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Thursday, July 31, 2014

CBS News: President Jimmy Carter- On Hostage Crisis: On Face The Nation


Source: CBS News- President Jimmy Carter, United States-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

I give President Jimmy Carter a lot of credit for all the time and effort that he put into seeing that the American hostages in Iran were brought home. Which includes the rescue attempt in the spring of 1980 even though that failed. But it should give you an idea how badly he wanted to see those hostages come home. But he was essentially in an impossible situation with the Iranian terrorists holding all of the cards. And with America looking and being somewhat weak militarily and economically at this point. It was going to be very difficult from the start for the Carter Administration to bring those hostages home in a timely matter.
CBS News: President Jimmy Carter- On Hostage Crisis: On Face The Nation

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

AP: Raw Video: President Obama Chides House GOP For Pursuing Lawsuit

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger


Barack Obama- The do nothing Republican House of Representatives.

I agree with the President when he says that House Republicans rather sue the President and try to go back in time and repeal legislation then do their jobs and address the issues of the country. Like fixing the Highway Trust Fund and that is just one example. But addressing the long-term infrastructure deficit in the country would be another one. That in the time they could've spent doing real things and making real contributions for their constituents, they've spent that time investigating things that are already known or currently already under investigation. Suing the President and going on recess and vacationing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CBS News: Video: Evening News: John Dickerson: President Jimmy Carter's 'Malaise Speech'

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I covered most of this yesterday, but John Dickerson's comment about President Carter's speech being 'tone-death' was spot on. This speech sounded like a President who was out of ideas and that his administration was also out of ideas. That they tried everything they could think of to fix the economy and that nothing was getting through. But that they also wanted to get reelected and had to do something drastic which was to try to put the blame on the American people for the problems with the economy. And telling them they were spending too much money and blaming the bad economy on materialism.

Monday, July 28, 2014

James Miller Center: Video: President Jimmy Carter's Crisis of Confidence Speech July 15, 1979

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Just to start out and to give you an idea of where I'm coming from. This is one of the most depressing speeches in American history. Especially coming from the President of the United States and coming from someone with the intellect of a Jimmy Carter. Not saying it was one of the worst speeches, or it was even a bad speech. Because he did make some good points about how the country was doing at this time in the summer of 1979 one of the worst summer's the country has ever gone through economically and perhaps in general.

But the problem with the country or even lack of confidence had nothing to do with the people itself. But the actual economy with the runaway inflation and interest rates, the energy crisis that made us look like a third world country in a country with all of the natural resources that we have. This crisis had nothing to do with materialism, or people being selfish, but what it was about the fact that a lot of Americans were unemployed, or seeing their business's fail and finding themselves on public assistance for the first time in their lives.

What President Carter was doing instead of focusing on the true economic challenges that the country was going through instead was trying to put the blame on the American people and suggesting that they were selfish and materialistic. Which obviously didn't play well which is what we see from the polling data after the speech where President Carter's poll numbers went down even further. So this speech was ineffective and if anything cost the President political power.
39th President of the United States

Friday, July 25, 2014

U.S. Senate Democrats: Video: Senator John Tester: Taking Care of Veterans is a Cost of Going to War

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator John Tester with the lines of the veterans affairs debate. Senator Bernie Sanders, "that if you can afford to send your soldiers to war, you can afford to take care of them when they come back". And the one from Senator Tester "taking care of veterans is a cost of going to war". Something that House Republicans or at least the Tea Party Caucus has either forgotten or simply doesn't understand. That it apparently it was easy for them to run up the national credit card during the Iraq War. But guess what that bill has come due and its time to pay and they don't seem to want to pay the bills.
Taking Care of Veterans is a Cost of Going to War

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Constitution Daily: Opinion: Lyle Denniston: The Constitution Outside the Courts: The U.S. Sentencing Commission: Making Punishment Fit the Crimes

Overcrowded Jail 

Constitution Daily: Opinion: Lyle Denniston: The Constitution Outside the Courts: The U.S. Sentencing Commission 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

Making punishment fit the crime should be an obvious statement if it isn't, but if you look at our criminal justice system that of course is not always the case. We have thousands if not more people doing five years or more for simple drug possession and in a lot of times that is their first offense. Look at the War on Drugs where we have thousands of people doing long sentences again for drug possession, or selling small amounts of marijuana and other illegal narcotics. Doing long sentences for selling things that people want to buy, have and use.

