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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ABC World News: "One More Unwelcome Moment Ends Romney Overseas Trip": Mitt Romney the Statesman?



If Mitt Romney had a vision that his oversees trip to Europe and Israel was going to put him on center stage ahead of President Obama. Its time to go back to the drawing board and say that didn't work, the President still has a lead and if anything this trip will cost Governor Romney some support. He starts off in the United Kingdom by insulting the Brits, making a true statement or at least an honest statement, that he believes Britain wasn't fully prepared to host the Summer Olympics. Where he gets beat up in the British Press and to a certain extent the American Press as well and goes to Israel and takes a shot at the Palestinians saying they aren't read as a people to understand economics. I'm paraphrasing, costing him whatever shot he had at doing well with the Arab American Community, especially in States like Michigan, Mitt's birthplace by the way, just outside of Detroit. Thanks to the War in Iraq, War on Terror, the Obama Administration's backing of Israel as a lot of Arab Americans see it, the Arab Vote in America at least going into this election. Was probably up for grabs, just like Republicans at least at one point in this election, had a shot at doing well with Asian and Latin Americans. These votes are probably not up for grabs now.

The ironic thing about this story is that what Mitt Romney said in defense of his non diplomatic statements. Saying that he has a tendency of saying what he's thinking at the time he's asked questions and what I'm thinking about that. My question would be which Mitt Romney is he referring to, because he has a tendency to take 3-4 positions on any given important issue, his latest flip flop. Being that he believes that some Gun Control restrictions are reasonable, which may play well with some Independents but is going to hurt him with the NRA and most of the Republican Party. That doesn't believe in any Gun Control, when you think of Mitt Romney, don't think of Joe Biden who always seems to be on some form of truth serum when he speaks. His position on Same Sex Marriage where he said he doesn't have a problem with that a couple of months ago, being the latest. When you think of Mitt Romney think of someone with multiple personalities, that feels the need to please anyone who he believes he needs them to vote for him. Even if that means taking multiple positions on the same issues.

It would be great and refreshing if Mitt Romney was a statesman, someone who's interested in doing what's right. Whose more interested in the next generation then the next election, to paraphrase Ron Paul but that aint Mitt, Mitt's about what do I have to say to please whoever I'm talking to. And how do I amend that in a way so I don't offend the next group of people that I'm talking to, which is very different.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Today in History for July 30th: The Importance of These Events



July 30th 1975 roughly five months before I was born, Jimmy Hoffa the President of the Teamsters Union, when Organize Labor was still a big factor in America. Is presumed to be dead because he goes missing without any sign of kidnapping, no reported kidnappers, no one demanding ransom. He just fall off the face of the earth an unsolved mystery now thirty seven years old. It was rumored that he was buried on the site where Giants Stadium was built in East Rutherford, New jersey. That opened in 1976, Medicaid and Medicare are created and signed into law. On this day 1965, the Federal Health Insurers for Low Income people and Senior Citizens. At probably the height and power of President Lyndon Johnson when he could pretty much get Congress to do anything he wanted. Which wouldn't last much longer as the Vietnam War went on an became more unpopular as he escalated that War. With Approval Rating dropping and with Congressional Republicans picking up a bunch of seats in both the House and Senate in 1966, a lot of that because of President Johnson's unpopularity.

The Jimmy Hoffa disappearance is very important because the influence of Organize Labor has never been the same. As corrupt and as many flaws that Hoffa had, Organize Labor was very important in the United States under his Leadership and especially in the last twenty years or so. That influence has been sinking ever since and the Democratic Party they at one point they owned a lot of, that influence on Democrats hasn't been the same since. As Democrats have found other ways to raise money and be competitive with Republicans to the point that they can now out raise Republicans. Medicaid and Medicare even though I wouldn't of designed them the way they were, have been important in insuring that some Americans have at least some access to Health Insurance.

Today in History July 30th is a very important and interesting day in History because a lot of important things have happened on this day. And you could argue that the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa was such a big blow to Organize Labor, that thirty seven years later they haven't recovered from since. It was also the height of President Johnson that he was never able to get back to.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mike Atkinson: Stan Atkinson's 1976 Interview of Susan Atkins- Acid Made Her do it?

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press: Mike Atkinson: Stan Atkinson's 1976 Interview of Susan Atkins- Acid Made Her do it?

Susan Atkins represents what can happen when people who are not sure where they are going in life, perhaps somewhat lost and need to and is term is used over and over, but to find themselves. Perhaps take a trip to Europe after high school or something. The way Susan Atkins life turned out, probably doesn’t happen that way if she never meets Charlie Manson. Not to excuse Susan’s role in the vicious crimes of Sharon Tate and others, because she’s clearly responsible for her actions in these crimes. But she represents the damage that Manson not only did by ordering all of these murders, but the damage he did to his followers.

Charlie Manson, picked up all of these young adults were somewhat lost and didn’t feel needed and felt unwanted and assembling them into his cult, what I call the Manson Crime Family. That Charlie Manson assembled in the late 1960s, starting in the Bay Area and moving down to the Los Angeles Area. Susan, was one of the Manson Family members that managed to make a life for herself behind bars. And hopefully her criminal career would’ve been over had she ever been released from prison. She was sentenced to life and died in prison in 2009.

And to some extent Susan’s life in prison sparked a debate in whether or not she, Pat Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, should ever be paroled or not. Me personally I don’t believe that convicted murderers, especially serial murderers, should ever be paroled. That they should be officially held responsible for the crimes they committed. Which is what you get with life sentences, because their victims will never recover from their crimes and it’s that simple.

