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  1. Polling Data Poll Date Sample MoE Biden (D) Trump (R) Spread RCP Average 6/1 - 6/16 -- -- 50.6 41.1 Biden +9.5 FOX News 6/13 - 6/16 1343 RV 2.5 50 38 Biden +12 Quinnipiac 6/11 - 6/15 1332 RV 2.7 49 41 Biden +8 Economist/YouGov 6/14 - 6/16 1160 RV 3.5 50 41 Biden +9 CNBC 6/10 - 6/12 1250 LV 2.8 51 41 Biden +10 Economist/YouGov 6/7 - 6/9 1241 RV 3.4 49 41 Biden +8 CNN 6/2 - 6/5 1125 RV 3.6 55 41 Biden +14 NPR/PBS/Marist 6/2 - 6/3 958 RV 4.0 50 43 Biden +7 Emerson 6/2 - 6/3 1431 RV 2.5 53 47 Biden +6 The Hill/HarrisX 6/1 - 6/4 2827 RV 1.8 47 37 Biden +10 IBD/TIPP 5/31 - 6/3 964 RV 2.9 45 42 Biden +3 NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 5/28 - 6/2 1000 RV 3.1 49 42 Biden +7 Economist/YouGov 5/31 - 6/2 1244 RV 3.2 47 40 Biden +7 CNBC 5/29 - 5/31 1457 LV 2.6 48 41 Biden +7 Monmouth 5/28 - 6/1 742 RV 3.6 52 41 Biden +11 CBS News/YouGov 5/29 - 6/1 1486 LV 2.6 47 43 Biden +4 ABC News/Wash Post 5/25 - 5/28 835 RV 4.0 53 43 Biden +10 Economist/YouGov 5/23 - 5/26 1157 RV 3.4 45 42 Biden +3 FOX News 5/17 - 5/20 1207 RV 3.0 48 40 Biden +8 Rasmussen Reports 5/18 - 5/19 1000 LV 3.0 48 43 Biden +5 Economist/YouGov 5/17 - 5/19 1235 RV 3.2 47 42 Biden +5 CNBC 5/15 - 5/17 1424 LV 2.6 48 45 Biden +3 Quinnipiac 5/14 - 5/18 1323 RV 2.7 50 39 Biden +11 The Hill/HarrisX 5/13 - 5/14 950 RV 3.2 42 41 Biden +1 Harvard-Harris 5/13 - 5/14 1854 RV 2.0 53 47 Biden +6 Economist/YouGov 5/10 - 5/12 1175 RV 3.4 47 43 Biden +4 CNN 5/7 - 5/10 1001 RV 3.7 51 46 Biden +5 Economist/YouGov 5/3 - 5/5 1209 RV 3.3 46 42 Biden +4 CNBC 5/1 - 5/3 1489 LV 2.5 47 44 Biden +3 Monmouth 4/30 - 5/4 739 RV 3.6 50 41 Biden +9 CBS News/YouGov 4/28 - 5/1 1671 LV 2.5 49 43 Biden +6 IBD/TIPP 4/26 - 4/29 948 RV 3.3 43 43 Tie Emerson 4/26 - 4/28 1200 RV 2.8 48 42 Biden +6 Economist/YouGov 4/26 - 4/28 1222 RV 3.2 47 41 Biden +6 USA Today/Suffolk 4/21 - 4/25 1000 RV 3.0 50 40 Biden +10 Economist/YouGov 4/19 - 4/21 1144 RV 3.4 48 42 Biden +6 The Hill/HarrisX 4/19 - 4/20 958 RV 3.2 42 40 Biden +2 NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 4/13 - 4/15 900 RV 3.3 49 42 Biden +7 Harvard-Harris 4/14 - 4/16 LV -- 53 47 Biden +6 Economist/YouGov 4/12 - 4/14 1166 RV 3.4 48 43 Biden +5 Monmouth 4/3 - 4/7 743 RV 3.6 48 44 Biden +4 FOX News 4/4 - 4/7 1107 RV 3.0 42 42 Tie Economist/YouGov 4/5 - 4/7 1147 RV 3.3 48 42 Biden +6 CNBC 4/3 - 4/6 604 RV 4.0 44 39 Biden +5 CNN 4/3 - 4/6 875 RV 3.9 53 42 Biden +11 Quinnipiac 4/2 - 4/6 2077 RV 2.2 49 41 Biden +8 IBD/TIPP 3/29 - 4/1 980 RV 3.2 47 41 Biden +6 Economist/YouGov 3/29 - 3/31 1194 RV 3.2 46 42 Biden +4 Grinnell/Selzer 3/27 - 3/30 777 LV 3.5 47 43 Biden +4 Harvard-Harris 3/24 - 3/26 2410 RV 2.0 55 45 Biden +10 ABC News/Wash Post 3/22 - 3/25 845 RV 3.5 49 47 Biden +2 Economist/YouGov 3/22 - 3/24 1170 RV 3.4 46 42 Biden +4 FOX News 3/21 - 3/24 1011 RV 3.0 49 40 Biden +9 Monmouth 3/18 - 3/22 754 RV 3.6 48 45 Biden +3 Emerson 3/18 - 3/19 1100 RV 2.9 53 47 Biden +6 Economist/YouGov 3/15 - 3/17 1129 RV 3.5 48 41 Biden +7 NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 3/11 - 3/13 900 RV 3.3 52 43 Biden +9 Economist/YouGov 3/8 - 3/10 1191 RV 2.9 47 43 Biden +4 CNN 3/4 - 3/7 1084 RV 3.5 53 43 Biden +10 Quinnipiac 3/5 - 3/8 1261 RV 2.8 52 41 Biden +11 Harvard-Harris 2/26 - 2/28 2592 RV -- 55 45 Biden +10 IBD/TIPP 2/20 - 2/29 839 RV 3.5 49 46 Biden +3 FOX News 2/23 - 2/26 1000 RV 3.0 49 41 Biden +8 CBS News/YouGov 2/20 - 2/22 10000 RV 1.2 47 45 Biden +2 ABC News/Wash Post 2/14 - 2/17 913 RV 4.0 52 45 Biden +7 Emerson 2/16 - 2/18 1250 RV 2.7 48 52 Trump +4 NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 2/14 - 2/17 900 RV 3.3 52 44 Biden +8 NPR/PBS/Marist 2/13 - 2/16 1164 RV 3.7 50 44 Biden +6 Quinnipiac 2/5 - 2/9 1519 RV 2.5 50 43 Biden +7 NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 1/26 - 1/29 1000 RV 3.1 50 44 Biden +6 IBD/TIPP 1/23 - 1/30 856 RV 3.3 49 48 Biden +1 Emerson 1/21 - 1/23 1128 RV 2.8 50 50 Tie ABC News/Wash Post 1/20 - 1/23 880 RV 4.0 50 46 Biden +4 LA Times/USC 1/15 - 1/28 4869 RV 2.0 49 40 Biden +9 FOX News 1/19 - 1/22 1005 RV 3.0 50 41 Biden +9 CNN 1/16 - 1/19 1051 RV 3.6 53 44 Biden +9 IBD/TIPP 1/3 - 1/11 846 RV 3.3 48 46 Biden +2 Emerson 12/15 - 12/17 1222 RV 2.7 52 48 Biden +4 CNN 12/12 - 12/15 888 RV 4.0 49 44 Biden +5 USA Today/Suffolk 12/10 - 12/14 1000 RV 3.0 41 44 Trump +3 IBD/TIPP 12/5 - 12/14 849 RV 3.5 50 45 Biden +5 FOX News 12/8 - 12/11 1000 RV 3.0 48 41 Biden +7 Quinnipiac 12/4 - 12/9 1553 RV 2.5 51 42 Biden +9 SurveyUSA 11/20 - 11/21 3850 RV 1.7 52 39 Biden +13 Emerson 11/17 - 11/20 1092 RV 2.9 49 51 Trump +2 NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 10/27 - 10/30 720 RV 3.7 50 41 Biden +9 ABC News/Wash Post 10/27 - 10/30 876 RV 4.0 56 39 Biden +17 FOX News 10/27 - 10/30 1040 RV 3.0 51 39 Biden +12 IBD/TIPP 10/24 - 10/31 863 RV 3.5 53 43 Biden +10 Emerson 10/18 - 10/21 1000 RV 3.0 51 49 Biden +2 CNN 10/17 - 10/20 892 RV 4.0 53 43 Biden +10 SurveyUSA 10/15 - 10/16 3080 RV 2.1 52 41 Biden +11 FOX News 10/6 - 10/8 1003 RV 3.0 50 40 Biden +10 Quinnipiac 10/4 - 10/7 1483 RV 3.1 51 40 Biden +11 IBD/TIPP 9/26 - 10/3 863 RV 3.5 51 44 Biden +7 Rasmussen Reports 9/23 - 9/24 1000 LV 3.0 43 47 Trump +4 Emerson 9/21 - 9/23 1019 RV 3.0 50 49 Biden +1 FOX News 9/15 - 9/17 1008 RV 3.0 52 38 Biden +14 SurveyUSA 9/13 - 9/16 4520 RV 1.6 49 41 Biden +8 ABC News/Wash Post 9/2 - 9/5 877 RV 4.0 55 40 Biden +15 IBD/TIPP 8/22 - 8/30 848 RV 3.5 54 42 Biden +12 Emerson 8/24 - 8/26 1458 RV 2.5 54 46 Biden +8 Quinnipiac 8/21 - 8/26 1422 RV 4.6 54 38 Biden +16 FOX News 8/11 - 8/13 1013 RV 3.0 50 38 Biden +12 SurveyUSA 8/1 - 8/5 5459 RV 1.6 50 42 Biden +8 IBD/TIPP 7/25 - 8/1 856 RV 3.5 54 41 Biden +13 Emerson 7/27 - 7/29 1233 RV 2.7 51 49 Biden +2 FOX News 7/21 - 7/23 1004 RV 3.0 49 39 Biden +10 NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 7/7 - 7/9 800 RV 3.5 51 42 Biden +9 Emerson 7/6 - 7/8 1100 RV 2.9 53 47 Biden +6 ABC News/Wash Post 6/28 - 7/1 875 RV 4.0 53 43 Biden +10 Rasmussen Reports 6/23 - 7/2 4500 LV 1.5 48 44 Biden +4 Emerson 6/21 - 6/24 1096 RV 2.9 55 45 Biden +10 FOX News 6/9 - 6/12 1001 RV 3.0 49 39 Biden +10 Quinnipiac 6/6 - 6/10 1214 RV 3.5 53 40 Biden +13 FOX News 5/11 - 5/14 1001 RV 3.0 49 38 Biden +11 Emerson 5/10 - 5/13 1006 RV 3.0 54 46 Biden +8 CNN 4/25 - 4/29 470 RV 5.5 51 45 Biden +6 The Hill/HarrisX 4/25 - 4/26 1000 RV 3.1 43 37 Biden +6 Politico/Morning Consult 4/19 - 4/21 1992 RV 2.0 42 34 Biden +8 Emerson 4/11 - 4/14 914 RV 3.2 53 47 Biden +6 PPP (D) 3/27 - 3/28 846 RV 3.4 53 40 Biden +13 Rasmussen Reports 3/17 - 3/21 5000 LV 1.5 49 44 Biden +5 FOX News 3/17 - 3/20 1002 RV 3.0 47 40 Biden +7 Emerson 3/17 - 3/18 1153 RV 2.8 55 45 Biden +10 Emerson 2/14 - 2/16 1000 RV 3.3 55 45 Biden +10 PPP (D) 1/19 - 1/21 760 RV 3.6 53 41 Biden +12 PPP (D) 6/8 - 6/10 679 RV 3.8 53 39 Biden +14 PPP (D) 3/23 - 3/25 846 RV 3.4 56 39 Biden +17 PPP (D) 2/9 - 2/11 687 RV 3.7 51 42 Biden +9 CNN 1/14 - 1/18 918 RV 3.8 57 40 Biden +17 PPP (D) 12/11 - 12/12 862 RV 3.3 54 40 Biden +14 PPP (D) 10/27 - 10/29 572 RV 4.1 56 38 Biden +18 Emerson 10/12 - 10/14 820 RV 3.4 51 42 Biden +9 PPP (D) 9/22 - 9/25 865 RV 3.3 53 40 Biden +13 PPP (D) 8/18 - 8/21 887 RV 3.3 51 39 Biden +12 PPP (D) 7/14 - 7/17 836 RV 3.4 54 39 Biden +15 PPP (D) 6/9 - 6/11 811 RV 3.4 54 41 Biden +13 PPP (D) 5/12 - 5/14 692 RV 3.7 54 40 Biden +14 PPP (D) 4/17 - 4/18 648 RV 3.9 54 40 Biden +14 PPP (D) 3/27 - 3/28 677 RV 3.8 54 40 Biden +14 realclearpolitics.com
  2. What will happen next? Trump’s election in 2016 brought out women across the country to protest with massive women’s marches not seen before in our country. That agitation and energy was transformed into political action- the result was the 2018 election that flipped the House. The next election needs to flip the Senate and regain the presidency. Biden has responded to this moment in our history by moving left of center and looking to FDR as a role model for policies he will support and implement. Biden has been meeting with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and others. These meetings have resulted in policy positions that are more left of center than any presidential hopeful in the history of our country. Biden has also been speaking out and his words are the words of the leader we need. If Biden has the energy of younger Americans behind him, he will win in November. I am hopeful now in a way I have not been before that not only is the younger generation motivated, but multi-generational activism has been ignited. Protesters must maintain peaceful protests despite many right wing groups and criminal elements that are coordinating damage and looting. Protesters cannot play into Trump’s hands by allowing violence to mar their message and fuel his. This organic energy is our country’s best hope to defeat Donald Trump in November. Trump and the GOP must lose and lose REALLY BIG. There can be no question about who wins the next election because Trump will take advantage of any uncertainty to claim the election was stolen from him. He will claim that anyhow, but if it is a massive loss in the Electoral College, he will not succeed in holding onto power because the military will follow the constitution. The 20th Amendment of the Constitution says that on January 20th at noon, the president and VP who have lost the election are no longer in power. At noon on January 20th the president and VP become regular citizens. The newly elected president and vice president assume the power of all our government agencies at that moment, including the power to command the military. If Trump fails to leave the White House, he could be ordered to leave the White House and expelled as a trespasser by the police. General Mattis understands that danger we face as a country and he has spoken out against Trump at long last. Here are excerpts from General Mattis’ remarkable statement: “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.” “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.” Mattis goes on to contrast the American ethos of unity with Nazi ideology. “Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was “Divide and Conquer.” Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.”’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.” (from The Atlantic) markinreport.com
