Friday, December 23, 2011
The whole Healthcare Reform debate back in 2009-10 at least from the Democratic Party and our Leadership. Was about how do we expand Health Insurance for people who currently. For whatever reasons can't afford Health Insurance or paying for their share of their Healthcare right now. And I would add what's called Health Savings Accounts to that which is know is a Republican Policy that came out. During the Healthcare Reform Debate of 1993-94. But its actually a good idea and I acknowledge good ideas whenever I hear them from whoever they come from. This whole debate is about how do we make Healthcare more affordable for the people who currently can't afford it. And there were ideas that were thrown out and some of them were in the 2010 Affordable Care Act. That Congress finally passed and was signed by President Obama. Like the Public Option which at least in the Democratic House bill passed in November 2009. Which would create a new Independent Non Profit Health Insurer that people who currently can't afford Health Insurance. Could select along with people who currently have Health Insurance could select as well. There was the Healthcare Tax Credit for people who can't afford to cover their Healthcare right now. That they could use to pay for the Public Option or to purchase Private Health Insurance which is a big part of the ACA. And I believe the best part of the 2010 ACA was the Patients Bill of Rights to eliminate and punish the abuses of the Private Health Insurance Industry.
And of course there were the Single Payer Health Insurance Medicare For All supporters. Pushed by the the Progressive Caucus and their allies in the Democratic Party. And Progressives outside of the Democratic Party pushing for that. But I'm going to make an argument thats explains why I'm against Single Payer Health Insurance. But also argue why I believe in a Public Option for Health Insurance but at the same time explain. Why a Public Option would also benefit Progressive Socialists who got this idea lets put all of our eggs in one basket. And if we strike out so be it at least we fought for what we believe in, unintentionally. Because I don't like the idea as a liberal from an Individual Liberty Point of View of government forcing everyone to purchase Medicare and not giving us a choice. I don't like it politically but its also bad economics. But with a Public Option whether we create a new Independent Non Profit Health Insurer thats not run by government. Or we allow people to buy into Medicare, we still keep Freedom of Choice in Healthcare and Health Insurance. Two of the most important things why we need Freedom of Choice. And lets the American People decide for themselves how to pay for their own Healthcare.
A Public Option would serve as a wake up call to Private For Profit Health Insurers, that you either get your act together. Or the market is going to throw you out of business with the customers you would lose as a result. And Progressives would get what they've always wanted in the First Place. An elimination of the For Profit Health Insurance Industry but at the same time leaving in place what liberals, Classical Conservatives and libertarians have always wanted. Which is Freedom of Choice in Healthcare and Health Insurance and let the people make these personal decisions for themselves.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
This just in the House GOP Leadership not only can read polls and understand them but have been reading polls lately. Like in the last 24 hours or so and have concluded that their Poll Numbers. Are plummeting like a Stock Market crash and have decided that they've fought the Good Fight but have lost. And have cut their losses and don't want to look like Tax Hikers especially during the Holiday Season. Looking like the Christmas Scrooge on Steroids raising peoples Payroll Taxes as they are doing their Holiday Shopping. Its one thing to be for gridlock to not work with Congressional Democrats and the President. To get things done because you believe gridlock and a weak economy helps your Election Prospects. But its another to do to the point where it hurts your own Election Prospects. Which they are now risking by looking like Tax Hikers on the Middle Class by allowing the Payroll Tax Cut to expire. If your making 500K$ or a million and your Payroll Tax goes back up. You might not even notice it, perhaps you buy one new Luxury Car instead of two. But if your a cop or teacher or Construction Worker and your making 40, 45, 50K$ a year. A Payroll Tax Hike hits you hard, especially during the Holiday Season. Your not buying as many grocery's, your not getting a new car. Your Mortgage Payment just became harder to pay.
Is a two month extension in the Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Insurance and not reforming Unemployment Insurance. So we are requiring Unemployed Workers to go back to work, work for free to keep their sills in check. While they collect their Unemployment Insurance, getting them in Job Training things we've should've been doing all along. Of course this is not an ideal deal but this deal keeps taxes going for two months and buys the House and Senate time. To work out a year long extension to keep peoples taxes down and especially as we are in the Holiday Season. The last thing we should be doing is allowing for new Tax Hikes especially on the Middle Class who can't afford them right now. And a few problems that the House GOP Leadership had, is one the Senate reached an agreement. Between Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnel that got 89 votes. Another problem is that Speaker Boehner had the votes to pass the Senate bill, almost every single democrat. Including the Progressive Caucus that hates Tax Cuts almost as much as fire hates water. Its the Far Fringe of the Tea Party that doesn't like the Payroll Tax Cut because it benefits mostly the Middle Class. Those were Speaker Boehner's problems.
If Leadership means anything it means that your the Adult in the Room which is why you get the big chair. And get to hold a gavel, sound familiar, Speaker Boehner at least officially is the Adult in the Room. For the House Republican Conference and finally got around to telling his children we fought the fight and lost. Lets regroup and comeback and take on the democrats next year before we put our House Majority at stake.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
If we as a country would just address so called "You at Risk" while they are acting out in High School and so fourth. Perhaps considering dropping out of High School, skipping class, hanging out with the wrong crowds and so fourth. As well as addressing the so called wrong crowds, then we can prevent them from going to prison in the first place. We could get to them before they make even bigger mistakes in the future, jacking cars, selling drugs, Armed Robbery's, raping girls whatever the case may be. Get to them, turn them around before, make sure they stay in school, finish school and get a good education. So they are on course to have an opportunity to have a productive life legally and stay out of the Criminal Justice System the rest of their lives. Because they would understand that they don't need to steal, beat people up, get in fights etc. And realize that if they just got educated, work hard and be productive in life. That they can avoid becoming criminals as adults. And this is what San Quentin Prison in California and other Prisons in the country are doing right now. Using their inmates people as a society we weren't able to get to before it was too late. Before they made some of the awful mistakes that they've made in society and why they are in prison today.
Some of them are lifers some of them Convicted Murderers are now getting the opportunity to give back to society. A society they've illegally taken so much from in their lives and helping to reach again "At Rick Youth" before they make the same mistakes that they've made. Which is what we should be doing to prevent crime in the future. But also a way to rehabilitate the inmates even lifers so they can actually do something productive with their long sentences. By teaching people not to make the same mistakes that they made that gave them a Life Sentence in Prison but more importantly. For the inmates who aren't doing Life Sentences which is the overwhelmingly majority of out Prison Inmates. To give the opportunity to turn their lives around in prison so they don't have to come back to prison in the future. Helping At Risk Youth is just one aspect of Prison Rehabilitation. We should be doing a better job at addressing our Juvenile Inmates and make sure that they are going to school, getting educated, counseling and being productive there. So they can be returned to High School and not have to end up back in Juvenile Hall. Or worse going to Adult Prisons in the future.
Helping At Risk Youth by sending them to prison so to speak, to talk to Prison Inmates so they can talk to them. About making the same mistakes that they made in the future. Is not the only thing we should be doing when it comes to Prison Rehabilitation, because this is about Crime Prevention. And we also have to address rehabilitating the Prison Inmates we have in prison. But is definitely something we should be doing to prevent crime in the future.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I support both Freedom of Religion and Separation of Church and State, I've always had and I always will. Religion to me is about Freedom of Choice, whether to practice and believe in religion or not. Which is one reason why I"m insulted when fundamentalists attack atheists for not being believers and when atheists attack People of Faith for having Faith in Religion. In a Liberal Democracy like America people have the Freedom of Choice to make these decisions for themselves. I even support Religious Organizations and other Private Non Profits getting involved in Community Service helping people in need. Even getting grants for that as long as that money is not used to try to convert people or get them to believe in their Religious Message. But just to help them get shelter, food to eat, help finding a job, Healthcare things people need to survive. Especially when they are in need, out of work, lost their home, can't afford enough food to eat etc. We've tried the New Deal approach in the 1930s and the Great Society approach in the 1960s. Where you create all of these Federal Social Insurance Programs to help people in need. But those programs for the most part were design to help sustain people but while they still live in poverty. Rather then helping these people get the tools that they need to help them get out of poverty.