But these three women do represent the potential of prison rehabilitation not just for lifers, but for inmates who will eventually be released from prison. The lives of some of the Manson Family members, except for their leader and perhaps Tex Watson, is a damn shame. Because some of these people are very intelligent, articulate and had a lot of potential that they could see come to life. Had they not ended up part of the Manson Family and ended up going to college, getting educated and living a productive life instead.

Friday, July 27, 2012

US Economic Growth Slowed to 1.5 Pct. Rate in Q2: How to Jump Start The Economy



There's really nothing surprising about the 2nd Quarter Economic Growth Report. It was expected to be bad and fall under 2%, there just isn't enough demand in the economy right now to produce the Consumer Spending. That we need to stimulate strong Economic Growth, people don't have the money to spend or don't feel good about spending whatever money they have to spend. Because of debt, or their mortgage, that they aren't sure how they are going to payoff or are worried about losing their jobs. Or have kids who are out of work or can't find a job or a combination of both, so when there's weak demand in the economy, there's weak Consumer Spending, which leads to weak Economic Growth. Which leads to weak Job Growth, because employers don't want to hire when there aren't a lot of customers out there to buy their products, so they end up not hiring and even laying people off. Which is a reason why we've had such weak Job Growth in the last few months, 2.2% Economic Growth from the first quarter falls to 1.5% Economic Growth in the 2nd quarter, with recent trend lines looking worse then they have been.

With Congress unable to do anything right now, besides past some things that they are suppose to pass by law. That just ten years ago seemed like Common Sense to both Democrats and Republicans like Highway bills, probably not much of a chance of them passing legislation. Designed to jump start the economy, doesn't mean they can't and doesn't mean they shouldn't but both parties have most of their focus if not entire focus on the General Elections. The Federal Reserve is really the only game around anywhere, not just in Washington thats in position to stimulating Economic Growth, with their access to the currency. And they are meeting next week to discuss and hopefully pass something that can stimulate the economy next week. Whatever they'll do will probably help but Congress both the House and Senate should come together and pass some type of Economic Growth bill but they won't.

I would like to see Congress pass an Economic Recovery Act, as I would call it, thats built around Infrastructure Investment, Energy Policy like new drilling and other Energy Investments. And some finality with the Bush Tax Cuts like extending all of them right now. To get some predictability in the economy so business's and individuals know how their taxes are going to look in the future.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Obama Administration Upping Fight Against Health Care Fraud: The Costs of Healthcare Fraud



I don't know the exact figure in how much Healthcare Fraud costs in the United States but if I had to guess. Its probably somewhere in the neighborhood 100B$ a year more or less and in a Healthcare System of 2T$ approximately, thats not chump change. Especially when Medicare and Medicaid both Health Insurers that are Tax Payer funded, represent around 20% of our Healthcare System. And they both have issues with Healthcare Fraud according to the Government Accountability office. This is one area that the Affordable Care Act addresses, by eliminating overpayments from Medicare to the Health Insurance Industry and hospitals and hopefully putting more of those resources into underfunded hospitals. Things like putting fines on people and organizations that are found guilty of Healthcare Fraud and directing that money back to the people. In the form of some type of rebate for being overcharged, as well as directing some of those resources to hospitals who without the Individual Healthcare Mandate. Would still have to give out uncompensated Healthcare for people who don't have Health Insurance and can't afford to pay for their Healthcare Costs out of pocket, which is a lot of the country.

So the Individual Mandate and cutting back on Healthcare Fraud, will help us lower the costs of our Healthcare System. Because now people will be forced to pay for their share of their Healthcare and hospitals and Medicare and Medicaid won't be overcharged as much in the future which will help to bring down the costs of these two huge programs and would end up being two big reforms in these programs. Without having to cut the benefits of these programs for the people who need them and can't afford to have their benefits cut.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

AP: Raw Video: New York Debates Proposed Ban on Sugary Drinks: Big Government on The Loose in NYC



Another example of blogging on a slow news day, I'm probably just a step away from bloggers block if there's such a thing. And if there isn't, I just invented it and I know I covered this back in June, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently has had some vision that he knows how New Yorkers and perhaps Americans in general, how they should live better than the people themselves. He has the classic one size fits all to governing, that if this works for him or other people, that it must work for everyone.

In 2008 the prospect of Mike Bloomberg running for President as an Independent, didn't bother me. He seemed like a classical Northeastern Republican, "get big government out of our wallets and bedrooms" Republican. But now he seems not only believe that big government should be in our wallets, like calling for all of the Bush tax cuts to expire on everyone, including the middle class, New Yorkers even that can't afford a tax hike right now, New Yorkers even that can't afford a new tax hike to go on top of high NYC taxes, to go on top of the high cost of living in New York, but Mayor Bloomberg also wants big government down our throats. Telling us what we can drink and how much we can drink, he's becoming a hero in today's so-called progressive politics.

What New York is attempting to do with soft drinks is another example of prohibition. If New Yorkers can't get large sodas in the city, then they go to Long Island, North Jersey or Connecticut, someplace where people have the freedom to decide how much they can drink and eat. Of course as long as they have the money to pay for it and then if that jurisdiction has a sales tax, they'll end up paying taxes on those products that they buy. Which will go to help that jurisdiction pay for schools, roads, hospitals everything that communities need to be vibrant. 