And anyone still wondering why we have two-million or more people in prison in America? I sure as hell am not and by the way we have the largest prison population in the developed world. And we are supposed to be this beacon of freedom and great free society this liberal democracy that everyone else wants to be. It is hard to make the case that we are those great things when we have so many people in prison that do not represent major if any threats to society and are doing time in a lot of cases for what they did to themselves. Or providing services that others wanted from them.

I'm not a fan of illegal narcotics including marijuana even though I do support marijuana legalization. I'm not a fan of gambling or prostitution. But just because I don't like these activities doesn't mean I want to arrest people who choose to engage in them. There are much better more cost effective ways to dealing with activities that come with high risks including tobacco, junk food and soft drinks than arresting people and locking them up for engaging in those activities. It is called regulation to make sure non-adults aren't involved in them and making sure that adults who are involved in them know what they are getting into.

And I'm referring to gambling and prostitution mostly. But with lets dangerous products that people choose to use like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, soft drinks and junk food instead of expanding the War on Drugs which is what some nanny statists on the progressive Left want to do. Again regulate them so people know exactly what they are consuming and tax them for it so Americans who choose to live healthy don't get stuck with the health care bills of people who choose not to live healthy.

But that is just one way to cut the prison population and create that free society and liberal democracy that a lot of Americans on the Left and Right do want. Another way would be to say "prison and jail are not always the answers and they aren't always the first answers either". When we are talking about low-level offenses and instead look at halfway houses, community housing, community service, probational release where offenders aren't free or in incarcerated, but living in a halfway house type environment as they are also working so they can pay their rent outside of the home. And getting treated for why they are there in the first place.

We put in policies like this and we'll have all of the jail and prison space needed for real hardcore criminals that need to be in prison. Violent offenders and organize criminals, but also white collar criminals who represent a serious threat to the economy and Americans economic wellbeing. Instead of having so many overcrowded prisons in America full of not only people that we have to have in prison, but with offenders who do not need to be there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Young Turks: Video: Cenk Uygur: Dick Cheney the Living Embodiment of Eisenhower's Greatest Fear

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Darth Vader Dick Cheney on the loose. So no I don't like Dick Cheney or have much respect for our former Vice President. But Cenk Uygur in this video is the perfect example of why I don't use The Young Turks as a credible news source other than to hear what the far-left and the rabid partisan left-wingers in the country are thinking. Dick Cheney didn't say we should pay for our defense and national security at the expense of everything else in that interview. He said that "national defense should be our number one national priority. Not Food Stamps or infrastructure". Which is a huge difference.

Now here is where I agree with Cenk. Dick Cheney is "the living embodiment of what President Dwight Eisenhower's feared" in his Military Industrial Complex speech. That some people especially in the military and people who have worked with the military as Dick Cheney did first as Secretary of Defense and then later as Vice President of the United States. Someone who would put no limits on what we should spend when it comes to national defense. "That there is no such thing as waste in the defense budget. And there aren't many if any limits to what our military can do in the world."
Neoconservative Warrior

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Washington Post: Opinion- Catherine Rampell: Limousine Liberalism's Good Works


Source: The Washington Post- Warren Buffett-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I'm sick and tired (and that is putting it mildly) of hearing people especially rabid partisan right-wingers claim that Liberals hate the wealthy and people with money and hate capitalism and private enterprise. I mean for anyone who actually looks at who has a lot of the money in the country, a lot of those people are Liberals and someone of them even further left than that. I mean seriously what is a so-called Limousine Liberal? A wealthy Liberal, but a Liberal who also cares about the poor.

