Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democracy

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Minority Leader Pelosi on GOP Bill to Deny Workers' Rights": Why we need Organize Labor

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.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

ESPN: Video: SportsCentury: Greatest Head Coaches, Vince Lombardi

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. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Joel Austin: The Rise of Liberalism- The History of The Christian Church

Source: Joel Austin-
Source: Joel Austin: The Rise of Liberalism- The History of The Christian Church

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

Frozen Feet Films: Fritz- The Walter Mondale Story

Source:IMDB- About the life and career of former U.S. Senator and Vice President of the United States, Walter Mondale.

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

AP Raw Video: House Rejects Balanced Budget Amendment: Now can we get serious

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

Leader Pelosi on GOP's BBA: The Plus's and Minus's of a BBA

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

"Struggling Detroit Seeks Economic Boost": How Mo Town can Recover

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

Passionate Patriots: 1960 DNC: JFK Teams Up With Rival LBJ- Leadership For The 1960s

1960 was the last presidential election where a Vice Presidential nomination was the difference in who was elected President. Because Jack Kennedy already had the votes of the Liberal and Progressive Democrats. Especially in the North who could care less about Senator Kennedy being an Irish Catholic Northeastern Liberal from Massachusetts. But because of those factors Southern Democrats who are Conservative Republicans today, weren't convinced that Jack Kennedy was acceptable enough to be President of the United States. Which is why Lyndon Johnson who was also the Leader of the Senate at the time. Was so critical to this ticket, because he was a Southern Democrat at least regionally.

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.

Monday, November 14, 2011

James Miller Center: FDR Fireside Chat 7: On the Social Security Act- The History of Social Security

Source:James Miller Center- President Franklin D. Roosevelt and company 
Source:James Miller Center: FDR Fireside Chat 7- On The Social Security Act

When Franklin Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1933, he had a mountain of challenges in front of him that he had to face. Dwarfing anything that President Obama inherited in 2009. The Great Depression was just starting and the country had at the time nothing to deal with it. No plan to get out of it and no safety net other than private charity to help sustain people as they go through it. These challenges were so big that it wasn't until World War II almost ten years later that America recovered from the Great Depression. Which is why President Roosevelt and others developed the New Deal and other legislation to deal with the Great Depression. And to establish a safety net in America.

Like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance and Welfare Insurance. Insurance programs that people can turn to when they can't support themselves. President Roosevelt brought economic progressivism into law in America. Something that we had very little of in America before that. We certainly didn't have a welfare state or even a safety net prior to the New Deal. We were basically an economic libertarian society before that, where everyone was on their own. And of course a lot if not most Libertarians would like to see us move back to that libertarian society. Where all Americans are responsible for taking care of themselves whether they are able to or not. Whether they have access to a pension or not, lose their job, makes mistakes early in life. Like having kids before they are ready to take care of them, etc.

Now I disagree with how a lot of these programs were designed originally. I believe most Americans would reform these programs in some way. Progressives would expand them, Liberals such as myself would decentralize them and turn them over to the states. Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has a plan to do that. Conservatives would privatize them all together and Libertarians would end them calling them unconstitutional. But what the New Deal and later Great Society in the 1960s, did was at least provide a basic floor for people to turn to. When for whatever reason they weren't able to fend for themselves and has been successful in doing that.

All of these programs need to be reformed in the financing like a lot the programs in the Federal Government. They didn't get us out of the Great Depression, at least on their own. World War II did most of the work on that, but the New Deal did for the first time in America, provide us with a basic safety net for the country. But a lot of these programs seventy-five plus years after they were created, need to be reformed. Because of how they were designed and need to be reformed to save them so they are there in the future. Part of President Roosevelt's legacy is that he transformed America into a country where we were basically on our own, into a country where at least to a certain extent we look after each other. Whether we want to or not, as Libertarians might phrase that. But the New Deal is not responsible for getting us out of the Great Depression. World War II and our involvement had a lot to do with that.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Napalm Captain: Michael Dukakis For President 1988- A New Era

