Thursday, May 31, 2012
If there's one thing I hope I'm wrong about in 2012, its what I believe the Supreme Court ruling will be on the Affordable Care Act later this month. Because I believe the whole thing will get tossed out, just by what I heard from the Oral Arguments back in April. And who's currently sitting on the bench and how Justice Anthony Kennedy reacted to the arguments on both sides. And Justice Kennedy is suppose to be the Swing Vote but he was swinging to the right during the whole debate. I'm still holding out some hope, that even hough I expect the Individual Mandate to get tossed out, like a piece of garbage. That either Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Kennedy, will rule along with the Democrats on the bench, that the rest of the ACA, except for perhaps the Medicaid Provision. Will be able to stay and that the rest of the ACA is Constitutional.
I expect the Individual Mandate to be tossed out, me personally if its a choice, I rather see the Medicaid Provision get tossed out. And the Individual Mandate stay in, because the Medicaid Provision, like with Medicaid is an Unfunded Mandate. Again I hope I'm wrong but based on what I heard during the Oral Arguments, there's a better chance that Chief Justice Roberts will vote for the ACA. Then Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts is a bedrock Right Winger, where Justice Kennedy is more flexible and has more Libertarian leanings.
And maybe what Justice Kennedy said in public is, was just to express one side of the coin that he's considering with the ACA and when they deliberate in private. He'll look at the other side and perhaps one of the Democrats can help them see their side. But I'm not expecting that.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I know I've blogged about this before but I didn't vote for Barack Obama for President in the 2008 Maryland Primary. And I didn't vote for him in the Presidential Election, because I saw him as some God that would save the country, unlike some Progressives have seen him. Again in the Democratic Primaries he looked too far to the left for me and looked like some type of Democratic Socialist or something, with only Dennis Kucinich being to the left of him. I voted for Sen. Obama for President in 2008, over Sen. John McCain, because I saw his as the better candidate. Even though I respect Sen. McCain and still do, Barack Obama better represents my politics then John McCain, I'm a Liberal Democrat after all and even though Barack Obama is at best a Moderate Liberal. And this is worth debating, I still take that over a Conservative Republican, whether its John McCain or anyone else. As well as I thought that Barack was better suited to deal with the economic issues, we were just starting to face then Sen. McCain and if you look at Sen. McCain's speeches and so fourth in Congress ever since. I still believe that.
I give you this background just to tell you that I thought I had a pretty good idea in what I was getting in Barack Obama. And what type of President he would be, that he's not Franklin Rossevelt, which is fine with me, that he's more like Jack Kennedy or Bill Clinton. But not as strong and as bold, both President Kennedy and President Clinton made really tough decisions. And took clear stands as President and so did President Obama early on, especially with the economy. But he did not run for President to end the War on Drugs but to managed that war as best as he could and sees that through Law Enforcement for the most part or at least thats how he's governed. He did not run for President to throw out the Patriot Act or eliminate Indefinite Detention or put in Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform but to operate in those systems as best as he can.
Barack Obama is someone who gives great speeches and can lay out what America is and how we need to improve it. But is not someone who's going to put down a vision or a plan in how to accomplish that and take bold stands but is someone who's going to work in the system, with the powers at be. To make the system work as well as he can make it, President Obama is an ultimate pragmatist or establishment figure, who's interested in reforming things, where he feels things need to be reformed. But is no crusader or reformer himself, if I vote for President Obama again in 2012, it will be because I would take him over Mitt Romney but not as an endorsement for Barack Obama.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Mike Papantonio: "Why Young Voters Are Leaving GOP": The Bleak Future of the GOP if They Stay on Course
I wrote a couple blogs about this last month about young voters but politically, we are becoming more Liberal-Libertarian as a country and less Statist or Progressive. The younger we get as a country, the more young people take the approach that we want government out of our wallets and bedrooms. Which is why young people wouldn't vote for someone like Dennis Kucinich for President, because a lot of young people are now working in Business, including Small Business. And would be worried about someone like a Dennis Kucinich taxing and regulating them out of Business. They don't like high taxes and they also wouldn't vote for someone like Rick Santorum, because they would be worried about all of these restrictions that they would put on their lives. What they can watch on TV, what they can read, they don't tend to be homophobic and don't like Rick Santorum's homophobic rhetoric. Young voters are also against things like the War on Drugs, Patriot Act, Indefinite Detention, big problems for President Obama. And he's going to have to bring these people back to them.
The problem with the Republican Party with young people and the country as a whole, as we are becoming more Liberal-Libertarian. The GOP is becoming moving more to the right and becoming more Neoconservative, to the point that someone like a Rick Santorum can finish 2nd in Presidential Delegates for the Presidential Nomination. Where even twenty years ago, when I was still in High School, which wasn't that long ago, as I try to remind myself. Someone like Rick Santorum would be considered a Fringe Candidate in a Conservative Party, way too far to the right to be taken seriously as a Presidential Candidate. But in today's Neoconservative GOP, people like Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann fit in perfectly with the GOP. Thats a huge problem for the GOP, because we aren't gaining more Neoconservatives, they are aging and dying off. But Liberals and Libertarians are coming up.
Ronald Reagan did very well with young voters when he ran for President and reelection. I believe he won that vote overwhelmingly in both 1980 and 84, because they saw him as someone who would stay out of their wallets and bedrooms. He cut their taxes and regulations, stayed out of the Christian Conservative agenda. Those days are gone in the GOP, as they've moved farther to the right and now push Social Issues to the for front.
Friday, May 25, 2012
I wrote a couple blogs last week about For Profit Private Prisons in America and I'm writing another one again about them tonight. And hopefully if you haven't figured it out why, by the end of the blog you'll know why. Private Prisons are For Profit Corporations, they are in business to make money, not provide a good service for Tax Payers and they may save us some money in the short term. But we pay a heavy price for them in the long term, because the people who serve time in them, unless the Private Prison, finds a way to keep inmates indefinitely. And these Prisons are always looking for ways to extend Prison Sentences, these inmates are going to get out. And in most cases end up even worse then they were going in, because these Prisons are run so cheaply, imagine serving time at a POW Camp or someone place like that. Where at best you are provided with the basic needs in order to survive, if that and in the case of this Mississippi Private Prison, they aren't even given that.
