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Saturday, October 31, 2020


Welcome to the world's boldest coffee

alloween, a perfect reason to resurrect a 2019 review of Death Wish Coffee, which appeared in the New York Times “Wirecutter” [consumer] section: “What Does Death Wish Coffee Taste Like? (And Is It Safe?)” 

GUEST BLOG / By Rik Paul, New York Times, coffee guru--If you’ve browsed any of our coffee coverage, you know that we take our brew pretty seriously. From pour-overs to espresso machines, and from bean roast to brew strength, we have strong opinions about it all. 

This week, it’s all things coffee at Wirecutter. On some mornings, my mental gears turn extra slowly, as if their lubricating oil has congealed to tar. It’s those times when I’ve wondered whether the ultra-high-caffeine coffee Death Wish could give me a much-needed jump start. 

The Bomb Squad

Death Wish
is billed as the “world’s strongest coffee.” And although the company doesn’t release caffeine-content figures, we have seen third-party test results in an eye-opening range of 650 to 728 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce (Starbucks “tall”-size) cup. 

By contrast, Starbucks’s dark, medium, and blonde roasts have 193, 235, and 270 mg, respectively. (Darker beans generally have less caffeine than lighter ones.) So drinking a cup of Death Wish is like drinking 2½ to 3 cups of Starbucks coffee. 

After brewing a 12-ounce cup of Death Wish (using the company’s recommended brewing ratio and grind size, and our top-pick pour-over dripper), I found the taste hearty and, yes, potently strong—all coffee, no subtlety. It was stronger than two Starbucks dark roasts I compared it with, but not bitter or unpleasant. It’s what I’d expect to find in the thermos of a lumberjack or a Bering Sea crab-boat skipper. Then again, I like dark-roast coffees. 

Most of the 16 other Wirecutter staffers who did a casual taste test gave it a vehement thumbs-down, calling it “bitter,” “overly roasted,” or “having a burnt flavor.” There were four enthusiastic supporters, but even two of them were hesitant about drinking it regularly. I found the taste hearty and, yes, potently strong—all coffee, no subtlety. 

Death Wish definitely delivers the buzz. Even from a 12-ounce cup, I felt a giddy surge of focus and alertness, a mental rocket launch into a personally productive stratosphere. But after a while, it left me feeling a bit edgy. Almost all of our testers felt more buzzed than normal, but less than half thought the extra caffeine helped them focus better. 

The few that found the experience uncomfortable complained of jitteriness, a headache, and acid reflux. So, the inevitable question: Is it safe? Most experts agree that healthy adults can safely consume about 400 mg of caffeine daily. But that varies a lot depending on the person’s weight, age, gender, metabolism, caffeine sensitivity, and built-up tolerance. 

Halloween brings out the crazies. Like making a camo hoodie easy to see with daygo printing. Go figure. Click here. 

According to Mary Margaret Sweeney, PhD, an instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences (and a recognized caffeine expert) at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, drinking more than that could cause you to experience restlessness, nervousness, agitation, insomnia, and other effects. “Moderate doses of caffeine, usually up to 300 mg, tend to increase human performance on cognitive tasks,” she told me, but “higher doses may actually impair performance” in some people. Where does that leave Death Wish? 

According to Ted Kallmyer, a sports-nutrition coach and caffeine expert with Caffeine Informer, highly caffeinated coffees are intended for people who have built up a high tolerance to caffeine: “Their tolerance level is so high that only huge doses of caffeine produce a perceived effect beyond just feeling ‘normal.’” For anyone else, Kallmyer said, “steer clear.”  

Pumpkin coffee by Death Wish go to 


WEEKLY COFFEE QUIZ--Where in the world is this coffee establishment? Answer next Saturday in Coffee Beans & Beings post. 


LAST WEEK’S COFFEE QUIZ ANSWER--Located at the corner of Herrengasse / Strauchgasse in Vienna, Austria, Café Central is a coffee house classic. Coffee and fresh pastries have been served to the famous and not so famous in an elegant setting since 1876. Covid-19 aware especially in the architecturally splendid exterior (pictured). 

Friday, October 30, 2020


oday’s The New Yorker teases us with the following menu of articles. We’d link it but our monthly allotment has expired. Yes, daily blog, is cheap but in pandemic era “our non-advertisement allowed” policy keeps us poor. Swim around The New Yorker website [click here] for the articles below—Worth the effort.  

Today's effort contains: 

--By Ronan Farrow: “How a CIA Coverup Targeted a Whistle-blower.” When a Justice Department lawyer exposed the agency’s secret role in drug cases, leadership in the intelligence community retaliated. 

--By Anna Louie Sussman: “The Loneliness of the Pro-Choice Republican Woman.” Support for abortion rights was once seen as consistent with conservatism. But mobilizing the religious wing of the GOP left some of the party’s most loyal members out in the cold. 

--Q&A by Isaac Chotiner: “Noam Chomsky Believes Trump is “the Worst Criminal in Human History.” The activist and linguist has serious concerns about the future of American democracy. --By Susan B. Glasser: “Denialism and Deflection in the Final Days of the Trump Campaign.” The President is ending his re-election bid with scandals that call into question the legitimacy of next week’s vote. 

Whew. And, that is just one day of a daily newsletter that’s free most of the time for the offering. 



