Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democracy

Monday, October 31, 2011

CBS News: Raw Video: Tony La Russa Retires as St. Louis Cardinals Manager: Next Stop The Hall of Fame

This was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

The only thing keeping Tony La Russa out of the Hall of Fame as a manager was himself, because he's been managing for 33 years consecutively, his whole career, and I believe he's been the best manager in Major League Baseball that whole period, and that includes people like Tommy Lasorda, Billy Martin, Earl Weaver briefly, Bobby Cox. Joe Torre, Roger Craig, Jim Leyland, and many others.   Some may say Joe Torre because of the championships:  4 World Series Championships, 6 American League Championships, 11 Eastern Division Championships, and 13 playoff appearances.  Only Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox come close to those accomplishments in this time period.

But when Joe Torre was with the New York Yankees from 1996 to 2007, you could make a case that he had the best team in MLB every year he was there, especially from 1998 to 2007, but they came up short several times, as in 2001 losing to the underdog Phoenix Diamondbacks, 2003 losing to the underdog Miami Marlins, both in the World Series, 2002 losing to the underdog Anaheim Angels in the American League Championship, and 2004 blowing a 3-0 Series lead to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship, something that will always be hated by Yankee Fans and loved by Red Sox Fans.  I know a few of those fans myself. And of course the Yankees always had the most money in this time period and could always basically put all-star teams together to win the World Series.

Other than the time period during which Tony La Russa was with the Oakland Athletics from 1988 to 1990 or 1991, he was there from 1986 to 1995, but in those 4 years you could make a pretty good case that the Athletics should have won at least three World Series if not four, because from 1988 to 1990 they had the best three teams in baseball.  And they only won one World Series.  Of course, one is better then nothing but in the two World Series that the Athletics lost in 1988 and 1990, they won a total of one game.

They lost 4-1 in the 1988 World Series to, I believe, the worst World Series Champion since 1969, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who only won something like 85 games that season.  And of course you had the famous Kirk Gibson home run in game one to win that game against the best closer in baseball at the time, Dennis Eckersly.  When Tony La Russa was in St. Louis with the Cardinals from 1996 to 2011, he didn't always have the best team and he still won 7-8 Central Division Championships, three National League Championships, and two World Series, and made the playoffs 9-10 times again. When only four teams make the playoffs in each league, they may go up to 5-6 teams in 2012, but we'll see. 

Tony La Russa was the best manager in MLB in his era as well as today because of what he got out of his players for the most part, not including his time in Oakland, but definitely in St. Louis, a midsize market. But with a great fan base, if not the best in MLB, it was just a matter of when Tony La Russa would retire.  That would determine when he was going into the Hall of Fame, because he's a first ballot Hall of Famer in waiting.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

VOA News: Jim Bertel-U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy Dead at 77: The Dream Shall Never Die

Source:VOA News- U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (Democratic Massachusetts) The Lion of the Senate.
"Senator Edward Kennedy was the last of the Kennedy sons born to Rose and Joseph Kennedy. He followed the trail blazed by his brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General and Senator Robert Kennedy, both assassinated in the 1960s. Ted Kennedy was known as the Lion of the Senate and was respected for his long-term commitment to health care for all Americans.  On Tuesday night, at his home in Massachusetts, he lost his hard fought battle with brain cancer.  VOA's Jim Bertel has more on the career of this Democratic icon."

From VOA News

Source:ABC News- U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts) The Lion of the Senate.
When I think of the late Senator Ted Kennedy Edward M. Kennedy, I think of someone who represents the heart of the Democratic Party. Someone who represents the best of the Democratic Party as far as the things that we as Democrats have been fighting for going back at least to the 1930s or longer. Individual liberty, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, equality of opportunity for all, civil rights for all, workers rights, the little people, health care and health insurance for everybody. Retirement security for everybody, a foreign policy that represents the best of America. Basically a quality shot at the American Dream for everyone. Now we as Democrats don't always agree on how to accomplish these things.

Democrats tend to have the same goals, but differ in how to accomplish those goals. Some times we don't agree on any of those things as far how to accomplish them. We've always been a very diverse party. Politically, racially, different ethnicity's and everything else. We are basically a political party of three different parties in one. And thats what happens when you have a two-party System in a country as large and as diverse as we are. But its that progressive agenda of the party that brings us together when we come together. And a lot of that credit goes to Senator Ted Kennedy who's been the heart of the Democratic Party at least since 1980. When he unsuccessfully ran for President in 1980 and sort of took that mantle from Lyndon Johnson. When he left the White House in 1969 and when his brother Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.

Ted Kennedy didn't represent the Democratic agenda as far as exactly what the policy's would look like. Which is what Ron Reagan did for the Republican Party. he represented their agenda as well as policy's. Even though Senator Kennedy had his own policy's for all the key issues he cared about. The Democratic Leadership or the party as a whole, wasn't always behind the bills that Senator Kennedy wrote. But they shared the same goals on a lot of bills that Senator Kennedy got passed out of Congress. He did that by working with the Democratic Leadership, Senate Republicans like Orrin Hatch, Bob Dole, John Chaffee, Arlen Spector and others. And then working out a compromise with the House whichever party was in charge.