Inmates shouldn't be starving themselves and they shouldn't be starved by the Corrections Staff. They need to be in an environment, where they can do their time, even if they are lifers, in an safe as an environment as possible, while still being able to do their time. And for the inmates who get out, be able to prepare themselves for life on the outside and you can't do that if your forced into Slave Labor. Which is what you get at a Private Prison, Prison Labor of course is a good idea but they should be paid for the work that they do. For one so they can pay for their Living Expenses, two be able to send some money home and also to be able to pay back their victims. But also so they can get some valuable work experience, that they can take with them, once they are on the outside.
You set up a Corrections System like this, there's no need for Private Prisons, because then Public Prisons could then be Self Financed. And you wouldn't see strikes and riots happening like this in the future for the most part, because there wouldn't be any need for them. Because inmates would be in an environment, where they could do their time.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
I'm not one of these people that see Barack Obama as anything other then who he his, even though I voted for him in 2008. I believe he's a very good intelligent man but he's also as human as we come and he's also a politician and people tend to forget this aspect about President Obama. I'm not saying he makes every decision he makes, based on polls, at least I don't know if he does that or not. I'll bet you anything that Barack Obama's position on Same Sex Marriage, isn't new, he's had this position for several years and we saw evidence of that last year. When he decided that he wouldn't defend DOMA or the Defense Of Marriage Act last year in court. Its just that he decided to make his position official on Same Sex Marriage a couple of weeks ago and I'll bet you anything. Politics was involved, he knows both Liberal Democrats such as myself, especially Liberals in my generation who are considering voting for Gary Johnson. The Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee and that Progressive Democrats, people farther to the left then Liberals on Economic Policy. The President knows that these two groups aren't crazy about President Obama, especially when it comes to the War on Drugs, the Patriot Act and Indefinite Detention.
Young voters such as myself Generation X, my Generation and Generation Y, aren't going to vote for the lesser of two evils in 2012. They are not going to vote for President Obama, because they dislike him less then Mitt Romney, they are even going to vote for the candidate or incumbent they like. Or they are not going to vote for President at all and the President is smart enough to know that, you can't always run to the center, because you are scared to offend Independents. Thats not how Civil Rights was passed in the 1960s, there are times you have to take a stand and do what's right, even if its not the centrist position. And politically speaking, coming out against the War on Drugs, which might be the most unpopular war, we've ever fought as a country. Would be beneficial for President Obama, so he would be doing what's right and would benefit from it politically.
I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago, half jokingly suggesting that the next issue that Vice President Biden should put his foot in his mouth over. Should be about the War on Drugs, admitting the obvious and saying that its failed and that we need a new approach in how we deal with narcotics in America. Hoping someone else would pick up on that, today Progressive Talk Show Host Thom Hartmann did exactly that. Not saying he read my blog but made the same suggestion.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
"GREEN ALERT!": Decriminalizing Possession of Marijuana in NJ (A-1465): Time for Legalization and Decriminalization of Narcotics
What the State of New Jersey is looking at is a different approach to fighting the War on Drugs. By Decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana that people may possess, another words, they are caught in possession of fifteen grams or less of marijuana. They would pay a fine for possessing that amount of marijuana, its a step in the right direction but only a step because it means that. People in New Jersey could still be arrested for using or selling marijuana, a narcotic that has similar affects as alcohol, perhaps with less consequences though. What needs to be done in the War on Drugs, is we stop fighting it, get the criminals out of the picture in Narcotics Industry. Whether its legal or not, its still an industry pursue the criminals in the Narcotics Industry, people who pray on Drug Addicts, to get every dime they can out of them. Treat Drug Addicts like the patients that they are and get them in Drug Rehab at their expense, because this is their problem. And its not other peoples problems, until they hurt people with it and not just Decriminalize Marijuana but Legalize it, with Regulation and Taxation like Alcohol.
We now have 2M people in prison in America, a country thats suppose to be a Liberal Democracy and I'm all for locking up criminals. People who represent a threat to society, Drug Addicts aren't criminals, if thats the only felony or felonies they've ever committed. They are patients with essentially a Mental Condition, who can't control and satisfy their urges for narcotics. And roughly 30% of all American Inmates are in prison for a Drug Related Offense and a lot of times, that has to do with possession or usage. So what we need to do with this war, which is probably the 2nd dumbest war we've ever fought as a country, behind the 2nd Iraq War. Is stop fighting it, treat Drug Criminals like Criminals, people who pray on Drug Addicts to get every dime out of them they can. Treat Drug Addicts like Mental Patients and get them the help they ned, so they can move on and live productive lives.
What we also should be doing besides Legalizing with Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana, treat it like Alcohol. And I've been reluctant to take this position before, is to Decriminalize other narcotics, except for Marijuana which would be Legalized. Which is to say instead of arresting people for simple possession of lets say heroin to use as an example. Instead have them pay a fine, based on the amount of heroin they posses and of course take away their heroin. If they are caught using lets say heroin, cocaine to use as examples, get them in Drug Rehab at their expense, instead of jail or prison. Until they are ready to return to society and perhaps in a Halfway House as well, again at their expense.