Marty Mendiola, Co-Founder of Second Chance Beer won a Gold Medal this year with its Robust Porter named Tabula Rose. For a Q&A with Second Chance in West Coaster magazine click here.

From 8,800 entries in the 39th Great American Beer Festival, held October 16-17, 2020 in Denver, San Diego brewers came home with 14 medals, which three were first place (gold). A win at the GABF is a big deal as the competition is the biggest event in the American craft beer industry. 

 Chris White of San Diego’s leading White Labs
participated in the GABF virtual video
 The awards ceremony was   virtual. For a YouTube   version  click here: 


For a list of the national GABF winners click here 

Brewer/Category/Beer name: 

 Gold Medalists 

Second Chance Beer: Robust Porter: Tabula Rasa; 

Pizza Port Carlsbad: International Pale Ale: Locals Only 

Wild Barrel Brewing: American-Style Sour Ale: Vice Sans Fruit: 

Silver Medalists 

Karl Strauss Brewing: Coffee Beer: Golden Stout 

Pizza Port Ocean Beach: Session Beer or non-Alcohol Beer: Guillaume 

Lost Abbey: Fruited American-Style Sour Ale: Peach Afternoon 

Coronado Brewing: Golden/Blonde Ale: Salty Crew 

Burgeon Beer: International Pale Ale: Carlsbad Crush 

Second Chance Beer: German-Style Sour Ale: Slightly Sour 

Eppig Brewing: Specialty Berliner, Weisse style: Glitz & Glam 

Belching Beaver: Fresh Hop Beer: Fresh Hop Ride the Pine 

Bronze Medalists 

Two Roots Brewing: Non-Alcohol Beer: Straight Drank N/A IPA 

Ocean Beach Brewery: Bohemian-Style Pilsner: Tres Tres 

Dos Desperados Brewery: Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale: Hell Camino Belgian Quad 


(Selected by’s The Brewspaper staff:)  

BEST BREWERY NAME: Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, NC; 

BEST BEER NAME (tie): Seismic Tremor, Seismic Brewing, Santa Rosa, CA; Pantsless, Alarmist Brewing, Chicago.  

BEST BEER LABEL (Maybe): Belching Beaver Brewing, Vista/San Diego, CA.

Thursday, October 29, 2020


Big municipal pier at Port Washington (Long Island), New York is new outdoor restaurant plaza


By Peter Romeo, Reporter, Restaurant Business--Like communities across America, the New York City suburb of Port Washington, N.Y., saw its restaurants—nearly all of them locally owned independents—struggling to survive under capacity limits set by the state to protect residents from COVID-19. 

Few local places offered patio dining before the pandemic, and the inline configurations of many were a limit on their outdoor dining options. At most they could squeeze a table or two into the sidewalk space. 

But what it did have was an abundance of recreational space for its 16,000 or so residents, including a spacious public dock where residents could fish, launch their kayaks, borrow a book from the pocket library on site, or just take in the views of the water, as many routinely do on temperate days. And that gelled into an idea as elected officials and local business leaders brainstormed ways of helping local merchants, including the town’s 50 or so restaurants. 

“Some of the biggest ideas are ones that are easy,” remarks Judi Bosworth, supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead, the township that incorporates Port Washington and similar bedroom communities about a 40-minute train ride outside of New York City. 

Restaurants needed space, and the dock had plenty of it. “It was just a matter of putting out some benches, some spots where people could eat.” The township paid for the picnic tables, and popped for a sign that listed all of the local restaurants, along with their phone numbers and a QR code that called up the establishments’ websites or menus. 

A second sign explained that locals could have food delivered from the restaurants, most of which had added self or third-party delivery during the crisis, and have a meal delivered dockside. “It’s not a big investment,” says Bosworth. “It has been very successful, and because of the overwhelmingly positive feedback, the Chamber [of Commerce] has asked us to extend it into the fall.” 

Similar setups have been adopted for other towns in the township, with similarly positive results, she says. The key, according to Bosworth, was the collaboration and constant dialogue with neighborhood restaurants and other local business leaders. 

“Here’s the thing: These situations are so fluid,” she says. “What’s a good idea today might not be a good idea tomorrow, and what’s a not-so-good idea today may be great tomorrow. So you have to keep talking.” As the weather cools and dockside dining may no longer be feasible, “we’re going to continue talking.” Meanwhile, she offers this advice to hard-pressed restaurants and sympathetic town officials elsewhere: “If you see a good idea that some municipality came up with, steal it.” 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


The illustration is from Rover.Com and the article appeared in The Conversation on October 26, 2020. 

GUEST BLOG / By Ellen Furlong via The Conversation blog
—Excerpt: A dog’s sense of smell is estimated to be 10,000 to 100,000 times better than that of a human. This is due, in large part, to staggering differences in odor processing in humans and dogs. While we have about 6 million olfactory receptors, dogs have a staggering 300 million. 

Their epithelium, or nasal tissue, is about 30 times larger than ours. And while people have between 12 million and 40 million olfactory neurons – specialized cells involved in transmitting odor information to the brain – dogs, depending on the breed, can have 220 million to 2 billion! How can you even conceptualize this breathtaking difference in abilities? 

