Monday, June 29, 2015

The New Republic: Opinion: Andrew Sullivan: Here Comes The Groom: The Conservative Case For Gay Marriage

The New Republic: Opinion: Andrew Sullivan: Here Comes The Groom: The Conservative Case For Gay Marriage 

Just to be perfectly clear, conservative writer Andrew Sullivan, wrote this piece in the formerly liberal The New Republic, back in 1989, of all places. And the New The New Republic, (ha ha) reposted his piece about same-sex marriage last Friday. I once heard Sullivan on a panel talk show, I think on PBS, or maybe CNN, say that he opposed same-sex marriage, because of how straights have ruined marriage and hurt it so badly. With half of all American straight marriages ending in divorce and all the adultery that goes on in marriage. Kids, growing up in single-parent households, or being shipped from their father and mother back and forth. Perhaps only seeing their father on weekends and holidays, because their parents are divorced. And I’m not sure how Sullivan currently feels about same-sex marriage.

As far as the conservative case for gay marriage. I agree with Andrew Sullivan and I think he makes an excellent conservative case for it. But for me even as a Liberal talking about Conservatives and conservatism, it depends on what you mean by conservatism. Do you combine both political conservatism, which has more of a federalist conservative libertarian bent to it and is more constitutionally based. With religious or cultural conservatism, that takes us back to a time that Christian Conservatives and Neoconservatives see as an American Utopia, what they view as Traditional America. Where things that are considered mainstream and even legal today and homosexuality would just be one example of, would’ve been unacceptable and even illegal back in the 1950s and 1940s.

Or do you separate political conservatism, classical conservatism, conservative libertarianism even, with religious or cultural conservatism. I mean, are Barry Goldwater, who is Mr. Conservative and Phyllis Schlafly, who is Miss American Traditionalist, both Conservatives, or do they come from different political camps on the right. Are Rand Paul, perhaps the modern Mr. Conservative and Mike Huckabee, perhaps the hero of today’s Christian-Right, both Conservatives, even though ideologically they look and talk very differently and have very different views when it comes to their politics. And social issues might just be an example of that.

Does conservatism, mean conserving the growth of government and even shrinking it when it becomes big, so it doesn’t threaten our economic, or personal freedoms and doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution, as well as conserving freedom both economic and personal? Or to go back to Phyllis Schlafly, doesn’t conservatism mean conserving the 1950s and taking America back to that point, or perhaps even the 1920s pre-New Deal and saying through government force, “this is what America is and what it means to be an American. And people who move away from this way of life and lifestyle, are Un-American and perhaps should even be in jail.”

Again I’m a Liberal and it would be easy for me to lump all Conservatives and anyone on the Right into one big camp of traditionalists and neanderthals and say that conservatism, is really the big government ideology in America. Because they want to force their way of life through government force on the rest of America. But that wouldn’t be accurate of me and it would even be dishonest. I go with the Barry Goldwater/Rand Paul wing as far as who I see as the Conservatives in America. And say the Conservative case of same-sex marriage, is that marriage is about two people who are in love, in most cases and want to be legal romantic partners with each other for the rest of their lives. Or at least give it their best shot. And that marriage just like domestic partnerships, should be a civil issue between consenting adults. Not for government to decide.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Alison Martino: Video: Marilyn Monroe Mysteries & Scandals

Alison Martino: Video: Marilyn Monroe Mysteries & Scandals

I’ve seen several documentaries this month alone about Marilyn Monroe and her life. Because I’m very interested in her and was looking for new material that I could blog about Marilyn’s life. And in every show except for this one, they all suggested that Marilyn died from the wrong dosage of pills and then combined those pills with alcohol and you have the deadly combination which is what killed her. The idea that Jack or Bobby Kennedy killed Marilyn, is stupid. Perhaps not as stupid as the idea that Vice President Lyndon Johnson ordered the hit of President Kennedy, but it’s still pretty stupid.

