” CNN Town Hall with Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat – A Prefatory engagement ” – January 28, 2019.

 

CNN Town Hall, Des Moines, Iowa – Senator Kamala Harris with Jake Tapper.

          The first Town Hall of 2020 election primaries was held in Des Moines,  Iowa,  on the night of January 28, 2019. Senator Kamala Harris was the candidate and Jake Tapper of CNN, the moderator.

 

Senator Kamala Devi Harris

          Senator Kamala Harris, an American attorney and politician, California, announced her campaign to run for Democratic nomination for President of U.S.A. in 2020. She has an Indian and Jamaican ancestry. Mother Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian and father, Donald J Harris, a Jamaican.

          Town Hall constituted questions from the audience :

          ( Q.1. )   What will you do to make America safe for people of color and immigrants ?

          When mothers go to sleep at night with the concerns you expressed I feel that leadership shares strongly the same concerns and act ;  the leadership recognises what and who we are as Americans in soul and heart ;  and the leadership commits that the division we see today be erased swiftly. Sadly,  we see a new fuel adding to the fire of racism today. We have a lot to do to combat that first.

          ( Q.2. )   Do you support death penalty ?

          Kamala Harris recounted the ‘open data initiative’  called open justice for the first time started in 1990s and 2000s will say what and who we are.  She averred that she is opposed to death penalty, a flawed system based on race … It  costs taxpayers a lot of money. Spending life in prison without the possibility of parole is cheaper.  Adequate response in emergencies is a priority. Reform is necessary. Economic justice issues and criminal justice issues need to be taken note of. Admittedly, we have a lot to do on this now.

          ( Q.3. )   What to do to have people access to health care at an affordable price ?

          Medicare for all while supporting single payer health care is her proposition. She drew attention to the Choose Medicare Act, an expanded public option for health insurance that increased and rendered individuals with high income levels also eligible.

          (Q 4. )   How will you stay on message while debating Trump ?

          Speak the truth,  Speak with concerns for the future of our country,  and Speak with what is necessary for fulfilling the aspirations of our people, –  as against speaking to your base and big corporations.

 

Jake Tapper questioning

          ( Q. 5 )   What will it mean to you to be the first woman president to be elected ?

          She recalled what her mother said :  ” You may be first to many things;  but make sure you are not the last to any “.  Breaking barriers is important ;  What can be is most important than what has been –  was her brief reply.

          ( Q. 6 )   What solutions do you see to the parents of DACA recipients or those with no clear path to citizenship ?

          Young people will be allowed to live the American Dream. Give your information who you are, we’ll not report it and we’ll have it confidential. You will be protected. Obsession with medieval and vanity project ‘wall’ is coming in the way. This administration is willing to separate children from parents and that is not humane. We’ll protect you.

 

Jake Tapper questioning

          ( Q. 7 )   This is Jake Tapper’s intervention. Would you be willing to give some funding for the wall ?

          I am for Border Security. Upgradation of technology and infrastructure like sensors and drones. I am not for a wall. One must understand that it is the sophisticated channels through which people come in and not by jumping the wall.

          ( Q. 8 )   How will you make college affordable and help alleviate student debt ?

          Our national priority and commitment is for ‘debt free college’.  ” For profit colleges ”  which do not fulfil their promises will be prosecuted. Having a path for education giving a job for the 21st Century needs is our priority.

          ( Q. 9 )   Will you endorse  ‘Green New Deal’ ?

          Our planet is at great risk. Clean energy and clean water to every citizen is a priority. We are dedicated to achieving this.

          ( Q. 10 )   Will a man make a better nominee to face Trump ?

          You should not listen to general Observations like :  ” a lady can’t make it ;  a lady is not ready still ;  the nation is not ready yet  … ”  I didn’t take it when I started my career and I became the first lady attorney general of CA. No one should pay heed to wrong Observations. You have to believe in yourself and your work.

          ( Q. 11 )   How will you put an end to Gun Violence ?

          Universal background check before anyone buying guns is the most reasonable and is of 1st priority. It has now become a political issue. We can have reasonable gun laws. We are not waiting for big ideas. What is missing is the Congress to act in a courageous manner.

