Endnotes to “Is There Any There There?” Blog Post

It has come to my attention that I need to reference my sources for my previous blog post, “Is There Any There There?” published on September 26, 2019, on this blog. Newspaper reports in The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), television reports on CNN, CBS, ABC, and NBC, and internet reports from Portside: Material of Interest to People on the Left form the basis of my source material. Also, I draw information on the radio from National Public Radio (NPR) over WFAE-FM, Charlotte, 90.7, and from the Pat McCrory Show on WBT-AM, Charlotte, 1110-AM. The news of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to open a “formal impeachment inquiry” of President Donald Trump can be found in The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC) on September 25, 2019, p. 1A. Candidate Joe Biden’s new position was sourced in my earlier blog post as being reported on CNN. This video is available on-line at cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/09/24/joe-biden-impeachment-inquiry-sot-nr-vpx.cnn.

The news conference by the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and President Trump on September 25, 2019, was broadcast live on CNN. The spelling of the Ukrainian President’s name can be found in The Charlotte Observer (9/26/2019, p. 1A). The definition of just what kind of transcript was made of the phone call can be found in the same Charlotte Observer article, but was also defined on various broadcast media.

The facts on the significance of the strike at GM now, as contrasted with the past, can be found in an article posted on Portside (9/22/2019) by Nelson Lichtenstein, entitled “What’s at Stake in the General Motors Strike,” originally published in Dissent magazine. The issue of temporary workers can be found in this article, and in The Charlotte Observer (9/23/2019, Charlotte, NC, p. 8A). The $8 billion profit figure for GM over the past year can be found at Portside (9/15/2019, portside.org) by NPR, entitled, “UAW Votes For Nationwide Strike To Begin Before Midnight Sunday.” The actual figure is $8.1 billion.

All of the statements of opinion in my voice in the blog post are my opinions, and not attributable to any of the news sources in general that I listen to, watch, or read for general news.

–Nicholas Patti

Charlotte, NC


Is There Any There There? The Politics of Impeachment, and Commentary on the UAW-GM Strike, this September

September 25, 2019—First it was Russia, now it’s the Ukraine. President Trump got away with it once, but Democrats would like him to know that they will not tolerate his dirty tricks this time. Maybe 2016, but not 2020. Not after Democrats won the House in 2018. Candidate Joe Biden changed his mind, as shown on CNN: an impeachment inquiry may be appropriate at this time, he said. More to the point, Speaker Nancy Pelosi changed her mind: citing the constitution, the law, the President’s oath of office, she allowed the existing hearings to widen and change into a formal impeachment inquiry into the President, which could result in articles of impeachment being introduced.

For God’s sake, let’s hope not. This impeachment inquiry embodies presidential election politics and political theater in America. It is a constitutional crisis intended to rake President Trump through the coals, once again, as usual, and to place him on notice that he’d better behave and not abuse his office in this presidential campaign. The impeachment inquiry is candidate Joe Biden and the Democrats taking a page right out of President Trump’s own political playbook: outrageous political theater for their own partisan benefit. Since President Trump is… well… President Trump, and they caught him in the act, this time, the Democrats have teeth.

Let us hope that the Democrats do not shred our Constitution and rend into tatters any vestige of unity as Americans, across the partisan divide, that we might have had, previous to this announcement. If we were already deeply divided before initiating impeachment hearings, we are several orders of magnitude more divided now. God save us and our republic from anyone actually claiming the moral high ground and introducing articles of impeachment.

