Famous Sayings #156 — ‘Don’t Tread on Me’

July 14, 2019

As the flag says, ‘Don’t tread on me.’ If you try to attack me, I will strike, just like a rattlesnake.

Gadsden flag

This famous saying is somewhat controversial, based on who you ask because it has been connected to racists and reactionaries. However, the slogan dates back at least 245 years.


What Does ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Mean?

In a general sense, the slogan “Don’t Tread on Me” serves as a warning to people who want to take advantage of someone else or violate their autonomy (Xavier). In short, the slogan means, “Would-be oppressors beware.” If someone tries to hurt someone else, that second person will fight back and won’t back down.


Continue reading “Famous Sayings #156 — ‘Don’t Tread on Me’”
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I Don’t Feel Very Patriotic Today

patriotic, I dont feel very patriotic, Independence Day, United States, patriotism
Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

I’ve never quite understood why people feel so much loyalty to a country just because they were born there.

This might be a paraphrase of something I read a few years ago, but when I first read a statement like that, it startled me. At first, I thought that the person who wrote that was being “edgy,” but years later, I realize that that person had a point.

Continue reading “I Don’t Feel Very Patriotic Today”

Famous Sayings #155 — ‘Sacred Cow’

July 1, 2019

This pre-meeting ritual of singing the company motto has become our boss’s sacred cow. It’s impractical, time-consuming, and annoying, but he will hear none of it.

sacred cow, Gopastami
Cows are honored during Gopastami, a “Cow Holiday” held yearly in India.

Sorry for being late with this post (I try to post on Sundays), but here is a term that should be familiar to most people.

Chances are you have heard this term uttered by a comedian or someone else who is controversial or iconoclastic. Whenever someone mentions a “sacred cow,” you know they have offended someone, or they are referring to someone who they feel or say is being overly sensitive. But why use the term sacred cow? Let’s first delve into the meaning of that term.

Continue reading “Famous Sayings #155 — ‘Sacred Cow’”

Who Has Entered the 2020 Race So Far? Too Many to Count.

2020 race, United States Presidential Election, entrances, signature issue, 2020 Presidential Election

The 2020 race for the presidency began after the last one ended, but most of the major candidates started coming out of the woodwork this year, and at least 24 are on the Democratic side.


Table of Contents (How This Will Be Done)

Since there are too many total candidates to count, here are the major candidates I will be looking at:

  1. Michael Bennet
  2. Joe Biden
  3. Cory Booker
  4. Steve Bullock
  5. Pete Buttigieg
  6. Bill de Blasio
  7. Julián Castro
  8. John Delaney
  9. Tulsi Gabbard
  10. Kirsten Gillibrand
  11. Mike Gravel
  12. Kamala Harris
  13. John Hickenlooper
  14. Jay Inslee
  15. Amy Klobuchar
  16. Seth Moulton
  17. Wayne Messam
  18. Beto O’Rourke
  19. Richard Ojeda
  20. Tim Ryan
  21. Bernie Sanders
  22. Joe Sestak
  23. Eric Swalwell
  24. Donald Trump
  25. Elizabeth Warren
  26. Bill Weld
  27. Marianne Williamson
  28. Andrew Yang

Note: Some candidates listed here may have already dropped out, but I am keeping track of all the major entrances to the race.

And this is how I will analyze these candidates:

  • The Full Name of the Candidate
  • Their Party Affiliation
  • The Date They Entered the 2020 Presidential Race
  • Their Current Job/Political Office
  • A Little Summary of Their History
  • Their Signature Issue(s)
  • Links to Any Town Halls They Have Participated In
  • Any Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews

Links
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Michael Bennet

Michael Bennet Official Photo

Full Name: Michael Bennet

Age: 54 (Born November 28, 1964)

Party Affiliation: Democratic Party

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: May 2, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: United States Senator (Colorado)

A Little Summary of His History: Michael Bennet first entered the United States Senate in January 2009, when he was chosen by then-Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter to replace Ken Salazar, who vacated his seat to join the Obama Administration as Secretary of the Interior. Since then, Bennet won election for that seat twice, in 2010 and 2016. One of Bennet’s standout moments came not from his votes but from his 2018 speech calling out Ted Cruz’s hypocrisy in terms of disaster funding.

Signature Issue(s): Bennet focuses mostly on finance, foreign policy, and good governance. He seems fairly “moderate” (based on our colloquial use of the term), siding more with the centrists in the Democratic Party. For one thing, he voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often referred to as the “Affordable Care Act,” the ACA, or “Obamacare”) and would rather reserve it then move to a Medicare for All system. He was also one of a few Democrats to vote for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: This will be added later.

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Michael Bennet’s Wikipedia Page

Back to Table of Contents


Joe Biden

Biden 2013

Full Name: Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

Age: 76 (Born November 20, 1942)

Party Affiliation: Diet Republican Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: April 25, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Out of office/former vice president

A Little Summary of Their History: Joe Biden first entered the public arena in 1969, when he ran for a seat on the New Castle County Council. He ran as a Democrat and won the seat in the county’s 4th district. He held that seat from 1970 to 1972, when he ran and won a seat in the United States Senate. Biden would be re-elected six times, stepping down in 2009 to serve as President Barack Obama’s vice president.

As vice president, Biden didn’t make many headlines beyond destroying Paul Ryan in a vice-presidential debate and forcing the president’s hand on the issue of gay marriage. Weeks before Obama signaled that he supported gay marriage, Biden unequivocally stated that he supported it.

Nowadays, Biden enjoys his status as the Democratic front-runner, but his run is not without controversy. For one thing, Biden is being called out for inappropriately touching women and children. Also, his record as a U.S. senator and his past statements on race and economics are being viewed with extra scrutiny. Additionally, many millennials are turned off by Biden given his role in making tougher bankruptcy laws and his statement that he had “no empathy” for younger people struggling with debt.

Signature Issue(s): Biden himself has not signaled a bellwether issue for himself, but given his recent statements and track record, economics may be his main issue.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: This will be added later.

