Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Nation: Opinion- Rebecca Vallas & Melissa Boteach- Paul Ryan Just Accidentally Made a Great Case for Raising the Minimum Wage

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Am I missing something here, or has The Nation come back down to Planet Earth and finally just left Planet Utopia where there’s no such thing as war, poverty, bigotry, everything that most people see as bad? Because lately they’ve seemed to have grown up and moderated somewhat. While Salon and the others on the New-Left, are still fighting against the establishment, American capitalism, wealth, Caucasians and everything they seem to hate. Paul Ryan and The Nation, just made the conservative case for raising the minimum wage. You could argue that it is liberal and progressive as well. But here’s the conservative case.

You want fewer people on Welfare and Unemployment, then paychecks have to be worth more than Welfare and Unemployment checks. People need to know they can make more money working than not working and still getting the benefits if not more benefits working than not working. Including the work experience, job training, etc, their kids seeing their parents with a job and not needing Food Assistance. Welfare and Unemployment, should just be an insurance policy that people collect from when they’re out-of-work and don’t have the skills needed to get a good job. But while they’re on Welfare, they’re getting those skills, but also taking an entry-level job that pays more than not working.

And I know I’m going to here that government shouldn’t set wages and let the free market do that instead. What free market? Employers, big part of the private market, but without their customers and employees, they’re out of business. The people who make that the so-called free market argument, aren’t talking about a free market, for a couple of reasons. Because they believe in business subsidies and welfare coming from taxpayers. And they don’t want the other two-thirds of the so-called free market involved in how much they should compensate their employees. They want a business management market, where they’re in complete control. No regulators and where they get bailed out by taxpayers when they screw up.

Attach today’s minimum wage to people on Welfare, but still give them their other benefits and add education, job training and requiring people to take jobs that they’re qualified for even if they don’t pay a lot while they’re still getting their public benefits. Including the childcare and education, as well as livable minimum wage, more people will be working and fewer people not working. Include a credit for small employers so they don’t get burned by it. And people will see that working is a hell of a lot better than collecting public assistance checks with all the benefits that comes with it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

POLITICO Magazine: Jesse Rifkin- Paul Ryan and The Long History of Political Beards

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: POLITICO Magazine: Jesse Rifkin- Paul Ryan and The Long History of Political Beards

When I first saw new Speaker of The House Paul Ryan and his new beard I guess a week ago, I thought, ‘great, here’s another political faker wannabe. Someone who wants to fit in with the Millennial hipsters, or whoever else. And will follow whatever the current cool fad is.’ To be honest with you, I doubt he’s still wearing that beard a month from now. Sure! It will keep his face warm when he goes back to freezing Wisconsin and perhaps help him get through another disappointing Green Bay Packers playoff loss.

But he’s got to deal with both Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and to a certain extent House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when she needs to him to bail him out on things like getting votes on things that the House Tea Party doesn’t believe in. Like paying for government, to use as an example. And paying our debts, which is really what the debt ceiling is about. Officially acknowledging that you have a government debt. He’s got to deal with people who are never afraid to crack a joke. Especially when they know that person can’t hurt them or fire them.

All of these leader’s all have quick-wits and sense of humors and he’s friendly with all of them. which could kill him with the Tea Party. The next handshake with President Obama, could cost Speaker Ryan his speakership. Senator Robert Bennet, who at the time at least was one of the most conservative members of Congress, lost his Senate seat in a Republican primary in 2010. Because he was caught shaking hands with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. They’re all going to take shots at his beard, at least in private. And with Mitch McConnell, those shots might actually come from a gun. He’s from Guntucky after all.

I believe one of the things that Paul Ryan has going for him is that he comes off as real and as someone who Joe and Mary Average can relate to. He comes from an Midwestern Irish-Catholic background, who needed student loans to get through college. Whose had a government job most of his working life. This is not someone who comes off as being better than everyone else who feels he has something to prove. He’s someone who has worked very hard to get where he is, because he’s had to.