We've spent over a trillion dollars again fighting a war we've never should've started in the first place. And have a paid a heavy price for it, with all the Drug Addicts we now have locked up, as well as the Drug Addicts we now have on the street, because they've never gotten the help they should've in the first place. And we've paid a heavy price for it and the only people who have benefited from it, are the Drug Dealers themselves. So we need a new approach in how we deal with narcotics.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Canada isn't a Monarchy, Democratic, Socialist, Authoritarian or any other type of Monarchy. What they have is a Governor General who essentially represents Canada with the British Monarchy in the United Kingdom. And they recognize not only the fact that Britain has a Monarchy but their close relationship with Britain and history with it, that a lot of Brits, English, Irish etc immigrated to Canada and built what Canada is today. Similar to how Australia recognizes the United Kingdom as well, not that they are a Monarchy either but the fact that they have close ties to Britain, with the fact that there are a lot of Australians, that are of British background as well. What Canada is, is essentially a Confederation of Provinces, A Constitutional Parliamentary Federal Republic basically, they are a Socialist Democracy.
The Canadian form of government actually not that much different then the United States, replace the President with a Prime Minister. Direct Elections of the Chief Executive, with the House of Commons deciding who the next Prime Minister will be. So as a non Canadian but someone who follows Canadian News, probably closer then most Americans. Its a little odd to me that the Harper Government not Administration, other differences between Canada and America, America has Check and Balances and Separation of Powers. Is that they would call their military, the Air Force to use as an example or Federal Police, the Royal Air Force or Royal Mounties, instead of just Federal Air Force and Federal Mounties. Because again Canada isn't a Monarchy but a Federal Republic, you could call Canada, the Confederate Provinces of Canada, which would be a much more interesting name for a country, then just Canada.
Canada doesn't even call themselves the Republic of Canada but perhaps thats for another blog. They simply just call themselves Canada. But I'm guessing Canadians who were born and raised in Canada have as much feeling for Britain as, do Americans. Which isn't much as far as our National Affiliation.
Monday, May 21, 2012
David Frum on Washington Gridlock: "The Catastrophe (and the Cure?)": How we got this way and how we can fix it
My favorite satirist in the history of the universe, George Carlin said when he was talking about issues facing the country. And who was to blame for it, he always put the blame on one group of people and only one group. American Voters and why because these are the people who send the politicians to Congress and everywhere else, who screw things up and then we do something even more brilliant then that, if thats possible. We reelect them and we also have a bad habit of electing and reelecting people, that quite frankly don't deserve to be in Congress, the House or Senate. Democrat or Republican and aren't there to represent Joe and Mary Average and everyone else without major political connections but they are there to represent the people who put them in office, the people who finance their Political Campaigns. And use those resources to try to convince their constituents, Joe and Mary Average and everyone else, that they deserve to be reelected. Even though they aren't real Representatives or Senators as far as politicians that represent the people but who represent the Special Interests, Political Causes and Political Ideology they represent.
Another problem that we have as voters, incase the first two problems if that weren't bad enough, electing and reelecting the wrong people. Is we also have a tendency to elect and reelect the most partisan people that we can fine, people who aren't there to get things done. And to do that you almost always have to work with the other side and that means compromise, which lately has become a sin in Washington and with the fringes in American Politics. They aren't there to get things done but are there to pas whatever agenda they ran on to get to Congress in the first place. And that means not compromising, that gridlock is OK, if thats what happens instead of working with the other side to pass whatever bill is needed to deal with whatever problem. So we as voters are guilty of electing the wrong people, which is bad enough, then we reelect them, strike two and we elect and reelect the most partisan people possible and strikeout.
So thats the bad news, the good news is as voters is we are in position to fix the problems we created for ourselves. Stop voting for the lesser of two evils, if you don't like the two major candidates, vote for someone you do like, get involved yourself, write in someone you do like. Make sure you research the candidates and incumbents that you are considering voting for, That alone should give you a good idea of whether that person deserves you're vote or not. And then stop complaining about the problems you caused yourself.
Friday, May 18, 2012
This week Progressives, Organize Labor and other Progressive Organizations will be rallying in Chicago. In favor of new Tax Hikes, actually rallying for Tax Hikes and no not in Sweden but in America. Only Progressives pay taxes with smiles on their faces, as well as protesting against NATO and the G8, the group of Developed Nations in the World. Not rallying for Tax Hikes, because they are concern about the Federal Debt and Deficit, now 16T$ and 1.8T$ respectfully. But to pass a Tax Hike, to do the things that Progressives are always stereotyped as and for good reason, as Tax and Spenders. Who believe government can spend peoples money better then the people who make the money. You probably won't see the President or any other Democratic Leader at these rallies and for good reason, they don't want to be linked with them. The Congressional Progressive Caucus and others who believe in this Fiscal Policy may be there but they agree with this strategy. And can afford to be seen supporting it, because they represent for the most part, only people who tend to agree with them. They represent House Districts, not States, they don't have to campaign in Florida, just a section on that State.
These rallies will be calling for a Global Financial Tax on corporations, that do business on Wall Street. Handing over American Independence to make these decisions for ourselves and giving this power to the United Nations or World Bank, some International Organization. I understand the need for Progressives to organize and get out there and lay out exactly what they believe. And I respect them for that, we are Big Government Progressives and are proud of it, we believe in Democratic Socialism. But they also represent a lot of the negative stereotypes of the Democratic Party, that cost the Democratic Party. 5-6 Presidential Elections from 1968-88, that Bill Clinton worked so hard to erase and to tell Americans that we are a Liberal Party. But we are not a Socialist Party, looking to tax people so much, that there isn't much left for Americans to do on our own.