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Joe Biden’s Record On Racial Integration Is Indefensible | Current Affairs (April 11, 2018)

Joe Biden: ‘Paul Ryan Was Correct’ When He Tried to Cut Social Security and Medicare | Grit Post (January 2, 2019)

Joe Biden’s Wikipedia Page

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Cory Booker

Cory Booker, official portrait, 114th Congress

Full Name: Cory Anthony Booker

Age: 50 (Born April 27, 1969)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: February 1, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: United States Senator (New Jersey)

A Little Summary of His History: Once considered a choice for Hillary Clinton’s vice president in 2016 (he was a surrogate of hers), Cory Booker is now running to become president. In 2009, he was offered a leadership role for the New White House Office of Urban affairs, but he first made a name for himself as the mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Booker became somewhat of a celebrity as mayor through performing some heroic and kind acts that gained attention, but his overall record as a mayor was mixed, at best. Among the things cited against Booker was his role in trying to reform public schools in his cities as part of an effort that included Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and then-NJ Gov. Chris Christie.

Booker entered the U.S. Senate via a special election in 2013 following the death of Frank Lautenberg. Booker won re-election in 2014. Booker has established a voting record in the Senate that is described as the “third-most liberal,” which includes voting for reproduction rights, affirmative action, and for criminal justice reform.

Signature Issue(s): When one can look past Booker’s celebrity status, it seems that his leading issues are affirmative action and criminal justice reform. For example, he and Kamala Harris co-sponsored a bill to outlaw lynching, which was passed in 2018. A little-known fact is that Booker has consistently voted for animal rights, as well.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

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Steve Bullock

Montana Governor Steve Bullock (28963844060) (cropped) (cropped)

Full Name: Stephen Clark Bullock

Age: 53 (April 11, 1966)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: May 14, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Governor of Montana

A Little Summary of His History: Steve Bullock first worked in Montana state government in 1997, when he became executive assistant attorney general under then-Attorney General Joe Mazurek. Bullock first ran for Attorney General in 2000, but he lost in the Democratic primary to Mike McGrath. Bullock won election in 2008 and he first gained national attention when his office challenged the Citizens United decision on the grounds that his state had banned corporate campaign donations for 100 years (he was overruled by the Supreme Court of the United States).

Bullock first became governor in 2013 after winning election the previous November. He won re-election in 2016 despite losses of Democratic seats in state government and Trump carrying the state.

Signature Issue(s): Bullock’s main issue might be limiting the presence of “dark money” (money that is anonymously given by large donors, including corporations) in elections. He also supports labor unions and worked to expanded Medicaid and education funding in his state.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Steve Bullock’s Wikipedia Page

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Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg by Gage Skidmore

Full Name: Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg

Age: 37 (Born January 19, 1982)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: April 14, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

A Little Summary of His History: Pete Buttigieg first gained public attention when he threw his hat into the 2017 Democratic National Committee Chair race, which I covered at the time. Buttigieg dropped out of the race on the day of the vote, since it was always a two-person race between Keith Ellison and the eventual winner, Tom Perez.

Nowadays, Buttigieg admirers are touting his accomplishments such as him becoming second-youngest Mayor of South Bend, IN history and serving in the U.S. military, but his career started before he graduated college. While in college, Buttigieg was an investigative intern at WMAQ-TV, the NBC news affiliate for Chicago. From 2004 to 2005, Buttigieg was a conference director for former Secretary of Defense William Cohen’s strategic consulting firm, The Cohen Group.

Buttigieg also worked on numerous political campaigns. The first was Jill Long Thompson’s unsuccessful big for Congress. He also served as an advisor on Long Thompson’s unsuccessful run for governor. He worked on policy for a few months in John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. In 2007, he volunteered for Barack Obama’s successful presidential campaign.

Buttigieg was inspired to join the U.S. military while working on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Buttigieg became and ensign in the Navy Reserve in 2009 and he trained to become a naval intelligence officer. He was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months in 2014. During his deployment, Buttigieg worked as an armed driver as part of a unit whose purpose was to identify terrorist finance networks and disrupt them.

Buttigieg became the Mayor of South Bend after winning election in November 2011. He was 29 years old when he took office. He was re-elected in 2015.

Signature Issue(s): Buttigieg doesn’t appear to have a signature issue and he is noncommittal on most issues. He has said that policy isn’t that important, but he has spoken out in favor of marriage equality.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In:

CNN Town Hall for Pete Buttigieg (March 10, 2019)

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Back to Table of Contents


Julian Castro

Julián Castro's Official HUD Portrait

Full Name: Julián Castro

Age: 44 (Born September 16, 1974)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: January 12, 2019.

Current Job/Political Office: N/A

A Little Summary of His History: Although Julián Castro is best known for being the twin brother of Congressman Joaquin Castro, Julian has his own political credentials. Julian Castro served in the San Antonio (TX) City Council from 2001 to 2005. He also won election as mayor on his second try in 2009 and he served in that position until July 2014. Castro resigned as San Antonio Mayor so he could serve as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Urban Housing and Development, a position Castro held until January 2017.

Signature Issue(s): No one issue stands out except for Julián Castro’s positions on immigration. He supports a pathway for citizenship for most undocumented immigrants in the United States, he opposes Trump’s border wall proposal, and thinks that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency needs to be reformed.

Other than his positions on immigration, Julián Castro holds many standard Democratic and left positions. His position on balanced budgets is in line with much of the Democratic establishment.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: Will be updated later.

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Julian Castro’s Wikipedia Page

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Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio January 2019

Full Name: Bill de Blasio (Born Warren Wilhelm, Jr.)

Age: 58 (Born May 8, 1961)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: May 16, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Mayor of New York City

A Little Summary of His History: Bill de Blasio first entered NYC politics in 1989, when he worked on David Dinkins’ mayoral campaign. After that campaign, de Blasio worked as an aide in City Hall.

In 1994, de Blasio served as U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel’s campaign manager. De Blasio served as Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager for her successful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2000. (Three years prior, de Blasio had served as the regional director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for New York and New Jersey under President Bill Clinton.)

De Blasio successfully won election in the New York City Council’s 39th District in 2001. He served on the city council until 2009, when he ran and won election for the position of New York City Public Advocate. This was a position he held until 2013.

De Blasio was first elected as New York City’s mayor in 2014. He won re-election four years later. His tenure as mayor has been marred by controversy, mostly in connection to his relations to the NYPD.

Signature Issue(s): The main issues connected with de Blasio are pre-K education, police reform, and income inequality.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Bill de Blasio’s Wikipedia Page

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John Delaney

John Delaney 113th Congress official photo

Full Name: John Kevin Delaney

Age: 56 (Born April 16, 1963)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: July 28, 2017

Current Job/Political Office: Businessman, Former U.S. Representative (Maryland)

A Little Summary of His History: Before joining Congress, John Delaney founded two companies that were traded on the New York Stock Exchange then later absorbed by other companies. He co-founded Health Care Financial Partners in 1993 and CapitalSource in 2000.