          ( Q. 12 )   How will you bring troops back from Afghanistan war ?

          We should not act based on whims and tweets. Commanders should read the book ;  have consultations with policy makers and operate in a smart way. We need smart and strategic diplomacy. We cannot leave our young people to fight these endless wars.

          ( Q.  13 )   Is the existence of multi billionaires morally defensible ?

          Inequality to be addressed by middle class tax cuts. Not being affordable is unconscionable. Wealthy should pay more taxes. We have to correct codes.

          ( Q. 14 )   How will you capture votes of all, males and females ?.

          We need to concentrate on the commonalities amongst us even while we are a diverse country. Workplace considerations should be based solely on merit. Erase your view of : ” if we didn’t speak up, it will be o.k. ” All have to be treated equally, treated safely. This is my proposition.

          ( Q. 15 )   What is your view on Free trade vs Fair trade ?

          Citing the  $ 2.2 billion loss to farmers in Iowa, she said tariff on imports resulted in farmers, manufacturers, and consumers equally affected. We need to support our farmers and that is what she will aim at.

          (Q. 16 )   How her immigrant roots will be useful to pursue presidency ? 

          We, as a nation, expanded on noble ideals. Everyone should be treated as ideal as spoken in 1776. I love my country. We are all aspirational by nature. My parents and I continue to pursue our ideals.

          (  Q. 17  )   What is the first thing you would do as President ? 

          I will fight for the largest middle class tax cut in a generation while championing progressive issues.

 

          To conclude : 

          (A)  Chief focus of Senator Kamala Harris seemed to be broadly dealing with questions without much elaboration on specifics of answers.

          ( B)   Nevertheless,  she appeared energetic and forceful  and perhaps raised the temperature and  impact of the Democratic nomination process with the excellent opportunity provided to her during this Town Hall meet.

          ( C)   Audience questions may not have met the expectations of a complete spectrum of issues of concern to American public leaving the viewers feeling possibly that opportunities went missing. But most, however, seemed enjoying the discussion.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     January,  29,  2019 –  12.49 p.m. (IST)

     Tidbit  :  ”  Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something ”  –  Shyamala Gopalan,  Senator Kamala Devi Harris’s mother.

Read More…

” End of the Longest Shutdown in U.S. History ” – January 26, 2019.

          “ President Donald Trump announced a deal to end the partial government shutdown on Friday afternoon.

          Ending 36 days of shutdown, the government will now be funded till February 15 by which time the lawmakers should come out with a new deal.

          Democrats are happy over the deal.

          President Donald Trump didn’t get the funding he wanted for the Wall.

          A new date for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address stopped by Speaker Nancy Pelosi may likely emerge now. “

 

          It is not clear whether President Donald Trump believes that the logical surroundings of his action will change by February 15 ;  whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi will chalk out a fresh deal yielding to the demands of Donald Trump ; and whether Donald Trump’s tactical caving in will put the onus on Democrats now to prospect a way out.

          If President Donald Trump has played his cards probably in the hope that he can easily prevail in these conditions, it will reflect upon his stubborn insistence and strong faith that his demand for border wall contribution should be upheld. And if he has really taken this stand, it will also reinforce his mental strength even after his government shutdown has been criticised by political analysts as well as a majority of people. This will make him unique.

          If on the other hand the Democrats taste the success of blowing President Donald Trump’s cover and make him realise what will really ensure the security of the nation, they will be credited with showing the right path to guide the American citizens during this crisis like situation.

          It is President Donald Trump’s penchant for persona  that drives him to do  ‘something different’  (other than what everyone will want to do),  a move that he feels can catapult him to be the  “maker”  of things/events. Hence his caveat while declaring to reopen the government that  “he will not hesitate to close the government again if a satisfactory deal can’t be reached by February 15, with the hint that he may even call a National Emergency with the power that he wields under the laws and constitution of  U.S.A.”

          Hence my take on this :

          (1)   President Donald Trump has not caved in by reopening the government without wall funding. He has played a tactical move which may or may not turn ultimately favourable to him on February 15.

          (2)   President Donald Trump’s Leadership is made visible to the American citizens more clearly.