Senator Kennedy, was also good at working out agreements with the White House. This is how legislating works in Washington and Senator Kennedy is about as good or the best legislature we've ever produced. But Ted Kennedy has been a big reason why the Democratic agenda has always been the same for the last 45-50 years. And a big reason why they've been able to pass a lot of that agenda, including health care reform which they passed in 2010. And still serves as the inspiration for the Democratic Party today. If the United States had a system where each party had their own official leader, whether they are the ruling party or not, meaning they run the executive, which is what most democracy's have, then Ted Kennedy would've been that guy for the Progressive Party. Because he was the person that could bring the party together when times were good or bad. And is a big reason why he's the Heart of the Democratic Party.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CFR: "Funding U.S. Infrastructure Improvements": One way to Rebuild our Economy

There so many things that America needs to do to rebuild its economy, get strong Economic Growth going again. Which would lead to Job Growth and then we can finally bring down our high Unemployment Rate of 9.1% or so. Which hopefully will be lower after the October Jobs Report but of course thats no guarantee. We've been at 9% or higher in unemployment because of lack of Economic Growth for over a year now. And rebuilding our infrastructure, Manufacturing Industry and creating a National Energy Policy are all things we need to do again. So we start building things in America again, made by americans, sold in America as well as abroad. Foreign Trade is also a key component to this so we can sell American Products to as many customers as possible. We have right now in America what we need to rebuild our economy. We have things in America that we can sell here as well as abroad, that would create more American Jobs. And the three Trade Agreements that Congress just passed and President Obama just signed. Will be a big help for our Manufacturing as well as Auto Industry, Infrastructure Investment would also benefit our economy and Manufacturing Industry. A National Energy Policy would also benefit our economy and Manufacturing Industry.

The good thing about tall of these things, even though its a lot of work. But thats also a good thing, it means a lot of work, meaning the need to hire a lot of people. To do all of this new work, the American Auto Industry is recovering. Meaning that will be a boost to our Manufacturing Industry, because of all the parts that would be needed to build the new autos. More people driving meaning more of the need for a National Energy Policy. And we have all the energy that we need in America to be developed and sold in America. That we just need to produce and sell ourselves, again which means more jobs. And more Energy Industry's being created to go along with Oil and Gas, Nuclear Power and Electric Power. What also would help our economy is more Infrastructure Investment, which again would be a boost to our Manufacturing Industry. Because again of all the new parts that would be needed to rebuild and build new infrastructure. So we have right now what we need in our country to rebuild our economy, the question is whether we are going to do it or not. Can the House and Senate come together and pass what we need to get to rebuild our economy. That the President would sign into law.

Three great things we can do for our economy right now and again they all relate to each other. Infrastructure Investment with a National Infrastructure Bank to fiance our Infrastructure Investment. A National Energy Policy that would move America to Energy Independence but developing our own Natural Resources. And Foreign Trade that Congress and the President have just passed and signed into law. The only question is will we do what we need to do or not.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Indiana Town's Economy Benefits from Canadian Oil Boom: One way to create jobs

When it comes to getting our economy going again and Fully Recovering from the "Great Recession". That we are now three years into, even though its officially over. There are a lot of things that we need to do as a country, like paying down our Private as well as Public Debt. Which I covered last night, encouraging more Consumer Spending, Infrastructure Investment, creating a National Energy Policy. Expanding Foreign Trade which Congress did a couple of weeks ago. Reforming our Public Schools where the Senate made some progress last week. In at least getting a bill reported out of committee. So we have enough or more then enough well educated workers in the future. And be able to to keep more americans jobs here in America where they belong. Rebuilding our Manufacturing Industry, the American Auto Industry is now recovering, which will help. An Infrastructure Investment and a National Energy Policy would also help us rebuild our Manufacturing Industry. Tax Reform eliminating most if not all Tax Loopholes and lowering Tax Rates and Debt and Deficit Reduction. But we are not going to be able reduce our debt and deficit in the short and long term. Until we get the "Great Recession" finally behind us, now three years into it. We are going to need a strong economy with solid Economic and Job Growth that we sustain. In order to pay down our debt and deficit, decrease our high Poverty Rate thats actually over 20% but 17% officially.

What looks like is going on in this town in Indiana, is that they are trying to get Oil Production there. And bring in oil from Canada and sell it in Indiana, which I fine if that creates a lot of jobs in Indiana. And is well regulated to keep waste to a manageable level but what we really should be doing as a country instead. Producing American Energy in America, I mean we do have the most Natural Resources in the World. We should be using them so we can create more jobs in America, we can't drill our way to Energy Independence. But its a start and something we should be doing, in the safest way possible of course. But this is something that we should be doing and we should've been doing. Going all the way back to Arabian Oil Embargo of the early and mid 1970s. And getting OPEC off of our backs by producing our own American Energy including Oil and Natural Gas. Eliminating those Big Oil Subsidy's in exchange for allowing American Oil Company's to drill for more American Oil. And using some of those resources through leases and taxes to finance a National Infrastructure Bank. And finally getting some Infrastructure Investment back going in America.

There's so much work that we need to do as a country to get the "Great Recession" behind us and finally get our economy going again. And with this Political Climate with both parties seemingly more interested in having all of the power in the Federal Government. Then rebuilding our economy, that makes it very difficult to make that happen. But its not about resources thats why our economy isn't working but getting around. To finally using our resources to put people back to work.

