Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Friday, February 22, 2013

Salon: Politics: David Sirota: Not all Democrats are Elizabeth Warren: The Multiple Factions in The Democratic Party

Not all Dems are Elizabeth Warren

This is a great blog for a Democrat such as myself or any other Democratic blogger to blogging about especially on a Friday. Because it gets to the heart of the Democratic Party a party I'm still proud to be a member of going on fifteen years now officially. Even though ideologically I've always been one but its true as I've blogged before that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are made into different. Factions and when those factions come together, it makes the parties very difficult to beat or negotiate with. Because they know they have the upper hand exactly where the Democratic Party is today at the national level. Which is why Republicans are more then willing to negotiate with Democrats right now on some key issues like immigration for fear of losing more power.

The Democratic Party is really more of a political organization or club then its a political party. A big reason why its not called the Liberal Party or Social-Democratic Party or Centrist Party. Because it represents all of three of those factions and parties and why we have a Democratic Party. With a Barack Obama, John Kerry, Bill Clinton and others representing the Liberal faction of the party. And there are the Elizabeth Warren's, Barney Frank's, Tom Harkin's and others representing the what I call the. Social-Democratic or Democratic-Socialist faction of the party even though they probably prefer to be called. The Progressives but those last three labels essentially means the same thing ideologically. A good way to look at I guess from a pop culture point of view, is CNN representing the Liberal-Democrats where. I am ideologically with Fareed Zakaria and others and then MSNBC representing the Social-Democrats. And then to the right of the Liberals you have the Centrists, people like Mary Landrieu, Joe Manchin. Joe Lieberman and others who are basically Moderate-Liberals but sometimes in the mushy middle.

At risk at sounding partisan from a Republican or Progressive point of view but the Democratic Leadership. Is better at controlling its lets say further left flank people who worry about the Democratic Party not going far enough and sounding too much like Capitalists and so fourth. Especially in the areas of deficit reduction, trade, healthcare and so fourth and believe the Leadership at least at times is too. Willing to deal with Republicans and this is for a couple reasons. Liberals and Progressives in the Democratic Party for the most part share the same goals, not so much in the Republican Party especially. On social issues and Progressives at least lately have been willing to accomplish some or most of their goals. When it comes to policy instead of saying we have to get everything or nothing and have been more reasonable. The 2010 Affordable Care Act where Progressives wanted either single payer or a public option is a perfect example of that.

The other reason why the Democratic Leadership has had an easier time dealing with Progressives. Is because Progressives are more scared of Republicans getting all of the power in Washington then the. Other way around and Republicans are more willing to fight for all of their principles and get nothing at all. So in the Democratic Party we really have three parties in it and the Republican Party has three as well. That I might get to in a future blog.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

See Progress: Video: Heather Boushey: Middle Out Economics 101: How to Create and Economy That Works For Everyone

I agree with the first minute of the video as far as what it takes to have a strong economy. Where the most people possible would have access to economic freedom in this country. With fewer poor people, more middle class and wealthy people. As far as human capital a system where all Americans have access to a quality education going through higher education. And then being able to continue to educate themselves as adults as well. That we need a strong public infrastructure system. Roads, bridges, airports, schools and so fourth. We also need demand companies need customers to sell their products to and customers who have the money to buy. Their products but how is demand created, customers with money to spend in need of products and then a market and competition. Thats producing those products and to lower the trade deficit in this country. We simply need American companies producing products that Americans want to buy and prefer over the. European and Asian competition as well as other places. Then you need a regulatory system thats understandable by the regulators and companies but is smart and does a. Good job and doesn't try to run companies and doesn't allow companies to get away with unfair trade practices.

The only two things I would add to that is we need a public assistance system as well as tax system. That encourages work, independence and success over dependence because no matter how high a quality of an economy we eventually built. As well as an education system we are simply going to have people who make bad choices in life. Have kids before they are ready, walkout on their kids, not finish school and not have enough skill that will allow for them to be. Successful in life so similar to the last blog I wrote we need a safety net that catches people like this. Pun intended but helps them get themselves backup with access to education and job training so they can go to work and have a good job. And be able to work themselves off of public assistance which are all things we can do in this country because we have the resources. To create such an economy.

The only thing I would add to that is you need the Federal Government to get out of the way and to allow for economic and job growth to happen. With a strong fiscal policy that eliminates borrow and spending, passes down power from the Feds to states and local whenever that makes. Sense like as it relates to public assistance and education. And only does the things that we need it to do which I laid out in the second paragraph.

Roosevelt Institute: Economy: Annette Bernhardt: Raising The Minimum Wage is a Step Toward Economic Freedom: How to Encourage Work Over Dependence

Raising the Minimum Wage is a Step Toward Economic Freedom

One of the things I don't like about our current public assistance system, well there are lots of things. Its hard to pick one but in the interest of time for anyone who might read this as well as my own time. I'll settle for one in this post and one issue gets to the heart of why our public assistance system isn't as. Effective as it should be and can be that people can literally make more money not working if you add up all of the benefits. Then they can make working so if you are a low skilled person and you have a choice of working a minimum wage job. Or a job that may pay a little more then that, lets say 8-9$ an hour or not working and being on Welfare or Unemployment Insurance. And you have bills to pay, perhaps kids to take care of and so fourth, unfortunately you are probably better off not working. And getting on public assistance and hopefully at least there they'll push you to get back in the workforce or. Get in the workforce period and show you how you can improve your skills so you can get yourself a good job and work your way off of. Public assistance all together.

What increasing the minimum wage or creating a living wage in America would do is reverse that. And what we could do is flip those things around and have unemployed people who are dependent on. Public assistance make less then low income workers and have the unemployed low skilled worker only make. What worker with their skills would make which is like 7.25$ an hour over forty hours a week fifty two weeks a year. But allow them to still collect things like Medicaid, food assistance, public housing and so fourth, its just that low skilled workers would make more in direct income. Because instead of getting paid 7.25$ an hour and working full time, now they are making 10$ a hour working full time. And if you are unemployed and on public assistance you'll see this and see that you could make a better living. For yourself working even a somewhat low wage job and make more then not working at all.

You want more people working and less people not working and collecting public assistance. Then working simply has to pay more then not working which is just one reason why we should increase. The minimum wage in America.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Think Progress: Fiscal Policy: Jeff Spross: "Moving The Goal Posts: Simpson-Bowles Renege On Their Own Plan For More Revenue": How to Cut the National Debt and Deficit

Moving The Goal Posts: Simpson And Bowles Renege On Their Own Plan For More Revenue: pFormer Republican Senator Alan Simpson and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles will release a new plan today to reduce the deficit by $2.4 trillion over the next decade. The pair of deficit hawks previously co-chaired a 2010 commission on fiscal reform (which failed) and then released a proposal for $6.3 trillion [...]/p

How about a latest update on the deficit reduction show I mean situation in Washington. For those who haven't slept in a while and looking for some sleep and the thing to make that happen. And the few who are left who are actually interested in this story. The Budget Control Act of 2011 that cut 1.5T$ from the debt with nothing but budget cuts but a third of those cuts came from. The Defense Department, something that Progressives tend not to mention and I bet Think Progress would be. Included in that and then we go to 2012 with the American Tax Relief Act that made all of the middle class tax cuts. Permanent something I'm guessing Progressives hate as well but raised taxes on the wealthy by 600B$ so do the math we are already at 2.1T$ in debt reduction. The deficit is now finally under 1T$ at 845B$ still way too high but the point being we are making progress. Every economist I've heard and read that I actually respect people who know a hell of a lot more about this then me. Say we need around 5T$ over a ten year period in debt reduction to get the national debt under control. We are already about half way there.