Things like Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Insurance, Public Housing, Food Assistance and others. Were designed to help sustain people while they lived in poverty. Instead of designing these programs to help people in need get themselves out of poverty. That changed to a certain extent in 1996 when Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law the Welfare to Work Act. That limited how long people can collect Welfare Insurance and helped them get Job Training and find a job. The good news in the War on Poverty is what's going on in the Private Sector with Non Profit Community Services. That helps homeless people find homes, Unemployed Workers get jobs. Low Income students get scholarships to go to college, people without enough food to eat get enough food. Because Federal Food Assistance doesn't pay for enough food. This is what we should be doing in the War on Poverty, actually try to win this war that was declared in 1965. By helping people get out of poverty so they no longer have to collect from Public Assistance Public or Private. And don't have to stay on Public Assistance as long and we would be able to serve more people in need.
One thing that we can do in the War on Poverty. Is cut the tape in it and get government out of the way as far as running these programs. Turn them over to the States for them to set up their own Public Assistance Systems. But them convert these programs into Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed Community Services. That would be regulated by the Federal, State and Local Governments just not run by them.
Monday, December 19, 2011
With America being in the middle of the Holiday Season with Christmas coming, Hunger in America. Which is just a part of Poverty in America should get even more attention then it normally does. I would argue a lot more attention that it normally does, because the problems become even more relevant for people. Especially as the weather gets cold, for people to find enough food to eat and feed their families. And with all the Budget Cuts on Food Assistance and other Poverty Assistance in America. Even with the economy improving, there isn't a better time then now that we try to address Hunger in America and the broader issues of Poverty in America. What we can do as a country to help people that need Food Assistance in order to avoid starving in America. Especially with rising Food Prices but also what we can do to help these people help themselves so they would no longer need Food Assistance in the future. All things that we can be doing as a country even in these tough economic and budget times. By simply how we reform how we address these issues in the future by doing them smarter and better. Not by empowering the Federal Government or any other Level of Government to deal with these issues. But by empowering Community Services that are on the ground. That wouldn't have to ask Washington for permission in order to conduct basic operations in their organization.
What I would like to do is take all of the Anti Poverty Assistance Programs that were set up by the Federal Government. Run by the Federal Government or just directed by the Federal Government. For the State and Local Governments to operate and get stuck with the bills. What I would like to do is take all of these Federal Programs and get them off of the Federal Budget. Not to pass them off to the State and Local Governments but convert them into Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed Community Services. That would be in the business of serving people in need. Like with Food Assistance, Public Housing, Welfare to Work, Unemployment Assistance, Job Training for Low Income workers. So they can get a better job and not be stuck working dead end jobs their whole lives but have an opportunity. To move up and get a better job and move to the Middle Class. Transform Food Assistance to not just Food Credit but they would operate Grocery Centers all over the country. Especially in Low Income areas where there are a lot of people in need of Food Assistance. Where they can buy grocery's but also get meals at Discounted Prices. Where individuals and restaurants could also donate grocery's to these places. Volunteer to work at them so these centers can provide enough food for the people who need it.
During the Holiday Season and really any time is not a time when we should be cutting Public Assistance in America. Especially in tough economic times, which is one reason why I want to get these programs off Government Budgets. Put them in the Private Sector, expand our Non Profit Community Service Sector in America. To not only help people who are in need but also help these people so they are no longer in need and become Self Sufficient.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Today I'm a little disappointed in Sen. Ron Wyden Member of the Finance Committee. Who generally I agree with and who's one of the strongest Liberal Democrats in Congress. For going along with Rep. Paul Ryan Chairman of the Budget Committee as well as a Member of the Ways and Means Committee. I'm not disappointed in Sen. Wyden in working with Rep. Ryan, I'm all for Bi Partisanship if it can produce a better Final Product. That can't be produced in any other way, I'm disappointed in what they've come up with. In Reforming Medicare which is basically turing Medicare into a Voucher System. Which is what the Ryan Plan that was produced back in April does, what happened to Freedom of Choice in Health Insurance. What if Senior Citizens actually like Medicare and want to stay on it, shouldn't they have that choice if they want. The Ryan well I guess now the Ryan-Wyden Plan would force Seniors into the Private Sector to purchase their own Health Insurance. With a Medicare Voucher to partially pay for it and that another key, the Voucher wouldn't cover all the Health Insurance costs. I'm all for allowing Senior Citizens to decide for themselves where they get their Health Insurance from. As part of Reforming Medicare, thats what Freedom of Choice is about.
Let people decide for themselves where they get their Health Insurance. But what I'm not for is limiting Freedom of Choice in Health Insurance and other areas. Which is what the Ryan-Wyden Plan does by forcing people off of Medicare and into the Private Sector. This is one reason why I want Medicare to be Independent of the Federal Government. So Congress and the Administration can't mess with it and apply bonehead ideas to it. I would turn it over to the States not to be run by them but for them to set up their own Healthcare Systems. Let each State have their own Medicare System that would be a Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed Health Insurer. That would cover any Senior Citizen that would want it, as well as non Senior Citizens that would want it as well. By having them pay into it like they would pay for Private Health Insurance. I would even continue to allow for High Earners to be covered by Medicare, Senior Citizens and non Senior Citizens. They would just pay more for their coverage.
Let Senior Citizens as well as non Senior Citizens decide for themselves. In whether to be covered by Medicare or not, give them the Freedom of Choice to make these personal decisions for themselves. Do they want to be covered by Medicare or do they want to be covered by other Health Insurance. Instead of forcing them off of Medicare and forcing them to purchase other Health Insurance whether they want to or not. And whether they are happy with Medicare or not.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Forcing families out of Public Housing because one Family Member gets into trouble with the Law Enforcement. Is wrong or forcing them to do to Public Service because they receive Tax Payer Subsidies. When we don't force other people who receive Tax Payer Subsidies that have more resources to do so is wrong to. But we do need to Reform Public Housing in America and stop forcing Public Housing Residents to live in in ghettos and other Run Down Neighborhoods. With the High Crime, bad schools, High Poverty everything else, which is how the Public Housing System was designed in the 1960s. Of course by the Federal Government as part of the Great Society which was designed to prevent homelessness. But even though it was part of the "War on Poverty", there wasn't much in there to help Low Income people in Public Housing at least. To get out of poverty and move up to the Middle Class and be Self Sufficient. The idea was to send all of the people who were in danger of being homeless to Public Housing. In very bad neighborhoods, with High Crime, Poverty, bad schools not much help of getting out of poverty. Without out many possibilities for getting a good job especially for a lot of these residents who don't have much of an education to begin with. And then people why we have Generations of Poverty in America or as Pat Moynahan called Cycle of Poverty. Because we've confine so many Low Income people in America to these rough neighborhoods with out much hope for a future. And haven't done a whole lot to help out of that environment.
What I would do with Public Housing in America is what I would do with a lot of the American Safety Net. Is similar to how I would approach Homelessness in America. Take it off the budget of the Federal, State and Local Governments. Convert them over to the State and Locals. And into Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed Community Services. Homeless people could stay in what I would call Housing Centers not Homeless Shelters. That people would stay while they are getting help looking for a Full Time place to stay and getting a job. So they can have their own home and not have to live in Public Housing. And I would do the same thing for people in Public Housing helping them get a better life. Through going back to school, Community College, Job Training, Job Placement. Public Housing could be financed through the rent of their residents. As well as the Employers of Low Income Workers living in Public Housing, people who are unemployed would get their Public Housing through Public Assistance. While they are getting help getting a good job through Education, Job Training and Job Placement and they would be able to leave Public Housing. Housing Centers could be financed through the Public Assistance that their clients would receive and the work that they do for the Housing Center.
There people who complain about Poverty in America all the time, that we are the richest country in the World. Yet we have some many people Living in Poverty but when it comes to ideas. About how to address Poverty in America, all they can offer up are ways to help sustain people who Live in Poverty. And when their ideas proposed or laws created to address Poverty in America that actually helps people get out of Poverty. They oppose them, like the 1996 Welfare to Work Law that had Bi Partisan support in Congress that was signed by President Clinton. This is a plan to help move people out of poverty not just sustain them while in poverty.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
When President Clinton came to office in 1993, he had the opportunity to appoint two Supreme Court Justices within eighteen months. Similar to President Obama in 2009-10 both Presidents having significant majorities in the Senate. Which gave President Clinton a lot of leeway in who he could appoint as long as he appointed someone who was clearly qualified. To not get into trouble with Senate Democrats or attempt Senate Republicans to block a Supreme Court Nominee. Even though they were in the minority and I believe it was Justice Harry Blackmon who was resigning from the Supreme Court. When President Clinton appointed US Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg to replace Justice Blackmon. Judge Ginberg was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 or 80 to the US Appeals Court. And she even had the support of Conservative Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and Senate Republicans didn't try to block her. And Justice Ginsberg has been one Supreme Court Nominee that the President knew what they were getting when they appointed. Unlike President George HW Bush who when he appointed Judge David Souter in 1990. Was probably looking for a conservative and got a liberal instead, which is why he probably appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. In 1991 to make up for the Souter Appointment that cost him support with the Republican Party. Justice Thomas is probably the most Conservative Justice on the Supreme Court, so that appointment for President Bush has paid off. And he got that appointment through a Democratic Senate in 1991.