Monday, October 24, 2011

President Obama Offers Mortgage Relief on Western Trip: How to end the Housing Crisis

The two main problems with our economy right now are our Housing Market and the lack of Consumer Spending and they relate. Because people who are underwater in debt right now, as a result of the Housing Market. And the lack of value of their homes as well as Credit Card Debt they may have piled up. Because they were out of work or took a steep Pay Cut, aren't spending money right now. Because they are drowning in debt right now or they owe more on their home then its worth or both factors. So to get the economy going again, we have to retire a lot of our Consumer Debt. Get that debt going again so people have money to spend, which would lead to Economic Growth and then Job Growth. Which would lower our Unemployment Rate and also allow us to start paying down our National Debt and Deficit. Because we would then have the resources to do so. And I believe President Obama understands that, Tax Cuts like Payroll Tax Holidays and others. Are good as well but if you have a high Debt Burden or you owe more on your mortgage then you can afford to pay back. Or your unemployed, your going to use whatever extra revenue you may get. To pay down your debt or if your worried about losing your job, your going to use whatever extra money you may have. And put that money in your savings in case your Laid Off.

We have a lot of issues with our economy right now, with our lack of Infrastructure Investment. The need for a National Energy Policy, Education Reform and are crumbling schools being part of that. Our huge debt and deficit, the need for more Foreign Trade so we can sell more products. Made by americans in America creating more americans jobs, as well as the need for Tax Reform. But none of those things mean anything if people don't start spending money again. Especially in the Middle Class where most of the country lives but for them to be able to spend money. They need to be out of debt or at least not drowning in debt by having a manageable debt. And whatever Economic Package that Congress may or may not pass. Needs to include Debt Relief for consumers to get a lot of our Consumer Debt retired. So the people have the money to start spending again buying things that they've been putting off. So we can create more Consumer Demand in the economy right now. So business's feel the need to hire additional workers to meet the new Consumer Demand for their business.

There just isn't enough Consumer Demand in our economy right now to create enough Economic Growth to lead to Job Growth. That would bring down our Unemployment Rate. And allow us to start paying down our Federal Debt and Deficit and a way to do that. Is to start retiring our Consumer Debt which would help lead to stronger Consumer Spending and Economic Growth.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Learn Liberty: Pavel Yakolev- What Are The Limits of Liberal Democracy?

Source:Learn Liberty- Pavel Yakolev, talking about freedom and democracy. Which aren't the same things.
"People often associate freedom with electoral democracy. According to Prof. Pavel Yakovlev, the freedom to vote is an inherently limited tool for fostering a free society. Although majority vote can serve as a useful tool for expressing the will of the people, it can be taken too far.

Imagine a world governed entirely by majority votes—including your personal decisions! Would you be happy if a majority vote determined who you could date? What you could eat? Now consider the world you currently live in, where you make decisions and purchases in the context of a marketplace. In a market, you can choose goods, services, and activities that diverge from majority trends. Moreover, markets also provide a greater number of choices.

Free markets and limited government depend upon and facilitate individualized and decentralized choices; they create the conditions necessary for a truly free and democratic society.

Watch more videos at:Learn Liberty."

From Learn Liberty

What’s the best way to guarantee individual liberty for the people so they can be free to live their own lives as they see fit short of hurting anyone else with their liberty and not be harassed by government?

One, you need a constitution that guarantees individual liberty. And limits what government can do.

Two, you need rule of law to limit what government can do. But also how people interact with each other. But it’s not just a constitution that you need but constitutional rights that are in that constitution.

Like freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, or not practice religion.

Right to vote but through a multi-party system.

Decentralization of government, a Federal Government, but state, or provincial governments as well as local governments. That all have enough power under the Federal Constitution to govern themselves and handle their own affairs. As well as again to limit what the Federal Government can do. You don’t have to have a weak Federal Government either. That they have to be able to defend the country and to a certain extent look after its people’s welfare. But it needs to be limited so it doesn’t become too powerful.

You need a republic not a monarchy, or theocracy, but a republic. Where civilians are running the government. Again to limit the power of government and you also need checks and balances, separation of branches. Executive, legislative and judicial.

I just laid out a lot what the United States Government looks like. Some people say especially Conservatives and Libertarians that the best way to insure individual liberty is with a republic. But I counter that argument by say that there are also authoritarian republics. Like the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Republic of Cuba, or Baathist Republic of Syria, Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a republic and still are.

The difference being that under the Hussein Regime, Iraq was an authoritarian Baathist Republic. Today they are basically a democratic republic and a federal republic, but with some flaws. There good republics like America and bad republics like Syria. A republic basically lays out what type of powers the federal or central government have. In a liberal democracy like America, those powers are very limited, but in an authoritarian republic not to pick on Syria, but their government’s powers are basically unlimited.

Which is one reason why we see such an intense democratic opposition in Syria right now. The Syrian people are good-by in large, but their government is bad. My argument as a Liberal Democrat for what’s the best way to insure individual freedom is with a republic, but in the form of a liberal democracy. A liberal democratic republic with a liberal amount of individual rights and freedom. Not a liberal amount of government, which is very different. Which is what we have in the United States, with a Federal Constitution, separation of powers and checks and balances. With the individual liberty to live our own lives and be successful economically.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

President Obama: "Moammar Gadhafi's Death Opens New Chapter": What's next for Libya

The death of former Libyan Dictator Moammar Gadhaffi does close another chapter in Libyan History. The chapter where Gadhaffi can no longer brutalize his country and the chapter before that which was closed in March. With Gadhaffi being thrown out of power by the Libyan Rebels. Where Gadhaffi could no longer rule his country because he was thrown out of power. And hopefully the start of a new chapter or new day if you prefer, where the Libyan People. Can start building their own country and build it the way they want to. Hopefully a peaceful , responsible democracy with free and open elections. That respects Human Rights, including Minority and Women's Rights. But again Libya is going to have to build Libya and they have the resources to do this. But may need help maximizing their resources and their people, like training their new military. National Law Enforcement, Justice System, writing a National Constitution setting up their General Elections. And these are all things that NATO the United Nations, European Union and the Arab League can help them with. As well as the United States with Foreign Aide to help them set up their new Federal Government. Until they can get their economy going again and set up their Tax System to pay for their new Federal Government. But the United States can't do this on their own and shouldn't put troops and other people on the ground. These other organizations need to step up and play a big role here.

