Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Daily Beast: Opinion- Brian Riedl: 'We're $16 Trillion in The Hole- Democrats Want To Burry Us $42 Trillion Deeper'

Source:The Daily Beast- Uncle Sam's, according to Socialists 
Source:The New Democrat

The Democratic Party is clearly not just moving Left, at least at the activist and grassroots level, but I would argue they're moving Far-Left. It would be one thing if Democrats were moving from let's say from St. Louis to Kansas City, because as a Center-Left Liberal I could probably live with that. But it's more like Democrats are moving from St. Louis to San Francisco, or at least Las Vegas or Phoenix.

Not ready to call Democrats Communists, yet ( because others have beat me to it ) but we're no longer talking about a Center-Left Progressive party when people like Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Martin O'Malley, and many others are viewed as moderates when they all have long histories inside of the Democratic Party pushing for and believing in Progressive Democratic causes. Everything from civil rights, to infrastructure, to labor rights, advocating for the middle class and empowering the poor.

The Democratic Party today, is what the Green Party was 20 years ago and still is today and is vastly becoming a social democratic at least, ( if not democratic socialist party ) that may seem mainstream in Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, or New York City, but look like flaming Socialists to a lot of the rest of the country. And when a political party moves left, they tend to believe in new government spending more, including more social programs and expanding the welfare state, have more belief in what central government planning can do for the people and less concern with the costs of their new programs.

Social Democrats or Democratic Socialists, ( let's calls them )  that the national debt and budget deficits aren't important, because their new investments will payoff anyway. And even if our fiscal situation is a problem like a trillion-dollar deficit and 20 trillion-dollar debt, they could just tax rich ( as if that's never been tried before ) or gut the defense budget. Of course having no idea where to gut the defense budget anyway, since Democratic Socialists tend not to believe in national defense and have this hippie or Nordic way of looking at national defense anyway.

And as a result we now have a Democratic presidential field where every leftist candidate at least is trying to become the next Bernie Sanders Socialist and win the nomination by trying to out promise ( or out pander ) or I at least would argue out socialist everyone else including Bernie Sanders. By trying to play Santa Clause to every young Democrat they can find in every college town that they can find and promise them all this new so-called free stuff in order to win the nomination and the hell with the deficit and national debt.

Which is what can happen when you have no many young idealistic voters who believe that government can do all these things for the people and aren't mature and responsible enough to ask basic questions ( that might sound insulting to Socialists ) like, "how much will this cost me?" Or, "how will you pay for all these new programs?" Which is the state of the Democratic presidential race right now, the more government spending, the merrier and we'll worry about the costs later on after we're all out of politics and government.
Source:Now This News: 'How Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren Plan To Raise Trillions in New Tax Revenue'- Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Politico Magazine: Derek Robertson- 'How Howard Schultz Created a Personality Cult at Starbucks'

Source:POLITICO Magazine- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz 
Source:The Daily Review

I'm not interested in Howard Schultz's so-called potential independent presidential run at least for this piece, but more interested in what he created not just with Starbucks, but the broader pop culture in America. Starbucks, really since the late 1990s or so is not just just a coffee house, but it's a fashion statement and status update. Americans, especially yuppies and hipsters not just like Starbucks coffee, but feel the need to be seen liking that coffee and feel the need to have everyone know that they like that coffee and go to if not Starbucks on a regular basis, perhaps some other popular coffee house in their community.

Starbucks cups are not just coffee cups, but their fashion statements. Hipsters and yuppies feel the need to not just walk down the street holding their Starbucks cup or another coffee house cup, even if their cup is empty, but feel the need to be seen either on their phone or looking at their phone, even if they're not actually speaking to anyone or don't have any latest texts or voice mails that they haven't seen or listen to yet, while holding their coffee house cup at the same time.

Coffee house coffee whether it's Starbucks or any other coffee, is to America and American pop culture, what tobacco was in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s before Americans figured out how addicting and how bad tobacco was for you. Except coffee house coffee and coffee you get at your local bakery or on the street, is a helluva lot better for you than tobacco and alcohol even. So you have a lot of hipsters and yuppies in America who know it's not only cool to drink and be seen with coffee house coffee, but it's not nearly as bad for you as tobacco or alcohol.

Starbucks, is not just a coffee house, but like with new technology especially smart phones they're ways of living. It's a way of life for them and way for people to be popular. "Look at Joe and Mary, they not only have the latest smartphone that just came out an hour ago, but they're in touch with the latest celebrity news stories and scandals, addicted to reality TV, and are addicted to Starbucks coffee and coffee houses as much as we are. Even know every single Starbucks drink by heart. They must be as awesome as we are." Which is how Starbucks customers, hipsters, and yuppies want to be seen. And Howard Schultz, is a big reason for this coffee house culture that we've been living with in America for the last 20 years or so. Whether he deserves credit or blame for that, I'll let you be the judge.
Source:60 Minutes: Scott Pelley- Howard Schultz: When He Was Starbucks Star - Howard Schultz, before he was a  narcissistic wannabe politician 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CBS: CSI Las Vegas- Behind The Scenes: Willows in The Wind- Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows

Source:TV- Marg Helgenberger's, last episode on CSI Las Vegas 
Source:Action

I'm glad that Elizabeth Shue, is on CSI Las Vegas now and has been for the last eight seasons now, but they lost a lot when both William Peterson left during the 2009 season and when Marg Helgenberger left three years later. It's still a great show and I would hate to see either Elizabeth Shue or Ted Danson leave at this point, but it would nice to see all four together. Maybe Bill Peterson, gets appointed as Chief of Police or something and Marg gets his old job as the director of the crime lab. Liz Shue, comes in as her deputy. Maybe Ten Danson comes in as a big shot Las Vegas District Attorney and not just one of the prosecutors in that office, but the actual DA.

