Biden Talks to King Salman

On February 25th , President Biden made a phone call to King Salman to discuss state matters.

Present in the Oval Office for the call were Vice President Harris, Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, and Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor.

The king and the President had already discussed Iran and Yemen, with Mr Biden emphasizing that Iran would not be allowed to have nuclear weapons which would pose a threat to the kingdom as well as other neighbor countries.

President – King Salman… we will be releasing an intelligence report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Ankara, in October 2018.

King – We have been expecting it.

President – I want to make clear that the question of human rights will be high on my agenda during my term. We owe it to the world. From the start, I have sharply disagreed with the way my predecessor handled the assassination of Mr Khashoggi, a US resident and respected journalist and contributor to the Washington Post. It is inconceivable for us that such action would be carried out without the Prince’s consent.

King – I understand.

President – King Salman, did you know of the operation?

King – I did not.

President – For us to keep quiet about this would make our nation an accomplice. We cannot tolerate that.

King – I understand. As you know, Saudi Arabia is trying hard to become a modern nation, but there is much work to do. As long time allies, we ask for your patience and tolerance.

President – I welcome your government’s opening up opportunities for women. And the release of the young woman activist who had been held for a year. But she still will not be allowed to travel abroad.

King – Mr President, give us time. We want to join the rest of the world, we do. My son, the Prince, has good ideas. Due to my age, I am now 85, I’ve entrusted him with the day to day operations in the Kingdom, but I assure you that I have now resumed oversight of key decisions so as to prevent a repeat of what happened to Mr Khashoggi.

President – That is welcome news.

King – I have also considered, the possibility of reparations for the family of Mr Khashoggi and his fiancée and intend to pursue the matter.

President – I hope you will. It will not bring back Jamal Khashoggi but it is an acknowledgment of responsibility.

King – Yes. The actions were committed by Saudi Arabians in positions of influence, by Saudi Arabians in my service.

President – Thank you, King Salman. I look forward to a fruitful relationship. We will talk again. Best.

King – Good bye for now.

They hang up

Biden because…

We need to restore sanity to America,

We must have a president who will not shirk from confronting a foreign leader,

A president who is not preoccupied with every criticism that is made of him and who can think before he tweets,

We need a president who is comfortable with thinking and reflecting,

Who is open to having the best people around him, regardless of what party they’re affiliated with,

We must have a president who can hear a dissenting view,

A person who values independent thought, men and women who can stand on their own and choose to serve the nation out of a sense of patriotism rather than personal gain, men and women who’re not quick to say, ‘yes, mr president, of course you’re right, sir, absolutely right, you’re the greatest, the most wonderful human being I’ve ever met,’

We need a leader with the courage to address the nation in the face of abject cruelty, as when George Floyd was murdered in public view, and then step out and denounce the abuse of power and stand and grieve with the rest of us,

We need a leader who believes in science, who doesn’t feel diminished because he has to wear a mask,

We must have a leader who doesn’t lie to us, repeatedly, shamelessly,

A president with the courage to not blame China for the enormous losses of life we’ve suffered and who not once has said he takes responsibility for any of it.

In his view, whatever he does, is a masterful move.

We need Biden because he’s committed to bringing women to the center of our political world,

Women, who in this land of the free, have not been elected to the presidency or vice presidency in 231 years, yet all the while they’ve been nurturing men, educating, strengthening, helping to guide us, inspiring and comforting us, and we have the gall to turn around and deny them the right to control their bodies and to not think they are fit to lead.

We need Biden because in bringing women to power, he opens the door for them to govern the nation for the next 50 consecutive years, at least, and so make it possible to have racial and gender equality in our land.

Men simply could not do the job and need to move aside and let women do it.

We need Biden to reach out to the president’s supporters and remind them that we must sit down and have a dialogue,

We need Biden, who will tell the president’s supporters that they are essential in the struggle to improve our nation,

We need Biden

To remind us of our true powers, and that this is not the time to step back from acting with concern for the plight of the downtrodden anywhere in the world, for their suffering is ours too. Embrace it and we will embrace our own, and as we do brighten the flame of hope that has always lived in our hearts and minds.

So, go Joe, go Kamala,

Fight for our land as you know how,

And let not the winds of hatred and envy blight our future

Oscar Valdes     oscarvaldes@widehumr

Harris Beats Pence

In last night’s debate, Kamala Harris attacked early and kept it up through the 90 minute exchange. She did it elegantly, firmly and with a smile for good measure.

The most consistent feature in Pence’s performance was his long windedness, repeatedly going over his time limit, causing the very polite lady moderator to keep insisting, ‘Please Mr Vice President, please,’ which Pence kept ignoring as if entitled to it, no doubt making sure that the audience knew that he would copy Mr Trump’s style, regardless of propriety.

It reminded me of the time Pence paid a visit to the Mayo Clinic some months ago. While escorted by a group of doctors who all wore masks, he chose not to.

Something about the Trump Pence administration and science. Oil and water.

‘Biden is raising your taxes!’ said Pence last night, as if he had found the magic words to bury his rival.

Harris calmly replied, looking straight into the camera, ‘Biden is raising taxes on people earning over 400 thousand.’

Pence again, ‘Biden is raising your taxes!’

‘Biden is raising taxes on people earning over 400 thousand.’ repeated Harris, unruffled.

