauguration day, neither will the big-money interests that support the dismantling of state institutions meant to promote the common good and enforce some restrictions against unchecked corporate power.

Defeating Donald Trump on November 3 may be the top priority but by no means should that mean a full and blind commitment to the Democratic Party. Consider how the Democrats have contributed to two problems cited in many current news stories: the inability to pass a second major coronavirus relief bill, and the many troubles confronting the U.S. Postal Service (and all the implications that has for voting by mail in November). …

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Some Thoughts on What a Good Government Could Have Done in Response to the Coronavirus Economic Crisis

The U.S. response to the current economic crisis is not on par with other advanced economies. The unemployment system is archaic and broken. The health insurance system is patchwork and financially debilitating to millions of Americans. Corporate handouts are often unfair, misused, and given out based on favoritism. Nearly the entire stimulus passed in March is based on a top-down approach that needs to be overturned. There is still a chance to right some things during the current crisis.

What follows is a set of recovery policies that puts people first. These policies aim to lessen the harmful impact of economic crisis on the bulk of the American population. This is how a just and responsive federal government could have dealt with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It is also a guide to how we should prepare for the next crisis. …

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Expectations of what government can and should do are so low that Americans are willing to let government function at levels way below the standards of modern economically advanced nations. We are allowing a huge gap between what the people want and what we expect of government (and presidential candidates). And, as the coronavirus pandemic illustrates, what government is willing to do falls far short of what we need. Getting Trump out of office is not enough. The problem is much bigger than Trump and it’s been a problem for decades. There is hope, though.

Survey data clearly shows that many Americans favor a multitude of progressive policies. But what we want doesn’t have much of an impact on the nation’s current leadership, which consists of barely competent, anti-science, venal opportunists, backed by a party that has been working for four decades to shrink government down to a size where it can be drowned in a bath tub. And, unfortunately, Democrats are too weak or too complicit to fight for significant change. The agitation for change must come from the people — established elites are simply too comfortable. It’s time to raise expectations sharply and demand action to adequately address public health, climate change, 21st Century education needs, and the other challenges we face. We need to roar like the ocean. …


Jerry Kloby

Knowledge is power… not much, but every little bit helps.

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