Friday, January 31, 2014

Brookings Institution: Robert Moffitt: Questions About EITC's Role in the Safety Net

Source:The New Democrat

The whole point of the Earned Income Tax Credit which was signed into law by Richard Nixon or Gerald Ford, hardly Socialists, or even Liberals, was to encourage low-skilled workers to work even for low- income jobs. Instead of collecting all of their income from public assistance. So these workers can at least get some work experience even at entry-level service jobs and not be completely dependent on public assistance for their economic well-being. And by this standard the EITC has been very successful in the United States. And has probably contributed to keeping our unemployment rate lower than it otherwise would’ve been. Had people making ten to twenty-thousand-dollars a year not enough for most of the country by itself. Especially If they had to pay federal income taxes as well.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Washington Post: Robert J. Samuelson: The Debate That Wasn't

Source:The New Democrat

I agree with Robert Samuelson that Washington really hasn’t been debating the size of government. But avoiding tough decisions and when they find things they actually want to do that is both parties they either borrow the money to pay for it, or try to cut something they think not a lot of people would notice so they do not have to pay a political price for it. And the latest Farm Bill where they actually cut Food Assistance for millions of Americans who would go hungry without it is a perfect example of that. Instead of cutting subsidies to corporate farmers people who have money, they cut the people who do not have much of a voice in Washington and can’t hurt them politically.

The best way to reduce debt and deficits if that is your goal, is first to figure out what you need government to do and how much money it needs to do those things that can’t be done anywhere else, or done as well. Or perhaps done in other places, but you need the Federal Government to play a role there as well. And medical research from the NIH would be a perfect example of that. Right now in these so-called budget debates both sides are debating on the margins instead. Cut a little here, perhaps raise a little revenue like with the so-called fiscal cliff debate in late 2012. But neither party really has laid out a vision for the country at least when it comes to the size and scope of the Federal Government.

Even with the Tea Party in the Republican Party as much as they may bash Washington and big government they are the first to make sure no one cuts their Social Security and Medicare. And the first to get their share of whatever pork that is being offered for their states or districts. The so-called Paul Ryan plan from 2011 and 2012 doesn’t erase the budget deficit even by 2023. And most of the budget cuts in it are targeted towards people in poverty who again do not have the resources to complain. And that part of the budget is pretty small compared with the rest of the Federal budget. And leaves the current budget at about where it is right now as far as a percentage of Gross National Product. In the low twenties.

The only faction in Washington and in Congress that has a long-term vision for the size and scope of the Federal Government are the people with the least amount of power in Washington. The so-called Congressional Progressive Caucus, but they seem to have a Federal program and tax increase for everything the country has to deal with. Including raising taxes by trillions of dollars to spend all that money on current Federal programs. And create new economic and social programs to generate economic and job growth not to pay down the debt or deficit. As part of what they call the People’s Budget.

If this was a real debate about the size and scope of the Federal Government, both the Democratic Leadership would have their plan and the Republican Leadership would have there’s. They would both be different and they would both be about limited government. Since neither party at least at the leadership levels are social democratic parties and are both mainstream parties on the Left and Right. At least at the top with factions further to the Left and Right on down their party. But they would both say we need an effective Federal Government with the resources to do what we need it to do. This is what we need it to do and this is how we would pay for it. And let the voters decide who has the better plan.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Radical Films: U.S. House Un-American Activities

Source:Radical Films- Name that church! 
Source:The New Democrat 

The House Un-American Activities Committee and then later the Joe McCarthy Government Oversight Committee in the Senate were classic cases of guilt by association. Because they assumed some Americans were Un-American and not deserving of being Americans simply because of people they may have associated with and political positions they may have held. Not because of any illegal activities they have been involved in. Which is how we are supposed to judge people’s involvement in criminal activity.
Source: Radical Films- U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee, or HUAC for short 

The United States a liberal democracy where Americans have the right to believe what they believe. And say what they want to say with a few exceptions. Like encouraging violence or libeling people without any basis in fact. Yelling fire in tight public spaces. But for the most part our own politics is our own business. And we are free to either express our own political opinions, or opinions about any other subjects or not. And not be held criminally libel because of what we believe.