Had these Progressive Organizations gotten together to call for a new tax on Corporate America. So that they and the wealthy pay their fair share in Deficit Reduction, then they would have a broader base t speak to. And people who don't think exactly like them would get behind that and they could broaden their base. But when you call for Tax Hikes, for more Tax and Spending , you just feed into the stereotypes of Tax and Spend Progressives.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
"Jobs and Medicare are Issues Beyond Partisanship": The Tea Party Strategy to Save the Democratic Senate
When I look at some of the Tea Party Congressional Candidates, especially Senate Candidates. And I see them actually defeat real Conservative Republicans, who are the incumbents for these seats. Like Sen. Bob Bennett from Utah, now Sen. Dick Lugar from Indiana and perhaps Sen. Orrin Hatch also from Utah, perhaps later this summer. I think to myself maybe the Tea Party are closet Democrats with the goal of retaining a Democratic Senate. Because thanks to the Tea Party and the Tea Party alone, what was once safe Senate Seats for Senate Republicans. And part of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy of becoming Senate Leader, ousting Leader Harry Reid. Was to not have to defend any vulnerable Republican Seats, that strategy has now been flushed down the toilet thanks to the Tea Party alone, no one else. If Senate Republicans don't take back the Senate in 2012, it will be because of the Tea Party and a weak Presidential Candidate. Not anything that Democrats did, other then to counter Tea Party Candidates with sane Candidates. People who aren't on the fringe, Far Left or Far Right and can get elected Statewide.
If Senate Leader Harry Reid retains his Senate Majority, currently its 53-47, meaning on paper. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell needs to pick up a net of four seats and if Mitt Romney were to win the Presidency, nowhere near a safe bet. Again thanks to the Tea Party, then Minority Leader McConnell needs to pick up three seats, with a tie going to the Ruling Party. The Party with the White House or if Leader Reid were to pick up lets say two seats, which again thanks to the Tea Party, is not out the window. It will be because of the Tea Party and Leader Reid would then owe every single Tea Party Senate Candidate, Christmas Gift, for losing to a sane Democrat. Why, because thanks to the Tea Party Maine which was once a safe seat for them, is now up for grabs. Because Sen. Olympia Snowe, real Conservative on paper is resigning at the end of the year, not running for reelection. Because she was worried about a Primary Challenge from a Tea Party Candidate and that seat probably now leans Democratic.
Maine is a Democratic State, Indiana again another once safe seat for Republicans, thanks to Sen. Dick Lugar. But he lost the Republican Primary to a Tea Party Candidate, to someone who apparently believes that Americans aren't qualified to vote for their own Senate Candidates, this being Richard Murdoch. Probably another Big Government Republican running against a Centrist Democrat in Representative Joe Donnelly. I'm a Democrat so politically I love seeing Republicans destroy themselves but this almost too easy. This is suppose to be a Republican Year, at least as far as how it relates to the Senate but again thanks to the Tea Party. What use to be vulnerable Senate Democrats are now out raising their Tea Party opponents. And Senate Democrats probably won't run the table in defending all of their seats, they have 23 to defend. But they could get close and pick off a few Republican Seats that use to be safe as well.
A message for Republicans that I don't expect them to hear for nothing else but because I'm a Liberal Democrat. But if the goal is to gain power, then the first rule, is to do no harm, don't subtract from what you already have. To kill off your own members and the 2nd rule, when you are going after more power and you have to defeat Democrats to do that. Put Candidates that can actually win and get elected Statewide, stay away from the fringe. And nominate sane Candidates.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Medical Marijuana: President Obama Vs 74% Of Americans: Even Independents Now Support it so What's the Problem
If President Obama's road to reelection as he sees it, is to run for Independents and screw off everyone else. Then this is a brain dead campaign strategy, that he needs to reconsider, because Independents aren't looking for a Statist President. If thats what they want, they have several Republicans they can look for if thats what they want. And they'll also find Republicans who want Constitutional Amendments to ban pornography and Same Sex Marriage also. Independents care about what Democrats and even Republicans if you look at the polls and not listen to Big Government Republicans. They want a President to deal with and fix the economy, thats their number one concern, not if Bob is marrying Joe or if Marry is marrying Sally. Or if Joe and Marry or whoever else are smoking a joint or taking marijuana to relieve pain. Or jacking off at home watching an Adult Movie, which I'm sure we all have whether we are willing to admit it or not. If its Independents and Democrats that President Obama wants voting and working for him. Give us a reason, gives us several reasons.
Leave the Big Government Statist issues to Mitt Romney, if thats the game he wants to play to appeal to Big Government Republicans. And spend your time dealing with what the rest of the country is concern about, which is 85-90% of us, which is a hell of a Voting Block. Get off the backs before you break them of the people who take marijuana to relieve pain. Or just smoke a joint for the hell of it and concentrate on what most Americans care about. This is the situation that we inherited when we came to office, this is what we've done to help people back to work, this is the progress we've made. This is what we want to do in a 2nd term, this is what the other side wants to do if they get back in power. This is why you should vote for me and give me more Democrats in Congress, give me a Democratic Congress. And we can fix the country together.
Independents and Democrats don't give a damn about Medical Marijuana as far as how to relates to the 2012 Elections. "Its the economy stupid for them", the only people that care about it are Statists who believe they can live our lives better then we can for us. And Big Pharma that doesn't want the competition and unless you are in the tank for these groups. Then supporting Medical Marijuana will help you politically.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I wrote a blog last night about Private Prisons, so back to back blogs about the Private Prison Industry. But its a very important issue that deserves to be addressed multiple times, because of how big a problem its costing. And it just doesn't effect Prison Inmates doing time in these places, as well as the Tax Payers that have to fund it. But it also effects our broader Crime and Punishment problem, where we now have 2M people in Prison in America. One of the reasons why some States are looking at Private Prisons in order to cut Prison Costs. But it also goes to our War on Drugs, which is one of our reasons why we have 2M people in Prison. With the 500K or so Prison Inmates who are in Prison, for drug related offenses, for simple things like. Simple Drug Possession, even if they haven't used any of the drugs they were convicted of possessing. And you can end up in Prison for years, for simple Drug Possession, even if you don't use or sell the narcotics.
