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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Malcolm X Network: Video: Malcolm X: We Didn't Land on Plymouth Rock



Malcolm X. was clearly not a Saint, or a perfect person and America is not a country of Saints or perfect people. We have good, bad and in between all over the country. Hopefully more good than anything else. Malcolm X, started down the road as a lot of people growing up in rough neighborhoods and becoming a criminal. He’s one of the few in this country unfortunately who’s been in jail, that’s actually come out of jail as a better person. He made himself a better man and educated himself. He also went from being a criminal to a racist, or perhaps he was both at the same time. Basically seeing all Caucasians as Devils and perhaps he only knew racist Caucasians and believed because of that, that they were all like that.

But Malcolm X, was someone who learned and taught himself and bettered himself as he got older. Which is one of the reasons his early death was so tragic. Because we’ll never know how great Dr. Martin King and Malcolm X would’ve become as men, because they were both murdered in their late 30s, for both. But Malcolm X was a man who only got better as he got older, which why I believe he had such a strong following in the 1960s and if anything his following has gotten stronger in his death then when he was alive. With a great movie about his life with the great actor Denzel Washington playing Malcolm X in the movie. Well, Malcolm X, easy enough to follow.

Which is again is just another reason why his death was so tragic, because he was so young to die and like Dr King could’ve accomplished so much more. Not just with civil rights, but I believe would’ve gone farther in the areas of poverty and speaking about empowering low-income people to get themselves out of poverty with assistance, but they would do the work to make it happen. As well as rebuilding American cities, so people living in them especially in low-income areas, would have a good shot at a much better life and escaping poverty. But what I respect most about Malcolm X, was his message of empowerment and freedom over dependence. Whether its dependence on public assistance, or anything else.

Low-income people, don’t have the same freedom to live their lives as middle class people, or wealthy people. They simply have very limited resources and are very limited in what they can do with their own lives, especially compared with the rest of the population. And Malcolm X message was about empowering these people to get the freedom that the rest of the population had to live their own lives. And not be dependent on public assistance, in the 1960s when the Great Society and all of these new government programs has contributed to making low-income people more dependent on public assistance for their survival. Public housing, is a perfect example of this, where you build a bunch of high-rise housing projects in low-income areas. Where all of these low-income people live in low-income areas. With high crime and their kids are stuck going to bad schools and having the same future as their parents, or worse.

Malcolm X, wanted low-income people especially in the African-American community, to have the freedom to live their own lives and not be dependent on public assistance their whole lives. And I believe education and choice in education would’ve been a big part of his message. A lot of the message around fighting poverty in America in the past and still today unfortunately, has been government centered and giving low-income people Welfare checks. Instead of empowering low-income people to get the skills that they need and giving them their freedom so they can earn good pay checks from a good job. But that’s changing, it started in the Clinton Administration in the 1990s with Welfare Reform in 1996 with a Republican Congress. Where they worked together to make that happen. But Malcolm X, I believe had a big role in getting this message started in the 1960s and for that a lot is owed to him. His Message of empowerment, is the biggest contribution he made to Africans-Americans and America as a whole.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Democratic Party Losing The South?: The Rural South is Republican Territory



Up until the mid 1960's or so in 1964 when Republican Presidential Nominee Sen. Barry Goldwater broke through and won some Southern States in that Presidential Campaign. And then in 1966 when the Republican Party picked up seats in the House and Senate and dipped into the Democratic Parties overwhelming majority in Congress. And then again in 1968 when Republican Presidential Nominee Richard Nixon again won more Southern States on his way to be electing President of the United States. The Democratic Party pretty much owned the South and was a huge reason why they won 7-10 Presidential Elections from 1932-68 and controlled both Chambers of Congress. Except for 1949-51 and 1953-55 from 1931-1981. The Democratic Party owned Congress for 46-50 years from 1931-81 and won 8-12 Presidential Elections from that period as well, they had the White House in that period 32-48 years. And then again from 1987-95 they had both Chambers of Congress as well, including two years from 1993-95 with the White House as well. And a big reason for this, was that they owned the South both the Southeast and the Mid South and perhaps even the Southwest and they owned the Northeast as well and perhaps the Mid Atlantic as well. And they just didn't own Congress in this period but they had Super Majority's in both the House and Senate from 1935-45 and then again from 1959-69 and again from 1975-81. Some might ask where in the World was the Republican Party in this whole time period, doesn't America have a Two Party System. We do but back then the Two Parties had more Ideological Diversity and both had both strong liberal and conservative factions in it unlike today where the Democratic Party was run by both liberals and conservatives. And the Republican Party was run by conservatives but had a strong Liberal Faction in it as well. Where today the Democratic Party is basically the Liberal Party in America with Moderate Liberals and Socialist Democrats in it as well. With the Republican Party being a Fiscally Conservative Party with other Conservative Factions in it as well. The Republican Leadership in Congress in this period worked in coalition with Southern Democrats to block legislation.

But the more important question is how did this happen, how did one Political Party in a Two Party System control the Federal Government for so long and own the South for so long. If you look at the South back then and look at it today politically, its probably the most conservative part of the country. Mississippi might be the most Conservative State in the Union back then and today. The Republican Party with Barry Goldwater and later Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan saw this. And set out to make the South part of the Republican Party as it is today. The Southern Members of Congress back then who were democrats, would probably all be republicans today as well as the Southern Governors. This started in the early and mid 1960s with the Civil Rights Debates and laws, President Lyndon Johnson and Congressional Democrats needed Northeastern and Midwestern Republicans to vote for the Civil Rights bills of the mid and late 60s for them to become law. That was probably the last straw that threw the South to the Republican Party. As well as the Great Society legislation and Culture Revolution of the 1960s and 70s.

The Republican Party runs the South today and as a democrat I'm fine with that because we do very well almost everywhere else in the country. And we can still do well in big Southern States like North Carolina, where we have a US Senator and Governor, Tennessee where we have the Governor. Florida where we have a US Senator and won that State in the 2008 Presidential Election and where we've always been competitive there at least at some level. Even though the Republican Party runs the State Government. And these Southern Democrats back then weren't real democrats anyway because they were anti Civil Rights and I don't believe they are real republicans either. And belong in a Far Right Party instead.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Celebrating the 46th Anniversary of Medicare: Celebrate Medicare by Reforming Medicare



The 46th Anniversary of Medicare and it should be celebrated because of the Health Insurance its guaranteed for tens of millions of Senior Citizens since. And its been a great success and has achieved the original purpose of its objective, which is not something that can be said as fact for a lot of other Federal Programs. Perhaps not even a lot of other Federal Programs. And I believe a big reason for its success, that it guarantees Health Insurance for everyone thats eligible for it. Meaning all Senior Citizens has a Patients Bill of Rights built into it. Which was also part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, meaning that Medicare can't dump its patients because they get sick and need Health Insurance or reach a Lifetime Cap on the amount of Health Insurance they consume in dollars. Or have a Preexisting Medical Condition to use as examples. Another reason why Medicare has succeeded is unlike Medicaid, Medicare has a Dedicated Revenue Source. Medicare is funded through part of the Payroll Tax, unlike Medicaid which has to come out of General Revenue in the Federal Government as well as State Governments. And the Federal Government actually has to pay more for Medicaid then it does but has never lived up to its own obligations that itself wrote into law when they created Medicaid back in 1965. And Medicaid is something like a 40B$ program the entire US Department of Education Budget and is very expensive to run. Unlike the Federal Government that run Medicare on its own through the Health and Human Services Department. And again has a Dedicated Revenue Source to fund the program and doesn't have to look to cut the Federal Budget just to fund Medicare. But with Baby Boom Generation retiring which is a huge generation and the cost of their Medical Care coming down the road followed by Generation X my generation and others. Its time that we look to reform Medicare in a way that saves the program and makes it work even better.

What I would like to see done with Medicare instead of turing it into a Voucher System coming from the Tea Party. And no longer guaranteeing Health Insurance for Senior Citizens. And forcing Senior Citizens with a voucher to go get their own Health Insurance from the Private Sector. Where Private Insurers wouldn't have to cover them and taking away part of their Freedom of Choice in Health Insurance. Or instead of doing what the Progressive Caucus and its allies want to do and convert Medicare into a Single Payer Health Insurance program for everyone. And taking away the Freedom of Choice for everyone to be able to decide where they get their Health Insurance. What I would like to do is give Senior Citizens the Freedom of Choice to decide for themselves where they get their own Health Insurance. They can stay on Medicare or with a voucher could decide to go into the Private Sector or even Public Sector as well. If we ever create a Public Option in Health Care Reform that I would like to see. As well as reform the financing of Medicare, have the wealthy pay more into it before they are eligible to collect it and once they are on it. And raise the Retirement Age for people who are able to work longer and can afford to wait before they receive Medicare. We could fix the Financing of Medicare with the last two reforms alone.