This disparity is like detecting one teaspoon of sugar in enough water to fill two Olympic sized swimming pools. Now that your mind has been blown about your dog’s incredible sense of smell, you can use this information to make your dog happier by taking it on the occasional “sniffy walk” – letting it lead the way and take as much time to smell as it would like. 

Such walks can make dogs happier by allowing them to gain lots of information about the world around them. For the complete article click here. 

About the Author: 

Ellen Furlong, Associate Professor of Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University has written for Audible / The Great Courses. She has received funding from The National Institute of Health. She is a member of The Animal Behavior Society, The Comparative Cognition Society, The American Psychological Association, and The Society for Teaching of Psychology. 


On October 29, 1738, Queretaro, then the third largest city in New Spain, feted the completion of a Roman style aqueduct that brought clean water from the nearby hills to the center of town. 

Now, a World Heritage site, the Baroque aqueduct with its 74 arches made of pink cantera stone and masonry still dominates the heart of the city for 1,280 meters. The aqueduct doesn’t carry water anymore or is its completion celebrated but it remains well maintained and is a beautiful example of 18th century engineering. 

The design fo the ancient water transport system goes back several millennia to Roman times but in 1738 it was quite new. Commissioned by a covenant between the area’s Capuchin nuns and the Marquis Juan Antonio de Urrutia y Arana, the aqueduct’s $125,000 cost was borne by the Marquis and local residents. Alejandro Ibarra designed the aqueduct with engineering by Miguel Mendoza. 

The October 29th celebration a mass of thanks was sung followed by festivities lasting two weeks, which included a parade of floats, comedies in the coliseum, native and Spanish dances, cockfights, fireworks and bullfights. 

 Source: Wikipedia.

1890s completion of railroad next to Aqueduct

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Certainly the signs of our times

Citizen Ken Fitzgerald lives in Coronado CA, a small peninsula town across the Bay from San Diego and on a couple of days before the election he hopped on his bike to photograph presidential campaign signs in his traditionally conservative and pro-military hometown. 

This trial lawyer by trade and videographer hobbist has posted some interesting comparisons between 2026 and 2020. It is a creative view covering a time frame between October 19 and 22. 

For those not familiar with Coronado, this traditionally Republican village is sandwiched between North Island Naval Station, home port to four U.S. active duty aircraft carriers and the badass Navy Seals training facility. Plus, it is the site of the iconic Hotel Del Coronado (built in 1888). Click here for the video.


GUEST BLOG / By Wikipedia--The Battle of Brown's Ferry was an engagement of the American Civil War which took place on October 27, 1863 in Hamilton County, Tennessee. During the battle, two Union brigades drove Confederate sharpshooters from the Tennessee River, which allowed supplies to start arriving to the Union army at Chattanooga. Although a minor engagement, the battle proved to have significant results in paving the way for the Union victory at Chattanooga a month later.

Following the defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga the Union Army of the Cumberland was trapped in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Braxton Bragg.

Lacking the strength to capture the city by direct assault, Bragg settled into a siege, intending to starve the Union forces into surrender or retreat. To do so, he sent the brigade commanded by Evander Law to a point on the Tennessee River downstream from Chattanooga, ordering it to fire on any Union wagon train which passed along the opposite shore.

Law spread the 4th and 15th Alabama Infantry regiments along a 5-mile (8.0 km) front, keeping the other three regiments of his brigade in reserve. When the Union army began using other routes to supply Chattanooga, Law's corps commander James Longstreet ordered three regiments to be pulled back to Lookout Mountain, leaving two regiments along the river, with Colonel William C. Oates of the 15th Alabama in command.

Union commander William S. Rosecrans wired Abraham Lincoln saying "We have no certainty of holding our position here." Lincoln responded by sending reinforcements from the Army of the Potomac and Army of the Tennessee, with the overall command of the force under Ulysses S. Grant, recently promoted to command of the Military Division of the Mississippi.

On October 26 Grant initiated operations to open a supply route from Brown's Ferry to Chattanooga. The plan was conceived and to be executed by Grant's chief engineer, Brig. Gen. William F. "Baldy" Smith.

Hardtack, an army food staple, was usually despised by the men who were forced to eat it on a constant basis. However, with food running low the soldiers began to cry out even for the hardtack crackers. Thus the proposed supply line was dubbed the "Cracker Line".

--Chief Engineer, Military Division of the Mississippi: BG William F. Smith
--Division  Brigade     Regiments and Others
3rd Division (from the IV Corps)

1st Brigade
--BG William B. Hazen
--6th Indiana: Maj Calvin D. Campbell
--5th Kentucky: Col William W. Berry
--6th Kentucky: Maj Richard T. Whitaker
--23rd Kentucky: Ltc James C. Foy
--1st Ohio: Ltc Bassett Langdon
--6th Ohio: Ltc Alexander C. Christopher
--41st Ohio: Col Aquila Wiley
--93rd Ohio: Maj William Birch
--124th Ohio: Ltc James Pickands

3rd Division
(from the XIV Corps)

2nd Brigade
--BG John B. Turchin
--82nd Indiana: Col Morton C. Hunter
--11th Ohio: Ltc Ogden Street
--17th Ohio: Maj Benjamin F. Butterfield
--31st Ohio: Ltc Frederick W. Lister
--36th Ohio: Ltc Hiram F. Devol
--89th Ohio: Cpt John H. Jolly
--92nd Ohio: Ltc Douglas Putnam