Of course we need to cut our Prison Costs in America, thats as obvious as we have to have food to eat. And water to drink in order to live, thats not the question, the question is how do we do that. Without adding even more people to our Prison Rolls, who are in Prison that don't need to be. Who are Non Violent Offenders, whose offenses have little if anything to do with economy. Meaning they aren't major threats to the economy, people in Prison for Drug Obsession to use as an example. We and those inmates would be better off in a combination of Drug Rehab or a Halfway House at their expense. Then locking them up in Prisons for several years and then we can save our limited Prison Cells for offenders. Who do represent a serious threat to society and need to be locked up for the sake of society.
What we need to be doing instead with our Corrections Systems, is to make our Prisons Self Financed. Meaning they would no longer need Tax Revenue to fund its operations, other then maybe paying the Prison Staffs. And we do this by first getting our Prison Inmates into school, so we prepare them to work. While in Prison but also so they have some valuable skills once they leave Prison. They would now not only have an education but valuable work experience that they obtained while in prison. And make them much better candidates for parole, because they will now have the skills that they need to succeed on the outside. Without breaking the law and once they get those skills, put them to work, return Prison Industries. Have our Prison Inmates produce the things that are needed to run a Prison, as well as doing the work thats need to run a Prison. Outside of what they Prison Staffs do but also sell products that can be used by other Government Agencies as well.
You return Prison Industries, you pay the inmates for the work that they do, that they would make on the outside. For what they produce and then have them pay for their Living Expenses from the money they make legally while in Prison. As well as being able to send money home to their families and pay whatever money they over their victims. And put money away into a Savings Account, that they could use for once they leave Prison. Or if they are serving life without parole, put money away to cover their Living Expenses. In their Senior Years.
Monday, May 14, 2012
I got into a discussion with a Facebook friend of mine last week over a post. I posted from the AlterNet Magazine about Private Prisons in America. This friend of mine is an admitted Socialist Libertarian and a damn good one I might add. Who I have a lot of respect for, mainly for his sick candor, he knows what his politics are. And even though Socialist is considered an insult by a lot of Americans, not afraid of the label and even proud of it. Even though we rarely agree on Economic Policy, remember he's a Democratic Socialist at that, who describes his politics. As Socialist Libertarian, similar to Professor Noam Chomsky or Rep. Dennis Kucinich. So we tend to agree on Social Issues, where he tends to be, perhaps as Liberal as I am. He's in favor of Organize Gambling being legal to use as an example. The first Progressive I know of who's in favor of Organize Gambling. I posted about Private Prisons and he made the comment that the Arizona Private Prion Law or its Immigration Law was written by a Right Wing group. Called ALEC, don't know if thats true or not, It wouldn't surprise if it were, but somehow this turned into a debate, I'm not that familiar with ALEC to begin with.
I say this because my friend and I are both opposed to Private Prisons. And I'm guessing for the exact same reasons, because these Prisons are not only Private but For Profit. And use groups like ALEC and others, to lobby for more laws and longer Prison Sentences. And perhaps for more stricter rules in Prisons, why so they can lock up their inmates for longer sentences. Be able to lock up more people for more crimes, be able to extend the Prison Sentences of their inmates. Because of new infractions the inmates may have committed while in Prison, all at Tax Payer expense. Thats all you need to know why Private Prisons are a bad idea, corporations making money off the backs of Prison Inmates and Tax Payers. States can do this of course, as long as they are within their own State Constitution and the US Constitution. And I do believe in Federalism, as long as States are acting Constitutionally. But the word needs to get out more why this is a bad idea and who profits off of Tax Payers as a result.
In understand the Budget Deficits at both the Federal and State Levels and the need to deal with them and cut costs. And some States see Private Prisons as a way of doing this but they are cutting costs the wrong way. Off of the backs of people who can't really defend themselves, without risking more trouble while in Prison. And Tax Payers who have to pay the costs of these people do the time in Private Prisons. And the word on this needs to get out more.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Is Healthcare a right or privilege? I don't believe thats the right question and it depends on who you ask. And what country you live in, Healthcare by law, is something that all Americans are entitled to. If they are in position to receive it, meaning that Healthcare is available to them. When they need it, for example your in a car accident and you get rushed to a Emergency Room. Then you would automatically get Healthcare, whether you want it or not. And won't even have to pay for it, if you are uninsured and can't afford it. But if you get shot in an alley and no one else sees it and is available to help you. And you have no access to anyone that can help you. Perhaps your knocked out and can't get yourself to a hospital. You may bleed to death and not have the access you need to Healthcare. We don't in America have a Constitutional Right to Healthcare. But by law if we need and can get to it or someone can get it to us or get us there to receive it. We get that Healthcare or at least enough of it to save our lives. Down the road it might get to our level of Health Insurance and how much we can pay for our Healthcare. And thats something we need to solve as a country.
Health Insurance is not a Constitutional Right in the United States, whether it should be or not. And again that gets to who you ask but its not a Constitutional Right as of right now. And thats what really the Healthcare Reform debate is about in America. At least amongst the people who believe we should reform our Healthcare System and I'm certainly one of them. Health Insurance in America, is similar to all other forms of Insurance. Its a product that if you have it and unless your on Medicaid. You pay for out of what you make, it generally comes out of your paycheck. And the real debate is how do we reform our Health Payment System. So that more people are covered by Health Insurance. At an affordable rate and that we all pay for our share of our Healthcare Costs. Which would bring those Healthcare Costs down for everyone. Because instead of people paying for their Healthcare Costs as well as others. That have no relation to them, other then living in the same country. They would just have to pay for their Healthcare Costs.