As a Liberal myself people should be able to make as much money as their skills and production will allow for them to make and what people are willing to pay them for their services. And that includes everyone regardless of political and ideological affiliation. Now what separates me as a Liberal from Libertarians and hardcore Conservatives is that I believe everyone should pay taxes based on how much they make and that includes the rich. You take advantage of the opportunities you were given living in this great country, you should pay for them as well so those opportunities are available for other Americans as well.

I don't have a problem with rich Liberals, but people who are supposed to care about the poor and the income gap, but who do little or nothing about it on their own. And hangout with and associate with people who they claim are the reasons for the income gap in America. Cheerleaders lets say for the poor who say they are on the side of the disadvantage, but don't do a damn thing about it that could actually help those people. And essentially attack the rich to further their own nest. Which I believe was one of the points that Catherine Rampell was making in her column in the Post today. That is where I agree with her.

Again as a Liberal economic freedom is great and we should all be able to make as much money as we are capable of making based on what we bring to the table economically and professionally. But economic freedom shouldn't be based on who you were born to or who your parents know. But it should be for everyone in the sense that all Americans should have the opportunity to live in economic freedom in America. And that doesn't come with higher public assistance checks, but with quality education for all starting at K-12 and even before that for all of our students. And empowering low-income adults to finish their education so they have the skills they need to get themselves a good job.
The Audio Pedia: What is a Limousine Liberal?


Monday, July 21, 2014

The New Republic: Opinion- Issac Chotner- James Garner Obituary, Actor Dead at 86: The Actor Who Was Best at Being Himself


Source: CBS- The Rockford Files- 
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

 In an age where we are so dominated by social media and celebrity culture and by people who want to be their favorite celebrities and live their lives and even people who later become celebrities that want to live the lives of their favorite celebrities we had James Garner who personified the expression "keeping it real". The only person that James Garner ever wanted to be in life was James Garner. Because that is the only person he knew how to be and was so confident in his own skin that James Garner was the only person he wanted to be. Or at least that is how he came off in his roles. Whether young people considered him to be awesome or whatever or not.

Garner represents the opposite of what we generally get from Hollywood today of a lot of cookie-cutter characters, actors and roles that are trying to be exactly like or very similar to whatever is considered to be awesome or hot at the time. He was a real genuine actor the genuine article an actor's actor and not a clone of whatever is supposed to be hot at that time. But a great actor a true professional who did his work and played his roles the way they should be played by him. And not try to play them based on whatever is considered hot at the time.

He played his role in a charming professional real way where you got to see Garner in the character he was playing. You almost in a way got to him playing himself. It was almost as if he wasn't acting but playing a character as if he was the character and the personality, intelligence and humor that he brought to all of his roles came from him. Instead of the director feeding him things to say and to do. You didn't do that with Jim Garner. You gave him the role and script and he would study those things and delivered his part as himself. 

Jim Garner wasn't a great comedic actor, but a great actor who was very funny simply at being himself and bringing what he had to those roles. The Rockford Files is not a comedy. But a crime drama a detective show. But the thing is it is a very funny show and his detective movies were funny as well even though they were supposed to be serious. Because that is the kind actor Garner was and the directors of these shows and movies Maverick being another example of that wanted to bring that side out of him his charm and humor. To go along with his intelligence and personality.

The actors that remind me of Jim Garner pre-Garner would be Cary Grant. And after Garner would be Mel Gibson and George Clooney. Again none of these actors are pure comedic actors in the sense of most if not all of their roles are comedic roles. But these are all very funny intelligent actors that bring their personality and humor to all of their roles. So the directors of these movies and shows in Garner's case would almost be stupid not to use these other gifts that these actors had even if their roles and the movies are supposed to be serious.

