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Friday, March 30, 2012

What is Liberalism?: The Real Meaning of American Liberalism and not how its Stereotyped as something else





I've been asked and been labeled several different things since I've been blogging. Now three years about how I would describe my politics. When I speak about things like Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility and Freedom of Choice. People automatically assume I'm a Libertarian and when I speak in favor of things like. Decentralization of the Federal Government and I express concerns about Big Government. And speak against things like Single Payer Medicare For All Health Insurance. Or creating a 21st Century New Deal or speak in favor of American Power. Even in a limited way like being in favor of the Libyan No Fly Zone. People assume I'm a Conservative, I've actually been called a Conservative on YouTube. I was called that to be insulted, which I wasn't not that I'm a Conservative. But because I actually know what Conservatism is and can differentiate between. Conservatism and Neoconservatism or Religious Conservatism or even Libertarianism.

I've been labeled a Classical Liberal, which so far has been the most accurate way to describe my politics. Especially if Classical Liberalism is used to differentiate from what's called "Modern Liberalism". Which I just call Progressivism or Democratic Socialism and I'll explain why later. To give you a clue about about I would describe my politics, just go to the link of the blog site. LiberalDemocracy.Blogspot.com, the name of the blog site is called FRSFreeState. Thats what my politics are, I believe in Individual Liberty and Personal Responsibility, as well as Limited Government. Which leads to Good Government and no you don't have to be a Libertarian to believe in these things. A lot of Libertarians today tend to be Anti Government and I'm not one of those people. And I don't want government out of the economy all together as well.

Yes I have respect for Ron Paul and Milton Friednman and perhaps you've noticed. I've quoted Professor Friedman on this blog several times. But thats just because Liberalism and Libertarianism are similar and share certain values. But we are different and I just laid out a few differences. Liberalism is not Libertarianism and its certainly not Progressivism. Even though we have some things in common, as it comes to Social Issues. Dennis Kucinich is no more a Liberal, then Rick Santorum is a Conservative. There what people call "Modern Liberals" and Neoconservatives. I'm a Liberal because I believe in Liberal Democracy, which is why I'm also a Liberal Democrat. Again because I believe in Liberal Democracy, Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, Freedom of Choice and Limited Government. Equality of Opportunity. These are all Liberal Values.

When you think Libertarian, think of someone that yes believes in Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility and Freedom of Choice. But all think of someone who wants to return the Federal Government, back to only what's laid out for it in the 10th and 11th Amendments. Meaning we would only have a State Department, Defense Department, Treasury Department. And a Justice Department and thats about it. Thats what you call Small Government, which is different from Limited Government. When you think of a Progressive, think of someone who believes in Big Government. In the form of a Welfare State, that we need a large Welfare State and high taxes to promote Economic Equality. And when you think of a Liberal, think of someone who believes in. Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, Freedom of Choice, Equality of Opportunity. Rule of Law, the US COnstitution and Bill of Rights. And Limited Government and that Government should be used to empower people who need help but not take care of them.

I really blame the "Mainstream Media" and our Public Education System. For the lack of education that a lot of Americans have when it comes to American Politics. And why Americans get Liberals mixed up with Progressives and Libertarians. And Conservatives mixed up with Libertarians and Neoconservatives. And why people who are Progressives or Democratic Socialists, like Sen. Bernie Sanders or Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Are labeled Liberals, when we are really different from these other Political Factions.

Daily Worldwide News: Keith Olbermann Fired by CurrentTV

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press: Daily Worldwide News: Keith Olbermann Fired by CurrentTV

To be honest you I wasn’t shocked to hear that Keith Olbermann was fired by MSNBC a year ago. Even though they want to have a progressive prime time lineup. Giving voice to American Progressives and looking at the news from a progressive slant. They want to be for Progressives what FNC is for the right-wing. The rest of the NBC News operation I believe is fairly objective. And their reporting is solid. NBC Nightly News and NBC Meet the Press are excellent examples of this. But MSNBC Talk is clearly slanted towards Progressives. And Keith Olbermann is so far to the left, at least with his political commentary and anti-corporate if not private enterprise and so unafraid of offending anyone. Including the people he works for. CurrentTV owned by Al Gore, that he’ll say whatever he wants as long as he believes in it strong enough.

As much as Current my not want to be part of the corporate media and be part of the private sector version of PBS or something, they are part of corporate media. They are a business and have to turn a profit to be successful. CurrentTV has proven to not be the right format for Keith Olbermann. I’m not sure there is one, other than maybe HBO, Showtime or maybe PBS. Where he could say whatever he wants to, swear as often as he likes. This is a format that’s served Bill Maher very well and if Keith can avoid offending one of these networks, maybe HBO, or Showtime, would be a place for him.

Keith, may fit in well there or going on talk radio. Starting his own website or news organization that reflects the views of Progressives, or Democratic Socialists. Because being the lead anchor on a cable network, which is what Current is and saying things that can offend corporate media, just doesn’t work, it doesn’t fit. Keith Olbermann needs to be on a format where he can be Keith and do his thing. And not have to worry about who he’s offending. Similar to Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly, but for Progressives. And there may not be a big enough outlet out there that’s also willing to put up with Keith. That can make that happen for him.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Justices Vote Friday on Health Care Law: What to look for and expect




Based on the arguments and the questioning that came from the Justices on Tuesday and Wednesday. Expect the Individual Mandate to go down and be ruled Unconstitutional. Justice Kennedy didn't sound like a Swing Vote to me any point this week. And actually Chief Roberts sound the most open minded of any of the Conservatives on the Supreme Court this week. But I wouldn't expect him to vote for the Individual Mandate. So assuming the Individual Mandate goes down and I'm not ready to call it dead until its dead. Because I support it and without it, it make cutting our Healthcare Costs very difficult. We would have to start considering things I'm not for, to bring down our Healthcare Costs. Like Single Payer Medicare For All or at least a system. That we all pay into but where we would still be able choose our own Health Insurance. Or a Health Savings Account but without an Individual Mandate, we are going to have to consider things like that. So the question is without the Individual Mandate or the Medicaid Prevision. The Medicaid Prevision, which I don't support, will the rest of the Affordable Care Act stay in place.