Earlier today, September 25th, at the United Nations in New York, President Trump and the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, made the Democrats’ high-minded impeachment pronouncements seem utterly ridiculous, and actually funny. In answering direct questions from reporters about the so-called smoking gun phone call, the Ukrainian President flat-out denied all of it, implied that Americans are silly about our electoral politics, which he is steering clear of, and broke into his Eastern European language—Russian, Ukrainian?—in a back-and-forth with a reporter from his country for an extended, heated conversation on the subject. After a few minutes of this inscrutable debate, which an American audience, who speaks only English, and not his language, would not and could not fathom, at all, they translated it into English. During the Eastern European language segment of the interview, not translated for a few minutes, I found myself laughing out loud, especially in the context of his immediate, previous denials and intimations. Translated finally into English, his comments were in line with his previous statements on the topic in English. The whole thing looked totally ridiculous. To underscore the point, Donald Trump threw in, “No pressure,” at the end of it.

Now, it’s the Ukrainian President’s word on international television, sitting next to Donald Trump, against a paraphrased “transcript” of his phone conversation with President Trump from the NSA in what otherwise would be a routine wiretap of President Trump’s phone call with a foreign leader.

Tell me, can you impeach a President based on a transcript alone, the import of which both parties to the conversation vociferously deny? This has become ridiculous, totally silly.

I am sorry to say, President Trump has really made it seem that there is no there there, when it comes the basis of this impeachment inquiry.

The Democrats have attempted high drama as political theater with this impeachment inquiry. Unfortunately for them, they cannot beat the President at his own game. President Trump is the absolute master of political theater for its own sake, and in this case, President Trump has turned the whole thing on its head and will score a political victory in the eyes and the opinions of the American people. With the Democrats now citing high-minded political rhetoric about silliness, complete with purposely comedic elements inserted into the “discourse” from the Ukrainian president, this has become sad. Just sad.

As a supporter myself of candidate Joe Biden for the presidency, in 2020, I feel this political loss and suicide run in Congress by the Democrats is just sad. Terribly sad. President Trump will shortly make mincemeat out of the Democrats as they press on with their inquiry.

President Trump is up to no less, and no more, than President Trump usually is. As usual, also, he excels at making Democrats look silly, just funny, in spite of themselves. As of today at the UN, Republicans in Congress have all the credibility they need to brush this off, deny the significance of everything, as usual, and ultimately, to kill off any actual vote on the subject of impeachment.

As of the Ukrainian President’s flat-out denial and healthy sense of humor today, there really is no there there, regarding this inquiry and any potential introduction of any actual articles of impeachment.

Luckily, Nancy Pelosi is politically smart, and a clever politician and Democratic strategist. She can wriggle her way out of this one, I am sure. To be honest, I do not know how. She cannot just press on, like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, in this case, at President Trump, to save the Republic. Luckily, Nancy Pelosi knows this, already. I trust that with her long experience in Washington and her general political acumen, she is up to the task of salvaging this fiasco, politically, for Democrats.

As for Joe Biden, he benefits in the primaries, at this early point in the campaign. After all, President Trump just handed it to him: Joe Biden is the man to beat. Joe Biden is the man. Nancy Pelosi only highlighted the importance of the current, theatrical political scene. Once again, Joe Biden is the main man.

All of the other Democratic candidates become minor players, and Joe Biden represents the past, present, and future of the Democratic Party, at this time and going into 2020. That is the effect of this impeachment scandal.

This impeachment inquiry is about politics, and only politics. And about keeping President Trump honest, or as honest as he is humanly capable of being, going into 2020. In this way, in our current presidential election, our divided nation may have a better chance at avoiding any worse constitutional crisis than this inquiry already represents.


Moving on (no pun intended), to bigger and better things. Namely, the UAW-GM strike. May the union win better terms and working conditions for temporary workers. I await an agreement, better for the auto workers, to come out of this strike. Let us hope the UAW leadership does not overplay their hand with this strike. GM made $8 billion in profits over the past year. Now, they are losing money each day of this strike. I am sure they hate losing money. Let us hope that the GM executives choose to share some of that $8 billion with the workers, and stop losing money in this strike. Let us hope the union leadership is ready to stop picketing and return to work, to again create the $8 billion in profits at GM, with more of a share going to the workers. Let us hope, also, that an electric pick-up actually gets introduced into the auto market. I am afraid this new electric vehicle may lack some of that torque and horsepower that Ford advertises in their F-series truck commercials. To this, I say, let Ford introduce their own electric vehicle light-duty truck, then, also. Let us help the environment regarding auto emissions while helping the unions and auto workers, as well. All of this depends, of course, on continuing billions in profits being generated by GM et al.