Again the real question gets to Health Payments in America and it doesn't even have to be Health Insurance. That is one avenue but not the only one we have to take. We could allow for people to set up Health Savings Accounts. Where they would put a certain percentage of their income in a HSA. Perhaps matched by their employer or have a Health Insurance System. That only cover serious conditions, so we wouldn't have to take out of it as often. And could build up that fund and pay for routine procedures out of pocket. Or for the people who can afford it, pay for their Healthcare completely out of pocket. But Health Insurance itself, is not a right or a privilege but a product. Like anything else we buy in this country.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
First of all there's no such thing as "Free Enterprise", thats a completely bogus term. The real term is Private Enterprise and if Private Enterprise were Free. It wouldn't be subjected to regulations and taxes, which of course Private Enterprise. All over the World is subjected to, America may have the Freest Private Enterprise System in the World. But its not Free but it is Private and we do have Property Rights in America. Now there are so called Conservatives and even Libertarians in America. That would like to push us towards a Free Enterprise System in the World. And eliminate all regulations and taxes on people working in the Private Sector. The questions aren't whether America has a Free Enterprise System or not. We simply don't, the question is should we or not and the answer to that is. If you were to take a National Poll, would be clearly no. The overwhelming answer to that question would be no, we believe in regulating and taxing our economy. The only question is to how much we should tax and regulate our economy. If at all and again I believe we definitely should. To be able to fund our government to do only what it should do. And to protect innocent people from being abused in our Economic System.
So the question is not whether America should have a Private Enterprise System or a. State Ownership Economic System, meaning the State owns the economy. Which is what Classical Socialism is, which is a form of Communism. Americans would also answer we clearly should have a Private Enterprise System as well. Thats why we are the number one Economic Power in the World. Twice the size of China which has four times as many people as we do. The questions are what type of Private Enterprise System we should have. How much we should tax and regulate, what should we do for people who can't take care of themselves. If anything, what should we do to create as much opportunity for everyone in society. To be successful and not have to live off of Public Assistance. For me it gets down to Economic Liberalism in its purist form, creating an Opportunity Society. Where everyone in the country can succeed.
Economic Liberalism is what this country needs, creating a Private Enterprise System. Where everyone has the opportunity to be successful in life. No matter the economic levels of their families and where we can help adults who have fallen through the cracks of the economy. Get themselves up and be able to take care of themselves. And this gets to education, Job Training and Job Placement.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
When Sen. Bob Bennett who was a three term US Senator from Utah of all places. Who had one of the most Conservative Voting Records in Congress. Lost a Republican Primary, two years ago, that told me that the Tea Party was very powerful. And something not to underestimate, even if they are a little out there. Perhaps so out there, that you can't see them with telescope. I means if Sen. Bennett isn't far enough to the right for the Republican Party. A Party that at least at one point , was the Party of Lincoln, Goldwater and Reagan. Who I guess would all be seen as Liberals today by Republicans, which as a Liberal myself. Wants me to nominate that as joke of the year, then how far to the right does the GOP. Want to go, create a Theocracy, a Superstate, where Freedom is very limited. And where we have to fill out paperwork to blow our noses. First it was Bob Bennett and then it was Sen. Lisa Murkowski, you know from Alaska. You can't get elected there if your not a Conservative, practically. Sen. Mark Begich is Democrat would be one exception to that.
First it was Bob Bennett, then it was Lisa Murkowski, both Conservative Republicans. Isn't that what the GOP is suppose to be about, losing Republican Primaries. In 2012 its now Sen. Dick Lugar, again another Conservative Republican. Excellent Conservative credentials on Economic and Foreign Policy, as well as National Security. The Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Excellent Conservative credentials on Social Issues, as far as as what it really means to be a Social Conservative. He takes the Barry Goldwater approach to politics, get Big Government out of our wallets and bedrooms. Thats what Conservatism is suppose to be about, conserving freedom, not subtracting it. But again this is today's GOP, a Party that now believes we have too much Social Freedom. And how Far Right candidates can now beat Conservatives.
If Conservatives can no longer win Republican Primaries, even if they are incumbents. What does that say about the GOP, that they are no longer a Conservative Party. They are now becoming what they use to be against and to a certain extent still preach against. Which is Statist, Authoritarian, yes Big Government out of our wallets. But so it can be in our bedrooms instead and other rooms in our homes. Which has nothing to do with Conservatism.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Heritage, for most part is in the business, to report negative stories, whether they are true or not, against the other side. Whereas CBPP, is a real think tank for Progressives. Which is what the Brookings Institution is a real think tank for Liberals. American Enterprise Institute is a real think tank for Conservatives. And Cato Institute is a real think tank for Libertarians. These think tanks, even though they have clear ideological slants are professional and report and study facts. Which is why they all have broad support.
Keep in mind when Jared Bernstein and his colleague at CBPP Chye-Ching Huang say raising taxes on the wealthy, is a good way to cut the deficit, they are both Progressives. But also keep in mind they are professionals and practical. They aren't saying we should let all of the Bush tax cuts expire, including on the middle class. Which is what a lot of so-called Progressives want to do. Like the Congressional Progressive Caucus to use as an example. But they also again because they are professionals have data and evidence to support their claims.
Going back to the Clinton presidency when the Federal budget was cut, to go along with tax hikes on the wealthy. Which contributed to taking a 290B$ Budget Deficit for Fiscal Year 1994, to a balanced budget by 1998. Whereas so-called Progressive more left of them, can't back up why raising taxes on the middle class and not cutting the Federal budget, except for the military and War on Terror, would be good for the economy. A difference between facts and ideology.
My approach to cutting the debt and deficit, gets to reform, cut and decentralize. Reform the tax code, by eliminating the income tax. And replacing it with a Progressive Consumption Tax. Reforming how the Federal Government operates. By having it do less and passing more responsibility onto the private sector and states. Not by eliminating good programs that perform a good service, just getting them off the Federal budget. Cutting and reforming the military budget, by getting it out of areas we don't need to be in. Like in developed nations and having a larger presence where we do need to be. Like in counterterrorism. But these two progressive economists can at least back up what they believe and why they believe it.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Gay Marriage: "President Obama Parsing the Issue Feels Dishonest to Voters": Why won't the President step up
Here's an example of where Vice President Biden gets caught being honest. Which happens on a regular basis, especially for a politician. Especially for a politician as high ranking as Joe Biden. Where this can help President Obama, the White House should be all over this issue. Instead of trying to convince people that the Vice President. Has the same position as the President, at least officially, with the President. When only maybe Barack Obama actually knows his position on Same Sex Marriage. You know its great to have a Big Picture perspective. It prevents you from jumping into things too quickly. And you can avoid early dumb mistakes with this approach. But its another when your a Leader, especially the President of the United States. The most powerful and most important job in the World, essentially the Leader of the Free World. And not take a stand at all, to always run the ball three times and punt. And not take a stand on big issues, Same Sex Marriage and broader Equal Rights for homosexuals. Is not as important as Equal Right for Racial and Ethnic Minorities. But its the most important Civil Rights issue of the century so far.
