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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

US Senator Jim DeMint: Why Republicans Must Become More Libertarian: The Return to Goldwater/Reagan Conservatism for The GOP

Its interesting to hear Senator Jim DeMint say that the Republican Party should be more Libertarian. When just a couple years ago he said that adultery and Flag Burning should be illegal, you couldn't be much of a Libertarian and I would even argue a Conservative, if you believe in conserving Freedom. And have positions like that but having said that Senator DeMint is correct and perhaps he's changing some of his Far Right Neoconservative positions. Politically the way the United States is headed both politically and demographically, the GOP has be more Conservative and Libertarian. Move away from Religious and Neoconservatism and get back to Goldwater/Reagan Conservatism and get back to being a party thats about Individual Freedom and not just Economic Freedom. And Religious Freedom for Christians but Individual Freedom in general, because as the Republican Party has moved more to the right, the rest of the country has become more Liberal-Libertarian. The Ron Paul Movement thats made up of a lot of young voters, is a perfect example of that, as well as Gary Johnson's reach out to young voters and not just Libertarians but also Liberal Democrats such as myself. As well as Libertarian Republicans, the ones that remain.

Politically and demographically the way America is moving, for the Republican Party to remain a major Political Party. They have to change course on where they've been on Social Issues, the last twenty years ago, stop trying to tell Americans how to live their own lives. As long as they are not hurting people with what they are doing, stop trying to control how people live their lives. If you are going to be a States Rights Party, then you don't believe the Federal Government should be involved in marriage, a lot of Republicans now want Constitutional Amendments. To ban Same Sex Marriage and pornography, that the States should be making these decisions, I believe you can be a good Conservative and be Pro Life depending on why you are Pro Life. And if the goal is to limit abortions and present women with more choices in what to do about unwanted pregnancies, then great talk about those things instead and the idea that Tax Payers shouldn't fund abortions. Then the goal of limiting abortions will be accomplished anyway. To use as an example.

A lot of Americans I believe especially young people who are now in the Private Sector, running or owning a business. Like Republicans when they talk about the need for Economic Freedom and Balance Budgets and cutting debt and deficits. But they don't want to be told how to live their lives, especially by government and thats the future of the GOP if they want to be a viable force, combining Economic Freedom with Social Freedom.

Monday, July 30, 2012

CBS Evening News 1987: Dan Rather vs George H.W. Bush Showdown: George Bush Standing up Against The "Liberal Media"

When Vice President George H.W. Bush went on the CBS Evening News in the winter of 1987/88. When it wasn't a certainty that Vice President Bush was going to win the 1988 Republican Presidential Nomination. When he was still in tough a battle for the Presidential Nomination with Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, he used this opportunity to try to convince Conservative Republicans. That he wasn't a wimp as Newsweek called him just 3-4 years later, that he was willing and would take on what Right Wingers call the "Liberal Media" and Dan Rather was one of their biggest targets. They always saw Dan Rather as a closet Liberal Democrat who was out to bring down or at least make Republicans look bad, the Right Wing has pretty much hated Dan Rather and perhaps CBS News in general, since the Nixon Presidency and their coverage of the Watergate Scandal. And saw it as unfair or whatever and what Vice President Bush was doing with this interview with Dan Rather. Who at the time was the anchor of the CBS Evening News, was an attempt to convince Republicans that he was tough enough to take on what they call the "Liberal Media", as well as Democrats.

Iran-Contra was still a big deal in late 1987 and early 1988 and as Vice President, George Bush was clearly involved in this situation and had knowledge of it. He was President Reagan's top deputy, his Chief Counselor on Policy and perhaps even his Chief Operating Officer. And even if Vice President Bush didn't have much knowledge of this situation, which I doubt, then that would mean. As number two Ranking Officer in the Federal Government, that he was out of the loop in perhaps the most important Political Scandal of the Reagan Administration. Whether this was or wasn't what this interview was suppose to be about with Dan Rather, thats why Rather wanted to talk about it. And Bush knew this and used it as an opportunity to fight back against again what Right Wingers view as the "Liberal Media".

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Reason: John Blundell- Margaret Thatcher, Meryl Streep and The Iron Lady: Fact vs. Fiction

The Iron Lady-
This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Post

I saw the Iron Lady, the Meryl Streep bio movie about former United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher back in May. And I was expecting a great movie about one of the most important world leaders, in at least the last thirty years. And I was disappointed, I don’t believe this movie was intended for political junkies. Or even people who love history such as myself, whether its American history or world history. This movie was intended for people who love movies and feel the need to be entertained.

That consider the idea of learning about important historical events and people as not interesting enough to watch that type of thing or read about it. So they see a movie and hopefully its more dressed up for them and comes off as more and I hate this term to describe things like this, but as sexy. One credit I would give the Iron Lady and something that I was pleasantly surprised by, was that this movie didn’t try to make Maggie Thatcher look like some type of Conservative fool. Who was interested in selling out the interests of the country to private business interests and didn’t care about the needy and was always looking to go to war. I think Meryl Streep did a very good job of playing Maggie Thatcher as the person she was. And not some Hollywood Leftist vision of her.

To me, what stands out about Maggie Thatcher, who had about a twenty year career in the British Government in the UK Parliament, as Leader of the Opposition and then of course as Prime Minister, is all the important things in her career that they didn’t cover. They didn’t cover much of her as Leader of the Opposition and how she rose from that to be Prime Minister or. Her interactions with the UK Prime Minister. I believe they showed one Question Time performance, or her relationship with President Reagan, or, how she dealt with the Soviet Union. They covered a little bit of the Falkan Islands conflict with Argentina in 1982 and her attempts to cut the British debt and deficit. But about an hour of this movie was about her life post-Prime Ministership. Even though it’s as Prime Minister where she really made her impact, not only in Britain, but the world as well.

