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Posts published in “Jones”

12 senators and a wild goose

jones

What better way to cap off a tumultuous political year than by launching a chase to catch the elusive wild goose of election impropriety? Just because Trump supporters had failed to come forward with competent evidence of election fraud or misconduct in over 60 lawsuits does not mean that fraud did not occur somewhere, somehow. The Chosen One proclaimed there was fraud in practically every state he lost and, therefore, it must be so.

The chase was begun by a lean and hungry Senator from Missouri, Josh Hawley, who lusts after the worshippers of the Chosen One, presumably to inherent their support. Just after Christmas, with visions of future presidenthood dancing through his head, Hawley announced he would challenge Joe Biden’s election in Senate proceedings on January 6. Hawley apparently felt it was his duty to call Pennsylvania officials to account for failing to follow the state’s election laws, even though his former boss, Chief Justice John Roberts, and the rest of the conservative Supreme Court majority, had declined to do so. Hawley obviously knew better than the Supreme Court, being a self-proclaimed “constitutional lawyer.”

Not to be outdone, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who also envisions himself as the righteous heir to the Trump base, gathered up 10 other like-minded GOP Senators and joined the chase for that slippery goose. Cruz was mightily concerned that Biden’s convincing win, both in actual and electoral votes, should not be certified without examining those voter fraud claims which judges of all political backgrounds had refused to entertain.

In support of his pursuit, Cruz pointed out that 40% of the respondents in a public opinion poll believed the election was rigged. One might wonder where they might have gotten that impression. Could it be the result of the leader of the free world loudly proclaiming fraud from every rooftop in the country for the better part of 2020? The situation is akin to a person loudly yelling “fire” in a crowded theater and then demanding an investigation into the cause of the ensuing stampede.

The intrepid goose hunters seem to believe that fraud was involved in just those states where Joe Biden won a majority of the vote. It is of interest that they are the very same states which were subjected to such close examination by the courts without turning up a hint of impropriety. Then again, courts require competent evidence and a sound legal basis for claims of wrongdoing, while some GOP Senators obviously do not.

The 12 fraud hunters might have better luck in examining the voting practices of states where Biden did not get a majority vote, rather than the heavily scrutinized states that he won. Texas, for instance, where mail-in balloting was heavily restricted, even in the midst of a pandemic, and where only one ballot drop box was permitted in each county without regard to the size of its population, has a bit of a voter-suppression stench. If Ted Cruz was really concerned about rooting out election impropriety, his home state would be a more productive hunting ground.

The chances of bagging the wild goose are nil, as the chasers well know. It is merely a publicity stunt aimed at attacking the sanctity of our election process, while showing Trump and his diehard followers the continued fealty the challengers pay to the Chosen One. Why should these self-servicing politicians care that their scandalous antics are giving the American system of government a black eye across the country and around the world? After all, it is a given in Trumpworld that service to self always eclipses service to country.
 

Pancreatic cancer in 2020

jones

According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers, with an overall 5-year survival rate of 9%. The Cancer Society predicted that 57,600 Americans would be diagnosed with the cancer in 2020, while 47,050 would die from the disease. As we mourn those who were taken from us this year by Covid-19, we can’t forget the many thousands who lose their lives to this and other cancers each and every year.

As we come to the end of 2020, there are several remarkable victims of pancreatic cancer who merit a departing glance. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was a beacon of justice and equality, certainly deserves mention. RBG, as she became known to her numerous admirers, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 and served with distinction for 27 years, until her death in September. She died of complications of pancreatic cancer, having survived her first bout with that vicious cancer in 2009, as well as colon cancer in 1999 and lung cancer in 2018.

Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last December and passed away in July. In death he received high honors from a grateful nation for his tireless work over seven decades to advance equal rights and racial justice.

Alex Trebek, the much-admired host of “Jeopardy,” announced his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019. After a tough fight against long odds, he succumbed to the disease this November.

Closer to home, the disease took the life of a remarkable resident of the Treasure Valley, my cancer buddy Rich Hall. I’d been diagnosed with the disease in January 2017, but thanks to a gifted surgeon, Joshua Barton, and a wonderful oncologist, Dan Zuckerman, I was pronounced cancer-free later that year. Not long after, Rich called to say he had the cancer, was being treated by the same physicians and would like to compare notes.