  3. Why There is Hope At the time I worked as a prosecutor I did not know what could be done to change the culture of systemic racial injustice. But since then I have learned about restorative justice, community policing and many other ideas that work to shift the culture of policing. I no longer think the problem is hopeless. When the Obama administration left office, they left the Trump administration a valuable playbook based on years of research about how to implement 21st century policing. The guidebook is chock full of good ideas and suggestions. The Trump administration has totally ignored that manual just as they ignored the handbook on what to do in case of a pandemic. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/04/opinion/police-reform-obama-task-force.html As Barack Obama said this past Wednesday, we can get out that 21st Century Policing Manual and get busy right now implementing the ideas in there. Mayors and lawmakers could take action immediately with (to name just a few ideas) de-escalation training for police, community policing, and re-thinking bail (which all too often keeps poor defendants in jail pending trial condemning them to continued poverty including loss of jobs and a record that keeps them from getting future work). Given the rising tide of outrage and energy we are seeing in America, I have never had as much hope as I do today that much can be done to fix our 400 year old problem of systemic unfairness to people of color. But…there is a catch. Trump and his enablers have to be voted out and the military cannot enable Trump to stay in office if he loses the election. How Trump is Using This Moment to Test the Military Trump has trampled on the Constitution and many long established norms before in his presidency, and has been rewarded. He has not only evaded expulsion from office, but grown in power and capacity to get people to carry out his orders even when they are suspect or illegal. Trump asserts control over as much of government as he can and eliminates anyone who will not play along. Now, I think, Trump is testing the military to bend this institution to his will and see if he can get it to help him achieve his ultimate goal of staying in power even if he loses the election. Trump’s use of brute force to clear his path to get a photo op in front of St. John’s Church where he held up a bible as if it was a Trump steak, that unnecessary force against peaceful Americans exercising their first amendment rights in the nation’s capitol, was, I think, a dry run and a test of loyalty for the military. He got General Milley and Mark Esper to accompany him in that walk across Lafayette Park. Gen. Milley ducked out before the photo was taken. But Esper got caught in that shameful photograph that will be discussed by historians in years to come, assuming we can hold onto our democracy. That use of force against protesters to get a photo op was the last straw for many retired military leaders, causing them to finally speak up: General Mattis, Admiral Mike Mullen, John Kelly, (former Chief of Staff), General Martin Dempsey, General Douglas Lute, General John Allen, General Anthony Thomas, Admiral Stavridis, Admiral McRaven. The fact that so many are speaking up and pushing back on Trump is a hopeful development. There are also many discussions going on behind the scenes right now in the military and at the Pentagon about what should happen if and when Trump gives them an unconstitutional order. Mark Esper and Trump are the only two people who have the power to issue orders to the US Armed Forces. It is important that yesterday Esper pulled armed forces out of Washington, D.C. against Trump’s wishes, asserting his will over Trump’s and responding to the request of the DC mayor. The Tipping Point The systemic change we need can happen only if the Trump administration is expelled and the GOP-led Senate flips blue. Trump, Barr and his enablers are using these mainly peaceful protest marches to achieve their own political ends, trying to scare Americans and use that fear to get Trump re-elected as a law and order president, wanting protests to be violent so that they can build a case to derail the election. Winning is their only goal. Democracy could be the casualty. I hope that Americans are onto Trump. Trump wants to be seen as a Nixonian law and order president protecting white America from scary people of color. But this is a different era. In 1968 Nixon won election as a law and order president, but he was not an incumbent. Trump cannot pretend that he is an outsider when it come to the mess he has created in 3 1/2 years of his presidency. More important, white Americans of all ages are marching alongside black Americans in the streets of our cities. That did not happen in 1968. That is why I have hope. markinreport.com
  4. 74% of Americans believe the death of George Floyd is a sign of a broader problem. Americans have become more aware of the harsh and unfair treatment of people of color at the hands of the police. The indefensible murder of George Floyd was a flash point that exposed police brutality in the most clear and shocking way. White Americans now understand that police are more likely to use harsh tactics with black people and that Ferguson and the death of Eric Garner were not isolated incidents. This growing condemnation of harsh policing, especially when it comes to black Americans, is partly the result of more people of all backgrounds and skin colors collaborating with each other at work, in casual social situations, in the military, in colleges and universities. We also have a celebrity culture that reveres athletes, actors, and actresses of all backgrounds and skin color. It matters that we had a black president who ran the country extremely well, especially in contrast to the abysmal job Donald Trump is doing. Our global world has brought us closer together, interacting with multicultural colleagues with a wide variety of skin tones. And, equally important, cell phone video content taken at the time of any incident supplies evidence to the world at large making it impossible to cover up or hide what really happened as was frequently done in the past. Anyone who has had multicultural interactions and experiences in life understands that skin color is just that- skin color. It should have nothing whatsoever to do with how you are treated as a human being. But in this country for far too long, it has been dangerous to be black while driving, black while jogging, black while bird watching, black when encountering police in any context. This baked in prejudice has been our shameful legacy for 400 years. It was totally unacceptable before but now we are at a tipping point. The difference is that white Americans and Americans of all ages have joined Americans of color across this country to rise up and get into the streets for peaceful protests against police brutality. This weekend protests are going on even in small cities across America. When our friends and family are treated unfairly by people in authority, it’s personal, no longer abstract. Our Broken Policing System As a prosecutor in state court in Philadelphia in the 1970’s and in Chicago in the 1980’s I witnessed a broken judicial system that had an authoritarian mindset. As a former social worker turned prosecutor (an unusual background for a prosecutor) I had a different sensibility compared to many other prosecutors. I had come from a world of social service workers who cared about nurturing, supporting, being empathetic and helping many of the very same people that the criminal justice system vilified, put down and disrespected. I quickly learned that many policemen I prepped as witnesses for preliminary hearings and trials had become very cynical and cruel over the years after seeing so much on the streets that they told me had damaged their faith in human beings. Many of the police I worked with had become tough and mean. Some of them came to the job of policing with a chip on their shoulders, probably from being mistreated themselves by abusive parents. All too often police were certain that a defendant of color should be punished even they were not sure they had arrested the right offender. I would hear rationalizations from the police: “Look, even if this mope didn’t do it this time, he probably did a lot of bad stuff before.” Extensive rap sheets for petty crimes added to that belief that this person deserved to be punished whether or not he committed THIS crime. It was obvious the system was broken. Many defense attorneys had developed cozy relationships with the judges they appeared before. At first, I was shocked that state court judges would hand out lighter sentences based on whether a private defense attorney represented the defendant. Time and again private counsel (as opposed to public defenders) were able to get their clients lighter sentences or probation given the same evidence. It had to be clear to anyone working in the system that it was rigged to keep already disadvantaged defendants at a greater disadvantage in life. It was demoralizing to be part of a system that was so clearly unfair and had so few alternatives to prison as a solution. Almost everyone participating in the justice system was damaged by it from the victims of the crime (usually other members of the community where the defendant lived), to the defendants, to the police, the courtroom personnel, to the irritable, ornery judges. Everyone was caught up in a hopeless, dysfunctional morass that was into demeaning, further damaging and punishing people instead of helping them to change their lives for the better, treating them with fairness and investing in their potential for a future that would be far better not only for the defendant but for the community at large. I thought then and still think that the police should be trained as social workers. Our authoritarian approach to policing promotes brutality. Trump has an authoritarian mindset. As long as he is in power, authoritarian policing will continue. markinreport.com
