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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Issues before the New Potus

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Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Prakash Saxena is a graduate of UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He is an authority on eCommerce, eProcurement, eSign, DSCs and Internet Security. He has been a Technology Bureaucrat and Thought leader in the Government. He has 8 books and few UN assignments. He wrote IT Policies of Colombia and has implemented projects in Jordan, Rwanda, Nepal and Mauritius. Rajiv writes, speaks, mentors on technology issues in Express Computers, ET, National frontier and TV debates. He worked and guided the following divisions: Computer Aided Design (CAD), UP: MP: Maharashtra and Haryana State Coordinator to setup NICNET in their respective Districts of the State, TradeNIC, wherein a CD containing list of 1,00,000 exporters was cut with a search engine and distributed to all Indian Embassies and High Commissions way back in the year 1997 (It was an initiative between NIC and MEA Trade Division headed by Ms. Sujatha Singh, IFS, India’s Ex Foreign Secretary), Law Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Jail Project, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Data Centres (NDC), NIC National Infrastructure, Certifying Authority (CA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs), eProcurement, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MPA), Lok Sabha and its Secretariat (LSS) and Rajya Sabha and its Secretariat (RSS) along with their subordinate and attached offices like Directorate of Estate (DoE), Land & Development Office (L&DO), National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB), Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDO), National Building Organisation (NBO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), BMPTC and many others.

Florida: Cuban Americans area back Trump;

Georgia: Biden gains in the Atlanta area;

Michigan: White voters shifted to Biden;

Texas: Hispanic voters give Trump the decisive win;

North Carolina: Democratic counties move right; and

Wisconsin: Cities and suburbs help flip the state from red to blue.

As post voting analysis blurred the idiot box for the American voters, vote counting continued in the closely fought presidential race late Friday and early Saturday, as Joe Biden was within the striking distance of the presidency to be called as ‘President elect’ and President Trump vigorously pursued legal actions in key states in an effort to keep open his pathway to a 2nd term. Biden stood just six electoral votes away from the 270 needed to win the White House after scoring key victories in the Midwestern battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Michigan. A win in Nevada, where the race remains close, would get him the needed six electoral votes.

News agencies declared Biden the winner in Arizona, which has 11 electoral votes. The Trump campaign is disputing that call, arguing that mail – in ballots yet to be counted there would ultimately deliver the state’s 11 electoral votes to the president. In Arizona, Biden’s lead stands at about 70,000 votes, with 88% counted. With just a few states left to call results, Trump’s lead in Georgia had tightened to about 18,000 votes with 98% of the expected votes counted. Biden led Nevada by less than 8,000 votes with 75% counted. In Pennsylvania, Trump leads by about 1,65,000 votes with 89% counted.

While American Jews overall seemed to overwhelmingly back Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Tuesday’s presidential election, Florida proved to be the outlier, according to one exit poll. Based on preliminary estimates published Wednesday by AP, VoteCast, the Jewish vote in the Sunshine State was quite evenly split when compared to the national average: 58% of those polled voted for Biden, while 41% polled cast their ballot for President Donald Trump.

Finally on Saturday morning the winner was declared and Joe Biden won US presidency after bitter contest with Trump. Biden’s victory came after AP, CNN and NBC showed him winning Pennsylvania and gaining more than the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure the presidency.

 

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. defeated Donald Trump to become the 46th US president, unseating the incumbent with a pledge to unify and mend a nation reeling from a worsening pandemic, faltering economy and deep political divisions. Trump sought to cast doubt on the outcome, claiming widespread voting irregularities without evidence and filing lawsuits to contest the ballot count in some key states where he was behind. “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. So far, none of Trump’s lawsuits have gained traction or demonstrated that the results of the election can be overturned.

When he formally announced his entry into the 2020 presidential race, Joe Biden declared that he stood for two things – workers who “built this country”, and values that can bridge its divisions. As the US faces challenges from the coronavirus to racial inequity, his pitch is to create new economic opportunities for workers, restore environmental protections and healthcare rights, and international alliances. He may concentrate his energies on the following very vividly.