The Nato Mission in Libya as well as the Libyan Rebels, is an example of what Foreign Policy looks like when it works. When the International Community especially the West working with the Libyan Rebels and the Arab League. At risk of sounding partisan this is what Liberal Internationalism looks like. Instead of a Unilateral Neoconservative Policy where you try to do everything on their own. Which is what the Bush Administration attempted to do in Iraq in the last decade. That when you isolate a dictator with Economic Sanctions, recognize the Opposition Party. Block the dictatorship from access to resources to brutalize their own people, put the opposition down and to defend themselves. That working together with Economic Sanctions and what happened with the NATO Non Fly Zone over Libya. To protect the Libyan Rebels from their own government. As they do the work risk their own lives to take down the dictatorship. Instead of invading a large country like Iraq on your own, taking all of the risks. Borrowing all of the money to do it and piling up your own debt, that other americans are forced to pay back.

The death of Moammar Gadhaffi is a good day for Libya and closes another ugly chapter in Libyan History. And a big opportunity for the Libyan People to build their own country. The way they want to with their own resources and develop their own country the way they want to. And be able to join the rest of the World.

Monday, October 17, 2011

C-SPAN: President John F. Kennedy's 1963 Address on Civil Rights: What it Means to be a Liberal Democrat

Source: C-SPAN- President John F. Kennedy in 1963-
Source: C-SPAN: President John F. Kennedy's 1963 Speech on Civil Rights

When I think of how Democrats should be and this is going to sound real arrogant, but I look at myself when I'm talking politically. A Liberal, because we believe in individual freedom, maximize freedom for the individual, as long as we are not hurting anyone else with our freedom. That means economic, social, political, religious, freedom of choice, as long as we are not hurting anyone else with our freedom. That we get back to what Old School Liberalism is. Not how liberalism is stereotyped today, which looks more like socialism, or progressivism. Liberalism,  which is about individual liberty, again as long as we are not hurting anyone else with our choices.

But thats me. Every Democrat can have their own version of what Democrats should be. But to me we are supposed to be the Liberal Democratic Party in America. Because we believe in liberal democracy. Not a Social Democratic Party, that some so-called Progressives today would like us to become. Or a Centrist Democratic Party, where those people could probably be Republicans as well. Like Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. But when I think of people who come the closest in representing what democrats and liberalism should be, I think of Jack Kennedy with Bill Clinton being not that far behind. As well as some Liberal Democrats today like Senator John Kerry, another JFK with very similar politics as Jack Kennedy. Senate Deputy Leader Dick Durbin and a few others. People who are Liberals not because they believe in collectivism. That government can solve all problems. But because they believe in individual liberty.

Jack Kennedy, in particular comes closest in representing what democrats are supposed to be. Not just because of his politics, but with his power to communicate his views. Just like Barry Goldwater represents exactly what Republicans are supposed to be because he was definitely a Classical Conservative. And communicated classical conservatism as well as it could be communicated and I would add Ron Reagan to that list as well. Because even though President Kennedy was late to the dance on civil rights and had he got their earlier, maybe he could've got the ball rolling on it earlier, but he got there. And it wasn't that he didn't believe in civil and equal rights, but that it was politics that was keeping him from it.

Losing the South in the 1964 Election, which is a weakness on President Kennedy's  part and I'm not excusing it. President Kennedy comes closest to representing what democrats should be. Because he was strong and smart on defense not soft that a lot of democrats after him got accused of being. And to a certain extent for good reason, again supported equal rights, individual freedom. Didn't want the Federal Government growing indefinitely, that there was a limit in what it can do to help the country. Fiscally responsible, these are all things that Liberals actually believe in. That government can help people who are down get themselves up, with what's called a safety net. Not a welfare state and they are different.

This is what it means to be a Liberal Democrat. Now I'm sure I'm farther to the left on a lot of social issues than President Kennedy. Like decriminalization of marijuana and prostitution and perhaps Gambling as well. But those issues, weren't considered mainstream back in JFK's time. But he comes the closest from every Democrat I've ever seen, as someone who doesn't believe in any form of big government. Doesn't believe in collectivism, but believes in individual freedom instead. Which is one of the reasons why he was such a strong anti-Communist. Not only in Congress, but as President as well and I wish we had more Democrats today like Jack Kennedy.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Our Marijuana Laws Destroy Lives": The Rachel Hoffman Tragedy: There must be a better way

With all the problems and actual dangers that America faces as a country, in crime, economic and in Foreign Policy. And with the limited resources that we have as a country. Because we are drowning in debt because of policy's of the past as well as current policy's. You would think that we would dedicate the limited resources that we have. To address the actual problems that we face as a country, while we are trying to get the economy going again. And trying to get our Federal Debt and Deficit under control and stop arresting people. Who aren't hurting anyone other then maybe themselves. Kinda like someone drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco or eating Junk Food. And stop putting innocent peoples lives in danger as well as their family and friends. By having them go undercover to try to get evidence on people, for what they do to themselves. There are so many reasons not to have Marijuana Prohibition in America and a lot of them can be traced back to Alcohol Prohibition. One reason would be and is enough for me as a liberal, gets to Freedom of Choice. We now have the right to drink alcohol, that is adults 21 or older. We now have the right as adults 18 or over to smoke tobacco but yet we don't have the right to smoke or use marijuana.