          (3)   By invoking National Emergency to achieve his goal, he is reminding/warning his opponents that he holds an ace up his sleeve. Whether it will influence the dealmakers on both sides of the aisle or not ;  it sure will be the major point of consideration for the stance to be adopted by the two sides given the President’s unpredictability.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     Saturday, January 26,  2019  –  8.49 p.m. (IST).

     Tidbit :  ” You are more likely to be derided and laughed at, if you don’t stop telling lies “.

 

 

” Wall Up or Go to the Wall ” – January 25, 2019.

1.  ” Build the Wall, so the will of heaven will make governance smooth ;

                Build the Wall, for future generations to take their ease ;

                Build the Wall, so citizens forget all earlier faults ;

                 Build the Wall, so our pleasures get limitless and sorrows become uncritical . “

 

        2.   ” Wall may be bitter to many, but it’s           fruits may prove sweet ;

         Wall may be expensive, but people safety is supremely valuable ;

          Wall may be a burden to many, but it will be an excessive burden if neglected ;

          Wall may not be just concrete or steel,  it is the keys to our Garden of Eden. “

 

    3.  ” If I build a Wall now, there sure will be great comfort for citizens ;

            If I neglect your safety now, what of your future ?  I wonder ;

            If you support the Wall now, your path to safety and prosperity will soar ;

            If you hold Wall as a treasure, your dessert of safety gets delicious for taste. “

 

             4.  ” Take any noise against the Wall as just thin air ;

                     Make your perpetual motion steadfast to erase perpetual commotion ;

                       Shake the attending meaningless bits to preserve calm ;

                         Wake and arouse the Peacock’s pride of the barrier display. “

 

                5.  ” We are all American citizens,  no wall makes the only difference ;

                        We are all American citizens, the precious people  –  illegal immigrants are just the grass ;

                        We are all American citizens, should we not weather the illegal storm now? ;

                         We are all American citizens, don’t we need a secure Wall that’ll protect us better than what anyone thinks wrongly ? “

 

     ” Deau avec nous “

     Friday,  January 25,  2019 –  6. 09 p.m. (IST)

     Tidbit  :  ” The problem in Defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you’re trying to defend from without “.  –  Dwight  D  Eisenhower.

” President Donald Trump’s Address on Border Security – January 8, 2019 “

               

               President Donald Trump may not have succeeded in influencing the minds and opinions of the American citizens or his political opponents with his 9 minute address from the Oval Office tonight  (9 p.m. ET), but it must be admitted that he sent his intellectual conception and message of the border wall in a tone and language that many  –  be it American citizens, his aides, his supporters, his critics  … –  would pretty much understand and may even appreciate.

               It was a well delivered address even with factual incorrectness in arguments, but failing to counterbalance the lack of clear solutions or ideas. Nevertheless, it would surely have inspired his admirers.

               If the address does not make any impact, it is comparable to a situation where lack of supporting information enhancing the likelihood of foolishness. Such mistakes can arise when the leader loses all possible avenues of a conciliation for his goal. President Donald Trump possibly finds himself in such a situation.

               President’s opponents now have gained their grip,  specially,   after the mid term elections. Connecting with them emotionally is the new challenge to the President in governance now.

               Amidst all the wrangles one possible course he has adopted merits attention :

               ” Like the well enshrined skill of any successful CEO, he has been communicating the idea of construction of a  “wall”  in the southern border over and over again;  whether it will be really effective or not. “

               People tend to judge progress on any issue based on the Commitment that the leader places on the issue,  and the President for all the setbacks remains fixated on this “wall”.

               Like Sisyphus constantly pushing the rock up the hill despite failing, the President has been harping on the  “wall”  amidst all differences, setbacks, and strong opposition. He achieved this, effectively or otherwise, in his address today.

               President Donald Trump’s adherence to this position possibly symbolises his commitment prominently and gain some points in his battle for the  “Wall”.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     Wednesday,  January  9, 2019  –  11.49 a.m.  (IST).

     Tidbit  :  ” If you wait to do anything so perfect that there will be all accolades and no complaints, you will not achieve anything “.