Without the Individual Mandate, the rest of the Affordable Care Act doesn't mean much. As far as controlling our Healthcare Costs. Because with the Individual Mandate, we are all forced as a country to cover our own share of our Healthcare Costs. And we can end a lot of Uncompensated Healthcare in America. And end forcing people to cover others Healthcare. Which will bring down the Healthcare Costs of everyone. So the question is with the ACA as it stands now but without the Individual Mandate. Can the rest of the ACA stay in place, is it workable and is it even worth having. And I'm leaning towards no but without the ACA, we go back to square one. With people being denied Health Insurance, just because they actually need it. And we go back to Lifetime Caps and we continue Uncompensated Healthcare in America.

So I'm expecting a Black Friday tomorrow for the Affordable Care Act. I'm leaning towards the whole thing getting thrown out back to square one. Leaving it up to the next Congress to do deal with it, if anything. But of course I hope I'm wrong and we'll wait and see and I expect to be blogging. About whatever the Supreme Court says tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rep. Chris Van Hollen Speaks in Opposition to House Republican FY 2013 Budget: Good Theater from both sides




Today the House of Representatives is debating the Ryan Budget, offered by Paul Ryan Chairman of the Budget Committee. The Democratic Alternative offered by Chris Van Hollen Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. And the Obama Budget offered by President Obama and at least they are actually debating these things. Rather then the House Majority bringing a bill to the House Floor. No input from the Minority and telling everyone take it or leave it. At least the House is debating different ideas and then voting on what they think is the best. And this is one improvement that Speaker John Boehner has brought to the House. That we didn't see when the last four years when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker. Or the previous twelve years when House Republicans were in control. So I give House Republicans credit for that and if House Democrats were to win back the Majority this fall. Hopefully they'll keep that in place for the next Congress. Congress both the House and Senate should be a battle place of ideas. Instead of one side ramming their bills through.

Having said all of that, thats the nicest I can be to House Republicans right. Even though everything I said is true but what the House is debating right now is bad ideas. Neither House Republicans or Democrats or the President. Have a plan to get the debt and deficit under control. Yes its an Election Year with a lot at stake and I hope the Democratic Party will do very well. And I expect we will but neither side is willing to make the tough decisions. And take on Special Interests Groups to make the cuts and reforms. Needed to get the debt and deficit under control. Make savings and reforms in entitlements, defense, reforming and the Tax Code. Even though I would prefer to throw out the Federal Tax Code and start over. But thats a different blog, because they know if they take on Special Interests. It could cost them votes.

I have a lot of respect for Rep. Chris Van Hollen, not just because he's my Representative. He's one of my favorite Members of Congress and a rising star in the House. And I hope he moves on to bigger things, like getting elected Statewide. But neither Rep. Van Hollen, Rep. Ryan or President Obama have a serious plan right now. To get our debt and deficit under control right now. And a lot of this debate is really just theater, interesting but still theater.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Senate Democrats React to Supreme Court Arguments on ACA: The Proponents side of the Individual Mandate




Again the whole argument against the Individual Mandate, is about whether the Federal Government. Has the authority to require people to buy Health Insurance. Force them to buy a product but Government is already forcing its people. To pay for the "Free Healthcare" that people who don't have Health Insurance. And can't afford out of pocket to cover their Healthcare, so there's a precedent for proponents of the Individual Mandate. To go along with what I blogged yesterday and last week. There's already precedent for this, proponents can argue that the Individual Mandate. Is a tax based on what I blogged yesterday and last week, because the penalty acts like a tax. Its just called a penalty, which is one reason why the ACA was badly written. Thats clear, the question is whether its Unconstitutional. Which is a different argument, the Constitutionality of the ACA is different from whether the ACA was well written or not.

Proponents can argue that the Individual Mandate is a tax. They can argue that the Federal Government can force its people to purchase products to pay for other peoples Healthcare at hospitals. And of course there's the Commerce Clause argument that they have to go to as well. Having said all of that, based on how the arguments went at the Supreme Court today. The Individual Mandate is clearly in trouble. Based on the fact that the Solicitor General Donald Verelli was on the defensive the whole day. With the four Liberals on the Court, trying to make the case for him. And with four Conservatives on the Court hammering Solicitor General the whole time. And the Solicitor General not being able to make a compelling case today. What Senate Democrats are arguing is that, there's already the precedent in Federal Law. For the Individual Mandate. But they weren't making the case at the Supreme Court.

If Sen. Chuck Schumer Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, and Sen. Pat Leahy Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Two of my favorite Members of Congress and Liberal Democrats. Were making the argument for the Individual Mandate at the Supreme Court today. Then I believe proponents would've had a much better day. Because they were arguing whether people have a Constitutional Right. To pass their Healthcare Costs on to others, even if they can afford to cover their Healthcare. Which is what the Individual Mandate aims to correct. That we all pay for our share of our Healthcare Costs.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Health Care and the Supreme Court: "What will the Decision say about the US Constitution?: The Future of Healthcare Reform in America




As I argued last week in a blog about the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. There are a couple of ways that this law can be ruled Constitutional. Or not be struck down at least until 2015 when the Individual Mandate kicks in. Before the Commerce Clause argument by proponents and opponents of the ACA, make their cases. Is the Individual Mandate a tax, if its ruled that way. Then the Supreme Court could either rule its Constitutional based on that alone. Because clearly the Federal Government has the Constitutional Authority to tax. Or the Supreme Court could decide to punt until 2015, when the Individual Mandate kicks in. And people who decide not to purchase Health Insurance. Will be charged with a penalty or tax depending on your perspective, certainly a liability. For not purchasing Health Insurance and they may decide that we are not ready to rule on the Individual Mandate. Because no one has been charged with this fee yet. And decide to move on to the other Constitutional Issue in the ACA. The Medicaid Prevision.