Tax money that could've otherwise been spent in New York helping them to pay for those services in New York. That's what Progressives have never figured out about prohibition, that just because you tell people they can't do something, doesn't mean they stop doing it. It's just done in other ways and in other areas.  If you think people are living unhealthy and you believe that this unhealthy living is somehow negatively affects the rest of society as a whole and you want to correct that bad behavior, what you should do is incentivize people to correct that behavior. Have them pay a price for living unhealthy. Short of putting them in jail and have them pay a financial cost for living unhealthy. Like taxing soft drinks extra than what you would tax water or milk.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stars Don't Blame Hollywood for Shooting Rampage: Why Individual Freedom and Personal Responsibility are Important



This post is an example of what its like o blog on a slow news day and hopefully it won't put you asleep. And I can stay awake long enough to get through it and complete the post but to state the obvious. Hollywood or Foreign Wars aren't at fault for the Aurora Shootings, the person who has the main responsibility in this tragedy, is the gunmen, assuming James Holmes is guilty here and he'll get his day in court. He's the one along with his victims that are going to pay the price for this tragedy, the victims, families and friends have already paid that price, the families and friends are still paying this price. Not violence in Hollywood or violent video games and we can discuss how we can prevent these tragedies from happening in the future, like better security at movies theaters would be the first place I would start. Like emergency exits being locked from the outside would be the first place I would start, the movie theater in Aurora has some responsibility in this as well. And don't be surprised if they face a lawsuit from the victims families in the future as well, not Hollywood or video games, you can't blame this on James Holmes parents either. He came from a good family.

The 2nd Amendment protects peoples right to Self Defense, thats why we have it, there is no right to murder though. Which is why the gunmen, again assuming they have the right person, is why he's been arrested and will probably never see freedom again. We have Individual Freedom and Personal Responsibility in America, the Freedom for people to live their own lives. But we are all held responsibility for the decisions that we make in life, which is what James Holmes is facing right now. Life is about choices, the better the choices you make in life, the better the life you'll life, the gunmen didn't have to by those Assault Weapons and murder those people. And the Aurora theater made the decision not to check to see that, that emergency exit was locked or didn't fulfill their responsibility to make sure that the emergency exit was locked. These are the people who should be held responsible for this tragedy, not movies, music or video games.

Republicans and Right Wingers in general have been arguing for thirty years or more that Americans need to be held responsible for the decisions they make in life. Not try to pass that responsibility on to others, especially people who weren't involved in those bad decisions. And guess what they've been right all along, which is why we shouldn't try to blame Hollywood or someone else for the bad choices of one young man.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Associated Press: USA Elects Sigourney Weaver to Political Show

The Political Animals Cast-
This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

I saw the premier of the new USA mini series Political Animals last Sunday night and I liked the show. Much different from NBC's The West Wing, with a lot more humor. The West Wing was also a funny show, but Political Animals to me looks like a political satire. Not completely based, but definitely inspired by real-life political stories. Except for Elaine Barish played by the still gorgeous, sexy and funny Sigourney Weaver. Being divorced from the former President of the United States. Her relationship with her ex-husband, looks a hell of a lot like the relationship between Bill and Hillary Clinton, a couple who obviously loves politics and is deeply involved in politics. This looks like 2008 all over again with the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton Democratic presidential race, where of course then Senator Obama not only wins the Democratic nomination but is elected President.

And then Senator Hillary Clinton who loses the Democratic nomination, but comes out of it strong and is able to form a good relationship with President Elect Obama in late 2008 and early 2009. And is nominated by President Obama to be his Secretary of State and obviously gets confirmed by the Senate. I haven't figured out if Elaine Barish was in Congress at all, either House or Senate, but she goes from being a former presidential candidate who loses the nomination to her opponent who is elected President in the same year and then nominates his former opponent in the Democratic race, to be his Secretary of State. This looks like the third installment of the Bill and Hillary Show, the real-life Bill and Hillary Show, the Primary Colors version of the Bill and Hillary Show.

And of course the latest installment of the Bill and Hillary Show with Hillary as Secretary of State and we get to see how Bill and Hillary interact with her as Secretary of State. But instead of Bill making Hillary's career all about him, plays more of a counselor to Hillary and tries to steer her on the right course. There are some added new twists to the Bill and Hillary Show. With how they interact with their kids and struggles that their kids are going through as well, as well as Hillary's relationship with the media. This looks like a very funny and entertaining show, with the new Bill Clinton doing an excellent job of playing a horny bastard who not only cheats on his wife, but mistress's as well, similar to Bill, but the new Bill is not as Yankee as Bill. More of a redneck, but someone whose also highly intelligent and knows and how to play the game of politics and someone whose been very successful at it.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

David Von Pein: WFAA-TV News: JFK Assassination First Coverage

David Von Pein: WFAA-TV News: JFK Assassination First Coverage

I saw a documentary about the JFK assassination about three years ago. I’ve seen several documentaries about the JFK assassination before. Most of them have been conspiracy theories relating to other people being involved in this 1963 assassination of a United States President. Ranging from the Italian Mafia being involved in it, because of U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy’s involvement in trying to bring down organized crime in America.

As well as the CIA and U.S. Military being involved in the JFK assassination, because they didn’t like President Kennedy’s national security policy. The most warped conspiracy theory I’ve heard so far was that Vice President Lyndon Johnson ordered this assassination, because of how badly he wanted to be President. There’s no credible evidence to any of these conspiracy theories that I’ve seen, except for the organized crime connection. And in LBJ’s case, no evidence at all, but the documentary about the JFK assassination that I saw on the History Channel, wasn’t a conspiracy theory at all and was much different.