So how do we come up with the rest of the 1.9T$-2.9T$ in debt reduction and finish the job over a ten year period. We need to do several things but we can't do anything of these things without serious economic growth and I believe. Tax reform that raises revenue has to be part of this package but done in a way that doesn't feed the Federal Government to spend more money. But done in a way that promotes economic and job growth, as well as success, opportunity and responsibility. Senate Democrats are already looking at a proposal that would raise an additional 1T$ in tax reform. So thats where some new revenue would come from but you combine that with some type of economic growth package. That would include incentives for business's and individuals to invest in America and eliminate the incentives. That encourages people to take their money oversees we wouldn't see a huge tax hike that would bad for American business's. And takes American dollars out of the country.

We've already cut defense by 500B$ over ten years, we've raised 600B$ in new revenue. Lets eliminate the junk in the tax code and lower taxes on American business's when they invest in the. United States and have them pay higher taxes when they take their money out of the country. And control our entitlement spending especially as it relates to healthcare and stop subsidizing healthcare providers. For the amount of healthcare they provide but instead by the quality of health for their patients. And stop subsidizing junk food and drink, including alcohol and stop subsidizing tobacco. And invest in things like America infrastructure, energy and manufacturing and we can get our fiscal and economic houses. In order and stop governing by crisis and govern responsibly instead.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

AlterNet: Opinion: Glenn Greenwald: "How Can Anyone Still Believe That America Is the Greatest Country on Earth?": Why America is Worth Defending and Celebrating

Glenn Greenwald: How Can Anyone Still Believe That America Is the Greatest Country on Earth? | Alternet 

Actually I'm not sure if I'm going to put this blog on satiric form or not or make it a serious but hopefully enlightening informative intelligent piece. And yes those blogs actually exist and not just written by me. I guess I'll just throw a bunch of thoughts together and see how it ends up, sorta how I make soup for anyone familiar with my cooking if you want to call that cooking. But first point if America is somehow this regressive, nationalistic, racist and otherwise bigoted country. Except for of course towards the majority of the country where bigotry is okay with the New-Left in America. Where we are all slaves to the man whoever that guy is and slaves to Capitalism and so fourth. Why the hell does 320M people live here when we all for the most part have the freedom to live in another country. If Canada is so much better then America, why do we have ten times as many people as they do. Why is our economy ten times as big, why do they rely on us for their defense as part of NATO instead of the. Other way around like the rest of Europe does all countries that are developed countries.

Why do Canadians and Europeans still immigrate to America instead of the other way around. Why do millions of Americans from as far away as Korea immigrate to America when they could go to Europe or Australia or. Canada and so fourth, why don't these so called Progressives immigrate from. America to Europe or Canada and live in what they see as Progressive and human countries that America. Apparently isn't, why live in a country that you think is a terrorist state when you don't have to. Feel free to answer any of those questions and send me your answers. Because as much as Progressive like say how bad America is, they've benefited from everything good that America has to offer. Including for the opportunity for people who start from basically nothing to make a good life for themselves.

There is no other country in the World where Africans, Latinos, Asians, Arabs, Jews, Europeans at least not a country as large as the. United States where the living standards as are high as they are in America but thats not what you hear from Progressives who don't like America. Because we aren't as Socialist and as dovish as they are, so somehow this makes us bad. Or selfish that we don't care about other people and so fourth. Thats the current language of what I call the New-Left in America.  I'm not saying America is perfect is you read my blog on a regular basis, you know I don't believe it is. But we still represent the best shot for freedom and opportunity and tolerance better then any other country in the. World with a population as diverse and large as ours and thats what separates us from the rest of the World.

America is not the greatest country in the World because we can blow it up. We are not the greatest country in the World, because we have more money then anyone else. We are not the greatest country in the World because we can run up sixteen trillion dollars in debt and not collapse. And reasons like that but what makes us the greatest country in the World and separates us from the pact. Is what we have to offer and what we stand for which is freedom, opportunity and tolerance. Things we don't do as well as we could and should but still do better then anyone else at least for a country this large and diverse. And why so many people immigrate to America every year to have their share of it.

Intelligent Channel-KRON-TV: Alex Cherian: U.S. Senator and Future Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1967

Intelligent Channel-KRON-TV: Alex Cherian: U.S. Senator and Future Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1967

This video is the exact reason why I wish former U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone was still alive. And had he lived I believe he not only would’ve been reelected to the Senate, but would’ve pushed what Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin L. King called the Poor People’s Campaign and tour from the late 1960s. But Senator Wellstone would’ve started this campaign the 21st Century once he returned to the U.S. Senate. And back to the next Congress he would’ve served in 2003-04 that he had already started pushing while he was still alive.

Because not many people were talking about poverty in America back then at least not many public officials at the Federal level. And not many public people who were at, or near the height of Martin King were talking about. Poverty and yes that it actually existed back then in a country that was then and now the richest country in the World. And yet we have 1-5 or 1-4 then Americans living in poverty. In Appalachia, the Delta in Mississippi, inner-city ghettos like in big cities like Detroit and Los Angeles, Baltimore and so-forth. That how can a country that’s as rich as ours have so many people who don’t have enough to live a good life.

Another thing that I respect about Senator Kennedy’s campaign was that it came right after the so-called War on Poverty was announced by President Lyndon Johnson. Because that so-called war really didn’t go far enough and I’m not talking about money. But what Senator Kennedy was looking at were not only the what people in poverty go through and their living conditions, but also how to help these people move out of poverty and make a good life for themselves. Where the so-called War on Poverty was more about how to do we prevent these people from starving. Going homeless, without clothes and healthcare and so-forth.

The War on Poverty, didn’t take the next step and building off of a system that prevents people from essentially dying. But how we do we empower them so they don’t have to live in poverty at all. Which I believe had Bobby Kennedy had lived, we would’ve seen those ideas come from him later on. This is just one example of why RFK’s assassination was so tragic, because of the attention and the focus to these issues he would’ve brought. And why we need people with that type of power to focus people on these issues today since we are still dealing with the same issues. That we were talking about as a country forty-five years ago. And be able to finally focus on how we actually solve these problems. Instead of just talking about them.

Monday, February 18, 2013

TruthDig: Crime and Punishment: Chris Hedges: Profiting From Human Misery: The Bad Effects of The Prison Industrial Complex

Chris Hedges: Profiting From Human Misery - Truthdig

Its bad enough that we lockup non violent offenders who really don't represent much if any threat to society. People who are in prison for basically being stupid, independent operators who give a  bad name to independent operators. Who are in prison because they got caught robbing a 7-11 or holding up a taco stand or liquor store who have no real training in how to be a criminal. Least not a successful one and if they only they stayed in school or went back to it they could be successful life. Its bad enough we treat dumb criminals like we treat professional criminals who have to be in prison for the good of society. Or we treat drug users like robbers or something, they broke the law they have to be in prison. Which is exactly why we have two million people in prison in America a country thats suppose to be a. Liberal-Democracy but when you have so many people in prison who don't need to be there because there are. Better ways to deal with offenders like that, that wouldn't harm society but if anything benefit society and they represent half of your prison population if not more. Because these people could be in school and working and paying their own way and so fourth.

We got a Federal Government piling up debt everyday, states having to cut back on education and infrastructure to house their non violent offenders and drug addicts. When this is the case, you know you have a serious problem but thats the only problem. Because we now have an industry thats in the business to make money off of our prison system and works to have more. Laws to put more people away in prison who don't need to be there so they profit over the incarceration of others. Not to do some good deed for tax payers and society as a whole. This is not a post attacking being tough on crime. We have to be tough on professional criminals and people with violent tempers and so fourth. But we have to be smart as well and recognize that not all crimes are the same and not all offenders are the same. Meaning that not all remedies to the same offenders will be effective and some cost a lot more then others.