Source: The Scott Rollins Films & TV Trivia- Howard Da Silva 
But what we got instead from these Congressional communist investigative committees was guilt by association that ruined a lot of good productive Americans lives. And for what, so people on the far-right and people simply just looking for political advancement, Senator Joe McCarthy comes to mind, could have a big issue and use it to advance their own political careers. No matter who they may hurt along the way which is about as Un-American as it gets.
Source:Radical Films

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Associated Press: Today in History For January 26th- President Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinski

Source:AP- President William J. Clinton.
Source:The New Democrat

1998 the year that could’ve been for President Bill Clinton that instead turned out to be the year that wasn’t. Because a fifty-year old man couldn’t get enough of a White House intern. A year where he wanted to reform and shore up entitlement programs, expand pensions and health insurance. He had a very big agenda going into 1998, but that all gone because of an affair he had with an intern. Just goes to show how stupid he was to have this affair and everything that he cost himself and his party as. A result that again going into 1998 probably had an opportunity to win back the House of Representatives. Bill Clinton similar to Richard Nixon had more than his share of enemies in the opposition party. People who were simply looking to bring them down. Where Nixon and Clinton made mistakes was to give them the hammers to hit them with their own personal behavior.

Bill Clinton, I don’t want to say is the Jack Kennedy of his generation when it came to his sexual appetite. Because lets face it, JFK was a morbidly obese man when it came to sexual activity. Had he not had this little job as President of the United States, perhaps the only thing he would’ve had done was to have sex. And maybe there would be a hundred little JFK’s running around today with perhaps a hundred different mothers, with the Jack being the father of all of them. Bill Clinton (at least as far as we know) didn’t have sex with a different women every time he was out-of-town on his own, or when Hillary went out-of-town on her own. But when President Clinton saw a women and in Monica Lewinski’s case, a teenage girl as far as how cute she was and maturity level that he liked, he made his move.

And without the Paula Jones bogus lawsuit, I mean seriously why would a man as handsome, charming, funny and intelligent as Bill Clinton, want anything to do with Paula Jones. Especially when he already had Jennifer Flowers which was a real affair. But putting that all aside for a minute, without her lawsuit against the President, Monica Lewinski’s name is probably never famous. She didn’t want this story to come out. And President Clinton for obvious as water is wet reasons didn’t want this story to come out either. The whole Monica affair just reminds me of how stupid even the most brightest and politically gifted people can be when they don’t have discipline. And that is one thing that Bill Clinton will always have in common with Jack Kennedy.
Source:Associated Press

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Foreign Affairs: Kevan Harris: 'How to Reform Iran's Theocracy'

Source:Foreign Affairs- "Hassan Rouhani attends a conference on National Unity in Tehran in 2007"

"When Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech last month at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University, the audience was a microcosm of his country’s bitter politics. Gathered at the back of the hall and amassed outside on the campus grounds were groups of young women and men who supported Rouhani's election campaign promises: engagement with Western powers, economic rejuvenation, and greater social and political rights. At the front of the hall, scowling, sat university administrators and conservative student groups. Those seated farther from Rouhani chanted, “Release the political prisoners,” while those closer to him shouted, “Death to America.” It... 

"February 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Tehran and the overthrowing of the Shah. Throughout the month, BBC World News will have news and documentary coverage assessing the impact of the revolution on modern day Iran and its relations with the rest of the world.

A Taste Of Iran
In a new four-part series the BBC's Iranian Affairs Analyst Sadeq Saba travels around his home country to get a taste of today's Iran -- its land, its people, and above all, its cuisine.