Marijuana is a drug thats less or about as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco, that causes less damage on society as the other two drugs. Thats still being used in society just illegally under current law and being used Tax Free. All of you progressives out there that want to use a lot of government to solve our problems. Should have a problem with that, because Marijuana Prohibition gives progressives less revenue. To build their "Great Society" through government, Rep. Barney Frank is a progressive in the House that actually understands this. Which is one of the reasons why he supports Decriminalization of Marijuana, which means in basic terms. Treating marijuana like alcohol and tobacco, through regulation. I wish more Congressional Democrats would take the same position, I wish President Obama. Who's a solid Liberal Democrat on so many other issues. Would come about with the same position, especially with his legal background. But instead he's to the right of some conservatives as well as republicans on this issue. Ron Paul, Gary Johnson and Bill Buckley and others. But instead President Obama is to the right of these three men on this issue of Freedom of Choice.

At some point America as a country needs to realize that we don't have an unlimited Fountain of Wealth when it comes to money and other resources. That we have to be somewhat conservative and I mean that in a good sense. That we are more responsible with the resources that we have as a country. And that we end Marijuana Prohibition from the Federal Level and let the States deal with this issues themselves.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Teach For America Program: Recruiting good Educators to Under Served Communities

Anything that we can do as a country through the Public as well as Private Sectors to encourage. More well educated people to teach and teach in Under Served Communities, we should be doing. And thats what this program is about, encouraging more good educators to teach in Under Served Communities. Urban and rural so those students can have a shot at getting a good education as well. So we can finally have a Public Education System thats not based on how much money your parents make. That determines whether you can get a good education or not. But based on how well the students do themselves in school. Give all of our students a shot at a good education and then see what they can do with. Because right now our Public Education System is funded through Property Taxes. And the schools are funded based on the Property Tax in that community and how much the property's are worth. So if a student lives in a Middle Class or an Upper Class Community. Chances are they are going to be able to go to a good school and the educators there. Are even well paid because that community has the resources it needs to have good schools. But if a student lives in a Low Income Community urban or rural, chances are they aren't going to be able to go to a good school. Because that community won't have the resources it needs to have enough good schools.

Money is not a Magic Bullet in education but its definitely a bullet thats needed to have good schools. So what the Teach For America Program does, is encourages good teachers to teach in these Under Served Communities. That doesn't have enough resources have enough good educators for all of their students. So thats a good step and reform but we also need things like more Charter Schools. To give our students more choice in where they get their education. As well as Public School Choice, so our students aren't forced to go to a school based on where they live. As well as setting up some type of system that would allow us to equalize the funding of our Public Schools. That would help make up the difference financially between Upper and Middle Class Communities, with Low Income Communities. That would provide additional resources for Under Served Schools so they have the resources that they need to do a good job. And then all of our students would have a good shot at getting a good education in America. No matter what community they live or if they go to a public or private school.

With as bad as the economy is and as bad of shape our fiscal situation is right now and will be in the future. If we don't address it properly, now is the best time to reform our Public Education System. So we can have the best schools possible to produce as many well qualified workers as possible. So when we finally get the economy going we'll have enough workers for those job. And keep more good jobs in America.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Free Trade Agreements Signal Bipartisan Cooperation": Why Foreign Trade is important

The fact is America has to trade with Foreign Countries, we are a country of 310M people in a World of 6B people. We are huge but we only represent 5% of the World's Population. Most of the customers in the World live outside of America, so its in our best interest. To trade with these countries especially in our own neighborhood. Like Canada, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean and in emerging markets in South America. Like Brazil, Argentina, Columbia. And of course with the European Union, Arabia and Asia and even in Africa. An Economic Policy that would work best, includes Foreign Trade. Making things in America, selling them here which creates jobs in America for americans. But also selling those products to other countries by exporting them, including our Natural Resources. If we ever get around to establishing a National Energy Policy. To sell as many products as possible to make as much profit as possible to create as many American Jobs as possible. Thats what Foreign Trade is about when it works and it works when Tariff Rates are low and equal. Meaning you have the same Tariff Rate in your country, as your Trading Partners have in their countries. And you have assistance for people who lose their jobs as a result of Free Trade. Help for them to find another job for people who lose a job thats not coming back. Assistance to learn a new trade even while they are on Unemployment Insurance.

What we shouldn't be doing is having an Isolationist Policy either on trade or Foreign Policy. And limit the influence that we can have as a World Power both economically and in Foreign Policy. But we shouldn't be trying to run the World either but representing our own National Interests and expressing our own Democratic Values. And Foreign Trade is a way to do this to be engaged with what is happening in the World. One of the reasons why I'm for eliminating the Trade Embargo with Cuba, who doesn't represent a threat at all to us. Economically, their military or in the War on Terror. Cuba is simply not a threat to America, perhaps never has been the Trade Embargo has cost both countries. And hasn't helped anyone, denying cubans and americans access to the other country. And allowing cubans to see what Liberal Democracy looks like, Individual Liberty. But this is what we should be doing with any country whether they are democratic or not. As long as they don't represent a threat to us.

