Friday, December 23, 2011

FORA-TV: Howard Dean- 'Public Option is Key to Healthcare Reform'

Source:FORA-TV- Former Governor of Vermont, 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee: Howard Dean.

"Former Chairman of the DNC Howard Dean shares his support for a public option regarding health insurance. Dean contests that health care reform is intrinsically linked to economic recovery. "This is not just about covering the uninsured...this is about rescuing the American economy. 

Howard Dean talks about Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform. Dean, a physician and the former governor of Vermont, tells us what needs to be done to successfully reform healthcare. One key, he writes, is to offer Americans the option to participate in a public healthcare program, much like Medicare. Dean was chair of the Democratic National Committee during the recent Presidential election. - Book Passage

Howard Brush Dean III is an American politician and physician from the U.S. state of Vermont. He served six terms as Governor of Vermont and ran unsuccessfully for the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination. He was the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009.

Before entering politics, Dean received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1978. Dean was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1982 and was elected lieutenant governor in 1986. Both were part-time positions that enabled him to continue practicing medicine." 

From FORA-TV 

I agree with everything that Governor Dean said about the public option. Give Americans choice in how they receive their health care and health insurance. 

The whole reason I was in favor of the public option in the health care reform debate of 2009-10, with President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress, was because I believe in freedom of choice, especially in health care, but for everything else in the economy and Americans lives. 

The whole reason why I'm against single-payer health insurance where government would now become the sole provider of not just health insurance, but health care in general, because now the U.S. Government will how the power to decide who gets what health care and when, because they're completely responsible for what health care every single American gets, because of what Medicare would then cover, is the reason why I'm in favor of a public option in health insurance. 

The public option gives Americans choice. Single-payer Medicare For All just creates another large monopoly in one of the largest sectors of our economy, our health care system. Monopolies don't work, because they're designed to fail, because they know that the people have no other choice in where to receive that service. But choice forces companies and people, as well as government to compete in the marketplace to deliver their services, which forces them to deliver the best and most affordable service possible in order to remain viable. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Apollo Victoria: 'A Day Behind Bars'

Source:Apollo Victoria- welcome to San Quentin State Prison. No one will ever be offended if you never want to come back.

"At-risk youth take a day trip to visit prisoners of San Quentin as one of many activities coordinated by Rudy Corpuz of United Playaz, a non-profit youth organization based in San Francisco. The organizers, youth and prisoners give their viewpoints on the program and on prison issues." 


If we as a country would just address so-called you at risk while they are acting out in high school and so- forth, perhaps considering dropping out of high school, skipping class, hanging out with the wrong crowds, etc, as well as addressing the so-called wrong crowds, then we can prevent them from going to prison in the first place. 

We could get to the youth at risk, before they make even bigger mistakes in the future: jacking cars, selling drugs, armed robberies, raping girls, whatever the case may be. Get to them, turn them around before, make sure they stay in school, finish school and get a good education, so they are on course to have an opportunity to have a productive life legally and stay out of the criminal justice System the rest of their lives. 

If we could get to the youth at risk before gang recruiters got to them, they would understand that they don't need to steal, beat people up, get in fights, etc, and realize that if they just got educated, work hard and be productive in life, that they can avoid becoming criminals as adults. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

VOA News: Jerome Socolovsky- 'US Faith-Based Organizations Increasingly Care for Poor, Elderly'

Source:VOA News- Jennifer Weiss being interviewed for this piece.

"Voice of America (VOA) is an American international broadcaster funded by the United States Congress. It is the largest[2][3][4] and oldest U.S. funded international broadcaster.[5][6] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.

VOA was established in 1942,[7] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415)[8] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford." 

From Wikipedia 

"Government cutbacks and a worsening economy have led the U.S. government to rely increasingly on faith-based organizations to take care of the poor and the elderly. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports from a suburb of Philadelphia." 

From VOA News

I support both Freedom of Religion and Separation of Church and State. I've always had and I always will. Religion to me is about freedom of choice, whether to practice and believe in religion or not. Which is one reason why I"m insulted when fundamentalists attack Atheists for not being believers and when Atheists attack people of faith for having faith in religion. 

In a liberal democracy like America, people have the freedom of choice to make these decisions for themselves. I even support religious organizations and other private non-profits getting involved in community service helping people in need. Even getting grants for that as long as that money is not used to try to convert people or get them to believe in their religious message. But just to help them get shelter, food to eat, help finding a job, healthcare, things people need to survive. Especially when they are in need, out-of work, lost their home, can't afford enough food to eat, etc. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

VOA News: Deborah Block- 'More Americans Getting Donated Food'

Source:VOA News- a woman who was interviewed for this piece.