Boat Party
--Col Timothy Robbins Stanley
--Detachment, 18th Ohio: Cpt Ebenezer Grosvenor
--Detachment, 18th Ohio: Cpt Charles A. Cable
--Detachment, 2nd & 33rd Ohio: Lt Walter B. McNeal
--Detachment, 36th Ohio: Lt James Haddow
--Detachment, 92nd Ohio: Lt Stephenson

Artillery  Artillery Battery
--Maj. John Mendenhall

--Longstreet's Corps: Lt. Gen. James Longstreet
--Brigade/Regiments and Others
--Hood's Division
--BG Micah Jenkins
--Law's Brigade
--BG Evander M. Law
--4th Alabama: Col William C. Oates
--15th Alabama: Col W.G. Gates
--1 Section, Howitzers: Lt Brown

Baldy Smith was assigned two brigades under Brigadier Generals William B. Hazen and John B. Turchin as well as the Engineer Brigade under Col. Timothy Robbins Stanley. Turchin's men would march overland across a bend in the Tennessee River known as Moccasin Point and hold the east bank at Brown's Ferry.

Hazen's men had the more hazardous task. Organized into 50 squads of 21 men each (20 soldiers and 1 officer) Hazen's men would ferry down the river in pontoon boats manned by Stanley's men. A third column under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker would advance from Bridgeport, Alabama, for relief of Hazen's men if necessary.

At 3:00 am Hazen's men boarded the pontoons and quietly rode around Moccasin Point past the Lookout Mountain pickets. Using the river's current for swift movement, an early morning fog helped cover their movements. The landing was to be made at ferry landing and at another gorge downriver.

On the morning October 27, there was one company guarding the ferry itself, with five companies nearby in reserve. Hazen's men reached the landing points at 5:00 am amidst relative silence, though some Federal soldiers had broken silence when they were fired upon early on. Some of the storming parties slightly missed their objectives, but ultimately the landing points were gained allowing the Union troops to come ashore, drive off the Confederate pickets, and immediately begin entrenching.

Upon hearing the news of the landing, Oates immediately formed a counterattack—using two companies in a diversionary frontal attack and leading the other three in an attempt to cut off the Union force from the ferry.

However, the 6th Indiana Infantry had just landed and was able to drive off the Confederates. During the fighting Oates was taken out of action by a gunshot wound to the hip; at this time his men started retreating. Simultaneously, Stanley's oarsmen began to ferry Turchin's men across the river. Hazen and Turchin's combined force now outflanked the Confederates, who retreated to the south toward Wauhatchie.

The "Cracker Line" having been opened, General Hazen joyfully exclaimed "We've knocked the lid off the cracker box!" By mid afternoon on October 27 the pontoon bridge across the river was completed by the 1st Michigan Engineers. Hooker's Federal reinforcements were on their way toward Brown's Ferry.

Fearing that this attack was merely a diversion while the real Union attack would come from the south, Longstreet failed to counterattack immediately. Under pressure from Bragg, Longstreet would launch an attack two days later in the Battle of Wauhatchie, but this attack failed.

Monday, October 26, 2020


 The world’s first greatest humbug in action.
Click here 


On the job jog with the President and then White House photographer Pete Souza. 

GUEST BLOG / By Vanity Fair
--Pete Souza, American photojournalist and former Chief Official White House Photographer for U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, takes us through his illustrious career. From capturing Reagan's reaction to Space Shuttle Challenger's explosion to photographing President Obama's Cabinet in the situation room during the raid on Bin Laden, Pete breaks down some of his most iconic images. The Way I See It is in theaters now and will be broadcasted on MSNBC, beginning – Friday, October 16 at 10 pm ET. Click here. 

Faces of America

Pete Souza 


SOURCE: Pete Sousa career recap is part of an ongoing   series “Career Timeline” now into its 55th episode in   October, 2020. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020


GUEST BLOG / By Arianna Rebolini, Buzzfeed reporter
—Here’s just one example: “The Way Out” by Ricardo Piglia, translated by Robert Croll. The late Ricardo Piglia is a legend in Argentina, but oft-overlooked in the US; his latest English translation is another mind-bending mix of autofiction and detective novel. 

It's got all the twists, turns, paranoia, tangents, and weirdness you'd expect if you've encountered his books like Target in the Night and Artificial Respiration — an oddball crime novel that's part of a tradition spanning from G.K. Chesterton to True Detective. —Justin Souther, senior buyer/bookstore manager; Malaprop's Bookstore, Asheville, NC. 

More on “The Way Out” 

In the mid 1990s Emilio Renzi leaves behind his unstable life in Argentina to take a visiting position at a prestigious university in New Jersey. 

Settling in for a semester of academic quietude and wintry isolation, he is surprised to be swept up in a secret romance with his colleague, the brilliant and enigmatic Ida Brown. 

But their clandestine relationship comes to an abrupt end when Ida is discovered in her car, killed in what appears to be a tragic accident. Discontented with the police’s lackluster inquiries, and troubled by the inexplicable burn found on her hand, Renzi begins his own investigation. 