President Clinton wanted two Liberal Democrats and a women appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 and 1994. And thats exactly what he got in Stephen Breyer and Ruth Ginsberg. They are the two most Liberal Justices on the Court right now, the jury is still out on Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan. Justice Ginsberg has a long record of fighting for Equality in the Workplace for women going back to the 1950s and 1970s. Leading up to her Appointment by President Carter in 1979-80 and had a solid Liberal Record there. Which led to her Appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993. Who even had the support of Sen. Hatch at the time the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee. She's had a very good Liberal Record on the Supreme Court as well and has been a very reliable Liberal Vote as well. But now that she's in her 80s and with a Democratic President. Its time for her to think about stepping down as the Liberal Magazine The New Republic argued just a few months ago. So President Obama can replace her with a Liberal instead of waiting until she's not up for the job anymore. And having to step down when there's a Republican President, which could happen by 2013. Not likely with an improving economy and the mess in the Republican Party. President Obama is the clear favorite but its not a given that he'll get reelected.
Justice Ginsberg has had a very good record and has been an excellent Spokesperson for American Liberalism going back forty years. Being appointed by two Democratic Presidents and being confirmed by the Senate twice with overwhelming Bi Partisan votes. Fighting for equality and standing up for Individual Liberty in America and has left a good record for herself. But in practical political terms, she should make one more contribution to the movement and step down while she's still up to the job. And while there's still a Democratic President and Democratic Senate.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
When America Invaded Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 2003, it was because we were in a War on Terror. President Hussein was an Evil Dictator who had Weapons of Mass Destruction and we didn't want him working with Terrorist Groups. Of course Hussein was an Evil Dictator and I'm glad he's dead but thanks to the United States and United Nations. Most if not all of Hussein's WMD were eliminated in the late 1990s and before that. Thanks to the Weapons Inspections as a result of the 1991 Gulf War a War I support. The other issue was the Saddam Hussein was secular perhaps even and atheist. Who wanted very little if anything to do with these Islamic Terrorist Groups and actually had muslims murdered in Iraq. Including during the Shia Uprise in 1991 o r 1992 using Killer Gas on them murdering thousands of iraqis in Southern Iraq. So this idea that Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld were throwing around in 2003-04. That the Hussein Regime was working with Al Quada and other groups was bogus. As the Iraq War moved on so did the reasons for America being there the in the first place. And it was 4-5 years in this war and the Republican Party losing Control of Congress in 2006. For President Bush to finally change course in Iraq with the Iraqi Surge in 2007. By sending in enough troops to restore some type of stability there and to get Iraq to move on finally building their own country and form their own government. As we help them to build up their own National Military and Law Enforcement.
Its time almost nine years later that Iraq takes the lead on governing their own country of 25M Plus people. With all its Natural Resources and its Educated Class and decide what type of future they are going to have. And I believe this is something that Prime Minister Maliki who's not perfect but understands. So they can defend their own country from Domestic and Foreign Terrorists, as well as Foreign Invaders. Like perhaps at some point Al Quada making another move on Iraq or Iran attempting an invasion. And establish Rule of Law there in hopefully a Secular Federal Republic that respects Human Rights, Rule of Law and the Constitution. Whether they are a Liberal Democracy or not or more resembling Turkey. But they have to decide these things on their own and America needs to get out of their way. And allow them to do that, as President Obama has already said. America has already invested a lot of treasure and blood in Iraq, as well as Innocent Iraqis who've suffered as a consequence of this war. And now its time for the Iraqi Government to step up and take the lead to defend and govern their own country. Which they already have the resources and people to do.
America has spent well actually borrowed over 1T$ to Fight the War in Iraq a War thats almost nine years old. And its time that we get out of there and let Iraq take over its own country with their own government. While America brings its troops and resources home and we start Rebuilding America a project thats long overdue. That we have the people especially people who need the work and the resources to pay for it. As Iraq figures out for themselves what type of country they are going to have.
Monday, December 12, 2011
|Source: C-SPAN- President William J. Clinton-|
Ronald Reagan had this test to decide if President's were successful, or that the Republican Party used up until 1992. And that test is laid out in a simple question. "Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Is your cost of living better, are you more secure in your job, do you have more economic security today than you had four years ago? Etc, and he used that question in his closing moments of the third presidential debate with President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Americans by in large clearly didn't feel better off in 1980 than in 1976. Which is why they voted for Ron Reagan overwhelmingly with around 56% of the Popular Vote and giving him 44 states in that landslide election. And President Reagan used that question again in 1984 and in 1988, because the country was clearly better off as a whole in 1984 and in 1988 than it was in 1980. But in 1992 America started declining economically especially.
The American economy was just starting to come out of the recession of 1990-91. High unemployment, interest and inflation rates, rising costs in health care, rising national debt and deficit. Similar economic conditions in 1992 than in 1980, which opened the door for a young Liberal Democrat from Arkansas the Governor of that state to give the Democratic Party the presidency and to transform the Democratic Party and get us away from the stereotypes that have kept us out of national office since 1981. I mention the Reagan Test because that's one way President's are judged in whether they were successful or not. Was the country as a whole better off when you left office than when you came into office. And it's a test that President Clinton gave in 1996 and in 2000. American President's are judged by how the country did compared with how it was doing before they became President.
But also how they dealt with situations as they come up. And one more thing I would add, were they able to transform the country, lay down a vision for it that remained in place after they left office. In other words were they able to start a political revolution and under those three tests President Clinton passes overwhelmingly, which is why he is considered not only successful, but I would add a great President. At least on those three scores President Clinton had to deal with a lot. A weak economy, huge national debt and deficit, America looking like it may be declining as a world power, Somalia, Haiti, the Balkans, two American embassy's being blown up in East Africa. And when he left President with a 4.5% unemployment rate, booming economy, record low poverty rate, democracies emerging in the Balkans. The Democratic Party when President Clinton came into office was seen nationally as a Far-Left Social Democratic Party.
With a lot of negative stereotypes that were holding national Democrats back. Tax and spenders, fiscally irresponsible, soft on crime, defense and Welfare. Anti-private enterprise, anti-wealth and success, etc. And he moved the party back to the democratic liberalism of where it was with President Kennedy in the early 1960s. A place that President Obama wants the Democratic Party to be at. Despite pressures from the Far-Left to move the party farther left. Anytime Social Democrats try to move the party even farther left, they should look at the lesson of President Clinton. How the party was seen before he was President and it was seen after he left as President. And then look at how the party did in 1972, 1980, 1984 and 1988. Where they lost four landslide presidential elections out of five presidential elections. Including in 1980 losing so badly that it cost them control of the Senate for the first time since 1952. The Democratic Party needs to be a liberal party that believes in liberal democracy, that's why I'm a Democrat. But we can't be a pro-big government Party that wants the Federal Government to do a lot more at the expense of individual liberty. But we have to be a pro- limited good government Party that believes in good government. In order to be successful now and into the future.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
President Ronald Reagan gets a lot of credit for ending not winning the Cold War, except for perhaps some Neoconservatives. Who believed President Reagan won the Cold War, the fact is a lot of that work to win the Cold War. Happened well before Ron Reagan became President like in the late 1940s and 50s with the United Nations and NATO. President Truman if anything should get more credit for winning that war, along with President Eisenhower. But President Reagan does deserve credit for the Cold War winning and America coming out on top of Russia with the Soviet Union and their Communist System collapsing. Because with the increase in the US Defense Budget spending at rates with Russia trying to keep up but without the resources to do so. Which I believe brought Mikail Gorbachev to the Presidency of the Soviet Union, because the Communist Party believed they needed a new face. And President Gorbachev figured out quickly that Russia didn't have the resources to keep up with American Defense Spending. Which brought Russia to the Negotiating Table with America the Superpowers meeting in 1985 and starting a healthy partnership. Between President Reagan and President Gorbachev to pass treaties to bring down the growth in Nuclear Weapons between the Superpowers.