Source: Time Magazine- It case that isn't obvious enough-
Source: Napalm Captain: 1988 Michael Dukakis New Era Ad Campaign

On paper going into the 1988 presidential election, Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts was a perfect presidential candidate to go against Vice President George Bush. He was a popular successful governor of a major state, a heavily Democratic state. Unlike Walter Mondale he had no ties to the Carter Administration. He was an outsider a governor. Someone with considerable executive experience running a major state. He was an outsider running against the ultimate insider who since 1967 when George Bush took his seat in the House, was working in Washington and the Federal Government in some capacity. Except from 1977-81 when he was running for president and later vice president.

The Democratic Party had just won back the Senate in 1986 and added to their majority in the House. Iran Contra was still fresh in people's minds politically speaking. Governor Dukakis was similar to Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas. Mike Dukakis was of course a Northeastern or Massachusetts Liberal as he was labeled by Vice President Bush and others. But not some Far-Left Socialist which is how Reverend Jackson was labeled, but a Classical Liberal Democrat. Someone who believed in individual liberty and limited government. He supported things as Governor of Massachusetts that became law by the Federal Government 5-10 years later. Like Welfare to Work, Three Strikes Law that was in the 1994 Crime bill, gun control same bill, deficit reduction. Mike Dukakis's politics were pretty similar to Jack Kennedy, another Northeastern Massachusetts Liberal Democrat.

Mike Dukakis was even likable, reserve and cool sure which hurt him with connecting with voters in the general election. But he was up 17 points over George Bush when the Democratic Convention was over. So the Bush Campaign made a similar calculation that they did when they were trailing Bob Dole back in January and February 1988. That they aren't going to beat Dukakis by showing America how great a guy George Bush was. That the way to beat Dukakis was to make him look like a bad guy, as someone who was Un-American, unpatriotic, soft on crime, etc. Someone who was a Far-Left democrat that's unacceptable to be President of the United States.

That's why we saw the controversial Willy Horton ad, and the commercial of Mike Dukakis in a tank. All thanks to Lee Atwater George Bush's chief political strategist. And with the Dukakis Campaign playing dead on these ads thinking that Americans won't believe them and take them seriously. This is where we heard the term an attack that's not responded to, must be the truth. And these ads killed Mike Dukakis's chances of winning that campaign. Mike Dukakis brought a twig to a Gun Fight and got his head handed to him.

Mike Dukakis represents to me how not to run a presidential campaign. That its good to share your personal story and your family history and how you worked your way up in America. And what you want to do as President, but that you also have to understand that presidential elections are also wars. That if you don't fight back it's just as good as surrendering and you'll get beat. And this is a lesson the Bill Clinton learned in 1992, with his War Room with Jim Carville and others. And while they were so able to respond to any attacks that were thrown at them in 1992.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Firing Line 1984: "Is There a Liberal Crack-Up?": The Fall of the Democratic Party

From 1933 to 1981 the Democratic Party ran the United States for the most part. Holding the White House from 1933-53, then again from 1961-69 and again from 1977-81. For a total 32-48 years and controlling Congress from 1931-47, 1949-53, 1955-81. For a total of 46-50 years. So when Ronald Reagan gets elected President in 1980 in a landslide of President Jimmy Carter and reelected in a landslide in 1984. And Senate Republicans win control of the Senate for the first time in twenty eight years in 1980. And hold keep control for six years, this was a huge shock for the Democratic Party. That was use to having most if not all of the power in the Federal Government. Under the Leadership of the Democratic Party, they passed the New Deal in the 1930s, won World War II in the 1940s. With the help of President Eisenhower in the 1950s, passed the Interstate Highway System. Passed the Great Society and Civil Rights in the 1960s, impeached a corrupt President in 1974, won back the White House in 1976. Along with large majorities in Congress but by the time the late 1970s came around, rough time to be a democrat. The Democratic Party was becoming divided and running out of ideas in where to take the country. Progressive Democrats wanted to pass the next installment of the Great Society what's called the Fair Deal, Single Payer Healthcare, Universal Higher Education, return to the high Tax Rates of the 1950s etc. Liberal Democrats wanted to freeze new Social Insurance spending and balance the Federal Budget. And Conservative Democrats were becoming Conservative Republicans.