Cary Grant, Mel Gibson and George Clooney are all real and people who are very confident in their own skin. Self-confident actors who all have no interest in being anyone other than themselves. And all of these guys including Jim Garner could've all made great livings as comedians or comedic actors. But since they are all great actors as well as very funny actors they all have the ability to play serious roles and yet bring their humor and realness to all of their roles and that is what we see from them. And the type of actor that Jim Garner was. And he will be deeply missed especially with how cookie-cutter and repetitive that Hollywood has become.
Associated Press: Legendary Actor James Garner Dies


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Young Turks: Video: Cenk Uygur: Bill O'Reilly Downright Sane Next to Laura Ingraham: Let the Nuts Out and the GOP is Done

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I disagree with Cenk Uygur on at least one thing here. Bill O'Reilly is not that much of a radical, or Neo-Con on immigration either for political reasons, or in general. He is actually in favor of some type of legal status for the 10-15 million undocumented immigrants in this country. Cenk seems to think that is just for political reasons. Fine, but O'Reilly makes a good point here that he shared with Laura Ingraham who was a roommate of Michelle Bachmann and Ann Coulter at the nuthouse. When O'Reilly said that "if the GOP takes this draconian approach towards illegal immigrants, they're done".

Why he says that because he's read the polls and sees the changing demographics. Today's Republican Party is an Anglo-Saxon Protestant male party that is located primarily in the South and to a certain extent in the Midwest. And rural areas in the Mountain West. With the libertarian-right that doesn't have much influence over the GOP Leadership when it comes to policy at least as it relates to social issues, immigration and foreign policy.

The GOP is not even a Caucasian party even though Anglo-Saxons are Caucasian. But an Anglo-Saxon party with other non-Protestant Caucasian ethnics tending to be Democrats or Independents. The Neo-cons in the GOP want to keep the GOP the way it is at all costs even if that means everyone else becoming Democrats. So instead of looking for ways to reach out to their non-traditional base of the party and the elected officials in their back pockets look for ways to prevent non-Republicans from voting, or even coming into the country. Bogus Voter ID laws and mass deportations are a couple of examples of that.

If the GOP Leadership tries to do what Laura Ingraham suggested that they do in this video and they do it before the elections this year, we'll see Democrats win back the House and hold the Senate. Why, because that would bring the Latin-American vote out for Democrats who normally do not vote in large numbers in mid-terms voting for Democrats. It would probably bring African-Americans out to vote as well again another population that doesn't tend to vote heavy in mid-terms. Bill O'Reilly is smart enough to understand that, Laura Ingraham is off of her medication apparently and doesn't get it.
Off Her Med's

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Libra 2509: Tina Turner- I Don't Wanna Fight


Source: Libra 2509-Tina Turner-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Tina Turner saying that "it is time to move on and that I wish you the best. But I'm done and moving on with my life while I still can. Because I can't take the fighting no more and want to have a life for myself". The ultimate breakup song from the ultimate singer and musical artist at least when it comes to singing from her heart and from real-life. And not needing to be able to think of things to say, or make things up. Because Tina sings from real experiences as this song was about. If you're familiar with the R&B group Boyz To Men who were a hit group in the early and mid 1990s, you'll be familiar with the song End of The Road. Which is a song about a guy who is not ready to break up with his girlfriend even though they're were going through a rough stretch. I Don't Wanna Fight is the complete opposite of End of The Road. Tina is saying it's time to move on and she doesn't want to fight anymore and trying to make that clear in a very respectful but honest way. Whoever said "honesty is the key", knew what they were talking about. 
Libra 2509: Tina Turner- I Don't Wanna Fight

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Democratic Strategist: Opinion- J.P. Green- Public Wants Supreme Court Reform: How to Expand SCOTUS to Make it Accountable to the People

SCOTUS-

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Reforming the U.S. Supreme Court is something that I've been thinking about for five years now which is also when I started blogging. And is something I take very seriously especially considering how important the Supreme Court is where it can essentially kill bills on it's own and can practically rewrite legislation on their own. By saying "we accept this part of the law, but this is what must go. And if you reform this part of the law, we'll accept it later on".

This is not about 'judicial activism'. I mean seriously judicial activism is something most of us can probably define either on the Right or Left. Which is laws that are written from the bench. Meaning judicial rulings that change the meaning and effects of laws. But as U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham has said Republican from South Carolina no moderate by any real definition. "Judicial activism are judicial rulings that you disagree with". Which is sort of a simplistic definition, but the Senator is correct. Because when one side loses they tend to claim judicial activism pretty quickly.