Unlike, gee I don’t know, just throwing out a name here, but try George W. Bush. Just to use as an example. And the Speaker’s beard to me as it does for a lot of guys who aren’t lumberjacks, or rednecks, or bikers, or cowboys, headbangers, football players, it just looks phony to me. And someone who looks like they want to be someone else. Paul Ryan, should be Paul Ryan. A very bright Irish-Catholic guy from Wisconsin whose gotten to the highest point in Congress by being Paul Ryan. Not by trying to convince people he’s someone other than Paul Ryan.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Nation: Opinion: Suzanna Danuta-Walters- Why This Socialist Feminist Is for Hillary

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The Nation: Opinion: Suzanna Danuta-Walters- Why This Socialist Feminist Is for Hillary

What I get from this piece from The Nation is that self-described Socialist Feminist Suzanna Danuta-Walters, who said she's to the left of Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, is voting for as she put it centrist Hillary Clinton, is because she believes Hillary would win. And has enough in common with her on the issues. And of course being a Feminist she wants the next president to be a Democratic women. And to be honest I believe that is the calculation that a lot of both Far-Left Democrats like Bernie and Center-Left Democrats such as myself are making as well. Not far enough to the left, not liberal enough for me on personal freedom and civil liberty issues, too much influence from Wall Street. And in Bernie's case, she's not a Socialist and not progressive enough on economic issues.

That is really the calculation all Democrats should be making assuming Hillary is our nominee. Not our first choice in many cases unless you're truly in this to see the next president be a Democrat who is at least center-left. She's not a dead-centrist and stuck in the middle, she just has a tendency to come off that way, because she had a tendency to wait until issues to become popular before she takes a tough stand on them, but generally comes down on the liberal, or progressive side. She's not in the dead-center, but not very far to the left even on the Center-Left for many Democrats. But compare her with anyone running for president for the Republican Party, there is no contest here.

And with the current shape of the GOP, Hillary is not only the likely Democratic nominee, but likely the next President of the United States. Because the GOP has nobody who can beat her, other than maybe John Kasich. Who is stuck somewhere around five-percent in GOP polls. And for the GOP to have any real shot at the White House next year, they not only have to win Latinos and women back in huge numbers, but stop their attacks on immigrants and Muslims as well. Because of the huge turnout of new voters who will be looking forward to voting for the first female President of the United States and making history. Good luck doing that with their Far-Right.

What Hillary Clinton has going for her, is that she's a Center-Left Democrat who comes off as strong and independent-minded, who looks very strong as a leader when she speaks, who is great on the center stage and in debates and now even speaking to voters and giving speeches. You can't call her radical about anything, unlike Bernie Sanders. You can't say she's inexperienced, or hasn't been tested, especially being married to Bill Clinton (ha, ha) and her own career in Congress and as Secretary of State. Going up against a Republican nominee who might be trying to prove to the Far-Right of the party that he hates Latinos and Muslims enough. No contest! Unless the GOP wakes up and nominates John Kasich, or maybe Marco Rubio, who could appeal to Latinos and perhaps younger voters.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Daily Beast: Cheat Sheet- Ann Coulter: Donald Trump’s Muslim Plan Is ‘Best Birthday Gift’

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The Daily Beast: Cheat Sheet- Ann Coulter: Donald Trump’s Muslim Plan Is ‘Best Birthday Gift’

I don’t know who is a bigger birthday gift for bloggers and comedians, Donald Trump, or Ann Coulter. I guess The Donald would be at least physically, but that might only be because Ann Coulter has the body that only a stick-figure could want and is tall as a giraffe at the same time. Maybe they could run on a ticket for birthday gift of the year and run as a duo. Perhaps arm-wrestle to see who should run for president and who should run for vice president. I gotta admit even with her scrawny frame, with all of that masculinity that Ann carries inside, that might be enough for her to beat the 220 pound or more Donald Trump in an arm-wrestling contest.

Or better yet, The Donald and Flat Ann, could run for President and Vice President of the United States together for the Fascist Party and bring that back. As they’re working to develop their national time machine to take America back to 1955 and celebrate like its 1955 on New Years Eve and Day. They could appoint Rick Santorum as their foreign policy adviser and Mike Huckabee as their social policy adviser. Donald Rumsfeld, (an even less impressive Donald) could be their national security adviser.