Democratic Socialism was the ruling Political Ideology in the Democratic Party and in the United States from 1933-81. There was a feeling that the Federal Government wasn't big enough. And that we needed a Welfare State to catch up with Europe to provide all of these Social Services provided by government. And financed through high Tax Rates, which up until the Kennedy Administration ranged from 25-90%. But during World War II which is what got us out of the "Great Recession" up until the late 1950s. We had an Economic Boom but then we had a recession in 1958-59, we started pulling out of Vietnam in the early and mid 1970s. Had another recession in 1974-75 with those same high Tax Rates. The economy tanked again in 1978, another recession in 1979-80 again with the same high Tax Rates. Top Tax Rate 70%, lowest Tax Rate 15-20% and because of this there was a Tax Revolt in California. And in other places in the country led by Howard Jarvis and his group, Kemp-Roth is proposed in 1978-79. Which became the Economic Recovery Act in 1981 signed by President Reagan. And after having their clocks handed to them in 1980, the Democratic Party wasn't sure where to go. And I believe they basically settled for Walter Mondale in 1984 who was President Carter's Vice President.

If you look at our Political History, except for the Clinton Administration from 1993-2001, President Clinton who was a Liberal Democrat. But in the true sense of those terms, the last thirty years have been dominated by Conservative Republicans. Both Classical Conservatism with the Reagan-Bush Administration from 1981-93 with a Republican Senate from 1981-87. A Republican Congress from 1995-2001 and then a Neoconservative Administration with President Bush from 2001-09. With a Republican Congress from 2003-07 and its just in the last few years with democrats taking back Congress. And President Obama being elected President that liberalism has come back in America.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

President Obama: Signing Order to Cut 'Wasteful' Spending: About time!

Cutting Wasteful Spending in the Federal Government, wow where to start in a budget of 3.7T$ more money then most economy's in the World. Where some Federal Departments waste up to 50-100B$ a year alone. President Obama signing an Executive Order to do this on his own. Especially since Congress can't agree to do anything right now or the House is not interested in passing. Anything that could become law in this Congress and the Senate can't pass any major Legislation right now. Actually the Senate can't even agree on what to debate right now. I believe this Executive Order will send a message to Congress and the country that he's serious about Government Waste thats funded by Tax Payers. But there are so many areas to cut and reform and the President will need Congress to pass something to make that happen. Like Earmark Reform forcing Members of Congress to pay for their earmarks, which will make it tougher to pass wasteful earmarks. Because they would have to justify paying for an earmark to fund Horse Waste Research and things like that. Forcing earmarks to be relevant to the bills that they are attached. Earmark Disclosure so you know who sponsored and co sponsored earmarks and where they are going. A Line Item Veto so the President could cut out waste on their own thats Constitutional. And Congress would always override the veto's if they have the votes.

We have a National Debt now approaching 15T$ and a Budget Deficit of 1.8T$, we have to find ways to save money. And you do that through cutting back on things that you don't need. Pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan is a good start but I would add Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea to that list. And demand that those Developed Nations defend themselves especially since they all have the resources to do so. Reforming our Entitlement Programs so people who don't need them stop collecting from them. Basically turning them into Welfare Programs and turing these programs over to the States to run. Letting them have their own programs that would be Semi Private Non Profit Tightly Regulated Community Services instead. Creating a National Infrastructure Bank to prioritize our Infrastructure Investment and gather Private Investment to pay for it. Again something else the Federal Government wouldn't have to run and Congress would have less of an opportunity to waste Tax Payer money. All these things would save the Federal Government and Tax Payers trillions of dollars a year. And we could wipe our our Federal Deficit and pay down our Federal Debt.