Fall of a Shah
This two-part series examines the seismic events that led to the fall of a Shah. Presented by World News Today presenter Mishal Husain, this programme uses BBC News and documentary archive to look back on the reign of the Shah and explore how both he and the West underestimated the power of religion in Iran." 

Source:Shahzad Raja- with a BBC documentary about the Shah of Iran.

From Shahzad Raja

Kevan Harris wrote an article for Foreign Affairs (that is linked on this blog) about how to reform the Islamic theocracy in Iran, how reform the Islamic Republic of Iran, as if that's even possible. That's not going to happen as long as the Islamists from the older generations there, who not just remember the Islamist revolution in Iran pre-1979, but what life was like under the Shah of Iran, in the 1970s, 60s, 50s and perhaps even 40s. The current government there is like the Christian-Right's in America, best dream possible, their utopia, where personal freedom is extremely limited, especially for women, but ethnic and religious minorities there as well.

President Hassan Rouhani might be a moderate in Iran. But that's moderate in an Islamist sense, meaning not moderate at all in the outside world. A Communist could be a moderate Communist, but they are still a Communist, which is still pretty extreme to anyone who is to the right of them. And besides, President Rouhani is just the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He's more of a figurehead than anything else. The real power in that country belongs to the Supreme Leader whose in charge of the Islamist regime there and is an in-facto dictator of that country. 

To get real reform in this large country of 75 million people, that's one of the largest police state's in the world, you either have the people there who want it and move to take down and try to replace the current regime there and replace it with some other type of government, or the younger generations there need to become part of the Islamist regime there and work within that system to bring it down. But as long as the older Islamists are in charge of Iran, it will always be an Islamic theocracy.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Secular Talk: Governor Rick Perry: Decriminalize Pot

Source:The New Democrat

Governor Rick Perry a true Federalist at least when it comes to marijuana and not one of these fake Conservatives who like to nationalize social and cultural issues which they see marijuana as one of those issues that must be defeated at all costs. But what Governor Perry is saying as a Federalist that this is an issue that the states can deal with. Since they are closer to their own people and their needs than the Feds and that the Feds should get out of the way. He’s not saying that he’s in favor of marijuana or that he’s suggesting that all states should legalize or decriminalize it. But what’s he’s saying is that this should be left up to each individual state. And states that decriminalize marijuana, the Feds should get out-of-the-way and not try to take over the marijuana enforcement there.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Young Turks: John Iadarola & Cenk Uygur: 'Is President Obama Right About Marijuana?'

Source:The Young Turks- President Barack H. Obama (Democrat, Illinois) 44th President of the United States.

Source:The New Democrat

"In an interview published Sunday by the New Yorker, President Obama said pot is no more dangerous than alcohol — and that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state is an "important" move towards a more just legal system. "I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life," Obama told reporter David Remnick. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol." In fact, the president went on to admit pot was actually less dangerous "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer." Obama also dived into the vastly disproportionate effect marijuana arrests and incarcerations have on non-white Americans...".* Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola (host of TYT University and Common Room) break it down on The Young Turks." 

As Cenk Uygur said, Barack Obama is not a leader, but a politician. And I don't mean that if a negative way, necessarily. I mean we all get the politicians that we elect and reelect, but the idea that even a few of them are ever willing to take a strong stance that could hurt their reelection, you might as well be praying for snow in South Florida in July. Goes way beyond wishful thinking. President Obama like any other good politicians, knows that marijuana prohibition is very unpopular with young voters and that's who he's trying to appeal to here.

Source:The New Yorker- President Barack H. Obama (Democrat, Illinois) 44th President of the United States.

Keep in mind, this is coming from one of the safest politicians at least in modern American political history. Who is well-known for looking at all sides and considering all opinions before making a final decision. Whose run his last race for political office and now has the freedom to basically say what he wants with few diplomatic exceptions. 