In 2012, Delaney decided to run for Congress in Maryland’s redrawn 6th District since it was shifting from a heavily Republican district to a Democratic-leaning one. He won election that year and was re-elected three times.

In July 2017, John Delaney became the first Democrat to through his hat into the 2020 presidential race. He chose not to run for re-election as a congressman in 2018 so he could focus his attention on running for president.

Signature Issue(s): Since he became a congressman, John Delaney’s signature issue was about ending partisan gerrymandering. During each session of Congress he was a part of, Delaney introduced legislation to do just that. In 2017, he introduced the Open Our Democracy Act.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In:

CNN Town Hall for John Delaney (March 10, 2019)

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

John Delaney’s Wikipedia Page
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Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard, official portrait, 113th Congress
Full Name: Tulsi Gabbard

Age: 38 (Born April 12, 1981)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date She Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: January 11, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: United States Representative (Hawaii’s 2nd District)

A Little Summary of Her History: Tulsi Gabbard made waves in 2015 when she stepped down as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee shortly before she endorsed Bernie Sanders and in 2017. She earned more ire from the political and media establishment when she visited Syria and came back with a message against intervention there.

Before winning a seat in the United States House of Representatives, Tulsi Gabbard served as a Hawaii State Representatives, representing the state’s 42nd House District from 2002-2004. She also signed up for the Hawaii Army National Guard in 2003, where she rose to the rank of Major. (She served a 12-month tour in Iraq from 2004-2005 with the 29th Support Battalion medical company and is still an active member of the National Guard.)

Signature Issue(s): While Tulsi Gabbard aligns with most progressives on key issues like Medicare for All and a $15 minimum wage, her main issue is a stance against “regime-change wars.” Gabbard is a stanch anti-interventionist in most cases, but she supports efforts to go after terrorists and recognizes that the United States needs to stop arming terrorists.

Another issue where Gabbard is leading on is the move against fossil fuels. During the last session of Congress, she introduced the Off Fossil Fuels Act, which set a 2035 target for transitioning the United States to renewable energy.

In addition, Gabbard introduced the Securing American Elections Act, which would require the U.S. to move to paper ballots, among other things.

Town Halls and Debates She Has Participated In:

CNN Town Hall for Tulsi Gabbard (March 10, 2019)

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Tulsi Gabbard’s Wikipedia Page

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Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand, official portrait, 112th Congress

Full Name: Kirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand (née Rutnik)

Age: 52 (Born December 9, 1966)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date She Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: March 17, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: U.S. Senator (New York)

A Little Summary of Her History: Kirsten Gillibrand entered politics as part of Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senatorial campaign. (Gillibrand had previously served as counsel to Andrew Cuomo’s HUD under Bill Clinton.)

Gillibrand first ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, winning election against three-term Republican incumbent John E. Sweeney. In the House, Gillibrand joined the Blue Dog Coalition and voted conservatively.

Gillibrand won election in 2008 but was tapped by then-New York Governor David Paterson to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate. (Clinton had been tapped as President-Elect Barack Obama’s Secretary of State.) Gillibrand won the special election in 2010 and re-election in 2016.

Signature Issue(s): Gillibrand has shown that she cares about transparency, given that she released a schedule showing who she met with as a congresswoman since she obtained public office. She also supported Medicare for All as early as 2006. Another issue that is closely tied to Gillibrand is the paid family leave.

Town Halls and Debates She Has Participated In: Will add later.

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Kirsten Gillibrand’s Wikipedia Page

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Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel

Full Name: Maurice Robert “Mike” Gravel

Age: 89 (May 13, 1930)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: March 19, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: N/A

A Little Summary of His History: Mike Gravel is a politician who hasn’t been in power since 1981. First elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1963, he served as the Alaska House Speaker until 1967 (he decided not to run for re-election but to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966). Gravel then ran for the U.S. Senate in 1968 and won. He served in the Senate until 1981; he had been defeated in the 1980 Democratic primary by Clark Gruening, who eventually lost to Republican Frank Murkowski in the general election.

Gravel first gained national attention when he decided to read portions of the Pentagon Papers on the Senate floor in 1971. He was blocked from reading the papers in front of the whole body, so he convened a session of the Buildings and Grounds subcommittee and read the papers then. On June 29, 1971, Gravel filibustered against the draft and read the papers until he was physically unable to at 1:00 am in the morning.

Gravel previously ran for president in 2008 as a longshot candidate but he used the time he was given to criticize other Democratic candidates and U.S. imperialism. During his run, he also made campaign videos entitled “Rock” and “Fire,” which garnered him attention. He made a sequel to “Rock” this year.

Signature Issue(s): Gravel’s top issues include anti-imperialism, direct democracy, and universal health care.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Mike Gravel’s Wikipedia Page

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Kamala Harris

Senator Harris official senate portrait
Full Name: Kamala Devi Harris

Age: 54 (Born October 20, 1964)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date She Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: January 21, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: United States Senator (California, Class III)

A Little Summary of Her History: Kamala Harris was a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California from 1990-1998. In 2000, joined the office of San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne and served as the chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division.

In 2003, Harris won election as District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. She won re-election in 2007 after running unopposed.

Harris won election as California’s Attorney General in 2010. She was re-elected in 2014.

In 2016, Harris won election as California’s Class III U.S. Senator, beating fellow Democrat Linda Sanchez in the general election (due to California’s jungle primary).

Signature Issue(s): There isn’t one issue that Kamala Harris promotes more than others, but she is closely connected to the issue of law enforcement given that much of her career was spent in law enforcement. Many progressives consider her positions on law and punishment to be spotty, at best, given her policies on truancy, conviction rates, and her refusal to go after OneWest bank for its real estate abuses.

Other than that, Harris has stated that she holds many standard progressive and Democratic positions. Harris’s stated progressive positions include a promise not to receive corporate donations and a support for a Medicare-for-All type system. Like most Democrats and progressives, Harris is pro-choice and she opposes the death penalty.

Town Halls She Has Participated In:

CNN Town Hall with Sen Kamala Harris (January 28, 2019)

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Kamala Harris’s Wikipedia Page
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John Hickenlooper

John Hickenlooper by Gage Skidmore

Full Name: John Wright Hickenlooper, Jr.