What could really save Medicare indefinitely where we may never have to worry about its financing again or at least not the Federal Government. Would be to get it off of the budget of the Federal Government all together, not eliminate it or turn it over to the States. But converting it into an Independent Non Profit Health Insurance Service thats no longer run by the Federal Government. That would compete in the Private Market with other Non Profit Health Insurers and hopefully a new Public Option would be part of its competition. Medicare would be well regulated, meaning it would have to accept any Senior Citizen eligible for it. But maybe it would also accept people from all age groups as well, which would help cut its costs because it would be able to cover healthier people as well. And under my plan their would no longer be just one Medicare, each State would have it own Medicare System but none of the States would run it. But there would be a Medicare Service in each State, Medicare Maryland, Medicare Ohio, Medicare Florida etc every State. But each Medicare Service would have to comply with a Basic set of Standards from the Federal Government. Under my plan Medicare would have its own Management and Board of Directors at the National and State Levels that they would select.

Medicare has been a very successful Medical Insurance Program the last forty six years and we need to keep it as a very successful Health Insurer going forward. But for that to happen, we need to put some solid reforms on it and not do anything to it that could make it weaker. By eliminating the Freedom of Choice for its current patients and perhaps future patients.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rep. Chris Van Hollen on Andrea Mitchell Reports: Need for a long term Debt Deal



If they are talking about reaching an agreement on extending the Debt Ceiling for a week to work out the last remaining details on a final Debt and Debt Ceiling Deal. Then I think that would be fine and would certainly be better then a default, especially with current State of the Economy, with very little Economic and Job Growth, with Stock Market falling and the size of our debt and deficit. This would buy time for the House, Senate and White House to work out the Final Agreement on a long term Debt Ceiling extension, as well as a Debt and Deficit Reduction Package that the country needs to avoid default in the future. But what Speaker Boehner is proposing to pass a Short Term Debt Ceiling extension that Congress and the White House will have to deal with again in October. Is a waste of time, for one the Democratic Senate will never pass it. Leader Reid has already said that if the House passes the Boehner Plan, he'll kill it in the Senate with all 53 Democratic Senators. Also it would be bad for the markets and investors, because they'll know the possibility of the United States defaulting in October would be real, just like its real now. And they'll be asking themselves do they want to invest in a country that could default in a couple of months and where the currency could lose value. What Congress and the White House should do instead is work out a final Debt Ceiling agreement that gets our debt and deficit under control and extends it by eighteen months. By raising the revenue dollar for dollar that would have to borrow to extend the Debt Ceiling. With a balance approach, Budget Cuts, Government Reform, Entitlement Reform that doesn't hurt anyone that needs these programs. And raising revenue through Tax Hikes on the wealthy and closing Tax Loopholes that cost too much, 100B$ a year alone in that. This would mean that the House GOP would get basically everything they want even though they only control 1/3 of the decision making progress here. Which includes the White House, House and Senate, with republicans controlling the House. But since they don't have all the power and only 1/3 of it, they'll have to give up something as well. Tax Loopholes for the wealthy or Tax Hikes on the wealthy.

When your negotiating with someone and your able to get 75-90 or more then what your asking. Good negotiators will take that deal and run with it. Republicans have already won the argument on the importance of Debt and Deficit Reduction, they should declare victory and give up that 10-25% . Even though I'm a Liberal Democrat I'm going to quote Ronald Reagan, President Reagan said that when he was negotiating with Congress. And he could get 75% or more of what he was looking for, he would take that and come back to fight another day to get teh rest of what he's looking for. Instead of being stuck at the alter wearing a tuxedo with no one to marry. I added the last part but you get the idea, Speaker Boehner should take President Reagan's advice and declare victory with 75% of what he's looking for.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Maryland Marriage Equality Announcement: Time for the Free State to live up to that



I'm a Native Marylander and have lived in the State of Maryland my whole life and love my State. Its a great State and has been probably its entire existence, with a High Quality of life, education, economy employment, infrastructure, recreation, Physical Beauty. 6M people roughly within a few hours drive, so your that far away from anything. Great food, the best Crab Cakes around and other great seafood, great places to eat. Short Winters long Hot Humid Summers with a lot of sun, if your from New England or the Northwest. Maryland and the broader Mid Atlantic is probably not the best climate for you. We are a High Taxed State though compared with the rest of the country but we get a pretty good bang for our buck. With great schools roads, parks and so fourth, so myself who who believes in Low Taxes, I'll accept that for now. Maryland in nicknamed the Free State, which is also what I call my blog. One reason because I'm a marylander, the other because it fits my politics like a glove. I believe in the idea of Free State the ability for people to live freely in a Free Society. The ability for people to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. I've been described as a libertarian or a Classical Liberal. But I prefer liberal or even Liberal Democrat, because one I know what those terms mean unlike a lot of others. But also because I believe in Individual Liberty but thats not my point of this blog.

My point is if your actually going to have the nerve to call your State in a Liberal Democracy of 310M people with forty nine other States. The Free State, then you have an obligation as I see it, to live up to that nickname as much as possible and give your citizens and residents as much freedom as possible. The Voter Registration in Maryland is something like 70% Democrat and have had one Republican Governor in that last forty four years. But even with all of that, Gay Marriage is still illegal, gambling until recently was illegal, we now have slots at our Race Tracks, that I voted for on a ballot as well as casinos. Marijuana of course is still illegal like in the rest of the country but that could change in California and they came close to Decriminalizing Marijuana in 2010. Prostitution is still illegal like in forty eight other States, only Nevada has Legal Prostitution but they regulate and tax it. All of these Personal Activities are all illegal in the "Free State" of Maryland, all these activities that go on anyway in Maryland but in the dark. All of these activities that have consequences including negative but we can say that about a lot of other activities that are currently legal. Alcohol and tobacco come to mind, but we regulate and tax them.

If your going to call yourself the Free State and forty nine other States could've picked that nickname. And you live in a Free Society, you should live up to that nickname as much as possible because its a lot to live up to. Instead of trying to prohibit how people live their lives, even though you know those activities are going to go on anyway. You should regulate how they happen and have some control over it to make it as safe as possible. And regulate how people interact with each other and put in some rules to prevent and punish people when they abuse each other. And then you can bring down your overall Tax Rates, because now you've broaden your Tax Base. I'm glad GOV O'Malley has finally come on board in supporting Gay Marriage in the "Free State" of Maryland. But Maryland should be freer in other ways as well and be as free as possible and live up to its great nickname.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Leader Reid: Speaker Boehner's Plan is Not a Compromise: Both Plans DOA



Neither the Debt Plan offered by House Speaker John Boehner or Senate Leader Reid will pas in the other Chamber. Meaning the Boehner Plan is DOA in the Senate. And the Reid Plan is DOA in the House and probably won't even pass in the Senate, because probably the entire Senate Republican Conference will vote against it because its not the House GOP Plan. And a lot of the Senate Democratic Caucus will vote against it, because the Reid Plan doesn't have Revenue Increases in it. Even though it does have Defense Cuts in it and has nothing but Budget Cuts in it. My main issues with both Leaders plans it that they don't have Revenue Raisers in it, no Tax Hikes on the wealthy or closing of Tax Loopholes. At least the Reid Plan has Defense Cuts in it and cuts defense in a way that doesn't hurt our National Security. By using the revenue from ending Military Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and using that revenue to pay down the debt. Instead of putting it back in the Defense Budget or spending it on other areas in the Federal Government. I'm at the point now that I would settle for a Debt Ceiling Plan that yes has Budget Cuts in it including in defense but everywhere in the Federal Government. That has Entitlement Reform in a way that doesn't hurt anyone that actually needs those programs. And I would accept just closing Tax Loopholes, over 3000 of them according to the Bowles-Simpson Debt Commission. We could raise 100B$ a year or more to pay down the debt and deficit, just by closing the loopholes. For example we could still keep the Home Mortgage Deduction but end that deduction for Second Homes like Vacation Homes. We could raise a lot of revenue there, as well as wiping out fraud in Unemployment Insurance. Like for people collecting it but not actively looking for work, or ending Food Stamps for people who aren't eligible for it. Or overpayments in Medicare and Medicaid. We can reform our Entitlement Programs without hurting people that actually need them. Requiring wealthy people to pay more into Social Security and Medicare and collecting less of it. And use those savings to help pay down the debt and deficit.