  5. Biden has embraced the most left leaning policies in the history of our country. Read this Vox article: Joe Biden has a plan for that Not a joke, folks: He’s running on a transformative policy agenda. https://www.vox.com/2020/5/26/21257648/joe-biden-climate-economy-tax-plans If Biden were president right now we would have a federal plan in place to manage the pandemic using testing and tracing as they have done in places like New Zealand where they have NO cases of Covid anymore. That would allow businesses to open up without resulting in the deaths of more Americans. Biden would lead with a federal plan that would help people to feel safe to reemerge from lock-down. That’s the way to re-open businesses without infecting more Americans. Biden wants to fix the economy to be fair and provide a way forward for all Americans. Biden will address police brutality and unequal justice for black Americans. Biden will bring back compassion and empathy. He will address climate change in the most forward thinking way we have ever seen, return to the Paris Climate Accord, and move us away from fossil fuels. He will re-instate the rule of law, norms and will keep our country from falling off the precipice into autocracy. He will reconnect us with our allies and global alliances. He will bring in the most diverse, capable group of people we have ever seen in government and he will empower them to rebuild and run the agencies Trump and the GOP have hollowed out. And if we flip the Senate as well, we will see the end of Mitch McConnell’s right-wing appointments to the federal judiciary and Supreme Court, and we will finally have an end to endless gridlock in DC. Wouldn’t it be nice to have capable, effective government for a change? The way to get there is to vote blue up and down the ballot and do everything humanly possible to flip the Senate and replace McConnell with Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin or some other Democrat as Senate leader. Imagine what that would do to help our country get back on track! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get back to our lives and stop worrying about what crazy, idiotic thing Trump is going to do next? his next awful tweet? or who he will pick a fight with next? or which allies he is going to insult? or which autocratic leaders he is going to kiss up to? which corrupt act he will engage in? which criminal he is going to pardon to keep himself from getting exposed? how much taxpayer money he will squander on his trips to go golfing? or what he and Putin have up their sleeves to damage America? And wouldn’t it be nice if we knew we had a democracy again and if someone wins a presidential election we wouldn’t have to worry if the defeated president will agree to actually leave office on January 20th at noon according to the express wording of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution? The way to get to that state of affairs is to vote in huge numbers, massive numbers, to vote out both Trump and the GOP so that Trump has no basis for claiming he didn’t lose. These swing states will be absolutely crucial: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina. Trump needs to lose big in those states for Biden to get a decisive Electoral College win. Are you ready for this nightmare to end? Get active! The election is coming up faster than you think. You can help. Here’s what works: calls to voters, postcards to voters, supporting Senate candidates and supporting Joe Biden as well as his super PACs. One really terrific group is American Bridge PAC. They are running convincing ads in battleground states on local TV telling the stories of former Trump supporters who have turned against him who explain why they changed their minds about Trump and would not vote for him now. Here is the link to that PAC if you want to help to make a real difference: https://americanbridgepac.org/ Other groups putting together effective ads are: The Lincoln Project, Republican Voters Against Trump, and Meidas Touch. All of them are doing compelling ads and all could use our support. markinreport.com
  6. The contrast between Joe Biden and Donald Trump could not be more stark. Trump has most recently engaged in a petty grievance battle with Twitter because Twitter had fact checked him about the outrageous lies he continues to push that mail in voting is somehow going to lead to rampant vote fraud. There is no evidence for that and Twitter slammed Trump with a fact check. So, Trump went ballistic. Predictable. Then Trump signed an executive order to try to punish social media companies that limit his so-called “free speech”, meaning: his fake news tweets. While Trump was engaged in his hissy fit, our country was facing the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths from coronavirus. Other countries are doing far better at managing this crisis than we are. We are losing more Americans to this virus because Trump is incapable of leading, incapable of creating a federal system to test and isolate, unable to manage this problem to protect Americans, failing to even mark the day with any form of compassion. Predictable. Trump’s failure of compassion and lack of empathy was on full display even when made a bizarre statement about rebounding job numbers in June in the same breath as George Floyd: “Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country,” Mr. Trump said. “This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.” WTF?! This is our president. He is a failed human being. He has earned himself the name “bunker boy” which was trending on Twitter after he was too terrified of some protesters who had wandered onto land close to the White House. Trump was rushed down to the bunker in the basement. But after that Trump has encased the White House behind additional barriers creating a border wall for himself out of fear. If Biden were in the White House he would be meeting with the protesters and listening to them- which he has been doing already. The contrast between Joe Biden and Donald Trump has never been more clear. Joe Biden has lived through many losses. His first wife and their daughter died in a car accident. Then his beloved son, Beau, died from cancer. Biden understands grief and he understands how to help people who are grieving. Biden released a video clip in which he reminded us how a real president would speak and act. “To all of you hurting so badly, I’m so sorry for your loss” and “This nation grieves with you.” In the video, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee directly addresses those who have lost relatives and friends. Evoking the personal tragedies he’s faced in his own life, Biden said, “I think I know what you’re feeling.” “You feel like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest,”said Biden. “It’s suffocating.” (NYT) The video is deeply moving because Biden is speaking from his heart and he is so authentic in his expression of empathy and concern about Americans that he ignites a yearning for the loss of a comforter-in-chief we have all been missing. His pain and his concern show through. Watching him speak brought tears to my eyes. Empathy has been so absent from this administration and hate has been so prevalent, that the simple comforting words uttered by Joe Biden felt like a moment of shared peace and an expression of caring for all we are in mourning for. Lost lives. Lost unity as a country. Lost democracy. Lost rule of law. Lost care for each other. Lost jobs. Lost hope for fairness for minorities and the disenfranchised. These past three years with Trump in charge have ushered in a vast desecration of what the majority of Americans believe are American values, ethics, morals, norms and decency. Whether you think Trump is responsible for all of this or that he is simply a sign of the times, you have to agree that Trump did nothing to stop this decay and that he piled on with extensive hypocrisy, disinformation and lies, and overt, rampant corruption. The contrast between Trump and Biden is going to play out through the upcoming campaign in the next few months. Trump is betting that Americans will re-elect him if they believe he can put the economy back together after a pandemic, he will tell us, was a total surprise to everyone even though it was not. Trump is not capable of actually putting anything back together again at all. Nonetheless, he will take credit for a rebounding stock market as the country recovers from a decline so steep, any sort of rise would be seen as an historic recovery. The stock market is not the full story of our economy, however. The Obama/ Biden administration brought this country out of the 2008 recession in a solid, substantial way. Trump is trying to sell Americans on the idea that a rising stock market and the return of some jobs is the same thing as economic recovery. It is not. Biden is betting that Americans are going to vote for leadership, stability, empathy, good management and a return to decency. Biden will make the election a referendum on Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic and his abysmal reaction to the death of George Floyd and police brutality. Biden is banking on Americans having faith in his ability, not Trump’s, to get us back to economic health since he was one of the people who led the recovery after the Great Recession brought on by the GOP. And it does seems that every time the Republicans wreck the economy, the Dems get elected and they have to clean up the mess the GOP left behind. Americans should try to remember that lesson. Biden has been working with a team of advisors to put together plans for the country to get us back to economic health. Biden sees the challenge ahead as a new version of the New Deal that helped our country get back on its feet when Roosevelt was our president. For those of you progressives who are upset about the fact that Warren and Sanders have conceded, Biden has been talking with them both and has adopted many of their ideas and moved to the left in his policies. Other progressives have been talking with Biden and they seem to be finding common ground. People who continue to berate Biden for his past centrist policy positions should recognize that some people really do evolve, change and grow in their thinking. I believe Biden is doing that. Take a look at his policies at Joebiden.com. markinreport.com