A national test and trace programme: Biden’s approach to tackling coronavirus, the most immediate and obvious challenge facing the country, is to provide free testing for one and all and hire 1,00,000 people to set up a national contact – tracing programme. This was the issue which was top most in the minds of citizens. He says he wants to establish at least 10 testing centres in every state, call upon federal agencies to deploy resources and give firmer national guidance through federal experts. He says all governors should mandate wearing masks. Citizens suspicious of Federal authority will see this as constitutional overreach, but it lies very much in line with Biden’s and Democrats’ general view on the role government should play. The US healthcare system lies exposed in the whole world and this image makeover is necessary. An advice worth noting is that India’s fight against the Covid – 19 is reaching the logical conclusion – A corona cure and India took all 193 ambassadors and high commissioners to Pune to show the vaccine production facility. India also has the world’s biggest glass vial manufacturing unit by Piramal Glass and these two can be combined to make India the vaccine hub of the world and save the humanity, economy and global brotherhood. An Asian nation created this pandemic, while another nation will help the world to get rid of the virus by producing the vaccine in the delivery mode.

Defund the Police: A senior leader has mentioned that democrats should not have mentioned to defund the police and create law and order issue in the nation. Police must be made more humane and efficient to tackle the distrust and lack of harmony in the nation.

Raise minimum wage and invest in green energy: In order to address the immediate impact of the coronavirus crisis, Biden had vowed to spend “whatever it takes” to extend loans to small businesses and increase direct money payments to families. Among the proposals are an additional US$ 200 in Social Security payments per month, rescinding Trump – era tax cuts and US$ 10,000 of student loan forgiveness for federal loans. Biden’s broader economic policies, dubbed his “Build Back Better” plan, tries to please two constituencies that traditionally support Democrats – young people and blue collar workers. He supports raising the federal minimum wage to US$ 15 an hour – a measure that is popular among young people and that has become something of a totem figure for the party in 2020, and a sign of its move to the left. He also wants a US$ 2 Tn investment in green energy, arguing that boosting green manufacturing helps working class union workers, who perform most of those jobs.

Buy American: There is also a US$ 400 Bn pledge to use federal dollars to buy American goods, alongside a wider commitment to enforce “Buy American” laws for new transport projects. Biden was previously criticised for backing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which critics say shipped jobs overseas. Car manufacturing shifted to Mexico and thousands of jobs were lost in US. His 2020 plan calls for the federal government to invest US$ 300 Bn in US – made materials, services, research and technology.

Criminal justice reform and grants for minority: In the wake of the race protests that have gripped the US this year, he said he believes that racism exists in the US and must be dealt with through broad economic and social programmes to support minorities – and a pillar of his “build back” programme is to create business support for minorities through a US$ 30 Bn investment fund. This was the key element of Bernie Sanders pitch for the nomination.

Rejoin global climate accord: Biden has called climate change an existential threat, and says he will rally the rest of the world to act more quickly on curbing emissions by rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. The agreement, which Donald Trump withdrew from, committed the US to cutting greenhouse gases up to 28% by 2025, based on the 2005 levels. Though he does not embrace the Green New Deal – a climate and jobs package put forward by the left wing of his party – he is proposing a US$ 1.7 Tn federal investment in green technologies research, some of which overlaps with the funding in his economic plan, to be spent over the next 10 years, and wants the US to reach net zero emissions by 2050 – a commitment that was made by more than 60 other countries last year. China and India, the two other biggest carbon emitters, have yet to join the pledge. The investments dovetail with his economic plan to create jobs in manufacturing “green energy” products.

Restore America’s reputation and maybe take on China: Biden wrote that as president, he would focus on national issues first. That said, there is little to suggest that Biden’s values on foreign policy have shifted away from the multilateralism and engagement on the world stage, in opposition to the Trump’s isolationist one. He will also repair relationships with US allies, particularly with the NATO alliance, especially Germany and France, excluding Turkey, which Mr Trump had wanted to fund their own security and repeatedly threatened to undermine with funding cuts.