We live in a country of over three-hundred and ten-million people with fifty-states. We have a bicameral Congress with five-hundred and thirty-five members in total from the House and Senate. Yet we have a Supreme Court that in a lot of ways is just as powerful as Congress and even the President in some cases, but they only have nine members including the Chief Justice. Where none of the states have a representative on the court as far as representing them. And where they all have lifetime appointments and never have to reapply for a job regardless of the job they do and all live off of the taxpayers dime.

I'm not looking for a democratic Supreme Court and to turn them into official elected politicians. I'm not even looking for time limits as far as how long someone can serve on the Supreme Court. What I want to do is make the Supreme Court accountable to the people it serves which are the people who pay their salaries. As well as more representative to the country it serves in. Again not talking about making it an elected body, but increasing the size of the Court and holding the Justices accountable to the people.

So here is what I would do. Have fifty Justices one for each state. As well as perhaps some type of delegate for the U.S. territories, but perhaps without full voting power. The Chief Justice and their deputy would be an at-large member. And there would be a new position representing the opposition or minority on the Court as well with certain duties and responsibilities. That would lead the opposition in representing the opposing view and alternative when there is a clear partisan divide.

Each U.S. Justice would be their U.S. Justice from their state and get to rule on which cases from their state would make it to the floor of the U.S. Supreme Court with the other Justices weighing in. The President still appoints each Justice, but that Justice would now serve a six-year term if confirmed by the U.S. Senate. And then have to be reappointed and reconfirmed by the Senate again to stay on the Court. Instead of getting to stay on the Court indefinitely.

Again not looking or interested and would oppose any attempt to make U.S. Justices democratically elected politicians. Because the Supreme Court deals so much with the U.S. Constitution itself and Justices aren't lawmakers or executives, but judges of law and the constitutionality of them. What I want to do is to make them a lot more accountable for the jobs they do and allow for the people through their U.S. Senators to decide if they deserve to keep their job and hold them accountable.

Monday, July 14, 2014

VOA News: Video: Congress to Focus on US Border Crisis

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

At some point Congressional Republicans are going to have to decide if they want to solve the Texas border crisis, or keep it going to use it against President Obama and use it as an issue during an election year as part of their grand scheme to add to their House majority and win back the Senate. They can't have it both ways because if the crisis is actually resolved, then their goes a political issue for them. But if they keep it alive then they can claim that "President Obama is not enforcing immigration law and securing the border".

Take the Tea Party out of the equation in Congress and this is a fairly easy issue to resolve. Texas Governor Rick Perry calls up the Texas National Guard to secure the border and prevent violence from happening down there and to prevent further smugglers from entering the country. Governor Perry says he wants to do this, but so far has failed to act and has instead backed conspiracy theories that "President Obama not only caused the situation down there, but did it on purpose".

Again without the Tea Party perhaps Congress comes together and passes a bill for the extra funding to deal with the illegal immigrants at the border last week. Because the House and Senate would've acted responsibly and saw the crisis down there and decided we need to do something about this. Doesn't mean they would've taken the Obama Administration's bill as written. Perhaps they would've amended it, but they would've passed something real that the President probably signs.
Governor Rick Perry- "Don't Mess With Texas

Friday, July 11, 2014

The New Republic: Opinion: Bryce Covert: "How to Equalize Female Compensation": Why People Should Get Paid For the Work They do Regardless of Gender


The New Republic: Opinion: Bryce Covert: How to Equalize Female Compensation 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Equal pay for equal work makes sense to me as a Liberal as long as it is exactly that. Meaning Joe and Sally who work at a law firm or a bank do the same exact job and are equally productive and are both paid well and the same for that job. But if they have the same job, but Joe brings in more clients as well as more business as an associate attorney, than shouldn't Joe make more money than Sally since he is more productive? And vice-versa if Sally is more productive than Joe, shouldn't she make more money than Joe since she brings in more business to the law firm even if they have the same position?

There is nothing wrong with equal pay for equal work as long it is exactly that. The problem that I have with people who push this idea and want more government interference here is that they seem to have this idea that women should get paid exactly what men do for the same job. Even if the man is more productive and brings in more business to the company. And that is where I draw the line and if we want a gender-neutral society, (and I'm not sure radical feminists and their supporters do) than gender really shouldn't a consideration at all when it comes to compensating workers. But instead we should be compensating workers for what they bring to the company their personal and professional qualifications.