President Obama made a good first step in knocking out waste in the Federal Government and I hope his. Executive Order succeeds but its only a first step and we need to go much farther. And we are not going to be able to eliminate debt and deficit on waste, fraud and abuse alone. We need much Structural Reform in our Federal Government to accomplish this.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"The Progressive Values of the U.S. Constitution": What the Constitution is about

To me the US Constitution is an Individualist Document designed to protect, promote and advance Individual Liberty and Limited Government. Limited Government being the key factor, the belief that if government becomes very big. Its gets big at the expense of Individual Liberty, because it makes the people more dependent on government. Thats one of the beauty's of living in a Liberal Democracy especially if your a liberal. But I would argue for anyone who's not a socialist, that Individual Liberty is protected to the point. That we have Constitutional Rights protecting our Individual Liberty. Not a government designed to take care of the people, that we have the liberty to make our own lives better. There is a Welfare Clause in the US Constitution but that doesn't mean that government funded by Tax Payers. But that doesn't mean that government is suppose to protect the country. But more about protecting the country from things that individuals can't do for themselves. Like being attacked by Armed Criminals, being attacked by a Foreign Country, being held hostage, people out of work not able to fend for themselves. Or are disabled and can't work enough to take care of themselves or can't work at all. These are the areas that government can come in and should come in and even has the Constitutional Authority and Responsibility. To step in at Tax Payer expense to help its people.

When you live in a Liberal Democracy like America and America might be the only Liberal Democracy in the World. Individuals have the liberty and responsibility to take care of themselves. That we aren't dependent on government to take care of ourselves but when we do go through tough times. Like losing our job, then government can come in and help us out until we can get on our feet. Or even help us get on our feet. The US Constitution was written by liberals and libertarians who were rebels that wanted to break away from the United Kingdom. That at the time was very authoritarian with their high Tax Rates and everything else. They wanted the liberty to take care of themselves and get the King of Britain off their backs. The US Constitution was not written by socialists or progressives trying to build a "Utopian Society". Where Central Planners in government would plan out exactly how life would be in America. And that government would be there to take care of the people. They designed a Federal Government with three Equal Branches and Checks and Balances. To make is difficult for the Federal Government to govern and pass laws. That the ability of those things to happen would be based on the Leadership of our Leaders. That they couldn't do anything that they wanted to do.

There are "Progressive Values" in the Constitution in the sense that we were coming from under the rule of an Authoritarian Monarchy. And building a Republic in the form of a Liberal Democracy which is what America is today. So we were designing a government in a country that would protect our Constitutional Rights. But the US Constitution does not call for a government to make peoples lives better for them. But to protect their Individual Liberty for them to make their lives as good as they can for themselves. And help people out who can't take care of themselves.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Learn Liberty: Dr. Nigel Ashford- The History of Classical Liberalism

Source: Learn Liberty- Dr. Nigel Ashford-
Source: Learn Liberty: Dr. Nigel Ashford- The History of Classical Liberalism

The Professor in this video does a pretty good job of laying out what classical liberalism is. That it's about individual liberty and protecting individual liberty and is skeptical of power. Governmental power or too much power in the private sector. Because as the Professor says power is the ability to make people do what they otherwise wouldn't do. And liberalism is also about rule of law, not being so-called soft on crime as people have stereotyped Liberals. But that government should protect people from the harm of others, not try to protect people from themselves.

Liberalism is about individual liberty and limited government, which those being the main two principles. All other aspects of liberalism get to that. How to promote, advance and protect individual liberty. About individualism not collectivism which is about expanding government and spending more on social insurance. Or creating new social insurance programs, but laying out exactly what government should be doing. Socialism is about welfare state programs and using those programs so none has too much or too little, as they would see it.