Whether the Individual Mandate is ruled Constitutional or not, along with the rest of the ACA. This Supreme Court decision will change the future for the Federal Government. And not just in Healthcare Reform but its power in other areas. As far as what it can demand Americans to do, when it comes to purchasing items. And thats the only thing about the ACA that bothers me as far as its Constitutionality. Along with the Medicaid Prevision which I blogged about last week. In the future Big Government politicians in either party could decide. That Americans have to be forced to participate in a Pension Plan or be forced. To purchase healthy foods, be forced to exercise. Be forced to donate to charity or churches, go down the line. And even though I support the Individual Mandate when it comes to Healthcare. And I believe its Constitutional. These other things should be looked at as well.

If the Individual Mandate is ruled Constitutional and of course thats not a safe bet. Probably 50-50 at this point, maybe a little better then that. Then that will give the Federal Government more power over its people. If they choose to do so, as far as what they have to do with their money. And could open the door for a Single Payer Health Insurance System. It would certainly make it more difficult to argue against the Constitutionality of it. Based on the Individual Mandate. And thats another thing that worries me about th Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Young Turks: Ana Kasparian & Cenk Uygur- HBO's Game Change Preview

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

I saw the movie last night about an hour of it actually. I think Ed Harris did a good job of playing Senator John McCain and Woody Harrelson did a good job of playing Steve Schmidt and Sarah Palin was clearly not up to the job of Vice President, or President right now. But we knew that four years ago, so even the facts that were in the movie were not new. We knew that the McCain Campaign didn’t do a very good job of vetting Sarah Palin. Basically a little known Governor of Alaska, who may feel she lives in a foreign nation. Because of how isolated Alaska is with the Continental United States. But I have a hard time believing that Steve Schmidt and company would only spend 72 hours researching someone they barely knew if at all, because these people are way too smart for that. And that Senator McCain wouldn’t know how little research they did on his vice presidential nominee. The most important decision that a Presidential Nominee will make.

To take this movie at face value, you have to assume that the McCain Campaign was throwing a Hail Mary. Expecting to lose the presidential election to Barack Obama and that they needed someone who the Republican base would like personally, someone who could match Barack Obama when it comes to personality. Someone that would be seen as a political celebrity. If that’s what their goal, then they’ve more than succeeded. Because Sarah Palin is a political celebrity today, thanks to Senator John McCain. She has 100% name ID and is probably the most liked Republican in the party personally.

But McCain and company paid a heavy price for it politically. With Governor Palin not being able to answer questions that a high school or college student could answer. Like what is the Federal Reserve and making statements that a high school or college student know aren’t true. Like the Vice President being the Leader of the Senate. Julianne Moore is a fine actress, but way too upscale to not sound like an elitist. Not intentionally to play Sarah Palin. They would’ve been better off using Julia Dryfuss or even Tina Fey to play Palin. Not a very good movie and definitely a movie not a documentary. And probably light on facts as well.
The Young Turks: Ana Kasparian & Cenk Uygur- HBO's Game Change Preview

Friday, March 23, 2012

"40 Years of Ignorance: Conclusion": The War on Drugs, 40 Years of Failure




If you look at what Big Government is or what that term means. And you listen to a lot of so called "Conservative Republicans". When they are talking about Big Government and you don't listen to other people. You would probably think Big Government is about high Tax Rates and Economic Regulations. And Big Government budgets, spending a lot of Tax Payers money to take care of them. You would think Big Government looks like Scandinavia or something. But thats only half of it, Big Government is actually about control. Big Government is about power and control, using Big Government to take care and protect people even from themselves. Because they don't trust the people to live their own lives and make their own decisions. And that they would make bad decisions with their own lives, that would be bad for the country. There are Big Government Democrats and Republicans. And they both have their own versions of Big Government and using Big Government to take care of the people. The War on Drugs is exactly what Big Government looks like, because it tries to protect people from themselves.

You get Big Government supporters and politics out of the debate about marijuana. And the broader War on Drugs created by President Richard Nixon in 1971. Marijuana would've been legalized a long time ago, because people would've seen the Cost Benefit Analysis. Similar to alcohol and perhaps tobacco, tobacco might be the worst of the three actually. But because politicians are worried about looking soft on crime. And losing big Campaign Contributions from Alcohol and Tobacco. And Alcohol and Tobacco have fought so hard to keep marijuana illegal. We still have Marijuana Prohibition, just like we use to have Alcohol Prohibition. But America is waking up about marijuana, as they learn more about it. Talk to friends who have used it or used marijuana themselves.

Something like 50% of the country now supports Marijuana Legalization, if you look at the polls. Its no longer a Fringe Issue just supported by potheads, sober people are waking up about it as well. And we could be headed for Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, Washington State and Connecticut. In 2012, which would be a great sign of things to come in the failed War on Drugs in the future.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

US Supreme Court Hears Health Care Challenge: The Fate of the Affordable Care Act




As this Legal Analyst from Brokkings said, the two main provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Are the Individual Mandate and the Medicaid Prevision. The expansion of Medicaid, the Medicaid Prevision is just bad law and badly written. And needs to be fixed, Medicaid is already hard enough to finance. Whether its Constitutional or not, its just bad law, which I'll get to later. On a Personal Note, this is my third straight blog this week about Healthcare Reform. A big week for the ACA and a bigger one next week. Last week I wrote three blogs about Freedom of Choice alone. So maybe there's a pattern developing but what this Legal Analyst said. Should give supporters of the ACA and I'm one of them. Confidence next week, because if the Individual Mandate is a tax. If thats how its ruled and I'm not a lawyer obviously. But that tells me that it will be ruled as Constitutional, just based on that alone. Because the Federal Government clearly has the authority to tax its people and organizations. If its not ruled a tax, then opponents of the ACA still have to show that the Feds don't have the authority to require its people to purchase goods and services. So that gives me hope for the ACA next week.