Marilyn Monroe, was certainly unhappy. You don’t drink and take as much medication as she did in the last few years of her life, if you’re mentally healthy. But suicide, especially considering everything else she had going for her, is a little hard to buy. She had a lot of people around her and if this was on her mind, someone would’ve probably picked up on that and hopefully would’ve done something about it. Peter Lawford, who was sort of a personal consultant and assistant to President John F. Kennedy, if he’s involved in this, it would’ve come out. Simply because of his relationship with the Kennedy’s and Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe, was drunk the night she died and yet felt the need to have more sleeping pills. And not that I know this from personal experience, but when you’re drunk especially lets say, shit-faced drunk, you’re pretty stupid, or at the very least you act very stupid and do a lot of stupid things. Simply because you’re not in control of yourself and do things that you wouldn’t normally do. Some people say that drunkenness, makes honest people out of everyone. Marilyn, didn’t know what she was doing on the last night of her life. Because she was drunk and as a result, she took the wrong pill combination and then add all the drinking and that is what killed her.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Allen Gregg: Christopher Hitchens Interview (2001)

Source:TVO- Canadian talk show host Allen Gregg interviewing British political columnist & author Christopher Hitchens, in 2001. 

"Christopher Hitchens 2001 Conversation with Allan Gregg on Bill Clinton" 

Before I get into what I really think about Christopher Hitchens and his take on Bill Clinton, I'm going to give him credit for one thing. 

The Liberals (meaning the real Liberals) really love Bill Clinton. The Republican Party gets stereotyped as the party of wealth and rich people and some of that is true. But a lot of the money and well-educated in this country is in the liberal wing (center-right-wing of the Democratic Party) of the Democratic Party, who have a tendency to talk like whacked-out, hippie-leftists. But who love liberal democracy and American capitalism (at least privately) because they've benefited so much from the American system of individual freedom, choice, rights, rule of law, separation of powers, and federalism. 

American Liberals even though at times talk like leftists who at times act like the America is the real empire in the world and we need to replace the American federal, liberal democratic, form of government, which some type of socialist state, actually, at least privately love America and what we're supposed to stand for.

American Liberals (again, meaning the real Liberals) in and outside of Hollywood, New York, the establishment of the Democratic Party, love Bill Clinton, because he's one of them culturally and ideologically.  

Now I'm not a mindreader (hopefully that's not a newsflash for anyone) but Chris Hitchens represents the Democratic Party of the 1960s, the New-Left of the 1960s, the George McGovernite wing of the Democratic Party of the 1970s and 80s. The Democratic Party that was stereotyped as people who value the welfare state, over education, opportunity, and individual freedom. A Democratic Party that was stereotyped as soft of communism, because the Far-Left of the party didn't have problems with Communists and communism. A Democratic Party that was viewed as soft of crime, who favored the rights of criminals and prison inmates, over the rights of their victims. 

When Mike Dukakis when he ran for President and won the Democratic nomination in 1988, he started to try to change the image of the Democratic Party and take back the party from the Chris Hitchens's and other far-leftists in the party, but lost badly against George H.W. Bush. 

Bill Clinton in 1992 and as President of the United States, was successful in taking back the Democratic Party from the Far-Left and turning the party back into a center-left and in some cases a center-right party, that was seen as responsible on fiscal policy and with American tax dollars. A party and government that would defend the country domestically and against foreign powers,. A party and government that wanted people on welfare to get an education, a good job, and move to the middle class. 

This is what Chris Hitchens really hates about Bill Clinton. Clinton took the Democratic Party away from him and people who think like him. That's what I believe anyway. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

VOA News: Janet Weinstein- Activists: 'Higher US Minimum Wage Still Not High Enough'

Source:VOA News- Rally for a higher minimum wage, in Washington.
Source:The New Democrat

"Communities across the country have been debating - and raising - the minimum wage workers can be paid. The federal government requires employers to pay at least $7.25 an hour. Some states and cities mandate more. Here in Washington, D.C., July marks one year since the nation's capital city raised its minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $9.50. Janet Weinstein went to find out what the impact is one year on for VOA.

Originally published at VOA News."