Age: 67 (Born February 7, 1952)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: March 4, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Former governor of Colorado

A Little Summary of His History: John Hickenlooper was introduced to the political world through his dealings as a small business owner. He first ran to become Denver, CO mayor in 2002 and he won. Her served in that position from 2003-2011, when he was inaugurated as Colorado governor. He left the governor’s office in 2019.

During his tenures as mayor and governor, Hickenlooper established himself as a “purple” Democrat. He was business-friendly, supported the gas and energy industry, and focused on balancing budgets.

This year, Hickenlooper addressed the California Democratic Convention and he was greeted to a chorus of boos when he said that socialism was not the answer:

Signature Issue(s): Based on his record in Colorado, it seems that Hickenlooper’s top issues are balancing budgets, supporting businesses (particularly those in the gas and energy industry), and creating jobs. He opposes Medicare for All and supports hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

John Hickenlooper’s Wikipedia Page

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Jay Inslee

Jay Inslee official portrait

Full Name: Jay Robert Inslee

Age: 68 (Born February 9, 1951)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: March 1, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Governor of Washington

A Little Summary of His History: Jay Inslee has served in statewide and national offices in some capacity since 1989. He first served in the Washington state House of Representatives from 1989-1993. He was then elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served from 1993-1995. After losing a gubernatorial election in 1996, he served in the Bill Clinton administration as a regional director of the Department of Health of Human Services.

Inslee ran for the U.S. House of Representatives again in 1998. He won election and stayed in the House until 2012, when he ran for governor in Washington again. This time, he won, and he was re-elected in 2016.

Signature Issue(s): Jay Inslee has cited combatting climate change as his primary reason for running for president. Climate change had been his main issue while he served in Congress.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Jay Inslee’s Wikipedia Page

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Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar, official portrait, 113th Congress

Full Name: Amy Jean Klobuchar

Age: 59 (Born May 25, 2019)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date She Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: February 10, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: U.S. Senator (Minnesota)

A Little Summary of Her History: Before running for office, Amy Klobuchar served as a corporate lawyer and briefly worked as a prosecutor. She first entered into politics when she appeared before the Minnesota State Legislature to advocate for a bill to guarantee new mothers 48-hour stays in hospitals after giving birth. The bill was passed, and President Bill Clinton eventually made this federal law.

Klobuchar first ran for office in 1994 but dropped out of the Hennepin County Attorney race when the incumbent, Michael Freeman, reentered the race. She ran again in 1998 and was elected Hennepin County attorney. She was re-elected in 2002 after running unopposed.

Klobuchar ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006 and won election. She has been re-elected twice, winning by 24 points in 2018.

Although Klobuchar enjoys high approval ratings in her state, she has been developing a reputation as a bad boss. In 2018, Politico reported that she had the highest staff turnover rate in the U.S. Senate. This year, it was reported that Klobuchar was emotionally abusive towards her staff.

Signature Issue(s): Words

Town Halls She Has Participated In: Words

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Amy Klobuchar’s Wikipedia Page

The ‘Worst Bosses’ in Congress? | Politico (March 21, 2018)

Staffers, Documents Show Amy Klobuchar’s Wrath Toward Her Aides | Buzzfeed News (February 8, 2019)

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Wayne Messam

Mayor Messam

Full Name: Wayne Martin Messam

Age: 45 (Born June 7, 1974)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: March 28, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Mayor of Miramar, Florida

A Little Summary of His History: Although Wayne Messam is a member of the Democratic Party, he had held nonpartisan positions in the state of Florida. In 2011, he ran for and won the District 4 seat on the Miramar City Commission. In 2015, he ran and won for the mayoral seat in Miramar. He was re-elected on March 12, 2019.

Signature Issue(s): More information is needed.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: Words

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Messam’s Wikipedia Page

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Seth Moulton

Seth Moulton

Full Name: Seth Wilbur Moulton

Age: 40 (Born October 24, 1978)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: Words

Current Job/Political Office: U.S. Representative (Massachusetts)

A Little Summary of His History: After graduating from Harvard University, Seth Moulton served in the United States Marine Corps, serving four tours of duty in Iraq. During his first tour in Iraq, Moulton took part in the 2003 Battle of Nasiriyah, during which he aided a Marine who had been wounded by another; for this, Moulton received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for valor. Moulton also took part in the 2004 Battle of Najaf against the militia of Muqtada al-Sadr; Moulton received the Bronze Star Medal for his performance in this battle.

After working in the private sector from 2008-2013, Moulton decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District. He won in 2014, ran unopposed in 2016, and was he was easily re-elected in 2018.

Signature Issue(s): Since Seth Moulton isn’t that well-known nationally, no one issue stands out with the exception of gun control. Moulton has gone on record as saying that semi-automatic “assault weapons” should be banned for civilian use. Besides that, Moulton describes himself as progressive, but has made it clear that he is not a socialist and he belongs to the House New Democrat Coalition, which is a group of moderate Democrats who support business and balanced budgets.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Seth Moulton’s Wikipedia Page

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Beto O’Rourke

Beto O'Rourke, Official portrait, 113th Congress

Full Name: Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke

Age: 46 (Born September 26, 1972)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: Words

Current Job/Political Office: Former U.S. Representative (Texas)

A Little Summary of His History: Beto O’Rourke first held elected office in El Paso, Texas’ City Council from 2005 to 2011. He then ran for the United States House of Representatives in 2012 and won election. He was re-elected twice but vacated he seat so he could run for the United States Senate against Ted Cruz. That run was unsuccessful, but that race significantly raised O’Rourke’s profile.

Signature Issue(s): During his Senate run, O’Rourke’s top issues appeared to be campaign finance reform and congressional term limits. However, it was later revealed that O’Rourke had taken money from the oil industry after he had taken a pledge not to receive such donations.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Beto O’Rourke’s Wikipedia Page

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Richard Ojeda

MAJ Richard Ojeda

Full Name: Richard Neece Ojeda II

Age: 48 (Born September 25, 1970)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: November 12, 2018

Current Job/Political Office: None. Ojeda was a West Virginia State Senator until he stepped down in January 2019.

A Little Summary of His History: Before entering politics, Richard Ojeda joined the United States Army, in which he was serve for 24 years. He rose to the rank of Major and he earned two Bronze Stars.

