LaBoyteaux–Dear President Elect Biden

Congratulations on your election as the 46th president of the United States.  For me at least, our national nightmare is ending.

The country remains deeply divided and you will need to make extraordinary efforts to bridge that divide.  You will need to engage and allow access and extra transparency to those who voted for Donald Trump.  You will need to inform, lead and encourage a national discussion about issues like climate change, energy and immigration.

Every president for the last 50 or more years has used more executive orders.  It is not a good way to govern.  Your most important job is to make our democratic system of government work as well as it can.  Sometimes you need to start with the deepest concerns from the opposite side of the aisle.

We need a secure boarder with Mexico and we should not admit large numbers of refugees from Central America by reason of asylum.  But we certainly need to end the cruelty and bunker mentality.  We need to do all we can through foreign policy to address economic conditions in these people’s home countries.  We need to recognize the contribution, especially to agriculture of guest workers and new immigrants to our country.

We need to produce somewhat more oil, gas and coal than the country consumes in order to maintain energy independence and keep consumer prices under control.  We need to do this as we simultaneously move our nation and world to clean and renewable energy sources.  Renewable energy is already an industry, we need to expand that industry as a huge generator of both energy and employment.  There will always be an oil industry.  Fracking is mostly good.  We don’t need to dominate the world oil market, we need to lead the world toward clean energy.

The Hyde amendment is the law of the land and it should apply as well to foreign aid.  However, gag rules are a first amendment issue, and conversation between a woman and her doctor cannot be prohibited.  Funding for cancer screening and contraception should not be prohibited because the same organization my provide abortion at a woman’s own expense.  Abortion is a woman’s choice and her responsibility.  The government does not pay for it.

De-funding the police is non-starter, but we certainly need to train police officers to de-escalate situations in which there is no immediate threat to themselves or the public.  Vandalism and looting cannot be tolerated.  Local control in times of civil unrest is essential.  Black lives matter because all lives matter.

Every young person who graduates high school in this country should attain at least an apprentice level in some trade, regardless of future career, each should have the experience and confidence of work with their own two hands.

I thought to remove most of my policy specific thoughts from this posting because President Elect Biden, through his statements and cabinet selections has shown a much broader perspective about America’s role in the world.  On rereading I’m leaving it as is, because I view policy one issue at a time and believe that is where we find the compassion and compromises to help unify the country.

On watching President Trump’s baseless attacks on the election these past two weeks, I conclude we did barely preserve our Democracy.



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LaBoyteaux–Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

First some great thoughts from Dolly Parton this morning.  Trust Dolly to be pretty sensible.  Looking forward to that Christmas album.

Two greater men than I have told us we have Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself.  Plenty to be afraid of these days, Covid-19,  jobs and the economy, fear that almost daily violence in some cities will spread more widely and the general  rancor, division and hatred in the country.

We have just had an election with the largest turnout in the nation’s history, an affirmation of our democracy.  There is no indication of systemic or widespread fraud.  We are all Americans.  Only you can know, when you stepped into the voting booth or posted your ballot, whether you voted because of fear or in hope of a better future.

Need to get on with the transition.  I’ll have some thoughts in my next post for President Elect Biden.


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LaBoyteaux 2020–Eight More Days


Vote now, to be sure your vote will count!

God Bless America!





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LaBoyteaux 2020–Willful Negligence

Over 80,000 new Coronavirus cases yesterday, the highest daily total ever ….. and now over 220,000 deaths.  Exposure and transmission increases as people spend more time indoors with Fall and Winter weather.  Trump knew how serious this could be back in February. He had all the scientific information from the best medical experts.  It cannot be ignorance, slow brain or anything but willful negligence.  He continues to promote a false normality and encourage behavior which will spread this disease.  Now he tries to distract us by once again changing the subject, to Joe Biden’s position on oil and climate change.

My position on energy is as follows.  We need to produce somewhat more oil, gas and coal than the country consumes in order to maintain energy independence and keep fuel prices reasonable for average consumers.   Simultaneously we need to move as quickly as possible to non-polluting renewable energy.  Renewable energy is already an industry.  We need to build it into a much larger industry and lead the whole world in this direction.  Climate change is a world wide problem which can only be solved through international cooperatiion.  The Paris Climate Agreement is/was symbolic ….. it is what we actually do which is important.  This is very close to Biden’s position, only stated in different words.