Source:Rabbia Groxa- Marg Helgenberger's, last episode on CSI Las Vegas 
Losing Bill Peterson and Marg and bringing in Ted Danson and Liz Shue, is like treading two great basketball players for two other great basketball players, where neither team gets nay additional value. It's like trading one great center for another great center. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, for Moses Malone, ( for any of you old school NBA fans that might still be alive today, or at least willing to admit that there was an NBA before 2000 ) if anything losing Marg Helgenberger on that show is a real loss, regardless of who you replace her with. Great to see Liz Shue on Las Vegas, I just think the show would be better with her as an addition, instead of replacing one great lead actress with another.

Source:WENY- The original cast of CSI Las Vegas 
The Catherine Willows character had this sort of shy and quiet disposition and yet she could be pretty witty and was was always tough and as Ted Danson said about her, "you knew she was a leader from her presence alone." The Fin character, ( played by Elizabeth Shue ) is a very open, witty , always has a smile on her face character, who like Catherine ( played by Marg Helgenberger ) is very dedicated, very smart, and is generally much tougher than her adorable disposition lets on. Liz Shue, is the perfect action/comedic or dramatic/comedy actress where she always finds herself  in very serious situations, but always finds the lighter side in them. As Marg said in this video, she's leaving the show, but it's possible that she'll be back doing guess appearances. And this video was done back in early 2012 when she left CSI Las Vegas and has already been back on the show. It would just be nice if she came back permanently in a new role like Chief of Police or something.
Source:CBS: CSI Las Vegas- Behind The Scenes: Willows in The Wind - Marg Helgenberger, on CSI Las Vegas 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Daily Beast: Opinion- Michael Tomasky: 'A 70% Percent Tax Rate Isn't Radical- Alexandria O. Cortez Has It Just Right'

Source:The Daily Beast- U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D, New York - self-described Democratic Socialist 
Source:The New Democrat

What Michael Tomasky failed to mention here ( and perhaps intentionally ) is that back in the 1950s and 70s when we had high tax rates of 70 and 91%, no one especially the rich were actually paying that much in taxes, because of all the loopholes, as well as the wealthy investing money oversees to avoid taxation. Hell, if I was making 10 million dollars or more a year or anywhere near that, I would be doing the same thing. Along with making large contributions to charity, to avoid the taxes, but also to help people who need it that I can afford to help. The reason why these people weren't paying such high tax rates, is because of all the loopholes that were in the tax code in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s..

In 1986 thanks to the tax reform act of that year that was passed out of a divided Congress with a Democratic House and Republican Senate that worked with President Ronald Reagan and his Administration to pass, taxes were lower across the board and loopholes were closed. So people were paying lower tax rates, but weren't getting as much money back in credits and loopholes. That's not what freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is talking about here and what Michael Tomasky is talking about here either. They would go in the opposite direction and raise the two top tax rates to 60 and 70% with no new loopholes.

So in theory the IRS would be getting a lot more money in new tax revenue from the wealthy, but that's assuming the very rich have brain freezes and forget that they can just invest a lot of more money oversees or just go north of the border to Canada and spend and invest their money there. The first 9 million or so of their earnings every year to get Uncle Sam out of their wallets and bank accounts. Which would leave Uncle Sam with a big hole, because of course none of this so-called new revenue that he would be charging his wealthy nephews and nieces would be used to pay down his huge debts and deficits, but instead invested in new Federal programs, or new investments in current programs. Leaving Uncle Sam and his nephews and nieces a bigger national debt and deficit to pay off. Which would be paid off in new interest payments on the debt, or in higher inflation.

The problem with Socialists and socialism in general ( even if Socialists want to call themselves democratic or not ) is that they always have the same old solution to every problem that they see and what they call income inequality is a perfect example of that. Their solution to every problem that they see is always what they call new revenue. ( Washington speak for tax increases ) They see that the wealthy which are probably 10% of the population at this point has all this money and then you have roughly 1-5 Americans who live in poverty and if you look at parts of rural America 2nd or 3rd world poverty, as well as in some inner cities. And then you 1-2 Americans or so that are technically middle class and aren't eligible for public assistance, but only make enough money to cover their current bills, if they're healthy and aren't able to save or invest any of their income and are a paycheck away from being on public assistance themselves. So their prescription to this economic disease to to tax the wealthy more and give that money to Uncle Sam to take care of this nephews and nieces that are struggling.

The problem with American capitalism has always been that we've always been a country where maybe 1-10 Americans are doing very well economically, who make a lot of money to the point that they can afford to invest and save a lot and then you have about 1-5 Americans who live in deep poverty, who are undereducated and even if they're working are dependent on public assistance and private charity just to survive in life. And you have this large middle class which generally is a good thing in any country to have a large middle class, but where maybe 1-2 of those Americans might only be middle class because they make too much money to be eligible for public assistance, but can't afford to invest and save and struggle just to pay their bills.

The problem with American capitalism has never been that we have too many rich people, but that we have too much poverty and too many working class people who struggle just to get by. The problem with American capitalism is that we've never had enough rich people, or economically successful people even if they're aren't millionaires as far as their annual income, but have a good deal of money in savings and even have investments. And if you're someone who believes that the income gap ( as I call it ) is a big problem in America as I do as a Liberal, you should be thinking about how to empower people on the low-end of the economical scale to make more money. To have better jobs so they're no longer struggling just to pay their bills or live in poverty, but instead are making a good income that comes with benefits and allows them to invest and save. Instead going to play 1 ( and perhaps the only play in the socialist playbook ) of always trying to take from the rich to take care of people who are struggling.
Source:Now This News: Jackson C. Davis- 'Why Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's 70% Tax Rate Isn't Radical'- According to Jackson C. Davis