I’d been casually acquainted with Rich and knew he was respected as one of the most respected attorneys in the state, but had not gotten to know him well. We soon formed a strong bond because of our shared malady but also because we shared the same professional values and political outlook.

My wife, Kelly, and other family members were instrumental in getting me through the cancer journey, but it was comforting to also have a friend who was going through the same ordeal. Rich and I both looked to RBG, who had recovered from the cancer so long ago, as a source of hope. When Rich learned he was cancer-free in 2018, it was a great triumph for both of us. We both were encouraged when either of us got a positive quarterly check-up report.

Rich did not let the disease get the best of him. He was a talented singer and he used that talent to raise $70,000 for MSTI and St. Luke’s for cancer research and assistance. He also performed periodically for the enjoyment of cancer patients at the MSTI infusion center.

When Rich got troubling news about a possible return of his cancer earlier this year, he took it with grace and dignity. It was a shock to me because for almost two years it seemed we both had dodged a bullet. The news got worse and he passed away on October 6. I had the honor to sit by the side of my cancer buddy for a while the night he passed, along with his wife, Tonya, and 4 daughters, Christine, Tara, Mishi and Erin. I understood how he had drawn such strength from them.

Cancer of the pancreas has been difficult to diagnose early on and hard to fight once it is discovered. More research, driven by more funding, is absolutely essential to getting a handle on this deadly disease. People can help by making a contribution to St. Luke’s Cancer Institute (formerly MSTI) or to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or both. It will help save the lives of remarkable Americans like Rich and the others we have lost this year.
 

Standing for federalism and the law

jones

Donald Trump and his supporters have filed over 50 lawsuits challenging various aspects of the 2020 presidential election. None of them have succeeded in establishing fraud or election impropriety. Most have been dismissed for lack of competent evidence by federal and state judges with backgrounds in both political parties, including recent Trump appointees to the federal bench.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had the bright idea of conglomerating many of the discredited claims and conspiracy theories from those suits into one package and pitching it to the U.S. Supreme Court. So, on December 7, commonly known as the day of infamy, he asked the Court to allow him to challenge the election results in 4 other states. It was not a military attack on the U.S., as occurred in 1941, but an attack on the very foundation of the federal system gifted to us by the Founding Fathers.

Congressman Chip Roy, a conservative Texas Republican, correctly critiqued Paxton’s frivolous gambit as a “dangerous violation of federalism” that would set “a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states.”

Another Republican, Ohio Attorney General David Yost, told the Court that Paxton’s request would “undermine a foundational premise of our federalist system: the idea that the States are sovereigns, free to govern themselves.”

As soon as Paxton filed his claptrap motion, Republican officials across the country jumped on board to support his poisonous attack on our Constitutional system. Donald Trump, 17 other state Attorneys General and over a hundred members of the U.S. House have pledged their support for the idea of allowing states to legally challenge the internal laws and practices of other states.

Idaho politicians are among those who heedlessly flocked to support the effort--Governor Little, Congressmen Simpson and Fulcher, and scads of state legislators. Apparently, it did not bother them that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of Texas would set a dangerous precedent for inter-state conflict.

Luckily, the Supreme Court will likely see Paxton’s move for what it is--a last-gasp political stunt with absolutely no legal merit. Texas has no standing or legal grounds to pursue a case.

Which brings us to consider the Idahoan who has shown himself to be a clear legal thinker and true profile in courage. Much like the kid who pointed out that the emperor was unclothed, Lawrence Wasden has stated the unvarnished truth about this shameful charade.

Lawrence said: “As Attorney General, I have significant concerns about supporting a legal argument that could result in other states litigating against legal decisions made by Idaho’s legislature and governor. Idaho is a sovereign state and should be free to govern itself without interference from any other state. Likewise, Idaho should respect the sovereignty of other states.”

To illustrate Wasden’s concerns, let’s consider an existing situation with our western neighbors. Washington and Oregon seem to believe that Idaho is doing a wretched job of fighting the coronavirus and that we have allowed the disease to spread over the border, infecting their people. If states could challenge the legal decisions of other states, couldn’t those states ask the Supreme Court to force Governor Little to impose a mask mandate? State sovereignty would not mean much if Paxton were to prevail.