Whether the Medicaid Prevision is Constitutional or not, its bad law. Medicaid is already an Unfunded Mandate and this Prevision. Adds to that by requiring States to expand their Medicaid Rolls or lose funding for their current Medicaid Coverage. The Federal Government hasn't lived up to their current obligations of funding Medicaid. In their own law that wrote in 1965 but they require States to pay for their share of the Medicaid Costs. As well as getting stuck to make up the difference from the funds that the Feds don't cover. So the Feds require States to do something, without giving them the funds to pay for it. So its already an Unfunded Mandate and the Medicaid Prevision of the ACA. Just makes that problem worst, because it requires States to cover even more people. Without giving them the funds to pay for the original Medicaid Law or the new Prevision. So the Medicaid Prevision of the ACA, whether its Constitutional or not. Needs to be fixed because its bad law.

What they should've done with Medicaid from the beginning, is to turn it over to the States. And let them set up their own Health Insurance program for the poor. And give them the funds to pay for it and require these programs just to meet basic Federal Standards. Where people on Medicaid would pay for their share of the costs. And their employers would match the other costs. And give these workers a Tax Credit, an addition to the Earned Income Tax Credit. And then Medicaid wouldn't be such a large hole to try to fill. That it is today, turn it into a program that just covers the basics when it comes to Healthcare. Healthcare that people need to survive and be healthy. And they would've saved a lot of money and could serve as a model for Health Insurance in the future.

Next week a huge week for the ACA, I'm somewhat optimistic about the ACA. Because there's a shot that the Supreme Court will punt for now. Because they may rule the Healthcare Mandate as a tax. And that they aren't ready to rule on it. Thats Plan B for supporters, Plan A is that its ruled a tax and that they are ready to rule on the Constitutionality of it. And then supporters just have to argue about the Federal Government's authority to tax.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Milton Friedman: Health Care in a "Free Market": Giving people the Freedom of Choice to decide their own Healthcare and Health Insurance




The term Free Market gets thrown out a lot but the fact is its a bogus term. There's no such thing as a "Free Market", the Private Sector has always been regulated. In every Free Enterprise economy in the World. As well as there's always been a role for the Public Sector, to no only regulate the economy but be active in the economy as well. Amtrak and the US Postal Service are perfect examples of this. When people talk about a "Free Market", unless they believe government has no role in the economy at all. A position that Libertarians tend to take, they are actually talking about the Private Market. The Private Sector, individuals and organizations acting on their own to produce goods and services in the economy.

Healthcare and Health Insurance in a Private Market, would be to allow individuals to decide for themselves. How they pay for their Healthcare, being able to choose their own Health Insurance. Instead of the Public or Private Sector making those decisions for them. And from my perspective requiring everyone that receives Healthcare in America. To pay for their share of their Healthcare, whether its either through Health Insurance, a Health Savings Account or out of pocket. As long as they cover their costs, which is why I don't support Medicare For All. Where the Federal Government would run the Health Insurance System in America. Or why I don't support what Britain has, which is basically Socialized Medicine. Where the UK Government has the responsibility to provide most of the Healthcare and Health Insurance in Britain. Or why I don't support turning our entire Healthcare System over to the Private Sector.

This is why I support a Private/Public Healthcare System in America that would provide our Healthcare. And how we pay for it, if there's a market for Private Health Insurance or Public Health Insurance. Just as long as they are regulated properly and the people who choose this Healthcare and Health Insurance. Don't pass their costs on to others, then they should have the Freedom of Choice. To make those decisions for themselves, thats what we get in a Liberal Democracy. Allowing individuals to make their own decisions and then holding them accountable for their own decisions.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

House GOP Seeks Election Year Budget Contrast: Another 2012 Campaign Plan




Back in January President Obama released his Federal Budget plan that was more about 2013. And Campaign 2012 then passing a Federal Budget. I'm a Democrat saying this but thats the truth, now Rep. Paul Ryan Chairman of the Budget Committee. Is doing the same thing for House Republicans, giving them something that Republicans believe in and want to run on. Chances are Mitt Romney the Republican Frontrunner will back the plan as well. And most House Republicans will back it, except for maybe some that are facing tough reelections. But Tea Party members and a lot of them will be facing tough reelections, they do have 62 Representatives up for reelection. Will most likely support this plan a anyway, giving Democratic Candidates something to run against. I don't agree with Rep. Ryan on much, other then we agree that the deficit and debt are very serious. And need to be addressed, we just have very different approaches in how to accomplishing it. But he's a smart guy and must know that his plan is DOA in the Senate. Leader Reid will probably just bring it up to vote it down or block it. To use against Senate Republicans. This plan is about the 2012 General Elections pure and simple.

If Rep. Ryan and the House GOP Leadership were serious not just about taking on the debt and deficit. But passing a bill out of Congress that President Obama would sign, then his plan would have real Entitlement Reform in it. That gave Senior Citizens more choice, not less choice which is what's in the Ryan Medicare plan. Raising the Retirement Age for people who can afford to work longer, for both Medicare and Social Security. And perhaps even turn this programs into Welfare programs. Just for the people who need them, which would save both programs billions of dollars. Reducing Defense Spending by closing our bases in Developed Nations that can afford to defend themselves. And real Tax Reform that eliminates Corporate Welfare, other wasteful Tax Loopholes. And lowers Tax Rates on everyone, so the success or failure of everyone. Is based on how they run their business and what they produce.

The fact is neither Democrats led by the President or the Republicans led by the Speaker of the House. Have a serious Federal Budget plan that would not only take on the debt and deficit. But would allow the Federal Government to pass a Federal Budget for the first time since 2005. Which might be worth blogging about on its own. Which gives you an idea of the quality of Leaders we have in Washington right now. And that these issues won't be seriously dealt with until 2013 after the General Elections if at all.