Because it was about the media coverage of the JFK assassination, with limited commercial interruptions and about three hours long, with no outside commentary. They just showed the media coverage of the JFK assassination from 1963, up till the JFK movie from 1991. What made this media coverage more interesting was that it was the first ever of a U.S. presidential assassination that was broadcasted live on TV. So all the TV news anchors and reporters who were reporting this story, were covering something for the very first time not only in their careers, but in American history.

With no precedent to fall back on. All they really had was their knowledge of how to cover big stories and what you saw were people who were doing a very good job. Under heavy pressure and having to do it live, with no retakes and you got to see some of these people as they were actually were. How they actually react on live TV. With CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite actually choking up during a CBS Special Report reporting that President Kennedy was dead. Which was made this JFK documentary even better because of how clever and unique it was.

I liked this documentary of the JFK assassination so much that I recorded on DVD the first time I saw it. Because the preview of it looked so good and with Jack Kennedy being a political hero of mine. I expected I would want to see it again and again which I have. You even get to see things like Jack Ruby killing Lee Oswald as it happen and coverage of the 1978 U.S. House hearing on the JFK assassination and is something that anyone whose interested in this story should check out.


Friday, July 20, 2012

President Obama: "There Will Be Other Days for Politics": The President Setting The Right Tone on The Aurora Shootings



I don't want to make this post political and talk about Gun Control or anything else that Progressives will push as a result of the Aurora Shootings. I'm actually going to take the other approach other then to say that President Obama set the right tone today in his response to these tragedies. That today is not a day about politics but a day of reflection and remembering of these victims. And then let Colorado Law Enforcement and perhaps the FBI deal with these tragedies. To his credit and this might be the last time you ever hear me credit Mitt Romney for anything during this Presidential Election, the Republican Presidential Frontrunner. Mitt Romney had a similar message as the President, that our hearts and so fourth go out to the victims friends and families as well as the victims. Themselves and we are behind him, instead of attacking President Obama for failing to secure the country and that sorta thing and took the highroad on this as did the President, even though some Republicans may be disappointed about that.

Just my own thoughts about this, apparently James Holmes the suspect being held responsible for these shootings. Got into this Aurora Theater without a ticket, he snuck in the back way, through an emergency exit. As someone who use to work at a Movie Theater and had some experience as an usher, I know thats a no no, that shouldn't happen. That these doors in the back are suppose be looked at and checked, to keep people from sneaking into a theater. And not just for security reasons but Movie Theaters don't want people watching movies they show for free. They expect all patrons to buy tickets and ushers even look to make sure that patrons aren't bringing in outside food to the Movie Theater. Because they don't want their patrons eating or drinking for free either, makes sense since Movie Theaters don't get much revenue from Movie Companies for showing the movies.

So the first thing that hit me about this story, less then twenty four hours after it happened, as far as how the gunmen got into the theater. Was how easily he did and without buying a ticket, that the security at this theater looked lax and there should've been someone, like the General Manager of the theater or one of their assistants. Checking to make sure that no one could sneak into the theater from the back, that everyone who gets into theater, comes through the front and with a ticket.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wendell Willkie 1940 Presidential Election: Defining Classical Liberalism for the United States



The 1940 US Presidential Election was interesting in a few ways, it was the closest in which President Franklin Rossevelt came to actually losing. Even though he still won over 400 Electoral Votes and 54% of the Popular Vote but Wendel Willkie represented a true contrast to President Rossevelt. A Classical Liberal Republican and no I'm not joking about that against what most people consider to be a Progressive Democrat in FDR. A Liberal in Wendell Willkie who was once a Democrat who supported Civil Rights for all Americans well before it ever became popular, who supported President Woodrow Wilson's. Liberal Internationalist Foreign Policy but switched and became a Republican during FDR's New Deal, because he saw all of these new taxes and new Social Insurance programs run by the Federal Government as infringements on Individual Freedom. And back in the 1930s the Republican Party was a Classical Conservative Party, that was against the New Deal and also supported Civil Rights before a lot of Democrats. Thats what Liberalism was about back in the 1930s and 1940s and to me as a Liberal, is what Liberalism is about today. Protecting Individual Freedom for the people who already have it and expanding Individual Freedom for the people who don't have it but deserve it.

FDR's version of Liberalism at least as it relates to the economy, you can't credibly call FDR a Liberal on Social Issuess, he locked up German, Italian and Japanese Americans. During World War II, because of their ethnicity or didn't care about Civil Rights, FDR was certainly a Liberal on Foreign Policy and I give him credit for that. But I would argue that FDR wasn't even a Liberal on Economic Policy, even though he is of course famous for the New Deal. But more of a Progressive or Social Democrat on Economic Policy which was a different thing but Wendel Willkie was the real thing, someone who was against the New Deal and creating a Welfare State in America, someone who believed in Individual Freedom across the board. And believed in empowering people who don't have that Freedom yet because the lack the skills to get it, who should be empowered to get that. And that the Private Sector should play a major role there, instead of government just trying to take care of people.