Ojeda first ran for Congress in 2014, but he lost in the Democratic primary for West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District to the then-incumbent Nick Rahall. He eventually won a set in the West Virginia State Senate in 2016 and he represented the state’s 7th Senatorial District.

Ojeda won again for Congress again in 2018, but he lost by 12 points to Republican Carol Miller in the race for West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District.

Ojeda’s 2018 run was exceptionally difficult, even though he improved on Democrats’ performance in his district by 32 points. One reason people were skeptical of Ojeda was his voting record during presidential elections.

Even though Ojeda is a Democrat, he said that he had never voted for a Democrat for president. (His reasoning was that Republican presidents were more likely to approve budgets the recognized the needs of soldiers on the ground.) Ojeda also admitted that he voted for Trump in 2016, but later conceded that Trump hadn’t done anything to help West Virginians since entering the White House.

Signature Issue(s): During his time in the WV Senate, Ojeda had shown his support for Medicare for All, the legalization of marijuana, teachers, and anti-lobbyism. Ojeda sponsored the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice on April 19, 2017. Shortly before the teachers’ strike in the state, Ojeda pushed for legislation to improve the benefits and pay of teachers, warning that the failure to do so would lead to strikes, which he supported.

Town Halls He Has Participated In: N/A

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Richard Ojeda’s Wikipedia Page

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Tim Ryan

Rep. Tim Ryan Congressional Head Shot 2010

Full Name: Timothy John Ryan

Age: 45 (Born July 16, 1973)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: April 4, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: U.S. Representative (Ohio)

A Little Summary of His History: Right out of college, Tim Ryan worked on the staff of Ohio Congressman Jim Traficant. Ryan would later run for Traficant’s seat in Ohio’s 17th Congressional District when the latter was convicted. Ryan has won election ever since, but his district was redrawn and renumbered as the 13th Congressional District in 2012.

In 2017, Ryan emerged as one of a handful of Democrats who were challenging Nancy Pelosi’s leadership in the House. He was also a part of a group angling to get Steny Hoyer to take over the Democratic leadership in the House in late 2018 and early 2019.

Signature Issue(s): It is unclear.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Tim Ryan’s Wikipedia Page

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Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Full Name: Bernard Sanders

Age: 77 (Born September 8, 1941)

Party Affiliation: Democratic (for the Presidential Race)

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: February 19, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: U.S. Senator (Vermont)

A Little Summary of His History: Bernie Sanders, the usually independent Senator for Vermont, began his political career in decades before he ever won office. From the mid-1960s to 1977, Sanders was part of the Liberty Union Party in Vermont. He ran a series of failed campaigns for state senate and governor before finally winning the mayoral race in Burlington in 1980.

After serving as mayor of Burlington from 1981-1988, Sanders unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives. He eventually won election to the House in 1990 after making a deal with Democrats and won re-election in the House until he successfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006. In both houses of Congress, Sanders has caucused with the Democrats.

Sanders ran for president in 2016 in an effort to pull the Democratic field to the left on numerous issues, including health care and the minimum wage. Although he wasn’t exactly running to win, Sanders closed much of a 30-plus-point gap with the eventual Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Since that race, Sanders has gained nationwide (and worldwide) popularity with lefties and some conservatives.

Signature Issue(s): Sanders is closely aligned with a progressive agenda, but his signature issues are Medicare for All (Single Payer), a $15 minimum wage, free college, and federal jobs guarantee. One could argue that campaign finance reform is one of his issues given that he takes no corporate PAC money and raises most of his campaign funds via small donations.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In:

  • Fox News: Town Hall with Bernie Sanders | YouTube (April 15, 2019)

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

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Joe Sestak

Congressman Sestak Official Congressional headshot

Full Name: Joseph Ambrose Sestak, Jr.

Age: 67 (Born December 12, 1951)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: June 22, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Retired U.S. Navy Officer, Former U.S. Representative

A Little Summary of His History: Sestak graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974 and was sent on various tours at sea. His naval career continued until 2005, when he retired to care for his ailing daughter; he was named a two-star admiral.

From November 1994 to March 1997, he served in the Bill Clinton administration as the Director for Defense Policy for the White House’s National Security Council. His Clinton connection led to his endorsement and general support for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential candidacy.

Sestak ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District during the 2016 midterm elections. The district was considered heavily Republican and he won by 13 points despite receiving virtually no help from the Democratic Congressional Committee. He was re-elected in 2008 by a 20-point margin.

In 2010, Sestak decided to run for the U.S. Senate. He defeated Arlen Specter in the Democratic Party, but Sestak lost to Pat Toomey in the general. Sestak attempted to run again in 2016, but he faced heavy opposition by the Democratic establishment in the primaries. Katie McGinty eventually won the Democratic nomination, only to lose to Toomey in the general election.

During his tenure in the House, Sestak was voted the most productive freshman lawmaker. Nineteen of the bills he had passed during his first term were passed in the House.

Sestak also heavily advocated for extending medical benefits to more Americans, based on the type of care his daughter, Alexandria, received during her childhood. Sestak’s daughter suffered from a malignant brain tumor in her childhood and adolescence, which she survived.

In addition, Sestak was the first congressional candidate to use social media. His campaign was the first to create a Facebook fan page and he was among the first lawmakers to use an official Twitter account.

Signature Issue(s): Health care might be Sestak’s top issue, but he is progressive on most issues.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Joe Sestak’s Wikipedia Page

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Eric Swalwell

Eric Swalwell 114th official photo

Full Name: Eric Michael Swalwell, Jr.

Age: 38 (Born November 16, 1980)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: April 8, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: U.S. Representative

A Little Summary of His History: Before running for Congress, Eric Swalwell was already cutting his political chops in various ways. While a student at the University of Maryland School of Law, he interned for U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who was representing California’s 10th Congressional District. Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Swalwell used his position in his university’s Student Government Association to create a scholarship program from students who had lost parents in those attacks.

From 2006 to 2011, Swalwell held numerous local positions in California, including a job as deputy district attorney and a set on the Dublin City Council.

In September 2011, Swalwell announced his intention to run for Congress in California’s 15th Congressional District. He defeated 20-term incumbent Pete Stark in the general election, and this was made possible by California’s jungle primary, which came into effect because of 2010’s Proposition 14. Swalwell easily won re-election ever since.