What President Obama has done here I believe is not just look at the facts when it comes to marijuana, but acknowledging them as well. For a change, I agree with a lot of what Cenk Uygur said here. But what I would add is that President Obama is a politician before a leader. He’s a leader, just a safe one who generally doesn’t want to be the first person to go out on a limb and take a big stand on a big issue. 

Actually, President Obama he has led on big issues before. The Great Recession when he first took office, health care reform, Wall Street reform, all uses where he’s paid a big price for. But that have worked out and we're the right things to do at the time. But generally, politicians are thinking about their own popularity and careers first, doing the right thing regardless of the politics, second.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

ABC News: This Week's Powerhouse Roundtable

President Obama did what he needed to do politically with his speech. And without the national security leaks he doesn’t give this speech and we aren’t talking about it right now. Because his National Security Council are doing what they believe they need to do to secure the country. Whether Americans on the Left and Right agree with how they are going about that. The National Security Council will continue to do what they believe they need to do to secure the country. And not necessarily screw people’s civil liberties, but to be real about this, that is not their main interest and main objectives. The Neoconservatives have won the battle as far as liberty versus security when it comes to the National Security Council. And whether the President is a Democrat or a Republican security will continue to come first with them.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The White House: ‘Making 2014 a Year of Action to Expand Opportunities For The Middle Class’

Source:The White House- President Barack H. Obama (Democrat, Illinois) 44th President of the United States.

SourceThe New Democrat

“In this week’s address, President Obama says 2014 will be a year of action, and called on both parties to help make this a breakthrough year for the United States by bringing back more good jobs and expanding opportunities for the middle class.”

Let Congressional Republicans only talk about ObamaCare especially in the Senate. Where that is the only thing that Senate Republicans seem to be interested in right now. Even though more Americans are becoming more comfortable with the Affordable Care Act. And let Democrats offer and economic agenda for 2014 that puts millions of Americans back to work. In the areas of infrastructure, energy policy, trade and immigration. 2014 should be about the American economy for the Democratic Party. About how far we’ve come since the Great Recession, the work that still needs to be done. And what Democrats would do to move the economy forward so millions more Americans can benefit and live in freedom as well. As Republicans continue to bash a law that more Americans are becoming more comfortable with everyday. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Washington Post: Steve Rosenthal: American Politics Are Moving Left

Source:The Washington Post- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat, Massachusetts)
Source:The New Democrat

As America is getting more diverse and younger as a country we are becoming more diverse as a country. Not just racially and ethnically, but how we look at politics as well. The more time Americans spend with people from a different race, ethnicity, culture, class, religion, sexuality and in many cases we are with different people who come from different groups across the board, we learn that people are people. And they tend to be good and productive and want similar things as far as being successful in life. And look at people even from different groups as individuals instead of members of groups.

The way America is moving is bad for both the far-right, but the far-left as well that tend to want to put people in groups. The far-right who put down people who don’t look at the world the way they do. And perhaps look different and have different backgrounds and come from different cultures and so-forth. But the far-left who see certain groups as needing special protection even from government and that they need to be treated special.

As we are becoming more diverse across the board and hanging out and working with people of different backgrounds and getting new experiences, we are simply becoming more liberal as a country in a few different ways. The ability to see new things and experience them and not be afraid of change and even embrace it. We are becoming more liberal both culturally, but politically as well and don’t always want to go with the establishment. And how things have always been done. But instead want the freedom to live our own lives and experience different experiences without government getting in the way and saying we can’t.

It is not just our politics that is changing and we are becoming more liberal as a country culturally. With wanting more freedom period over our own lives not just personal, but economic as well. A liberal amount of freedom, as I like to call it and not a liberal amount of government. Which are two different things and as we are making this leftward movement as a country, politicians who look at America from more of an Old America perspective or going to have to adjust politically. Or risk being out of office and having to look for a job.
Source:Bernard Goldberg

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

VOA News: 'President Obama Looks For a Political Comeback in 2014'

Source:VOA News- Washington political analyst Thomas Mann.