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Smoke on the Water

So many people all across this country doing their best to limit the spread of Covid-19, waitresses wearing masks and gloves, sanitizing tables, cooks and kitchen workers being tested almost daily, plexiglass shields at sales counters, but in most states the numbers are ticking up as Fall comes on.  Meanwhile our President refuses to wear a mask, ridicules Joe Biden for wearing one, holds indoor rallies, disregards the advice of Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx and Dr. Redmond, dinks around the the CDC guidelines, and recruits a quack Dr. Atlas to the virus task force.  Over 200,000 people have died and continue to die. President Trump cares only about himself and his political future.  So unnecessary, so disgusting, a complete lack of moral leadership.

Meanwhile, Bob Woodward says the election and our democracy are teetering as President Trump, trailing in the polls, attacks the election process itself.  The Congress could speak out here, affirming mail in voting, protecting the polling places from intimidation, fixing the postal system, and validating the founding principles of this country that all men are created equal, all have a right to vote, government by the people.

Please see my 8/16/2020 post about Mail in Voting.  Smoke on the water here this morning.  Pray for our country.  VOTE!!!





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LaBoyteaux 2020–Time to End Government by Death Ray

Please read my previous post “On the Basis of Sex” about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I wrote Joe Biden yesterday urging him to take the position that any person that he nominated to the Supreme Count would need to get a minimum of 60 votes in the Senate.  Democrats did away with this requirement some years ago when Republicans led by a younger Mitch McConnell began blocking all the Democratic Judicial nominees.  Doing away with the sixty vote requirement, the number needed to break a filibuster, was a mistake.  It has led to a far more partisan, divided and mean spirited Senate.  Gone is the greatest deliberative body in the world.  I see this morning Democrats threatening even more divisive measures if they gain control of the Senate and Republicans, rushing to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, reasoning that Democrats would do the same to them.  Need to think first about the good of the whole country.  It is time to end government by partisan death ray.  I believe RBG would say the same.

Many thanks for Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins for their principled position that it is too close to an election to fill a Supreme Court vacancy and their recognition that there is a moral and ethical issue involved.  Deeply disappointed that no male Republican Senator is able to see the gross unfairness of refusing to even give Merrick Garland a hearing and now contorting and contradicting their previous statements to rush a replacement for RBG.

And this morning the Senate could not even agree on a memorial resolution for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, partisan bickering!!

Also this morning a Republican led Senate committee report accusing the Bidens of wrong doing in Ukraine, repeating a Russian disinformation effort.  Thank you Mitt Romney for saying immediately that Senate committees should not be used for political propaganda.  I know you have a conscience, you need to hold off this Supreme Court appointment until after the election.

And Breonna Taylor, completely wrongful death.  Of course Black Lives Matter because all lives matter.


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LaBoyteaux 2020–On The Basis of Sex

If this title is unfamiliar, it was a movie about that dear woman Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who passed away yesterday.  In her legal career Ruth Ginsburg was a ground breaking leader for women’s rights and justice for all.

An hour after her death, Mitch McConnell announced he would bring President Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee to a Senate vote.  We should all remember that in 2016, when Justice Scalia died, Mitch McConnell refused to bring President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to a Senate vote, claiming the appointment should not occur until after the election.  That was 10 months before the election.  We are now 46 days before the election.

McConnell is the ultimate partisan.  Almost always party before country.  It is also Mitch McConnell who is blocking legislation to prevent foreign meddling, notably Russian meddling, in our elections.  It is the job of the Senate to deliberate and vote on issues, in his partisan extreme he has failed as leader of the Senate and should be removed from office.

Something else crazy and shocking happening in our country.  The level of gun violence has accelerated to a point where no one can feel completely safe.  But in the last week or so there have been three ambush shootings of police.  These were not shooting incidents with a fugitive, but ambushes where the officers were just sitting in their patrol cars.  If there are warped minds out there thinking about retribution, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will have no eyes or teeth.  The police need to learn to de-escalate certain situations, particularly with unarmed persons of color.  We must all resolve to avoid all confrontation and violence.