Signature Issue(s): Swalwell doesn’t put much emphasis on one issue, but he appears to be fairly progressive on numerous issues. For one thing, he would like to repeal the No Child Left Behind Act and increase funding for education. He wants to cut the defense budget. He also calls for a stimulus to create jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Eric Swalwell’s Wikipedia Page

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Donald Trump

Donald Trump official portrait

Full Name: Donald John Trump

Age: 73 (Born June 14, 1946)

Party Affiliation: Republican

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: He began fundraising on January 20, 2017 but officially kicked off his re-election campaign on June 19, 2019.

Current Job/Political Office: President of the United States

A Little Summary of His History: Donald Trump is a relative political novice, only having run for president twice (in 2000 and 2016). In 2016, he blew past the crowded political field (with help from the media) and managed to eke out an Electoral College victory against Hillary Clinton in the General Election.

Before running for office, Trump admitted that he used to donate to various politicians in hopes that they would represent their interests. He had threatened to run for president for years after being thoroughly embarrassed by Barack Obama at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner following Trump’s adoption of birtherism.

Signature Issue(s): Seriously, Trump has no real ideology, but he excels at leveraging racism and xenophobia to his advantage. Many of the politics and policies he has supported or taken advantage of are callous and play into the hands of bigoted Americans. (Truth hurts.)

Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Donald Trump’s Wikipedia Page

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Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren, official portrait, 114th Congress

Full Name: Elizabeth Ann Warren (Née Herring)

Age: 70 (Born June 22, 1949)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date She Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: February 9, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: U.S. Senator (Massachusetts)

A Little Summary of Her History: Before running for Congress in 2012, Elizabeth Warren had a lengthy history teaching law and economics at various universities, beginning in the late 1970s. By the late 1990s, she had written for numerous publications and became a highly cited source.

During her teaching career, Warren had a political awakening. Although she had been originally a Republican who believed in laisse faire economics, she changed her views and political affiliation after participating in a study about bankruptcy and realizing that the Republican party represented corporations over individuals.

Starting in 2008, Warren oversaw the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, and the related Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). She also pushed for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created as part of Dodd-Frank and helped Americans recover over $12 billion in money from scams.

Warren first gained national attention when she gave a speech in Andover, MA while running for the U.S. Senate in 2012. The video of the speech, in which she pointed out how the wealthy benefitted from public infrastructure, went viral. She eventually won election and was re-elected in 2018.

Signature Issue(s): Elizabeth Warren has gained a reputation as an economic consumer advocate. This is by far her strongest issue, but she has disappointed progressives but expressing that she is a capitalist and being dismissive about socialism.

Town Halls and Debates She Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Elizabeth Warren’s Wikipedia Page

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Bill Weld

Bill Weld campaign portrait

Full Name: William Floyd Weld

Age: 73 (Born July 31, 1945)

Party Affiliation: Republican

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: April 15, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Attorney, Businessman, Former Governor of Massachusetts

A Little Summary of His History: Bill Weld served as a counsel with the U.S. House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate impeachment inquiry. At the time, Hillary Clinton was one of his colleagues.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed Weld as U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and built a strong reputation fighting against corruption. During his tenure as a U.S. Attorney, Weld expanded a public correction investigation concerning Boston Mayor Kevin White; over 20 city employees were indicted, pleaded guilty, or were found guilty of a wide range of charges. Weld also went after some of the largest banks in New England based on charges of money laundering and other white-collar crimes. Overall, Weld got convictions on 109 out of 111 public corruption cases.

In 1986, Weld received a promotion from President Reagan to head the Criminal Division of the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. Weld resigned from the Justice Department in March 1988 in protest because of allegations against U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese. In July of that year, Weld and U.S. Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns (who resigned with Weld) both testified in front of Congress and supported a potential prosecution of Meese.

In 1990, Weld won Massachusetts’ gubernatorial election. He was re-elected in 1994, but he stepped down in 1997 to accept an appointment as Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to Mexico. However, Sen. Jesse Helms effectively blocked Weld’s appointment.

Since then, Weld played a limited role in American politics, briefly running for governor of New York in 2005-2006. In 2016, he ran for the Libertarian Vice Presidential nomination, winning and server as Gary Johnson’s running mate.

Signature Issue(s): Bill Weld holds liberal views on gay marriage, abortion, and the legalization of marijuana. Other than that, many of his views, particularly on foreign relations and free trade, are aligned with many conservatives.

Related Town Halls and Debates He Has Participated In: N/A

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Weld Announces He’s Challenging Trump for 2020 Republican Nomination | Bloomberg (April 15, 2019)

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Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson - 33252886458 (cropped)

Full Name: Marianne Deborah Williamson

Age: 66 (July 8, 1952)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date She Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: January 29, 2019

Current Job/Political Office: Author, Lecturer, Activist

A Little Summary of Her History: Marianne Williamson’s career path began in 1979, after she read A Course on Miracles (1976) by Helen Schucman. By 1983, Williamson began regularly giving lectures based on the book’s curriculum. She eventually wrote 13 books based on what she learned.

He activism began in the early 1980s as the AIDS crisis came to the fore. She founded the Los Angeles and Manhattan Centers for Living, which provided non-medical, but emotional and moral support for those with HIV and AIDS. She later founded Project Angel Food to deliver healthy meals to AIDS patients. The foundation’s mission was later expanded include people who suffered from various illnesses.

Signature Issue(s): The strongest argument Williamson has made is her case for reparations for American Descendants of Slaves.

Town Halls and Debates She Has Participated In: TBD

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews:

Marianne Williamson’s Wikipedia Page

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Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang talking about urban entrepreneurship at Techonomy Conference 2015 in Detroit, MI (cropped)

Full Name: Andrew Yang

Age: 44 (Born January 13, 1975)

Party Affiliation: Democratic

The Date He Entered the 2020 Presidential Race: November 6, 2017

Current Job/Political Office: Yang is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the founder of Venture for America.

A Little Summary of Their History: Andrew Yang became a corporate attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City shortly after graduation from Columbia Law School in 1999. In 2000, he left the firm to co-found Stargiving.com, a website for philanthropic fundraising by celebrities. The company folded in 2001. Yang later joined MMF Systems, Inc., a healthcare software startup.

Yang would work at MMF systems for four years before joining Manhattan Prep, a test preparation company. Yang became the CEO of Manhattan prep in 2006 and he resigned as the company’s president in 2012.

In 2011, Yang founded Venture for America, a fellowship program meant to take the best and brightest postsecondary school graduates and provide them with training and jobs with startups across the country, as opposed to concentrating entrepreneurs in larger cities. Yang served as CEO of VFA until March 2017.