I believe Speaker Boehner is trying to put together a proposal that could get more support then previous Debt Proposals from the House. And that Leader Reid is trying to see where the actual support for these Debt Proposals are especially in the Senate. Including on his own proposal which he finally put on the table. My other issue with these Debt Proposals is that they are both temporary, meaning Congress and the White House will have to deal with this issue in a few months. Its time to have a Debt Plan that both Chambers can agree on that gets us past this issue. So they can move on to other things.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Leader Reid Provides Update On Senate Debt and Deficit Plan: A Debt Plan without Revenue Increases is not Balanced



Since Senate Leader and President Obama haven't been able to reach a Debt and Deficit Reduction Agreement with House Speaker Boehner. I believe its smart of Leader Reid to unveil Senate Democrats own plan to get the Debt and Deficit under control. That hopefully passes the Senate and gets sent to the House and has the House actually vote on something that the Senate passes. Perhaps for the first time in the Congress, which is a sad thing that it would take the Senate seven months to pas anything. But thats more about how inefficient the Senate is which is a different story. But it looks like at least in its current form, that the Senate Democrats Debt Plan, does not include Revenue Increases. Tax Hikes on the wealthy or closing Tax Loopholes, meaning House Minority Leader Pelosi and most of her Democratic Caucus won't vote for it. And since President Obama has essentially endorsed the Senate Democrats plan, this will make the Democratic Base more angry with him and will make them angry at the Senate Democratic Leadership as well. Senate Democrats have a 53-47 majority over Senate Republicans and even though the Senate Minority can't block budget related items. The Senate Majority can only lose three votes, I believe the debt plan offered by the Senate Democratic Leadership will divide Senate Democrats without any republicans voting for it. Meaning that of course it won't pass, because Senate Democrats will see the plan as unbalanced and won't be the exact plan that House Republicans passed in the House. I see the Leader Reid's plan as a good faith effort to put something on the table that he and his caucus will officially go on the record as being in favor of. The problem with it other then its not balanced, is I believe he'll have a very hard time just passing his plan in the Senate. And this could end up being more wasted effort with the Default Deadline getting even closer and time is running out. What Leader Reid should do instead is to try to pass a plan that brings his caucus behind him, that included Budget Cuts, including defense, reforms including entitlements and Tax Hikes on the wealthy and closing Tax Loopholes. House Republicans as of now won't vote for it but at least democrats will have finally put something on the table and have a plan.

A Balanced Plan in Deficit Reduction is Shared Sacrifice and that means everyone who can afford to contribute, does that. And that means Tax Hikes on the wealthy, closing Tax Loopholes, budget cuts including in defense but everywhere in the Federal Government. And reform including in entitlements in a way that doesn't hurt anyone who actually needs these programs. What Leader Reid has offered is unbalanced and will divide Senate Democrats as well as Senate Democrats with House Democrats. And make the Democratic Base even more angry and disappointed at the Democratic Party.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thomas Sowell: President Obama's Health Care Reform: What it actually is



If you look at the Affordable Care Act of 2010 objectively, you'll see what is basically a Health Insurance Reform Law. As well as expanding Health Insurance through the Private Market for people who can't afford Health Insurance on their own. Its not "Government Run Health Care or Health Insurance" that Democratic Socialists in America were calling for. A Single Payer Medicare for All Health Insurance Law with Government Run hospitals, thats similar to Canada or Britain. There's no new Entitlement Program in the ACA that the Right Wing claim is is in it. The ACA simply reforms the Private Health Insurance Industry to prevent them from abusing its patients. Like dropping them from coverage just because they get sick, ending Lifetime Caps on the amount of Health Insurance they can consume. Kicking them out of hospitals before they are ready, closing the "Doughnut Hole" in Medicare and making that program more affordable. The Affordable Care Act is simply a Patients Bill of Rights, that expands Health Insurance coverage for 30M americans who can't afford Health Insurance on their own or their employers plan, through the Private Health Insurance Market. With a Tax Credit that helps people pay for their Health Insurance. And its not just President Obama's Health Care Law but its also every Democratic Member of Congress who voted for it and got an amendment attached to it. As well as every Republican Member of Congress who got an amendment attached to it as well. They all own at least a piece of the Affordable Care Act. What I believe the President originally wanted to do was design a new Health Care System for America. That would be similar to France a combination of Private and Public Health Insurance but where the people not the government would decide for themselves where they got their Health Insurance and Health Care. And wouldn't have to get it from a Private or Public Monopoly. Thats what France has and France Health Care System costs half of what ours does. And thats why the President pushed hard for a Public Option in Health Care Reform, a Non Profit Health Insurance Provider that would be independent of the Federal Government that people could choose or not choose.

The Affordable Care Act is not a perfect law by far but its a good first step in reforming our Health Insurance System that cost twice as much as the rest of the Developed World for similar outcomes. I would like to see a Public Option in the future as well as more reforms to brings down our overall Health Care costs.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sen. Bernie Sanders Suggests Primary Challenge for the President: A Disaster for the Democratic Party



Anybody who's a Loyal Democrat and wants President Obama to get reelected or at least not see a republican in the White House with a Republican Congress in 2013. Should look at the 1980 Presidential Election that saw President Jimmy Carter a very unpopular President, with a country in pretty bad shape, who was seen as weak. Who got a Primary Challenge from the left in Sen. Kennedy and then had to fight him off in the Democratic Primary's. Limp into the 1980 Democratic Convention leading a Divided Party. And then have to face one of the most Politically Skillful politicians whoever ran for President in America in Ronald Reagan. Where President Carter failed to win even 45% of the vote as the Incumbent President and lost over forty States losing in a landslide. When the Democratic Party is united, we almost always win, because there are more democrats then republicans. I believe 2000 would be the modern exception but when we are divided, we never win. Just look at 1988, where we lost the Presidential Election in a landslide, 1984 another landslide lost, I just mentioned 1980 where we also lost control of the Senate for the first time since 1952. 1972 Sen. George McGovern lost in a landslide to President Nixon. 1968 wasn't a landslide lost with Vice President Hubert Humpfrey but it was still a very divided Democratic Party and you had an Independent Presidential Candidate in GOV George Wallace, taking Conservative Votes away from Richard Nixon but Nixon still won and the Republican Party also picked up seats in both Chambers in Congress. Once again making them a player in Congress for a first time in a while. Democratic Socialists in the Democratic Party would have nothing to gain by fielding their own Presidential Candidate in the Democratic Party. But everything to lose for them, because they would lose even more influence to the liberals in the party that runs the party. Because first of all they wouldn't win and would divide the party and be blamed for the President losing in November. Just look at Sen. Kennedy's debacle in 1980, where he was never viewed as a serious Presidential Candidate again.

If Democratic Socialists or Progressive Democrats, whatever they prefer to be called now, as long as they don't call themselves Liberal Democrats. Want their own Presidential Candidate, they should form their own party or merge with the Democratic Socialist Party. And there would be enough of them to become a major force, especially if they combined all the Socialist Parties in America, like the Green Party and others. Into one broad Political Coalition of socialists into one Socialist Party, that at some point if they have enough people with them. Could challenge the democrats, republicans and libertarians for power in America and not just at the Federal Level. And the Democratic Party could become a true Liberal Party made up of nothing but liberals and Moderate Liberals. And we would be able to expand our party with more independents, people who are liberal on Social Issues but don't like "Tax and Spend" and High Regulations that democrats tend to get stereotyped as.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ambassador Marc Ginsberg on Morocco's Constitutional Reforms: Where Morocco can go from here



The idea that a country the size of Morocco 32M people with a vast amount of land in the Arab World. Is even talking about Progressive Reforms in their Constitution is a huge step. But what I believe what Morocco should do is move to a Constitutional Monarchy like lets say Spain, where the Monarchy is still there but doesn't run the Executive Branch of Government the Administration. But has more of a Ceremonial Role like in Britain. But where you have a Civilian Administration with an Elected President or Prime Minister who appoints the Cabinet but has to be confirmed by an Elected Parliament. The good news is the King of Morocco has already sorta moved in this direction where they now or will have a Elected Prime Minister and an Elected Multi Party Bi Cameral Parliament. Morocco could definitely move from being the Kingdom of Morocco where the King is essentially a dictator with vast powers. To the Constitutional Monarchy of Morocco with Branches of Government, an Executive with an Elected Leader, an Elected Multi Party Bi Cameral Parliament and an Independent Judicial Branch, thats appointed by the Executive and have to be confirmed by Parliament. Similar to Spain, which would make Morocco a very Progressive Country at least in Arabia as well as the rest of the World. That has a Ruling Party in the Executive with a Multi Party Parliament that respects Minority Rights for the parties that are not in charged of a Chamber in Parliament or both Chambers of Parliament. That also respects both men and women, Racial and Ethnic Minorities and Religious Minorities. Where the people can live their own lives with a basic Bill of Rights and not be thrown in jail when they express their rights. This is a system that I believe Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf Monarchy's should look at as well. There's a clear message that I believe is being communicated in Arabia, that they are tired of Authoritarian Rule and want they ability to live their own lives and elect their own leaders.