This is a post against being stupid on crime and saying we shouldn't as a country be as dumb as people who knockoff taco stands and. Convenient stores that we as a country need to be smart on crime when it comes to violent dangerous offenders. As well as people who need to back in school because they aren't going to make it as criminals and we can't afford to house them indefinitely.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

CBS News: Video: Evening News: Bill Plant: Federal Budget Faces Severe Sequestration Cuts: A Consequence of Dysfunctional Government

Somebody once famous said and I promise that person is not me in case the jury isn't back on that yet. Said for every problem or crisis there's an opportunity to solve it the problem or crisis. Thats what happens in the real world, a private organization has a problem. What does management do if they know what they are doing. They solve the problem, they got a financial hole, they cut spending or raise more money or a combination of both. Thats what happens in the real world but thats not the world that the Federal Government operates in. Both the White House and Congress and yes I'm a Democrat and I put more of the blame on Republicans. For these problems not for partisan but for factual reasons though because Democrats have already put. Spending on the table even as it relates to entitlements, something their far-left flank has hit them hard for. But the solution is obvious we are facing 85B$ in automatic across the board budget cuts that will hit the economy. Because of lost contracts and jobs and so fourth including in defense but in other areas as well. But there's a short term and a long term solution to this problem.

Again this is an issue that if the Federal Government operated in the real world. Sequester is never even on the table, we got an long term unaffordable entitlement system. We have a social insurance system that leaves people in poverty instead of empowering them to get themselves. Out of poverty along with a wasteful tax code that actually encourages companies to invest money outside of the United States. Instead of this country, oh by the way did I mention we have an economy that didn't grow at all in the last quarter of 2012. To go along with 7.9% unemployment and we have a defense budget thats actually responsible for the national defense. Of developed countries around the World that have the resources to defend themselves. So as the famous bank robber Willy Sutton said, when asked why do you rob banks. And his answer being the smart ass that he was, because thats where the money is, same question of why cut and reform. In these areas of the Federal budget, because thats where the money is. So thats the long term solution to the United States debt and deficit issues.

Again since the Federal Government doesn't operate in the real world when it comes to debt and deficits and overall spending. Meaning they are not going to solve their problems to avoid bankruptcy and so fourth. So what could be a good short term solution to this problem in Fantasy Land. Give the Executive Branch full authority to decide where these sequester cuts are made. Assuming the sequester nonsense happens and if Congress doesn't like those cuts, they can return the money by overriding them in Congress. On one condition that they find new revenue in either further budget cuts or the tax code to replace the sequester cuts. And thats the solution to the sequester nonsense of the day, now back to the real world.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Noam Chomsky: Public Education and The Common Good- Balancing Individual Freedom and The Common Good

Source: Professor Noam Chomsky-
I was watching BookTV on C-Span 2 today, because I'm a current affairs as well as history and political junky. Whose interested in things besides celebrity culture and technology. If that offends you too bad. And I was watching a presentation from Tom Allen who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997-2009. He and Chuck Hagel who served in the Senate from that same period actually came to Congress the same year and left the same year. Without ever serving in the same chamber, just a little food for thought. And Representative Allen has a new book about the broken U.S. Congress about why he believes Congress is not working and so-forth.

And I'm not going to focus on Congress in this blog. I only mention that because in his presentation, Tom Allen was talking about the need to balance individualism and freedom with community and responsibility. Professor Noam Chomsky in this presentation talks about the need for community. Basically arguing that someone paying taxes to fund public education, might not see a direct benefit from that. But those taxes probably funded their education and so-forth that we pay taxes that funds what we need. Directly by also what we've used in the past. Take education, or what we'll be consuming in the future. Like Social Security or Medicare and perhaps Unemployment Insurance. And all of that is true, but my argument is that with out individual freedom and individualism we wouldn't have the resources to fund those programs. Or not enough money to fund those programs.

Liberal democracy at it's best recognizes the need for individual freedom, individualism, individual responsibility and community as well. That we won't do very well if we are lacking in just one of those areas. That freedom becomes too expensive if we constantly have to subsidize the bad decisions of others. Or when we can't profit from the good decisions that we make, that we should subsidize success, but that there also has to be consequences that we have to deal with when we mess up. But also an opportunity to work our ways out of those failures.

So that's exactly what individual freedom and responsibility and community are about. That we are all part of the same society that empowers us to be successful. But then with what we do with those opportunities is up to us and when we do well, we are rewarded. But when we don't do well we have to deal with the consequences of those decisions. But then there's an opportunity for us to survive. And get ourselves on our feet.

So liberal democracy at it's best and I believe at it's core, is a national system not necessarily Federal. But a system and philosophy where we all have the freedom to live our own lives. As long as we are not hurting innocent people with what we are doing. And that we are rewarded when we do well, but also have to deal with the consequences of our good and bad decisions. But when we do mess up there's a community that helps us get ourselves up on our two feet. Which is individual freedom and responsibility to go along with community.

Friday, February 15, 2013

American Prospect: Education: Sharon Lerner: The State of The Kindergarteners Should Be Strong: What The Next Round of Education Reform Should Look Like

The State of the Kindergarteners Should Be Strong

President Obama in his second inaugural as well as in his State of The Union address this week. Has talked about building an economy where all Americans would have a good shot at succeeding in life. That anyone whose educated, works hard, is productive, plays by the rules, is responsible and so fourth. That they should be successful in life and not just people who are born to wealth. As a Liberal I agree with all of this but this starts at home with good families with good responsible parents who raise their. Kids well and then it gets to education having a good education so that everyone has a good shot at being successful in life. Based one what they do with it that ,we don't have guarantees but simple having the ability to be successful in life. Is the only ticket that we need and should expect to have to be successful in life. That we don't have equality of outcomes that all Americans are guaranteed of being able to live a middle class. Lifestyle or better but that we all have equality of opportunity to be successful in life and without a good education. And again without that unless you are an athlete or an entertainer or inherit a huge trust fund. Your chances of being successful in life are slim and none and no one has seen slim lately. Probably in hiding somewhere.

This spring Congress is going to have an opportunity to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. That the Bush Administration called Non Child Left Behind from back in 2001-02. That the Obama Administration now calls Race To The Top. And what this law does is authorizes and finances the Federal Government's role in education in America, mostly pre college. The President has already laid out an additional reform that he wants to see to ESEA which of course is. Universal pre school, I wasn't aware of this but not every kid in this country has access to pre school and don't start. School until kindergarten and sometimes first grade which would explain a big reason why our public education system is so lacking. Especially for low income kids, if they could get that extra 2-3 years of a good education from the beginning. They would be in better position to compete with middle class and rich kids.

I support universal pre school and kindergarten, because if I didn't have that it probably would've been a couple more years. Before I was able to read and write anything and I believe all kids should have that same ability as well. But details in how something like this is done is also important, that it can't be another Federal Government entitlement program. That the states and more importantly the localities should be running this with funds coming from Uncle Sam. And then the Feds and states could oversee this program to see what's working and so fourth but not actually run it. And then of course this program has to be paid for not by borrowing and not through another unfunded mandate sent from Uncle Sam. Down to his nephews and nieces but we need a real revenue source from the Feds to finance this program.

I'll be blogging more about this in the next couple of months but comprehensive, and there's that word again. But comprehensive education reform is very simple to me at least to what should be in it and the goals. That one students go to the best school for them and not go to school based on where they live. Public school choice is critical and the Feds could help finance this not run it. Educators are paid based in how good of a job they are doing, based on how well their students are learning. Not paid and promoted based on how long they've been teaching. And we fund schools in this country based on need and not where schools are located, meaning that we have a new revenue stream. That again the Feds can help with instead of just relying mostly on property taxes.