  7. The Pros Biden is a man whose government experience in Washington and around the world is extensive and has helped him to create some remarkably valuable relationships. He is known and trusted by mayors and civic leaders in cities across the country, congressional lawmakers (even Republicans), and our allies around the world. Relationship building is one of his greatest strengths as a person. I have met him and his wife, Jill, in person. He is attentive to every single person he interacts with. It is not a show. When Biden speaks to people one on one, he really listens to them and is right there with each person. Caring about other people is part of the reason he is so remarkably good at relationship building. He will cross a street to ask someone who is begging for money about their story and he will try to help them (according to one of his good friends). When he is campaigning he wants to meet everyone at the burger joint and talk with them including their kids. He will bend down and talk with children, ask the kids who their favorite teachers are and what they like to do for fun. Joe really likes and cares about people. Joe has overcome stuttering in his life but he still has lingering moments when he looks down to gather his thoughts to avoid stumbling over a syllable. He has been known to send personal letters to people who write to him. One of the most compelling letters he has written was to a young man who also stutters. He expressed support, compassion and encouragement. This is who he is. Many people already know that Joe Biden has suffered losses in his life. A car accident took his first wife and daughter. He had two remaining sons and one of them, Beau, was lost to cancer. Joe Biden totally and personally understands the need for affordable health care for all Americans and, most importantly, he is deeply committed to helping Americans get that health care. If elected I believe that he will find a way to make the Affordable Care Act work for Americans. He sees himself as a person who is serving Americans and his job in government is to help Americans have better lives. Biden is a man of integrity. He was sent to Ukraine by Barack Obama to help clean up corruption there because he has a long record of being honest, fair-minded and ethical. When it comes to Hunter’s decision to be on the board of Burisma, Joe Biden would say it was not his decision as the father of an adult son to tell his son not to take that position. Joe Biden never thought that someone like Trump would someday be president and falsely allege that he or his son was corrupt when they weren’t. Hunter was also reasonably qualified to sit on that board, unlike what Trump and the right wing cable news hosts would have you believe. “(Hunter) Biden, a trained lawyer, had (already) served on the board of a U.S. company and had also formed an investment firm with fellow Yale graduates.” Numerous prosecutors in Ukraine investigated Burisma. There was no wrongdoing by Hunter Biden or Joe Biden. One of the pros of voting for Joe Biden is that he has the potential to win big in the cities, the suburbs and the Rust Belt states that are ground zero for the Dems to win this November. His authentic relationships, with firemen, union workers and other salt of the earth kinds of guys make him an ideal candidate to win big in 2020. That’s part of the reason Trump fears him as an opponent. Another reason to get Joe into the White House is that he will attract the best and the brightest talent to join his team. These capable, more seasoned people will flock back to Washington to help repair the damage from the Trump administration, many who worked in the Obama administration will be excited to come back to help out. Trump will try to call him a socialist but unlike Bernie and Warren, it will not stick with Biden. People know he isn’t. When I analyzed Joe Biden’s handwriting, what stood out was that he thinks in bursts and sometimes has breaks or blips in his train of thought. He can interrupt himself with a new thought even while speaking. (Many other people do that too, by-the-way. When people do that they can sound like they are missing a beat or scattered in their thinking.) We have seen evidence of that on the debate stage now and again. I have spoken with friends of his and people on his campaign; they agree that Joe can meander at times but they also agree that he is capable, kind and caring and has the best interests of all Americans at heart. This is just who he is. I have asked people about his low energy level. Is that true about him? What I learned is that he, like Obama, really cares about having a family life and wants to work hard all day but be home in the evenings. He is said to have a lot of energy and that Trump’s branding is inaccurate. He is not driven and obsessed as Trump is by many demons. Biden is a far more peaceful person who is comfortable with himself and has purpose and meaning in life derived from relationships and doing good for the country. Joe also tells long stories that are mostly personal stories, yes. But it’s not about how great he is or how much better he is than other people as is with the current president. He has never been rich monetarily or wanted that. Instead he sees the richness in life coming from the people he cares about and the mission of helping the world be better. His handwriting reveals that he is kind of like a Mr. Rogers: by that I mean a man with terrific values, who is honest, ethical, and has a profound sense of compassion. If you think Mr. Rogers would be a good man to have as president, a role model you would like for your children, the opposite of and certainly an antidote to Trump, vote for Joe Biden. markinreport.com
  8. The Cons Some of the people running for president are more data driven and logical (Bloomberg) more articulate (Mayor Pete), and more inspirational and commanding (Sanders), more energetic and eager (Warren). If Biden is the nominee, he will be attacked by Trump and we will have to hear about Burisma again (yada yada yada). Hunter will be unfairly called corrupt. (Yada some more.) If there is a debate Joe might have to look down to catch his thoughts or he might have trouble getting a word in edgewise. He might not have a really good smart-ass retort. His jokes might be the kind you read in the Dad Joke Book- sort of dorky. And, yes, he might say he would like to take Trump out to the back alley and give him a whooping. But honestly, wouldn’t you? He will also make gaffes, because he does. But I will take Biden’s gaffes over Trump’s 16,000 lies any day. Joe might not deliver Obama style inspirational speeches. Then again, he might surprise us. His first speech about Trump and white supremacists, when he entered the race for president, brought tears to my eyes. How about you? And think about it…does a president need to be charismatic to do a good job as president? We will have to hear about how he touched someone’s head inappropriately and gave people hugs. But after 3 years of Trump I think we could all use a hug. Joe Biden is old but so is Trump and Bernie and Bloomberg. Joe Biden may seem older, though. That is something I hear from many people. But the fact that he is old also speaks to his many years in government which is not all bad. He knows a lot. He has seen a lot. He knows many people. It is part of the reason why he could be so valuable as a president who could attract many capable people back to government to reconstruct our country after the massive damage Trump has done. markinreport.com
  9. Still other commentators wonder if Trump is promoting this drug to help friends who have a stake in companies that sell hydroxychloroquine. Fox News host Laura Ingraham as well as other Fox News personalities Carlson and Hannity. were pushing this drug big time on Fox News for awhile, but abruptly stopped a few weeks ago after it was shown to be linked to heart attacks and death in some Covid patients. You have to wonder if they had a stake in companies selling the drug. And how about Trump’s own family? Do they stand to make money from the sale of this drug? Trump has a long and storied track record of promoting himself and looking for the quick fix to make a buck. Trump steaks. Trump hotels. Trump golf courses. Trump University. It would be consistent with his usual approach to life to want to make money off of a fast cure for Covid-19. He says he has no stake in the drug. But do we believe him? Trump has been caught making over 17,000 false and misleading statements. Hmm. Not a good track record. Because Trump is such a liar, we may never know for sure if he is or is not taking hyroxycholoquine. He might be saying this to get the libs upset. Trolling the libs seems to be one of his main goals in life. But if that is his motivation he has sorely misread the libs. If and when Trump keels over dead from a heart attack because he took hydroxycholoquine, the libs will be dancing in the streets. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. And speaking of death, Trump is losing the support of older American voters over 65, a crucial part of his voting base, who are afraid this virus could kill them and that Trump is not protecting them. Trump’s losses with this demographic correlate to his coronavirus briefings. Those briefings showcased Trump’s divisiveness, misinformation and lack of leadership. Everyone wants the economy re-opened, but other countries are doing a better job of it with massive testing, tracing and isolating to identify the sick and keep the sick away from the well. Without testing and tracing, the well have to isolate themselves from the rest of the world to stay safe. That includes older Americans at risk by reason of their age. Our government is also screwing up by re-opening without regard for the data and numbers that should be the drivers and indicators of which regions are ready to re-open and which are not. This is not sitting well with seniors who vote. Mr. Trump’s advantage with older voters has been essential to his political success; in 2016, he won voters over the age of 65 by seven percentage points, according to national exit poll data. A recent Morning Consult poll found that Mr. Trump’s approval rating on the handling of the coronavirus was lower with seniors than with any other group other than young voters. And Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, in recent polls held a 10-point advantage over Mr. Trump among voters who are 65 and older. A poll commissioned by the campaign showed a similar double-digit gap. The falloff in support comes as Mr. Trump has grown increasingly anxious about his re-election prospects, with a series of national surveys, as well as internal polling, showing him trailing in key states. (NYT) Whether Trump himself is really taking hydroxychloroquine or only pretending to, simply by claiming that he takes it, he is encouraging his loyal base to protect themselves against Covid-19 by taking this stuff. Trump has also ordered his campaign to re-start the mega rallies he loves so much, which would pack in his followers together in large numbers, exposing them to the virus which is transmitted mainly by aerosols produced when people breathe. You know, Trump is getting mighty close to channeling cult leader, Jim Jones, who got his cult followers in Jonesville to “drink the Kool Aide”, which was laced with cyanide, and, as we all know, those cult followers are now dead. You have to wonder if Trump doesn’t care if some of his cult base have heart attacks and die from using hydroxycholoquine and others contract Covid-19 from attending his rallies. Could it be he is so desperate to win he would sacrifice any number of his followers? Is he capable of that level of betrayal? What do you think? markinreport.com