Signature Issue(s): Andrew Yang has a complete list of issues, but his main one is a Universal Basic Income (UBI) proposal. Yang calls this monthly a “Freedom Dividend.” Under his plan, he would give all American adults 18 and over a $1,000 monthly stipend. However, he has indicated that he would talk away from other social benefits in order to provide this stipend.

Links to Any Town Halls They Have Participated In: Will be added later.

Links to Deeper Candidate Profiles, Articles, and Interviews: Will be added later.

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Here are all the Democratic candidates running for president in 2020 | CBS News

Which Democrats Are Running In 2020 — And Which Still Might | NPR

A Special Thanks to Wikipedia for all the images and links.

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Series Posts

The following posts will be renamed as I go along.

  • Introduction
  • Departures
  • Democratic Debates
  • Primaries
  • Party Conventions
  • Fall Presidential Debates
  • Relevant News Items
  • Election Day
  • Retrospective/The Last Word

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This section may include links to candidate profiles and extra posts about the 2020 elections.

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Famous Sayings #154 — ‘Don’t Let Your Mouth Write a Check …’

June 23, 2019

Don’t let your mouth write a check your behind can’t cash.

dont let your mouth write a check, your behind cant cash, famous sayings, Flip Wilson, Black Americans, warning
Flip Wilson’s Geraldine Jones may have made the phrase “Don’t let your mouth write a check your @$$ can’t cash famous.” Image from NBC Television. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

When I first heard this saying, I was a kid and it was the uncensored version. I can’t quite remember if I first heard it on television if someone told me this directly, or my mother told me of the phrase, but I found it kind of funny because of the mental picture it created.

Continue reading “Famous Sayings #154 — ‘Don’t Let Your Mouth Write a Check …’”

Famous Sayings #153 — ‘Father Time’

June 16, 2019

As they like to say in sports, Father Time is undefeated.

Father Time might carry an hourglass or other instrument that measures time. Image cropped. Original by annca from Pixabay

Like I did for Mother’s Day, I decided to go with a phrase that has “Father” in it for Father’s Day, although it might not be directly related to the holiday.


Who Is Father Time?

Father Time is the personification of time itself. In general, Father Time is depicted as a bearded old man. He is usually shown in a white robe and carrying a scythe and/or hourglass or other instrument that keeps time (Dictionary.com).

Father Time may be considered the husband of Mother Earth, so these two allegories are related.

In some people’s minds, Father time also serves as another version of the Grim Reaper, albeit much friendlier (Urban Dictionary). Like the Reaper represents the inevitability of death, Father Time represents that, too, but alludes more to the inevitability of aging, which usually precedes death.

In many cartoons, Father Time is often shown next to or holding Baby New Year to represent the yearly passage of time.


How Did Father Time Come to Be?

The origin of this allegory isn’t quite clear, although Merriam-Webster cites 1559 as the year that “Father Time” was first used in the way I used it above. Other sources connect Father Time with Chronos, the Greek god of time (“Chronos”). Some people, including the Greeks, have confused Chronos with Cronus, the youngest of the 12 original Titans, and thus confuse Cronos with Father Time (“Cronus”).


Who First Said, ‘Father Time Remains Undefeated’?

This is a term I first heard from sports analysts, so it is no surprise that the earliest known usage of the term came from a sports analyst and former NFL wide receiver. During a September 2005 edition of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, Michael Irvin, and former WR for the Dallas Cowboys, said, “Father Time remains undefeated” when referring to then-Green Packers quarterback Brett Favre (Popik). Here’s the quote, taken from a Google Group:

[Steve] Young said Favre’s passing skills had not diminished, but his “Sunday NFL Countdown” colleague Michael Irvin thinks time has caught up with the Packers’ quarterback.

“Father Time is undefeated,” Irvin said. “A lot of these tight spots, I have watched him squeeze the ball in there a lot of times. He no longer has that arm to squeeze the ball in.”

Favre would play in the league until 2009.


Happy Father’s Day!

Although this post is a bit late, I hope you enjoyed your Father’s Day, whether you are a father, or you spent some quality time with yours. As a treat, I thought I’d include a clip from Charlotte’s Web, the animated adaptation of E.B. White’s book:


Works Cited

“Chronos.” GreekMythology.com. Last Updated 15 June 2019. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Primordial/Chronos/chronos.html>.

“Cronus.” GreekMythology.com. Last Updated 14 June 2019. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.greekmythology.com/Titans/Cronus/cronus.html>.

“Father time | Definition of Father time at Dictionary.com.” Dictionary.com. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/father-time>.

“Father Time | Definition of Father Time by Merriam-Webster.” Merriam-Webster. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Father%20Time>.

Irina Sergeeva. “Mother Earth and Father Time.” YouTube. Published 19 Dec 2015. Video. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqXJ6ssJxPc>.

Popik, Barry. “‘Father Time is undefeated’ (sports adage).” The Big Apple. 1 Nov 2014. Online Dictionary. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/father_time_is_undefeated>.

Various Authors. “Father Time.” Urban Dictionary. Web. Retrieved 16 June 2019. <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Father%20Time>.

Various Authors. “Father Time.” Wikipedia. Last Updated 24 May 2019. Web. Retrieved 15 June 2019. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Time>.

Famous Sayings #152 — ‘You Have the Right to Remain Silent …’

June 9, 2019

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law …

Image by dpstylesTM via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 will mark the 53rd anniversary of a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court. The decision in question gave rise to the use of the words above, and much more.

What was the case about? It was about the rights of suspects in police custody, but the related rules, laws, and principles are quite complicated.


What Are These Rights Called?

The rights in question are called Miranda Rights and the rights are read in what is called the Miranda Warning. These rights are supposed to be read to a person while they are being placed under arrest. The rights are meant to protect a suspect’s Fifth Amendment rights that protect them from self-incrimination (MirandaRights.org).

Police who read Miranda Warnings are required to tell suspects in custody the following four things before interrogating them:

  1. The suspect has the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything the suspect says can and will be used against them in a court of law.
  3. The suspect has a right to an attorney.
  4. If the suspect cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them.

The officer must then make sure that the suspect understands the rights that have been read to them and the officer may ask if the suspect wishes to waive those rights. The suspect must have a clear and definitive answer when the arresting officer asks if the suspect understands their Miranda Rights. Silence does not indicate that the suspect has waived his rights and the warning should be translated to different languages if the suspect doesn’t understand English. Translated warnings are generally recorded.