Source:The New Democrat 

"2014 will be a busy political year in the United States. President Barack Obama will outline his policy priorities when he delivers his State of the Union address on January 28. In November, voters will head to the polls to elect a new Congress, an outcome with potentially enormous political stakes for the president, as well as for lawmakers from both major political parties. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has a political preview from Washington." 

From VOA News 

"Voice of America (VOA) is the state-owned international radio broadcaster of the United States. It is the largest[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 a non-American audience.

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.

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent agency of the U.S. government.[9] Funds are appropriated annually under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million.[2][3]

While some foreign audiences[which?] have a positive view of VOA,[10][11] others[which?] consider it to be a form of propaganda." 

From Wikipedia

What President Obama and Democrats need to do is to switch the national political focus to the economy. On issues like unemployment, Unemployment Insurance, a minimum wage increase, the income gap, infrastructure investment, energy, immigration (to use as examples) and all of these issues have something to do with the American economy. Manufacturing would be another example all things that create American jobs in America. And then they need to have an agenda that can move people to supporting them.

House Democrats as well as the President already have this and speak to these issues on a regular basis. Democrats do this and 2014 is not about ObamaCare because people are now getting health insurance and not losing it. And enjoying the benefits of their health insurance and we are starting to see signs of that. The 2014 mid-terms could be very successful for them and they’ll be able to at least hold on to the Senate and perhaps even make gains in the House as well.

If 2014 is basically nothing but ObamaCare and President Obama’s popularity rating continues to sag, or stays roughly flat, then Republicans will probably eat up Democrats at the elections. And Democrats will struggle just to recruit good candidates and raise enough funds to protect vulnerable incumbents. And the Republican Party will have huge year adding to their House majority. And probably winning back the Senate, which is what Democrats need to stop most of all.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Associated Press: 'NY Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez Out For Entire 2014 Season'

Source:Associated Press- New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriquez.

Source:The New Democrat 

"New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez will miss the entire 2014 season, after baseball's arbitrator reduced the 211 game suspension of Alex Rodriguez to 162, without pay. That amounts to about $25 million lost in earnings."  

From the Associated Press 

Is anyone surprised by this? We knew A-Rod was going to get hit big for use of drugs that are illegal in Major League Baseball. And what A-Rod has been doing what the last six months or so is trying to buy time in hope that he would be bailed out. And have some shot of playing in 2014. 

If you are dumb enough to us illegal drugs in MLB, then you’re dumb enough to get caught and more than deserve the time that you get for them. He knows about his physical health and the state of his playing career better than anyone. And what a one year suspension could do to him in his late thirties. Especially since his career has been in decline the last few years anyway. And yet he takes this big risk with the rest of his career and will now pay the price for getting caught.

The White House: Ensuring 2014 is a Year of Action to Grow The Economy

Source:The New Democrat    
With the weak December jobs report President Obama should be calling for a huge infrastructure investment bill somewhere in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And even call for a National Infrastructure Bank that could finance a lot of these projects through the private sector. And either have his own Transportation Department draft the bill or push Congress to do it. Especially the Democratic Senate and have them start to draft this bill and they could probably find Senate Republican support for it and see if they can pass a bill like this by some point in the spring.2014 could be a great year for the American economy if it is used to rebuild America which would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, if not millions of good jobs. In the construction industry. As well as our manufacturing industry building and selling the supplies to do these jobs.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Foreign Affairs: Lane Kenworthy: 'America's Social Democratic Future'

Source:Foreign Affairs-
Source:The New Democrat

The Affordable Care Act is a health insurance plan that won’t be expanded to all Americans even when fully implemented and that is one of the weakness’s of it, which is why I was in favor of the public option when it came out as well as making Medicaid universal for everyone eligible and fully funded and self-financed for everyone in the country who is eligible for it. But the great thing about the ACA is that it is exactly not what the Tea Party and Libertarians says it is. That Social Democrats in America wanted. Which is that government takeover of at least the health insurance system.