Again, the role of liberalism is to promote, advance and protect individual liberty. The constitutional rights of individuals to live their own lives and be as successful in life as their production will allow. To take out of life what they put into it and limiting government to doing what it can and does well. And what it only can do and should do. Not having government try to solve every problem that society faces.

And these are the things that liberalism is about, coming from liberty. It's not socialism or even but like progressivism trying to use government to make society better. It is progressive though, because again it's about promoting, advancing and protecting individual liberty for all, not just some. In the early 20th Century during the Teddy Roosevelt era which was called the Progressive Era, there was this feeling that America had to much inequality. And that a lot of Americans were falling through the cracks in the economy and that government should step in and solve these programs.

That government should create things like Unemployment Insurance, National Health Insurance, protecting workers rights and worker Safety. And a lot of these things were achieved in the FDR New Deal in the 1930s. These are all progressive policy's and a lot of Liberals all support these goals. But these aren't liberal policy's, because they are about using government to help people in need. Instead of empowering people in need to help themselves become self-sufficient.

And some so-called Liberals may sound similar as Liberals, but they are different because a lot of people who are called Liberals today, are really not. They have some liberal positions on most if not all social issues. But they tend to have  social democratic views on economic policy. And that government especially the Federal Government should be a lot bigger to solve the problems that society faces. It's great that people who actually understand what liberalism is and what it's about speak out about it.

Liberals whether you want to call us Classical Liberals, (which is fine if you're talking about John F. Kennedy) should give speeches and lectures about it and even make videos about it. Because a lot of Americans especially in the media don't understand what liberalism is. And get it mixed up with progressivism and democratic socialism. Which unlike liberalism aren't individualist ideology's, but collectivist ideology's using government through high tax rates to make society equal. Where liberalism is about using government to make people freer so we can all as a society enjoy individual liberty.

Liberalism is a political ideology based on realism and the real word. It's not about perfection and making the world as perfect and great for everyone, but instead creating a society where as many people as possible can thrive and achieve individual freedom for themselves. The ability for as many people as possible to live in freedom and make their own economic and personal decisions and then live with the consequences of those decision for the best and worst of their decisions. Doesn't sound very idealistic or realistic and something that some Hollywood movie would be based on that prefers socialism because of how romantic and idealistic it is. But liberalism is based on realism and how the world really works. Where the best decisions tend to be made.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Inside App: President Lyndon Johnson Signs Medicare Law- The Legacy of Medicare

When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law that guarantees health insurance for senior citizens provided by the Federal Government and financed by an increase in the payroll tax, President Johnson finished off part of President Harry Truman’s presidential legacy. His Fair Deal agenda that he tried to pass through Congress. But since the Republican Party took control of Congress in 1947 and with President Truman’s unpopularity, he wasn’t able to pass it through Congress.

Lyndon Johnson was actually in Congress during the Truman Administration both House and Senate. Elected to the Senate in 1948, actually served in Congress during the entire Truman presidency. And was in House during the first four years of the Truman Presidency. Both Truman and Johnson were New Deal Democrats on economic policy. So signing Medicare into law in I believe was a big deal to both Truman and Johnson and why President Truman was at the Medicare signing ceremony.

Health insurance for senior citizens is something that both Truman and Johnson were fighting for a long time. But a couple of Republican Congress’s, one in the late 1940s and another in the early 1950s, as well as the Eisenhower Administration, got in the way of Medicare coming into law. Actually President Truman wanted to go farther and create a single payer health care system, but for the same reasons wasn’t able to get that done.

The legacy of Medicare I believe overall is pretty good, because it’s guaranteed health insurance for senior citizens as it was intended to. It wasn’t designed to become a single payer health insurer. That would essentially be the sole health insurer for everyone in the country. And outlawing private health insurers. If President Johnson wanted to do that, he probably would’ve proposed that. Because he had huge 2/3 majorities in the House and Senate up until 1967. When Congressional Republicans picked up a bunch of seats in both the House and Senate.