I understand that although this strike is important for all of us in America today, it simply does not add up to the national emergency that such a dispute in the American auto industry once represented.

I am a member of the National Writers Union, a UAW local. I care. Americans in general should care. Workers in general should care. Let us hope that the current UAW leadership can secure a respectable win without squandering the shop. Let us hope, also, that GM does not squander their whole shop, also. I have faith in the GM executives to do the right thing, keep their business profitable, and cut a better deal with their workers, collectively, through the UAW.

In the words of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the general labor movement, solidarity forever, in harmony with the Earth.

—Nicholas Patti

Charlotte, NC

Letters to the Editor, on the 9th District

Letter to the Editor, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC: 9/2/2019, unpublished):

When Both Candidates Lie, Trust the Liberal Less

September 2, 2019—Jim Morrill is right to point out the lies and falsehoods in the campaign ads from both candidates—Republican Dan Bishop and Democrat Dan McCready—running for the 9th District in the U.S. House (Charlotte Observer, 9/2/2019, p. 1A; 8/22/2019, on-line).

This presents a problem for me, a democratic socialist, in making an endorsement.

Normally, I would endorse the liberal. The problem here is what I would consider to be general political wisdom in U.S. politics:

When a conservative speaks of “hope for the future,” I know they are lying. When a liberal gives the same stock political line, I grow worried.

At least the Democrat in question, Dan McCready, is a moderate. If he is elected, then, there may still be hope for us yet.

—Nicholas Patti


Democrat Dan McCready

Letter to the Editor, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC: 8/20/2019, unpublished) :

Dan Bishop is Ignorant of Costs of Climate Change and Global Warming

August 20, 2019—Hurricane Florence was billed as the costliest disaster on record for North Carolina, dumping record rainfall on the State last September, according to the Sunday paper (Charlotte Observer, 8/18/2019, p. 1A). These kinds of extreme weather events are predicted to become “the new normal,” according to the authors of the article, citing weather experts.

Someone should tell that to Republican candidate Dan Bishop. In his ads, he repeatedly slams Dan McCready for costing taxpayers money in higher utility bills to subsidize McCready’s solar energy farm.

Republican Dan Bishop

The costs of doing nothing far outweigh the smaller costs of switching to clean energy to respond to climate change and global warming.

—Nicholas Patti

Charlotte, NC

Letter to Editor, on the 9th District (#2)

Letter to Editor, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC: 3/5/2019, unpublished*):

In response to “After Harris reversal, new election ordered” (The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, NC: February 22, 2019, p. 1A):

Uncomfortable Feelings

March 5, 2019—I always feel a little uncomfortable whenever the democratic results of an election are overturned, for any reason. I feel a little uncomfortable in this case, in the ordering of a new election in the 9th, although I realize that the election was, in fact, tainted.

When the defending candidate, Mark Harris, admits defeat and calls for a new election, then all bets are off. Arguing for anything other than a new election becomes an ugly exercise in beating a dead horse.

The turning point in these hearings came when the candidate’s son, John Harris, testified against his father, telling the Board and the world that he warned his father about McCrae Dowless before his father hired him (February 21).

Time to move on to the new election.

—Nicholas Patti, Charlotte, NC

* This letter went unpublished in The Charlotte Observer. I was unable to check the letters in one print edition of a Sunday paper, and I could not check all letters posted on-line. The paper did not notify me of any intent to publish the letter. The paper did acknowledge receipt of the letter, however.