A couple major things that The Donald and Flat Ann have in common is that neither one of them are politicians, because neither one of them are electable outside of the Bible Belt. And in The Donald’s case, he’s not electable anywhere outside of a Hollywood movie, or one of his own so-called reality TV shows, because he doesn’t know what he believes. Which gets to my second point about The Donald and Flat Ann, that since neither one of them are politicians they both can say whatever nonsense comes into their head at anytime.

Because they both know they’re not going to get elected to anything anyway. The Donald. wants to sell himself for his current venture which is, ‘Who Wants Donald Trump For President?’ Which will be available at your nearest TV set, or movie theater by the spring of 2017. And Flat Ann wants to sell her latest book and columns which will be available at your nearest garbage cans sometime in 2016. With pieces of three-weeks old baloney stuck in each page. With even homeless people turning down as food and reading material at the same time.

The only time I’m surprised by anything that either Donald Trump or Ann Coulter says, is when they say something intelligent. And I gotta tell you I have a hell of a memory and I can’t remember the last time either one of them ever said anything that got me thinking, ‘hum, we agree on something. They have a point there and I wish I had thought of that.’ They are both sharp businesspeople even accidentally in the sense that they know how to sell themselves. Sell their business ventures and in Flat Ann’s case her writings. Trash to be accurate that she sells that gets thrown out, or made fun, or a combination of both.

No, Ann Coulter, is not a prostitute, because lifelong prison inmates who have a better chance of seeing snow in San Diego than getting out of prison, have turned her down and have chosen men instead. What I mean by that is they sell themselves as far as what they’re personally selling. With The Donald, its his personality and reality TV career. With Flat Ann, its her books and columns. That keeps garbagemen in business forever with all the trash she writes. I personally for the life of me can’t believe why any intelligent person could even take either of them seriously, let alone believe what they say could actually be true.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Nation: Opinion: John Nichols- President Obama Is Right- This Unauthorized War Needs to Be Debated by Congress

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The Nation: Opinion: John Nichols- President Obama Is Right- This Unauthorized War Needs to Be Debated by Congress

I believe the only impressive point that President Obama made in his ISIS speech on Sunday night, was saying that Congress should be debating this war and passing an authorization for it. If the House and Senate held a vote tomorrow on whether or not America should be involved in the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, it would pass overwhelmingly in both chambers. With perhaps just the Progressive Caucus and few Libertarians in the House voting no and perhaps a handful of Senators voting against it as well. If that was the only question and then of course it would have to be worded right where you get clear majorities in Congress behind it.

The original Congressional authorization for the so-called War on Terror was in 2001 for Afghanistan in response to the 9-11 attacks and then they updated it to cover Iraq in 2003. Syria was never part of it, neither were outside terrorist organizations like ISIS. Congress, has to get off their asses frankly and start at least trying to earn their one-hundred and fifty-thousand-dollar a year salaries. Which might not be that much in Washington, but compared with the rest of the country they’re well-compensated, especially if you look at their compensation packages compared with the rest of the country. And the Senate and House need to start trying to earn those benefits.

Congress, is supposed to authorize and say no to wars. The President, can’t do this on their own. They need approval from Congress to go to war and need Congress to authorize the costs of the wars. And I understand with a Republican Congress not wanting to go on the record of even supporting the same weather reports and sports teams as President Obama, because of how their Tea Party would react. But public office is about governing. You run for office to get there and can play all the politics you want on the campaign, but once you’re in office you have a responsibility to govern. Even if that means working with a President from the other party and officially supporting a war that might not be popular.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

ABC: Barbara Walters Special- Elizabeth Taylor 1999 Interview

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: ABC: Barbara Walters Special- Elizabeth Taylor 1999 Interview

I think survivor or perhaps the Silent Generation’s version of the drama queen as far as someone who really has lived the life of a Hollywood character. With all the ups and downs that she’s gone through in her life and gotten through all of that and perhaps came out stronger each time. All of the failed marriages, the alcoholism, the obesity, the tragic deaths of close people in her life. The life that she’s lived looks very similar to that of Ava Garner. Another Hollywood Goddess who lived her own life and lived her life her way, there was even a song made about that.