Its a good sign that the King of Morocco has taken it upon himself to move to reform the Moroccan Government and give his people more power in how they live their own lives and select their Leaders. And I believe what they are doing is something that the rest of Arabia should look at and could learn from.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sen. Chuck Schumer to GOP: Grover Norquist's OK Letting Millionaire Tax Breaks Expire in Debt Deal



I actually still disagree with Conservative Anti Tax Crusader Grover Norquist about his latest position on the Bush Tax Cuts. Letting them expire would be a Tax Hike, perhaps not a Tax Raise meaning creating a new Tax Bracket. But its definitely a Tax Hike, for the simple fact that increasing the Tax Rates on wealthy people from what they are currently now. Would mean they would be paying more in taxes in both percentage and actuality. But thats fine with me, High Earners should pay more in taxes and get a lot of their Tax Loopholes closed. For the simple fact that we have a huge debt and deficit problem that needs to be addressed. And these Tax Hikes would raise around 200B$ a year in new Tax Revenue that would paid to help pay down the deficit and debt. Not to be reinvested in the Federal Government on new spending that the House Progressive Caucus and its allies would like to see done with that revenue. This revenue wouldn't hurt the economy, because High Earners aren't spending much of this money right now to create new jobs and invest in the economy. And that they can afford these Tax Hikes right now because of how well they are doing right now and how well they have been doing. What I'm not in favor of is letting the all of the Bush Tax Cuts expire or passing new Tax Hikes on the Middle Class. Which again is what the House Progressive Caucus and their allies are in favor of and reinvesting that money in the Federal Government for new spending. Passing Tax Hikes on people who are struggling just to pay their bills right now and perhaps living off of whatever savings they may have and are perhaps unemployed. Would be bad for the economy, because these people would have even less money to spend, which means they would spend less. The last thing we want to do right now is create less demand in an economy with low demand, which is one of the reasons for our High Unemployment, Low Economic Growth and Low Job Growth. What we should be doing instead is encouraging the Middle Class to spend more money to create more demand in the economy. Which would create higher Job Growth, and higher Economic Growth and create more jobs to lower our Unemployment Rate.

I'm glad to see Grover Norquist come to his senses so to speak and wake up to the fact that new Tax Hikes on the wealthy could be part of a Deficit Reduction Package. Perhaps I'm taking his position too far and some of this on his position is wishful thinking. But he apparently he has opened the door to Tax Hikes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jay Carney: President Obama Is Willing to Take the 'heat': For the Good of the Country



In just the last day some adults have merged in Congress, mostly in the Senate but a few in the House as well in the Democratic Caucus. But adults have emerged in both parties in the Senate with Republican Senator Tom Coburn and the Bi Partisan "Gang of Six". And have put together Deficit Reduction and Debt Ceiling plan, that would raise the Debt Ceiling but would also move to get our deficit and debt under control. That would cut the Federal Budget around 4T$ of the next ten years but do it in a way that not only gets our deficit and debt under control but doesn't hurt anyone who can't afford to be hurt. The House Democratic Leadership led by my Rep. Chris Van Hollen the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. Has also offered a plan that cuts about as much as the Coburn and the "Gang of Six" plan. It reduces the debt by about the same over ten year and also in a comprehensive way. With Tax Hikes on people who can afford it the wealthy, as well as Budget Cuts in defense and in other places. As well as closing Tax Loopholes, a plan that would cut the debt 75-25 as far as Budget Cuts over Revenue Raisers. Democrats are already on board on Budget Cuts and I believe Congressional Democrats would also get on board on Entitlement Reform. If it doesn't effect people who need those programs right now and into the future and saves those programs. So Congressional Democrats and the White House are willing to give the House GOP 2/3 of what they want, Budget Cuts and Entitlement Reform and except for a few, have shown a little willingness to cut Tax Loopholes and defense. The House GOP has basically been in this my way or the highway approach, thinking they have all the power in the Federal Government. When they really only have 1/3 of it, this is called Divided Government for a reason. For bills to become laws and not just bills that are sent from one Chamber to the other and die. Both Chambers and both parties have to work together just to get a bill sent to the White House. And then they have to work with the President for that bill to become law and for him to sign it. This is something the House GOP doesn't understand yet and why we are still coming up close to the August 2nd Debt Ceiling deadline without a Final Resolution.

The House Progressive Caucus on the Far Left is not going to get what they want, they don't have enough members or pull a lot of sway except with the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But Minority Leader Pelosi isn't the Minority Leader for nothing, she's not in charged of the House and can't push a bill through it on her own. The Progressive Caucus won't get a Deficit Reduction and Debt Ceiling plan that has a trillion dollars of Tax Hikes in it and guts the National Defense. The Tea Party Caucus on the Far Right won't get everything they want either. They won't be able to convert Medicare and Medicaid into Voucher Systems. They only have power in the House and not much if any in the Senate. So for their to be a Final Agreement that can pass both Chambers and get signed into law. The House and Senate are going to have to work together and with the President, to get some thing and give some things. Or nothing will happen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sen. Tom Coburn: Black Book Balancing Budget Plan



Sen. Tom Coburn Deficit Reduction plan is the first real Deficit Reduction plan offered by a Republican Member of Congress this year. I'm NOT saying I would vote for it, I have my own Deficit Reduction plan. But his plan and mine both have things in common, like strategic Budget Cuts all across the Federal Government, reform of the Federal Government and closing Tax Loopholes. Sen. Coburn has the only plan that I've seen that could win Bi Partisan support in Congress, at least in the Senate. Because there are now Senators in both parties that understand the only way Congress can pass a Deficit Reduction in both Chambers is to have a balance approach. Something that both democrats and republicans would vote for and have things in it that both sides wouldn't normally vote for. And have even stated that they would never vote for that and would take Political Heat if they ever did vote for it. That means Tax Hikes on the republican side and Entitlement Reform on the democratic side. If Sen. Coburn were the Speaker of the House or the Senate Minority Leader, replacing both John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. I think Congress would have already reached an agreement with the White House and Deficit Reduction and the Debt Ceiling. Put Tom Coburn, Senate Leader Reid and President Obama in a room alone together, they get this done because all three men knows what has to be done and what it takes to pass something out of Congress that the President can sign. Sen. Coburn is a real Fiscal Conservative and I believe understands the Federal Budget as well or better then anyone else in Congress. He's right there with Sen. Kent Conrad Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee a great Democratic Senator in my mind. Who I believe is the democrats best spokesperson on Fiscal Policy, not only in Congress but in the entire Federal Government. Sen. Coburn and Sen. Conrad both understand what needs to be done and if these people had a bigger say in the Debt Talks, this deal is already done because they all know what needs to be done and what can pass. Congressional Republicans can't pass their own plan through Congress, Congressional Democrats can't pass their own plan either. The White House can't get their own plan through Congress as well. They need to come together.

Sen. Coburn's "Black Book Balancing Budget plan" is the best Deficit Reduction plan to be introduced in Congress this year and if democrats, republicans and the White House reach and agreement together on Deficit Reduction and the Debt Ceiling. You'll see a lot of Sen. Coburn's ideas in the agreement and I hope the Senate at least votes on the Coburn plan.

Monday, July 18, 2011

President Vows Veto of Tea Party Debt Plan: He won't get the chance



The President won't get the chance to veto the House Tea Party "Cut Cap and Balance plan", that House Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor and Chairman Paul Ryan of the House Budget Committee didn't come up with. This plan was written by the House Tea Party Caucus and has Rep. Michelle Bachmann's name all over it the Leader of the Tea Party Caucus. And I'll admit her political skills inside the House are pretty good and she was able to get the Speaker to approve her plan to come to the floor and the Leader to put it on the schedule. Without by the way any Committee Hearings on it, so the information that we have on it and its effects are very limited. With no one other then the Tea Party Caucus and its allies studying it. And a few Left Wing Think Tanks as well like Think Progress and others but the objective evidence about it is very limited. This plan was brought to the House last week and approved by Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor and went through the House Rules Committee on Monday and will be voted on Tuesday. With very few if any House Democrats voting for it, the House Democratic Leadership will hold its caucus on it, as well as offering their own plan. So that means the House GOP will have to pass it with only GOP Votes, I think it will pass but it will be fairly close with some republicans voting no. And then it will go to the Senate where it will get blocked by Senate Leader Reid and hopefully if the Senate Democratic Leadership ever gets around to bringing their own Budget and Debt Ceiling plan to the floor. Then Senate Minority Leader McConnell will bring "Cap Cut and Balance" up as the Republican Alternative in the Senate. Where I think he'll be lucky to get 40 out of 47 GOP Votes to vote for it. With everything single one of the 53 Senate Democrats voting against it. My whole point being in case you were wondering if I had one, is that President Obama threaten to veto a bill that he'll never see at his desk and ever get a chance to sign or veto. So he's sorta jumping the gun here, perhaps he would've been better off saying I would never sign that into law.