A Note of Attribution

In my previous post, “Hurricane Florence and Politics, NC,” I reported that the November ballot for North Carolina was agreed upon and ready, and that reaching this point required a high level of litigation, this year. My source for these two points was The Charlotte Observer (September 9, 2018, pp. 11A, 21A). Thank you.


Hurricane Florence and Politics, NC

September 14, 2018—In politics as with the weather in North Carolina this Fall, the only thing normal is that nothing is normal.

The top story right now: the arrival of Hurricane Florence on the North Carolina coast. As I write this blog post, I am holed up near Charlotte, North Carolina, awaiting the hurricane as it crawls Westward across South Carolina toward the mountains of Western North Carolina. It is dumping unbelievable amounts of rain, complete with wind damage, as it goes.

Five people have already died, along the coast when Florence made landfall this morning, and so far, today, according to CBS Radio News (9/14/2018, 5 pm).

But this is September, the height of hurricane season in North Carolina, and damage and destruction like this from a hurricane at this time is normal. The only thing is, there is nothing normal about it.

I feel anxious about the storm arriving here, imminently, and have been preparing as best I can. The stores were all busy in the last few days, with shoppers swiping up all the bottled water at the supermarket, for example. I was able to buy a last six-pack of bottled water, myself. The newspaper, The Charlotte Observer, ran a story yesterday that included reports of similar shoppers, noting that stores were still re-stocking, at the time (9/13/2018, p. 1A).

The roads had a similar eeriness about them. At times, stretches of roadway were unusually empty, and at other places, at around the same time, the congestion was incredible. The highway going North, I-77, was unusually congested at one town North of Charlotte, in Huntersville, NC, for example. That highway is always congested there, at most times, but it was even more congested when I drove it, Wednesday. My main feeling was that it is high time to get off the roads, and stop driving, anywhere. I am happy to report that I am off the roads, now.

Although these are normal preparations for a hurricane, when not advised to evacuate, there is nothing normal about it. It does not feel normal, at all, either.

Photo of waves, general
© Daniel76 | Stock Free Images

Talking about politics at all does not feel normal right now, either. Suffice it to say, in the context of this hurricane and, later, tropical storm, I will keep the commentary on politics brief.

I would like simply to congratulate NC government officials for finally agreeing on the ballot for this November. The election is all set to go, as usual.

What was not normal about the process this year was the high level of litigation it took to bring us to the point of a final ballot. That is all resolved now, at least temporarily, through the election, but there was a lot of wrangling and lawsuits about what was going to be on the ballot, namely, the constitutional amendments, and about a candidate’s party listing, and of course, the federal, congressional districts. That is all set now for the election; then, the back-and-forth on the districts will continue.

In the context of recent North Carolina politics, perhaps this squabbling is not entirely unusual. The bickering in the courts this year was in the vein of the squabbling that has gone on in recent years in North Carolina. The bathroom bill of a couple years ago comes to mind. This year’s politics did not rise to that level, but it was in that recent tradition.

In politics in North Carolina this year, then, what was not normal was normal, once again. At the end of the day, also, we still have a certain level of normalcy that has been achieved. The election will proceed, of course, as usual.

The real story right now, however, is Hurricane Florence, which later, to the time of finishing this post, weakened to a tropical storm. I still await the heavier winds and rain to arrive, here in Charlotte. We are expecting about 24 hours of rain; then, the storm will pass.

What is unusual about this storm is just how slowly it is moving, now across South Carolina. Also, it hammered the coast of North Carolina, and somewhat, South Carolina, pretty badly. The storm surge and flooding along the coast, and just inland, was severe.

My heart goes out to all of the people affected, on the coast, and I await the rains now here in Charlotte.

—Nicholas Patti

Charlotte, NC


Global Warming is Here, Now

August 22, 2018—Global warming is here, and we are living with it, now.

That is the message from Kim Cobb, earth and atmospheric scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. “What we’re seeing today is making me, frankly, calibrate not only what my children will be living but what I will be living, what I am living currently [sic],” said Cobb, as quoted in the Charlotte Observer (8/12/2018, p. 30A). “We haven’t caught up to it. I haven’t caught up to it, personally.”

