Old Howard Union

63 – Why You Have to Vote For Joe Biden

Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party Nomination for President. There is much more at stake than one man in the Oval Office. It is not about the man, but about the office itself and what that means for numerous executive agencies and a Presidency stronger than at any other point in history. Put it simply – you have to vote for Joe Biden.


Show Notes

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1. David Axelrod and David Plouffe: What Biden Needs to Do to Beat Trump https://nyti.ms/2SvqQlS
• The former vice president is a man of vast experience in government. He ran the Recovery Act for President Obama in 2009 during the economic crash and was Mr. Obama’s active partner during other crises like the H1N1 pandemic that same year and the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
• Focus on content.Expand your digital footprint.Prepare for an onslaught.Deploy surrogates.Plan for a online convention. Organize, organize, organize. (But online.)Act like an insurgent, not an incumbent.
2. Biden’s Edge Evaporates as Trump Seen as Better Suited for Economy, Coronavirus Response, Poll Shows https://nyti.ms/3fnSlHM
• Democratic presidential nominee struggles for visibility with voters during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday. The opinion poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday found that 43% of registered voters said they would support Biden in the Nov. 3 presidential election, while 41% said they would back Trump. That makes the contest essentially a toss-up, as the results are within the poll’s credibility interval.
• The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,215 American adults, including 1,015 who identified as registered voters. It had a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
• 42% of Americans said they approved of Trump’s performance in office, and 53% said they disapproved.
• 37% percent said Trump was better leading the country’s coronavirus response, while 35% preferred Biden.
• 45% of Americans said Trump was better suited to create jobs, while 32% said Biden was the better candidate for that.
3. Biden Announces New Policy Efforts Aimed at Black Voters https://nyti.ms/3ds0B7Z
• As part of the wide-ranging plans, the former vice president pledged to open a new Public Credit Reporting Agency that could compete with Equifax Inc, Experian Plc and TransUnion and, according to the campaign, minimize racial disparities in lending.
• The former vice president also promised a new tax credit for first-time homeowners, $900 million over eight years to finance efforts to save 12,000 lives in high-crime cities as well as to expand the Small Business Administration’s efforts to lend money to African American-owned enterprises. Advocates say that few of those businesses have been able to tap federal relief programs during the coronavirus outbreak due to discriminatory lending practices.
• The policies announced on Monday include an expansion of the Community Reinvestment Act, a fair-lending law governing banks, to include mortgage and insurance companies.
4. Why Biden’s Choice of Running Mate Has Momentous Implications https://nyti.ms/3fbr6jH
• And Mr. Biden himself has increasingly pushed into the political foreground the overwhelming reason that his choice may be the most consequential in decades: the expectation, downplayed but not exactly denied by the Biden campaign, that the 77-year-old would be a one-term president. If that turns out to be the case, his running mate now could well be leading the Democratic ticket in four years.
• Stan Greenberg, a longtime Democratic pollster, has laid out a case to Mr. Biden’s inner circle that he should choose Ms. Warren to consolidate support across the Democratic coalition and drive up turnout among younger people and liberals, according to people familiar with Mr. Greenberg’s overtures. A polling presentation Mr. Greenberg shared with the Biden campaign cautioned that as of early April, supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders were “dangerously not” united behind Mr. Biden’s candidacy. Mr. Greenberg suggested that a strongly progressive message on the economy would resonate with those people.
5. Biden Makes Mark on Democratic Party With New Fundraising Deal https://www.wsj.com/articles/joe-biden-makes-mark-on-democratic-party-with-new-fundraising-deal-11587767071
• The former vice president on Friday formalized a joint fundraising agreement with the Democratic National Committee, allowing him to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from individual donors. He also installed Mary Beth Cahill, a former campaign manager for John Kerry in 2004, to lead the DNC through the fall campaign.
• The steps by Mr. Biden aim to build a united national party after the primaries and compete financially against Mr. Trump’s re-election team. The president’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and affiliated fundraising committees raised $63 million in March and had $244 million in the bank at the beginning of April.
• Mr. Biden and the DNC brought in a combined $79.3 million in March but started this month with $57 million in cash on hand, after accounting for the DNC’s $5 million in debts.
• The joint fundraising committee, which will be called the Biden Victory Fund, will allow an individual to make a maximum donation of $360,600. Of that amount, $5,600, the maximum any individual can give to the campaign for the primary and general election, will be earmarked for the Biden campaign. The rest goes to the national party. The joint committee allows donors to also support the party’s operations and the summer convention and to help cover legal expenses.
6. Biden Ramps Up Outreach to Liberals https://www.wsj.com/articles/joe-bidens-campaign-ramps-up-outreach-to-liberals-11587123001
• Mr. Biden’s policy plans include expanding Medicare to more Americans, and he has proposed new spending to fight climate change, but his proposals in both areas aren’t as sweeping as many liberals prefer. Ms. Sanders, who isn’t related to the Vermont senator but worked on his 2016 bid, said her message has been that Mr. Biden’s ideas are “in fact a bold platform.”
• The challenge facing Mr. Biden is to engage liberals in the party without jeopardizing the support of the older, more moderate voters who turned out in droves in suburban areas and helped make him the party’s presumptive nominee. Mr. Trump’s campaign is already seeking to paint Mr. Biden as too liberal for most voters.
• Mr. Biden was adopting into his education platform parts of her and Mr. Sanders’s 2017 bill proposing free college for families making less than $125,000 a year.