Shame on Idaho’s politicians who mindlessly jumped aboard Paxton’s wacko move to gut the federalist foundation of our government. Thanks to Attorney General Wasden for having the courage and wisdom to stand up for federalism and the rule of law.

A government cover-up

jones

As I watched a recent TV news interview of a gentleman saying the government could not tell him what to wear, a memory floated back into my mind from the 1950s. My hometown, Eden, Idaho, was confronted with that very question. A local free spirit, Bill N, chafed at the idea of having to wear clothes in public. So, Bill would occasionally appear on Main Street without a stitch of clothing, other than a 4-inch-wide leather belt, apparently to show that the government could not force him to wear clothes. Needless to say, the government won the argument, causing Bill to spend some time at the State Hospital in Blackfoot for flaunting the law against indecent exposure.

The critical question nowadays is whether the government can require folks to wear a mask. We all seem to take it for granted that government laws can make us wear clothes in public to protect the sensibilities of onlookers. Doesn’t it make sense that it can take the extra little step of requiring us to cover our noses and mouths so as not to exhale potentially deadly virus-laden vapor toward others?

The scientific community tells us that masks work to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found face masks to be “the most effective means to prevent the interhuman transmission” of the virus. An October report out of the University of Washington said that the extensive use of face masks could prevent 130,000 needless American deaths by the end of February. With the current Covid-19 daily death toll in the U.S. climbing above 3,000 and wide-spread vaccination months away, it is critical for everyone to mask up.

Masks are dirt cheap, compared to the staggering cost of all of the medical staff and facilities required to care for patients who are infected by those exhaling unfiltered breath containing the virus. And masking is something that everyone can easily do.

Some refuse to mask up, believing the pandemic is a hoax. However, it is considered to be a serious health threat by virtually every nation on the planet. Decisions by consumers, businesses and governments are driven by that belief. There will never be a real economic rebound until the great majority of our people believe the threat has been contained. That won’t happen until about 95% of us start wearing masks, regardless of any conspiracy theory. Masks can avert the need for costly lockdowns.

Idaho’s Disaster Medical Advisory Committee has asked Governor Brad Little to impose a statewide mask mandate because our hospitals are overflowing with Covid-19 victims, medical personnel are being run ragged and things are getting worse by the day. Governor Little is a decent person and I believe he would have mandated mask-wearing long ago, if it weren’t for a science-defying Lieutenant Governor and covey of like-minded legislators nipping at his heels. The time has come for the mandate, before the situation spins out of control.

I believe the vast majority of Idahoans would appreciate a mask mandate. Many anti-makers would comply because Idaho folk are basically law abiders. Some who don’t wear masks because of peer pressure from anti-maskers might be pleased to have an excuse to mask up. Mask mandates are in effect in 37 other states so there would be no shame in following the science and joining them.

As Bill N sadly learned, Idahoans have been happy for many years with the government requiring them to cover up certain body parts in public. Just adding a small covering over our noses and mouths to protect the lives of our friends and neighbors shouldn’t be a big deal.
 

More stimulus, please

jones

With the pandemic raging out of control, it is essential that Congress pass legislation in December to get money into the hands of millions of Americans who are facing eviction and hunger. The health of our economy depends on it. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently said that additional spending relief is “absolutely essential” to the country’s economic recovery.

The greatest urgency is to prevent millions of Americans from facing the prospect of eviction when the Center for Disease Control (CDC) eviction moratorium expires at the end of December. When the initial stimulus bill, the Cares Act, was passed in March, it included cash assistance payments to tens of millions impacted by the economic shutdown. Those payments ran out in July after Congress was unable to agree upon an extension.

The CDC issued an order in September, banning pandemic-related evictions for the rest of 2020, based on the public health risks of filling homeless shelters with evicted renters. The government has not provided any additional financial assistance to pay delinquent rent so that obligation has been accumulating and will be collectable when the moratorium expires at the end of the year.