The hottest year recorded, worldwide, was 2016, according to the Charlotte Observer (8/12/2018, p. 30A). What’s more, 2017 was the third-warmest year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as cited in the Charlotte Observer (8/12/2018), and the first half of 2018 was the fourth-warmest, ever. Sea levels continued to rise substantially, too, in 2017, as compared with levels in 1993, according to the NOAA, as cited in the Charlotte Observer (8/12/2018).

In Charlotte, NC, this summer has been a hot one, so far, according to the Charlotte Observer (7/12/2018, p. 3A). The temperatures reached 90 degrees or higher on 8 days out of the first 11 this July, and 90 degrees or hotter on 19 days in June. Forecasters in mid-July predicted “warmer-than-normal” temperatures for July, August, and September “across the Carolinas,” according to the Charlotte Observer (7/12/2018).

© ZrKnight | http://www.stockfreeimages.com

I can attest it has been another hot summer in Charlotte, as usual. The facts, available in the local, daily newspaper, indicate the temperatures are rising, now, and that global warming is here.

One of the main causes? Industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, which have reached record levels in 2017, according to the Charlotte Observer (8/12/2018). Carbon was estimated to be at the highest levels in the earth’s atmosphere in the past 800,000 years. Facts like that make one take a step back, and pause. That time frame dates back to before humanity existed on the planet, after all, according to all theories of the beginning of our species on Earth, I would note.

The change now is that we are beginning to feel the effects of a warming world, now.

“Decades ago when the science on the climate issue was first accumulating, the impacts could be seen as an issue for others, future generations or perhaps communities already struggling,” said Katherine Mach, a climate scientist at Stanford University, as quoted in the Charlotte Observer (8/12/2018, p. 30A). “In our increasingly muggy and smoky discomfort, it’s now rote science to pinpoint how heat-trapping gases have cranked up the risks. It’s a shift we all are living together.”

Reading these facts in the paper, and living through the beginnings of the effects of global warming, now, leads me to believe that we must do something, now, to address this issue.

Unfortunately, our current president, President Donald Trump, is worse than missing-in-action on carbon emissions and global warming. Denouncing what he calls a “war on coal,” President Trump shifted the weight of regulating coal power plants from the federal government, to the states. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) named Trump’s plan the “Dirty Power Plan,” a play on the Obama-era policy name that Trump just dismantled. Obama’s regulatory plan was called the “Clean Power Plan,” dating to 2015. The NRDC was quoted in the Charlotte Observer (8/22/2018, p. 3A).

In addition, earlier this month, President Trump froze the vehicle emissions standards, through fuel efficiency standards, that also dated to the Obama era. “These are the two biggest sectors of the economy that contribute to greenhouse gases in the country and are just hugely significant in terms of emissions,” said Janet McCabe, Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief. The transportation sector and power sector contribute over half of the emissions from the USA, according to the EPA, as quoted in the Charlotte Observer (8/19/2018, p. 26A).

To me, the issue is obvious. It is not so-called “fake news.” A warming earth, and global warming, is real, and we are beginning to feel the effects, now. It is, however, political. Sadly, with our current president acting against bringing global warming due to carbon emissions into control, the issue is now, still, political.

This blog post is not about listing all of the dangers of global warming, but rather in noting that global warming can be documented to be here, now, with the effects beginning to be felt, at this time. I leave describing all of the ill effects of a warming earth to another article. Let it be known, however, that we are in this new climactic reality, now.

Despite the changing reality we can easily document on our planet, we are, in terms of US policy, back where we were in the 1980s. That is, do nothing, and deny, deny, deny.

I find that to be terribly sad. Our current state on this issue requires us to step back, take a pause to reflect, tune out all other politics and issues, and resolve to do something, once again, on this issue, now.

It is no longer an issue only for our children, after all; it is now an issue for us, today.