Ricardo Piglia

Renzi's suspicions are piqued as details emerge about a bizarre string of attacks, apparently targeting scientists and researchers. But after a radical manifesto appears in the press threatening continued violence, the killer's identity is suddenly revealed. As he delves deeper into Ida Brown’s past, Renzi discovers a link between her and the terrorist that sets him on a path of no return: he must discover once and for all whether her death was part of a larger pattern and, if so, whether she was a victim or accomplice. 

Renzi’s quest for truth reveals not only the secrets of his former lover, but also reveals a darker side of humanity that will force him to confront the systems and culture that could produce such a misguided killer. A bracing critique of American culture and an exploration of privacy and politics in an era of rapid technological advancement, Piglia’s signature blend of autobiography and fiction is in full effect in this intriguing twist on the detective novel. review.

Click here for the rest of Buzzfeed’s Autumn reading list. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020


 CLICK HERE to read what the British media thinks of all this...


The Coffeehouse effect is a recent trend concerning people who go to coffeehouses to study or work productively. It is a recent phenomenon, born within the new century and widespread to workers and students. 

The main reasons of its birth are, on one hand, a more flexible work generation, characterized by the fact that workers don’t own an office anymore and they need a space to work. On the other hand, the phenomenon has developed due to the lack of studying spaces in universities, which have seen an increase among the enrolled students, who had to face this problem by looking for different spaces to study and meet for group-work: they found in coffeehouses a productive space to work for their projects and study. 

Furthermore, the diffusion of this phenomenon has generated a series of studies from sociologists to psychologists, who investigated the phenomenon from a cultural and social point of view, discovering that background sounds, or having people around can increase one's brain productivity–Wikipedia

AFTER COVIDBy Jennifer Ferreira--Coffee shops had become important places in many people’s lives, for some as a place to get a caffeine fix on the way to work, for others as a place to gather and meet friends, or as a place to work. 

In a previous research project I explored how coffee shops were important community spaces in the urban landscape. But this landscape has been completely transformed by COVID-19. The pandemic forced coffee shops to close, or shift their business to a greater focus on takeaway and online sales. 

And coffee consumers, suddenly with much more time at home, shifted their consumption patterns too. 

For the rest of Coventry University’s article “Coffee, coronavirus and the uncertain future of high street café culture” CLICK HERE.

WEEKLY COFFEE QUIZ--Where in the world is this coffee establishment? Answer next Saturday in Coffee Beans & Beings post.


LAST WEEK’S COFFEE QUIZ ANSWER. Mansons Lot is an Aussie style coffee house/café in the heart of bustling Hong Kong (G/F, Yen May Bldg. 15 Swatow St., Wan Chai) serves coffee roasted by master roaster Sam Gabrielian in Sydney, which has won Australia’s Best Espresso in 2010-11-12 then the beans are flown to Hong Kong.

Friday, October 23, 2020


Hear the President. Click here. 

“You can’t go to Philly and not tell it like it is...” 

Hello, Philadelphia. Man, it is good to be back in Pennsylvania. What beautiful weather we got here. Little Indian summer. 

I know the president spent some time in Erie last night, and apparently he complained about having to travel here. And then he cut the event short, poor guy. 

I don't feel that way. I love coming to Pennsylvania. You guys delivered for me twice and I am back here tonight to ask you to deliver the White House for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

I want to thank Mr. Philadelphia, Charlie Mack, his daughter, India Marie. What an outstanding young lady she was. Those of you who are fathers and have daughters you know how that feels when you see your daughters just shining. I know a little bit about that. 

And it was great to see representatives, Brendan Boyle, Mary Gay Scanlon, Governor Tom Wolf, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Mayor Jim Kenney. 

Philadelphia we got 13 days. That's our lucky number right here. 13 days until the most important election of our lifetimes. And you don't have to wait for November 3rd to cast your ballot. You've got two ways to vote right now. 

Number one, you can vote early in person through next Tuesday. 

Anybody here voted early already? 

If you haven't, just go to and find out where you can vote early. 

Number two, you can vote from home with a mail-in ballot. Just go to to request your ballot right away. And before you send it back, Pennsylvania's got this thing where you've got to use both envelopes. So you've got to read the directions carefully to make sure your vote counts. 

And if you've already voted, then you've got to help your friends and family make a plan to vote. Take them with you if you vote early, or if you vote in-person on election day, because this election requires every single one of us to do our part. 

And what we do these next 13 days will matter for decades to come. 

Now, last time I was in Philadelphia, I was at the constitution center and I was delivering a speech for the Democratic National Convention this year. And I said, during that speech, I've sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president. And they are very different people. I explained that I never thought Donald Trump would embrace my vision or continue my policies but I did hope for the sake of the country that he might show some interest in taking the job seriously, but it hasn't happened. 

He hasn't shown any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself and his friends or treating the presidency like a reality show that he can use to get attention. 

And by the way, even then his TV ratings are down. So you know that upsets him. 

But the thing is, this is not a reality show, this is reality. 

And the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously. At least 220,000 Americans have died. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed. Millions of jobs are gone. Our proud reputation around the world is in tatters. Presidents up for reelection usually ask if the country is better off than it was four years ago. I'll tell you one thing, four years ago you'd be tailgating here at the Lincoln instead of watching a speech from your cars. 

The only people truly better off than they were four years ago are the billionaires who got his tax cuts. 