Liz Taylor, lived a life that you would think anyway could have only had been written by a very good Hollywood screenwriter. Perhaps writing the script that made them the star. Similar to Ava Gardner, I think what made Liz Taylor such a great actress is that she in many cases lived the life of a Hollywood star. She didn’t have to play roles and parts, because those parts in many cases were very similar to how she was in real-life. She was born to so soap operas and would have had a great career there has soaps not been too small of a stage for her.

Butterfield 8, which she did with Laurence Harvey in 1960, where she plays a model whose not really working, but goes from man to man and not sure who is the real man for her and not really committed to anyone. But relies on several different people to help her get through, is a pretty good example of what I’m talking about here. I believe she was such a great actress, arguably the best ever and the best of her generation, because she was a great actress, with a keen wit and intelligence, but she played women who were very similar to who she was in real-life.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Salon: Opinion: Walker Bragman- 'More Like Ronald Reagan Than FDR: I'm a Millennial and I'll Never Vote For Hillary Clinton': Good Riddance Millennial!

Salon- Bernie- Hillary-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Salon: Opinion: Walker Bragman- 'More Like Ronald Reagan Than FDR: I'm a Millennial and I'll Never Vote For Hillary Clinton': Good Riddance Millennial!

You know to say that Hillary Clinton is more like Ronald Reagan than Franklin Roosevelt, I'm not sure if Democrats who will mostly likely overwhelmingly nominate Hillary Clinton for president, should be insulted by that, or take that as a complement. President Reagan, didn't lock up German, Italian and Japanese-Americans during World War II simply because of their ethnicity and for fear they would be loyal to their former homelands over the United States. President Reagan, doesn't serve as an inspiration for Neoconservatives today with the Patriot Act and national security over liberty. But Franklin Roosevelt does.

President Roosevelt, did say, 'we have nothing to fear, but fear itself." But he didn't practice that beautiful line himself. President Reagan, didn't try to stack the U.S. Supreme Court with friendly justices, because he thought that he was losing too many cases. President Reagan, paid reparations to Japanese-Americans, because of the Roosevelt Administration's unconstitutional internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. As much as today's so-called Progressives say they love FDR, there's a lot about him that is not even worth liking.

Today's so-called Progressives, like to point to Franklin Roosevelt as their political icon, but the fact is President Roosevelt was way to the right of them on civil liberties issues. And would be what we would call a Neoconservative today when it comes to civil liberties and national security. Meaning civil liberties wasn't a major concern to him, at least if he thought they interfered with national security. And was more than willing to bypass Americans constitutional rights in order to protect our national security. And probably not as Far-Left as today's Progressives who are really Democratic Socialists in actuality, on economic policy.

President Roosevelt, wasn't anti-wealth, anti-business, anti-capitalism, anti-private enterprise. He believed in all of these things, but was a Progressive in the sense that he believed all Americans should have an opportunity to succeed in life. And not just people who are born to wealth. Today's Progressives, should be looking at Eugene Debs, Henry Wallace, Norman Thomas and other Democratic Socialists, who ran for president in the early and mid 20th Century, but came up way short. Not someone who created the National Security State and Military Industrial Complex. Which is what President Franklin Roosevelt did in the 1940s.

As far as saying that Hillary Clinton is more like Reagan than Roosevelt, is that supposed to be an insult, or a complement? I guess when it comes to economic policy for Democrats that would be an insult. Especially since President Reagan didn't have much if any role for government when it came to economic policy and helping people who are struggling. But when it comes to national security, foreign policy and civil liberties, you know again Reagan believed in those things. Not as strongly as I do and neither does Hillary, but they both have much better records when it comes to civil liberties than FDR could even dream of having.

As far as writing in Bernie Sanders for president once he overwhelmingly loses to either Hillary, or my preferred choice Martin O'Malley, good luck. Bernie will probably say no to you, because he doesn't want Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio to be the next President of the United States with a Republican Congress controlling both the House and Senate. You want to go third-party and go with the Green Party and Democratic Socialist Jill Stein, by all means. You want to create Sanders-Stein 2016 Democratic Socialist ticket for president and vice president, I suggest you consult with both Bernie and Jill first. Because Bernie probably won't be interested.