Without these reforms education reform is not comprehensive and incomplete. And we'll end up just feeding a system thats produced the 39th best education system in the World. And a big reason why we have so many Americans living in poverty in the richest country in the World.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Atlantic: Economy: Michelle Boushey: The Economics Behind Barack Obama's New Liberal Agenda

The Economics Behind Obama's Unapologetically Liberal Second-Term Agenda - The Atlantic

I just got finish looking at a post from one of my good friends on Facebook. And he actually is a friend and someone who I expect to hangout with in the future, whose also a blogger as well as a Leftist. But lets say further left of me to be nice who posted with a comment on it. Calling Republicans and Democrats as if they are the same people and same party, 'Republicrats'. Not sure as a proud Liberal-Democrat that I''m insulted by that but people are further left of me and further right of lets say of. Barry Goldwater tend to look at the Democratic Republican Party, thats how they view Democrats and. Republicans and see them as two factions in the same party as if we live in a one party state with one party rule or something. And why is that because again I'm going to be nice here because I want to get the point across. But don't believe Democrats and Republicans are partisan enough or far enough to the left or right of them. As if the only real Democrats are Bernie Sanders and people of that mindset on the left. And the only real Republicans are Michelle Bachmann and people with that mindset that unless you share this worldview. Of what government should be doing in this country, you are not a real Republican or Democrat.

Hopefully after this blog it will be clear why this point of view from either the hardcore left or hardcore right in this country is nonsense. That its not a choice in this country from the right of government doing practically nothing from the Libertarian-right. Or practically nothing as it relates to the economy but interfering with Americans personal lives from the far-right. To the other choice on the left of government practically doing everything even as it relates to how people can talk to each other. And what we can eat and drink from the far-left in America. That we can have Leftists and Rightists who believe in limited government but that they also believe in good government. Limited government doesn't mean no government or small government. What it does is recognize the reality that there's a limit to what government can do for the people with the peoples own money. And that government should be limited to only doing the things that we need it to do to has a strong functioning civil society. With a Liberal amount of freedom not government. And that its up to the people to do the rest for themselves.

President Obama Tuesday night laid out exactly the differences between Democrats and Republicans. Especially Liberal-Democrats and all of the Rightists, far, center and Libertarian in the GOP. Which is something that all good party leaders should do, the American people elected me, this is what I and. My party believe in and this agenda we are going to pursue and all of the actual Liberal-Democrats in the. Party that are intelligent enough to know that Barack Obama is not a 'moderate-Republican'. Will back the President to push this Liberal agenda that will be about having the Federal Government do what. We need it to do to have economic freedom reach the entire country especially for unemployed workers. And Americans living in poverty and highlighted the areas that we need the Feds to be working on. To make this happen. Infrastructure, energy, immigration, public education including college affordability. Finally dealing with the debt and deficit and so fourth.

Again what do I believe in as a Liberal, thats its the job of government to protect freedom for those who currently have and still deserve it. Meaning they aren't criminals or something and expanding freedom for those who don't have it but who need and deserve it. Which is why I loved President Obama's speech so much and I believe it was better then the 2013 inaugural. Because thats what he was talking about that if government invests well in these key areas. Then the people themselves will have the tools and resources to live their own lives and live in freedom.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Salon: Economy: Jared Bernstein: Raise The Minimum Wage!: How to Make Work Pay For Americans in Poverty

Raise the minimum wage!

I know I've blogged this before but if you want more people working in this country with less unemployment. And less people living off of public assistance, then work has to pay and here's an area where government needs to play a role. To fill in where the private market comes up short, having wages in this country that aren't just designed to maximize profits for business's. But also so we have as many Americans as possible who can pay their bills and live and independent life not having to live off of. Others which means all American workers need to make more money working then not working when we are talking about the non disabled and even with the disabled. Incentivizing them to work as much as they are physically and mentally able, rather then penalizing them for working more. And that means 7.25$ an hour which is the Federal minimum wage is simply not enough and that the minimum wage is. Not enough period that we need a living wage in America for all workers who work full time and tie it to cost of living. Of around 10$ an hour and allow for employers to deduct 30% of that from their taxes.

I'm happy to support including financially anyone who for whatever reason can't currently support themselves. As long as they'll do whatever they can to make themselves as independent as possible and work off of the support that I'm giving them. For people who simply don't want to work and be irresponsible, I'm not as willing to support them once it gets to a certain point. Which gets to the discussion of what's the point of public assistance. Is it public charity run by government to support people who for whatever reasons can't take care of themselves. And then take care of them indefinitely, or is public assistance and investment in human capitol funded by tax revenue and run by government. To empower those who can't be able to take care of themselves and work their way off of public assistance. And if you are familiar with my position in public assistance you know that I want it to be so effective that it becomes. Obsolete on its own because of all of the people on it who are going back to school and entering or going back into the workforce. And being able to take care of themselves with a good job.

Establishing a living wage in this country would be one step in doing that. Because work would pay and we could have a system where people would make more money working then not working. Which would be better for our economy and our debt and deficit with all of the new income tax payers. We would create with this type of system.

People for Polity: Article Review 2: Compensating Our Military Veterans

People for Polity: Article Review 2: Link: Substance abuse and posttraumatic stress disorders: Symptom interplay and effects on outcome Summary The above study exami...

More evidence for the need for better healthcare for our veterans in this country. And perhaps more choice in how they receive their healthcare including mental healthcare and diagnosing these problems early. Before they end up becoming crisis for them, their families and the people around them. Especially innocent people they just happened to be around like at a supermarket or something. I believe, actually know that the defense budget has to be on the table when it comes to deficit reduction. Because we are simply overcommitted around the World and have borrowed way too much money to meet those. Operations around the World but if anything we've under committed the resources that we need to see that our veterans. Get the benefits they deserve and have worked for and have to take a look at our veterans beneficiary system and how we compensate those people. And leave them out of the discussion when it comes to the defense budget and deficit reduction.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Nation: This Week in Poverty: Greg Kaufmann: "Revealing The Real TANF": How To Build Off of Welfare To Work

This Week in Poverty: Revealing the Real TANF

This is not This Week in Poverty from FRSFreeStates exactly, chances are I'll have another post about it this week. But The Nation Magazine a very Progressive more Social-Democratic or Democratic-Socialist magazine. Has a weekly feature in it called This Week in Poverty written by Greg Kaufmann one of the things I like about The Nation. Even though its a magazine I rarely agree with but the fact they focus on these issues even with their Big Government solutions. Is a very contribution that should be respected.

Welfare to Work or TANF which stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families which is a public assistance program. That was designed to assist families where the parent or parents lack the skills in order to be able to make enough money to support themselves and their families. But its a contract, these parents get cash assistance to help them pay their bills to go along with things like Food Assistance. And Medicaid but what the country gets in return paid for by tax payers run by government. Is that the adults on this program have to prepare themselves to go to work. Finish their education so they have the skills that they need to get themselves a good job that would allow them to pay their own bills. And work not get kicked but work themselves off of public assistance and TANF was created to replace the old. Welfare Insurance System back in 1996, a Bi Partisan agreement between Conservative-Republicans and. Liberal-Democrats passed in a Republican Congress signed by Democratic President in 1996.

In 2009 as part of the 2009 American Recovery Act, President Obama along with the then Democratic Congress. Passed their own welfare reform which is knowing that with the Great Recession, with all of the jobs that would be cut. Especially for low skilled workers who perhaps have just entered the workforce. That instead of employers cutting these jobs, the Federal Government would subsidize these workers. So they can stay employed, continue to get work experience as well as job training. Again the theme I've been promoting, work and opportunity over dependence but thats just one example. You want to cut poverty in America and have less people on public assistance and more working. Then they have to have the incentive to work and be able to take care of themselves and that means. Making more money working then not working and having an economic system that promotes work and. Independence over public assistance and dependence.