  10. On Monday, May 19, Trump told reporters that he is taking hydroxychloroquine and another supplement to ward off the coronavirus. That caused a media ruckus because this flies in the face of current science and medical advice and, given that Trump has a heart condition, it might actually kill him. According to sources in the White House, and Trump’s own statement, he started taking these pills every day after being exposed to Covid-19 by one of his military valets, a man who interacted with him daily and served him his food. Trump claims he had a conversation with the White House doctor about taking this drug as a preventative measure. The White House doctor verified they had a conversation but not whether he prescribed it for Trump. You might remember that Trump raised something similar before with Dr. Birx, asking her whether it could be a good idea to ingest Chlorox or use some form of internal radiation to eradicate the virus. Dr. Birx looked pained at the time. She knows that ingesting Chlorox could kill you, but Trump really seems dense about this and apparently he does not understand how a cleaning agent that works to eradicate a virus on your hands or on a metal surface could kill a human being who is dumb enough to ingest it. BREAKING NEWS: Just published in the medical journal, Lancet, a study of 96,000 patients on 6 continents treated with hydroxychloroquine, the drug Trump pushes as a “game changer” in the fight against Covid-19, had a 34% increased risk of death and a 137% increased risk of a serious heart arrhythmia. Patients getting the “cocktail” mix of hydroxychloroquine plus the antibiotic endorsed by Trump there was a 45% increased risk of death and a 411% increase risk of serious heart arrhythmias. (5/22/20) Trump’s announcement that he himself has been taking the drug has caused a flurry of responses. Joe Scarborough (Morning Joe) does not believe Trump is really taking hydroxychloroquine. He thinks Trump is using this bombshell as a distraction. Chris Cuomo (CNN) agrees with Morning Joe, but these are two men who are logical and do not think like Trump when it comes to fact based evidence. Neil Cavuto of Fox News was very upset by Trump’s claim and warned viewers NOT to take this medication. “It will kill you. I cannot stress this enough”. Based on a number of studies including one at the VA Hospital, in which numerous patients took the drug and died, hydroxychloroquine might in fact kill you because it increases the risk of heart attack in people with pre-existing conditions. The medication can have other serious side effects. Hydroxychloroquine may cause neuropsychiatric symptoms, “including agitation, insomnia, confusion, mania, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, catatonia, psychosis, and suicidal ideation.” If Trump is in fact taking this drug, has his internist checked Trump out for his potential to get dangerous side effects? Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to Trump’s announcement that he has been taking this drug was priceless: “I would rather not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists especially in his age group, and in his, shall we say weight group ‘morbidly obese’ they say.” Nice shade, Nancy. Joe Biden’s reaction was an eruption of horrified exclamations: “What is he doing? What in God’s name is he doing?” “This is absolutely irresponsible.” “It’s like saying maybe if you inject Clorox into your blood it may cure you. C’mon, man!” “The words of a president matter.” Lawrence O’Donnell says he thinks that Trump was just trying to swipe at Dr. Rick Bright. Bright testified before a Senate committee that he was ousted from BARDA as the leading scientist working to develop a vaccine because he refused to green light and fast track hydrocholoquine for extensive use without adequate testing. Well established scientific protocol requires extensive double blind testing to be sure the drug does more good than harm to people with Covid-19. A study in a Veteran’s Hospital ended after a number of Covid patients died of heart attacks after taking hydroxychloroquine. Trump has brushed that off saying it was a study done by people who did not like him. What else is new- that idea about things being false because people are out to get him comes right out of Trump’s usual paranoid playbook. markinreport.com
  11. A strong economy delivers higher living standards, higher incomes and greater choice and opportunities for New Zealanders and their families. New Zealand needs a strongly growing economy if we want a world-class health system, better education for our kids and the modern infrastructure network we desperately need. New Zealand’s economy is driven by hardworking small business owners. Every Government should do what it can to reduce costs and uncertainty so that our small businesses have the confidence to take risks, invest, hire new staff and lift wages. This document is part of the biggest policy development process by an Opposition in over a decade and provides some new ideas on how we can turn around New Zealand’s slowing economy, restore business confidence, revive our economy and grow the incomes of New Zealanders. national.org.nz
  12. Our country is facing devastating and widespread national bushfires. They have been burning throughout the country for months now but today is shaping up as our most challenging day, with a state of emergency declared in NSW and Victoria while Tasmania and South Australia also face significant threats. We are well prepared, well organised and well resourced, but we are also realistic: These fire conditions are unprecedented, and the challenge is formidable. If fierce conditions prevail, today could be a dark day for our country. The rapidly escalating damage and the heart-breaking human cost calls for nothing less than an all-out response. The task in front of our country today and in the weeks ahead requires us to do whatever it takes; to not only fight the fires and protect lives, but ensure our fire-affected communities are well-resourced and functioning, and evacuations can be affected quickly and effectively. And when the fire threat has finally diminished, that we have the tools and personnel to reopen and rebuild. Following today’s meeting of the National Security Committee, the Morrison Government is: Enacting a compulsory Call-Out of Australian Defence Force Reserve Brigades for the first time in the country’s history, together with specialist personnel, Deploying HMAS Adelaide to support the efforts of HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore, as well as additional Chinook helicopters, C-17 Globemasters, C-130 Hercules and C-27 Spartans, and Leasing a fleet of extra waterbombing planes for the states and territories to deploy It will mean boots on the ground, planes in the sky and ships out at sea all supporting the bushfire fighting effort and recovery. We continue to support the states to run the operational response and we will continue to act on every request we receive for further assistance. In recent months ADF resources have been deployed in response to state requests - from the operational base at Canungra in Queensland in September, to the 2,000 personnel already deployed to support with logistics, evacuations, catering, accommodation and clearing, our Air Force helping transport firefighters, Defence bases being used as refuelling and staging sites and HMAS Albatross assisting with water and fire retardant reloading. We have also been listening to the people on the ground in these fire-affected areas and we are unilaterally changing the posture of the ADF to proactively mobilise and position our resources where we expect they will be needed most. Through the authority of the Governor-General, the Government has directed the Australian Defence Force surge to bring every possible capability to bear by deploying Army Reserve Brigades to fire-affected communities across Australia. Australians have watched with admiration as our emergency services have dealt with the fires and extreme weather events engulfing much of the country. We have their backs. Two-Star Emergency ADF National Support Coordinator Major General Justin Ellwood will have national authority over the ADF Joint Task Forces in each affected state working in cooperation with and to support state emergency authorities. The priority for this deployment is to assist in ensuring the safety of life, support the evacuation of affected people from isolated communities, provide assistance to isolated communities and support State-managed evacuation centres. The ADF surge includes the deployment of up to 3,000 designated ADF Reserve forces including the 4th Brigade from Victoria, the 5th Brigade from New South Wales, and the 9th Brigade from South Australia and Tasmania and specialist logistic elements of the 17th Brigade headquartered in New South Wales to push Defence resources into fire-affected areas progressively, and in coordination with State authorities, from as early as tomorrow. These Brigades will be enhanced with specialist ADF personnel with skills in engineering, medical, logistics and transport support. Following the Prime Minister’s conversation with the Chief of the Defence Force on New Year’s Eve, the HMAS Adelaide, the Navy’s largest amphibious ship, has been readied to join HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore in supporting evacuation of citizens from fire affected areas along our coast line. HMAS Adelaide will sail from Sydney this afternoon, and will be located offshore from the fire affected areas tomorrow afternoon. The Adelaide is fully equipped for disaster relief and humanitarian aid and is able to operate all ADF helicopters, 400 crew including medical staff as well as 300 tonnes of emergency relief supplies. The Government has ordered relevant ADF air lift and reconnaissance capacity to pre-position to