These are some the differences between Liberalism and Progressivism and they generally relate to government. And what it should do for people with their own money, Progressives tend to believe that government should have a lot of that money to take care of people. Liberals want Americans to be able to keep most of their money in order to take care of themselves and empower people to get the Individual Freedom that they don't currently have.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Liberal Alliance Beat Islamists in Libya Vote: Liberal Democrats Taking Power in Libya



Today perhaps some of the fears can be put aside that there must be Secular Authoritarian Regimes in Arab Nations. Because of fears that Islamic Theocrats will take control of these countries once the Authoritarians are thrown out of power. Libya in their recent elections voted Liberal Democrats into power who beat I guess what would be Libya's version of the Religious Right and hopefully for Libya thats all they are. Instead of Theocrats who want to turn Libya into Iran or someplace like that, if Democrats are in power in Libya, whether they are Liberal, which of course I would prefer. Conservative or Socialist, then Libya can move forward as a country and move past the Kadaffi Regime and build Libya as a country, a large country physically but with only 6M people. That has a lot of room to grow and the Natural Resources to build this country and thy will be able to do this, because the Libyan People will have the freedom to build their own country. And no longer have to fear their own government or watch their government squander its resources or use its resources to hold down its own people, which is something that they wouldn't be able to do, if the Authoritarians or Theocrats were in charge of this large country.

Looks like Liberalism may be alive and well in at least one Arab Nation and that Authoritarianism and Theocracy may be taking a back seat in one of the largest Arab States in Arabia physically with a lot of Natural Resources. Which will give the Libyan People the freedom to build their own country and see what they can do with it, where minorities and women won't have to worry about being targeted by their own government.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Robert Greenstein: Agreeing to a Budget Deal: How Democrats can get a Deal with Republicans on New Revenue



Robert Greenstein the head of the Progressive Think Tank the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Is correct when he says that its more critical for the Federal Government to reach a deal on the Federal Budget in 2012, then it was back in 1995 and 1997. When Democrats and Republicans shut down the Federal Government and then a year and a half later passed the Balance Budget Act in 1997. And for this reason, in 1995 and 1997 the economy was very good both years, we were booming in 1997 and reached a Balance Budget by 1998, with somewhere around 4-5% Economic Growth, unemployment around 5%, creating 200K plus jobs each month. Thats clearly not the case in 2012, where we are still struggling to recover from the "Great Recession, that officially ended three years ago. Where our economy is barely growing at 2%, where we still have over 8% unemployment, where we've failed to create even 100K jobs for two straight months and if Congress can't come together with the President. A Republican House with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President, which makes things a little more interesting then in 1995 and 1997, if they can't come together. We are looking at automatic Tax Hikes on the Middle Class of 50% and essentially across the board Budget Cuts as well.

Democrats have an opportunity if they play it right, which is never a safe bet, the old joke, is that the Democratic Party. Is not a Political Party but they are Democrats instead with wide ranging views both politically and ideologically and a lot of time are brought together by having the same goals. Even when they have different idea in how to accomplish them but again if they play this right, they could force Congressional Republicans to compromise on new revenue. And they would be smart to start in the Senate where there now seems to be Republican Senators that have acknowledged that new revenue must be on the table in order to get a Deficit Reduction deal. That would solve the problem even though they would prefer not to raise taxes on anyone and if they had all the power, they wouldn't raise taxes on anyone either but understand that we have Divided Government right now.

Senate Democrats would be smart to start to work with Republican Senators Tom Coburn, Lamar Alexander, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Johnny Issakson and others. Led by Democratic Senator Kent Conrad the Chairman of the Budget Committee and work with these Senators on accomplishing a deal on closing wasteful Tax Loopholes or come out in favor of Bowles-Simpson. In exchange for closing these Tax Loopholes, this could be the agreement needed to solve, the so called Fiscal Cliff at least in the Senate.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"The Next President Needs to Focus on the Federal Budget": What Balanced Deficit Reduction Looks Like



I'm about to lay out a Deficit Reduction plan that would not only balance the Federal Budget but start to pay down our Federal Debt. That the President and Congress will never offer at least on their own but would not only get these problems not crisis's, every problem now a days seems to be labeled a crisis. But the debt and deficit are problems which is different but if these problems aren't addressed in the next few years, they'll become a crisis. But Deficit Reduction should be about four things, strategic cuts, reforms, new revenue and Economic Growth. A Deficit Reduction Act should also come with an Economic Recovery Act, you pass an Economic Growth Act thats paid for first. Deficit Reduction would become a lot easier, because you wouldn't have to find new cuts to pay for the Tax Cuts or Infrastructure Investment or whatever things you decide to put in an Economic Recovery Act. Strategic cuts are cuts designed to make the Federal Government not only cheaper but more efficient. Reforms to make the Federal Government work better so it doesn't cost as much, as well as doing less, more responsibility for the States and Private Sector. New revenue through better Economic Growth, more people working and paying taxes and Tax Reform.

Deficit Reduction should target three areas, Social Insurance programs, especially Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Unemployment Insurance. National Defense, so we are committed in less places in the World, especially in the Developed World and we are no longer borrowing for our Military Operations around the World. New revenue, again Economic Growth which leads to more people working and paying taxes, as well as Tax Reform, eliminating all of the wasteful Tax Loopholes in the Tax Code. And I would target Corporate Welfare first and when it comes to Social Insurance, I would go after Medicaid first, make it Self Financed and turn it over to the States or Private Sector to run but keep it Non Profit. So they have to serve anyone is eligible for it. Unemployment Insurance, again turn it over to the States and Private Sector to run, keep them Non Profit like Medicaid and turn it into Employment Centers so they are in the business of putting people back to work.