The Federal Government now has two weeks to avoid defaulting on its debt and will spend half of this week debating a piece of legislation that doesn't have a earthquakes chance in Boston of ever becoming law. And will once again be wasting time, when they should instead find something that they can agree on thats worth passing. But thats me I don't work for the Federal Government, which is probably a good thing, I'm just a Concern Citizen.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bill Buckley & Charlie Rangel debate War on Drugs 1991: How to Win a Losing War



One of the things I respect about Bill Buckley was that he was a Classical Conservative with real libertarian leanings, like all Classical Conservatives are. As a liberal myself we don't agree on much but when it comes to these Freedom of Choice issues, we have plenty in common. Bill Buckley was for the Decriminalization of all Narcotics in America not just Marijuana, there's an example of one of his libertarian leanings. In a sense Mr Buckley was to the left on Rep. Charlie Rangel, which is very hard to do and who's another man I have a lot of respect for.

Myself I go as far as Decriminalization of Marijuana and have it treated like alcohol at the Federal, State and Local Levels. 21 and over to posses, use purchase and sell marijuana, licensed to sell marijuana. Why in case you were wondering, because marijuana is essentially like alcohol, a drug that can do the same amount of harm or good to people then alcohol which is a legal drug in America. Also if people want to do something bad enough anywhere, they'll find a way to do it. Whether its legal or not, its that simple. One of the reasons why we have 2M people locked up in America is because of our failed War on Drugs, arresting hundreds of thousands of people each year for what they do to themselves rather then to what they do to others. Prohibition simply does not work in preventing people from doing things they want to do. If you want to prevent someone from doing something thats dangerous for them, you show them why what they are about to do is dangerous and why they shouldn't do it in the first place. Thats called rehabilitation not prohibition.

I'm not for legalizing all narcotics though and you might be wondering why that as well, perhaps you see some inconsistency there. You might believe that if someone should gave the ability to harm themselves with marijuana and alcohol, that they should have the same ability to harm themselves with cocaine, heroin and meth. But here's the thing, you think our Health Care System is too expensive now and our Emergency Rooms are overcrowded now. Then legalize heroin, cocaine and meth and you'll see our Health Care costs explode. The damage that alcohol and marijuana do to peoples body's is over a gradual amount of time. People can overdose on cocaine, heroin and I believe meth the first time that they use it. And either end up in the ER or can die right away, just look at the case of former Maryland basketball player Len Bias. Who died I believe the night or a few days after being drafted in the NBA by the Boston Celtics . Also I don't believe people who don't engage in unhealthy activities, whether its alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth just to use as examples. Should be forced to subsidize the Health Care costs of people who don't use these drugs, which will happen because a lot of these addicts won't be able to pay for their Health Care costs as a result of their drug abuse. Again the consequences of alcohol and marijuana use is gradual, people can live long healthy lives drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. As long as they use these drugs in moderation and don't become addicted to them. The consequences of heroin, cocaine and meth use is immediate and people have died right away from using those drugs.

The way to reform the War on Drugs if we were to still call it a war, is first Decriminalization of Marijuana but them instead of treating heroin, cocaine and meth addicts like criminals. Get those people in Drug Rehab instead and treat them like patients and have them pay for their Drug Rehab. Where they would stay until their doctors feel they are ready to leave and then continue to treat heroin, cocaine and meth dealers like criminals. Especially if they sell them to minors and throw them in prison. One way to win this war would be to collapse the Narcotics Market and a way to do that is to get Drug Addicts off of these drugs with Drug Rehab so they are no longer addicted to them. And then Drug Dealers would have less customers to sell their dope to.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Solid Principles: U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater- "On The Failed Liberal Agenda"

Source: Solid Principles- U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater R, Ari-
Source: Solid Principles: U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater- On The Failed Liberal Agenda

What Senator Barry Goldwater called a "Failed Liberal Agenda" (as he saw it) like the New Deal of the 1930s and the Great Society of the 1960s and even President Eisenhower to a certain extent, even though he was a Center-Right  Progressive/Conservative (lets say) with the Federal Highway System of the 1950s, wasn't a "Liberal Agenda", at least in the economic sense. If you look at the word liberal and what it means politically, which is how I describe my politics, sure it was liberal in the sense of it's size and how big it was and how much of it there was, but that wouldn't be the political definition of liberal. The agenda that Senator Goldwater from an economic point of view by it's political definition, is not liberal. The agenda Senator Goldwater was talking about was a social democratic agenda. Social welfare policy's to create the American welfare state, which really isn't a welfare state, but a safety net and they're different.

Like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and Welfare Insurance, etc. With the New Deal in the 1930s. And Medicare, Medicaid, Public Housing, etc, with the Great Society in the 1960s.

These are all social insurance programs that Progressives and Social Democrats were able to push through Congress in the 1930s and 1960s. Now I wouldn't of designed those programs the way they were originally designed and I don't believe anyone who is not a Socialist would design those programs that way today either.

I would've designed those programs, especially for the poor and unemployed, to empower them to get themselves to self-sufficiency. And would've added choice and competition from the private sector as well, so these people would have an option of where to receive their public assistance from. And with the programs for senior citizens, again more choice and competition and the ability to finance their own retirements so people aren't so dependent on Social Security in their senior years. But these programs which by far, none of them are perfect and all of them need reform today, have all worked at least to a certain extent.

If you look at Social Security- That program has provided millions of senior citizens the ability to not live in poverty.

Unemployment Insurance- Again has provided people with the ability to not live in poverty and not go homeless.

Welfare Insurance- Which by far hasn't been an overall success, at least up until it was reformed in 1996, has given millions of Americans the ability to not go homeless.

Medicare- Which needs major reform, has guaranteed millions of Americans the ability to have health insurance once they retire.

Medicaid- Which again needs major reform, has given millions of low-income people health insurance that they wouldn't otherwise had.

Public housing- Again no one other than a sSocialist would design that program the same way today. Without that we would probably have tens of millions or more people living homeless today.

All these programs are far from perfect when they were originally designed and don't meet a lot of the demands today and all need to be reformed. But they've all contributed to making America a greater society.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thomas Sowell: Barack Obama's Vision: Now his Real Vision



I have my issues with Barack Obama as well, he was actually my fourth choice for President in 2008. We democrats unlike republicans today had a deep Presidential Field in 2008. My first choice was Al Gore but he decided not to run for President, my second choice was Bill Richardson but his campaign went nowhere in the Democratic Primary's and was unable to raise a serious amount of money. My fall back option was Hillary Clinton because even though I had issues with her which mostly went to character. I saw her as very political and looking mostly towards her Political Career, rather then doing what's right. But I saw her basically as a liberal who wouldn't do anything stupid or crazy and run too far to the left to appeal to Democratic Socialists in the party. Obviously none of my choices came through, I didn't support then Sen. Obama from the start because I saw him as a Democratic Socialist trying to transform America into another Europe. Which is why the Far Left flank in the Democratic Party threw all of their support behind Sen. Obama rather then Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who they are more ideologically in touch with. Because they saw Barack Obama as a candidate who could not only with the Democratic Nomination for President. But win the General Election over John McCain in November of 2008 which of course is what he did. My other fear about Barack Obama is that he would Tax and Spend and not do what it took to protect the country. So far in Barack Obama's Presidency my fears going into his Presidency have been wrong. My problems with President Obama's leadership now are exactly about his leadership, I see him as somewhat weak, to willing to lay down goals of what he wants to do. And not willing enough to lay down a vision on how to get there. To willing to say this is what I want done and then forming a committee and telling them this is what I expect you to accomplish, tell me what you come up with and I'll let you know what I think about it.

Barack Obama despite all the claims that the Far Right have made about him, is no socialist. His faith in the Welfare State is clearly limited, which is something I actually like about him. He would actually be an insult to socialists to call Barack Obama a socialist, his supporters from 2008 the people that were with him the whole way. Up until 2010 could be called socialists. Despite all the claims that the Far Left have made, Barack Obama is no conservative either and would actually be an insult to conservatives to label Barack Obama a conservative. What Barack Obama is even though his Senate Voting Record makes him look a lot farther to the left, is a Center Left Liberal, basically a Moderate Liberal. Similar to Bill Clinton, perhaps a little farther to the left, still a progressive like Clinton but more cautious and willing to compromise, rather then make a good deal then just fight the fight. At least thats how he governs, I'm talking more about his Governing Style. I believe his actual politics are farther to the left and has a bolder vision of what he wants to accomplish. But his practical side tells him that only so much is possible and you should just try to accomplish that or you'll be left with nothing. And I believe the same thing can be said about Bill Clinton, who personally is a Liberal Progressive but in practicality is more of a Moderate Liberal.