So how you do that, for people who aren't working and on public assistance. First of all that would no longer be the case, if you are on any type of public assistance and physically and mentally capable of. Working full time but perhaps just lack good skills to get a good job and be successful in life. If you are on public assistance with these characteristics, you are either working, going to school or job training. Or  a combination of all of those things but once you sign up for public assistance you'll be expected to. Either be working at the time you sign up and if you are unemployed you'll be in school or in job training. And for the people who just signed up and haven't found classes or job training yet. And there is a window for people to go through before they are back in school like when classes start and that. Sorta of thing but these people would make less then people who aren't working but are already in education or job training.

So when TANF comes up again this year, people who are working will make more then people who aren't working. That would be my first reform but I would set up three pay scales for people on public assistance. For people who just got on public assistance, they would make less then people going through education and job training. And people on public assistance but who are working would make more then unemployed people who are not in education or job training jet. Or are going through that but don't have a job yet. That we promote education, work and independence over being uneducated, unemployment and dependence.

Roosevelt Institute: Bo Cutter: A Forecast For The 2013 State of The Union Speech

A Forecast for the 2013 State of the Union Speech

Representative Chris Van Hollen is my Representative in the US House and is also the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. In English that means the lead member of the minority of that party, perhaps not plain English but if you have any idea how Congress works, that should be enough. And Rep. Van Hollen is also one of the up incoming stars in the Democratic Party and not just in Congress. I believe he has a future statewide or nationally past the House if ever decides to do that but we'll see. Rep. Van Hollen gave a speech today along with Republican Representative Tom Price the Vice Chairman of the Budget Committee. Today at the National Press Club in Washington about the economy and the debt and deficit. Rep. Van Hollen gave a speech saying for America to create what he called an. Opportunity economy, opportunity great word for Liberals as I pointed out last week, paraphrasing Van Hollen. There are certain things that the Federal Government has to do. That the private sector doesn't want to do or can't do in order for the economy to succeed to create this opportunity economy. Which I'm about to layout.

The term I use is opportunity society but the goals of an opportunity economy which if I had to guess. Was a term that was developed by the House Democratic Leadership as their confidence is up now after. Picking up eight seats in the 2012 elections and will be a factor in the 113th Congress even though they are still the House Minority. But with a divided House Republican Caucus thats just lost seats after expecting to pick up more to go along with a Republican Senate and a President Mitt Romney. House Democrats think they have a real shot at taking back the House in 2014 and are now putting an agenda. And a strategy to accomplish that and I'm guessing opportunity economy is part of that but wherever the term came from. Its an important term and something Democrats need to focus on as we've moved away from being a Social-Democratic Big Government party from the 1960s and 70s. But want to be a factor and not concede to the Reagan Revolution from the Republican Party.

So what is an opportunity economy, an economy thats built around opportunity for as many Americans as possible to be successful in life. Not an economy thats just tilted to the top or creating a superstate designed to take care of everyone. And protect people from the freedom to make decisions but an opportunity economy where as many people as possible would be responsible for living their own lives. So how do we create such an economy like that and where does governments role come into see that such an economy can come about. And that gets to things like a sound and modern public infrastructure system, which we currently don't have. A sound and modern public education system that we currently don't have, a national energy policy. That promotes and invests in American natural resources and allows for the private sector to be able to develop them for the country. Which we currently don't have and a tax system that promotes success and independence, to go along with economic and job growth that we. Currently don't have.

What the United States still does very well and probably an area where we still lead the World is in research and development. Which is something we need to continue to subsidize no matter what comes from tax reform. But an opportunity economy would be an economy where as many Americans would have a good opportunity to be successful and independent in life. Based on what they do with it and something that House Democrats as well as President Obama should be pushing for.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

LBJ Library: Video: State of the Union Address: President Lyndon B. Johnson: 1/10/1967

The State of The Union address is what the President at the time makes of it. Based on where they are politically and the situation the country is in and so fourth. What the President wants to accomplish and his ability to communicate and deliver votes in Congress. The President can have both chambers of Congress and even have large majorities like in President Carter's. Case in the late 1970s but unless he has an agenda that can move the country towards him. He's not going to have much success in getting that legislation through Congress and even it he. Does get it through Congress, he might not score many points politically from it like with President Clinton in 1993-94. And then we've had presidents whose party controlled both the House and Senate but had both small majorities. And could barely get anything done with Congress because his party in Congress or his leadership in the House and Senate. Were divided and also divided with the President and had different approaches, as well as the President. Himself being unpopular like with President George W. Bush and we've had presidents who've faced Congress's led by the opposition party. But were successful in getting legislation passed because of his popularity and ability to negotiate. Like with Bill Clinton in his second term.

President Johnson in 1967 had an interesting situation because he had a Democratic Congress. Where Democrats had around 250 out of 435 seats in the House and a Senate with 64 out of 100 seats. But because of the Vietnam War he was very unpopular as well as the emerging New-Left in the country thanks to the Great Society and Vietnam War. That believe really the only job of the Federal Government was to take care of people and not bomb foreign countries. And of course he still had battles with the Southern-Conservative coalition in the Democratic Party over. Civil rights but still managed to pass the Fair Housing Law in 1968. The 1967-68 period was very interesting in the Democratic Party because it was the begin of an end of an era. Where Democrats no longer owned the South thanks to the civil rights laws and the Great Society. Where Republicans were becoming more competitive and winning in the South. And the merging New-Left coalition in the North in the Democratic Party.

If you listen to this speech which you can on this blog. You basically hear what's called in Washington a laundry list, where President Johnson is telling Congress he wants them to do. This and do that and we should as a country meaning the Federal Government should be doing all of these things. And less of a this is where we are as a country, this is what we've accomplished and this is where we are still lacking.

PBS: The Great Depression: The New Deal Response

The Great Depression
PBS: The Great Depression: The New Deal Response

In 1933 when Franklin Roosevelt became President of The United States he inherited the Great Depression. Basically an economy that was sinking and collapsing with basically no money anywhere, or no money being created. And anyone who had money at this point in the private sector was not spending, or investing the money. The Federal Government was literally the only game in town that it could spend and afford to borrow the rest to make up the difference of money.

America need money to be invested in the country to get people working again. And creating jobs so people had money to spend to generate economic growth, or at least create a floor for the Great Depression and buy time for the American economy to recover. Which is very similar, but not exactly how the Obama Administration and Congress responded to the Great Recession in 2009. We can argue about the effects of these proposals, but that’s how they were designed. And at least to a certain extent were effective in dealing with the Great Depression in a successful way.

The New Deal represented democratic socialism in the United States. And the creation of the safety net. The New Deal and President Roosevelt wasn’t looking to end American capitalism, but to save it and create a system that could respond to people who fell through the cracks of it. And be able to spend money and invest in the economy when no one else had the resources. In a very centralized and anti-federalist way putting a lot of responsibility with the Federal Government to respond to economic crisis’ like this.

Which is generally what you get from Socialists Democratic, or otherwise and Franklin Roosevelt was certainly Democratic. But bringing a social democratic, or democratic socialist response to the problems of the country. Which is one of the reasons why his critics on the right as well as left, like Wendell Willkie a Classical Liberal similar to me called President Roosevelt a Socialist. Thats the situation that Franklin Roosevelt inherited as president in 1933 and how we got the safety net in this country known as the New Deal. Our first phase of the safety net in this country. Where previously we were more of an economic libertarian country, where support for these policies seemed extreme or far-left, or something. President Roosevelt made these polices seem mainstream.

Friday, February 8, 2013

PBS: Video: American Experience: LBJ and The Economy: The Legacy of The War on Poverty

I've been blogging a lot about poverty in America the last month or so, at least once a week. And with the State of The Union address coming up this Tuesday I will be blogging about past. State of the Union speeches and Lyndon Johnson will be one of those speeches because like him or not. He certainly made a mark about how we think about these issues in this country especially as it. Relates to the role of government especially the Federal Government and what we should do to help the needy in this country.