I would do the same thing with Medicare and make it a Public Option as well and allow non Senior Citizen workers to pay into it and use Medicare as their Health Insurance. But the Federal Government would no longer run it, allow each State to have its own Medicare and Social Security Systems that the Federal Government would regulate. And we save over a trillion dollars alone in our Social Insurance budget. Libertarian Presidential Nominee Gary Johnson has a similar Deficit Reduction plan but his plan will never be offered by the President or Congress either.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Focus on The Family: The Dr. James Dobson-Ted Bundy 1989 Interview

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press: Focus on The Family: The Dr. James Dobson-Ted Bundy 1989 Interview

It wasn’t until the last few hours, days, weeks, months perhaps, that Ted Bundy finally admitted to the murders that he committed over a 3-4 years period in the mid and late 1970s. Because he knew what was coming his way and was scared for his life. He knew he was about to pay the ultimate price for the murders of all of these women and even offered to help law enforcement. And give them new supposed evidence of other murders that he committed. Ted Bundy and Henry Lucas are different serial murderers in this sense, well there are several reasons.

Ted Bundy being very intelligent and fairly well-educated and Henry Lucas not intelligent at all. But another reason that makes them different, was that Lucas at least had enough character to confess to the murders that he committed. And went even farther than that and admitted to committing murders that he couldn’t of possibly had committed. Having been somewhere else when those murders were committed to use as an example. Ted fought for his life as long as he possibly could, even representing himself in court during his murder trials. And only finally admitted to committing the murders that he did, when he knew he was out of hope of saving his life, when he was out of appeals.

That’s one of the reasons why did these interviews with Dr. James Dobson one of the most influential leaders of the Religious-Right in America. He was trying to get Dr. Dobson to feel some feeling for what he did, even try bring him on his side, perhaps in hope of getting Dr. Dobson to perhaps help him out. And maybe get his life spared. Dr. Dobson was too smart to fall for this, but this was Ted’s hope and perhaps get Dr. Dobson’s followers behind him as well. And even take it to the point of trying to put some responsibility on his viewing of pornography for some of his murders. And even taking it to the point of blaming his drinking of alcohol on these murders as well.

Well again Ted was a very intelligent man and understood American politics well enough to know that pornography and alcohol were two of the biggest targets among the Religious-Right in America. All Ted Bundy was doing in these interviews with Dr. Dobson, was trying to save his life. Perhaps to get Dr. Dobson to do something for him That’s why he finally admitted to the murders of twenty plus women or so in the mid and late 1970s. Because he knew the gig was up and he was out of bullets he was headed for being executed and was scared to die and wanted someone to save his life.

Friday, July 13, 2012

President Obama: "GOP Not Serious About Deficit Reduction": No One in Power is Serious about Deficit Reduction



President Obama is correct that the Republican Party is not serious about Deficit Reduction. All of their budget cuts are targeted towards roughly 15% of the Federal Budget or 600B$ a year, which sound like a big number and bigger then a lot of economies in the World. But in a Federal Budget approaching 4T$ a year, which would make it the third or fourth largest economy in the World by itself. Thats small potatoes, its barley an appetizer before the big meal that would get the debt and deficit under control with real Budget Cuts in the neighborhood of 1T$ a year plus. Plus real Budget Reforms so the Federal Government is doing less and the Sates and people are doing more for themselves. And real Tax Reform that eliminates all of the wasteful Tax Expenditures in the Tax Code. House Republicans have yet to put a plan on the table that targets what I call the big four, Social Security, Medicare, Defense and Tax Reform, why because those things would be very hard to do politically. House Republicans are interested in sounding like Fiscal Conservatives but not actually being Fiscal Conservatives, which are two different things.

To be fair President Obama and Senate Democrats aren't serious about Deficit Reduction either. The only thing they are interested in, is the 2012 General Elections and getting reelected. President Obama has yet to put a serious Deficit Reduction plan on the table and Senate Democrats have yet to put their own plan on the table either. Their message has been lets wait until the elections are over and we are reelected or until this isn't an issue that can hurt us politically. Where we can't get hurt for taking on our own Special Interest Groups. The only two people that are serious about Deficit Reduction that have plans that can actually fix the problem. Are two people that will never have the power to put their plans through and make them law. Libertarian Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul and Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee Gary Johnson, who both have come up with 1T$ a year in Budget Cuts.

No one in power is serious about Deficit Reduction right now, Republicans talk about the need for Deficit Reduction. But don't have a plan to accomplish it and Democrats talk about the need for balance in Deficit Reduction but don't have a plan to accomplish it. Another words both sides are full of hot air when it comes to Deficit Reduction and don't have a plan to accomplish what they are talking about.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Senate Democrats to Republicans: "Even Grover Norquist Should Support Small Business Tax Cuts"



If there's been one idea that all Republicans have supported at least in the 20th Century and up to today, its been Tax Cuts. Just like if there's been one idea that Progressives have agreed on in this same time period, its been Tax Hikes to fund new spending on Social Insurance programs. The Earned Income Tax Credit that allows Low Income workers to deduct their Federal Income Taxes is a Republican idea. The Child Tax Credit is a Republican idea, Tax Relief for Small Business is a Republican idea, Health Savings Accounts are a Republican idea, the Research and Development Tax Credit is a Republican idea. Tax Relief for College Savings is a Republican idea, Individual Retirement Accounts are Republican ideas, Capital Gains Tax Relief is a Republican idea, all of these Tax Cuts are Republican proposals. That even Democrats now support, well Liberal and Centrist Democrats now support, Progressives not so much and once again today in the Senate, Senate Republicans had another opportunity. To vote for Tax Relief for Small Business's and they decided to block more Tax Cuts for people who actually need them and why because Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel. Wants to vote on President Obama's proposal on the Bush Tax Cuts, as a condition for the Small Business Tax Relief.