As a real Classical Liberal myself who just views myself as a liberal, I have my own issues with President Obama and they don't just have to do with his leadership but his politics as well. I wish he was stronger on Gay Rights like with Gay Marriage but I believe he's been strong everywhere else on Gay Rights. I wish he would come out for Marijuana Decriminalization and come out for reforming the War on Drugs more broadly. So we stop treating Drug Addicts like criminals and treat them like patients that need help. I wish he would come out for Prison Reform so we can do something about reducing or 2M Prison Inmate Population and start preparing these inmates for life on the outside as well as Alternative Sentencing for Non Violent Offenders. I wish he wouldn't of signed the Patriot Act which I believe is unconstitutional because it violates the Fourth Amendment. Which is why he voted against it in Congress. And his latest position on the War Powers Act as it relates to Libya to me is quite frankly scary, the sixty days have long past. But he doesn't believe he needs a Congressional Resolution on it.

President Obama is no socialist or no conservative, he's a Moderate Liberal or at least thats how he governs. Because I believe he believes thats the best way a democrat can get reelected President of the United States and win Independent Voters. Who rather make a good deal then fight the good fight.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Liberty Pen: The Charlie Rose Show- Thomas Sowell: The Vision Of The Anointed

Source: Liberty Pen- Thomas Sowell & Charlie Rose-
Source: Liberty Pen: The Charlie Rose Show- Thomas Sowell: The Vision Of The Anointed

Anytime I here someone or a group of people say that they have a plan or a vision on how to make people's lives better, especially low-income and low-skilled people and they say trust us, "you no longer have anything to worry about, we'll take care of you or something", to that effect, I get skeptical to put it mildly.

Who are these great society planners to decide how others should live their own lives and make more people dependent on government for their economic survival? Especially planners who are attempting to plan the lives of others they've never met and never know and in some cases are planning the lives of others from 3000 miles away. If you want people to be free especially in a free society and especially for people who haven't had a full taste of freedom because they are lets say economically challenged, they simply don't have the money that middle class people and high- earners and to compound the problem, don't have the skills to get a good job to have those advantages, you empower these people to further their education so they can get a good job and live in freedom on their own.

Let economically challenged America be free. Give them the freedom to live their own lives and be able to take care of themselves and their families. Instead of making them dependent on government or more dependent on government, funded by of course taxpayers.

Empower the economically challenged to get the skills that they need to be self-sufficient in life and not need government to take care of them.

All social insurance programs that are designed to help low-income and low-skilled people, should be designed to empower them to take care of themselves. Tha'ts my main issue with the New Deal and Great Society programs, because even though they both provided assistance for people who were economically disadvantaged, they didn't empower them to get the skills that that they need by helping them go back to school or go to school. Or receive additional skills in school to be able to finally take care of themselves. Creating this "culture of dependency" on Public Assistance for people to survive.

Socialists Collectivists believe in taxing the rich for one reason. To take from the rich and to give to the poor, like Robin Hood. And they of course have this collectivist view that no one should be rich and be able to make a lot of money. Especially compared to the rest of society, even if their skills and production give them the ability to.

The answer to helping the economically disadvantaged is not to take from wealthy people just to give to low-income people. What we should do instead is to create more wealth.

First by leaving in the incentives for people to make a good living legally and through hard work.

And to empower low-income people to get the skills that they need to do the same thing. It's the collectivist vs individualist argument.

Liberal economics is about liberating people in need to clime the economic ladder and liberate themselves from poverty. Yes, through some public assistance like short-term financial assistance to help people in need survive short-term. But just as important if not more important empowering people in need to liberate themselves from poverty and live in freedom on their own. That gets to things like education, economic development, and infrastructure. Not to take from people who've already made it to subsidize the economically disadvantaged. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Real News: Paul Jay Interviewing Joshua Landis- Syria's President Offers Future Reforms, Blames Conspiracy For Protests

The last thing that America needs to do is to get involved in another foreign war. Especially since we are already involved in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya as well. And with the President's current position on the War Powers Act, I'm not willing to endorse the idea that we get involved in Syria either. But that doesn't mean the West including America and Arabia should be silent on what the Assad Regime is doing about the democratic protests in Syria either. There are other things that we can do to push Syria to stop the crackdowns on the democratic protests there that wouldn't have to involve committing American or NATO troops there.

Like with economic sanctions there but do it with a coalition, that includes America, Canada, the European Union and the Arab League. As well as sending in a military force that could include, Turkey, perhaps Israel, the Arab League and maybe even the European Union. Not to take down the Assad Regime and wipe out it's military. But to provide protection and cover for the democratic protesters there, to prevent violence and to defend the protesters there. And the American military could assist in a way not with troops or planes or ships, but with resources and equipment to whatever international coalition that would develop to protect the Syrian people from unfortunately their own government.

As well as we could essentially bribe members of the Assad Regime and it's military to defect from that Regime, including President Assad himself. And get an agreement with the Syrian opposition to not prosecute, or punish whoever were to defect from the Assad Regime once they were to take power. We could help push the Assad Regime out-of-power and to make room for a new democratic government, or a transitional government to start off there. Similar to what's going on in Egypt until they elect a new government with peaceful means.

The last thing that America needs to do is get involved in another war, as far as committing more troops, bases, tanks, planes, ships, etc. Especially since we are currently paying for two wars that we can't afford by borrowing all the money. But what we can do is assist others in doing this to promote a peaceful resolution in Syria and bring the Assad Regime down.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Give The President New Debt Limit Power Senate Minority Leader Says



I think Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is actually on to something here finally but I would amend what he's trying to do. I believe if the Federal Government if they are going to be able to borrow more money by raising the Debt Ceiling. They should show that are willing to start paying their bills by actually paying them and not borrow more money to pay other bills. Its a way to bring Fiscal Responsibility to a bloated Federal Government that I believe at least at times has no concept of the idea. Especially since the Federal Government can do this in a way that doesn't hurt the country in any way, aid to the poor, aid to Senior Citizens, National Security etc. The United States Government has borrowed literally 4T$ in the last 2 1/2 years, not all of it the Obama Administration's fault. But its all happened on their watch and they are responsible for dealing with it while they are in charge and they know this. So what I'm proposing is that we raise the Debt Ceiling by 4T$ but we simply pay for it. If we pay for the 4T$ that the FEDS have borrowed, then we go back down to a 10T$ National Debt which is still way to big, that would still be 70% of our Gross National Product or GDP but thats a lot more manageable then 14T$ or 90% of GDP where it stands now. And by paying the 4T$ off, we can also pay down our 1.6T$ Budget Deficit and move to start paying down the National Debt as well. Which would also be a boost to our economy because it would boost the American Dollar and be an indicator that America is finally getting serious about its Deficit and Debt and that we are finally paying our bills and will not become another Greece. Dependent of Foreign Money just to pay its bills.

Again we can pay for the Debt Ceiling increase without hurting anyone, by reducing our Defense Spending in areas like defending Developed Nations that can afford to defend themselves and closing those Foreign Bases. Reforming our Social Insurance programs like our Entitlement Programs, in a way to design them just for people that need them, which is another way of saying Means Testing. Reforming our other Social Insurance programs like our Anti Poverty Programs in a way, so they are designed to move people off of them and into Self Sufficiency. Ending Corporate Welfare including Agriculture Welfare and other Tax Loopholes and then raising taxes on people who can afford to pay them. Like a new Millionaires Tax and a new Billionaires Tax. And using all these savings to pay for the Debt Ceiling increase and start to pay off the broader National Debt as well. We can pay for the Debt Ceiling increase and pay down the deficit and debt without hurting anyone who needs Public Assistance. With strategic Budget Cuts, reform and demanding more for people who can afford to pay more.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thomas Sowell: The Difference Between Liberal and Conservative: Now the Actual Differences



If you look at what actual Classical Liberalism is which I just view as liberalism, not Classical Liberalism or Modern Liberalism. And you look at what Classical Conservatism, which I just view as conservatism is. And I'm not talking about what's been called Modern Liberalism, which is actually Democratic Socialism a form of socialism. Or Neo Conservatism which is actually a from of authoritarianism. But actual liberalism and conservatism, they are actually not that different. They both believe in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, they both believe in protecting and defending those rights. They both believe in Individual Liberty and individualism, they are both internationalist on Foreign Policy, they both believe in a strong National Defense. They both believe in American Capitalism, they both believe in Limited Government. They actually have a lot in common, perhaps more then they don't have in common. They both believe in Self Governance, that people have the right to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. That government should protect innocent people from being harmed by others but not try to protect adults from themselves. And not try to regulate how adults live their own lives. The differences come in how these things are carried out. They have differences when it comes to interpreting the US Constitution, they are both internationalists but in different forms. Liberal Internationalists tend to be more willing to negotiate and Conservative Internationalists tend to be more willing to use Military Force. Liberals tend to be more in favor regulation in the economy to prevent people from abusing other people. Conservatives tend to believe that regulation isn't always needed and that the Free Market can work these abuses out on its own. They both believe in Limited Government but again in different forms and I'll use the economy as an example. Liberals tend to believe that government can be used to help people who are down help themselves to become Self Sufficient. Conservatives tend to believe that a lot of these Social Services should be privatized and let the market empower these people instead.