Monday, March 19, 2012

T.R. Reid. Talks about Healthcare in the rest of the World: What works and doesn't work in America




What works in the American Healthcare System, is the quality of our Healthcare. Our doctors, our hospitals and our Medical Schools and colleges. We do a good job of providing Healthcare in America but we do a lousy job of paying for our Healthcare. Twice the size of the next Industrialized Nation. So what we need to do with our Healthcare System, is to build off of what we do well. But improve what doesn't work, which is how we pay for it. The 2010 Affordable Care Act, is a down payment on that. By getting more people into the Healthcare System as far as being covered for their Healthcare. Which is important so our Health Insurance just doesn't cover sick people, the most expensive people to cover. More people having Health Insurance or a Health Savings Account, especially more people with means and healthy people. And then helping people who can't afford to pay for their Healthcare, into the Healthcare System as well. Which will also help being down our Healthcare Costs, because less "Free Healthcare". Because more people would be paying for their Healthcare instead. Thats what we get because of the AFA.

If you've read my blog about Healthcare Reform before, you know I don't support Single Payer Medicare for All. Where Medicare owned by the Federal Government, would be left to decide how this entire country of 310M people. Would pay for their Healthcare, leaving Americans with no choice in how they pay for their Healthcare. I don't support the Canadian Model and if you read by blogs about Healthcare Reform before. You know I don't support the British Model when it comes to Healthcare as well. Which is almost exactly what "Socialized Medicine" looks like. The UK actually does have some Private Hospitals and Health Insurers. But most of the country gets their Healthcare through the NHS. Which runs most of the hospitals in Britain and provides most of the Health Insurance. Just because Canada and Britain's Healthcare System cost half of what our does or less. Doesn't exactly means that would work in a country thats ten and five times larger.

What would work in America and what President Obama was trying to accomplish in 2009-10. Before he and Congressional Democrats settled on the Affordable Care Act. Would be expanding our Private/Public Healthcare System. Not eliminating Private Health Insurers or Hospitals but regulating them with what's known as a Patients Bill of Rights. Helping people who aren't eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, pay for their Health Insurance. As well as employers with a Tax Credit and then creating a Public Option for Health Insurance. Allowing non Senior Citizens to pay into Medicare, as well as their employers. Giving Americans the option, to either keep their current Health Insurance. Or choose Medicare but pay into Medicare with their employers or pay the cost themselves. This is essentially what France has a Private/Public Healthcare System. Letting the French decide for themselves and their Healthcare Costs are actually lower the France and Britain.

But this is just about how we get more people into the Health Insurance System paying for their Healthcare. Which would be a big step in bringing down our Healthcare Costs but we actually have to go much further then that. And get past Sick Care, which is what we have now and move to Healthcare. Where we can bring down our Healthcare Costs long term, just by doing a better job of taking care of ourselves. Encouraging good behavior and charging for bad behavior. So we can avoid having to have certain Healthcare in the future. Which is called Preventive Care, which would make us healthier as a country in the future. And bring down our Healthcare Costs.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Hampshire Moves Towards Decriminalization of Marijuana: The give me Liberty or give Death State Living up to that




You know if it wasn't for the figid winters in New Hampshire, where they get like 5-6 months of winter every year. Its been about 80 degrees in the Nations Capital the last two days and gorgeous . In March, I would at least consider living in New Hampshire, because it is a beautiful State. With great people, reasonable driving distance from a big city, Boston. And politically they fit in real well with my Liberal Politics. I mean they are called the "Give me Liberty or give me Death State. It doesn't get much better then that, I'm from Maryland still live there. And we have beautiful weather and beautiful people but with a lot of Elitist Snobs. Who look down at people who aren't from, a big Northeastern city or California. But politically we are called the Free State, just like this blog. And politically I fit in well here as well, the reason why I mentioned this, not to put you asleep. Because this week I've been blogging a lot about what I call Freedom of Choice Issues. And thats what marijuana is to me, regulate not prohibit.

New Hampshire took another step today in living up to its State Motto. With its House passing a bill to Decriminalize Marijuana. Hopefully realizing that it doesn't make sense to arrest Free Adults and put them in jail or prison. For possessing or smoking marijuana, arresting them for doing something that doesn't affect anyone else. Arresting someone for possessing marijuana, is like arresting someone for possessing a beer or a bottle of wine. Arresting someone for smoking a joint, is like arresting someone for drinking a beer or a glass of scotch. The dangers and risks of one, are about equal to the other. Comparing marijuana with alcohol and you get a hell of a lot more benefit from it being legal then illegal. With taxes and keeping people out of jail and prison and saving those resources for real criminals.

Legalizing Marijuana is the same as Legalizing Alcohol and the arguments for not, is the same for one as the other. It would lead to Legalization of other Drugs, how many other Narcotics. Have we Legalized since Alcohol, exactly, I believe we are about to Legalize another. But the jury is still out on that and Marijuana would be the first one in at least eighty years. Punishing Free Adults for what they do to themselves, simply doesn't work. The activity still goes on, as we have eighty years of experience that shows this.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley on Infrastructure Investments: Maryland Infrastructure and Economic Investment




I like the idea of Governor Martin O'Malley talking about proposing new Infrastructure Investment in Maryland. A State that needs it being as congested as we are. A State of 6M people, thats about 180 miles long and wide. A lot of people in a small space, plus with both Washington and Baltimore, two big cities within forty miles of each other. We have a lot of people all living in the same space. Having to share the same roads, anyone familiar with Washington Traffic and Rush Hour, knows what this is like. Because the Washington Area is one of the wealthiest or wealthiest areas in the country. Maryland also being one of the wealthiest if not wealthiest States in the Union. We haven't gotten hurt as bad by the "Great Recession", as lets say Michigan, Ohio or even California. So we do need better roads, more roads, more bridges, expansion of our roads. More Train Service and all of these things would produce new jobs. Because it would create more work.