China: Biden feels that China should be held accountable for unfair environment and trade practices, but instead of unilateral tariffs, he has proposed an international coalition with other democracies that China “can’t afford to ignore”, though he has been vague about what that means, but clarity will come sooner than later with special focus on Quad and Quad Plus and 3 plus 3 ties with India and Australia, which is fighting China singlehandedly and needs global support and backing.

 

Expand Obamacare and ACA: Biden says he will expand the public health insurance scheme passed when he was President Barack Obama’s deputy, and implement a plan to insure an estimated 97% of Americans. Though he stops short of the universal health insurance proposal on the wish lists of the more left – wing members of his party, Biden promises to give all Americans the option to enroll in a public health insurance option similar to Medicare, which provides medical benefits to the elderly and to lower the age of eligibility for Medicare itself from 65 to 60 years old. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan group, estimates that the total Biden plan would cost $2.25 Tn over 10 years.

Rejoin the WHO: Unlike Trump, the former vice president does not want to cut its ties with the world health organisation and may rejoin it sooner than later and commit to fight the pandemic together.

Universal pre-school, expand free college: In a notable shift to the left, he may endorse several big pieces of education policy that have become popular within the party – student loan debt forgiveness, expansion of tuition – free colleges, and universal preschool access. These would be paid using money gained back from withdrawing the Trump-era tax cuts. This generation is paying excessive fees to enter universities and when they graduate, they are under heavy debt and have to repay their student loans till the age of 40.

What a coincidence Indian state of Bihar and US are having polls at the same time. ‘Lallu’ techniques are being used by Biden. Leftist hate electronic voting machines for sure. From Iran to Venezuela to Russia, once-chided national leaders enjoy the sight of US democracy in action.

“Who’s the banana republic now?” wondered the front page headline of Colombia’s Publimetro, one of many Latin American newspapers whose editors thought the term – a US-originated slur that was inspired by Honduras and has haunted Latin America for decades – perfectly captured the electoral turmoil playing out in the US.

Merval Pereira, one of Brazil’s most prominent political commentators, called his daily column “Bananas americanas” and wrote: “This is a singular event in US democratic history which puts the country in the list of banana republics, an expression created by the Americans themselves.” As Trump demanded states stop counting mail-in ballots, the US embassy in Abidjan issued a poorly timed statement urging Côte d’Ivoire’s leaders to “show commitment to the democratic process and the rule of law”. “We also need a Côte d’Ivoire statement on US elections,” quipped one BBC editor on Twitter.

For many, it was a chance to give the US a taste of its own medicine. “Neither free nor fair,” wrote Margarita Simonyan, the head of Russian state-backed RT, parroting the language of a UN or Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) statement.

Believe me Karma is a strange word, world over.

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Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Prakash Saxena is a graduate of UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He is an authority on eCommerce, eProcurement, eSign, DSCs and Internet Security. He has been a Technology Bureaucrat and Thought leader in the Government. He has 8 books and few UN assignments. He wrote IT Policies of Colombia and has implemented projects in Jordan, Rwanda, Nepal and Mauritius. Rajiv writes, speaks, mentors on technology issues in Express Computers, ET, National frontier and TV debates. He worked and guided the following divisions: Computer Aided Design (CAD), UP: MP: Maharashtra and Haryana State Coordinator to setup NICNET in their respective Districts of the State, TradeNIC, wherein a CD containing list of 1,00,000 exporters was cut with a search engine and distributed to all Indian Embassies and High Commissions way back in the year 1997 (It was an initiative between NIC and MEA Trade Division headed by Ms. Sujatha Singh, IFS, India’s Ex Foreign Secretary), Law Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Jail Project, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Data Centres (NDC), NIC National Infrastructure, Certifying Authority (CA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs), eProcurement, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MPA), Lok Sabha and its Secretariat (LSS) and Rajya Sabha and its Secretariat (RSS) along with their subordinate and attached offices like Directorate of Estate (DoE), Land & Development Office (L&DO), National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB), Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDO), National Building Organisation (NBO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), BMPTC and many others.
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