The so-called conservative economist in this piece, said something that is simply false and perhaps even insulting to minimum wage workers, that I have to correct, or I don’t think I would be doing my job. He said that if you force employers to pay minimum wage workers more than they are worth, that will cost jobs, because employers would find robots to replace those employees. Well, if you’re a cashier at a fast food restaurant, or retailer, or grocery store, you’re an essential employee. Why, because without those employees, those business’s couldn’t stay in business. No one has yet to invent a robot that can do the job of a fast food cashier, or cook. These restaurants have to have those employees in order to stay in business.

So this idea that these positions are only worth the bare minimum, or even less than that for people who believe the minimum wage shouldn’t even exist, is simply not true. Because without these employees, these business’s couldn’t operate and serve their customers. So given all this minimum wage workers are simply underpaid, because their employers have to have them in order to stay in business. And not only do these employers get away with underpaying their employees, but they are able to pass the cost of living of their employees, that don’t cover at all in many cases other than the minimum wage, onto hard-working middle class taxpayers. Who not only struggle to cover their own cost of living, but have to cover at least part of the cost of living of minimum wage workers. Because employers simply underpay and under benefit their essential workers.

One thing that I agree with Democratic Socialist Senator and Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on and I you’re familiar with my blogging, you know it’s not a long list, but he’s said that if the Federal minimum wage kept up with inflation from where it was in 1968, it would be over twelve bucks an hour right now. So-called Conservatives and Libertarians, like to say that the market should decide what people are worth. But the market doesn’t decide that, employers do. Employers are only part of the market. And the Federal Government shouldn’t decide what everyone is worth either.

But employers shouldn’t be able to pass their cost of doing business and their employees compensation on to the backs of hard-working middle class workers. That money should go from the employer to their employees. With a twelve dollar an hour minimum wage. Along with having employers pay their share in payroll taxes to cover public assistance programs. Instead of workers having to pay for all of that themselves.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Janson Media: Video: The Hollywood Collection: Marilyn Monroe Beyond The Legend

Janson Media: Video: The Hollywood Collection: Marilyn Monroe Beyond The Legend

Marilyn Monroe, did seem to lack self-confidence and live in some cocoon or something and not able to see what she really had going for her. From both a personal and physical perspective. And yet the way she carried herself, you would almost have to believe that she knew she was hot, sexy, great body, baby-face adorable, with voice as cute as her face. And the things that she said and how she expressed herself and how she played her parts, you would have to think that she knew that she was very funny as well.

She wasn’t a blonde bimbo, some airhead who looked great, but had nothing else going for her. But she did lack maturity and seemed to stop aging both physically and emotionally when she reached 17, or 18 and never really grew up inside. And yet she was a hell of a talent as an actress, singer and comedian even. Similar to Shelley Winters and Elizabeth Taylor, she made her serious roles and parts look like funny people. Because she was a very funny person herself, who brought herself to all of her roles. And because she didn’t see how talented she was and what she had going for her, abused herself and was depressed a lot.

If Marilyn just bothered to grow up personally and just had a healthy sense of self-worth and self-confidence and bothered to take care of herself and not drink and take all the pills that she did, she could easily still be alive today. I mean, a women with all the skills and talent that Marilyn had, to die at 36 and have died in a plane crash, or a car crash, but to die the way she did from a pill overdose and being drunk at the time as well and all by herself, is one of the biggest damn shame’s of all-time. I can’t think of a sadder way for such a talented women to die then to be that young and alone and die from an overdose. But in her short life, she accomplished so much and left so much behind for people to remember her. And most of it positive.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Economist: 'What Happened When Portugal Decriminalized Drugs?'

Source:The Economist- The War on Marijuana, coming to an end?
Source:The New Democrat

"For 20 years The Economist has led calls for a rethink on drug prohibition. This film looks at new approaches to drugs policy, from Portugal to Colorado."

From The Economist

I believe what Portugal is saying with their drug decriminalization policy is that narcotics are bad for you, but is locking up people simply for illegal drug possession or illegal drug use is also not only bad for you, but bad for the society as well. That Portugal, is not endorsing the usage of cocaine, meth, or heroin, but they’re saying there are better and more cost-effective ways of dealing with narcotics in this country.