According to a November 24 Fox News report, up to 23 million renters across the country are at risk of eviction when the moratorium expires. January will see a dramatic increase of evictions in Idaho and around the nation unless Congress provides substantial financial assistance during early December. One estimate indicates up to 37% of Idaho renters could be at risk. Many of those unfortunate souls are single mothers, who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

The financial picture for renters is further complicated by the fact that 12 million Americans will lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas. This also needs to be addressed in a new stimulus bill.

It is not just renters who are suffering. Landlords may be a less sympathetic group, but the pandemic and foreclosure moratorium have obviously impacted them, too. Many are essentially mom and pop businesses that operate on a thin margin and have limited access to credit. Financial assistance to help tenants pay rent to their landlords would certainly be preferable to bringing eviction suits.

And it is not just rent that has fallen into default because of the pandemic. Utility bills for water, power and sewer are being unpaid, threatening millions of Americans with a cut-off of these vital services in the middle of a winter pandemic. It is estimated that default in payment of electric and gas bills alone will exceed $24.3 billion by the end of the year.

Hunger is also reaching crisis proportions during the pandemic, as evidenced by the long lines at food distribution centers shown on television news practically every day. Recently-collected Census Bureau data shows that one in eight Americans, including about 10% of Idahoans, reported they “sometimes or often didn’t have enough food to eat.” This should not happen in the wealthiest nation on the planet.

Congress must rise to the challenge of addressing this looming national disaster by approving a substantial financial relief package to get the country through the pandemic. Donald Trump made a solemn promise on October 30 that, “We will have a tremendous stimulus package immediately after the election,” and it is now time for him and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver that package. Our Senators, Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, need to join in the effort.
 

Honoring our veterans

jones

Veterans Day 2020 has come and gone, but we should keep America’s veterans in our hearts year-round, particularly as we give thanks for our many blessings on Thanksgiving Day. One way to express thanks is to memorialize the names of veterans who have served above and beyond the call of duty. Congress is on the verge of providing an opportunity to do just that.

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021 will likely receive approval in early December. It calls for removal of the names of Confederate Generals from U.S. military bases. The Army would have three years to rename 10 Army bases currently bearing the names of seditious officers. There are some remarkable Idaho heroes whose names should be considered.

Ralph Sword of Boise has asked Idaho’s Congressional delegation to help change the name of Fort Benning in Georgia to Fort Vernon Baker. The base was named during Jim Crow days for a Confederate Civil War General who strongly opposed the abolition of slavery. On the other hand, Vernon Baker, an African American hero of World War Two, was a loyal citizen of the United States during his entire 90 years.

When Baker first tried to enlist in the Army in 1941, he was turned away because of the color of his skin. He persisted and later earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for, as stated in his citation, “extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy.” His citation describes how Baker single-handedly wiped out three machine gun positions and several other enemy emplacements in a suicide mission against a German strong point at Castle Aghinolfi.

The Medal of Honor was not actually awarded until January 1997--more than a half century late, due to Baker’s skin color. His other honors include a Silver Star, Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Baker was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and lost his parents in an auto accident when he was four years old. He learned to hunt out of necessity--to put food on the table. His love of hunting brought him to live in Idaho in 1986, which was his home until he died at age 90 in 2010. Vernon Baker was beloved in his adopted home state and a national hero and treasure. It would be entirely appropriate for the Army to rename Fort Benning to honor Vernon’s dedicated service to the United States and his fellow citizens.

While on the topic of base names, it would be fitting and proper for the Air Force to rename Mountain Home Air Force Base to honor another genuine Idaho hero, Bernie Fisher. Bernie, a long-time resident of Kuna, was a warm, plain-spoken, humble soul. Just chatting with him, you wouldn’t necessarily picture Bernie landing his old-fashioned, propeller-driven fighter on an airstrip littered with battle debris to rescue a downed wingman amongst a hail of bullets coming from practically every direction. But that’s exactly what Bernie did.

Bernie was the first member of the U.S. Air Force to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War. His heroic actions took place in March 1966 at a Special Forces camp in A Shau Valley that was surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese regulars. Bernie rescued his wingman and returned to base with 19 bullet holes in his vintage plane. During his service, Bernie received a trove of other medals, including the Silver Star, Legion of Merit and Distinguished Flying Cross.