What we should be doing as a society is making quality education K-12 college and even beyond college universal for everyone regardless of income and the income of parents. So every American regardless of gender, race or ethnicity can get themselves the skills they need to be successful in life. And allow for them to make as much money as their skills and production will allow for them. Even if they are making a hell of a lot of money and a hell of a lot of more money than men or women. Because their production and the job they do calls for them to make all of that money. Not paying men and women equally even if one is more productive than the other.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

VOA News: Video: Olympia Snowe on Divide Within the Republican Party


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Former U.S. Senator and Representative Olympia Snowe who served a total of thirty-four years in Congress is exactly what the Republican Party needs right now. Because she believes in both economic and personal freedom. And she knows how to govern which is something the Tea Party doesn't even seem to be interested in Congress, or not capable of doing, or a combination of both. Ronald Reagan was no moderate, but he knew how to govern and is a political hero of Senator Snowe.

Olympia Snowe is as Northeastern Republican as a Northeastern Republican can get as you might of noticed in her accent. She represented Maine in Congress for thirty-four years. That is the wing of the Republican Party and I believe the true conservative wing of the party. Along with the libertarian-right in the West because they are truly anti-big government as it relates to economic and social issues And Northeastern Republicans are  dying off. And for the GOP to be a governing party again they need more Northeastern Republicans and Conservative Libertarians to make that happen.
U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Brookings: Video: Stephen Grand & Shadi Hamid: The Tension between Democracy and Liberalism



This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Liberalism and democracy are two different things. Liberals believe in both, but just because you are a Democrat doesn't mean you are a Liberal as we see in the Democratic Party. Or if you are a small d democrat, meaning you are someone who believes in democracy, but you are not a member of the Democratic Party like let's say center-right Republicans. So you can be both someone who believes in liberalism and democracy, but you can believe in another lets say democratic oriented ideology that believes in at least certain amount of individual freedom and believe in democracy as well.

Now there is also liberal democracy which is what the two men in this video were talking about to a certain extent. Liberal democracy would be a national system or governmental system where we have democracy based on lets say liberal values. Where everyone is treated the same and fairly under law. Where we all have a certain amount of individual rights and liberty under a Constitution that can't be taken away even if there's some democratic or majoritarian will to do so. Which is how the American founding fathers set up America. A liberal democracy based on liberal values and constitutionalism.

Liberal Democrats

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Politico Magazine: Opinion: Joseph Stiglitz: "The Myth of America's Golden Age": How Every American Can Live the American Dream


Politicio Magazine: Opinion: Joseph Stiglitz: The Myth of America's Golden Age

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

I'm getting tired of hearing people who are further left of me people who are Social Democrats let's say who are constantly putting down America. And saying "Europe is so much better and we should simply just become like them. Tax everybody a lot more so no one has too much or too little money and let the Federal Government take care of everybody for them". Look we know what works in America economically and what Americans need to do for themselves to make it in America. And why we are struggling right now has a lot to do with the fact that we've moved away from what works in America.

If you get yourself a good education and stay in school until you finish school you now have the skills and tools you need to make it in America. You won't need government to take care of you for the most part if you have good skills. Because with those good skills you can get yourself a good job. And based on how productive you are at the job you'll do very well in this country. And make the income you need to make it in America.

Where government comes in is not to run people's lives for them. But to see that everyone has the opportunity to make it in America. That educational and economic opportunities are for all Americans and that we all have at the very least a good shot at making it in America. And for the Americans who failed to take advantage of those opportunities and are not making it in America like dropping out of school, or having kids too soon, government should come in to empower them to get themselves the tools that they need to make to in America and be successful parents.