” House Republicans are the Opposition now ” – November 6, 2018.

          It’s six hours since the Election Night coverage began in America.

          True to expectations that midterm elections prove unfavorable depriving some of the resources and privileges of the ruling party have held  on this time too.

          Democrats take control of the House of Representatives,  and Republicans take control of the Senate more firmly than before the elections.

          This now spells the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new era, an era where the Democrarts’  power flies aloft, mounts high, enabling them to be more aggressive with checks and balances.

          A popular vote,  a bigger number in the House,  even if the blue wave has not been as huge as expected.

          Propelled by women,  propelled by heavy parts of suburbs that have mostly remained loyal to Republicans hitherto –  the significant change that has taken place in this midterm.

          What does this mean to the Democratic Party immediately :  

          1.  The Power of Impeachment  (article I ,  Section 2 ) ;  but it is still the power of Senate to ‘try’  all Impeachment and decide whether or not to remove any government officials accused by the House.

          2.   Origination of power for bills intended to raise revenues (Article  II,  Section 7 ) ;  but it is still the Senate which can propose or counter amendments to revenue bills as with any other bill. House’s ability to prevent the Senate from expressing its views is pretty limited.

          3.   Choosing the President in the exceedingly unlikely case of an Electoral College Tie ( Article II, Section 1 as amended).  Senate nevertheless gets to approve appointments through the executive and judicial branches (Article  II ,  Section  II ). House gets no say in these appointments.

          4.   House Ways and Means Committee,  House Appropriations Committee,  House Rules Committee,  House Foreign Affairs Committee,  House Intelligence Committee,  House Oversight Committee,  plus the two that are critical to the Founders’  promises of Security and rule of Law from Defense to Justice –  ‘ Armed Services Committee ‘,  and  ‘ House Judiciary Committee’   –  all of the above become more powerful in the hands of Democrats after this election.

 

House Committees

          There has been general apprehensions as to how the stock markets will play. During the last two years of President Donald Trump there have been measures adopted causing a very healthy stock market pride. His promises of going further on tax reform may be slowed;  the new US-Mexico-Canada deal may face rough weather in the House, but with some concessions granted there will be light at the end of the tunnel ;  no real threat of Impeachment and stock market may well be emboldened;  stocks, nevertheless, may retreat a bit with dollar losing some strength in the immediate aftermath. Overall, it is expected that the stock market fears may lose steam soon.

          Republicans will have a difficult time from now. But they will still be the final “Decision-makers”  is  the  final judgement.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     Wednesday,  November 7, 2018  –  10.29 a.m. (IST).

     Tidbit  :  ”  Senate is truly the most powerful of the two Houses – justified “

” U.S. President Donald Trump Hits the High Spots ” – October 7, 2018.

          President Donald Trump scored a  ‘hat-trick’ – a highly productive and efficacious accomplishment before midterm elections –  last week that included (a) a good job report with 134000 jobs added in September with unemployment at a 50 year low of 3.9 % ,  (b)  successful negotiation of USMCA that will replace NAFTA,  and  (c)  the highly valued symbol of success earned in the case of Brett M Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court on Saturday.

          Of the three, the third assumes greater significance as the course of events since his July 2018 nomination has turned it into a prestige fight and a referendum on the President’s style of governance.

–  September 27, 2018,  hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee remains as one of the highly watched events on work computers, televisions, and cellphones;

          –  Quite a few employees spent 2 to 3 hours watching the event during workday; 

          –  Productivity loss estimated is about $ 1.8 b per hour;

          –  With further discussions and disceptions between employees and people, the total loss is estimated to be about $ 8.8 b ;

          –  Estimate based on calculations is also that 80 % of workers attend their jobs on any weekday;

          No other nomination of Justice in history has witnessed this huge cost. This is a reflection of the importance accorded to this event this time specially.

          Brett M Kavanaugh is now the 114th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

          He will be officially sworn in on Monday night 7 p.m. (ET) at White House’s  East Room.

          What appeared to be an easy path descended into one fraught with accusations of sexual assault ;  a final FBI  investigation after the hearing ;  and before the motion to confirm his nomination by the Senate was set in quickly.