President Gorbachev as President HW Bush's National Security Director Brent Scowcroft said wasn't a democrat or a liberal. But someone who saw that the Soviet Communist System wasn't working. And was badly in need of reform for Russia to remain a World Power, economically and in other areas. And I believe President Gorbachev wanted to open up the Russian Economy so Russia could be more then just a World Power with its Military and Diplomacy. But could compete in the World economically and no longer have Food Shortages things you see in Third World Countries. He wanted Russia to be able to feed itself and export food, produce its own energy and export it. Something that China figured out 5-10 years before, he didn't want to blow up or occupy the United States or European Union. But he wanted to be able to compete with them. As World Powers, he wanted to reform the Communist System to make it more efficient. And that meant opening up the economy, closing down or privatizing Russian Industry's. And give russians more freedom to chart their own courses in life, instead of being dependent on the State for everything.
I believe Mikail Gorbachez wanted to establish what I call a Neocommunist System in Russia. Where the Federal Government and Communist Party would still control a lot of power. But where the people and business's would be able to make it on their own in Russia. Which is what's happening in China today and to a certain extent Russia as well under President Valadimir Putin. And President Gorbachev deserves a lot of credit for the Soviet Union collapsing. And what's going in the Russian Federation today where they have the strongest economy they've ever had. Thats just going to get bigger and stronger and Russia once again emerging as a World Power but not just with their military.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The last time the Russian Federation held Parliamentary Elections, Valadamir Putin's "United Russia Party". Which is actually a Neoconservative or Neocommunist Party, won something like 90% of the seats. In the State Duma, and President Putin called for Martial Law in Russia. Where he would be able to appoint the Governors or their Republics which is States or Provinces. They nationalized Anti Putin News Organizations or closed them down, including arresting people. Who published Anti Putin Information, basically making President Putin the Dictator of Russia. They disqualified Anti Putin Political Candidates because they didn't like Valadmir Putin. I believe President Putin has the vision of Russia where he wants to rebuild the RF Military. And once again make Russia a World Power in Military and on Foreign Policy. While at the same time with the Russian Educated Class and they are well educated, they now have 50M Internet Users. And perhaps the most Natural Resources in the World and are Energy Independent, build up the Russian Economy. And make Russia a World Power economically as well. And he's had some success since being President, the Russian Economy has never been better. Since he's been President, including in the Soviet Regime. And he's decided the best way to accomplish all of this is to have as little opposition as possible. Including locking up the opposition and closing them down, similar to what Hosni Mubarak did in Egypt.
Valadamir Putin will still have large majorities in both Chambers of Parliament, his Neoconservative Party as I called them. Held something like 90% of the seats and they lost 25%. And some of those seats went to the communists and nationalists and there really isn't any strong Democratic Opposition in Russia right now. From either a Liberal, Conservative or Socialist Democratic Party but these elections in Russia are evidence that President Putin is losing some of his power. And he can thank or blame the internet for that, hopefully he won't take the blame out on the internet. And thats the next step for the Russian Opposition build a party or coalition a Democratic Party or Coalition. That can win enough support in Russia, to either force Progressive Reform there. From the Putin Administration or defeat President Putin in the Presidential Election. And that might be ten years or more off, Russia is such a vast country, physically the largest country in the World by far. And they have 150M people as well and as their economy continues to develop perhaps being a fully Developed Nation. Within 10-20 years, it may get very hard to push Progressive Reform there. If a lot of the people there are very happy with the current system.
The Parliamentary Elections in Russia are good news for anyone who support Democratic Reform in Russia. But it just one step, President Putin and his Administration. Still has most of the power but at least the Opposition now has some seats. And lets see if a stronger Opposition can come together and form a Democratic Party or Coalition. That will push for real Progressive Reform in that country that could be become a Great Country.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Here's a case where Newt Gingrich is right when he says that the Mainstream Media has an tendency to distort what he says. Newt doesn't believe Low Income people are poor because they are lazy. But that they tend to come from Households where they don't see their parents working. And in a lot of cases from from Single Parent Households where their parent isn't working. Where their parent or parents didn't even finish High School, their kids don't know their fathers. The father walked out on the family, perhaps isn't even aware he has kids and they see their parent or parents. At home a lot living in Public Housing collecting Public Assistance especially Welfare Insurance not working. And they grow up in a Household where work isn't encourage. Well thanks to the 1996 Welfare to Work Law, a lot of that has ended. People on Welfare Insurance are expected to look for work, get help looking for work, go to work. Or go back to school and get the skills they need to get a good job. So they can become Self Sufficient or go to school and work at the same time. But at the end of the day they have to go to work, if they are mentally and physically able. Or they get cut off from Public Assistance and probably lose their kids, because of their inability to raise them properly. I'm not a supporter of Newt Gingrich and I'm not going to vote for him next year, even if he gets that far. But he does has a good idea here, about how to win the "War on Poverty. By sending Low Income people back to school to get the skills that they need to be Self Sufficient. And then sending them to work.
Me personally I'm from a Middle Class Household where work was encourage fairly early in my life. Got to see both of my parents working, my father would take me to his office, he worked for the US Public Health Service. For twenty nine years before becoming a Consultant in the Private Sector. I had three jobs while I was in High School, the last job I had after High School. Because I went to a High School that encourage its students to work at an early age. So they could get a Head Start in the Job Market and have some solid Work Experience early on. Before they went to and graduated from college, I had friends who worked in High School as well. You don't win the "War on Poverty" by allowing Low Income and Low Skill people sit at home collecting Welfare Checks. And then having their kids see them not working and thinking they don't need to finish school either. And can have kids before they are ready because Uncle Sam will be there to take care of them. You win the "War on Poverty" by empowering these people to get the skills that they need to get a good job. And then you help them find that job. So they can become Self Sufficient and be able to take care of themselves and their families. And no longer have to rely on Working People for their Daily Survival.
Newt Gingrich doesn't have all the good ideas in the World but he does have some good ideas. And its one thing not to like someone and he clearly has a club of people that doesn't like him. But its another thing to put someone down because you don't like him, you lose credibility when you do that. Especially when your wrong and when Newt has a good idea like he has here, give him credit for it. You wouldn't be endorsing Newt, just acknowledging that some people strike gold from time to time. And then you can go back to disliking Newt when he actually does something awful.
Friday, December 2, 2011
We are finally starting to see some real good Economic News as we close out 2011 and hopefully get off to a good start in 2012. And hopefully the 4th Quarter not in the football game but in the Economic Growth Rate. Will look good as well, maybe with the Holiday Season and everything else we'll hit 4% Economic Growth. And maybe we'll start to see Job Reports North of 150K maybe even 200K per month. But as the cheesy News Reporter always says, "only time will tell". But when that starts to happen, our Unemployment Rate will stop dropping like rocks from a bridge. And we can finally put the "Great Recession" now three years old to bed, actually four years depending on how you look at it. Because Economic Growth started dropping in late 2007, I know President Obama and Congressional Democrats are certainly hoping for that, because that means they get reelected. And Congressional Democratic Candidates are certainly hoping for that as well, because that means they get elected. Depending if they are sane, of Legal Age, alive, American Citizens and can prove these things. Good Economic News is not just good news for the Democratic Party, because they hold the White House and Senate which are at stake next year. But they want the House back as well and believe they can get these things but more importantly its good news for the rest of the country. Because it means millions of American Workers can go back to work and support themselves and their families again. And stop collecting from Public Assistance and start paying into it again. Which is also good news for our Debt and Deficit Outlook.
I've been saying this for months so this may sound repetitive, despite recent good news with the economy. We still have a long way to go, we are currently at 8.6% Unemployment, where before the "Great Recession". We were at 5.6% Unemployment I believe, so we really need about a year straight or more of solid Economic and Job Growth. To get back to a more comfortable economy with solid Economic and Job Growth each month. And we can either wait for that to happen and sit on our hands or we can try to make that happen through policy. We have a lot of work to do in this country and we have plenty of Unemployed Workers. That can do this work, so thats what we should be doing. First do no harm and not have a Middle Class Tax Hike, House Republicans are making a major gamble in looking like Tax Hikers. By messing around with an Extension of the Payroll Tax Holiday, that needs to be extended as well as Unemployment Insurance. So those people can have some income as they continue to look for work. And as President Obama laid out back in September we need something like the American Jobs Act. With serious Infrastructure Investment with a National Infrastructure Bank, to put our Construction Workers back to work. In the neighborhood of 200B$ a year not 40B$ which was in the 2009 American Recovery Act.