"Voice of America (VOA) is an American international broadcaster funded by the United States Congress. It is the largest[2][3][4] and oldest U.S. funded international broadcaster.[5][6] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.

VOA was established in 1942,[7] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415)[8] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford." 

From Wikipedia 

"The number of Americans going to food assistance centers, known as food pantries, is increasing dramatically.  And it's not just the poor who are using the services. As Deborah Block reports, more middle class Americans who are out of work and can't find jobs are also lining up for donated food." 

"The number of Americans going to food assistance centers, known as food pantries, is increasing dramatically.  And it's not just the poor who are using the services. As Deborah Block reports, more middle class Americans who are out of work and can't find jobs are also lining up for donated food." 

From VOA News

With America being in the middle of the holiday season with Christmas coming, hunger in America, which is just a part of poverty in America, should get even more attention than it normally does. I would argue a lot more attention that it normally does, because the problems become even more relevant for people, especially as the weather gets cold, for people to find enough food to eat and feed their families. 

And with all the budget cuts on Food Assistance and other poverty assistance in America, even with the economy improving, there isn't a better time than now that we try to address hunger in America and the broader issues of poverty in America. What we can do as a country to help people that need Food Assistance in order to avoid starving in America. Especially with rising food prices, but also what we can do to help these people help themselves so they would no longer need Food Assistance in the future. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Think Progress: GOP On Ron Wyden

Source:Think Progress- former Speaker of the U.S. House and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich.

"GOPOnRyanWyden.mov" 

From TP Clips

Today I'm a little disappointed in Senator Ron Wyden (member of the Finance Committee) who generally I agree with, for going along with Representative Paul Ryan. (Chairman of the Budget Committee as well as a Member of the Ways and Means Committee) I'm not disappointed in Senator Wyden in working with Representative Ryan on Chairman Ryan's Medicare voucher plan. 

I'm all for bipartisanship if it can produce a better final product, that can't be produced in any other way. I'm disappointed in what they've come up with in reforming Medicare, which is basically turning Medicare into a voucher system. Which is what the Ryan Plan that was produced back in April does.  

People who call themselves Conservatives (which is what I'm assuming Paul Ryan believes he is) talk about the need for freedom of choice (at least in the economy) all the time. And yet they're in favor of eliminating freedom of choice, or partially limiting seniors free choice and ability to choose Medicare, if they still want Medicare for their health insurance. They have a huge contradiction there. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

VOA News: Julie Taboh- 'Supreme Court Justice Continues Equality Fight'

Source:VOA News- a representative from the ACLU.

"Voice of America (VOA) is an American international broadcaster funded by the United States Congress. It is the largest[2][3][4] and oldest U.S. funded international broadcaster.[5][6] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.

VOA was established in 1942,[7] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415)[8] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford." 

From Wikipedia 

"Only the second woman in U.S. history to serve on the nation's highest court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been an articulate voice for the liberal wing of the bench. VOA's Julie Taboh reports." 

From VOA News 

"Only the second woman in U.S. history to serve on the nation?s highest court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg knew she wanted to be a lawyer by her third year in college... 

Source:VOA News- the U.S. Supreme Court.

From VOA News

When President Clinton came to office in 1993, he had the opportunity to appoint two Supreme Court Justices within eighteen months, similar to President Obama in 2009-10. Both President's having significant majorities in the Senate, which gave President Clinton a lot of leeway in who he could appoint as long as he appointed someone who was clearly qualified to not get into trouble with Senate Democrats or attempt Senate Republicans to block a Supreme Court nominee. 

Ruth Bader Ginsberg is historic for several reasons the fact that she's the first Jewish-American woman on the Supreme Court is just one of those reasons. She's a child of the American civil rights generation who has made equal rights and equality for all Americans her life and career and has taken that fight to the Supreme Court of the United States. And has a lot of respect from both the Left and Right for her commitment and honesty and deserves a lot of respect for it. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

C-SPAN: 'President Clinton 1993 Inaugural Address'


Source:CSPAN- President William J. Clinton (Democrat, Arkansas) delivering his first inaugural address.
"President Clinton delivered his first inaugural address on January 20, 1993."