If you want to have a strong economy and be able to influence other peoples and other countries. You need to talk with them in order to do that and do business with them. To give yourself Maximum Access around the World and be able to make as much profit as possible. And have as many customers as possible as well. Otherwise your just talking and dealing with yourself which can get lonely.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

VOA News: Activists Seeking to Capitalize on 'Occupy' Protests

I believe at least a majority of the country supports these protests on Wall Street all across the political spectrum. Wall Street is not very popular with any political party right now, except for maybe the Libertarian Party and Tea Party. That's why we are seeing large protests all across the country against Wall Street and even corporate America to a certain extent. I wish these protests would reach Congress as well, both in the House and Senate. To get them to start moving an legislating and even coming together.

Occupying Congress and the members who are bought by Wall Street, at least in too many cases, would make more sense, than to simply try to occupy buildings where a lot of investing is done. I mean if this was a real occupy movement Left or Right and this time it is certainly coming the Left, if not Far-Left, you go where the money is so to speak. And occupy the people who take the money from the business's and investors you are say are destroying the American middle class. I know that sounds like commonsense and what does that have to do with American politics, probably nothing, but something to think about. 

And hopefully OWS will at some point, with a 13% approval rating of Congress and with the people who officially who approve of Congress either dead, living in Mongolia, or in a coma, because who could in their right mind who is familiar with our government, actually approve of the job that the U.S. House and Senate are doing right now. There's plenty incentive for them to do that, if they have the guts to take on their political bases. 468 members of Congress between the House and Senate are up for reelection in 2012. 

And if 2012 is another anti-incumbent election, then a lot of those members in both parties could be looking for new jobs after election night. Seriously, the scariest thought for any career politician, perhaps especially someone in Congress, is looking for a new job, Which is why pissed off Americans should be scaring the hell out of them right now.  But right now they are focused on Wall Street so I'll focus there. What these protesters have in common is that they are independent. Meaning they aren't Democrats or Republicans in a lot of cases. 

Not one national organization is running these protests and putting them together. But a bunch of different political organizations perhaps working together. And there's also political diversity within this movement. Socialists, Libertarians and some Liberals are all part of this movement, perhaps even some true Conservatives, who are fed up with bailouts corporate capitalism and want to see change in our economic system.A diverse somewhat American melting pot of political philosophy. Who have found at least one issue to not try to beat the heads of people they normally don't agree with.

The political diversity in this movement is positive for them in this sense, it indicates that there's broad support for it. That there's not one political party behind it and that the country wants to see real change in our country and our economic system. But it's a problem as well, because there isn't a consensus in what change and reform should look like. Conservatives and libertarians would like to see government less involved with our economic system spending less and downsizing and less regulation and no more bailouts and tax less. Socialists obviously are the complete opposite of that and perhaps would like to nationalize some industries, especially banking and health care. 

Liberals would like to see reform with our entitlements, cutting the deficit and debt, infrastructure investment, tax cuts for the middle class, expand free trade. And bring our foreign troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq and other places. There's significant support for what Conservatives, Libertarians and Liberals want to do. Socialists have the most ambitious agenda of everyone, perhaps put together. Having a political coalition of Liberals, Libertarians, Conservatives and Socialists is not an odd couple. More like a melting pot put into a big stew, that makes people want to vomit after eating it. 

Socialists want to return America to the 1950s as far as tax policy. Tax rates starting at 25% and going up to 90% and people like socialist economist Richard Wolfe have been very upfront about that. As well as nationalizing our healthcare system, nationalizing our higher education system. With the Federal Government now paying for everyone to go to college at taxpayer expense. As well as other things. If you think America has a big government now, put Socialists in charge and this government would look like a midget that is shrinking in comparison to what they want to do.

There's potential for a movement here as being against something, but that's the easy part. The question is what do you do instead, what do you and what do you replace it with. And all of these political factions have their own agendas that they would like to see pass. This is not a governing coalition, but more like a protest coalition similar to what the Ross Perot movement of the 1990s. So I don't see a consensus right now in what to do instead after the partnership between Wall Street and the Federal Government is broken up. 

And that can only happen with either getting private money out of federal politics. Can't be done without a constitutional amendment, because the Supreme Court would throw it out. The only other alternative I see is full- disclosure which is very difficult to pass. Because it would require public officials to release to the public who they deal with and how much money they receive from them. Asking a career politician to release their political contributors, is like asking an obese food addict to give up eating cold turkey for a week straight without supervision. Good luck with that and let me know how it works out.

Until there's a movement that has broad support in not only what its against, but what they want to instead and can get elected and reelected and puts proposals on the table that becomes law, We are stuck where we are in gridlock, with a do nothing Congress with its first eye always on the next election and how to get their base to the polls and votes for them. But look at the bright side, when things aren't going well for you and you are in trouble, you'll always have Congress to make fun of and say, "at least I'm not as bad as those people and know how to get my work done".