I just don't like how Governor O'Malley's proposal to pay for the new Infrastructure Investment. And neither does the Democratic controlled State Assembly. The House and Senate aren't thrilled about being asked to raise taxes to pay for it. Income Taxes to pay for the Infrastructure Investment, in an Economic Recovery. Thats still fairly fragile, where we still have high unemployment and a State Deficit of 20B$. If your going to raise taxes to pay for new spending, you do it in a way. That doesn't hurt the economy, especially most of the people in the economy. You raise taxes on things where there's a large market for them. But where people don't actually need those products. To survive, you tax Luxury Items.

The way to pay for the new Infrastructure Investment in Maryland. Assuming there isn't enough revenue in the Trust Fund to pay for it. Through Gas Taxes, would be to raise taxes on things like alcohol and tobacco, Sporting Events and other entertainment. Maryland now has legalized gambling and we have casinos. Donate some of that revenue to pay for the new Infrastructure Investment. Not raise Income Taxes on Middle Class workers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2nd Woman in NYC Madam Case Pleads Not Guilty: Doesn't NYPD have better things to do then Break Up Prostitution Rings




With all the issues that New York City has to deal with, like with their Public Education System. You would think they would have better things to do then to arrest people who get paid. For sex or who run Prostitution Rings and of course they have to enforce their current laws. For Rule of Law to mean anything but going forward they should look at ending prohibition on these activities. Because we know prostitution is the oldest profession in the World. Even though its illegal in a lot of countries. Especially the United States, yet it still goes on because of course like marijuana, there's a large market for it. So knowing this and of course the Freedom of Choice factor. Which is something as a Liberal concerns me, what authority does government have to control what Free Adults. Can do with their own bodies and keeping Big Government out of our wallets and bedrooms. Then NYC and a lot of other places need to look at legalizing these activities and regulating them instead.

What we should do with prostitution instead is do what we do with other Adult Entertainments. You regulate it and when it comes to prostitution, you regulate it even farther. To prevent as best as we can Sexually Transmitted Diseases from happening. Making sure pimps or if this were legal, because they would get different Job Titles. But make these people get licensed to run a Prostitution Business so to speak. That they register, follow basic regulations, pay taxes like any other Legal Business. And that prostitutes get licensed to operate, tested for disease, pass a physical, 21 or over and of course paying taxes. Like any other worker in a Legal Business.

Whether prostitution is ever legal in New York or the broader country as a whole. It will always be in America, because we'll always have a market for it. Knowing this, what we should be doing instead is legalizing it and then regulating it. To makes prostitution as safe as possible in the United States as possible. And save our precious jail and prison space for real criminals that represent a threat to society.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. "Abortion Laws: Pro and Con": When does the Right to Life start and who should decide




I made up my mind about abortion when I was 16, no lie I was a Junior in High School. I was just starting to get into Politics and Current Affairs. This was October, 1992 when I was watching the Gore-Quayle Vice Presidential Debate. And both Sen. Al Gore and Vice President Dan Quayle were asked about their positions on abortion. Sen. Al Gore and then Governor Bill Clinton are both Pro Choice on abortion. Meaning women have the right to make that decision for themselves. Both then President George HW Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle are Pro Life on abortion. Meaning that life starts at conception and an abortion is the taking of innocent life. And they were both laying out their positions and Sen. Gore got me. By basically saying that you may or may not like abortion. But what right does government have to tell women what they can do with their own bodies. That they and their doctors know what's best for their own bodies. And that they don't need or want Uncle Sam making these decisions for them.

If you believe life starts at conception, then you can't be Pro Choice on abortion. Unless you believe women have the right to take innocent life that they are pregnant with. I personally don't like abortion and would never advise a women to get one. Unless she needed it to save her life or health but at the same time its not up to me. Or government to make that decision for her but at the same time just because I believe she has that right. And according to Roe V Wade she does, I don't believe I should be forced to subsidize that choice she may or may not make. Meaning that she needs to come up with the funds on her own. Or have it covered by her Health Insurance but I don't believe in Tax Payer funding for abortions. Meaning I support the Hyde Amendment from 1975 or 76. US Rep. Henry Hyde from Republican from Illinois. Again I'm Pro Choice but that Tax Payers shouldn't be forced to pay for that Choice.

Whether your Pro Choice or Pro Life on abortion, it really comes down to when you believe life starts. And what role if any you believe government has in controlling what people do with their own bodies. And also do you believe that Tax Payers should be forced to subsidize the choices of others. Especially if they disagree with the choices that they are making.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Economy Adds 227K Jobs, Rate Unchanged at 8.3%: US Adding Jobs and more people staying in the Workforce




Another solid Jobs Report for the American Economy in February. To follow January and December and another indicator that the United States is making real progress. And moving past the "Great Recession" and getting back to normal as far as our economy is moving. Still a long way to go, in a workforce of 150M or so workers, we have 12.8M workers who are unemployed. But with the Unemployment Rate staying at 8.3%, which it was at the end of February. In a sense thats good news, because it means more Unemployed Workers are staying in the hunt. Continuing to look for work and these are the people we need to target. And put them back to work, get them in Job Training, Community College. Help some of our struggling industries, the House passed a Bi Partisan Jobs bill. Yesterday focusing on Small Business, yes you read right. The House passed a Bi Partisan Jobs bill yesterday, perhaps the first Bi Partisan legislation they passed since TARP. Small Business is still our number one employer at least in the Private Sector. So this is good news and it will help but we need to go even farther then that.

We still need something like what President Obama proposed back in September. The American Jobs Act or something like that. If we want to see solid Economic and Job Growth, that progressively brings down our Unemployment Rate. Where it comes down because Unemployed Workers are going back to work. Not because they give up looking for work. Where we invest 200B$ or more a year thats paid for into Infrastructure Investment. With something like a National Infrastructure Bank. The Senate next week will pass a Highway bill that will have a lot of real Infrastructure Projects. Not pork, even though I'm sure there will be some pork in it. This is the Senate after all and it will be Bi Partisan. This bill will be a good first step and we need to go farther then that as well.