We had a good November and looks like December is off to a good start with Retail Sales up. But this is going to sound old but we still have a long way to go. But the good news is we are finally under 9% Unemployment which is what we've been at for 2 1/2 years now. So progress is finally being made and its progress that can been seen and felt. And hopefully just a good sign of more positive things to come with rising Economic and Job Growth.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
|Source: Liberty Baptist College- The Odd Couple-|
Senator Ted Kennedy, would be one of the few Northeastern Progressive Democrats that could give a speech at a Southern Evangelical university like Liberty University. Because Senator Kennedy was someone who could work outside of his element. Especially when he didn’t have enough power to get everything he wanted on an issue. Because he was a legislature before he was a politician. Which is why you see Senator Kennedy on the same stage not debating with Reverend Jerry Falwell, one of the fathers of the Religious-Right in America. And they make about as odd of a couple as Reverend Jesse Jackson giving a speech at a KKK rally. Something just seems odd about it.
But you have to remember that two of Senator Kennedy’s best friends in Congress were Senator Orrin Hatch and John Boehner now Speaker of the House. Two of the most Conservative Republicans in Congress. But Senator Kennedy was one of the best speakers when it came to truth and tolerance and civil rights in America. You don’t have the legislative record in Congress as a Senator, without the ability to not only work with your colleagues in the Senate and people in your party, but you also have to not only be able to work with Senator’s from the other party, but people in the House of Representatives as well. At least in your own party if your party is in the majority there. Ted Kennedy, understood all of that.
Perhaps not as articulate as Lyndon Johnson, Martin King or Bill Clinton, but you knew when Ted Kennedy spoke about those issues, that he was speaking from his heart that these were issues that really believed in. Which is why Senator Kennedy always had one of the best civil rights records in Congress. And Senator Kennedy’s contribution to the immigration reform debate in 2006-07, is a perfect example of that. Truth and tolerance and civil rights, are just as important as they were in 1983 84 when this speech was given, as it is today. To speak what’s on your mind and tell the truth and what you really believe.
Tolerance and cooperation, is something we didn’t have enough in politics and the rest of the country back then. But at least in the 1980s both parties believed in government and governing. And were smart enough to know they had to work with the other party in order to govern. Now it’s about how do you make the other side look bad so you can score politically. And that has just gotten worst today. Tolerance, treat people as you would want to be treated. Until they’ve proven they’re not worthy of your respect. And judge people by the content of the character, not by the color of their skin. Or the shape of their face or style of their hair or any other thing that has to do with their race or ethnicity.
Don’t judge people by their name, or what religion they practice if any, what gender they are attracted to physically and so on. That we treat people as people not groups. We don’t treat people special because they are a member of a group, good or bad. That we judge all people as people not members of groups. Which is something that Senator Kennedy understood very well for the most part. And is something that as we become even more diverse as a country is a message that needs to be understood and communicated even more today. Seeing Ted Kennedy with Jerry Falwell on the same stage not debating each other and actually being nice to each other.
Ted Kennedy and Jerry Falwell, were the definition of Odd Couple. Perhaps they could’ve had their own sitcom. Like the Irish Baptist, or Out of Place or something like that, Strange Bedfellows. Except they would both be straight. Jerry Falwell getting on Ted Kennedy for falling off bar stools and Ted Kennedy getting on the Reverend for preaching to the choir in their living room, literally as he’s trying to sleep. An Odd Couple that could get along.But even people who are clearly opponents when it comes to politics and have to defeat other side to accomplish their goals, can get along with each other. If they understand that they’re opponents and not enemies that are always in combat seeking to destroy the other side.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Every time I see republicans make an effort to weaken Organize Labor in America, some have plainly said. That Organize Labor should be eliminated, having no checks on Management at all. Especially since they don't believe in Regulating Private Enterprise except to benefit Management. I think to myself I hope they didn't come from Union Households, like with their father being a Construction Worker. Or their mother being a teacher or whatever the case may be. Because without Organize Labor, their lives growing up wouldn't of been as good. They wouldn't of seen their parents as often, because they would've been working all of the time. And would've been working longer, harder perhaps more productive but working for less money. Then they would've been had their been Organize Labor in America. Organize Labor of course is not perfect and I'm going to lay out some its weakness's. That I would like to see fixed, as well as some regulations but Organize Labor is the reason why American Workers. Have weekends, Paid Holidays, Paid Vacations, Sick Leave, Medical Leave, Private Pensions, Social Security, Minimum Wage , Worker Safety. And go down the line that everyone in the country has benefited from directly or indirectly. No matter where they are on the Political Spectrum or what Political Party if any they are affiliated with. Including people that are in the House Republican Conference or work for the Heritage Foundation.
I'm not saying Organize Labor is perfect in America, far from it actually they have a long history. Of Organize Corruption in Organize Labor and they don't operate perfectly today which is why I would like to see some regulations in it. Like Secret Ballot in voting for the Leadership so people can't be pressured to vote one way or the other or else. I believe thats Common Sense, we have that with Political Elections and most if not all Elections in America. And I don't believe Non Union Members should be forced to pay Union Dues, I believe thats Common Sense as well. And the other side may say that they should have to pay Union Dues, because of the benefits they get from Organize Labor. But there's an easy Counter Argument to that, that they shouldn't get those benefits from Organize Labor. And be able to Negotiate for their Benefits Independently and then not have to pay those Union Dues. Because they would become Independent Operators with whatever employer they are working for. Which would actually benefit Organize Labor because it would make them actually have to compete for new members and new dues.
Organize Labor when its run properly is not an enemy of Management, just like Management is not an enemy of Organize Labor. When they are run properly but they are partners that should have the same goal mind. How to make the organization that they are working for as strong and as profitable as they can be. To be able to employ as many people as possible and have as many workers as possible. Which is why neither side should be eliminated but operated and regulated properly.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Hearing people get on Congressional Republicans for being against an Extension of the Payroll Tax Cuts. When they didn't support them in the first place and would like to see all of the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Is a little hard to listen to unless I need a good laugh, listening to people who actually support the Bush Tax Cuts for the Middle Class. As well as the Payroll Tax Cuts like Sen. Chuck Schumer and listening to him and others get on the GOP. For being against an Extension of the Payroll Tax Cuts, is much easier to listen to. Because they have credibility and credibility is very important, especially in politics. Because without it, there's not much reason to listen to you, hey Joe changing your mind again, talking to Flip Flopper. I rather listen to the people who have a consistent record on these issues, instead of Political Hacks looking to screw the other side. Having said that listening to Congressional Republicans claim they don't support Tax Hikes in any circumstances on anyone. Is even harder to listen to because they have real power unlike the Far Left flank of the Democratic Party. And them getting in the way of an Extension of the Payroll Tax Cuts that by in large benefit the Middle Class. Because the wealthy can afford to pay the Payroll Tax without getting hurt by it. But if your a cop making 50K$ a year, that extra 6.2% in Payroll Taxes to go along with the Income Tax of 10%, hits you real hard. So of course the Congressional Republicans or at least some of them support at least one Tax Hike, just not on the wealthy.
Moody's has reported that letting the Payroll Tax Cuts expire, would not only end up being a Middle Class Tax Hike. But a 1-2% Drop in Economic Growth, putting us back into recession and costing us 500K jobs. Because of the drop in Consumer Spending, because of this Tax Hike that would send more money to Uncle Sam. No one's Favorite Uncle except for socialists and maybe thats why the House GOP Leadership is against extending these Tax Cuts. Because that would be another kick in pants to an economy thats still fairly weak but showing signs of strength. Holiday Shopping with Black Friday is off to a good start and hopefully that will lead in to 2012 as well. But a Middle Class Tax Hike would be big block in front of that. Which would be another clue in the the GOPs strategy right now of gridlock, if we make Washington look incapable of governing. We can get a Republican President to go along with a Republican Congress but if we do anything to help the economy. Then that would benefit the President and Congressional Democrats and make the Federal Government look like they can govern. Which I believe is a risky strategy on their part because they have over sixty House Freshmen up for reelection in 2012. Thanks to the Tea Party but we'll see how long this strategy will last.