In response to a question about fighting systemic racism in America, Harris gives a clear answer. Yes, the Biden administration was making it a high priority.

Pence replies, ‘There’s no systemic racism in the country…’

No systemic racism? Which country are you living in Mr Pence?

Harris was steady, confident, purposeful. The democratic side may not have all the answers but they are willing to work with the opposition to find them.

That is not what the Trump Pence administration has done and is the reason they have botched their chance at making a difference.

Harris had many salient moments, one of which was when she proudly defended the Obamacare health program’s coverage of people with preexisting conditions. Trump Pence have fought the program during their entire term, while offering nothing better in its place. But whatever they came up with, people with preexisting conditions would lose out.

So Harris made her point. ‘People with preexisting conditions? That is you (the viewer) they’re coming after, yes, you,’ she said with verve.

Whatever Pence said in reply was unforgettable except for his going over his speaking limit, finally prompting the very kind moderator to say, ‘Please Mr Vice President, we have agreed to rules to be able to hold this debate,’ or something to that effect.

Surely Trump was proud of him.

And so it is, folks. Twenty six days left before election day. One hundred and four till Biden Harris are inaugurated.

We’re making it happen. You and me. And if you can, watch the debates. It’s not the same to read about it. Writers have filters of their own. Please vote. And God bless America.

Oscar Valdes

No More Stimulus! Until After I Get Elected.

Powell, the Federal Reserve Chairman whose monetary policy has played a crucial and salutary role in softening the economic effects of the pandemic, had said earlier that the absence of further fiscal assistance would severely slow the nation’s recovery.

Then yesterday, fresh from ‘deep’ introspective moments while hospitalized at Walter Reed Hospital for a few days, Trump rebuffed Powell, saying there would be no further fiscal aid until after the election.

The message is clear. Elect me and you’ll have the money.

It’s the message of a drowning man.

The message of a man who could not find a way to govern the nation, a man who has only 105 days left in the White House and only 27 days before he watches on his adored Fox News, that Biden/Harris beat him soundly.

Soundly. As in not by a thin margin.

Meanwhile, there will be privations and hardship for those who have lost jobs that are not coming back as the economy restructures.

But their troubles are not Trump’s concern.

Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, are mum about their leader’s whims. They’re hoping against hope that Trump will pull off another miracle. But it won’t happen. We’ve had it.

Twenty seven days from now, after the vote comes out in favor of Biden/Harris, these same lawmakers, no longer feeling bound to the president, will rush to stand up against him and join with the democrats to pass a delayed stimulus bill and so stave off a grim Christmas.

Trump’s decision to not move forward with the stimulus bill is petty. Manipulative. Cold.

He’s going down because of the cumulative weight of his poor decisions and doesn’t mind piling on yet another burden on people without jobs.

But people who will not have enough will remember. Remember Trump and his lawmakers.

Oscar Valdes

PS: Trump, sinking as he is in the eyes of the nation, cannot resist the chance of seeing how the markets react to his decisions. It feeds his vanity. He will need to really feed it, though, because the election results will deliver much grief.

American Women. Moral Reconstruction in America. The Dawn of A New Era.

White American Women had been waiting a long time for the chance to be president and, suddenly, they’re having to queue up behind Harris. What happened?

The riots did.

Of course, they can look back on Hillary Clinton’s effort and find consolation there, saying that in the very first try by a white woman as presidential candidate for a major party, she won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

That will have to do for now, though, since if all goes well, it will be Harris going up as party favorite once Biden chooses to step down (Yes, Biden will win the election, unless we’re insane)

To the credit of White American women, there has been widespread support for the Harris choice. That should give us men inspiration in the struggle against racism.

Come 2024, Kamala may end up being challenged for the presidential nomination by other women, as they are entitled to, but if she does a good job supporting Biden it will be a Democratic woman versus a Republican one in that presidential contest.

A man running on the Republican side would have a harder time beating Harris.

The problem of racism in our land is viewed by most of us as a critical matter. Addressing it fully cannot be postponed without additional damage to our moral fabric.

Obama projected an image of conciliation that has gone a long way to start the process of healing in our land but it now seems clear that it will be up to an African/Asian American woman to carry the task further.

Men are more conflicted than women on matters of dominance. They are more easily wounded by it and less forgiving.

This opens the way for women, of any color, to lead us for the next few decades until we resolve our racial differences.

Overall, the feminine psyche appears more likely to evoke forgiveness and understanding in the rest of us.

The fact that women had to struggle so hard to get out from under the oppression of men has much to do with it. It has helped them develop empathy.

So what do we have to lose?

Since inception we have been governed by men and we have not settled the racial issue. Imagine a Senate, supreme court or cabinet composed mainly of women?

It is time.

Are there qualified women today, in every field of endeavor, in politics, banking, science, medicine, etc.?

Yes. Resoundingly.

Well, we need to open the doors widely for them to enter politics and let them govern. And when it happens, it will be a gigantic step toward uniting the country.

We have great women leaders in the world now. Germany and Europe have benefitted enormously from the unique leadership Angela Merkel has provided. Her courage, wisdom and even handedness have set a standard to emulate. What other world leader has governed for as long as she has with such aplomb?

Sex alone won’t make for gifted leadership, but a combination of ability and sex may work wonders in challenging long held misconceptions about race that have stood in the way of our full evolution as a nation.

Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation and other books. Available on Amazon.