Robert Dallek Lyndon Johnson's historian may be correct that President Johnson's vision or goals for what he called the War on Poverty. I don't like that term myself but thats a different subject but Dallek might be right in the sense. That maybe what President Johnson wanted to do with the safety net and this broad expansion of it. Was to empower poor people to be able to live the American dream like the rest of the country. And that all they needed was an education, job training to go along with financial assistance in the short term to make. That happen but the problem was similar to the New Deal these programs weren't really designed that way. But instead designed to help people survive as they live in poverty. My position on public assistance is pretty clear, make it as effective as possible so it becomes obsolete. Meaning its no longer needed and that people won't want to live on it and be comfortable collecting from it.

Public assistance to me is so the people on it only have enough financial assistance to pay their bills. Place to live, enough food to eat, enough clothes, basic healthcare. But that they would be under contract, that the way they pay back the country, is by bettering themselves. Getting an education, job training and getting a good job so they can pay back plus interest the financial assistance. They received from people who work for a living. But for the most part thats not what we got out of the New Deal and Great Society. The basic design was that we have all of these poor people who lack the skills to be able to take care of themselves. Lets take care of them for them so they don't not only have to starve and so fourth. But also so they don't have to take responsibility for their own decisions and for their own lives. Because the Federal Government meaning the tax payers are going to do that for them. And forty seven years later we are still fighting if you want to call it that, this so called War on Poverty.

The Great Society had some good things in it that has helped reduce poverty in America. Early education, Head Start, the Job Core for young people from low income neighborhoods. Medicare and so fourth but the basic design of it which I biggest problem with welfare state economics. Or Democratic Socialism was that most of these programs were designed to take care of people. Rather then empowering these people to be able to take care of themselves.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Nation: Economy: Eric Alterman: The Missing Link in Barack Obama's Liberalism: How to Create an Opportunity Society

The Missing Link in Obama's Liberalism | The Nation

There are four words that I want you to focus on as you read this blog. Because they go to the heart of Liberalism  after you get past individual freedom and individual rights. These four words are liberalize, liberate, notice how liberalize and liberate sound like liberal. Because they all come from the same thing and the other two words would be empowerment and opportunity. These four words are not only at the heart of Liberalism but economic Liberalism as well. And President Obama did mention opportunity in his second inaugural address but the other four not so much. But he did talk about the need for more opportunity in America and talked about ways to create that. He didn't talk about expanding the New Deal or Great Society or even build off of that but he talk about the need for an economy. That creates more opportunity for more Americans and he did focus on the poor the people who need exactly that. And talked of terms of hand ups and not handouts, so in that sense his inaugural wasn't an FDR. Social-Democratic speech but more in terms of Jack Kennedy of, not ask what your country can do for you. But what you can do for your country, how we build an economy that empowers more Americans to have the same freedom. As the rest of the country.

Sorry Progressives or Social-Democrats we are pass the FDR New Deal and LBJ Great Society days. And still live in the world of Ron Reagan versus Bill Clinton. Of government not being the solution but the problem coming from President Reagan, since Republicans have yet to move pass that yet. Vs Bill Clinton's Opportunity Society of using government to empower people who need it with the. Opportunity to be successful in life and not be dependent on public assistance. Those are basically the two main competing visions for the country coming from the major political parties. Yes Progressive-Democrats have their own vision that they would call the New Deal of the 21st Century. Thats government based to build a more inclusive and equable society where no American would have too. Much or too little but the problem for them is they yet to find a President who'll push that agenda for them.

For anyone whose interested in what's called income inequality, meaning some Americans have a hell of a lot more then others. To put in simple terms because they've been successful in life, if this is an issue you care about and so do I but I would put in different terms. Then you should be pushing policies that will empower the fifty million or so Americans who don't have enough. Are struggling to survive, what can we do for them so they to can be successful in life. And if you read this blog on a regular basis especially the War on Poverty section. You know for me at least its about opportunity for these people to be successful in life and that gets to things like. Education, job training and job placement so they get themselves the skills they need to be successful in life. By the country focusing on those things.

Robert Reich.Org: Economy: The Economic Challenge Ahead: "More Jobs and Growth, Not Deficit Reduction"

Robert Reich (The Economic Challenge Ahead: More Jobs and Growth, Not Deficit Reduction)

I actually agree with Progressive economist Robert Reich on a couple things here, can't remember the last time that has happened. That since the deficit is finally under a trillion dollars and now around five percent of our GDP. That its not as big of a problem as it has been and we can debate what caused this and so fourth. The problem with Dr. Reich's argument is he didn't mention the national debt still 16T$ and we just can't allow that to grow faster then the economy indefinitely. The other thing I agree with Dr. Reich in is that jobs and I would add economic to go along with job growth should be our number one priority as it. Relates to the economy but my point is we should be doing that as we get the debt under control. No its no longer growing faster then the economy, I wrote a blog three years ago arguing for more. Infrastructure investment in this country and wrote a blog eighteen months ago calling for a National Infrastructure Bank. We simply for our economy and our infrastructure system need to rebuild it and thats going to take around 1TS over a 5-10 year period. And we can do this as we are doing infrastructure investment.

We can pass a comprehensive which I have a feeling will be the number one used word in America. This year at least as it relates to national politics, comprehensive deficit reduction plan to finish the idea. Over a 5-10 year window that includes savings and reforms in entitlements and the broader social insurance. System, defense and the tax code and we could get around 1T$ by reforming the tax code and doing things like. Encouraging business's to invest and hire in America not oversees and eliminate wasteful tax loopholes. Especially corporate welfare, bringing down our corporate tax to a more competitive rate. Forcing Medicare and Medicaid to stop compensating doctors and hospitals based on the amount of healthcare they provide. And compensate them based on how healthy the patients are, having wealthy seniors pay more for their Medicare and Social Security. Creating a public option for Medicare, reforming the broader safety net by making all of it financially self reliant. And turning those programs into empowerment programs designed to move people out of poverty.

When it comes to defense, not not cut it across the board but cut back in areas that we don't need to spend or shouldn't be spending on. Like in Europe, Saudi Arabia. Korea and Japan and using the drawdowns from Iraq and Afghanistan. To go for deficit reduction and having those cuts come from developed nations that we are forced to defend. Have those countries defend themselves or pay us to defend them, so we don't have to hurt our own national security. And then pass an economic growth act that rebuilds this country and encourages business's to invest and hire here and pay for that. And we can rebuild our economy and perhaps erase the deficit and have a debt that no longer gets in the way of. Our economic and job growth.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mike Gardner: Ronald Reagan vs Robert F. Kennedy in 1967- The Vietnam War

Ronald W. Reagan & Robert F. Kennedy-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

Not sure why a sitting United States Governor who had no foreign policy experience to this point, except for a brief time in World War II, would be debating a U.S. Senator. Who had clear foreign policy experience as a U.S. Senator and a member of the U.S .National Security Council for four years. Why they would be debating each other over foreign policy, especially our involvement in the Vietnam War. Other than they were both expected presidential candidates for 1968. Senator Robert Kennedy, was one of the strongest opponents against the Vietnam War in Congress. And Governor Reagan, was a proponent of the war.

In this debate you are talking about two very intelligent people with clear and different positions in politics including foreign policy. One representing the right as well as it can be and the other representing the what I call the Old-Left. The FDR coalition that included economic Progressives and liberal internationalist cold warriors. Which is exactly what Franklin Roosevelt was. And someone who represented progressivism in the most responsible and mainstream form. That you can be progressive, or social democratic even on economic policy, but you need to be tough when it comes to national security. Ao you can defend freedom at home and abroad, but that you also have to be smart as well.