RAAF Base East Sale, which will remain the central hub for the Defence response in southern areas. From tomorrow an additional three Chinook helicopters from Townsville, will be deployed over the coming week to support a range of resupply, evacuation and transport tasks across the breadth of the affected areas. An additional C-17 Globemaster, two C-130 Hercules and three C-27 Spartans will also be pre-positioned to East Sale. For people in short term evacuation distress, other Defence bases from Brisbane to Adelaide will provide temporary transit accommodation and support arrangements. This is a major step-up in ADF involvement and assistance and demonstrates our absolute commitment to supporting states to fight the fires, and to immediately swing into disaster recovery operations as soon as the fire-front has passed. Following a request from the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council at 8pm yesterday for one additional waterbombing aircraft, today we have also committed $20 million to lease four extra planes to fulfil that request and to meet any further requests - two long-range fixed wing DC-10s with 36,000 litres capacity and two medium-range fixed-wing Large Air Tankers with 11,000 litre capacity. The Commonwealth will fully fund the leasing costs with operational costs to be shared with states and territories as usual. From the heart-breaking loss of life to the destruction wrought on towns and communities, businesses, farms, livestock, homes and our wildlife, the impact of these bushfires has left deep financial, emotional, mental and environmental scars. We are conscious of the enormous challenge of rebuilding these devastated communities. Australians are resilient and want to rebuild - and we will be with them every step of the way. The Government has already processed 20,600 claims for assistance this bushfire season and delivered nearly $25 million in Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance as well as deployed Mobile Service Centres and extended Centrelink’s phone hours including opening them this weekend. But, as with the floods and drought, we can and will ensure communities and businesses have the helping hand they need. The Government will detail further work to aid the recovery in coming days. Our government’s entire focus is on supporting Australians in this difficult time – those facing immediate danger and those who are recovering after the fire-front has passed. The Prime Minister has postponed his state visit to India and his official visit to Japan to stay close to the disaster and recovery operations underway in Australia. We deeply appreciate the arrangements that India and Japan have made to date and look forward to rescheduling the visits at a mutually convenient time in the coming months. Everywhere across the country in the communities we visit we see the absolute devastation and despair these bushfires have wrought. What we have also seen is the best of Australians coming together, supporting one another. We urge Australians to keep informed about the situation in their area and to follow the directions of state and territory authorities and the ADF as they work to keep people safe. We will do whatever it takes to get Australians through these terrible times. liberal.org.au
  13. 4. REBUILDING COMMUNITIES The Australian Government is providing $2 billion over two years, to help rebuild communities and livelihoods. This $2 billion investment is on top of the existing disaster relief payments. It is an initial investment. If more is required, it will be provided. A National Bushfire Recovery Agency, led by former AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin, will co-ordinate the rebuilding effort. These funds will cover things like restocking farms, rebuilding roads and telecommunications, mental health support, attracting back tourists, small business support, protecting wildlife and restoring local environments. While the immediate focus is fighting fires and keeping people safe, we need to hit the ground running when fires have passed. 5. SUPPORT FOR VOLUNTEER FIRE FIGHTERS The Government is funding financial support of up to $6,000 for emergency services volunteers who have lost income as a result of volunteering to fight the fires. Public servants who are emergency services volunteers are being provided with additional paid leave. We thank the Australian companies which have matched this. KEY CONTACTS In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) Emergency radio broadcasts: ABC and commercial local radio New South Wales NSW RFS: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and www.fire.nsw.gov.au Twitter: @NSWRFS NSW Bush Fire Information Line: 1800 679 737 NSW Government Disaster Welfare Assistance Line: 1800 018 444 Victoria Victoria Country Fire Authority: www.cfa.vic.gov.au VicEmergency Hotline: 1800 226 226 Twitter: @VICemergency VIC Emergency Relief Assistance Payments:https://emergency.vic.gov.au/relief/#financial_assistance South Australia SA CFS: www.cfs.sa.gov.au Bushfire Information Hotline: 1800 362 361 SA Government Recovery Hotline: 1800 302 787 Twitter: @CFSAlerts Queensland Queensland Fire and Emergency Services: www.qfes.qld.gov.au Twitter: @QldFES Australian Government financial assistance If you’ve been affected by the bushfires and need to claim assistance you can call Services Australia on 180 22 66. For more information, go to: www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster When it is safe, Mobile Services Centres will head into affected regions to assist. liberal.org.au
  14. Our country is facing devastating and widespread bushfires. This requires us to do everything possible to fight fires, protect lives, and ensure communities are getting the support they need. 1. DEPLOYING THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE The Australian Defence Force is providing boots on the ground, planes in the sky and ships at sea, to support the bushfire fighting effort and recovery. For the first time in our history, the Government has enacted a compulsory call-out of the Australian Defence Force Reserve Brigades. This will provide up to 3,000 Australian Defence Force Reservists, including personnel with skills in engineering, medical, logistics and transport support. The Navy’s largest ship, HMAS Adelaide, will join HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore in supporting the evacuation of citizens. The Adelaide is fully equipped for disaster relief and humanitarian aid. It can operate all ADF helicopters. It has 400 crew, including medical staff, and 300 tonnes of emergency relief supplies. The Government is deploying additional ADF air lift and reconnaissance capacity. This includes Chinook helicopters, C-17 Globemasters, C-130 Hercules and C-27 Spartans. All Defence bases between Brisbane and Adelaide will provide temporary transit accommodation and support for those displaced by the fires. Call 1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362) for more information. Major General Justin Ellwood, will have national authority over the ADF Joint Task Forces. The ADF will work in cooperation with and support state emergency authorities. 2. ADDITIONAL WATERBOMBING The Government immediately responded to a request for an additional waterbombing aircraft, by providing $20 million to lease four extra planes. This includes: two long-range fixed wing DC-10s (with 36,000 litres capacity); and two medium-range fixed-wing Large Air Tankers (with 11,000 litre capacity). This is in addition to $26 million already provided to the states and territories through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre, which provides specialised firefighting aircraft. 3. IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL HELP The Government is providing immediate financial support to fire-affected communities. This includes a non-means tested Disaster Recovery Payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for children. A Disaster Recovery Allowance is available to provide short-term income support for those who have lost income. In the 33 Local Government Areas hardest hit by the fires, the Commonwealth and State governments are providing $15,000 recovery grants for small businesses, community organisations and primary producers and funds for local government to help communities recover. liberal.org.au
  15. The Federal Government will establish a new agency with an initial $2 billion for a national bushfire recovery fund to coordinate a national response to rebuild communities and livelihoods after the devastating fire-front has passed. The Prime Minister said the National Bushfire Recovery Agency would be funded with an initial $2 billion to ensure the families, farmers and business owners hit by these unprecedented bushfires would get the support they needed as they recover. “It’s a long road ahead and we will be with these communities every step of the way as they rebuild,” the Prime Minister said. “While the immediate focus for our emergency services and the Australian Defence Force is keeping people safe and defending against the fires hitting so many areas, we also need to be ready to hit the ground in communities where the fire-front has passed to help them rebuild. “The Agency will ensure the work of state and territory governments is being supported and act as a ‘one stop shop’ central team to coordinate the response. We will do whatever it takes.” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the initial $2 billion investment for the Agency and its recovery work would be on top of the existing disaster recovery payments and allowances which have so far seen more than $100 million worth of assistance flowing through to families, small businesses and farmers. “An unprecedented joint effort with the states, territories and local government will be required to assist with the recovery, rebuilding and future resilience of these communities,” the Treasurer said. “Our initial $2 billion investment help to get communities back on their feet by assisting with restocking and replenishing, rebuilding roads and telecommunications infrastructure, mental health support, attracting tourists back to the regions and helping restore the local environment and impacted wildlife.” The Agency will be led by Andrew Colvin APM AOM and will be modelled off the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency established following the 2019 North Queensland floods, as well as the experience of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority created after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. The Agency’s key tasks include: Build on the effective working relationships with state, territory and local governments, including their recovery and reconstruction bodies, and to work with stakeholders in bushfire affected communities, and relevant Commonwealth agencies to inform and integrate recovery and rebuild activities Ensuring affected communities have ready access to meaningful support and all available services Providing advice and recommendations to Government on the economic and social impacts of bushfire on affected communities, in consultation with relevant agencies across all levels of government; Developing and coordinating the delivery of a long-term plan for the recovery, rebuild and resilience of bushfire affected communities Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Commonwealth would continue to step up to do whatever it takes. "We will continue to respond to changing conditions while these fires affect communities across the country,” Minister Littleproud said. “We will help people on the fire front and people that have been evacuated from affected areas and the ADF is also helping deliver supplies such as food, fuel and medical assistance. “When the rebuilding begins, the Commonwealth will be there to make sure communities are well-resourced.” The Agency will work within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and report to Minister Littleproud. Funding for the Agency is in addition to the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements that have been activated in all bushfire affected areas already with $25 million in Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance flowing to communities. The Commonwealth and NSW Governments have already committed $86 million for the recovery effort in that state and Category C assistance between the Commonwealth and Victoria is also expected to flow shortly. The funding is in addition to the Australian Government’s support for Volunteer firefighters who are eligible for up to $6,000 per person to provide for lost income. People affected by the bushfires can claim disaster payments by calling Services Australia (Centrelink) on 180 22 66 and find more information at www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster. As soon as it is safe to do so, Mobile Service Centres will head into affected regions to assist with all Government payment services, including disaster payments. liberal.org.au
  16. With devastating fires still burning across many parts of our country, governments both federal and state are doing all they can to save lives and protect property. The heroes in all this are our volunteer firefighters, emergency service personnel and members of the Australian Defence Force who have put their lives on the line to save others. It will take time to rebuild and the affected communities will not be able to do it alone. This is why yesterday the Morrison Government announced a $2 billion initial contribution to the new National Bushfire Recovery Fund. The fund will be administered by the new National Bushfire Recovery Agency under the leadership of former Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin. Based on the experience of a similar agency the government established in response to the North Queensland floods, expenditure could include restocking and replanting; additional support for farmers, businesses and local councils; environmental and wildlife restoration projects; economic and social infrastructure and mental health support. Together with other initiatives the states will undertake, this $2 billion federal government commitment will help communities get back on their feet after the devastation of the fires, rebuilding lives and restoring livelihoods. The government’s focus will be to get this money to affected communities as quickly as possible and, importantly, it is in addition to the various commonwealth disaster recovery payments and allowances made under existing mechanisms. For example, the commonwealth provides a non-means-tested disaster recovery payment of $1000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children as well as a short-term means-tested disaster recovery allowance for up to 13 weeks to provide income support. Other commonwealth disaster recovery assistance which is currently provided and is additional to yesterday’s announcement includes funding for the restoration of essential public assets; grants, loans and interest rate subsidies to small business and primary producers and assistance payments to households for emergency accommodation and the cleanup, repair and rebuilding of homes. The commonwealth has also offered the states non-means-tested payments of up to $6000 for each volunteer firefighter who has been called out for more than 10 days this season and who are self-employed or working for small and medium-sized businesses. At this most difficult time, the last thing anyone affected by the fires should be concerned about is their tax affairs. Accordingly, the ATO has instituted an automatic two month deferral of lodgement and payment obligations for those living in affected areas and is providing an emergency support hotline – 1800 806 218 – for those seeking more detail on the options available. The effective response of insurers to this disaster will also be absolutely critical to the recovery. With almost 6000 claims totalling nearly $400 million in losses already lodged, the insurance industry has mobilised teams of assessors and recovery specialists with some already in affected areas. These assessors and specialists will help process claims as quickly as possible. Today I will be meet the Insurance Council, company CEOs, Treasury, APRA and ASIC to discuss the crisis and their response. The banking sector also plays an important role in helping communities respond to the crisis with the Banking Association announcing its members will implement a range of measures, including deferring loan and interest repayments, offering additional finance to help deal with cashflow shortages and waiving fees and charges. In addition to the financial support from the commonwealth, there is significant operational assistance being provided. This includes an unprecedented call-out of up to 3000 defence force reservists in addition to 2000 defence force personnel already engaged. The Navy’s biggest vessel, HMAS Adelaide, has been deployed after HMAS Choules evacuated people from Mallacoota. Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters have joined Hercules, Globemasters, Spartan and fixed-wing aircraft ferrying firefighters and emergency service personnel to and from the most difficult terrain. Army medics and engineers are providing support on the ground. The Prime Minister recently announced the leasing, at a cost of $20 million, of an additional four water bombing planes, two large fixed-wing DC-10s, with 36,000 litre capacity and two medium range large air tankers with 11,000 litres capacity. This is in addition to the $25 million the commonwealth provides as an annual contribution to the national aerial firefighting centre. We also have a range of commonwealth agencies such as Emergency Management Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology, which are embedded with state authorities in local control centres. There are challenging times ahead as a result of these devastating bushfires but there is an enormous amount of goodwill across the community. By working together we can deliver the support needed and ensure they recover and rebuild for the future. liberal.org.au
  17. Live from the Whanganui Opera House, on the final day of the 2019 Labour Party Conference, Jacinda Ardern announced the largest investment in school property in 25 years. Q: What is the announcement? A: A cash injection for almost all state schools in the country to upgrade their rundown classrooms and facilities. The announcement is the first part of our new infrastructure package, which we will be rolling out over the coming months. This is the largest one-off injection for school maintenance in at least 25 years, and will have a massive impact on schools and on jobs in the trades. Q: Who will benefit from this? A: Kiwi kids deserve a warm, dry, safe place to learn and grow. This investment will ensure that they no longer have to 'make-do' with rundown classrooms - that their school can be a special place where they reach their full potential. But it's not just our kids and their teachers who will benefit from this infrastructure investment, it will create local jobs too. Upgrading New Zealand's schools after nine years of neglect will take time - and some hard work by our skilled tradespeople. These upgrades are going to create jobs around the country for roofers, carpenters, builders, plumbers and landscapers. Finally, we know that schools stand at the heart of every community. By investing in our schools, we're investing in our kids, our teachers, and our tradespeople, but also the wider community too. Q: What is the funding for? A: A significant portion of school buildings in New Zealand are old and need modernising. Around 68% of New Zealand schools have an average building age over 40 years old and 40% have an average building age that is over 50 years old. Schools spend a significant portion of their property budget on addressing health and safety and essential infrastructure meaning they often have to defer modernisation and upgrade work. This package will allow schools to complete projects sooner, speeding up the provision of improved learning environments for children. The funding is for schools to spend on much-needed upgrades that have been put on the back burner. Examples of upgrades for schools may include: Updating and modernising existing classrooms Opening up classroom space to make it more flexible and usable Replacing rather than repairing roofing and guttering Putting in more energy efficient heating for schools (e.g. removing coal boilers) Resurfacing outdoor courts and paved areas Upgrading the school’s storm water drainage systems Upgrading resource rooms, staff rooms or administration areas. Q: How much will each school get? A: Almost every state school in the country will receive $693 per student, up to a maximum of $400,000, with no school receiving less than $50,000 regardless of how small their roll is. All state schools opened before 2015 (around 2,050 schools), regardless of size, are eligible to receive a one-off capital contribution next year to spend on school property. For most schools this will represent an average funding increase of 40% over a five year period. Special schools will receive a flat rate of $200,000, regardless of roll size, to reflect these schools are usually small but face high property costs associated with special education provision. 25-30% of schools are small and isolated, meaning the package will assist in stimulating regional economies as schools will be able to use their existing contractor relationships and local providers to deliver the works. Q: What will my school get/my kid's school get? A: A full list of every school's funding can be found here. Integrated schools funded through operational funding, schools built through a Public Private Partnership, or schools in leased accommodation are excluded. Q: How long will this take? A: Funding will be spent on property projects to be delivered over the next 12-24 months. labour.org.nz