The Miranda Warning generally goes like this:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights I have just read to you (or as I have read them to you)? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?

The wording of these rights may differ from state to state. Also, in states like Indiana, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Alaska, police departments add the following sentence to their Miranda Warnings: “We have no way of giving you a lawyer, but one will be appointed for you, if you wish, if and when you go to court” (“What Are”).


Why Are Police Required to Say, ‘You Have the Right to Remain Silent …’?

It’s important that police officers do this because, in many cases, testimony and any physical evidence the police find because of this testimony can be deemed inadmissible in court (“What Happens”).

Police departments developed Miranda Warnings as a result of the Miranda v. Arizona case, which was argued in front of the Supreme Court on February 28, March 1, and March 2, 1966 and decided on June 13, 1966. The case was brought to the Court after Ernesto Miranda was convicted of robbing, kidnapping, and raping an 18-year old in March 1963. Miranda was questioned by police for two-and-a-half hours after the victim failed to identify her attacker in a lineup that Miranda was in. He even signed a statement that said that he understood his rights.

Miranda was initially sentenced to 20-30 years in prison and the Arizona Supreme Court uphold that conviction. The American Civil Liberties Union took up his case after it was established that Miranda’s confession had been coerced; he had not been made aware of his rights.

In his majority opinion, Chief Justice Warren outlined the rights and procedures police officers should read/use when arresting the suspects that they wanted to interrogate.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the Miranda v. Arizona case didn’t just affect the case against Ernesto Miranda in Arizona, but three other cases: Vignera v. New York, Westover v. United States, and California v. Stewart. In each case, the suspects were questioned by law enforcement without being made aware of their Fifth Amendment rights. (Only California v. Stewart was overturned before it reached the Supreme Court, which affirmed the decision made by the Supreme Court of California (“Facts and Case Summary”).


When Are Police Supposed to Read Suspects Their Miranda Rights?

There are two conditions that must be met for police to mirandize suspects:

  1. The person must be in police custody, i.e. under arrest.
  2. The police are attempting to interrogate the arrestee.

Police officers can question anyone at any time, but if they don’t mirandize the people they’re questioning, the officers should inform the people that they are free to go at any time.


How Can Suspects Exercise These Rights?

There are generally four things an arrestee can do to exercise their rights immediately:

  1. The arrestee can remain silent before going to court and obtaining an attorney.
  2. The suspect can invoke the right to remain silent at any time before or during an interrogation. This can halt an interrogation.
  3. The suspect can request for an attorney, which can halt an interrogation.
  4. If the suspect has been read their rights and waives them, they could later “plead the Fifth” and halt an interrogation.

However, there are some exceptions here. One is if the suspect cooperated with the police before being arrested. This was established by the Raffel vs. U.S. Supreme Court Case, which largely undermines Miranda Rights. While many suspects have the right to remain silent after being arrested, anyone who cooperates with the police before being arrested essentially waives those rights and must continue cooperating with the police (“Right to Remain Silent”).


What Happened to Ernesto Miranda?

After the Supreme Court’s decision was made, Miranda was retried in an Arizona court, but without his confession. Although there was little evidence against Miranda, prosecutors used testimony from his ex-girlfriend, Twila Hoffman, who said that Miranda had confessed to his crimes to her while he was in prison. Miranda was convicted in October 1967 and sentenced to 20-30 years in prison (History.com).

Miranda was later paroled in December 1975. He died in January 1976 after being stabbed in a bar bathroom following a poker game. His attacker was never charged (“The Miranda rights”).


Works Cited

“Facts and Case Summary – Miranda v. Arizona.” United States Courts. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-miranda-v-arizona>.

“Fifth Amendment Miranda Rights.” FindLaw. Thompson Reuters. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/miranda-rights-and-the-fifth-amendment.html>.

History.com Editors. “Miranda Rights.” History.com. 9 Nov 2009. Last Updated 21 Aug 2018. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://www.history.com/topics/united-states-constitution/miranda-rights>.

History.com Editors. “The Miranda rights are established.” History.com. 24 Nov 2009. Last Updated 21 Feb 2019. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-miranda-rights-are-established>.

“Miranda Rights.” MirandaRights.org. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <http://www.mirandarights.org/>.

“Miranda Rights: What Happens If the Police Don’t Read You Your Rights.” Nolo. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/police-questioning-miranda-warnings-29930.html>.

“Right to Remain Silent.” MirandaRights.org. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <http://www.mirandarights.org/righttoremainsilent.html>.

“What Are Your Miranda Rights?” MirandaWarning.org. Web. Retrieved 9 June 2019. <http://www.mirandawarning.org/whatareyourmirandarights.html>.

Famous Sayings #151 — ‘Never Let Them See You Sweat’

June 7, 2019

What I’d tell you before? Never let them see you sweat. That way, you’ll never be embarrassed again.

Comedians have to deal with a lot of pressure. Not only do they have to perform in front of large crowds of people, but they must be funny and manage each crowd. Part of it is remaining calm, so a rule for comedy is “Never let them see you sweat.” Image by Rob Slaven from Pixabay.

As a little treat, I thought I’d include a special Famous Sayings post this week. This slogan goes back a few decades and it was part of a famous ad campaign. In fact, June 7, 2019 marks the 35th anniversary of that campaign.

Continue reading “Famous Sayings #151 — ‘Never Let Them See You Sweat’”

Famous Sayings #150 — ‘Face the Music’

June 3, 2019

Well, you’ve been caught cheating on your test. I guess it’s time to face the music.

face the music, orchestra, famous sayings
Image by skeeze from Pixabay

My apologies for not making another post before this week (or posting this on Sunday), but this should be a fun idiom to look at. I might have first heard this phrase on an old Nickelodeon show (Hey Dude for those who might remember it), but I have always understood its meaning. (It’s just that I never had to define it until now).

Continue reading “Famous Sayings #150 — ‘Face the Music’”

Famous Sayings #149 — ‘Stolen Valor’

May 25, 2019

An instance of stolen valor might be punishable if someone profits from it.

This weekend, I’m going to try to get two of these posts done in order to do some catching up. Since Memorial Day is around the corner, this post is dedicated to a term associated with the U.S. military — and frauds.

Continue reading “Famous Sayings #149 — ‘Stolen Valor’”