And of course with Ron Reagan, you are talking about a Conservative Libertarian, or Classical Conservative. Who of course applied those beliefs to foreign policy as well and that America should defend freedom abroad. Where we can and make a positive difference. This debate here represents exactly what the United States would’ve done differently in the Vietnam War. In Bobby Kennedy’s case, we wouldn’t have gotten in at all, or certainly wouldn’t have been involved as much as we were and would’ve pulled out sooner. In Ron Reagan’s case, we would’ve taken the Barry Goldwater approach and gone in full-throttle. And tried to win the war much sooner and try to save lives that way instead of settling for a tie in the early 1970s.

Salon: Crime and Punishment: Natasha Lennard: Bureau of Prisons Agrees to Solitary Confinement Review: How to Deal With Violent Offenders

Bureau of prisons agrees to solitary confinement review

I've been blogging lately about the need for looking at how we fund mental healthcare in America. Meaning that we have to do it, we really don't have a choice and thats going to take money. Money that we can afford to spend and need to to prevent future gun violence in America. And to prevent future attacks and suicides in our prison system which is exactly that right now a prison system. Which is different then a correctional system, I mean just think about that. What does correctional mean, it come from correct or vice versa but if you have a correctional system. The idea is that you are setting up a system to correct things and when you are talking about prisons as part of a correctional system. And the idea of sending offenders there, you are talking about correcting people. Correcting bad behavior, criminal behavior people who have done harm on society either intentionally or just by being. Irresponsible but for the most part and there are are exceptions like in Texas and Louisiana, two states not exactly known for being. Progressive that do have correctional systems and try to correct the bad behaviors of their prison inmates.

For the most part in the United States we have a prison system. The worst you behave in prison, the worst you are treated to the point where its at least borderline inhumane. Basically no contact with the outside world, even family or even with other inmates where the only people you see. If you are in extreme isolation, are guards, maybe the warden who may check on you or a captain. No sunlight, food if you want to call it that, that dogs might have a hard time eating and would avoid. You are in a bare cell basically all day with nothing to do but to look at walls and perhaps hope that someone comes by. To check on you or even tell you the time of day or what the day is and so fourth. Instead of having a system where inmates that have serious mental or behavioral problems, get the treatment. That they need like in a hospital to prevent them from making horrible decisions that land them in isolation in the first place.

No one responsible in this debate is saying that prison should be a pleasant place where people would want. To live but it has to be humane and serve as a vehicle for people who have to be there to be able to make. Productive lives for themselves so they are no longer threats to society or other inmates. And isolation cells would be a place to start for inmates who need to be isolated until their behavior. Improves to the point where they don't want to attack people and get in fights because now they can control. Their anger and these cell blocks could serve as rehab centers for inmates who have temper and behavioral. Problems and get the inmates who need it into to mental hospitals or wards instead.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

AlterNet: Hard Times USA: Don Hazen: Would You Consider Thinking Differently About Poverty in America

Hard Times, USA: Would You Consider Thinking Differently About Poverty and Poor and Homeless People? | Alternet

Looks like the AlterNet a Progressive-Socialist magazine is going to start a series in the next few weeks about poverty in America. Including homelessness in America which is where I believe it should start because someone can't be any more poor then not having a place to live. Or living in shelters and this gives me the idea that maybe I should start a series like this for this blog. Because poverty in America is something I definitely blog about and think about a lot and even have a section dedicated to it.

I love America and I'm sure I always will and there's definitely no other country in the World I rather live. And do consider America to be the greatest country in the World and do believe in a thing called. America except that there's something great about America that separates us from the rest of the World. And why so many countries in the World have moved away from Authoritarianism to some type of. Democracy including now even in Arabia where the popular notion there use to be was that Democracy was still a long ways away. And that if anything Arabs favor military Authoritarianism or Theocracy over freedom. But we are certainly not perfect and don't do everything well as a country or we wouldn't have roughly fifty million Americans living in poverty in the richest country in the World. And this doesn't mean our government is not big enough or we are under taxed at least the overwhelming majority of the country. Or we aren't Socialist enough but that we haven't developed an economic system even in our 237th year of. Existence that empowers enough Americans to be successful life to not have to worry about losing their homes or living in poverty or going homeless.

Its not that we aren't Socialist enough but that we aren't Liberal enough in the classical sense. Where as many Americans as possible and again we'll never have a perfect economic system. But we don't have that system that can move millions of people out of poverty every year and liberates them off of. Public assistance and gives the same freedom to live their own lives that the rest of the country lives. I agree that we don't spend enough money on public assistance in America but the bigger problem is how we. Spend that money that except for Welfare Insurance and Unemployment Insurance to a certain extent. That we don't for the most part have a public assistance system that actually moves people out of poverty. That instead our policy has been, house the homeless, feed the hungry, clothe the clotheles. Instead of how we can help these people so they can take care of these things for themselves. But thats not all, why do we have so many people who have to live off of public assistance in the first place. Which is another problem.

Other reasons why we have so many people living in poverty in America. One of them having to do with our economic system and the other gets to individual responsibility. But the first problem has to do with our public education system, so if we fixed that we could solve two problems. By correctly reforming one system. We don't produce enough high skilled workers in this country and we have young adults who simply make bad decisions as adolescents. Falling into the wrong crowd, drinking too soon, making bad decisions as a result, getting into the criminal justice system. Which makes it real hard for them to get a good education and job after that. Having kids too soon and walking out on their kids, especially young fathers after they've already given their babies life.

These are some of the issues that needs to be addressed to have a complete and adequate report on poverty in America. So the country is not only aware of what the problems are but also what we should do about them to finally solve these problems. And if I don't see a report like this in this upcoming series, I'll write it myself.

Monday, February 4, 2013

RT: Video: Obamacare: "Not What the Doctor Ordered": The Challenges For Healthcare Reform Going Forward

Assuming the entire Affordable Care Act goes through, within ten years we are going to go from fifty millions uninsured Americans in this country. To thirty million which will still leave a big gap to fill but will be serious progress from where we are now. But even if wee do close the remaining twenty million gap with further healthcare reform down the line. With something like a public option, allowing non senior citizens to pay into Medicare. Something like that or requiring as well as allowing states to set up their own version of Medicare to deal with the. Uninsured but even if we do something like that, that won't take care of the other problems with our. Healthcare system which basically gets to the costs of it, yes having more people insured in this country. And paying for their own healthcare and having less people if any receiving so called free healthcare in America. That alone will bring down our healthcare costs but as long as we have preventable diseases like obesity and diabetes running up our. Healthcare costs and we don't have enough doctors to take care of the new patients with the expansion of health insurance in this. Country we aren't going to bring down our healthcare costs sufficiently.

Too many people in this country live unhealthy and I wouldn't have a problem with that. I wouldn't like that but the main problem with unhealthy living. Is an economic one because people who choose not to eat and diet right and not exercise properly. End up passing their healthcare costs onto people who live healthy because the unhealthy people end up picking up. Diseases and conditions that are very expensive to deal with. Like heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, various forms of cancer and so fourth. End up in the emergency room a lot which adds to the healthcare costs of everyone else so we need to break this cycle. And we need to bring individual responsibility to this situation for people who choose to live unhealthy. And we need more healthcare professionals, hospitals and clinics so we have a large enough. Healthcare industry to deal with all of the new patients that will be coming into the system thanks to. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 legislation that I still support today.

Healthcare reform is one of the reasons why I launched FRSFreeStates back in 2009. Because I knew along with the economy that it would be the driving issue of that year. And I had already put together a rough draft of what healthcare reform would look like if I wrote the bill. If President Barack Obama assigned Erik Schneider from Bethesda, Maryland instead of the. United States Congress to write the healthcare reform bill. And the plan I put together is still up on this blog in the healthcare reform section and this is an issue I've been thinking about for a. While now and in that original plan I put down some ideas for preventive care and moving past sick care. In the areas of having people who choose to live unhealthy pay for the costs themselves of living unhealthy. With taxes on junk food and drink, alcohol and tobacco as well, as well as getting junk food and drink out of public schools and other public buildings in. This country and another plan to build more hospitals, clinics and recruit more healthcare professionals.