Its clear that Congressional Republicans are being hypocritical on Tax Hikes, being completely against Tax Hikes on the wealthy. But don't seem to have a problem with Middle Class Tax Hikes right now. Perhaps they believe they don't pay enough in taxes to begin with, even though they are really struggling right now. But even that position would violate Grover Norquist's Tax Payer Pledge. Of no Tax Hikes in any form, which I believe will help democrats in this case. Because his group will probably lobby for an Extension of the Payroll Tax Cuts to avoid this Tax Hike. But the problem is some people that are attacking the GOP over this aren't very credible.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Presidential Approval Ratings. How they Affected Presidential Elections Historically: Who beats the President in 2012
Historically if you look how President Obama's Approval Rating and compared it with previous Presidents. At this point in their Presidency, President Obama doesn't look very good as far as Presidents that have been reelected. But you gotta remember a few things, President Obama despite all the problems that the country faces, is still the most popular National Politician in the country. Going up against a party that doesn't know who'll they nominate in 2012. Chances are still that it will be Mitt Romney but there's a movement in that party, thats working against to see Romney get nominated. The Anybody but Romney Movement, the Republican Party is still debating whether they want to win the 2012 Presidential Election. By electing a Mainstream Candidate that can win and by appealing to Independent Voters. Or do they want to go farther right and nominate someone with Neoconservative leanings. Or nominate someone who's the closest thing they have to Ronald Reagan right now in Newt Gingrich. But someone who may offend the Religious Right and has a tendency to say what he believes even if it offends the Republican Base or not. Newt Gingrich is not someone who can be controlled and won't do whatever it takes to get elected. But someone who speaks his mind and says what he believes and knows, which I believe will cost him the Republican Nomination. For President Obama to lose reelection even if he's at 43% in the polls, you still need someone who can beat him. Who can get at least 43% themselves, and the GOP is not going to accomplish that by nominating a Far Right candidate.
Is President Obama in an ideal position to get reelected, of course not with a 9% Unemployment Rate, 20% Poverty Rate and climbing. The economy starting to do better but slowly. A Republican House not interested in working with the President to pass anything, a Senate Republican Minority not interested in passing anything. That the House doesn't send over, they believe Gridlock works better for them, even though they have 62 Freshmen up for reelection. Thats the Political Calculation they are making but despite all of this, President Obama is still the most popular National Politician. He has a 74% Approval Rating in the Democratic Party, there's not a Republican Presidential Candidate that comes close to that. In the Republican Party so who beats the President right now, you may say Mitt Romney but if half of the Republican Party is against him. Or lets just say 40%, thats not going to happen, Herman Cain of course not, the country is not looking for another Neoconservative. Michelle Bachmann, next her 15 minutes were up in August, Rick Perry's time was up in September. Even though John Huntsman's numbers haven't moved much in the polls, I still see him as one of their three contenders. Because he has a Track Record that would make him a good matchup against the President. But he has to win the nomination first.
This is not 1979-80 where you basically had a very weak President in Jimmy Carter politically and I don't say that to put President Carter down. Because I respect him but you had a weak Democratic President going up against a strong Republican Party. With two strong Presidential Candidates that could both beat President Carter. In Ron Reagan and George Bush and the GOP just had to decide who to choose from, which they did fairly quickly. Plus President Carter was facing a fairly strong Primary Challenge from Sen. Ted Kennedy. This is not 1979-80, considering the circumstances of the country and with Lack of Opposition that President Obama faces. The President is still the best bet to win the Presidential Election in 2012 and get reelected.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Press
On this Thanksgiving and by the way Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there, I thought it would be a great time to blog about Vince Lombardi, the greatest head coach of all-time, not just in football, but perhaps in team sports period. I think you'll have a hard time finding a better head coach because football is not just a huge part of our Thanksgiving holiday and Vince Lombardi is a big part of football. And the Green Bay Packers are a big part of our Thanksgiving football tradition. The Packers have played a lot on Thanksgiving and Coach Lombardi coached a lot of those games.
When I think of Vince Lombardi, I think of what a head coach should be when they are at their best and when they are the best at they are. Someone who constantly strives at making his team the best that they can, at getting the best effort and performance out of his team all of his players at the same time in the same game.
I mean if you look at it thats what the job of a head coach is, of course they want to win and the head coaches that do win are the successful head coaches, that is win more than they lose and a lot more than they lose. But really the job is to get the best performance out of your players that they can deliver. There have been teams that were 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 and of course missed the playoffs, but their head coach had a good year or a great year. They even had a great record that year because of the team that they had and the players that had to play.
The level of talent that they had to work with and there been teams that were 10-6, 11-5 but they didn't have very good seasons and didn't win championships even though they had the talent to, because their players didn't play very well as a team. They didn't work very well together, their head coach didn't get them to play as well as they could've. And they ended up basically having a mediocre or even a bad season because their head coach didn't get them to play as well as they could've. The job of the head coach is to get his team and all of his players to play as well as they can at the same time as one team and if he has a good team or a great team, like Chuck Knoll had with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s to use as an example, then that will lead to a lot of wins and championships.
The Green Bay Packers of the 1960s didn't have a dynasty in that decade and were the team of the 60s Because they were loaded with talent and great players, they had some of those. And some Hall of Famers, they won five NFL Championships in seven years from 1961-67, because they had the best teams and the best head coach. Best team and best talent are two different things, best talent has to do with athletic ability and skills. Best team has to do with the team that plays the best together and plays the best as a team.
I'll give you an example, Super Bowl 36 between the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, the Rams I believe were a 10-12 point favorite they still had that great Vertical Spread offense (as I call it) with Kurt Warner, Marshal Faulk and all of those WRs. The Patriots were 5-11 the year before, snuck into the playoffs in 2001, winning their division. Beat the Raiders in a blizzard in the famous tuck game and then upset a very good Steelers team in the AFC Final. They had to beat two better teams just to make to the Super Bowl.
The Rams clearly had batter talent in that Super Bowl, but the Patriots had a better team and played better together and of course they had head coach Bill Bellecheck, perhaps still the best head coach in the NFL. Thats what Vince Lombardi had in Green Bay in the 1960s, he had the best teams, not exactly the best talent when he won those championships. So to use my definition of the job of a head coach, then no one is better than Vince Lombardi at getting his teams and players to play the best that they can at the same time. And he is the best head coach of all-time, because he was the best motivator and perhaps the best motivator ever as well.
And he would put it simple, "you want to play for the Packers, you're going to give me everything you have, or find another job or team to play for". He knew when to ride someone and when to pride someone and do both of those things in a way that showed the player that he's just trying to get the best out of him, kinda like a great father would be. Thats what made Vince Lombardi the best ever at what he did.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
This is the perfect blog to distinguish Liberal Democrats such as myself, as well as people like Barack Obama. Who I'm farther to the left on Social Issues and other liberals like Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Chuck Schumer. Dick Durbin the Deputy Leader of the Senate. These people and others like them are the Liberal Democrats. We are different from people who are farther to the left that get called liberal but really aren't, the Far Left flank of the Democratic Party. Like Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the House Progressive Caucus House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But she's a strong enough Leader to know when to compromise and work with other people. Even Blue Dog Fiscal Conservative Democrats like her, even though she's much farther to the left of them. Especially on Economic Policy and other people like Sen. Bernie Sanders, these are people and others like them. That get called liberal by our so called "Mainstream Media" but they really aren't. These are Progressive Democrats or Socialist Democrats and they don't even call themselves liberal. Liberal and progressive might seem similar but they aren't. Liberals aren't satisfied with President Obama, I'm one of them he's made some political mistakes. Healthcare Reform is a perfect example of this but we aren't the people calling. The President a "Moderate Republican, Bush 44, Neoconservative, Corporatecrat, Corporatist," etc. We do laugh at people who make these charges because of how ignorant they are. Liberals have given the Obama Campaign a lot of money and we are going to vote for him. The question is will Progressive Democrats do the same thing.