And instead of sending drug addicts and users to prison for simply using narcotics, they send those people to drug rehab. Which frees up jail and prison space for actual criminals. People who pose an actual threat to the security of Portugal.

And hopefully this works, because as bad as the War on Drugs might have been in Portugal, it isn’t a positive thing in any other country. Especially America.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

US News: Eric Schnurer: 'Don't Look Back to Move Forward'

Source:US News- former Governor Martin O'Malley (Democrat, Maryland) announcing his 2016 presidential campaign.
Source:The New Democrat 

"I once had dinner with Martin O'Malley – who announced his presidential candidacy last weekend – at a National Governors Association meeting. From what I knew of him, I expected something similar to Olivia Nuzzi's recent description of him in The Daily Beast as "sociopathically charming." Instead, I found O'Malley, as both a speaker and a dinner companion, so earnestly mired in policy details as to be almost boring: In short, I liked him." 

From US News 

Martin O'Malley: "New Leadership" 

Source:Martin O'Malley- Governor Martin O'Malley (Democrat, Maryland) talking about his presidential campaign.

From Martin O'Malley 

I agree with Eric Schnurer, that Martin O’Malley is an old-school Liberal. But we differ on what it means to be an old-school Liberal. Schnurer, seems to think that an old-school Liberal is someone who believes that government has a program that can solve every problem that comes up. That big centralized government has all the answers. That we’re always one new tax increase, or new tax, new social program, or new investment in a current social program from solving all of our problems. And this type of political thinking does have a label for it, but it’s not Liberal. And liberalism is not that government and statist centric.

Jack Kennedy, when he ran for President in 1960, gave a speech at the New York Liberal Party convention and he defined liberalism and liberal there and I’m paraphrasing JFK, but he said that: “If liberal means someone whose soft on defense, irresponsible with tax dollars, believes in a superstate to solve everyone’s problems for them, then I’m not that Liberal.” Then Senator Kennedy went on to say: “But if a Liberal is someone who looks ahead and not behind, whose concern about the welfare of others, who believes we can always do better, then I’m that Liberal.” JFK, is Bill Clinton’s political hero and they think a lot alike when it comes to politics and policy.

Martin O’Malley, is not a Centrist and someone who is basically in the middle on most issues and perhaps leans left on social issues and leans right on fiscal issues. But he’s also not a Democratic Socialist, or perhaps even a New Deal Progressive. He’s someone who believes government can’t do everything, but can help people who especially need it move ahead, move forward and be able to live in freedom with the rest of the country. As his record as Mayor of Baltimore and then Governor of Maryland indicates. He’s someone who believes in making government work and making it efficient to serve as many people as possible. Not making government bigger, just to create more government jobs and spend more money.

Governor O’Malley, has been light on details as far as his presidential campaign so far. But I believe that is how he’s going to run for President. He’s not going to try to out Socialist the Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, or get stuck in the middle with Hillary Clinton. But you’ll see the JFK New Democratic Liberal leanings in him and policies. As someone who wants to bring young voters with him and show them how government can work to help people improve their own lives. Not to try to take most of their money from them and try to run their lives for them. And I believe he’ll be able to bring a lot of Democrats with him with that type of campaign.

Monday, June 15, 2015

C-SPAN: Video: Hillary Clinton’s FDR Park The Bargain Speech

C-SPAN: Video: Hillary Clinton’s FDR Park The Bargain Speech

Hillary Clinton, finally found her vision and theme for running for President. Which is to create and build an America where all Americans can succeed. Where everyone who plays by the rules, works hard and is productive can make it in America and live in freedom and security. Unlike Senator Elizabeth Warren, even though this speech did have some progressive populist themes in it, it was much more positive. And not talking about the rules are rigged just for the wealthy, or corporations and the rich are screwing the rest of America. But instead talking about an America where everyone can do well if they work hard and are productive.

By talking about how the wealthy have done so well, while the rest of the country is still struggling, but at the same time talking about an America where everyone did better and well, which was the 1990s, she offered a contrast and vision from the neoconservative trickle down supply side economic policy of the Republican Party right now. The theory supply side being that if you cut taxes and regulations for business’s and the wealthy, somehow that will benefit everyone else. That theory has never been proven to work, but that is still the main Republican economic policy. And she was able separate from the Sanders/Warren social democratic wing of the Democratic Party that wants more taxes and social programs for everyone to close the economic gap.