Monday, October 10, 2011

"The most Deliberative Legislative Body in the World": How Senate Republicans have shut down the US Senate

I'm about to write a fairly wonky blog here designed for Political Junkies such as myself and able to put the rest of the population to sleep. So you now heard my warning and like they say in the movies, this is not attended to all viewers and Viewer Discretion is advised. This blog is about the US Senate the Upper Chamber in Congress which is an actually Bi Cameral Legislature. Especially compared with the United Kingdom. And how the Senate operates and how its supposed to operate and how the Senate Republican Leadership has abused its rules. In order to stop the Senate Democratic Leadership from doing anything. And to give this impression of the Senate that its locked in gridlock. And how as a result the Senate needs to reform its rules, not to make it more like the US House of Representatives. But to still respect Minority Rights in the Senate, like they should be respected in the rest of the country. But where the Senate can still function, brings Legislation to the floor, votes on amendments. Including alternatives from the Minority Party but then debate and vote. Especially on Non Controversial Legislation. So that the Minority Party Leadership could still block Legislation but that they just can't prevent Legislation from being brought to the floor. Debated and amended and then after the debates, if the Minority Leadership has the votes. Then they can block Legislation, they just can't prevent Legislation from being brought to the floor. Amended and debated that the Senate would be able to conduct its business.

What Senate Leader Harry Reid did Thursday Night and I actually saw the debate and discussion, because again I'm a Political Junky. Was bring and pass a motion with a 51-48 vote, of course a Party Line Vote. That would prevent any Senator from bringing Non Germane Amendments to the Senate Floor. For example with this new motion, no Senator can bring an Agriculture Amendment to a Defense bill. And Leader Reid did this because Senate Republicans have brought countless Non Germane Amendments to Legislation. That Leader Reid has brought to the floor, knowing that they didn't have the votes to pass them. But just to slow the debate down and make the Senate Democratic Leadership. Jump through more hoops in order to bring a Senate Debate to an end with the Cloture Rule. Which I'll explain later , hopefully your still awake at that point. So what Senate Republicans have done and I'm guessing under the Leadership of their Leader Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Is every time Senate Democrats bring Legislation to the floor, Senate Republicans bring as many amendments to the Legislation that they can. In an attempt to drag on the debate as long as they can and they've done this on anything that Senate Democrats bring to the floor. Including on Legislation that ultimately passes with Bi Partisan votes.

As a result of all of this obstructionism, Leader Reid has decided that he's seen enough. Even though I believe its a little late in the game for this. He's should've done it in the last Congress when he had 59 votes. But this is a good move in attempt to get the Senate moving again. Especially on things like the American Jobs Act, where Senate Democrats are going to make a huge push to pass it. After they amend it and even pay for it with a Tax Hike on millionaires and above to pay for it. Which of course Senate Republicans would try to block and try to pass this Legislation. Even if the Republican House doesn't pass a Jobs Act of their own but then Senate Democrats will at least be able to say. That they are in charge of the Senate and its Congressional Republicans that are in their way. But the Senate needs to go farther to make the Senate more functional. Like eliminating the Motion to Proceed Rule, which takes 60 votes just to debate anything. As well as limiting Blocking of Legislation with the Cloture Rule to just the Final Votes on Legislation.

Instead of the US Senate being the "most deliberative Legislative Body in the World". Its become a Debating Society, where all they do now is talk about how they are going to talk. Meaning how they are going to debate and they are going to consider. Which is why they need these Rule Reforms and even go farther. Like having a real Rules Committee like in the House but different, make it Bi Partisan. Instead of spending time debating how they are going to debate on the Senate Floor.

Friday, October 7, 2011

US Adds 103,000 Jobs, Unemployment Still 9.1 Percent: Good Start but we need more

103,000 job net created in September is a hell of a lot better then of course 0 that was created in August. Actually 103K times better and at least the Unemployment Rate didn't increase. And President Obama finally put a Jobs Plan on the table and sent it to Congress and the Senate will take it up next week. And they'll offer a plan that will have a Sir Tax on millionaires. Meaning anyone making a million$ a year or more. Would receive a Tax Hike to finance the American Jobs Act. And the President's plan has some credibility as far as creating Economic and Job Growth. By focusing on Infrastructure Investment, Free Trade and Tax Cuts. As well as some Debt Relief for the Middle Class. And the House is finally talking about a plan that would include Infrastructure Investment. By talking about a six year Highway bill that would be paid for and hopefully in the neighborhood of 200B$ a year. And this Jobs Report I believe is a good start and hopefully will advance the ball rolling in Congress. To at least debate different plans including the President's and even put their own plans on the table. And hopefully these rally's in Washington will have some affect at getting Congress to do something. The Senate will debate the American Jobs Act next week and will probably amend it. Along with the Chinese Currency bill and hopefully the House will at least put their own plan on the table.

Congress may be forced to put their own Jobs Plans on the table politically. Because according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The President is beating by a large margin Congress when it comes to the economy. Both the House and Senate and the Approval Rating for Congress right now is around 15%. And I wonder if those 15% are willing to make their votes public or fear being ridiculed and looking crazy or both. The President has his own plan and the Senate will debate that plan and probably offer their own ideas. And Senate Leader Harry Reid scored a huge victory Thursday Night. When he won on a motion that would disallow Senators to offer amendments that are Non-Germane to the Jobs Act. Meaning they have nothing to do with the actual bill, like an Agriculture Amendment being offered to a Defense Bill. To use as an example and Senate Republicans the Minority Party, have routinely offered amendments to bills. That Leader Reid has brought to the Senate Floor just to slow the bill down. Knowing they don't have the votes to pass their amendments. So hopefully this means Senate Democrats can pass the American Jobs Act out of the Senate.