So President Johnson basically had three years to propose a single payer Medicare For All health care system, if he wanted to. But chose not to for whatever reasons. Perhaps he didn’t believe in a government-run health care system like they had at the time in the United Kingdom. Perhaps he didn’t believe the country was ready for that type of health care system or even wanted that. Perhaps he believed he didn’t have the votes for it.

Perhaps President Johnson didn’t have the votes for Medicare For All, with probably all Congressional Republicans voting against it, led by House Minority Leader Gerry Ford, Souse Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, Senator Barry Goldwater and others. As well as the Southern Caucus of Democrats in Congress. Medicare has been very positive in guaranteeing health insurance for all of our senior citizens and at the time was considered revolutionary. But today would seem somewhat mainstream like and not trying to upset anyone or chop down a tree. But something that a consensus of Americans would support.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Employers Add 80K Jobs, Rate Dips to 9 Pct: Progress but we need much more

Any drop in the Unemployment Rate is good news especially since we haven't had one since July. And we've had an Unemployment Rate of 9% or higher since 2010. But 80K jobs in a country as big as ours with an economy as big as ours with a workforce the size of ours. Is not a great number, we should be creating twice as many jobs each month. Even in an economy as weak as ours because we have the resources to do so. Its just a matter of utilizing those resources that we have and the President and the Democratic Senate. Is trying to pass things that will stimulate the economy. But haven't been able to work our any Economic Package with the Republican House or Senate Republicans. Senate Leader Harry Reid has brought up three bills in the Senate the last three weeks. But the Senate GOP Leadership keeps blocking them along with a few Democratic Senators. Things like aide to State and Local Governments so they don't have to lay off teacher or Emergency Personal. As well as a National Infrastructure Bank something that has Bi Partisan support at least in the Senate. But is now being blocked there by Senate Republicans. Both bills that would be paid for by a Millionaires Tax but of course House and Senate Republicans are saying no to any Tax Hikes right now.

There are a lot of things that we can do to boost the economy right that we should be doing. Especially with the Holiday Season coming or already here. A National Infrastructure Bank would be one of them to get Infrastructure Investment going in America again. And doing something to relieve Consumer Debt with a Tax Deduction. For people in the Middle Class to write off at least parts of their debt, followed by another Tax Credit. To encourage people to start spending money again and get Consumer Spending going again. And a Payroll Tax Holiday again to encourage Consumer Spending. And since President Obama is not getting much cooperation with Congressional Republicans in trying to pass a Economic Package. The President has moved to moving job bills through by Executive Order to keep people working. Maybe that will get Congress to start cooperating and start working together, which would be good news. Politically as well with all of those incumbents in Congress up for reelection next year. 469 out of 535 members in both parties which may be the only thing that gets an Economic Package passed in this Congress.

A drop in unemployment is good news and had it not of been for all the educators and Emergency Personal. That have been laid off the last few months, which is one reason why the President and Democratic Senate. Have been trying to pass State Aid so these governments don't have to lay off as many people.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge With Peter Robinson- Stanley Kurtz: 'Radical In-Chief'

Source: Hoover Institution- Peter Robinson-
Source: Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge With Peter Robinson- Stanley Kurtz: 'Radical In-Chief'

In today's politics when people on the Right and especially Far-Right when they are worried about a Democrat, especially a Progressive Democrat, take Barack Obama to use as an example, they call that person a Socialist. Whether they even know or not what socialism really is. Which is a diverse political ideology with many levels, similar to libertarianism in it's diversity, but much different in ideology obviously. Barack Obama clearly has leftist leanings in his background, even hanging out with Socialists. But that's different from actually being a Socialist.