Pre-recession of the early 2000s and forget about the Great Recession but the recession of 2001-02 is really where our economic slump started, but pre-2001 we weren't talking about and debating whether we should expand the welfare state in America and tax people more to eliminate the income and wealth gaps. Because the economy was booming, unemployment was somewhere around four-percent with record low poverty levels. And really from 1983 to 2000 the American economy was doing very well with low unemployment and high wages. Why because a lot of Americans were getting and had the skills that they needed to make it in America.

The problem with the American economy is not that the Federal Government is too small. Or business's are too successful, or the rich are too rich. The problems with the American economy is not enough of us are very successful. And need public assistance and private charity to survive in this country with a rise in cost of living. Because they either do not have the skills to make it in America, or seen their job go to another country but are well-educated. These are the people that government should target with education and economic opportunity and see that these communities get these opportunities so these Americans can make it in America as well.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Clinton Library: President Clinton's 58th News Conference (1994)


Source: Clinton Library- President William J. Clinton-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

President Bill Clinton's 58th press conference covering mostly foreign policy especially relating to China and Korea. The situation going on in between the North and South in Korea and what is called MFN or Most Favored Nation trading status with the People's Republic of China. President Clinton essentially making the case that trading and talking to the Communist Regime in China is a better path forward in how to deal with them instead of isolating them. I wish President Clinton had the same strategy with the Communist Republic of Cuba, but that is my take.
Clinton Library: President Clinton's 58th News Conference- 1994

Sunday, July 6, 2014

215 Hoops 1: Video: NBA-TV: The Detroit Pistons Reign of the Late 1980s Early 1990s: The Ultimate Unit of the NBA



This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I don't know if there's been a franchise that had a team of an era that better represented the city they represented than the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s early 1990s. Detroit is the ultimate blue collar big city that is the second biggest city of the Midwest only smaller than Chicago. That is as working class and blue collar as any big city can be. That has every single challenge and resource that a big city could have. And that is exactly what their Pistons of this era had as well.

The Bad Boys Pistons of course had very good players and in Isiah Thomas's case a great player a franchise player one of the top five point guards of all time and in the Hall of Fame. But they didn't beat you because they had overwhelming talent or just by showing up and beating you. The Pistons were a defense first, rebounding second basketball team that scored all of their points off of their defense and ability to get second chance scoring opportunities off of their defense and offensive rebounding. And then teamwork and always getting the ball to the guy with the best chance of scoring.

Other than Isiah the Pistons of this era didn't have that great offensive creator who could create points for himself and his teammates. They didn't have that great post player who could dominate the post and create great mismatches in the post. What they had were guys who moved very well without the ball. Guys who could pass and find the open man. And with center Bill Laimbeer and power forward Rick Mahorn guys who set great screens freeing up their great outside shooters. Which they did have with Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Vinnie Johnson and even center Bill Laimbeer.

The Detroit Pistons were the ultimate team and knew themselves very well and also knew the way they had to win was by being a better team and playing better as a team than their opponents. Especially having to play teams that were simply better than them when it came to talent like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. And the way they did was knowing they simply couldn't outscore their opponents. That they had to do a great job of stopping them from scoring and executing their motion team offense and taking advantage of whatever scoring opportunities that they had.

The legacy of the Detroit Pistons is that they were the ultimate team. Not a collection of stars but a collection of great team players who were all very unselfish who all had one goal in mind. Which was to win championships and many as possible and prove to the world that the Pistons can play basketball and that they didn't represent losers and that Detroit was more than just a big city with every urban problem a big city can have. That they not only represented Detroit but a lot of America as well. People who aren't given anything and work very hard for everything that they achieve.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Equitable Growth: Blog: Brad Delong: Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby and the Decline of Welfare Capitalism: The Socialist Form of Capitalism

Progressive Era 

Equitable Growth: Blog: Brad Delong: Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby and the Decay of Welfare Capitalism

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

'Welfare capitalism' is just another way of saying democratic socialism. Democratic socialism is an economic system common in Europe and Canada to a certain extent and Australia. Where you have a robust private sector private enterprise economy. But you also have a large publicly funded welfare state that are paid for by high taxes and a lot of taxes (at least by American standards) to fund that welfare state. It is just that people in America who would be called Social Democrats or even Socialists in Europe don't like using terms like democratic socialism in America because of the negative political stigma that comes with the words socialism and socialist.