I've already laid out things I would like to do in healthcare reform and I would go further with reforming Medicare and Medicaid. So they are no longer compensating hospitals and doctors by the amount of healthcare they provide but by how healthy their patients are instead. But even we solve those problems as well, we still have a shortage of healthcare professionals. Doctors and nurses as well as hospitals and clinics in this country. So what I would like to do is to build off of the United Public Health Service, separate the Health and Human Services. Into two Federal departments, US Department of Human Services which would manage or oversee social insurance in this country. And have a US Department of Health which would manage our health and science research, like the NIH to use as an example. As well as oversee the hospitals and clinics in this country. But then create a new organization that would be non profit and if anything run independently of the Federal Government or allow each state to. Set up their own system of public hospitals and clinics in this country.

One of the reasons why we need comprehensive immigration reform in this country. Is because we simply don't have enough professionals, healthcare perfect example of that. And even we are successful with real education reform in this country, we are still probably ten years down. The line where we would see real progress in that area where we could produce enough professionals on our own. And not have to import anymore so we need knew healthcare professionals in this country and it starts with comprehensive immigration reform. But we have to go further with that and recruit more Americans to work in the healthcare industry. To be doctors and nurses and we need to build more hospitals, clinics and medical schools. Even have a national university for healthcare like we have with the military and get more doctors. And nurses in this country. And something like a US Healthcare Service would help with that.

Austin Millbarge: A Grace Kelly Tribute

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

Grace Kelly was one of those special women who had the best of all worlds at least physically. One of the most gorgeous, as well as adorable women whose ever lived to go along with a nice body. And the only problem is that she died way too soon at fifty-three.The American Princess I believe is the best and most accurate nickname that you can give Amazing Grace, because that is what she was, even if informally. Because that is how she presented herself and how she carried herself. This gorgeous baby-face adorable women, with an incredible voice and personality, as well as intelligence and humor to go with those other qualities. And feeling for other people, that she wasn’t the only important person on the planet. And that all people mattered and were important also.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Steven M: RFK Assassination as it Happened

Steven M: RFK Assassination as it Happened

Its pretty clear why President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He was a strong liberal cold warrior, strong anti-Communist, who wanted Fidel Castro out of power in Cuba even by force. Who was a strong warrior against organized crime as well, despite having connections with that community. But his brother Bobby, pushed strong against the Italian Mafia in America and he supported him. Communists and organized criminals, saw Jack Kennedy as a threat to him. But one of the tragedies of the RFK Assassination, was that there wasn't any clear motive or reason. For why Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.

RFK was murdered by Sirhan Sirhan a Palestinian living, or staying in America. Senator Kennedy, didn't have any strong, or controversial positions towards the Israeli-Palestinian issues. Senator Kennedy's, main focus when it came to foreign affairs had to do with the Vietnam War. Where he was one of the strongest critics of it. A war that Sirhan didn't have much if any position on it, at least not a position he made public. Both Kennedy assassinations were definite tragedies, but I believe for different reasons. And I'm not saying one was more tragic than the other, but they were different. To focus on Bobby Kennedy, he at least at the time as a Senator represented what became the New-Left in America. As someone who was anti-war, but I don't believe he was ever as Far-Left as the New-Left.

The New-Left, a social democratic, or even communist  movement in some circles in America. That was anti-war and big believers in social insurance and what government could do for the people as it related to social welfare. Big believers in the New Deal and Great Society and if anything would've gone much further. But what separated Bob Kennedy from most of the New-Left, Students for a Democratic Society and others, was that Kennedy had a healthy amount of realism to go with his idealism. And believed that America still had a long way to go to create what Social Democrats call a just society. But Senator Kennedy also understood what could be done and worked under that.

I consider Bobby Kennedy to be the first responsible member of the New-Left social democratic movement in America. It would be Robert Kennedy or Dr. Martin King people who understood what needed to be done in America. But also understood what can get done and that fighting the good fight and not winning is not always the best course of action. That being a Progressive is also about making progress and is something that Progressives need more of today.

The Daily Beast: This Week In Punditry, February 3rd, 2013

Three Big Assholes
The Daily Beast: This Week In Punditry, February 3rd, 2013

This week in punditry. Lets see where should I start. Well we just had a week with plenty of punditry in it, oh you want more than that. Not sure why, but here it is if you want it, you’ve been warned. Well we had a Secretary of State step down, because she has better things to do than manage our foreign policy. I know right, what’s more important than that. Well she has another book to write and needs to decide if she wants to be President of the United States, or not. Wait, that’s more important , but of course its her decision.

And I wish Secretary Hillary Clinton well with her new Gabby Giffords look in how she where’s her glasses. And I congratulate her with her service to the country the last four years by leaving Congress and not running for President and taking on President Obama. And the Democratic Party thanks her for that as well. Lets see what else happened, oh yeah we had a Secretary of Defense confirmation hearing, as if it’s not interesting enough that we would have a Liberal Democrat nominate a Conservative Republican for Secretary of Defense. But the fact that Chuck Hagel forgot to put caffeine in his morning coffee, or forgot to go to bed the night before and forgot to bring his memory, because not all of Chuck Hagel was at that hearing.

Did I also mention that Fox News claimed to be a serious news organization. No seriously I know when have they ever reported any news at all and that Fox News still remains the most trusted name in news. Well for the Republican Party anyway, but don’t take that very seriously. Because they also believe that it’s still 1955 and that President Ronald Reagan never raised any taxes. And that homosexuality was invented ten years ago and that Barack Obama is an African Muslim Socialist from Kenya. So take all of that for what its worth, borrow a dollar if you have to. Or use that money to actually buy something of value. But Fox News is as much of a news organization as Pat Robertson is a supporter of gay rights in America. And to be fair MSNBC is not much of a news organization either, but two cable networks that serve as mouthpieces for the two major political party’s in America.

What else happened this week. Oh yes Rush Limbaugh who apparently still hasn’t died from a heart attack yet, declared that since the mainstream media won’t cover the real news in America, you know anything negative towards Barack Obama and other Democrats and if you can’t find something, make something up, because of course there’s always negative info about Democrats. It just hasn’t been found yet, that if the mainstream media doesn’t do a job on Democrats, that Rush and his allies will.

Rush Limbaugh is about as much of a reporter as Ron Paul is a Socialist, it’s simply not believable. But the good thing for Rush is that as much as he may hate it, as well as the rest of the country may hate having Rush living in America, he lives in a liberal democracy with freedom of speech and beliefs. Thats the way it is as Walter Cronkite the famous CBS News anchor always said to close the Evening News. A big week for a lot of people and more evidence of why we need to fully fund mental health care in America. And have a better public education system with all of the nutty and ignorant people we have on both sides of the aisle.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

RT: Video: UK Tax Chaos: Govt Raising Twice as Many Taxes As it Cuts

If you don't think British taxes are already too high, check this video out.

Bruce FF: Caterina Balivo in Skinny Denim Jeans in Boots

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal Plus

Considering I have no idea who the hell Caterina Balivo is, other than she is a beautiful sexy Italian women from Italy, not Italian-American at least born in America, she is obviously a very attractive women appearing here I guess on Italian TV. Not as curvy as say as the traditional Italian women American or otherwise. Sophia Loren comes to mind, perhaps the goddess of goddess’ and perhaps the best looking women of all-time at least in her prime. But still a very attractive women obviously and definitely worth checking out in her skinny denims in boots. Very popular in Europe and perhaps especially in Italy where the dress code for women is a bit more liberal than it is in America. And you even see newscasters sporting the jeans in boots look there. Claudia Kleinert in Germany is a perfect example of that.