See liberalism and conservatism are both centered around the US Constitution and Individual Liberty. Protecting Individual Rights and letting people live their own lives. Liberal comes from the word liberty and conservative meaning someone who wants to conserve and when it comes to Politics and Government. That means conserving Constitutional Rights for individuals. Liberals and conservatives might have more in common then they don't and if they were the two leading Political Ideology's in the country right now. With Democratic Socialism and authoritarianism, whether its theocratic or or secular being on the outside looking in. Instead of being considered part of the mainstream of American Politics. Then America would be a much more united country.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Charles Kesler on the Grand Liberal Project: The differences between Liberalism and Socialism



What liberalism and socialism Classical as well as Democratic Socialism have in common, is that they are both progressive. Meaning liberals and socialists both believe in making society better and the peoples lives in society better. And using government to make society and peoples lives better. But thats about where they have in common ends, as well as liberals tend to be liberal also on Social Freedom as well as Economic Freedom. And tend to be Liberal Internationalists on Foreign Policy. Socialists who aren't communists or a another form of authoritarian, tend to be liberal on Social Issues as well but tend to be dovish on Foreign Policy, as well as National Security and Law Enforcement. Liberals however tend to be liberal on these issues, they are liberal after all and tend to believe that Individual Liberty has to be defended and we don't have a choice but we have to defend Individual Liberty. And that means having enough security to accomplish this without interfering with our Constitutional Rights. Liberalism tends to put its faith in liberty and Individual Liberty not the State, the State is their to protect our Individual Liberty and help people who are down help themselves. Liberalism is about the Individual not the State, socialism at least on Economic Policy is about the State. Using government to make the lives of people better with a whole menu on Social Insurance programs meaning the Welfare State. Liberalism is individualist, socialism is statists and collectivist, that we are in it together as a society and they we need to go forward together or not at all. Even if some people in society can move forward on their own without the government showing them the way.

When Conservative Historians take a look at liberalism and what exactly it means, like in this video. They tend to mix up liberalism with socialism, classical as well as democratic. Whether they do it intentionally or don't know any better and they point to the New Deal era of the 1930s, as well as the Great Society era of the 1960s. These were both progressive era's, where Progressive Democrats in the Federal Government attempted to make America better with a whole wide range of Federal Social Insurance programs. And they created the American Welfare State and I believe had some success in making America better in that. But these weren't Liberal Progressive Democrats who accomplished this, a lot of these people especially in the Southern Caucus in Congress. Were very conservative on Social Issues including Civil Rights. These Progressive Democrats were Democratic Socialists that of course believe that the government meaning the Federal Government, should be used to make society better with the Welfare State.

I don't believe there's been a Liberal Era in American Politics at least not in the 20th Century and definitely not now. Just look at the Obama Administration's positions on National Security and the War on Drugs to use as examples. I believe the closest thing America has seen to a Liberal Era, was in the 1960s. But that had more to do with Social Issues and running against the establishment in society and Social Liberation and Foreign Policy to a certain extent as well.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

CNN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Interviewing President Bill Clinton in 2009- Bill Clinton Compares Single-Payer, Universal Health Care Vs. Private Market, Private Health Insurance


Source: CNN- President William J. Clinton-1993-2001-
Source: CNN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Interviewing President Bill Clinton in 2009- Bill Clinton Compares Single-Payer, Universal Health Care Vs. Private Market, Private Health Insurance

My ideal health insurance system as well as health care system, is a system that puts the consumers, not government in charged of where they get their health insurance and Health Care and how they pay for it. That doesn't put monopoly's private and public in charged of where and how people get their health insurance. Where you have multiple health insurance and health  are providers, including non-profits competing with each other. To give consumers maximum access in where they get these services. Bringing prices down through competition. If people don't like the health insurance, or health care from one provider, they have the option to go somewhere else. Forcing providers to compete with each and force them to provide the best service possible to have the most customers possible. A health care system thats well-regulated, not over or under regulated, something like a Patients Bill of Rights in order to prevent health insurance and health care providers from abusing their patients.

Like dumping people when they get sick for example, or having lifetime caps. I've basically just laid out the health care Systems of France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Japan. Not the health care systems of Canada, Britain, Denmark, or Sweden. Which have single payer systems that Socialists tend to favor in America and in other countries. The Obama Administration during the health care reform debate of 2009-10, attempted to move our health care system, to the French-German public-private model. And even wanted to put through a public option non-profit health insurance provider that would be self-financed, self sufficient and independent of the Federal Government. This wasn't going to be some new entitlement program that would cover the entire country like a single payer system. And they got damn close to passing it before they settled for the Affordable Care Act.

My opposition with a single payer system is that takes power away from the people who would be consuming the health care system and giving it to government. As a Liberal I have a big problem with that, or any other attempt to take power away from people and give it to government. Yes, Canada and Britain's health care system costs half of what ours as far as GDP. But in my opinion Canadian and Brits pay a heavy price for it. They pay less money in exchange for less freedom when it comes to their health insurance. I rather pay a little more for health insurance, as long as I have the freedom in where I pay it. By the way, France which doesn't have a government-run system, but a public-private system, spends less of it's GDP on their health care system than Canada and Britain. If I had a choice in where I was going to live between these three fine countries and it came down to health care systems, I would take my chances in being able to speak French fluently and move to France. If America ever moved to the French model as far as health care and we were still paying more for our health care than Canada and Britain, but a little more, then it would still be a damn good investment for America.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Think Progress: Video: CNBC: Representative Michelle Bachmann on Social Issues



Representative Michelle Bachmann wants to as she says run a presidential campaign that’s a three-legged stool. That represents fiscal Conservatives, meaning the Tea Party, national security Conservatives probably meaning Neoconservatives and social Conservatives meaning Christian Conservatives and in America that would mean the Christian-Right. Apparently she did an interview today and came out for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and a law banning porn. The constitutional amendment is nothing new, but the anti-porn law is at least new on her part.

With those two positions Representative Bachmann can forget about appealing to Libertarians. Because she’s come out for at least two big government positions. I would love to hear her speaking out against big government, because then she would be able to run for Hypocrite in Chief instead of Commander-in-Chief. With those two positions she’s just taken, she’ll lose part of her Tea Party base because there are actually real Libertarians and Conservative Libertarians in the Tea Party. Who don’t give a damn about social issues, they are only interested in fiscal and foreign policy.

But Michelle could unite the Christian-Right behind her. This three-legged Stool that Representative Bachmann is talking about, that as I see it, she wants to be a three-legged Tool for them. This strategy doesn’t work, a Republican or any other presidential candidate can’t win a presidential election with a base that includes Libertarians, theocrats and Neoconservatives. And they go off against big government when she’s in favor of big government. Because their positions contradict each other. Representative Bachman is a Neoconservative on social issues and national security and a fiscal Conservative.

A candidate like this can’t appeal to Libertarians. Her best bet is to appeal to fiscal and Neoconservatives. Instead of going for everybody on the right-wing, including residents at mental hospitals. Because there are still classical Conservatives out there who don’t care what people do with their own lives. And don’t want government trying to tell people how to live. Michelle Bachmann is a religious Conservative with a fiscal message. She’s not a unifying candidate that can bring the entire Republican Party behind her. And I believe she actually knows this because, I believe she’s politically smart enough to understand this. Which makes her a tool for all the other factions she claims to speak for.
Michelle Bachmann


Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Differences between Liberalism and Socialism



What's been described as "New Deal Liberalism" and "Great Society Liberalism" and perhaps even "Eisenhower Liberalism", of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The FDR New Deal, the Eisenhower Highway System and the LBJ Great Society, this is not liberalism or Big Government liberalism. These are all Socialist Policy's, not Classical Socialist but Democratic Socialist. Building the Welfare State through the Federal Government to make society better, to make the union more perfect. Franklin Rossevelt was a Democratic Socialist on Economic Policy at least as President. He wasn't a liberal on anything other then Foreign Policy. Liberalism is not about the Welfare State, liberals believe in protecting the Safety Net for people who need it but not having it so people become dependent on it. President Eisenhower who I consider perhaps the last Conservative Libertarian America has ever had as President. On Foreign Policy, Social Issues and Economic Policy. He did create the Federal Highway System but that was the only Socialist Policy he had. Lyndon Johnson at least as President, was a liberal on Social Issues, we haven't had a better Civil Rights President since or before in my opinion. He was also a Liberal Internationalist on Foreign Policy. But he was a Democratic Socialist on Economic Policy, the Great Society case in point. Medicare and Medicaid government run Health Insurance programs. But with all of LBJ Big Government Great Society programs, he left the Presidency with a Balance Budget, because he paid for everything. Jack Kennedy another liberal on Social Issues, a little late to the party on Civil Rights but I think that had more to do with his political calculations then anything else. But his tendency's leaned to the left on Civil Rights. He was clearly a Liberal Internationalist on Foreign Policy but he has socialist leanings on Economic Policy except for his Tax Cuts. But he wanted to create Medicare and I believe a Single Payer Health Insurance program.