You don't see liberals threatening to give the President a Primary Challenge, or freak out when the President decides to work with the House Republicans to avoid disaster. You don't see liberals calling for all of the Bush Tax Cuts to expire, including on the Middle Class. You don't see liberals offering New Deal era Social Insurance Programs to help the economy. Borrowing or raising taxes on everybody to pay for them. We've been a lot more intelligent and creative on how to address the economy, calling for Infrastructure Investment, additional Tax Cuts for the Middle Class, as well as employers, Free Trade, a National Infrastructure Bank that sorta thing. And we also take the debt and deficit seriously and acknowledge the need for Entitlement Reform as part of the solution. Liberal Democrats will be there for President Obama when he needs us and we want him to be reelected. You don't see us threatening to run a Third Party Progressive Campaign against the President or a progressive in the Democratic Primary's. Or threatening to leave the Democratic Party and move to the Green Party or Democratic Socialist Party. Progressive Democrats would be a lot more comfortable politically and not outnumbered in those parties unlike in the Democratic Party.
Liberals aren't the problem for President Obama, now or when he became President. We didn't complain about the stimulus, Healthcare Reform, Wall Street Reform. We didn't call the President a "sell out" which is what Keith Olbermann did about the Tax Cut deal last year. And the Debt Ceiling bill, Democratic Socialists in the Democratic Party. Who are only in the Democratic Party for political purposes, because they feel they have a bigger voice being democrats. Then in a Progressive Third Party, are the people making these charges and are unhappy with President Obama. Not Liberal Democrats, we like Barack Obama as President of the United States.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
|Source: Joel Austin-|
There so many reasons why the JFK Assassination was a tragedy. First that it was an assassination of what could've been a great man. It was the assassination of a President in the prime of his life. With such a great upside and it showed how vulnerable our leaders can be and to a certain extent shut them off from the public. Giving them less access to the people they serve and pay their salaries. But just from a political perspective, it was a tragedy for American liberalism and the liberal democratic movement.
Jack Kennedy to me as a Liberal Democrat, is the closest thing to what we have that Conservative Republicans have in Ron Reagan. He's the best leader we've ever produced as Liberals and Liberal Democrats. Some might say that person is FDR but Franklin Rossevelt was a mixed package politically. Liberal on foreign policy sure, he was clearly a liberal internationalist on foreign policy. But he was a Progressive and in some cases a Democratic Socialists on economic policy with the New Deal and everything else. And a at least borderline neoconservative on national security with the detainment camps of German, Italian and Japanese-Americans. That sort of thing would not be tolerated today for the most part. It wouldn't surprise me if George W. Bush and his Neoconservatives were inspired by FDR. When they decided to detain all of these detainee's from the War on Terror at Guantanamo Bay Prison. FDR basically introduced big government to America when before that we were a small government country. So for me Jack Kennedy is the leader of American liberalism and our inspiration.
Jack Kennedy clearly was big believer and individual liberty and limited government and saw 70 and 90% Tax Rates as way too high in a liberal democracy, which is why he sent a large tax cut plan up to Congress early in his administration that President Johnson got signed into law. President Kennedy was a liberal internationalist on foreign policy and believed that American foreign policy should be limited. Which would explain his reluctance in getting us involved in the Vietnam War. Had President Kennedy been reelected, we would've seen eight years of a liberal democratic presidency would've looked like. And I don't believe we would've seen American troops involved in the Civil War in Vietnam.
But the other issue with JFK dying and LBJ becoming President, is that President Johnson was able to push civil rights through Congress, especially in the Senate. With a lot of help from Leader Mike Mansfield and Minority Leader Everett Dirksen. Something I doubt President Kennedy would've been able to do at least in his first term. Maybe in his second term with a lot of help from Vice President Johnson and the other two men I mentioned. So the JFK assassination was horrible in a lot of ways, but it did open up a big door for civil rights. With Lyndon Johnson becoming President.
The JFK assassination clearly had a major impact on the Democratic Party and it effected liberalism as well. And also opened up another door for socialism. It affected liberalism because of the civil right movement and the laws that President Johnson was able to pass in those areas. With the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act in 1965 and the Fair Housing Law in 1968. But it also opened a new door for progressivism in America with the creation of the Great Society. With Medicare, Medicaid, Job Core, Public Housing, Federal Aid to Education, and other laws.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Walter Mondale to me is someone who was ahead of his time, the way all Vice Presidents since are judged. Because he was the first Vice President with real authority or at least the first since Richard Nixon. But Vice President Mondale designed how the Vice Presidents Office looks today, serving as the Presidents Chief Counsel on Policy and perhaps even politics as well. As well as basically the Chief Operating Officer of the Administration. Something he, Vice President Bush, Vice President Gore, Vice President Cheney and Vice President Biden all have done well. Pre-Walter Mondale except maybe for Vice President Nixon, the Office of the Vice President was basically ceremonial. Counting the days to when their term was over or when it’s time to campaign again or they would preside over the U.S. Senate. When Congress was in session, it wasn’t a very important office.
Today the Vice Presidency is important. When instead of the Vice President presiding over the Senate, they are basically the President’s Chief Representative to Congress. As well as their other duties at the White House. And Vice President Mondale made that office definite. He worked out an agreement with Jimmy Carter when they ran together in 1976, that if he was to be Carter’s Vice President, that he would have to have real responsibility in that office. The Vice President under the U.S. Constitution, is the first officer in the Federal Government. Only the President out ranks him. And that’s how it was in the Cater Administration, except it was no longer just on paper, but in practice as well.
The Carter-Mondale ticket in 1976, worked very well because they both had what the other didn’t have. Jimmy Carter was the Governor of Georgia and ran a major administration there. But had no Federal Government and foreign policy experience other than his time in the Navy in World War II. Senator Walter Mondale had been in Congress for twelve years, but was never governor and never ran a government. Carter was from the South, Mondale was from the Midwest. Carter was an outsider, but with strong civil rights credentials and Mondale had strong ties to the Democratic establishment. With organized labor and the civil rights movement. They are both very intelligent and very good men.
Carter-Mondale, complemented each other very well, similar to Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992. The Democratic Party was somewhat concern about Jimmy Carter’s progressive credentials, but with Fritz Mondale on the ticket, they were able to get past that. Because Senator Mondale had a long progressive record. We’ll see what Vice President Biden’s record looks like when he leaves that office. (Hopefully in five years) But as far as I’m concern Al Gore and Fritz Mondale are the two best Vice President’s we’ve ever had and I would lead towards Vice President Gore. Because he helped run one of the most successful administration’s we’ve ever had.
Fritz Mondale to me represents exactly what a public servant should be. He was a politician in the best sense of the word, because he separated politics from public office. Politics was for campaigning and public office was about governing. And had he not run for President in 1984 against Ronald Reagan, when the economy was doing well and just four years after the Carter Administration, which was very unpopular, maybe Vice President Mondale becomes President Mondale. But Fritz Mondale was a victim of his times, but becoming President was also not what public service was about for him either. But serving the public was.
Friday, November 18, 2011
With the vote in the House of Representatives of 261 votes for the House Republican Balance Budget Amendment. At least the House Republican Leadership knows how many seats they have to pick up in the 2012 General Elections. They need twenty nine more votes to pass a BBA, probably won't get them for the next Congress. They probably have a better chance of losing twenty nine seats in 2012 then gaining them. But maybe they'll get the message, not counting on it that its time to get serious about Deficit Reduction. This year pass a plan that can move the Federal Budget towards balance in 5-10 years. Before a Balance Budget Amendment could be added to the US Constitution, not expecting that either. Even if the Select Joint Committee comes up with something later this month and they are running out of time. But what I'm getting at is what House Republicans want to accomplish a Balance Budget, can be done by statue meaning law. They don't have to spend ten years trying to pass something that may or may not pass something that can be done over a couple of months. Or with how this Congress is so partisan and divided, something they can try to pass in the next Congress. If republicans were to hold the House, take the Senate and White House. So what House Republicans are trying to do right now is partly for show, to tell their constituents that they support them. But also see where the votes are on a BBA and how far they need to go to pass a BBA out of the House and send it to the Senate.