Are we going to treat homosexuals as equally as heterosexuals. Or are we going to continue to pander to a small ignorant fringe. Who simply don't like homosexuals and if anything would like to see them eliminated. Same Sex Marriage is Barack Obama's Jack Kennedy moment on Civil Rights. And he's not even in the game yet or advanced the ball at all. Vice President Biden has made his position clear and did it on a National Platform like NBC Meet The Press. Where millions on Americans will now know his position. Its the right thing to do morally and legally, to not discriminate against people. Because of their sexuality, which has nothing to do to determine whether a person is good, bad or in between. But if President Obama wants to play politics on this issue. Its a winner for him, especially amongst young voters such as myself. As well as Liberal Democrats, again such as myself. A base the President has to have.
Who is President Obama worrying about offending, Religious and Neoconservatives. Who'll never vote for him to begin with, who perhaps still see Barack Obama. As an Illegal Immigrant, who's also an African Muslim from Kenya, who by the way is also a Socialist. The country is split on Same Sex Marriage, is he really worried about offending Independents. Remember, "its the economy stupid", its still the economy stupid. Especially for Independent Voters.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
I don't want to sound partisan here and try not to throw out any insults. Even though I blog in a no Political Correctness Zone. One of my jobs is to write what I feel and know and then to back that up as best as I can. With the best available facts that I have but the Political Correctness Movement is a creation, of Progressives. To use against the Right Wing that they see as bigots and they are still using Political Correctness to. Go after Rush Limbaugh back in March when he called a female college student, who was testifying on Capitol Hill. A "slut" and they tried to use that to get Rush Limbaugh off the air. What happened to Free Speech there and Progressives also made a big deal. In the Westboro case in March, 2011 where the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Westboro Group's. Right to Free Speech and included Hate Speech as part of that protection. The Right Wing is of course not innocent here and use Political Correctness. To go after after Leftists, people like Keith Olbermann, when they say things that are controversial.
America has reached a certain consensus on Political Correctness, that we shouldn't say things. Like racial or ethnic slurs but at the same time we shouldn't be put people in jail for them either. Or have the Federal Government force us out of work, like lest say a Talk Show Host. The Far Left and Far Right still don't have a problem with racial slurs or jokes. But most of the country tends to see those things as wrong. And that we shouldn't do them but we shouldn't also lose our freedom over them either. This would Political Correctness within reason, when someone says something ignorant. You call them out on it and say thats wrong and so fourth but you don't try to destroy them. And take their First Amendment rights away from them. You call them out and what they said for what it is. And then you move on with your life. Political Correctness is a problem when its use to replace the truth. Not all truth is good and easy to here but if its the truth, it deserves to be heard. Even if its insulting.
If someone says something that you find insulting or you don't like hearing. But its the truth, what's called a two strike count, to use a baseball analogy. Don't get on that person for saying the truth, especially if they are friends or relatives. In that case they are probably trying to help you. Take it as Constructive Criticism and use it as an opportunity to improve yourself. And if they aren't a friend or an enemy, shove your improved self in their face. But lets not get on people for saying the truth or try to destroy people. For expressing their First Amendment rights, lets just treat things and people for who they are. And we'll learn a lot more.
Friday, May 4, 2012
If you look at the Progressive Movement in America, you'll see a Political Faction. Thats spread out over at least five different Political Parties. And I would include the Progressive Caucus in the Democratic Party, as one of those Parties. Who I believe are mainly Democrats for political reasons, which is different from ideological reasons. They want to get elected and reelected and understand the need for resources to do that. And they are much better off being part of a Left of Center Party in the Democratic Party. Then being part of a Far Left Party, like the Green Party, Democratic Socialist Party or even yes the Progressive Party. That calculation has paid off in the sense, of getting Progressives elected to Congress. Eighty of them or so but not enough of them, to be in the Leadership of the Democratic Party. And certainly not running the Democratic Party, just look at the Democratic Agenda. And the legislation that the Democratic Leadership offers, that. Progressives are constantly complaining about not being Progressive enough. Its written by Liberal and Moderate Liberal Democrats, who are different from Progressives.
For American Progressives to be a strong force in American Politics. They need a Progressive Party, that will speak for they're movement. That will take on Republicans and Libertarians and even Democrats when they feel they aren't Progressive enough. That will run they're own Presidential Candidates and give Progressives a choice amongst. Different Progressives in who to vote for, instead of always being left, with Ralpf Nader or the Democrat. That will run they're own Congressional Candidates, both the House and Senate. That will run they're own Candidates for State Office, Governor and Legislature. They already have they're Special Interest Groups as well as Think Tanks, I get a bunch of emails from them everyday. Including some of these Progressive Third Parties but again they are spread out. Instead of having one party that can speak for its movement.