That welfare state funds everything from education K-12 or whatever the grades are depending on the country. To college, to health care, to health insurance, unemployment insurance, maternity leave, sick leave, childcare. Things that Americans except for the education part tend to get through the private sector. The United States generally spends around twenty-percent of its Gross National Product on the Federal Government. Europe is generally around fifty-percent on their federal government depending on the country.

This socialist form of capitalism (and yes there is such a thing) has been something that Social Democrats in America have been trying to bring to America since the New Deal era. But haven't had any real success since the Great Society of the 1960s. Because for one the country since the late 1960s if not further back has been moving right politically. But also Americans tend not to be as far to the left as Socialists and don't like the idea of paying a lot in taxes to pay for services they can get in the private sector.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

James Miller Center: President Lyndon Johnson Signs 1964 Civil Rights Act

Source: James Miller Center-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState Plus

President Lyndon Johnson signing of the 1964 Civil Rights is one of the most important moments in American history. Because he signed a law that granted access to millions of Americans who were simply denied that access simply because of their race and for no other reason than that. And what it meant was that not only do all Americans have the same constitutional rights under law, but that they have to be enforced equally for all Americans. And if the states aren't willing to do that and leave Americans in the dark because of their race, than the Federal Government will step in and enforce those laws and rights for them. Because of the 1964 Civil Rights Act millions of African-Americans are now able to own homes, get loans from banks, get good employment. Because they're no longer denied those opportunities simply because of their race and complexion. Which is what they were pre-1964 CRA and the broader civil rights movement of ther 1950s and 1960s. The 1964 Civil Rights Act meant that Americans regardless of race, ethnicity, complexion, or gender would now be treated equally under law. 
James Miller Center: President Lyndon Johnson Signs 1964 Civil Rights Act

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The New Republic: Opinion: Dean Starkman: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

Rich & Poor

The New Republic: Opinion: Dean Starkman: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

It is true that even since the American civil rights movement that even though African-Americans are doing much better than they were pre-civil rights that they still have a large income gap compared with Caucasian-Americans. And if anything they have even lost ground to Asian and Latin Americans as well. So what does that mean? I would argue for both more opportunity and personal responsibility for the African-American community especially when it comes to men. Government can't force people to do the right thing. Only punish them when they break the law. But they can put policies in place that leads to better opportunity for Americans who are struggling regardless of race.

We have a one-trillion dollar and growing when it comes to infrastructure in this country. Here's a wild idea, how about we fill that hole especially for underserved communities that need that investment. So business's would want to locate there. Lets build new schools and and fix up old schools. And give Americans period again regardless of race the option of where to send their kids to school with their parents making that decision. So our students no longer are sent to school based on where they live, but what is the best school for them. And stop funding schools based on where they are located and instead based on what they need to be successful.

Lets make walking out on your kids whether you are a father or mother illegal and make that crime punishable by having to pay for your kids childhood. So we no longer have single parent single income families unless one of the parents actually died. And lets make education and job training universal for all low-skilled adults whether they are working or not. So they can get themselves the skills that they need to get themselves a good job. As well as make college universal and affordable for all qualified for college high school graduates. And how we would do that is really the subject for another blog.

There are a lot of things that we could do as a country to close the wealth and achievement gap in this country. And we wouldn't have to raise income taxes on anyone. Or redistribute wealth from the top to take care of everyone else. We could simply do these things as part as annual infrastructure bill that Congress is supposed to pass anyway by law. And pay for these things the way we pay for infrastructure investment in this country which is with energy taxes. And we could tax alcohol, tobacco, junk food and soft drinks or even marijuana is the prohibition is ever repealed to fund these investments.

I'm not a fan of race-based policies as a Liberal because I like to look at what is best for the country and the individual as a whole when it comes to public policy. Just one reason why I do not support reparations for any community that has been discriminated against. But the fact is that African-Americans tend to struggle more than the country as a whole. And these investments would probably benefit them more than anyone else except for perhaps American-Indians. So they would benefit a lot from this, but not based on their race, but because they need these investments more.