Expanding health insurance to millions of Americans who do not have it, but allowing for them to decide where they get their health insurance. Because despite what the Tea Party and Libertarians say it is, this is not a government takeover of health care that Social Democrats in America wanted, but the opposite. It builds on the private health insurance model while fixing the weakness’s of that system as it gets to consumer protections. That millions of new Americans now getting health insurance and millions of Americans not losing their health insurance because of the new consumer protections in the ACA.

The Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats made a smart calculation in 2009 when they started pushing for heath care reform. And knew that there was a limit to what Americans wanted government doing for them. Especially the Federal Government and a big reason why they pushed the consumer protections in the law so heavily. As well as that old line, “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” And whether that is true or not that was big key to their message.

That they didn’t want Americans to think that Uncle Sam was taking over the health insurance system. Or the entire health care system that what they wanted to do was to expand health insurance through the private system. And create a public option that Americans could decide for themselves to choose or not. But again it would be their choice and not Uncle Sam making that decision for them. And as badly as they played the politics and failed to get Americans behind that message and it cost them the House of Representatives in 2010 as a result, that is the health care plan they were pushing and ran on from day one.

Lane Kenworthy was pushing the idea of social democracy in Foreign Affairs today. That ObamaCare is the sign that America is moving towards social democracy and we are going to transform America into Scandinavia. And create this huge centralized superstate known as the super or welfare state. That we are going to be transform from a Jeffersonian Federal Republic in the form of a liberal democracy which is different from a social democracy. Liberal democracy is about choice, freedom the ability for people to govern their own lives.

Social democracy is about having a large centralized central government to provide the basic human services that the capitalist economic system comes up short in providing. We are still that Jeffersonian Federal Republic and will remain that for an indefinite future. Because the younger generations Gen-X and Gen-Y, do not expect and want government trying to do everything for them. And tend to be more liberal to libertarian with their social and economic views. Instead of progressive to socialist. Which is why social democracy in America is still considered Far-Left.

For politicians and politics to be successful in America no matter from which political philosophy it is they are coming from, the people in power have to know where the country is politically and what is politically possible. The Obama Administration knew that which is why single payer Medicare For All was never on the table. And even considered because of the political backlash that would’ve come from the Right and Independents as well as some Democrats. Democrats paid a heavy price for the bill they got which was just building off of the private health insurance system. With the public option being pulled out because of some vulnerable Democratic senators.
Source:Big Think

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mike Konczal: 'The War On Poverty Turns 50 Today'

Source:The New Republic- President Lyndon's B. Johnson's cabinet.

Source:The New Democrat

"The War on Poverty turns 50: Mike Konczal on three lessons for liberals today (and more and more). If you dismiss the War on Poverty simply because poverty is still high, then you’re not making a serious argument. Dylan Matthews on everything you need to know about the war on poverty. Jonathan Cohn on how to measure whether LBJ's War on Poverty worked. Igor Volsky on racism, sexism, and the 50-year campaign to undermine the War on Poverty. Paul Krugman on the War over Poverty (and more). Matthew Yglesias on the state of anti-poverty policy in America. Michael B. Katz on how America abandoned its “undeserving” poor: With poverty on the rise in the late 1970s, Reagan conservatives waged war on the needy — and won. GOP leaders want to “own” the issue of fighting poverty; the challenge: Republican voters don’t think poverty is much of a priority. Why does the GOP suddenly “care” about the poor? Alex Pareene on how it's an easy way to look compassionate without changing any policies. Conservatives don’t want to talk about income inequality — that’s why we should. Jonathan Chait on that awkward moment when Republicans have to hurt the poor before they can love them. Robert Reich on why the Republican’s old divide-and-conquer strategy — setting working class against the poor — is backfiring. Why do we care whether the poor work? Claude S. Fischer wants to know. Gordon Haber reviews The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky. Why aren’t the 90% more vocal for policies that would support them?" 