Liberals have a party the Democratic Party, the entire Right Wing already has its party. From the Far Right to Center Right, in the Republican Party. There's a Libertarian Party but Progressives are spread out amongst the Democratic Party and Progressive Third Parties. United We Stand, Spread Out, we are Divided and Fall. Is something Progressives should learn and put together one party that can unite its whole movement.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
There are several factors why Union Membership is down in the United States. More people are frankly getting better educated and working White Collar jobs. Then they did thirty, forty and even fifty years ago. And don't feel the need to be a member of a Union, believe they can negotiate they're own pay and benefits on they're own. And especially don't like being forced to pay Union Dues, when they aren't a member of that Union. The country have moved farther to the right the last forty years and has elected Public Officials. That aren't in favor of Organize Labor and if anything would want to outlaw it. As we've seen especially in the Midwest with Public Workers Unions. But some of these Neoconservative Governors, as I call them. Like Rick Snyder in Michigan and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, would probably go even farther. If they could and outlaw Organize Labor all together if they could. Corporate America now has better lobbyists working for them and have become better at lobbying Public Officials. To make sure they're interests are met and of course they don't tend to like Organize Labor as well.
There use to be a time that Organize Labor in America, could pretty much count on the Democratic Party. To do they're bidding because they wanted their politicians reelected obviously. That all changed in the late 1970s under President Carter and President Clinton if anything took that a step farther in the 1990s. The country has moved right and the Democratic Party is no longer dominated by the Progressive Caucus and its allies. Its the Liberal Party in America and more Progressive then the Republican Party. Which isn't saying anything but no longer believes, unless they are Progressive Democrats. That aren't going to get much if any support from Private Business. Feel the need to be in the pocket of Organize Labor and feels free to seek support outside of the Progressive Movement. Democrats are still pro Organize Labor and the right to Organize but don't feel the need to do what Unions want them to do.
The Future of Organize Labor may no longer be in the Democratic Party and if they want. To remain a major force in American Politics. May have to look at some of these Progressive Third Parties and even work to form a large Third Party. That will stand for its interests and members and will go to bat for them. Because Democrats now are much more broader party and no longer anti Private Enterprise and use that rhetoric. Outside of the Progressive Caucus.
I'm not that familiar with Right Wing Commentator Bill Whittle. Other then a few videos I've seen about him the last few days. And before that I had never heard of him. But he seems to be a spokesperson for the Tea Party Movement or one of its followers. From what I've picked up about him and he uses its rhetoric. The Welfare State is Marxist Socialist etc, Progressive Democrats want a Socialist takeover of America. And that the Tea Party prevented this from happening in the 2010 Mid Terms. This is how the Tea Party talks and as I've blogged before. The Tea Party could've been something big, had they been an actual Classical Conservative Movement. That was in the business of returning the Republican Party back to Reagan Conservatism. And had not of gotten in bed with Religious and Neoconservatives, with an Economic Libertarian message. But that wanted to put new limits on how Americans lived they're lives. They've now become Big Government Republicans, which is how Rep. Michelle Bachmann came to National Exposure in 2011. And why she ran for President in 2011. She's a Big Government Republican that wants to put new restrictions on how people live they're own lives.
After Michelle Bachmann's Presidential Campaign bombed like a Steven Segall Movie Festival. The Tea Party went for Newt Gingrich but then Newt the Nutty Professor he is. Decided that Religious and Neoconservatives doesn't like Mitt Romney. And that he was going to get they're votes and he became a Religious Conservative. Making issues out of Birth Control, Same Sex Marriage, targeting Mitt for being in favor of Civil Rights for homosexuals. And then Newt bombed when he forgot that he had a debate last February and only showed up physically. The Tea Party went for Rick Santorum, the ultimate Big Government Republican. This is my whole point about people who go off on Big Government, especially coming from the Tea Party. If your going to do that, first you better know what your talking about. And you better not be in favor of Big Government yourself. Otherwise you'll sound like Michael Moore talking about the dangers of obesity. Someone who only knows from bad experience.
As a Liberal I don't like Big Government period, whether its coming from the Far Left or Far Right. Whether its Big Government Socialism from Progressives or Big Government Authoritarianism from Neoconservatives. And to go from Big Government Progressivism to Big Government Neoconservatism. Is not a trade I would make, that would like be choosing. To die through strangulation or suffocation. I would pass and ask for another option, that didn't include death as part of it. Which is something that people in the Tea Party doesn't understand. Big Government is still big whether its Socialist or Authoritarian.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Malcolm X is a perfect example of someone who died prematurely and someone who had so much more they could've contributed. I would love to know what Malcolm X today would've thought of the State of the African American Community. How far they've come and what challenges they face and what they could be doing in the future. Malcolm X to me represents what the message should be for African Americans. As far as lifting them out of poverty and climbing to the Middle Class. And doing even better then that and being Self Sufficient. Libertarian Professor and Author Thomas Sowell, called the modern Welfare State. I'm paraphrasing here but 21st Century Slavery, because the African Slaves were dependent on they're Caucasian Owners. For food, safety, clothing etc, he said that one problem with Slavery is that it created dependence. Making the African Slaves dependent of they're owners for they're survival. Well even though African Americans today are currently free, a lot of them per capita are still dependent. On Public Assistance for they're survival. Well Malcolm X's message was of Self Reliance not dependence.
Dr. Martin Luther king, again someone who died at a young age, who had so much more to contribute to America. Had the message to give African Americans they're full freedom under law. Meaning that Racial Discrimination would no longer be tolerated under law and would be punished. Which is what led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Law on 1968. Dr. King understood that to achieve these things, he was going to need help. That his community was clearly outnumbered and that he was going to need a Rainbow Coalition, to quote Rev. Jesse Jackson. Caucasians and others to achieve this and that even though violence was going to be used against his movement. But that if they fought back, they would be seen as trouble makers and the movement wouldn't be taken seriously. Dr. King understood this, whereas Malcolm X's had a message of "By Any Means Necessary". If your attacked, physically fight back.
Martin King had the message to that would get African Americans not they're Civil Right and Liberties. Because they already had that under the US Constitution. But got those Constitutional Rights enforced under law with all of the Civil Rights Legislation. But Malcolm X had the message to move the African American Community post the Civil Rights Era. A message of Self Reliance, getting a good education and a good job. Having kids when you ready to raise them and being Self Reliant and not dependent on Public Assistance.