From C-SPAN

Ronald Reagan had this test to decide if President's were successful, or that the Republican Party used up until 1992. And that test is laid out in a simple question: "Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Is your cost of living better, are you more secure in your job, do you have more economic security today than you had four years ago?" Etc, and he used that question in his closing moments of the third presidential debate with President Jimmy Carter in 1980. 

Americans by in-large clearly didn't feel better off  in 1980 than in 1976. Which is why they voted for Ron Reagan overwhelmingly with around 56% of the Popular Vote and giving him 44 states in that landslide election. And President Reagan used that question again in 1984 and in 1988, because the country was clearly better off as a whole in 1984 and in 1988 than it was in 1980. But in 1992 America started declining economically, especially.

The American economy was just starting to come out of the recession of 1990-91. High unemployment, interest and inflation rates, rising costs in health care, rising national debt and deficit. Similar economic conditions in 1992 than in 1980, which opened the door for a young Liberal Democrat from Arkansas the Governor of that state to give the Democratic Party the presidency and to transform the Democratic Party and get us away from the stereotypes that have kept us out of national office since 1981. 

I mention the Reagan Test because that's one way President's are judged in whether they were successful or not. Was the country as a whole better off when you left office than when you came into office. And it's a test that President Clinton gave in 1996 and in 2000. American President's are judged by how the country did compared with how it was doing before they became President. But also how President's dealt with situations as they come up. 

And one more thing I would add, were they able to transform the country, lay down a vision for it that remained in place after they left office. In other words were they able to start a political revolution and under those three tests President Clinton passes overwhelmingly, which is why he is considered not only successful, but I would add a great President. At least on those three scores. 

President Clinton had to deal with a lot. A weak economy, huge national debt and deficit, America looking like it may be declining as a world power, Somalia, Haiti, the Balkans, two American embassy's being blown up in East Africa. And when he left President with a 4.5% unemployment rate, booming economy, record low poverty rate, democracies emerging in the Balkans. The Democratic Party when President Clinton came into office was seen nationally as a Far-Left Social Democratic Party.

With a lot of negative stereotypes that were holding national Democrats back like tax and spenders, fiscally irresponsible, soft on crime, defense and Welfare, anti-private enterprise, anti-wealth and anti-success, etc. And he moved the party back to the democratic liberalism of where it was with President Kennedy in the early 1960s. A place that President Obama wants the Democratic Party to be at. Despite pressures from the Far-Left to move the party farther left.

Anytime Social Democrats try to move the party even farther left, they should look at the lesson of President Clinton. How the party was seen before he was President and it was seen after he left as President. And then look at how the party did in 1972, 1980, 1984 and 1988. Where they lost four landslide presidential elections out of five presidential elections. Including in 1980 losing so badly that it cost them control of the Senate for the first time since 1952. 

The Democratic Party needs to be a liberal party that believes in liberal democracy, that's why I'm a Democrat. But we can't be a pro-big government party that wants the Federal Government to do a lot more at the expense of individual liberty. But we have to be a pro-limited, good government party that believes in good government, in order to be successful now and into the future.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Associated Press: Newt Gingrich: 'His Ideas on Work 'Distorted'

Source:Associated Press- former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (Republican, Georgia) and 2012 presidential candidate.

"Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich continued a campaign swing through New York Monday.  In an appearance at The Union League he said comments he made about getting young people to work have been distorted. (Dec. 5)" 


Here's a case where Newt Gingrich is right when he says that the mainstream media has a tendency to distort what he says. 

Newt doesn't believe low-income people are poor because they are lazy. But that they tend to come from households where they don't see their parents working. And in a lot of cases from from single-parent households where their parent isn't working. Where their parent or parents didn't even finish high school, their kids don't know their fathers. The father walked out on the family, perhaps isn't even aware he has kids and they see their parent or parents at home a lot living in Public Housing collecting public assistance, especially Welfare Insurance not working. And they grow up in a household where work isn't encourage. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Associated Press: 'Unemployment Drops to 8.6%'

Source:Associated Press- President Barack H. Obama (Democrat, Illinois)

"The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than 21/2 years. More people out of work either found jobs or gave up looking and were no longer counted as unemployed. (Dec. 2)" 


We are finally starting to see some real good economic news as we close out 2011 and hopefully get off to a good start in 2012. And hopefully the 4th quarter (not in the football game, but in the economic growth rate) will look good as well. Maybe with the holiday season and everything else we'll hit 4% economic growth. And maybe we'll start to see jobs reports north of 150K maybe even 200K per month. 