What Hillary did, was separate from both the Tea Party and Reagan Republican wing of the Republican Party and the Sanders/Warren social democratic wing of the Democratic Party. And carve about a big area where most of the rest of the country is in between. Not a centrist message, but a message and vision of her own. That says government can’t do everything for people, but it can’t do nothing. That it should focus on people who are struggling and empower them to be able to do well in America. Get them the tools to do well. With traditional Liberal Democratic policies of individual initiative, education, infrastructure and economic development. So everyone can do well in America and I think she hit out of the park.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Reelz: Video: Marilyn Monroe’s Estate: Celebrity Legacies

Reelz: Video: Marilyn Monroe’s Estate: Celebrity Legacies

The five-hundred-thousand figure, as far as what Marilyn Monroe was worth when she died, even if that is 1960s money and not today’s money, does seem a little surprising to me. Considering how famous and talented she was and all the work that she got as a result. From movies, modeling and even singing. Plus a lot of endorsement’s and performances that she gave. But she also did spend a lot of money and wasn’t all together mentally even when she was sober. And did spend a lot of money on herself and people she cared about. Like her biological mother and other people close to her.

But Marilyn Monroe is still one of those women and entertainers who fall in the category of, “what could’ve been”, or, “if only.” If only she took care of herself, or actually got the help that she needed. If someone stepped up and told her that she needs help. She’s drinking way too much and taking a lot of pills. If you do just one of those things, you’re really hurting yourself, but if you do them together, you can literally kill yourself by overdosing. Which is what I believe and a lot of other people believe is how Marilyn died. Taking pills and perhaps drunk when taking them and taking the wrong combination.

Marilyn, is part of what, “what if”, or, “what could’ve been” crowd, because she accomplished so much in such a short time. I mean, dying at thirty-six years old when you look like that. And you were as a good of an entertainer that she was. Actress, singer and even comedian, one of the funniest people in Hollywood at the time. People wanted to see even more from her and where expecting to, especially considering she was only thirty-six and probably had another fifteen years, or more to look forward to as far as getting big parts and roles in her career. Had she only just took care of herself.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Washington Post: Opinion: Katrina Vanden Heuvel: A New Definition of Freedom in America

The Washington Post: Opinion: Katrina Vanden Heuvel: A New Definition of Freedom in America

It’s great to see Democrats talking about freedom again. This is something that Liberals and Progressives should be talking about anyway. Since we created freedom in America. With the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, the national infrastructure system, regulatory state and safety net. Liberals and Progressives, just tend to differ on what freedom is and means. Liberals, tend to be more interested in individual rights and opportunity. Tools that can be used to be able to live in freedom and build a good life for yourself and your family.

Progressives and Social Democrats, tend to be more interested in social welfare rights. The ability to not have to go without. That the basic necessities in life will always be guaranteed. To always be guaranteed education, housing, health care, income, food, health insurance and perhaps some others. That these rights would be guaranteed by the Federal Government, of course. All part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, especially Freedom From Want and his Economic Bill of Rights.

And freedom to me as a Liberal, is the ability for one to live their own life and be completely responsible for their own life. To make their own decisions and live with the consequences for good and bad. To not have government interfere with their economic, or personal affairs. As long as they aren’t hurting any innocent people. To have the knowledge and resources to be able to provide for themselves and have the freedom to make their own decisions. Freedom to me, is about tools and power. Where government comes in, is not to make sure everyone is taken care of. And not as FDR put to have the Freedom From Want, but the freedom to control their own destiny in life. Freedom of Self-Determination.