To Balance the Budget we first have to get the Federal Debt and Deficit down to an affordable level, 3-5% of GDP. And to do that everyone who's serious and understands this issue. Knows how to do this, stop borrowing, meaning establishing a real Pay As You Go Fiscal Policy. Even for Disaster Relief and put everything on budget, including the wars, as well as ending those wars. Reducing our Defense Budget, closing our Foreign Bases that are in Developed Nations. Europe, Arabia and Asia. Reforming our Entitlement Programs and turning them more into Welfare Insurance Programs designed for the people who actually need them. Tax Reform eliminating most if not all loopholes especially Corporate Welfare and lower Tax Rates in the short term. But I would scrap the Income Tax all together and move to what I call a Progressive Income Tax. Which would make our Tax Code very simple and easy to understand and would benefit our economy. These are the things that we need to do to get the debt and deficit under control. And the problem is the Congress and the country right now the political scene. We are still very divided as a country and a lot of the problems that we have to deal with. We made need an election to decide them, for one party to have enough power to get the job done.
The Balance Budget Amendment debate is not a complete waste of time, its positive in the sense. That just having the debate focus's Congress and the country on the fiscal challenges that we face as a country. And what we need to look at and consider to take on these challenges. But a Balance Budget Amendment does nothing today to bring down our debt and deficit under control. And eventually Balance the Federal Budget something the Federal Government doesn't have a good record at. Because passing a BBA completely is at least ten years down the road. And does nothing to Balance the Federal Budget today or tomorrow or in the short term.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Anyone who believes that taxes are necessary in any country to fund government, understands that governments can't borrow indefinitely. And at some point bills have to paid, not borrow money to pay other bills. But actually pay up your bills, otherwise taxes wouldn't be necessary and we could just borrow indefinitely to pay for anything. And I don't know anyone who believes that, the question is how do we pay our bills and to what point does our credit run out. If the United States were to pass a Balance Budget Amendment to the US Constitution tomorrow, not just Congress but at least thirty four States. Two days from now we would still have a Federal Debt of 15T$ and a Federal Deficit approaching 2T$. A year from now we would still have a debt and deficit approaching those numbers. Because Congress wouldn't agree to cut 2T$ from the Federal Budget for one year. They may agree to cut 200B maybe 500B, pass Tax Reform that raises new revenue to cut the deficit in one year. And do that over five years or so but a year from now we would still have a deficit of over 1T$. And maybe even five years from now we would still have a deficit. So passing a BBA alone does not Balance the Federal Budget, it just requires the Federal Government to do that. But doesn't lay out how to do that, just tells them they have to do it. But leaves it up to the Administration and Congress who lately can't agree on the Time of Day. Or the weather outside on how to Balance the Federal Budget so any BBA would at best be a first step in Balancing the Federal Budget.
The better question is how to Balance the Federal Budget, because a BBA means nothing without a policy to Balance the Budget. Instead of spending at least the next ten years trying to pass a Constitutional Amendment. Trying to find 290 Representatives and 67 Senators or more to pass a BBA in a Divided Congress. And then waiting for thirty four States to get around to voting on the BBA and passing the BBA. How about we just pass a policy by statue meaning law to do this and Balance the Federal Budget within five years. Finding 400B$ a year in Budget Cuts, Budget Reforms and yes new revenue through Tax Reform. Making the Federal Government leaner and efficient by closing Foreign Bases oversees in Developed Nations. Getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq, Block Granting the Safety Net over to the State instead of trying to run the whole thing from Washington. And then turning them into Semi Private Non Profit Independent Self Financed Community Services. With each State having its own Social Insurance System that would have to meet basic Federal Standards. Put in new Federal Budget Rules, that would limit how much the Federal Government could grow and how. Tying it to Economic, Population and Inflation Growth. All these things can be done through statue and could be done within a year.
My main issue with a Balance Budget Amendment is the amount of time that would be spent or even wasted. Trying to pass it and in the meantime while we are waiting for something that may or may not pass. We can Balance the Budget through statue alone, I would be for a BBA if it could be passed quickly and the exceptions in it were limited. The Federal Government could only borrow when the we are in a recession or depression or one of our fifty States or one of our territory's are under attack. Thats it because I would even reform our Disaster Relief, by turning that over to the States as well. This can all be done by statue a BBA is not needed.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
With the decline of the City of Detroit the last twenty years or so, with three recessions including the "Great Recession". That we are still going through, with the Information and Technology Revolution. With the decline of the American Auto Industry which is just starting to rebound. And of course with Detroit being the American Capital of our Auto Industry, something like 1M jobs in the Detroit Area and the State of Michigan. Being affiliated with our Auto Industry and with all of the job cutbacks in the Auto Industry. And with the decline of Public Education in Detroit and the rising Crime Rates. Detroit as a city has been taking a whipping for about twenty years, to the point where they've lost half of its population. In 1990 Detroit was a city of about 1.5M people and a Metro Center of about 5M people, about the size of Philadelphia. The fifth or sixth largest city in America and one of the top ten Metro Centers in America and of the the wealthiest cities in America. To today they are still a big city but about half the size and one of the poorest cities in America. Detroit was so tied to the Auto Industry, sorta how Los Angles is tied to the Entertainment Industry. That when the Auto Industry is doing well, Detroit is doing well and when the Auto Industry is not doing well. Neither is Detroit and when the Auto Industry plummets like the last ten years, Detroit has plummeted. Their Tax Receipts have plummeted and as a result so have their Public Education, crime has gone way up and people have moved out as a result.
If the expression "there's light at the end of the tunnel", and Detroit really needs for that expression to be true. But here's why that expression may be true and I usually don't use Sports News in my blogs. Unless of course I'm blogging about Sports, which then it seems to me to make sense to use Sports News in a blog. But the Detroit Lions the worst NFL Franchise in the last ten years are rebounding and unless they blow it. And I'm not trying to jinx them, I mean these are the Lions I'm talking about. Have a good chance of making the NFC Playoffs this year. They haven't made the playoffs since 1999 or even had a Winning Record since 1997, they actually went winless in 2008. But that of course is not enough to rebuild a city, especially a big city like Detroit. With the Auto Industry declining and now rebounding, this has given Detroiters and their City Government. Led by their Mayor Dave Bing to take another look at their Economic Policy. Instead of just relying on one Auto Industry, bring in several. In High Tech and other White Collar jobs, employees are great to have but Detroiters are becoming Business Mangers and Owners. And Detroit is building an Economic Environment to attract new Private Industry there that bring in good jobs for people in Detroit. A Tax and Regulation Policy to make that happen for Detroit.
Detroit is rebounding because they are building an Economic Environment to make that happen. Low Taxes and Smart Regulations so business's want to do business in Detroit, the Detroit Area and the State of Michigan. And as the new Private Industry's move in and a lot of them will be built by Native Detroiters. And others and as the Auto Industry is rebuilding in Detroit, then Detroit will have the resources. To rebuild their Public Education System so they can produce the workers for these jobs. And be able to fight crime more effectively and people will start to move back and move in to Detroit.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
But LBJ had progressive leanings like on civil rights to use as an example. But didn't push those positions much in the Senate except in 1957, when Leader Johnson was already considering running for President. When he pushed through a civil rights bill in the Senate, but that was voluntary. Because Johnson knew that he would need Northern Liberals to win the Democratic nomination for President. So Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson needed each other or people like the other one in order to win the presidential election. Kennedy needed a Southern Democrat as powerful as Johnson, but there weren't any Democrats as powerful as Johnson at the time. And had Johnson won the Democratic nomination and he got real close, he would've had to of selected a Northern Liberal like Jack Kennedy as his Vice President.
With the Kennedy-Johnson ticket, this meant Democrats could win both the Northeast and South, as well as California. Because Kennedy could work the liberal states and Johnson could work the Southern states. Because the Northeast was probably going to vote for Kennedy anyway, but with Johnson on the ticket, Johnson could convince Southern Democrats that an Irish Catholic Northeastern Liberal was acceptable enough to be President of the United States. And Senator Kennedy's speech to Southern Baptists in 1960 in Houston where he came out for being in favor of Separation of Church and State and that he wouldn't take orders from the Pope in policy and decision-making.
In some ways Democrats in 1960 had a dream ticket, with the future of the Democratic Party. A real superstar in the best sense of the word, not a flash in the pan running with the most powerful Democrat in the country. Someone who was more than qualified to be President of the United States 1960. This not the last or first presidential election where the Vice Presidential nominee was important. It was also important in 1952 with Richard Nixon, 1976 with Walter Mondale, 1980 with George Bush, 1992 with Al Gore, 2000 with Dick Cheney, 2008 with Joe Biden. But 1960 was the last one where the VP nominee was able to deliver votes and states for the ticket.