"50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war to defeat poverty in America. Johnson reminded the American people that helping those in need benefits the entire society. Fighting poverty is an ongoing battle in the United States, as millions of citizens of the wealthiest country in the world struggle far too much. And with President Obama making growing income inequality a central issue of his second term in office, President Johnson's call to lift up the poor still rings true today." 

Source:TOC- talking about the so-called war on poverty.

From TOC

I hate to beak this, especially to people who already know this, as if I'm sharing breaking news to them, when I'm really just doing a great impression of Captain Obvious and telling people that water is wet, fire is hot, it snows in Wisconsin in January, and oh by the way, they love cheese and the Packers as well, but when you eligible for government public assistance pre-retirement, you are by government's definition, poor. 

Mike Konczal and all these other so-called Progressives (who are really just closeted leftists or Socialists) who in too many cases call themselves Liberals (even though they're not very liberal at all) have this idea that if government just meets all the economic needs of everyone, or at least meets all the economic needs for people who are in poverty, then those folks are no longer poor. And we can eliminate poverty all together, simply by government meeting all the economic needs for everyone. 

Look, real Liberals already know how to reduce poverty and if you stay on this course you dramatically reduce poverty to the point where our poverty numbers are somewhere where Canada and Europe’s are, which is around ten percent. You need a strong economy for everyone where not just jobs are being created with low unemployment. But a lot of good jobs and without that even for people on public assistance who’ve just finished their education or job training, they won’t be able to find a good job for the most part and may now need to get on Unemployment Insurance.

For people on Welfare Insurance so these people can pay their bills in the short-term as they are improving themselves and getting ready to join the workforce full-time with a good job. And the LBJ War on Poverty got the cash assistance part right. Actually the FDR New Deal did that in the 1930s. And President Bill Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich got the short-term cash assistance part right in the 1990s with Welfare to Work. So people on Welfare get the message and are motivated to finish their education and prepare themselves to go to work. 

If you are on Welfare Insurance and you do not even have a high school diploma, you are going to have a hard time holding down a fast-food job let alone finding yourself a good job that pays all of your bills. And high school dropouts are not uncommon for people on public assistance. So for those without a high diploma or GED, they need to get that. And then they are going to need to take college courses or be in job training programs to get themselves marketable vocational skills. So they have the skills that they need to get themselves a good job and be able to hold on to it. If they already have their high school diploma, well that is good, but now it is time to be in community college. Or a vocational program to further their education.

Last, but definitely not least job placement, but being placed in a good full-time job. That pays them enough to cover their own cost of living expenses and make them able to leave public assistance all together. And one of the beauties of Welfare to Work is that it combined all four of these factors. And we actually did see in the late 1990s and early 2000s and since people who use to be on Welfare going to work with good full-time jobs and a lot of them managing a business. Or even owning their own business which are real rags to riches stories. That if you call yourself a Progressive, you should be celebrating and not trying to put down.

We know what works in reducing poverty in America. We got that down to actually thirteen percent during the Bill Clinton Administration with polices like this. Then Governor Bill Clinton ran on welfare reform when he was running for president in 1991-92. Republicans especially governors had similar ideas in the early and mid 1990s as well. Actually then Governor Mike Dukakis ran on the same welfare reform ideas when he ran for president in 1988. So we know what to do and Liberal Democrats have supported these proposals for almost thirty years now. It is just a matter of getting back to this approach and having a Republican Party that gets back to their roots. Instead of just saying government has no role here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The White House: President Obama Speaks on Extending Emergency Unemployment Insurance