The Republican House has been trying to pass Energy and Infrastructure Legislation. That yes will include Oil Drilling, the President would be smart to work with House Republicans. On this and get some more Infrastructure Investment in return. As well as Clean Energy Investment as well and we could create a lot more jobs. With legislation like this.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Film Archives- C-SPAN: John Kerry- How do You Ask The Last Man to Die For a Mistake



Its been said that presidents who have military or foreign policy experience, are less likely to commit American troops to combat in foreign nations, than presidents without that previous experience. Because they know exactly what they are putting those troops through and what they have to go through. And the sacrifices they and their families will make as a result and perhaps even the ultimate sacrifice they may make. I'll give you a perfect example of that. When Dwight Eisenhower became President in 1953, one of the first things he looked to was to get American troops out of the Korean War. Because he saw it as a civil war.

Ronald Reagan a World War II veteran, never committed American troops into combat. We never went to war in his eight years as President. Jimmy Carter, another World War II veteran, never committed American troops to combat in his four years either. President George H.W. Bush did commit troops to the Gulf War in 1991. But for a very limited mission. Get Iraq out of Kuwait, not to invade and occupy Iraq. A big country of twenty-five million people, a mistake that his son wasn't able to avoid twelve years later.

President George W. Bush, who never had combat experience, or foreign policy experience. Other than signing up for the reserves to avoid Vietnam service, commits American troops to two wars within seventeen months as President. In Afghanistan and Iraq. Two wars we are now trying to get out of ten years later. We'll never know what type of president John Kerry would've made on foreign policy, or anything else. And I believe thats unfortunate, because we are talking about a Vietnam veteran from the Baby Boom Generation. Who volunteered to serve his country in Vietnam, unlike George W. Bush who did everything he can to avoid service there.

But when you here Senator Kerry talk about foreign policy as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and as a senior Senator, you know that he doesn't take these things lightly. And committing American troops to any war is a huge deal and shouldn't be taken lightly. And when he here presidential candidates who have no decisions to make as candidates as far as what we should be doing as a country when it comes to foreign policy and they talk about a potential war with Iran, kinda lightly like committing troops to an operation, "like this is really not that big of a deal", as you saw Senator Kerry on his Senate floor speech about an editorial that Mitt Romney wrote in the Washington Post today, you know the difference between someone who knows what they're talking about, because they've been there and someone who doesn't, because they haven't.

Where Senator Kerry criticizes Governor Romney's editorial criticizing President Obama's policy on Iran, I know as someone thats never served my country in the military or foreign service, that talking about committing American troops to any type of foreign wars is a huge deal. And shouldn't be taken lightly and what people say on the campaign trail and what they can do once they get to office are two different things. And that its easy to talk tough on the campaign trail. But once you're actually in office, its a much different story.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Rush Limbaugh's Advertisers Keep Heading for the Exits: Fleeing Nut House Radio




What's happening to Rush Limbaugh is a self inflicted wound, he's an intelligent man who knows exactly how many people listen to him. And how big of an audience he draws and that there are a lot of people who listen to him that don't like him. And are waiting to bring him down and draw negative Media Attention to him. He had to know that calling a women who testified up on Capital Hill. A "slut", was going to draw attention to him, what he probably didn't anticipate was how negative the attention would be. To the point that even GOP Presidential Candidates who consider Rush to be a Leader in the Republican Party. Which is a story for another blog or even the Leader of the GOP, again different blog and that this would hit him in the wallet. Thats what he probably didn't anticipate that he would lose advertisers and it would cost him support in his own party. Rush is apparently under the impression that he can basically say whatever the hell he wants to and the Republican Party will back him up. I guess he didn't get the memo that this is a Presidential Election year and the GOP wants the White House back. And would like to take back the Senate as well and has to defend the House. And that women especially amongst Independent Voters, are going to have a lot to say in who will control these institutions. Which is why the GOP Establishment selected Mitt Romney to be their Frontrunner, because he appeals well to Female Voters.

Rush making a statement where you call a young women who testified on Capitol Hill about Women's Healthcare. A "slut" and only apologizing after your own allies and supporters say you were wrong. Doesn't play well with this group. And Rush is paying a price for it as a result. 20-30 years ago Rush Limbaugh would've been considered to on the fringe. But this was when Ron Reagan, Bill Buckley were running the party and where Barry Goldwater was still a major influence. And Bob Dole was one of their major Leaders along with Bob Michael and Howard Baker. This was back when the Nut House was full of nuts and nuts weren't running wild on the street. Where people like Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann were institutionalized. Getting the help that they needed and not calling the plays in the Republican Party because the adults were in charge. The sane people who had intelligence, Common Sense and actually understood what Conservatism was about. And didn't just speak highly of something they didn't understand. How times have changed in the GOP to the point, the nuts have broken out of their Mental Hospitals and have taken over the GOP.

The Rush Limbaugh's of the World need to just be seen as they are, which is entertainers. People who get paid to be provocative and not as people who understand what Leadership or Conservatism is about. And not people that are capable of leading a Political Party successfully, because they are not.

CNN: State of The Union With John King- U.S. Senator John McCain Calling For Air Strikes on Syrian Forces


In the last four years it hasn’t been very often that I’ve agreed with Senator John McCain the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee. But he was right on Libya and he’s right on Syria. Innocent Syrian citizens are being murdered. Because they are protesting their government pure and simple. The Assad Regime only has one thing they are interested in. Staying in power and they’ll murder as many people as possible in order to stay in power. Thats all they care about and this is an authoritarian Baathist regime so far to the right that they make Neoconservatives look like Centrists.