I talk to Conservatives and Libertarians on a regular basis. Doesn't mean I'm one of them, I think for myself just like Barack Obama. The main reason why the Far-Left flank in the Democratic Party and social-democratic Independents, don't like President Obama right now and have threatened to run a so-called Progressive (Socialist, in reality ) candidate like Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich against President Obama in the Democratic primaries, is because President Obama is not a Socialist. He's not even a Democratic Socialist. Which is what Senator Bernie Sanders is and that exactly how he describes his politics and is or has been was a member of the Democratic Socialist Party. To know that Barack Obama is not a Socialist, just look at his presidency and the legislation he's passed and proposed and the reversals he's made on major issues.

To know that President Obama is not a socialist again just look at his presidency and how he's not done what Socialists wanted him to do. During the stimulus debate in 2009, Democratic Socialists were calling for a a stimulus of around 2T$, an FDR style New Deal stimulus. With all these new Federal agency's that would do all these works projects putting unemployed workers back to work. Which is what Progressive Economist Paul Krugman was calling for. The President and Congress put together a bill called the American Recovery Act of around 800B$ about 25% of that Tax Cuts.

Another thing Socialists don't tend to like and the so-called House Progressive Caucus ( Democratic Socialist Caucus, in reality ) proposed exactly what Socialists were calling for back in April. The health care reform debate again another perfect example of that,. Socialists obviously were calling for a single payer health insurance system. And settled for a public option in health insurance as their compromise, but President Obama who supports the idea of a public option, settled for the Affordable Care Act which instead has a tax credit for individuals to buy their own private health insurance. As well as a Patients Bill of Rights to regulate private health insurers.

If you're going to throw out the term socialist especially in America and you use that term to put people down, you should at least have some idea of what the hell you're talking about. Who the person that you're labeling socialist is and exactly what socialism is. Otherwise you're just throwing terms because you're ignorant or you're a political attack dog. Which is exactly what Americans hate about American politics right now.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

US Charities Endure Hard Times: How to help People in Poverty in Tough Times

Of course in a recession like this with how much the economy shrunk in 2008-09 and with the economy barely recovering now. Even though it picked up to 2.5% last quarter but still not enough. To save Federal, State and Local Governments from having to cut their budgets even in Social Services. That help Low Income people and other people and of course with people struggling to just pay their own bills if that. They are not going to be as willing to donate money to other people and charity's and of course charity's. And the people they are there to help suffer as a result, which is what is happening right now. Which is fighting poverty whether it comes from the Public or Private Sectors. Has to be about not just helping people when they can't take care of themselves, but empowering them to become Self Sufficient. Which gets to education, Job Training and Job Placement which would save a lot of these Public and Private Services. Because not as many people would need them or need them as long. But also find Funding Formula's that would essentially guarantee the funding of these services. So they are not as dependent or dependent at all on Tax Revenue which is dependent on the economy obviously. Or people donating to them, because they would always have the revenue that they need. To serve and empower the people that they need, whether its Food Assistance, Income Assistance, Housing Assistance, Healthcare, Health Insurance whatever it may be.

This is why I support giving all the Federal Government Social Insurance programs. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare Insurance, Public Housing, Food Assistance. Independence and autonomy turn them over to the States not to be run by them but run independently of them. Turn then into Non Profit Semi Private Community Services with each State having its own system, with their own Revenue Sources. And have them have to follow the same rules as Private Community Services. And change their missions especially the services that have to deal with Low Income people and the unemployed. From a support role as they are now and convert them to Empowerment Centers as well as Support Centers. To support people while they can't take care of themselves but also empower those people so they can become Self Sufficient. And again that gets to education, Job Training and Job Placement and with the homeless that might mean Healthcare. Physical and mental and help them with that, so they can get and education. And then so they can get a good job and their own place to live and become Self Sufficient as a result.

The worst thing about recessions like this, is of course the amount of damage that they do to the economy. With peoples incomes sinking with them becoming unemployed and everything else. But also the damage that it does to the Less Fortunate the people who can least take care of themselves. And are dependent on these Social Services just to survive and when a recession like this hits. They get hit the fastest and the hardest, which is why we need to establish a system. So we can empower more people to become Self Sufficient and do it faster.