Source:The New Democrat  
The Democratic path to victory in 2014. It’s the economy stupid and make 2014 the Democratic economic vision vs. the Republican economic vision.
Middle out bottom up economics that is about expanding economic freedom for everyone and reducing government dependence. Based on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, a national energy policy based on using all the country’s natural resources. Comprehensive immigration reform so we bring our illegal immigrants out of the shadows paying their share of taxes. And so Americans do not have to pay as much in taxes. Education and job training for our low-skilled workforce and unemployed workers so they can live in economic freedom as well.
The Democrats should label the Republican economic vision as trickle down economics. That if the wealthy are just doing even better than they are now, that could somehow benefit everyone else even if the middle class and everyone else is paying for wealthy’s prosperity. And what the Republicans really want to do besides talk about nothing other than the Affordable Care Act, is to weaken consumer protections and making it harder for workers to unionize and collectively bargain.
That is how Democrats get off of ObamaCare and on to something where they have the upper hand. And be able to force Republicans to talk about things they do not want to and try to get them explain why cutting additional taxes for the wealthy and regulations for corporations and deficit reduction especially in areas that help create jobs like in infrastructure, somehow helps the economy. Which is hard to find many people outside of the Tea Party wing of the GOP who actually takes that seriously.

Monday, January 6, 2014

VOA News: 'Washington Week: Focus on US Unemployed'

Source:VOA News- U.S. Senator Rand Paul (Republican, Kentucky)

Source:The New Democrat 

"The U.S. Congress gets back to work this week after a holiday break. As VOA's Michael Bowman reports, whether to restore jobless benefits for more than one million long-term unemployed Americans will be among the first items considered in the Democratic-led Senate." 

From VOA News 

"Voice of America (VOA or VoA) is the state-owned international radio broadcaster of the United States of America. It is the largest[3] and oldest U.S.-funded international broadcaster.[4][5] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 48 languages[6] which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by a non-American audience.

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.

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent agency of the U.S. government.[9] Funds are appropriated annually under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million.[10][11]

While Voice of America is seen by some foreign listeners as having a positive impact,[12][13] others consider it to be a form of propaganda and a mouthpiece for the US government.[" 

From Wikipedia

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The New Republic: Russell Crandall: 'Uruguay's Pot Legalization is Bad For America's War on Drugs'

Source:The New Democrat

Then U.S. Senator John Kerry when he was up to be U.S. Secretary of State in I believe January or February 2013 during his Senate confirmation hearing was asked a question about the so-called War on Drugs as I call it. And Senator Kerry said something to the effect that it is not a real war. That words have meaning and if this was a real war we would surely be fighting it differently. I’m paraphrasing what he said he, but I’m pretty close. Keep in mind John Kerry is a Vietnam War veteran and from the Vietnam Generation, Baby Boom Generation even. So this is a man who knows what a real war is because he’s been in one and fought successfully in one for his country and the men and women he served with. 
What Senator Kerry said about the War on Drugs is exactly my point. This is not a real war, but a big fat label that anyone fluent with the American English language can understand. What the so-called War on Drugs is, is a campaign against illegal narcotics in America. What the United States Government views as illegal and dangerous narcotics. This is not a War on Drugs because alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and many other drugs that have similar if not worst effects than marijuana are legal and could easily be viewed as narcotics.   
Imagine if we had a real War on Drugs in America and I think this could probably be a satire or a comedy or a movie. All drugs in America would be illegal. We would have the military roaming all over the country and occupying every street in America. To make sure that no one is taking a drug that is at least could be viewed as dangerous. If not using the military to make sure that no one are using drugs period anywhere in the country. And would be arrested for what would be viewed as unhealthy behavior to themselves.  
Just to be clear, we do not have a real War on Drugs in America. Marijuana is illegal, but still consumed all over the country. We have millions of Americans who drink like, excuse the expression like Irish sailors just coming home from the war. We smoke a lot of tobacco, we eat too much junk food that all have things in them that aren’t healthy for us. And yet it is marijuana, heroin, cocaine meth that are illegal even though a lot of our legal drugs are all worst than marijuana and perhaps some of the others as well.

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