President Trump knew in early February that Covid 19 would be far more lethal than the flu and that it could spread through the air.  Bob Woodward got all this on tape.  Trump has downplayed the virus while nearly 200,000 people have died to build a story for his re-election.




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LaBoyteaux 2020–The Woodward Tapes

In case you have not heard, one key point of the Woodward Tapes now in print in his book “RAGE” is that Donald Trump knew the seriousness of Coronavirus in early February.  He knew it could be transmitted through the air and that it would be far worse than the flu.  He deliberately down played it, and continues to do so, at a time when masks and social distancing would have saved thousands of lives.  We are now approaching 200,000 deaths from Covid and the President says “it is what it is”.

My message to all Americans is do not let down your guard.  The Virus is still spreading out there.  It is still killing hundreds of people every day.  Maintain social distancing in public and at work.  Masks are an effective deterrent.  I recommend wearing as mask at all times in public and at work.  If you enter a business which requires or requests masks, take care of yourself and be considerate of others, wear your mask.

Further today, police have a most difficult job.  In our effort to root out bad actors and de-escalate fatal confrontations, we should not forget how difficult and dangerous police work can be every day on the street.  Overnight there has been an ambush shooting of two Sheriff’s deputies in Compton, California.  Both are fighting for their lives in the local hospital.  I ask you to join me in prayer for these officers.





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LaBoyteaux 2020–Aisne-Marne Cemetery, France

When the Atlantic article broke, talking about Trump’s failure to attend memorial services at the Aisme-Marne, WWI cemetery in France, I decided to withhold judgement as the article was based on anonymous sources.  There were already a number of examples of the President bad mouthing U.S. service members, John McCain, wounded veterans in parades and his failure to act regarding Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afganistan.  The President’s actions in France were always strange, Queen Elizabeth made it out to the cemetery umbrella and all.  The Atlantic article has now been corroborated.  The President referred to U.S war dead as “losers” and “suckers”.  As president, honoring fallen U.S. soldiers, is a duty I would be proud to perform.  I would inquire into the backgrounds of a few, where in the U.S. they came from, who were their families.

Bill Barr’s interview with Wolf Blitzer left no doubt that Barr will distort the truth to benefit Trump.  Barr claimed Jacob Blake was committing a felony at the time he was shot and had a weapon.  Blitzer should have asked what felony?  I saw an unarmed man walk to his car and lean in and get shot seven times in the back.  You would think that the Attorney General would know that in the United States, even if arrested, persons are considered innocent until proven guilty.  Barr also said that China is doing more than Russia to interfere in the upcoming election.  That is apparently also untrue, while the Republicans are still blocking any legislation to prevent meddling by any foreign country.



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LaBoyteaux 2020–Kenosha

Domestic disputes are one of the most difficult and dangerous situations which police are called to address.  Tempers are already out of control, people may feel more righteous in their own homes and weapons are often present.  Details of the dispute that led to the police shooting of Jacob Blake are not clear.  Police believed he needed to be arrested and removed, they used a taser, he should not have resisted arrest.  But for the life of me I cannot see any justification for shooting him.  I’ve watched the video several times and tried to put myself in the position of those police officers.  I hope and pray that I would have had the presence of mind to back off.  To me, the need to de-escalate has been so evident in many police shootings.  If Jacob Blake had gotten a weapon out of his car, that would be different.  As it is, shooting seven times in the back is completely unreasonable, possibly attempted murder.

I want to commend Sheriff Glen of Kenosha County for his refusal to deputize vigilantes.  Even if I try to understand the sense of frustration by black Americans, and powerlessness to prevent unnecessary police shootings,  arson and looting cannot be tolerated as part of protest demonstrations.  The best solution is to utilize the national guard early and in force to protect property.  This frees the local police to sort out and arrest those causing violence.  One of the biggest problems with protest demonstrations is individuals coming from outside the immediate community with their own political motivations, to use the demonstration and violence to make some kind of statement.  There should be some legal way for local law enforcement to remove outside agitators or persons carrying guns in these situations.

Also want to commend the boycott actions of professional athletes as a powerful way to condemn unnecessary police shootings of unarmed black men.  Police need new training in how to de-escalate these situations.


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