Hillary Clinton on Saturday, will give a huge presidential campaign speech at the FDR Four Freedoms Park in New York. And it will be about her vision for America and why she wants to be President of the United States. At least that is how its being built. And she’ll have the opportunity to start to bring me over to her side, if her speech covers the themes that I just talked about when it comes to what freedom means. And if she talks about she wants an America where all Americans can succeed and have the freedom to take care of themselves and their families and have both economic and personal security and not the freedom to not have to take responsibility for yourself and be taken care of by government, she’ll be able to impress me and bring her to her side.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Slate: Opinion: Josh Voorhees: Lincoln Chafee Campaign Plan: Attack Hillary Clinton on Her 2002 Iraq War Vote

Slate: Opinion: Josh Voorhees: Lincoln Chafee Campaign Plan: Attack Hillary Clinton on Her 2002 Iraq War Vote

Then Senator Hillary Clinton’s 2002 Iraq War vote, is just one example of why the Democratic frontrunner for president is not a lock, or slam dunk to win the Democratic nomination. That vote of hers back then when Congress was debating whether or not to give President Bush authorization to use military force in Iraq, is just one example of why she didn’t win the Democratic nomination in 2008. And seven years later that vote looks even worst. We’re still there, Iraq is still not able to defend and take care of themselves. ISIS, which was always there, but under different names, now occupies parts of Iraq.

Commander-in-Chief, is the number one responsibility and job of the President of the United States. The President, never gets a break from that and their judgement when it comes to foreign policy and national security issues is always tested. And when you’re on the record as being wrong about perhaps the biggest foreign policy blunder, perhaps since Vietnam, that is going to hurt you. Because it goes to your judgement and goes to your judgement and knowledge about the biggest role that a President, or presidential candidate will ever have. Your judgement and knowledge when it comes to being Commander-in-Chief as President of the United States.

Lincoln Chaffee, has his own issues running for President as a Democrat himself. Being a former Republican, is just one example of that. But he can say when Congress debated and voted on the 2002 authorization for the use of force in Iraq, he voted the right way. Which was no, as a Senator and he can also say that he was the only Senate Republican to vote no on the Iraq War. Instead of being in a position where he was for the Iraq War when he was a Republican. And now that he’s a Democrat, he’s against it.

We’ll never know the answer to this obviously, but had then Senator Clinton showed some real leadership back in 2002 and said, “we’re simply not ready to go to war in Iraq and we need further study. And Congress needs further information before it makes this decision.” And decided to vote no and had taken Barack Obama seriously in 2007 and bothered to of campaign in Iowa, instead of assuming she would automatically win it, she probably not only wins the Democratic nomination for president, but gets elected president in 2008 as well. But what you do with the ball when it is in your court is the test of leadership in politics and government. How you make the calls and what you decide to do. And when of her Iraq War vote, she didn’t make a very good decision. And it could come back to hurt her again.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Lifetime Network: The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe (2015)

Source:The New Democrat

I saw this movie when it came out last weekend and not to pat myself on the back or anything, but this movie lays out what I and others have already written about the life of Marilyn Monroe. That she wasn’t a blonde bimbo who only had these goddess features and personality going for her. That there was real substance and talent and even intelligence there. But that she was immature, irresponsible and I would add overly adorable. That even by the time she died at the age of thirty-six, still only looked and acted half her age.

Kelli Garner, who not only played Marilyn and was the official star of the movie, but she was the star of this movie in actuality as well. She had Marilyn down cold and looked and played the part so well, that only Marilyn could’ve played herself better. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, does a very good Joe DiMaggio and they do a very good job of showing the hot and cold on and off relationship and short-lived marriage between Marilyn and Joe D. And they do a very good job showing how Marilyn was raised. Never knowing her father and her father never being part of her life. Her mother, never being mentally capable of taking care of Marilyn. And spends her life in and out of institutions.

Marilyn, certainly had an interesting childhood. But she had family and people around her who cared about her and were always there for her. So I don’t think other than her biological mother not really being there for her for a lot of her childhood and her father being out of the picture the whole time, that you can blame how Marilyn was raised for how she turned out. As far as an immature young women, who mentally was a teenage girl, not in knowledge, or intelligence, but in maturity and responsibility. Because she did have an adopted mother who loved her and raised her pretty well.