—Nicholas Patti

Charlotte, NC

The Mid-terms and NC Politics this August

August 10, 2018—The Red Sox blew out the Yankees in a series sweep this past week, and the Atlanta Braves are creeping up on Philadelphia for first place again, this week.

It’s August in America, and politics, as well as baseball, are active.

In politics, the Special Election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District just went down, and it foretold the field for the mid-terms, this Fall. The result? Too close to call in a heavily red district. The implication? Democrats have the edge this Fall, but we do not know whether the math will add up to enough for them to take the House away from the Republicans. In Thursday’s news, after all, Republicans are reported to be girding up for “a 90-day campaign of trench warfare” to keep control of the House, according to the Charlotte Observer (8/9/2018).

In North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District in and around Charlotte, the implication of Ohio’s special election is clear: a close race in a heavily Republican district, featuring a solid, electable, middle-of-the-road, Democratic candidate spells a tough fight until the end. At this point, the special election in Ohio signals a similar situation in North Carolina, where it could go either way, but we cannot predict a definite turnover from Red to Blue hands.

Raleigh, NC — © Steverhode | http://www.stockfreeimages.          com

Meanwhile, the political grind continues in North Carolina politics. I am not prepared to go as far as the former governor, Republican Pat McCrory, did on his radio show on WBT-am. On this past Monday, August 6th, Pat McCrory said, “the deception going on in Raleigh is disheartening.” He was referring to the Democratic Governor’s, Roy Cooper’s, silence on the Chris Anglin candidacy for Supreme Court Justice. In that race, even the Charlotte Observer blames Anglin for “trying to game an election,” namely, by switching parties at the last minute and running as a Republican for the judgeship. There already is a Republican on the ballot, and Anglin is taking advantage of a bad law by the Republican legislature to pull this electoral trick on voters. In the editorial in the Observer (7/29/2018), the paper takes to task Governor Cooper and state Democratic leaders for remaining silent on the issue, and essentially, allowing it to happen, giving the appearance of complicity from the state Democratic party.

AIDS activists of the 1980s claimed that “silence = death.” Now, Pat McCrory argues on his radio show that, “silence = deception.” Perhaps, but I am unwilling to place any active role by Governor Cooper that would tend toward deception. I think, to lie, you have to say something. Saying nothing does not rise to the level of actual deception.

In fairness to the former Gov., Pat McCrory, he also denounces the Republican legislature for deception. He described their constitutional amendments, specifically the two that take power away from the current Governor and the executive branch in North Carolina, as “a clear power move by the Republicans” (8/6/2018). In the legislature, McCrory argues, the Republican leaders are simply trying to take away the Governor’s power, regardless of party. McCrory is against this move.

I agree with Governor Cooper and former Governor Pat McCrory. In this case, the Republicans are proposing bad constitutional amendments, which is a more active role. Again, I am not sure this qualifies as outright “deception,” but now I feel I am splitting hairs on language with Pat McCrory, current radio host.

Having said this, I still think that, with the exception of the two amendments that Governor Cooper is contesting, that the rest of the six constitutional referenda that Republican legislators in Raleigh are proposing, that these should be allowed to come to a vote on the ballot this November. In the interest of the balance of powers between the separate branches, the Legislature, Republican or otherwise, should be allowed to put new laws to a vote in a referendum. This is traditionally their purview, and not an abuse of power. The Republican legislators are just doing their jobs, here, from their perspective.

I disagree with the content of the amendments, and I will vote against them, but I do not have a problem with them putting new laws up for a vote, in general. The two that would take power away from the executive and give it to Republican legislators, those two are too much, however, and should not come to a vote this Fall.

Perhaps, the more important matter, aside from the mid-terms, is the beginning of the race for the pennant in baseball. There, I do not count out the Braves, but I am not sure anyone can really beat Boston this year.