Old Howard Union

51 – Prescription Drug Prices & Healthcare

It’s an understatement to say that prescription drugs are far too costly in the United States compared to other nations. The Pharmaceutical industries hold over our government extends far beyond lawmakers… What about those who interpret the law? A Federal judge recently ruled against a rule change put into effect by the President that would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to disclose prices on televised advertisements. The judge ruled that the rule violates “1st amendment rights”. Sounds like a broad, garbage interpretation to me. What about the patient? What about the consumer? Prescription drugs are just the first dish in a platter of disaster in our American healthcare system.

Show Notes

  1. Judge Blocks Trump Rule Requiring Drug Companies to List Prices in TV Ads
Old Howard Union

48 – My Thoughts On Impeachment

There is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence to suggest the President of the United States is a man of immortality of the highest order. Policies aside – the sanctity of the Oval Office and the Office of the Presidnecy are at stake. The foundations of our government in reality and symbolically are at stake. The Congress has a constitutional duty, and a moral obligation to impeach the President of the United States.

No Show Notes This Evening

Old Howard Union

37 – Federal Reforms

How can a people oriented majority siphon away the hold and power of the elites of the country and put more influence in the hands of the people, how can we ensure that we live in a country truly for all Americans? Reforms on the federal level to fundamentally change the way in which our government works.

Show Notes
No show notes this evening.


The Imperial Presidency by. Raimondo Graziano

The Imperial Presidency

By. Raimondo Graziano

The presidency of the United States has always been loosely defined, the actual enumeration of the powers of the president encompass little more than two paragraphs in our constitution – the guiding document of our nation. Over time, the president’s power has increased significantly, and the propensity of the man holding office to use his unilateral or executive authority has grown stronger with every passing, election. Coupled with the continued capitulation and enabling by the President in offices own party, whoever it may be, the party has endorsed these actions through their complicity in the overreach in executive authority. While this has increased steadily over time, in the last hundred years, specifically and most importantly after the elections of President Franklin Roosevelt, the slow march towards the imperial presidency we have today has greatly fastened.

The Republic in many ways is no more – Congress has become a tool of the President to advance an agenda, and the work there truly shows when the majority party holds onto Congress; the courts too have become a tool to ensure the policies enacted, are constitutionally protected and endorsed by partisan judges. The executive, has broad powers today – than at any other point in history. We have an imperial presidency, and our institutions are threatened by them – whether or not this is good, moral, or immoral is not the question. The question is – are the American people in support of a more central government, do the American people endorse this imperial presidency – not of one specific administration but of what it means for the office itself.

While numerous administrations have used executive authority to push forth policy change and reform none have ruled by the pen quite like the 44th and 45th, the former and current presidents of The United States. Executive Orders have become the tool of choice for Presidents hampered by partisan divides amongst the Congress and a general inability to govern effectively. Lacking majorities in both chambers of Congress the hope of achieving substantial policy achievements is pitifully low. Through executive action however, the President can act unilaterally- though that carries with it the possibility it will be overturned by an incoming administration. However, the precedents that have been set over the course of the last decade are fundamentally reordering the very institution of the Presidency itself, centralizing its power, reducing the importance of the judiciary and Congress to mere pawns of the President and his party. From the 44th using his pen to rewrite immigration policy, to the 45th reappropriating funds through use of an emergency declaration at the Southern Border to build his wall – a core campaign promise.

Both broaden the reach of presidential power. Just this month, officials from nearly every major cabinet department have refused to comply with requests for documents and answer to subpoenas regarding ongoing investigations from numerous House Committees. This here touches on the concept of coequal branches of government. And on cabinet departments too, the number of acting secretaries who have not been confirmed by the Senate is astounding in the country’s history – the President himself has said it allows him greater leeway to work, in other words to centralize presidential control over the executive and to undercut the Congress, and use judicial appointments of ideologues pushed through speedy confirmations to ensure these changes are upheld. Where is the questioning of the American people on this? Where is our social responsibility? We are either distracted by banal mundane trivialities, or we have lost the will to care. Either way we in some way have condoned this rise of the Imperial Presidency.