This is a regime that’s held it’s people down and back, because they are afraid if they were to become strong they would throw the Baathists out of power. The Assad Regime is only interested in staying power and doing whatever they can to protect the interests of their regime. Not Syria itself, they are not interested in the best interest of their own country. If it hurts the strength of their regime. The United States and the rest of the developed world at least in the West that has the capability to help out struggling rebels when they are fighting for their freedom by protesting against an authoritarian government, have a responsibility to step up and help out when they can. When Freedom and individual liberty are at stake.

The West has a responsibility to step up and help out where they can. With the Arab League, European Union and NATO, the West working with the Arab League, has the ability to step up and save innocent Syrian citizens from their own brutal government. By arming the Syrian rebels and giving them arms and human resources to help them survive. And let them do their own fighting and then later a no fly zone if it becomes necessary. Senator McCain is right about Syria and he’s also right that America can’t do this on our own. We simply can’t afford to. We have to do this working with our partners, so we don’t have to take all the risks and pay all the price. But this is something we can do and should do.

Friday, March 2, 2012

How to Cut Poverty in Half: Empowering People in Poverty to Move to the Middle Class




We've learned from experience the last eighty years of how not to fight Poverty in America and how to fight Poverty in America. In the 1930s we created the New Deal under President Franklin Rossevelt. That brought the Safety Net to America, basically a collection of Social Insurance programs. That help people in poverty sustain themselves while in poverty. And the Great Society from President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. Was basically adding on to the Great Society, if your a Progressive, except for National Healthcare and Universal Higher Education. This is exactly what you want to see, if your a Conservative or a Libertarian, you see these programs as going way too far. If your a Liberal such as myself, you like the idea of helping to sustain people while they are in poverty. But you would've gone farther in designing these programs. To actually empower people to get themselves out of poverty. So they aren't collecting Public Assistance indefinitely, living off of people who work for a living. And people who can pay their own bills, because they stayed in school, got a Higher Education. And made good decisions early on in life to put themselves in position to be in the Middle Class. Or even to be better off in life and be able to help people who aren't as fortunate.

In the 1990s with the Clinton Administration we took a different approach in the War on Poverty. A war to that point we had already been fighting for twenty five years. They said for anyone collecting Public Assistance, that they basically can no longer collect Public Assistance for free. That they can't just sit at home even if they have kids, that they have to prepare themselves to leave Public Assistance. And enter or reenter the workforce with a good job. And make themselves Self Sufficient and no longer need Public Assistance in order to survive. And they put this approach to full effect in 1996 with creating Welfare to Work with a Republican Congress. And along with a Booming Economy, we had a record low Poverty Rate in America. We got Unemployment down to 4.2% by 1998 and Poverty down to 13%. It was 25% in 1965 when the Great Society was created. When you give money to people in poverty and you just give them money to help them survive. But you do nothing for them to help them get themselves out of poverty. They are still going to live in poverty but with few extra bucks thanks to Tax Payers. But if you give those extra bucks but an actual chance to get themselves out of poverty. Through education, Job Training and Job Placement, then your really helping them have a good life. And be able to escape poverty.

When you call something a War on Poverty, you implying that you want to defeat it. Well we've been fighting this War officially for forty seven years and still haven't won it yet. Came very close in the 1990s but thanks to a couple of recessions, we've lost ground in this war. So what we need is a strong economy and take the next step in the War on Poverty. By moving people who are collecting any Public Assistance even if they are working. The opportunity to move out of poverty.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Senate Democrats Defeat Blunt Amendment, Protect Women's Health: GOP Snatching Defeat out of the Jaws of Victory




In an election that suppose to be all about the economy and really nothing else. Perhaps with some Foreign Policy and Healthcare mixed in, where we 8.2% Unemployment and where the economy. Is still struggling to grow, if your the Opposition Party during these circumstances. You should be in a mood to party, thinking about who's going to be your Vice President. How much authority your going to give to that person, who's going to serve in your Cabinet. Getting ready to move into the Senate Leaders Office, who's going to be your Committee Chairman, are you going to bring in anyone knew to your Leadership. Getting ready to welcome all of your new Freshmen Senators, how many seats your going to add to your House Majority. An Economic Climate like this, where you make the whole election about the economy, where your Frontrunner is a proven Business Leader. A former Governor of a Democratic State and what to you do, instead of focusing on the issues that should favor you. The economy was going through the starts of the "Great Recession" in 2009 when President Obama took over and he's had three years to deal with it. And the economy still isn't that good and its time for a change and we have a proven Business Leader to bring that change. Thats what the Republican Message should be, "its the economy stupid". Not about a Culture War, if your going to fight those battles, you do it when nothing important is going on.

The Republican Party should be treating 2012 like 1992 or 1980, Democrats had their chance to fix the economy. And have failed, that should be their message, now as a Democrat I could counter that. But if this election is about the economy six months from now and the economy isn't getting better. Maybe unemployment goes up again and the GOP unites behind Flip Flopper, I mean Mitt Romney. Slip of the tongue, then the GOP wins and takes a Republican Congress with them. But keep in mind we are talking about the Republican Party, people who see Same Sex Marriage and Islam as threats to National Security. Not the sharpest knives in the kitchen by any stretch of the imagination. So instead of taking the easiest route to victory, they stop to see if there are any other routes. And they've found the Culture War as their route to victory, issues where they are losing and have been losing. Again "its the economy stupid" as James Carville pointed out in 1992, twenty years ago. Sen. Roy Blunt attaches a Contraception Amendment to a Transportation bill, a Bi Partisan Transportation bill thats a jobs bill. fixing and expanding Public Infrastructure in America. Written by Sen. Barbara Boxer Chairman of the Public Works Committee and Sen. Jim Inhoffe Ranking Member of the Public Works Committee.

Once again the GOP has snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory, by making a Transportation bill thats about the economy. About the Culture War and making that bill about Birth Control. Someone needs to remind the Senate GOP, that "its the economy stupid" and that its no longer the 1950s and we don't live in the Middle East . And they need to be relevant when it comes to the issues and times.