I had the distinct honor to work with Bernie on a committee charged with helping Vietnam veterans readjust to civilian life. He was highly dedicated to helping all who served this great nation.

As we enjoy our Thanksgiving this year, be thankful for those like Vernon Baker and Bernie Fisher who helped make it possible. Let our Congressional delegation know that they should weigh in on renaming bases to honor these heroic Americans.
 

Could Trump yet win?

jones

Even before the presidential election, there was speculation as to whether Donald Trump could win the election, even if he did not receive at least 270 electoral votes. In a 2019 law review article, Edward Foley, an Ohio State University law professor, suggested that Trump might be able to win in a close and disputed election, either through the Electoral College or the House of Representatives. The Trump campaign has reportedly embraced the idea and is counting on it as a last gasp hope for victory.

Could it possibly work? The short answer is no. Nevertheless, let’s consider the longer answer, which arrives at the same result.

The election is really not that close. Biden has 306 electoral votes, while Trump has 232. Say that Trump was somehow able to flip Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes to his advantage, he would still need to flip either Michigan or Georgia to even make it a tie.

Trump’s theory seems to be that Republican-controlled legislatures of some states that went for Biden could save the day. That is, they could declare their state’s vote count to be fraudulent and send their own Trump slate of electors to the Electoral College. His campaign is looking primarily to Pennsylvania in this regard. It won’t work.

First, the campaign has produced no credible evidence of vote fraud. Second, Pennsylvania law requires the state to send electors supporting the winner of the popular vote in the state. Biden won the popular vote by 67,346 votes. Third, Republican legislative leadership in Pennsylvania has let it be known that the GOP will not be sending a Trump slate to the Electoral College. Fourth, a federal statute, the Electoral Count Act, specifies that the electors certified by the “executive of the State,” the governor, are the ones who count. The Pennsylvania governor is a Democrat.

Republican legislative leaders in Michigan, Arizona and Wisconsin have also stated they will not be sending a Trump slate to the Electoral College. Their state laws also require that the electors representing the candidate with the majority of votes be sent to the Electoral College. Biden won in all of those states.

Furthermore, there is no evidence of notable fraud in any of the close states. The Republican Attorney General of Arizona says there was no fraud in his state. The Republican Secretary of State of Georgia says the same for his state. Indeed, the U.S. government entity responsible for election security called the election “the most secure in American history.”

All told, there is no legal basis for declaring the election fraudulent or irregular in any of the states in which the Trump campaign has been litigating. Without evidence of massive fraud, significant enough to change any state’s outcome, there is no legal basis for an alternate slate of Trump electors in the Electoral College and no grounds for having Congressional involvement in picking the President.

Nor can I see any reason for the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved. The absence of evidence establishing fraud to the extent of changing the outcome in two or three states provides no basis for Supreme Court intervention.

So, the longer answer to the question is that there is no conceivable path to re-election for Donald Trump.
 

Veterans Day

jones

Veterans Day, November 11, is a time for Americans to honor and thank those who have stepped forward to serve this great country. It is also appropriate to consider what veterans might hope to be the common good resulting from their service. Although I would not pretend to speak for all veterans, I believe that most would like to think their service helped to bring the nation together in fellowship and common purpose.

Although I was just three years old when the Second World War ended, I have fond memories of those post-war years. The people of the country had worked together as one to defeat the Axis Powers and save the world from tyranny. Throughout the 1950s, I remember having great pride in the country and thinking there was nothing the United States of America could not do. The idea of being part of a unified, winning team was exhilarating and gave promise of a bright future.

The Korean War was just a blip on the radar for most of us, but for those who served in that war it was close to the definition of hell--vicious cold, savage combat, human wave assaults. The veterans of that conflict never got their due from their countrymen, partly because people had a difficult time understanding what it was all about and partly because of its stalemated ending. Even though the public only gave it tepid support, it was not all that divisive on the home front.

Vietnam was an altogether different story, eventually causing divisions across the country rivaling or exceeding those of the present day. When I entered service in November 1967, the country was generally supportive of the war. The surprising Tet Offensive in early 1968 changed that, because its scope did not line up with rosy assessments coming from the government.