© Bluezace | www. stockfreeimages.com

—Nicholas Patti

Charlotte, NC

The Strong Economy vs. the Blue Wave

Charlotte, NC, July 31, 2018—One man has not forgotten the effective campaign slogan of former President Bill Clinton in his campaign in 1992 against former President George H.W. Bush: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

That man is current President Donald J. Trump. In his campaign for Republicans in the mid-term elections this Fall, President Donald Trump is touting the economy as a central achievement, according to The Charlotte Observer (July 28, 2018). The economy is doing great, too, including in North Carolina.

Gross domestic product grew in the United States at a pace of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the Commerce Department, as quoted in The Charlotte Observer (July 28, 2018). This growth rate places the United States on track for its best year in over ten years, according to Ben Casselman, as he reported in The Charlotte Observer.

In North Carolina, according to Mark Vitner, senior economist for Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, the unemployment rate has dropped down to near 4 percent. That figure is down from the double digits a few years back, during the “Great Recession,” he claimed in The Charlotte Observer (July 18, 2018). Now, there are nearly as many jobs open and available in North Carolina as there are unemployed people. That low unemployment figure tells of a rosy picture in the economy in North Carolina, I would argue.

© Aleksan | http://www.stockfreeimages.com

The economy is doing just great, and although I am a Democrat, I think President Trump deserves credit on this issue. I cannot fall in line in agreement with President Trump’s policies on trade and taxes, although I recognize, as economic experts point out in the July 28 article in The Charlotte Observer, low taxes serve as a stimulus. Although I see the failings of an internationalist neo-liberalism—this economic globalism further enriches the wealthy, while leaving large segments of the working-class behind—still, I cannot line up behind simple economic nationalism, either, or “America First.” Substitute your country’s name in that slogan, and you have the international vision behind that economic world order. This nationalism seems misplaced, misguided, over-simplified, and self-serving. It is the epitome of the “ugly American” in the world, when applied to the United States. It is one thing to have one of the strongest economies in the world, and I do not doubt the truth behind President Trump’s words on this one, but it is quite another thing to dismiss out-of-hand the fates and fortunes of the rest of the world, including major trading partners. We should be able to strive for a better vision of the world, one better than simple economic nationalism and self-indulgence at others’ expense.

Nonetheless, the economy in the United States, and North Carolina, is responding like an engine when someone hit the gas pedal. Acceleration is the word. This will only help the Republicans in the mid-terms.

What, then, of the so-called blue wave? This wave refers to the Democratic edge in the polls and by political prognosticators, who agree that Democrats are on-a-roll, according to a report in The Atlantic (web edition articles, July 27, 2018), for example, or again, The Charlotte Observer (July 25, 2018).

© Endriashz  http://www.stockfreeimages. com

Let us look at one congressional district, the 9th, in and around Charlotte, NC. This one is considered generally Republican, yet a poll by the Civitas Institute (based in Raleigh, NC) has the Democrat, Dan McCready, ahead of his conservative opponent, Mark Harris, by 7 points, according to The Charlotte Observer (July 12, 2018). The margin of error in the poll is 4.6 percent. That indicates a close race, with the Democrat holding the edge.

Another recent poll by the same group, however, was just proved wrong in the Republican primary, in that district. There, a Civitas poll had the Republican incumbent, Robert Pittenger, ahead by 32 points, during this year’s Republican primary. In the election, held this past May, Mark Harris beat Pittenger by 828 votes, according to The Charlotte Observer (July 12, 2018). The more conservative candidate won, in defiance of the poll numbers.

Taking into account this poll, the conservative nature of the district, and this year’s Republican primary election outcome, I would argue that this district remains a toss-up. The district counts as one of those Republican districts that could fall to Democrats in Congress, but we see that it is a toss-up, I would argue.

Democrats do have momentum going into this Fall, I think. If the economy remains a top issue, like it was for President Clinton in 1992, however, then do not count out President Trump and the Republican party.

Only time will tell.

—Nicholas Patti