Right now as we speak, Trump won't even extend relief to the millions of families who are having trouble paying the rent or putting food on the table because of this pandemic. 

But he's been doing all right by himself. As it turns out, this was just reported in the last 48 hours. We know that he continues to do business with China because he's got a secret Chinese bank account. How is that possible? How is that possible? A secret Chinese bank account. 

Listen, can you imagine if I had had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for reelection. You think Fox News might have been a little concerned about that? They would've called me Beijing Berry. It is not a great idea to have a president who owes a bunch of money to people overseas. That's not a good idea. I mean, of the taxes Donald Trump pays, he may be sending more to foreign governments than he pays in the United States. 

His first year in the White House he only paid $750 in federal income tax. 

My first job was at a Baskin-Robbins when I was 15 years old. I think I'm might have paid more taxes that year working at a dispensing ice cream. How is that possible? How many people here pay less than that? It's just possible now that if you are living high on the hog and you only pay $750 in taxes that maybe, just maybe he might not know what working people are going through here in Pennsylvania. We cannot afford four more years of this, Philadelphia. 

But the good news is right now you can choose change. 

Right now you can vote for my friend Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president of the United States of America. 

Now, Joe's no stranger to here. He's a native son. Scrappy kid from Scranton. You know him and he knows you. But let me, let me tell you how I came to know him and how I came to love him. 12 years ago, when I chose Joe Biden as my vice presidential running mate, I didn't know Joe all that well. We had served in the Senate together, but we weren't super close. 

He and I came from different places. We came from different generations. But I came to admire Joe as a man who has learned early on to treat everybody he meets with dignity and respect, living by the words his parents taught him, no one's better than you Joe, but you're better than nobody. And that empathy, that decency, that belief that everybody counts, that's who Joe is. That's who he'll be. 

And I can tell you the presidency doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are. 

And Joe has shown himself to be a friend of working people. For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room when I faced a big decision. He made me a better president and he's got the character and experience to make us a better country. 

And he and Kamala- A better country. And he and Kamala are going to be in the fight, not for themselves but for every single one of us. Well, I get that this president wants full credit for the economy he inherited and zero blame for the pandemic that he ignored. 

But you know what? The job doesn't work that way. Tweeting at the television doesn't fix things. Making stuff up doesn't make people's lives better. You've got to have a plan. You've got to put in the work. 

And along with the experience to get things done, Joe Biden has concrete plans and policies that will turn our vision of a better, fairer, stronger country into a reality. 

We literally left this White House a pandemic playbook that would have shown them how to respond before the virus reached our shores. They probably used it to I don't know, prop up a wobbly table somewhere. We don't know where that playbook went. 

Eight months into this pandemic, cases are rising again across this country. Donald Trump isn't suddenly going to protect all of us. He can't even take the basic steps to protect himself. Just last night, he complained up in Erie, PA that the pandemic made him go back to work. I'm quoting him. He was upset that the pandemic's made him go back to work. 

If he'd actually been working the whole time, it never would've gotten this bad. So, look, here's the truth. 

I want to be honest here. 

This pandemic would have been challenging for any president but this idea that somehow this White House has done anything but completely screw this up. It's just not true. I'll give you a very specific example. Korea identified it's first case at the same time that the United States did. 

At the same time, their per capita death toll is just 1.3% of what ours is. In Canada, it's just 39% of what ours is. Other countries are still struggling with the pandemic but they're not doing as bad as we are because they've got a government that's actually been paying attention. 

And that means lives lost. 

And that means an economy that doesn't work. 

And just yesterday, when asked if he'd do anything differently, Trump said, "Not much." 

Really? Not much? Nothing you can think of that could have helped some people keep their loved ones alive? 

So, Joe's not going to screw up testing. He's not going to call scientists idiots. He's not going to host a super spreader event at the White House. Joe will get this pandemic under control with a plan to make testing free and widely available, to get a vaccine to every American cost free and to make sure our frontline heroes never ask other countries for their equipment they need. 

His plan will guarantee paid sick leave for workers and parents affected by the pandemic and make sure that the small businesses that hold our communities together and employ millions of Americans can reopen safely. 

Donald Trump likes to claim he built this economy but America created 1.5 million more jobs in the last three years of the Obama-Biden administration than in the first three years of the Trump-Pence administration. 

How you figure that? And that was before he could blame the pandemic. 

Now, he did inherit the longest streak of job growth in American history but just like everything else he inherited, he messed it up. The economic damage he inflicted by botching the pandemic response means he will be the first president since Herbert Hoover to actually lose jobs. 

Joe's got a plan to create 10 million good clean energy jobs as part of a historic $2 trillion investment to fight climate change, to secure environmental justice. And he'll pay for it by rolling back that tax cut for billionaires. 

And Joe sees this moment not just as a chance to get back to where we were but to finally make long overdue changes so that our economy actually makes life a little easier for everybody, the waitress trying to raise her kid on her own, the student trying to figure out how to pay for next semester's classes, the shift worker who's always on the edge of getting laid off, the cancer survivor who's worried about her preexisting conditions, protections being taken away. 

Let me tell you something Pennsylvania. This I know to be true, Joe and Kamala will protect your healthcare and expand Medicare and make insurance more affordable for everybody. 

Republicans love to say right before an election that they'll protect your preexisting conditions. 