  18. We're backing our ethnic communities Aotearoa is home to over 200 ethnicities. This week we announced we're increasing the Ethnic Communities Development Fund from $520,000 to $4.2 million each year - meaning we can support more of the community initiatives that help build a stronger, safer more connected and inclusive society. The Fund will now be able to support groups to do more work, including: promoting ethnic diversity and understanding educating New Zealanders about the contribution of ethnic communities developing participation in employment and society supporting our ethnic communities to thrive through the practice and celebration of culture. The Fund will from now on operate as a rolling fund, with applications assessed and decisions made throughout the year, rather than just once annually. We're getting into the festive spirit Premier House was busier than usual this week with the Prime Minister hosting her annual Christmas Party for a group of Barnados New Zealand tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau. A Christmas feast, face painting, card making, a photo booth, and a special gift from Santa, all made this day a day to remember! labour.org.nz
  19. We're rebuilding New Zealand - our transport network, our hospitals, our schools and more... After nine years of neglect there's a lot to fix - but we're getting on with the job. We're rebuilding New Zealand Last Sunday we announced the first part of our new infrastructure package - with a big boost for school upgrades at nearly every state school in the country. This funding means nearly every state school will receive a capital injection next year between $50,000-$400,000 - $693 per student for most schools - to bring forward urgent school property improvements. The one-off cash injection will see some schools receive up to $400,000 to spend on needed upgrades that have been put on the back burner. This investment is the biggest capital injection for school maintenance funding in at least 25 years and will have a massive impact on schools and on jobs in the trades. We're providing better cancer care This week saw the official opening of the independent Cancer Control Agency. Opened by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister David Clark, the Agency will drive consistent, high quality cancer care across all of our DHBs, so New Zealanders get world-class cancer care – no matter where they live. This builds on the progress we've already made to deliver better cancer care for New Zealanders, including: Launching the Cancer Action Plan Investing in 12 new radiation machines Increased funding for PHARMAC, so it can buy new cancer drugs. Modernising our approach to cancer won’t happen overnight, but with strong leadership from the Agency and a greater focus on prevention, screening and treatment, we're making progress. labour.org.nz
  20. Just after 2pm on Monday this week, Whakaari / White Island erupted. “There is no limit to New Zealand’s capacity to mobilise, to respond, to care and embrace those impacted by tragedy – we are a nation full of ordinary people who do extraordinary things.” We've cut the ribbon on more climate progress in our dairy sector Climate action is about cooperation and innovation – and it was great to see our primary sector embracing both this week. Synlait Milk - a dairy processing company based in Canterbury - was visited by the PM this week, to celebrate the launch of the community environmental programme, Whakapūawai. Synlait has installed a first of its kind electrode boiler, which will generate CO2-e savings roughly equivalent to emissions from 9,600 households over ten years. Process heat is the second-highest source of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions behind transport - so this is a significant step in the right direction. Synlait talked us through its sustainability strategy to reduce off farm greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2028. It aims to have 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packing by 2025. We’re taking action on climate change – and our business leaders are too. We’re getting more Kiwis into homes We have a plan to help people into homes across the board – from helping those in urgent need rebuild their lives with safe, secure housing to better supporting Kiwis into their first homes. After nine years of neglect there is a severe shortage of warm, dry housing and affordable housing for people and whanau – and we're seeing that shortage have a major effect on the people of Hastings. Shortages have been made worse by a population boom as more people move to Hawke’s Bay. Latest estimates by Hastings District Council and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development identified a shortage of around 300 to 500 affordable houses to meet current housing need. That's why, this week, we announced that we’re helping Hastings overcome its housing challenge, and will be building 160 additional Kāinga Ora public houses by June 2021. The houses are being provided in response to the city’s high demand for emergency, transitional and public housing and help reduce the reliance on motels. We’re also tackling homelessness in Napier and Hastings - bringing Housing First to the Hawke's Bay. This programme will offer support for up to 100 people and whānau in Napier and Hastings. We're reforming our justice system We're looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending and reoffending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports this week, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached. We know fixing the problems facing our criminal justice system won't happen overnight, but we're taking important steps in the right direction now - for a better, fairer future for all Kiwis. labour.org.nz
  21. If you are serious about jobs you don’t cut money from TAFE. But that’s exactly what Scott Morrison did – cutting more than $3 billion from TAFE, apprenticeships and vocational education. Since the Liberals came to government, Australia has lost almost 150,000 apprenticeships and traineeships. TAFE cuts are hurting young workers who want to get their foot in the door, and workers who need to reskill. Youth unemployment is now above 20 per cent in parts of the country and thousands of workers lost their jobs after the Liberals and Nationals abandoned the automotive manufacturing industry. More people should get the opportunity to learn a trade and help workers to re-skill – the Liberal and National cuts to TAFE funding must stop. It’s up to us to spread the word, so sign the petition and help us to fight for TAFE. alp.org.au
  22. In their first two terms, the Liberal National Government cut $715 million from Australia’s hospitals – cutting hospital beds, cutting healthcare workers, and blowing out hospital waiting lists. Now in their third term, Scott Morrison is planning to cut another $2.8 billion from public hospitals. When you or your loved one is sick, the last thing you need is to worry about whether your local hospital has enough beds to give you the health care you need. Every day, more than 21,000 Australians will visit an emergency department - with our hard-working doctors and nurses overstretched and under resourced to keep up with demand. It’s time Morrison got the message. His hospitals cuts are hurting local communities right now – but his only answer is even more cuts. Sign the petition now to fight for your local hospital and tell Morrison to fix our hospitals. alp.org.au
  23. Liberal MPs have called for Scott Morrison to reverse the ban on nuclear power in Australia. Over 100 communities have been identified as possible locations for nuclear reactors and nuclear dumps – with many of them being near residential homes. When it comes to nuclear power, there’s a real possibility of catastrophic failure with devastating consequences. And power from a nuclear power station would be around three times more expensive than cleaner and safer renewable energy. Will you sign our petition telling Scott Morrison that Australians don’t want nuclear power? alp.org.au
  24. The Liberals’ school cuts mean our children are missing out – fewer teachers, less one-on-one attention, and less help with the basics like reading, writing, and maths. Labor believes Australian kids deserve the world’s best teaching – not the Liberals’ cuts. Their priorities are all wrong. Sign our petition and tell the Liberals that our schools deserve better. alp.org.au
  25. The Liberals and Nationals always attack Medicare. In the first term of this Government, the Liberals: Tried to impose a GP Tax. Tried to slash the Medicare Safety Net. Tried to increase PBS co-payments – even for pensioners In their second term, the Liberals extended the Medicare freeze to six years – cutting $3 billion from Medicare – and Tried to abolish Medicare bulk billing incentives for tests and scans. Tried to abolish the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, which provides Medicare dental services to vulnerable children. What will the third term Liberal National Government be like? Scott Morrison cannot be trusted with Medicare. Labor will always fight for Medicare. Labor will make sure it is your Medicare card, not your credit card that determines access to health. Together we can protect Medicare. savemedicare.org.au
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