I arrived in South Vietnam in July 1968 just as the national consensus was starting to unravel. When I arrived home at the end of August 1969, conflict over the war was at fever pitch and it only got worse during the next three years. I worked for Idaho’s former Senator Len Jordan during those years and had a front row seat as his point man on Vietnam--the one who met with the thousands of mostly young people roaming Capitol Hill in hopes of influencing Vietnam policy.

The war ended in February 1973, but the social unrest and distrust of government it caused lived on for many years. Because of that, plus economic and racial strife resulting from our failure to address inequalities in our society, we have never achieved the consensus and common purpose that came with the conclusion of WWII. We came close for a while following the 9-11 attacks, but that did not last long. At this time in our history, we are more divided than at any time since WWII, with the possible exception of Vietnam.

From the standpoint of one of the millions who have served in the nation’s armed forces, what I would most like to see is a nation at peace with itself, much like the nation that returning WWII veterans found. If those who serve the country can work together in common purpose to fight an enemy on foreign soil, can’t veterans expect their countrymen to work harder to achieve unity on the home front?

Please have a thoughtful day of reflection this Veterans Day and be sure to thank our veterans for their service.

Jim Jones is a Vietnam combat veteran.
 

Ben and Jim say Trump won’t win

jones

This column was co-written with former Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa.

It is unclear why Donald Trump is claiming he will win another term as President of the United States. What is crystal clear is that he has zero chance of being re-elected. It is all a matter of simple math. It would be nigh unto impossible for Trump to flip any one of the critical states. To win, he would have to flip more than one state.

Trump has variously identified Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin and Michigan as states that could go his way. As of November 14, Joe Biden led in all of those states by virtually unflippable margins: Pennsylvania—53,139 votes; Georgia--14,057 votes; Arizona—11,635 votes; Nevada--36,870 votes; Wisconsin--20,540 votes; and Michigan--146,123 votes.

Trump is certainly entitled to seek a recount under the rules of any of those states and, in fact, a hand recount has been ordered in Georgia. However, the outcome in each of those states is extremely unlikely to change in an election recount.

The two of us have had experience in recounts in Idaho for a number of years. The Attorney General’s office oversees a recount with the assistance of the Secretary of State’s office. Our experience is that only a handful of votes will change in a recount. The vote margins in each of the states identified by Trump are simply too large to flip (although there are still some votes to count in Arizona and the margin there might shrink some more).

Neither is litigation likely to cause a change in the outcome of any of the six states. There would have to be competent evidence presented to a court to disqualify enough votes to change the state outcome. Thus far, no such evidence has been identified by the Trump forces. Rather, a survey of state election officials indicates that the election was properly conducted across the country and virtually free of problems or legitimate concerns. As a nation, we should thank the election officials and workers who carried out such a monumental undertaking under risky circumstances.

Assume for the sake of argument that irregularities of great magnitude could be proven in one of the states. That would not change the outcome of the election. There would have to be convincing evidence of substantial irregularities in other states in order to change the election outcome. That is because Biden has several routes to the presidency.

Say that 50,000 or so votes in Pennsylvania could be disqualified by convincing evidence in court proceedings, Biden would still have enough Electoral College votes to win. It could be a combination of any two of Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. Trump would have to disqualify sufficient votes in at least one more state in order to change the election outcome. This is not a case like Bush v. Gore 20 years ago where the winner of the race was decided on an extremely close vote in just one state.

In light of the impossibility of proving irregularities sufficient to flip the election, Trump should accept the time-honored tradition of transitioning the government to the winning candidate. Instead of pouting and fuming in the White House, Trump should be trying to address critical problems in the country, like doing something, anything, to try to tamp down the Covid-19 pandemic, which has spun out of control on his watch.

Our adversaries are watching the dysfunction of our government and may well be tempted to take advantage. The winning team has expressed a desire to come together for the well-being of the country and it is time for the losing team to get on board. Meritless election posturing only hurts the country.

Jim Jones served as Idaho Attorney General from 1983 to 1991. Ben Ysursa served as Idaho Secretary of State from 2003 to 2015. He previously served as Chief Deputy in the office from 1976 to 2003.