If liberals were in charged during the New Deal, the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. There probably would've been some type of Social Security Retirement Insurance program. But it would've been a Welfare Insurance program but just for people who need and don't have any other Retirement Income. And there would've been a separate program for people to build up their own Private Pensions. Something like Social Security plus, that would have Private Retirement Accounts, that would be paid into by workers and their employers. That individuals would be able to manage on their own, to build their own Private Pensions. If liberals were in charge during the New Deal Unemployment Insurance would've been designed to put people back to work with education and Job Placement. Instead of just Unemployment Checks. If liberals were in charge during the New Deal, Welfare Insurance would've been designed to move Low Income people out of poverty, instead of just giving them Welfare Checks. If liberals were in charge during the 1950s, there would've been a National Infrastructure Bank, which is another blog. But basically a Public Private Partnership in building and repairing our infrastructure in America. Instead of the Federal Government being in complete control of it. If liberals were in charge during the Great Society, there would've been more choice in where Senior Citizens and Low Income people get their Health Insurance. Instead of forcing them to take government Health Insurance. And Low Income people would have more choice in where they live, instead of forcing them to live in Public Housing in bad neighborhoods and forcing their kids to go to bad schools.

Liberalism and socialism are two different ideology's not one in the same and socialism itself is a very diverse ideology and not just an Economic Policy. Liberalism is about Maximize Freedom and Responsibility for the individual in what they do with their freedom. And also holding them responsible for when they use their freedom to hurt innocent people. As well as Equal Opportunity for all, not Equal Benefits which would be collectivist a Socialist Value. Another part of liberalism is to use government not to run or manage others lives. But to empower people who are down, to get themselves up with a Hand Up not a Hand Out. Socialism is about using government especially the Federal Government to make the society better for the people, meaning the Welfare State. And its also collectivist, meaning using government make sure people don't have too much more then others. And taking from them when they do with High Taxes, to take care of others who don't have enough. Another difference between liberalism and socialism, liberals believe government should be used to empower people to take care of themselves. Socialists believe government should be used to take care of people who can't take care of themselves. Another big difference.

What liberalism and socialism does have in common is that they are both progressive, meaning using government to make society better and solve problems. But there are different approaches, liberals believe in empowering people to solve their own problems. Socialists believe in empowering government to take care of peoples problems. Two different Political Ideology's not one in the same.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The truth behind Health Care "Reform": What the Public Option really is



During the Presidential Campaign of 2008 I supported the Public Option in Health Care Reform, as did the two leading Democratic Candidates. Then Sen. Barack Obama and then Sen. Hillary Clinton and during the Health Care Reform debate of 2009-10, I once again supported the Public Option, as did now President Barack Obama and most Congressional Democrats both House and Senate. As well as most of the Democratic Party, we weren't completely united on the Public Option and Health Care Reform in general, to say the least. But we were mostly united, I even wrote my own Health Care Reform plan that I put on a blog. That included my own version of the Public Option in it. That was yes owned by the Federal Government but operated independently. With its own Management and Board of Directors, that would've been Self Financed and Self Sufficient. Paid for by its consumers and their employers, to keep the Congress and the Administration's hands off it. But leaving them with the ability to regulate it, like they would regulate private Health Insurers. That would be Non Profit like lets say Blue Cross, that would have no special advantages over private Health Insurers, it would compete fairly, in the Health Insurance Market. Actually just the way I would like to see Medicare and Medicaid run today but thats a different blog. But why you might ask I'm in favor of the Public Option when it comes to Health Insurance and not Single Payer or some other replacement. Because unlike some people who call themselves conservatives today. I'm a liberal and one of those reasons is because I believe in Free Market Capitalism and unlimited free and open competition thats well regulated. I don't believe in Corporate Welfare Capitalism or Democratic Socialist Capitalism. Let the people decide where to get their Health Insurance and Health Care, let them make these decisions for themselves.

The Public Option is exactly as those two words say, its a Public Option that people can choose as far as where they get their Health Insurance from. If they don't like it, they can choose something else. If they don't like their private Health Insurance, they can choose another private Health Insurer or select the Public Option. Its about Freedom of Choice power to the people a liberal concept, forcing the ineffective private For Profit Health Insurance Market to work better or lose business. Which is another thing that the Free Market is about. As much as the Right Wing lied about the Public Option, its just that not a Public Mandate that people would have to get and pay for. Unlike a Medicare For All Single Payer Health Insurance plan.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video with Keith Olberman on the Public Option

Monday, July 4, 2011

NFLN: Video: Top Ten Most Feared Tacklers: Number One Dick Butkus: The Monster of the Midway

NFLN: Video: Top Ten Most Feared Tacklers: Number One Dick Butkus: The Monster of the Midway

When I think of tough players in the NFL, I think of guys who could and did scare the hell out of their opponents, if not people watching the game as well. I think of guys who not only scared the hell out of their opponents on the football field but on film in practice, putting the fear of God into offenders and offensive coaches and head coaches. Wow, we are facing this guy this week, how are we going to block him or how many guys are we going to need to block him on any play?

I can think of a guy who not only hit and tackled his opponents but also hit them so hard that they knew exactly who hit them, because they never felt that kind of pain from anyone else. Offenders were always trying to avoid Dick Butkus, who was a 6’3″, 240 to 245-pound MLB with the Bears from 1965 to 1973 and at his size was playing middle linebacker at a time when everyone else that size was an offensive or defensive lineman. This meant you basically needed an OL to block him, and probably a couple of them.

Butkus was all muscle, and not only huge and strong, but fast as well. He probably ran a 4.4 to 4.5 forty, which is similar to Lawrence Taylor and Ray Lewis, three LBs who weigh about the same and are all muscle, but Taylor and Lewis played in an era where big LBs were typical. The closest LB I’ve seen to Butkus’s size, strength, and athletic ability would be Brian Urlacher. I am not saying Urlacher is as good as any of these other LBs, because he’s not, but he is headed to the Hall of Fame.

Urlacher is a 6’4″, 265-pound MLB, again the size of a DL playing middle linebacker because of his athletic ability and speed. These guys are freaks as athletes, but especially as linebackers, but Dick Butkus was the first freakish LB who was also a great player and is still the best at his position and best LB ever, period.

The name Dick Butkus itself sounds like a tough guy. It doesn’t sound like the name of a jockey. Wiley Pope sounds like the name of a jockey, but Dick Butkus sounds like the name of a macho individual who probably played football and perhaps even had to play football to relieve some of his testosterone. If he hadn’t played football, he might have ended up in jail or something; that last part is a joke, but you get the idea.

Some people who are less impressed with Dick Butkus, to put it mildly, make the argument that Butkus only played nine seasons, so his greatness isn’t as impressive because it wasn’t as long. What they fail to realize is that what Butkus accomplished in his nine seasons has been matched by no other, which is why he’s the best. Jim Brown also only played nine seasons but what he accomplished in nine seasons, no other running back has matched: nine-time Pro Bowler, eight rushing titles, and never missed a game as well.

Dick Butkus left the NFL as the all-time leader in fumble recoveries, 30 INT again in nine seasons as a MLB, not a corner or safety. He once sacked the quarterback 20 times in a season, again as a MLB not as a DL, also in a 14-game season. But these are just stats. The way to judge Dick Butkus is the same way you need to judge Jim Brown. What did he bring to to the table and what did offenses have to do to stop him?

Another way to judge Dick Butkus is to look at the position he played. He played MLB, meaning that the offense always knew where he lined up and could always prepare for him. He was predictable in a sense; he wasn’t a rush end like a OLB/DE Hybrid who lined up in several different positions always looking for the best matchup like, let’s say, Lawrence Taylor or Derrick Thomas.

Offenses knew where he was and still couldn’t stop Butkus. Dick Butkus was the best ever at what he did, because he basically couldn’t be stopped. He played the last four seasons of his career on two bad knees, which is why he only played nine seasons, but he was still an eight-time Pro Bowler. Dick Butkus was the most feared and the best LB to ever live.