Now, Joe and I actually protected your policies to make sure people with preexisting conditions could get health insurance and have coverage. We did it through something called the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a Obamacare. 

And Republicans tried to repeal or undermine it more than 60 times. And when they've been asked about, they keep on promising, "We're going to have a great replacement." They said, "It's coming." It's been coming in two weeks for the last 10 years. 

Where is it? 

Where is this great plan to replace Obamacare? 

They've had 10 years to do it. 

There is no plan. 

They've never had one. 

Instead they've attacked the Affordable Care Act at every turn, driving up costs, driving up the uninsured. Now, they're trying to dismantle your care in the Supreme court as we speak as quickly as they can in the middle of a pandemic with nothing but empty promises to take its place. 

It's shameful. The idea that you would take healthcare away from people at the very moment where people need it most, what is the logic of that? There is no logic. Joe knows that the first job of a president is to keep us safe from all threats, foreign, domestic or microscopic. 

When the daily intelligence briefings flash warning signs about a virus, a president can't ignore them. He can't be AWOL. Just like when Russia puts bounties on the heads of our soldiers in Afghanistan, the commander-in-chief can't be missing in action. I can tell you this, Joe Biden would never call the men and women of our military suckers or losers. Who does that? He knows these heroes are somebody's children, somebody's spouse, somebody's dad or mom. He understands that. And he's going to restore our standing in the world because he knows that America's true strength comes from setting an example that the world wants to follow. A nation that stands with democracy, not dictators, a nation that can mobilize and inspire others to overcome threats like climate change and terrorism and poverty and disease. 

And with Joe and Kamala at the helm, you're not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day. And that's worth a lot. You're not going to have to argue about them every day. It just won't be so exhausting. You might be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner without having an argument. You'll be able to go about your lives knowing that the president is not going to retweet conspiracy theories about secret cabals running the world or that maybe seals didn't actually kill bin Laden. 

Think about that. 

The president of the United States retweeted that. Imagine. What? What? We're not going to have a president that goes out of his way to insult anybody who doesn't support him or threaten them with jail. That's not normal presidential behavior. That's not normal presidential behavior. We wouldn't tolerate it from a high school principal. We wouldn't tolerate it from a coach. We wouldn't tolerate it from a co-worker. We wouldn't tolerate it in our family, except for maybe crazy uncle somewhere. 

I mean, why would we expect and accept this from the President of the United States? And why are folks making excuses for that? "Oh, well, that's just him." No. There are consequences to these actions. They embolden other people to be cruel and divisive and racist, and it frays the fabric of our society, and it affects how our children see things. And it affects the ways that our families get along. It affects how the world looks at America. That behavior matters. Character matters. And by the way, while he's doing all that, it distracts all of us from the truly destructive actions that his appointees are doing all across the government, actions that affect your lives. 

The Environmental Protection Agency that's supposed to protect our air and our water is right now run by an energy lobbyist that gives polluters free reign to dump unlimited poison into our air and water. 

The Labor Department that's supposed to protect workers and their rights, right now it's run by a corporate lobbyist who's declared war on workers, guts protections to keep essential folks safe during a pandemic, makes it easier for big corporations to shortchange them on their wages. 

The Interior Department, that's supposed to protect our public lands and wild spaces, our wildlife and our wilderness. And right now that's run by an oil lobbyist who's determined to sell them to the highest bidder. 

You've got the Education Department that's supposed to give every kid a chance, and that's run by a billionaire who guts rules designed to protect students from getting ripped off by for profit colleges and stiffs arm students looking for loan relief in the middle of an economic collapse. 

I mean, the person who runs Medicaid right now is doing their best to kick people off of Medicaid instead of sign them up for Medicaid. Come on. 

When Joe and Kamala are in charge, they're not going to surround themselves with hacks and lobbyists, but they're going to appoint qualified public servants who actually care about looking out for you, for your job, for your family, for your health, for your security, for your planet, and that more than anything is what separates them from their opponents. They actually care about every American, including the ones that don't agree with them. 

And they're going to fight for you every day. They care about you and they care about this democracy. They believe in a democracy. 

The right to vote is sacred and that we shouldn't be making people wait in line for 10 hours to cast their ballot. We should be making it easier for everybody to vote. They believe that no one, especially the President, is above the law. They understand that protest on behalf of social justice isn't un-American. That's the most American thing there is. That's how this country was founded, protesting injustice. They understand we don't threaten our political opponents threatening to throw them in jail, just because we disagree with them. 

They understand that our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depends more than on just photo-ops. It depends on actually learning the facts and following the science and not just making stuff up whenever it's convenient. 

Our democracy is not going to work if the people who are supposed to be our leaders lie every day and just make things up. And we've just become numb to it. We've just become immune to it. Every single day, fact checkers can't keep up. 

And, look, this notion of truthfulness and democracy and citizenship, and being responsible, these aren't Republican or democratic principles, they're American principles. They're what most of us grew up learning from our parents and our grandparents. 

They're not White or Black or Latino or Asian values, they're American values, human values, and we need to reclaim them. 

We have to get those values back at the center of our public life. And we can. But to do it, we've got to turn out like never before. We cannot leave any doubt in this election, because you know the President's already said, "If this is even close, I'm going to just make stuff up." 