This was all back when the Republican Party was a Thinking Party, a Party that was built on the philosophy of Limited Government, Government closest to home is the best Government. Before they became a purely Political Party thats now based on obtaining power and gaining more power. How do we oppose Democrats on everything, even on things that we agree with them on, so we can make Democrats look bad. And once Republicans gain all of the power that they need, they'll start putting in the policies that they support, even if they were against them when Democrats were in power. Cutting taxes for Small Business's so they can hire, expand and write off some of their costs as it relates to their equipment, should be a no brainer and something that frankly should've. Been in the 2009 American Recovery Act and since its a no brainer, should be perfect for Senate Republicans to support right now.

Republicans voting against Tax Cuts would be the same thing as Democrats voting against Civil Rights. And would get people to question why you vote against that, are you sure you are a real Republican or Democrat, perhaps you signed up for the wrong party by accident. But thats the problem with the Republican Party, sometimes its hard to tell where they are politically right now. Other then to say if Democrats are for it, we are against it, even if we are for it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

House Minority Leader Pelosi Explains why House GOP Should not Repeal The ACA: The Cost of Repealing The ACA



What House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was doing earlier today on the House Floor in the debate of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Was laying out the benefits of the ACA that would be eliminated if somehow Congress and the President were to repeal this law. This of course is not going to happen at least in this Congress and I bet it won't happen in the next Congress either. But thats exactly what the Republican House to trying to accomplish, even though they know the Democratic Senate and the Democratic President will never go along with it. And what Minority Leader Pelosi was doing today was laying out the benefits the same benefits that Members of Congress in both the House and Senate and in both parties receive. At their constituents expense as Federal Employees, no lifetime or annual caps on Health Insurance, they can't lose their Health Insurance just because they actually need it. Can't be denied Health Insurance just because they have a Pre Existing Condition. These are just the Patient Protections that are in the ACA, that Members of Congress now receive as Federal Employees at our expense, that House Republicans are trying to deny for the rest of the country.

It actually goes farther then that with the Health Insurance Exchange thats in the ACA, that Americans could go to to shop for what's the best Health Insurance for them. A Tax Credit for people who can't afford Health Insurance on their own but aren't poor enough to be eligible for Medicaid. As well as a Tax Credit for employers that want to provide their employees Health Insurance but can't afford to do so. All of these protections and benefits that US Representatives and Senators now get as Federal Employees at their constituents expense, that apparently. House Republicans don't believe their constituents are entitled to have, which is why Representative Rob Andrews, Democrat from New Jersey offered an amendment to the repeal. That would've forced Members of Congress to drop their Health Insurance that they currently receive as Federal Employees, if this repeal were to pass.

Former Senator Ted Stevens Republican from Alaska I'm sure is famous for several things. But one of the things he was famous for in Congress, was the "Bridge to Nowhere", that he was able to get funded. That at one point Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska was in favor of but thats a different story, well this House Repeal of the Affordable Care Act is a bill to nowhere. Because it dies in the House today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell might try to bring it up in the Senate but he'll be blocked by Senate Leader Harry Reid.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

President Obama: "Washington Stalemate Holding Us Back": Give em Hell Barack



In 1948 President Harry Truman was at the lowest point of his first term in popularity, he was probably more unpopular when he left the Presidency in 1953. Which looking back at it now, seems very strange considering how successful of a President he was in Foreign Policy and how the economy took off as well. And we finally broke out of the "Great Depression" but even as unpopular as President Truman was, he wasn't going to let a little thing like unpopularity, he was somewhere in the 20's. To keep him from being elected President of the United States on his own, in President Truman's first term, he was succeeding President Roosevelt in 1945 who died shortly after starting his fourth term as President. In 1948 President Truman gets elected on his own and President Truman decided that the best way to get elected, was to run against Washington. Imagine this the President of the United States running as an outsider but thats exactly what he did. He ran against Congress and this started in his 1948 Democratic Convention speech where he laid out what he wanted to do as President and what he had been trying to do but that the Republican Congress was blocking him, both the Republican House and Senate.

There are some differences between President Truman from 1948 and President Obama in 2012. President Obama isn't as nearly as unpopular, his Approval Rating is somewhere between 45-50% depending on what poll you look at and President Obama doesn't have a Republican Congress to deal with, he has Republicans in Congress to deal with, which is different. A Republican House but a Democratic Senate with a large Republican Minority, so to try to run against a do nothing Congress. When Democrats control the Upper Chamber in Congress, is a tough sale to make, unless you want to run against Congressional Democrats as well. But what the President can do is run against a do nothing House that hasn't passed anything that the Senate or could agree to and hasn't worked with them either. And he can run against do nothing Republicans that believe a weaker economy is better for their election prospects.

This might the best strategy for the President to get reelected to try to convince Americans that things would just be so much better. If Republicans weren't in the way, a tough case to make considering that the President had a Democratic Congress in his first two years and things didn't look that great. And Democrats took a hell of a beating but we'll see how this plays out and how it works.

Monday, July 9, 2012

White House: "Pass Tax Cuts That We Agree On": Why This Debate is about Politics and not Economics



What President Obama and the White House are trying to set up is a political battle to not only fight against House Republicans but Mitt Romney as well. And to pit sides, Democrats are in favor of the Middle Class and want to extend their Tax Cuts, so they don't get a Middle Class Tax Hike. Republicans are interested in not just extending the current Tax Cuts for the rich but going even farther then that. Even though House Leader Eric Cantor has already announced that he's going to hold a vote later this month, on extending the Tax Cuts for everyone. The White House already knows that the Republican House will not go along with extending the Tax Cuts just for the Middle Class. And want to use that to say, look we want to extend the Middle Class Tax Cuts but the House is blocking us, so they can cut taxes for the wealthy instead and aren't interested in the Tax Cuts for the Middle Class. Thats the argument that the White House is going to make and they may get help from the Democratic Senate to do what they want, as far as holding a vote on that. Senate Republicans will block that of course and Republicans will counter that President Obama supports the largest Tax Hike in American History, because he won't extend the Tax Cuts for everyone.