But as the cheesy news reporter always says: Only time will tell. Back to you Bob." But when that starts to happen, our unemployment rate will stop dropping like rocks from a bridge. And we can finally put the Great Recession now three years old to bed. Actually four years depending on how you look at it, because economic growth started dropping in late 2007.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

David Rosman: U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and Reverend Jerry Falwell- Liberty Baptist College (1983)

Source:David Rosman- U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts) being introduced at Liberty University.

"On October 4, 1983, Rev. Jerry Falwell introduced Sen. Edward Kennedy, who gave one of his most famous and praised speeches on Faith, Truth and Tolerance in america."

From Davis Rosman 

"Sen. Ted Kennedy speaks at Liberty Baptist College on Oct. 4, 1983 as Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Sr. watches on the right. (Photos by Les Schofer)  

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. said the Liberty University community will be remembering the Kennedy family in prayer.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, a friend of Liberty University’s founder, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, and his family, died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., after a long battle with brain cancer.

Kennedy, 77, had spoken at Liberty and conversed with Falwell, Sr. on many occasions.

Jerry Falwell, Jr. wrote about Kennedy’s relationship with his father in the July/August “Liberty Journal.” An excerpt is below." 

Source:Liberty University- U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts) and Reverend Jerry Falwell, in 1983.

From Liberty University

Senator Ted Kennedy, would be one of the few Northeastern Progressive Democrats that could give a speech at a Southern Evangelical university like Liberty University. Because Senator Kennedy was someone who could work outside of his element. Especially when he didn’t have enough power to get everything he wanted on an issue. 

Ted Kennedy was a legislature before he was a politician. Which is why you see Senator Kennedy on the same stage not debating with Reverend Jerry Falwell (one of the fathers of the Religious-Right in America) and they make about as odd of a couple as Reverend Jesse Jackson giving a speech at a KKK rally. Something just seems odd about it.

But you have to remember that two of Senator Kennedy’s best friends in Congress were Senator Orrin Hatch and John Boehner. (Now Speaker of the House) Two of the most Conservative Republicans in Congress. But Senator Kennedy was one of the best speakers when it came to truth and tolerance and civil rights in America. 

You don’t have the legislative record in Congress as a Senator, without the ability to not only work with your colleagues in the Senate and people in your party, but you also have to not only be able to work with Senator’s from the other party, but people in the House of Representatives as well. At least in your own party if your party is in the majority there. Ted Kennedy, understood all of that.

Perhaps not as articulate as Lyndon Johnson, Martin King or Bill Clinton, but you knew when Ted Kennedy spoke about those issues, that he was speaking from his heart that these were issues that really believed in. Which is why Senator Kennedy always had one of the best civil rights records in Congress. 

And Senator Kennedy’s contribution to the immigration reform debate in 2006-07, is a perfect example of that. Truth and tolerance and civil rights, are just as important as they were in 1983 84 when this speech was given, as it is today. To speak what’s on your mind and tell the truth and what you really believe.

Tolerance and cooperation, is something we didn’t have enough in politics and the rest of the country back then. But at least in the 1980s both parties believed in government and governing. And we're smart enough to know they had to work with the other party in order to govern. 

Now it’s about how do you make the other side look bad so you can score politically. And that has just gotten worst today. Tolerance, treat people as you would want to be treated. Until they’ve proven they’re not worthy of your respect. And judge people by the content of the character, not by the color of their skin. Or the shape of their face or style of their hair or any other thing that has to do with their race or ethnicity.

Don’t judge people by their name, or what religion they practice (if any) what gender they are attracted to physically and so on. That we treat people as people not groups. We don’t treat people special because they are a member of a group, good or bad. That we judge all people as people not members of groups. 

Which is something that Senator Kennedy understood very well for the most part. And is something that as we become even more diverse as a country is a message that needs to be understood and communicated even more today. Seeing Ted Kennedy with Jerry Falwell on the same stage not debating each other and actually being nice to each other.

Ted Kennedy and Jerry Falwell, were the definition of Odd Couple. Perhaps they could’ve had their own sitcom. Like the Irish Baptist, or Out of Place or something like that, Strange Bedfellows. Except they would both be straight. Jerry Falwell getting on Ted Kennedy for falling off bar stools and Ted Kennedy getting on the Reverend for preaching to the choir in their living room, literally as he’s trying to sleep. An Odd Couple that could get along.

But even people who are clearly opponents when it comes to politics and have to defeat other side to accomplish their goals, can get along with each other. If they understand that they are opponents and not enemies that are always in combat seeking to destroy the other side. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

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