He's already started to do it. So we can't have any doubt. We can't be complacent. I don't care about the polls. There were a whole bunch of polls last time, didn't work out, because a whole bunch of folks stayed at home and got lazy and complacent. 

Not this time, not in this election, not this time. Listen, listen. I understand why a lot of Americans can get frustrated by government and can feel like it doesn't make a difference. Even supporters of mine, during my eight years, there were times where stuff we wanted to get done didn't get done and people said, "Well, gosh, if Obama didn't get it done, then maybe it's just not going to happen." 

Look, government is not going to solve every problem, it's true. Every elected officials going to make some mistakes. This is a big complicated country and the system's designed so that change happens slowly. It doesn't happen overnight. And believe me, I've got firsthand experience with the way Republicans in Congress abused the rules to make it easy for special interest to stop progress. 

But we can make things better, and we shouldn't be making things worse. A president by himself can't solve every challenge in a global economy. But if we've got Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House at a House and Senate that are focused on working people, it can make a difference and get millions of people the help they need. 

A president by himself can't eliminate all racial bias in our criminal justice system. But if we've got district attorneys and state's attorneys and sheriffs and police chiefs focused on equality and justice, it can make things better. In Pennsylvania, you've just got to flip nine seats in your State House, just five seats in your State Senate, to give Democrats control and new life for policies that'll make a real difference to working families right now. 

It can make things better. In the end, Pennsylvania, that's what voting's about, making things better, not making things perfect, but putting us on track so that a generation from now we can look back and say, "Things got better starting now." 

And that's what voting's about. Voting's about using the power we have and pooling it together to get a government that's more concerned and more responsive and more focused on you and your lives and your children and your grandchildren and future generations. 

And the fact that we don't get 100% of what we want right away is not a good reason not to vote. It means we've got to vote and then get some change and then vote some more and then get some more change, and then keep on voting until we get it right. And we will never come close to seeing what it would be like if everybody voted, when I hear people say, "Well, I don't know, you're voting don't make a difference." We don't know because usually no more than half the people who could be voting vote. We get 50, 55% of people voting. And then people say, "Well, look, not enough change happened." 

Well, imagine what would happen if 60% voted? What about 70%? Imagine January 20th, when we swear in a president and a vice president who have a plan to get us out of this mess, who believe in science, and they have a plan to protect this planet for our kids, and who care about working Americans, and they have a plan to help you start getting ahead. 

And who believe in racial equality and gender equality, and believe in not discriminating against people because of their sexual orientation, and are willing to bring us closer to an America where no matter what we look like and where we come from, who we love and what our last name is, if we go out there and we work, we can make it. And we're part of an American family. 

All of that is possible. All of that is within our reach, if we vote. Because let me tell you something Pennsylvanians, people ask me sometimes, they say, "Man, how have you been able to take these last four years, just watching all this? How do you keep your spirits up?" 

And I tell him, I say, look for all the times, these last four years that we've seen our worst impulses revealed, we've also seen what our country can be at its best. We've seen folks of every age and background who've packed city centers and airports in town squares, just so families wouldn't be separated. So another classroom wouldn't get shot up, so our kids wouldn't grow up on an uninhabitable planet. 

We've seen Americans more racist, joining together to declare in the face of injustice that black lives matter, no more, but no less, so that no child in this country feels the continuing sting of racism. 

We've seen folks, our essential workers, our healthcare workers risking their lives day in day out to save somebody else's loved ones. We've seen people volunteer and contribute to help those who are having an especially difficult time that right now. That's true in Pennsylvania, that's true all across the country. 

America is a good and decent place, but we've just seen so much noise and nonsense that sometimes it's hard for us to remember. 

Philadelphia, I'm asking you to remember what this country can be. What it's like when we treat each other with respect and dignity, what it's like when our elected officials actually behave responsibly. I'm asking you to believe in Joe's ability, in Kamala's ability to lead this country out of these dark times, and help us build it back better, because we can't abandon those who are hurting right now. 

We can't abandon the children who aren't getting the education they need right now. We can't abandon those protesters who inspired us. 

We've got to channel their activism into action, we can't just imagine a better future. 

We've got to fight for it. We've got to out hustle the other side, we got to outwork the other side, we've got to vote like never before and leave no doubt. 

So make a plan right now, for how you're going to get involved and vote. Do it as early as you can. Tell your family, tell your friends how they can vote. 

Don't stop with Joe and Kamala, make sure you vote all the way down the ticket. And if we pour all our efforts into these 13 days, if we vote up and down the ticket, like never before, then we will not only elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we will also leave no doubt about what this country that we love stands for. We will not leave any doubt about who we are as a people, and the values and ideals that we embrace. 

What Lincoln called the better angels of our nature, those are still in us. We see them operating every single day. We see them in neighborhoods, we see them in churches and synagogues and mosques and temples. We see them in people helping out a neighbor. We see them them inside our own families. We see that what is best in us is still there, but we've got to give it voice, and we've got to do it now. 

So let's get to work people. Let's bring this home. I love you, Philadelphia. Honk if you're fired up, honk if you're ready to go. 

Are you fired up? 

Are you ready to go? 

Are you fired up? 

Are you ready to go? 

Let's go make it happen. 

I love you Philadelphia. 

Thank you. I love you. 

Come on.