If you like bio pics and are interested in Hollywood, especially from the past that you might not be as familiar with as you are with modern Hollywood and the entertainers from the past and you’re interested in and even a fan of Marilyn Monroe, as I am, this is a very good movie and worth seeing. Worth the three-hours without the commercials to spend watching this movie. Kelli Garner, has Marilyn down and they cover most if not Marilyn’s whole career and do a very good job of that. This is a very good movie.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

US News: Opinion: Eric Schnurer: Why Ending Poverty May Require an Entrepreneurial Approach

US News: Opinion: Eric Schnurer: Why Ending Poverty May Require an Entrepreneurial Approach

I agree with Eric Schnurer that the private sector should be involved in fighting poverty in America. Things like grants and subsidies to train low-income low-skilled adults who either work for them, or are currently not working. Things like community job training centers, that would be privately run and owned and business training seminars, that would also be privately run and owned. But we need to get liberally pro-active in how we assist people in poverty in America. Whether they are currently working, or not.

Instead of just giving people in poverty whether they are working or not public assistance, to help them get by while they are still in poverty and then declaring victory, because these low-income low-skilled adults have these funds to help them pay their bills, we shouldn’t declare victory until they no longer need the public assistance all together. And are working with a good job and able to pay their own bills and paying into the programs that they once collected from.

The 1996 Welfare to Work Law has been a success and that is the approach we should take from, but go even further with it. That if you’re working and on public assistance, that finishing you’re education becomes a requirement to receive the public assistance that you’re getting. So you’re working and going to school and getting assistance in order to go to school. Financial assistance for your education and whatever childcare the person may need as well.

That if you’re on Welfare and not working and are low-skilled, but you at least have your high school diploma, or GED, you’re going to work even at a low-income job as soon as possible. And finishing your education as well with the financial assistance and childcare you would need to do those things. And leave Welfare, will you would still be eligible for the other public assistance benefit as a low-income worker. So we’re training and empowering people on Welfare to be able to get themselves off of Welfare and move to the middle class instead.

We need to move pass social insurance and the concept of the safety net and instead be looking at an empowerment or opportunity society, for people who need it for whatever reasons. So people on Welfare and on public assistance in general in America won’t have this to look forward to as their way of life. Because they’ll be able to get themselves the skills that they need to leave Welfare and public assistance all together. And live in economic freedom with the skills and resources to take care of themselves.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Liberal Values: Blog: Ron Chusid: Martin O'Malley Makes it Official: The Liberal Democrat in The Race

Liberal Values: Blog: Ron Chusid: Martin O'Malley Makes it Official

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Ron Chusid and I disagree here. Shouldn’t be any surprised for anyone familiar with both blogs. But Martin O’Malley is the first Liberal Democrat to declare a run for president in 2016.

Hillary Clinton, is what she believes she feels she needs to be successful politically. Whether it was voting for the Patriot Act and 2003 Iraq War. So she wouldn’t have to worry about looking soft on terrorism. To 2008, when she essentially ran on change and moving away from President Bush. To now, where no one knows what her campaign theme and vision is going to be. But she better find one if she hopes on becoming President, or even winning the Democratic nomination.

To the Democratic Socialist of Democratic Socialists, in Senator Bernie Sanders. Who is not just a Democratic Socialist, but is proud of that and doesn’t run from it. Unlike Salon, the new The New Republic and many other leftist publications, that aren’t center-left and perhaps even Ron Chusid himself. As well as a lot of Senator Sanders colleague in Congress. Don’t call Bernie Sanders a Liberal, because he’ll correct you.

But Martin O’Malley, is truly a Liberal, in the real sense. The Jack Kennedy sense, where you’re not pro-government even when it is inefficient, but you’re in favor of good responsible limited government. That is used in a progressive way to help people improve their own lives. Not take care of them from cradle to grave like a Democratic Socialist. That you don’t want a big government to take care of everybody. And try to manage their economic and personal affairs for them. But you want to use government so everyone can have the freedom to take care of themselves.

Martin O’Malley, is a New Democrat. The real Liberals in the Democratic Party. The middle-ground between anti-government Conservative Libertarians on the Right. To pro-big government can do everything for everybody Democratic Socialists on the Far-Left. And that makes him a Moderate compared with those two factions. But liberalism looks fairly centrist. Especially compared with conservative libertarianism, or neoconservatism, on the Right. And socialism, on the Far-Left in America.