There's already a compromise being worked on in the Senate led by Senator Chuck Schumer, Member of the Finance Committee. That would extend the Tax Cuts for everyone up to 1M$ and use the new revenue to pay down the deficit. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi one of the best friends if not best friend for Progressive Democrats, at least in Leadership. Has said that this is a good idea, so already President Obama is picking up opposition on this from two of the. Highest Ranking Democrats in Congress, including the House Democratic Leader. What the President is doing now might be smart politics at least with the Democratic Base, even though there are still some Progressive Democrats. That want all of the Tax Cuts to expire on everyone including the Middle Class, we've seen this movie before and it hasn't helped the President much in the past but we'll see if it works in the next few months. But it would be better for the economy if Democrats and Republicans resolve this issue now and not wait.

The best politics for the President right now, is to do anything that benefits the economy. And getting behind the Schumer plan and extending the Tax Cuts for everyone up to 1M$, would make the President look reasonable. And when Republicans say no to that, assuming they do, then he can say look I had my position, they said no and I got behind a Bi Partisan plan and they still said no. Its only Republicans that are blocking us from getting this done.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Associated Press: Terry Caffey- New Show Recounts Crimes From Victim's View

Crime Victim Terry Caffey-
This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press: Associated Press: Terry Caffey- New Show Recounts Crimes From Victim's View

Discovery ID which is definitely one of my favorite cable networks, especially as a true crime junky. And for anyone who’s really into reality TV instead of celebrity TV, is a channel that anyone of this genre should checkout. Because they mostly cover stories that happened in real-life. Crimes that made the headlines, but also interesting stories that were either underplayed by the media, or have been forgotten, but are still very important. And they cover the people who made these stories either happen, like the criminals and victims and their friends and families.

But also the people who deal with the aftermath of these stories. Law enforcement, lawyers, the media and others, people who covered these stories. They cover murderers, especially serial murderers, rapists, gangsters and others and many times they even cover these stories from the vantage point of the offenders. Not to take their side, but just to hear what their side is, as well as cover the people who brought them justice. And many times what you hear from these offenders is a lot of truth. They admit to what they had done and layout, without getting themselves into further trouble with what they had done.

Discovery ID broadcasts a lot of programming from other media organizations. Like CBS News which has a lot of programming on DID, like 48 Hours. But also ABC News shows 20/20 on DID and NBC News shows Dateline on DID as well. But DID also produces a lot of their own programming. Like I Almost Got Away With It, one of my favorite shows on anywhere right now, that’s about criminals on the run, life on the run and cover criminals who’ve actually escaped from both prison and jail. And in sometimes from both.

DID has a show that covers mob wives, undercover cops, as well as people who have been stalked and many others. And now they are about to release a show that covers what life is like for people who are victims of crimes, how they have dealt with it, what it was like to go through the crimes that were committed against them. And how they are dealing with the aftermath of those crimes. So if you are actually interested in what happens in real-life, Discovery ID is a good channel for you. Especially if you’re also interested in true crime.

So if you are interested in shows like this and are convinced that there is nothing to watch anymore, or perhaps want a break from prime time talking heads, or celebrity TV, or whatever you might be looking for a break from, I suggest you checkout Discovery ID. You’ll find it interesting, you’ll learn about true stories you’ve never heard of, as well as learn new info about true stories, you might think you know everything about.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Employers Add 80,000 Jobs As Economy Struggles: American Economy Still Struggling to Recover



There's plenty of uncertainty in not just the American Economy but Global Economy right now. The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act last week, hopefully makes that bill easier to understand and comply with. The regulations and so fourth but with the financial and economic situation in Europe right now, especially in Spain, Italy and Greece. With States struggling right now so much with debt and the economy, that effects the United States as well, with the European Economy being as big as it is. The 2nd largest economy in the World about the size of the United States, with their economies being so linked together with the Euro and with none of the big States there. Except for Germany growing at all economically and with them being such a large trading partner with America, their economy effects ours and vice versa. America is out of recession but Britain is back in recession, so investors aren't excited about investing in any of these places right now. Consumers don't want to spend money right now, because of course they don't have it to spend, which is why we are seeing weak Economic and Job Growth both there and here right now.

Which says that a big reason why both America and Europe are struggling to grow right now, a lot of it has to do with uncertainty. With Europe it has a lot to do with debt, with America it has to do lot with taxes, what our taxes are going to look like in 2013 and how the budget cuts are going to effect the economy. Especially in the Defense Industry, whose going to have contracts and who isn't and how much work will that mean for these companies and how many jobs that. Means for these companies right now, how many employees these companies are going to need to do all the work that may or may not be coming to them. And because with all of this uncertainty, employers aren't sure how to prepare and with the financial situation being what it is for so many people. They aren't looking to spend money right now and until these questions get answered, investors aren't going to be comfortable investing new money.

So what the economy needs right now is certainty and predictability, Europe to solve its debt issues. And for America to answer its questions as it relates to the taxes, thats what the President and Congress should be working on right now. The new Highway bill will help but if Congress were to not wait until January to deal with the expiring Tax Cuts and automatic Budget Cuts, solve those issues before they adjourn for this year. Probably not going to happen but this would help free up the economy to grow.