Looks like American Business's are hiring again at least according the the September Jobs Report but to continue this in the future. We need to jump start Economic Growth which will lead to Job Growth. And the President and Congress need to come together to push a plan to do this. So we can get people working again and bring down our Unemployment Rate.

Monday, October 3, 2011

John Fitzhamh: The 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis: The Start Of the War on Terror?

The 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis was awful for lots of reasons. For one the hostages who had to go through that ordeal. The hostages friends and families who had to go through that ordeal. The American People who had to go through this ordeal as well. With all the news coverage and news specials that was dedicated to covering the hostage crisis. The country had to not only go through this ordeal, but also the embarrassment that came with it. How weak America looked as a result, that a group of students Islamic Terrorists in a third-world country could essentially take a country hostage.

As well as take an American presidency hostage. President Carter as well and probably crushed whatever hope he had left in getting reelected in 1980. Especially with Senator Ted Kennedy announcing that he would run for president in the Democratic primary's. America in this period was already going through a very rough period especially economically. With double figure unemployment and interest as well as inflation rates, with another recession. In 1978 as well as 1980 and was facing several other issues that all commanded the attention of the Carter Administration. But when you have American hostages in a foreign country especially in a country thats not friendly with where we had already closed our embassy there, thats job one. And you stay on that job until you (pardon the pun) get the job done.

The Carter Administration was on top of the hostage crisis and I give them credit for that. Despite all of the other issues they were dealing with. Like looking weak to use as an example with Russia invading Afghanistan a neighbor of Iran in late 1979. To try to install a communist government there. There are lots of reasons that led to the Iranian Hostage Crisis, none of them justified taking innocent people hostage. But most of them America's fault and the Iranians were justified in being angry at America. The main reason I believe being the Shah of Iran who was installed by the United States and United Kingdom. And could be removed and replaced at anytime the U.S. and U.K. wanted to.

And the Shah even though he was pretty progressive on economic and foreign policy and was a very bright man, was brutal dictator in how he dealt with political dissent in Iran. And this was a reason why the Islamic Revolution started in 1978 and took over the Iranian Government in early 1979. And the Shah fled to Egypt and an Islamic Theocracy was formed in Iran in 1979. And of course the Iranian Hostage Crisis in November 4, 1979. And even though the United States officially declared War on Terror in late 2001 after 9/11, I believe we were already in this war over twenty years earlier.

I believe the Iranian Hostage Crisis was the start of it in 1979. The U.S. Marine Barracks Bombing in 1982. Libya's sponsoring of terrorism in the mid and late 1980s in Lockerbie Scotland and other areas as well. And then you go to the 1990s with the first World Trade Center Bombing in 1993. As well as Saudi Arabia in 1996 and the East African Embassy Bombings in 1998. America was already in the War on Terror long before 2001, we just hadn't officially declared it yet.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

ABC News: World News Tonight- Three Mile Island, Safety Fears in 1979

Source ABC News- Dr. Harold Denton, Nuclear Regulatory Commission-
Source: ABC News: World News Tonight- Three Mile Island Meltdown, Safety Fears in 1979

The meltdown of Three Mile Island in March of 1979 looked to be a disaster for several reasons. For one for the nuclear industry, because it was evidence that nuclear power might not be safe for our economy that had already tanked in 1978 and only got worse in 1979. With almost no economic growth, high unemployment and interest rates. A potential political disaster for the Carter Administration where President Carter was already unpopular. But this accident was handled very well so they weren't hurt by it. So there were several different factors that happened because of Three Mile Island. And if there were any positives that came as a result, it was more evidence that America needs a national energy policy then an thirty-two years later that moves America towards energy independence. By promoting our vast amount of natural resources including nuclear power.

If it's done right and when you to do something like this in a bad economy like in the late 1970s and thirty-plus years later, similar circumstances that could put millions of unemployed workers back to work in brand new American energy industries that promotes our vast renewable energy resources. As well as promoting our older energy industries like coal as well as clean coal, gas and natural gas and nuclear power. President Carter I believed advanced energy policy very well on in his Administration. Actually within the first few months of it in early 1977 in the heart of a brutally cold winter and had some success getting a bill through Congress in 1977. Which was a very good idea on his part. Both from an economic point of view and a political point of view. Because President Carter inherited a weak economy and the Middle East was sort or playing games with our oil supply.

With the 1973 Oil Embargo and President Ford picked up on this in 1974-75 after he became President and he inherited an economic recession from President Nixon who he replaced in 1974, so he picked  a good time to push a national energy policy as well and he gave speeches about it. Including from the Oval Office, but had no success getting an energy policy passed out of a Democratic Congress. They saw President Ford as very vulnerable being an "Accidental President" who came in during an economic recession. And he had also pardoned President Nixon within a month of becoming President as well. After President Carter in the late 70s, a push for a national energy policy didn't really happen again to President George W Bush. After he became President in 2001, tried to pass a bill in 2003. Which was blocked by Senate Democrats, but got an energy policy passed in 2005, but that was mostly just about big oil, not comprehensive at all. America will never be able to drill for energy independence. American oil has to be one of the resourced we use, but it should only be part of a broader energy policy, but not the whole policy. A national energy policy has to be about of promoting all of our natural resources in order to finally get to energy independence.