Martin O’Malley, will be the Liberal Democrat, or New Democrat with results. Someone who’ll be able to run on a strong liberal new democratic record. Of making government work for the people. Not using government to try to take care of everyone. But to make it effective at improving the lives of everyone. And he’ll be able to say that the lives of people Baltimore improved under his watch as Mayor of Baltimore. That economic development, business’s and jobs came back to Baltimore. As crime and poverty went down. Baltimore, looked very similar to Detroit, or Cleveland fifteen years ago. And now it is on the rebound. And that started under Mayor Martin O’Malley.

As Governor of Maryland, Governor O’Malley can say, Maryland has the best public schools in the country. Public education, being a key Democratic value. Liberal, Progressive, Socialist, Centrist, it doesn’t matter. Governor O’Malley, can say that he raised the minimum wage in Maryland to 10.10 an hour. Again, key Democratic value regardless of political faction. Governor O’Malley, can say that same-sex marriage is legal in Maryland. Again, key Democratic value, regardless of political faction. Governor O’Malley, can say that he decriminalized marijuana in Maryland.

Marijuana decriminalization and legalization, not a key Democratic value, but certainly a Liberal Democratic value, that has somewhat divided the party. With Liberals being in favor of it, but would actually go further with full legalization with regulation and taxation. With paternalistic Progressives not in favor of doing either. And the marijuana issue, along with criminal justice reform, is something that the Governor will be able to use to bring young Liberals to his side. The Governor will also be able to say that he limited government and cut big government in two other ways.

The Governor can say he made government work more effective, by using performance based results and holding his administration accountable for their service. Another key liberal new democratic value. But he also legalized and expanded gaming and casinos in Maryland. To keep and expand jobs in Maryland, along with the tax revenue that comes with those jobs and economic activity. And, another issue that sort of divided the Democratic Party, but we’ve moved left on this issue as a party, but Governor O’Malley can say that he outlawed the death penalty in Maryland.

While Martin O’Malley’s opponents in the Democratic Party can say they’ve fought the good fight on a lot of issues that Democrats care about, the Governor will be able to say he actually won those battles and produced progressive results on them. He improved the lives of the people he served by winning those battles. On the issues that I just laid out. It’s just the difference between an executive and a member of Congress.

Martin O’Malley was a Mayor of a big city and a major state. Where he had to produce results to serve his people well and get reelected. Senator Sanders, has been in Congress since 1991. Congress, can essentially debate issues indefinitely and even get away with it, especially if their constituents like what they have to say. Most of Hillary Clinton’s public service career has been in Congress as well. Eight years as a U.S. Senator from New York.

I would love to see Martin O’Malley as the next President of the United States. Or even just Democratic nominee for president. Even though I wouldn’t bet my last potato chip or French fry on it. But that’s probably not going to happen. But I’m guessing what a lot of supporters of Bernie Sanders and perhaps someone like Progressive Senator Sherrod Brown, if he decides to run for president, are hoping is, that their candidate will at the very least push Hillary out of her mushy middle shell that she’s in. And force her to take strong stances on the War on Drugs, criminal justice reform, living wage, economic opportunity and development. And even use new democratic liberal principles to achieve those goals. And represent a strong contrast against the Republican nominee in 2016.

But what Martin O’Malley has going for him, is that he really could be the Bill Clinton of his generation. Depending on how you define Baby Boomers. But O’Malley could be that guy that could strongly appeal to young voters, especially Liberals who are looking for that strong liberal voice for the future. To build that America where everyone can succeed. Again, based on the issues and accomplishments that I’ve already laid out. And use those things to start a strong online political operation. Perhaps similar to that of Howard Dean, in late 2003 and 2004. Barack Obama, in late 2007 and 2008. I mean, who was Bill Clinton in late 1991 and who fought he had a blizzards chance in hell of becoming the next President then. And who fought Barack Obama would be the next President in 2007. And if Hillary stays in her political centrist shell, something like that could happen again.

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