          This was something that could have been avoided.

          What happened in reality was the spread of ultra emotions and extreme displeasure of most citizens who may not have been even initially concerned and knowledgeable about the nomination itself.

          This is Politics, where the basics of unconscious manoeuvres to put a lid on emotional outbreaks do not see the light or reason.

          The accusations and counteraccusations are perhaps the result of what psychologists often term as  ” Gunnysacking” – (accumulating all grievances and letting it all go in one final moment  – after 36 years in this case –  with the sack punctured).

          “What goes around, comes around” has been the open reaction revealing the feelings of the accused bluntly to say that  he “won’t suffer in silence”.

          ” 100%  certain ”  utterance of the accuser in this case is a reaction coming as it did from a lady – who in society was not supposed to blaze up –  that sounded credible and assertive.

          Now that the final outcome is before everyone, the focus shifts to the oncoming events and policies/programs for the safety, welfare, and prosperity of citizens.

          Nobody can doubt that the true “winner”  standing tall at this moment is President  Donald Trump.

 

P.S.  This is for info, res. and education.

 

     “Dieu avec nous”

     Sunday,  October 7,  2018 –  2.39 p.m. (IST)

     Tidbit :  ” Most of those who would like to move mountains don’t like to practice on the little hills “.

Read More…

” Make Way for Women ” – September 29, 2018.

 

Arizona senator, Jeff Flake, tilting the scales as at present.

          Will of Heaven finally had its word in terms of a supplemental background investigation by the FBI into the current credible allegations against Judge Kavanaugh no later than a week from this day.

          True to a proverb in my vernacular language, Tamil, that goes : ” You’ll most likely get what you don’t want;  and you’ll most likely not get what you want “.

          While the proverb held true for the Republicans, the Democrats have every reason to feel happy that it didn’t in their case, eventhough the timeframe and the limited scope of the investigation may not be enthusing.

          Whether Judge Kavanaugh comes morally uncontaminated and wins his spurs to sit on the Supreme Court ultimately;  whether Christine Blasey Ford’s case comes out uncertain, unclear, and unclean ultimately; – the  ‘Winner’  finally is the transformational power of  “Women”  that is already on the rise and set for a great leap.

          As a  ‘common man’  I am strongly tempted to place the frank encounter, the two women (allegedly suffered assaults in their lives though not pertaining to this case directly) had with the Arizona senator, Jeff Flake, in the elevator on his way to the Judiciary Committee room in the morning of 28 September 2018 as the event that triggered the historic order for the Supplemental investigation by the FBI.

 

Lady questioning senator Jeff Flake in the elevator.

          Their words, specially, “Sir, you’ve children too. Are you prepared to accept a tainted individual to sit on the Supreme Court?”  are the  “voices”  of the hearts of women as a whole.

          That probably was ringing, and moving almost every cell of the Senator, Jeff Flake, to change his decision firmly, finally.

          The Senate Judiciary Committee examined the accuser and the accused with their faces and words during the hearing, but could probably have missed their hearts and minds really, which possibly will be revealed in clearer terms from the Supplemental Investigation. ( I mean any extra evidence supporting or otherwise of accusations from anyone, anytime, from any place through the investigation.)

          That character is the most difficult thing for a human to recover makes the task of FBI all the more onerous in this case.

          Both Judge Kavanaugh and Christie Blasey Ford must have already lost a lot in terms of trust, reputation, words of praise, and recognition – specially during the last two weeks – that the results of FBI supplemental investigation assumes the role of a ‘fortuneteller’  in their lives.

          Hope is their bread now.

          Notwithstanding the outcome and the final decision of the Supreme Court nominee in a week from now,  Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and the two ladies who interrupted him in the elevator on his way to the Judiciary Committee room  should  be credited with bringing about the transformational change in the  Voices of Women in future while assigning a special pride of place for them that will likely grow faster than the speed of sound from now on.

 

     “Dieu avec nous”

     Saturday, September 29, 2018  –  3.09 p.m. (IST).

     Tidbit :  ”  women’s thumb may have a man under it”.

 

 

Scene of the lady questioning senator Jeff Flake in the elevator.