But just take all of the Democratic Socialists in the Democratic Party who prefer the political correctness fascism over free speech, who believe middle class Americans are under taxed and that Americans aren't smart enough to decide what we should eat and drink and need a nanny state to make those decisions for us. While Democrats bring in Center-Left Independents who aren't Democrats, because they see us as a big government party that wants to spend most of our money for us and shut us up when we say something that is offensive, or critical about minorities. And the next president will be another Democrat in a landslide.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Eldridge Edison: U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders on The Earned Income Tax Credit in 1993

U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialist, Socialist Republic of Vermont-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Eldridge Edison: U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders on The Earned Income Tax Credit in 1993

Anyone who actually interested in helping to move people out of poverty in America would be in favor of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Unless you're an Ayn Randian who says that government has no role in dealing with poverty in America. Why? Because the EITC encourages low-income and low-skilled adults to actually work and not just get, or stay on Welfare, or Unemployment Insurance. Because it takes roughly twenty-million people off of the Federal income tax rolls and tell those workers that if they work, they won't have to pay Federal income taxes and instead get about two-thousand-dollars back in the paychecks every year. Which of course they'll spend, because they can't afford not to, because they have bills that have to be paid and struggling just to survive to begin with.

If you're against the EITC from either a Far-Right perspective where you believe that government has no role in dealing with poverty, or that everyone should pay income taxes even if they can't afford it, or come from a Far-Left perspective in opposition that says big government is entitled to tax all income and that government should encourage people to work, because that would just encourage independence from government, then of course you would be against the EITC. But the two most successful as well as bipartisan policies that have passed Congress and were signed by the President in the last forty-years, are the EITC and the 1996 Welfare to Work Law. Because again both policies encourage people to work. And says that being low-skilled and being low-skilled with kids, is not a good enough excuse to go to work and at least try to take care of yourself.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Conservable Economist: Timothy Taylor- Capitalism for Growth, Government for Fairness

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

You need a healthy private enterprise capitalist economic system for any economy to do well. That has been proven for a hundred-years now. Marxist state-control of the economy simply doesn’t work. A big reason why the Soviet Union collapsed is that they ran out of money and their republics wanted a different life for themselves free from Moscow’s central planning and economic control. The People’s Republic of China, figured that out as well forty-years ago and moved to a more private enterprise economic system. And the same thing with Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Communist Republic of Cuba ten years ago under Marxist dictator Fidel Castro.

So the question is not whether you should have a capitalist private enterprise economic system, or not, but what type of private enterprise system you should have. And what is the role of your national government in the economy to make sure that as many people as possible have the tools that they need to do well in live on their own and paying taxes and not just payroll taxes so when people are struggling, you have the resources to help out the people who truly need it. Instead of having a superstate designed to take care of physically and mentally able people. Who could take care of themselves if only given the opportunity.

You don’t want government managing industries. You don’t want government doing practically nothing either. You don’t companies to be able to legally pollute the air and water, or pass those costs onto taxpayers. Or get away with not paying their workers for the work that they do. You also don’t want taxes so high that encourages people not to work and be successful at work. What you do want is as many people as possible to be as economically successful as they can be. You want to encourage people to finish and further their education.

You want to encourage people to do well at work. The larger your middle and upper classes are and the lower your low-income class is, the stronger economy you’ll have. Because the more people you’ll have that can afford to purchase the products they make. Pay their bills, have a good time like vacationing and eating out and so-forth, putting money away and the stronger economic growth that you’ll have.

The reason why I believe in limited government is because I only want government what it should do based on what its good at and what we need it to do. Government, should just be a referee, national insurance system and investor. Laying out the rules for how companies and individuals should relate to each other and the people who work for them and their consumers. But not try to run their business for them.

An insurance system for people who truly need and are out-of-work. Help them get back on their feet and get a good job, but not try to manage their lives for them. Investing in things like education, infrastructure, trade, job trading, people, by empowering people in need to get themselves on their own feet. The more people you have doing well in your economy, the stronger your economy will be, because of all the workers and customers that you’ll have who are independent, on their own and living in freedom and not off of government.
The Aspen Institute: How The Sharing Economy is Redefining The Marketplace