I thought that Meryl Streep did a very good job of playing Maggie Thatcher with the material that was given her. As far as what aspects of her life they covered. But no offense to Prime Minister Thatcher, this movie as far as appearances has a similar issue as the movie Game Change had with Sarah Palin. Except that I believe that Meryl Streep is too attractive, too cute and beautiful to play Maggie Thatcher. Whereas in Game Change, Julianne Moore is not attractive enough to play Sarah Palin, at least as far as I’m concern.

Friday, July 27, 2012

White House: "Justin Bieber Doesn't Need a Tax Cut: The Tax Cut Debate that The White House Wants to Have

Senate Democrats got a big victory this week by passing their Middle Class Tax Cut extension. That Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell decided not to block and told his caucus they should vote for cloture on it. Not because the Senate Republican Leader has decided now to become Mr. Nice Guy, I'm sure he's pleasant in person but Minority Leader McConnell did this for political reasons. To bring back that old charge that Democrats are only interested in Tax Hikes to fund new government spending and that they are so irresponsible that they are willing to raise taxes, even in a weak economy. Raise taxes on people who wouldn't miss or even notice that their taxes are a little higher then the previous year, because that money would probably not even be spent but put into savings or investments. Republicans don't want this to be about whether we should raise taxes on the rich or not but raising taxes on Small Business's, their claim that raising taxes on people making more then 250K$ a year. Even though their taxes would only go up on their income above 250K$, their first 250K$ would be taxed at the same level as it. Was during the Bush Administration , so it would still be lower then it was in the Clinton Administration. That somehow this would hurt Small Business's.

What Democrats at least the Democratic Leadership want this debate to be about and since almost every single Senate Republican. Voted against the Middle Class Tax Cut Extension this week, is that Republicans are against Middle Class Tax Cuts, because the Tax Cuts for the wealthy would expire under the Democratic plan. So this is basically a Class Warfare battle between Democrats who say they want to protect the Middle Class from Tax Hikes and extend those Tax Cuts. While being in favor of Tax Hikes on the wealthy to help pay down the debt and deficit, while Republicans claiming that they are in favor of extending the Tax Cuts for everyone. So nobody gets a Tax Hike in a weak economy, even though they voted against the Middle Class Tax Cuts this week. So Democrats have credibility over Senate Republicans because they've produced their plan and passed it out of the Senate and we'll see what House Republicans do later on.

Just the fact that Senate Republicans didn't block the Democratic Majority this time on the Middle Class Tax Cut Act. Tells me that Democrats now have the upper hand, that Mitch McConnell is worried about looking like an obstructer and is more interested in picking up seats in the Senate so he can become Senate Leader in the next Congress. Instead of running for a fourth term as Senate Minority Leader.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ex-Citi Chief: Split Up Big Banks: How to End Too Big to Fail

I agree its easy to say its time to break up big banks when a bank you use to run, is now not nearly as big as it use to be. And if anything you had a role making that company smaller like in the case of Citi Group but whether this is something that should've been done 3-4 years or ago or should be done today. We need to do this, we can't afford Too Big to Fail, where we have banks that are so large and so important to our economy, that if somehow they were to fall or fail. They can drag our economy with them, which is exactly what happened in 2008 and a big reason for the "Great Recession". That we are still trying to recover from that we are just a couple of months away from the four year anniversary of. Too Big to Fail is simply unaffordable which is why we need more competition in our Banking Industry, more Local Banks, I would argue State Banks even and even National Banks. As long as they aren't so big that they can bring down the economy when they fail. Meaning when a bank goes down, goes bankrupt or goes out of business, it would only effect the people who work there and their families and customers, which is bad enough. But it won't bring down the rest of the economy as well, like in 2008.

So what we should be doing is having more banks in this country, not nationalizing big banks. Which is what Progressives have been calling for but breaking them up the ones that are too big to fail, we also need more Community Banks and I would argue even Public Banks. So the States can set up their own banks that residents wouldn't be forced to do business with them but they would have that option. Of doing business with a Non Profit Bank that wouldn't be a monopoly but an option for people to do their banking with. They could even put some of their money in a State Bank and some of their other money in a National Bank thats private and could see for themselves. Which is a better bank for them and their families, as well as putting some money in a Community Bank and having a menu of options in how they do their banking. Which would be a hell of a lot better then Too Big to Fail.

You breakup Too Big to Fail Banks and we wouldn't have to create a National Bankruptcy Insurance System, that banks of a certain size would've been force to pay into. That they could collect from when they are in the danger of going under, which was considered back in 2010 as part of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform. We could just have a system or more banks and competition, instead of Too Big to Fail.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jack Hunter: Goodbye to Conservatism- Big Government Neoconservative Republicans

Jack Hunter the so-called Southern Avenger, is right again when he says that conservatism is not about fixing things. Or telling people how to live their lives, but that conservatism is about keeping or getting the Federal Government within the Constitution. Meaning that the Federal Government shouldn't be doing anything that's not laid out for it to do, or that it doesn't have the constitutional authority to do under the U.S. Constitution. When you think of conservatism, think again of Barry Goldwater and his book the Conscience of a Conservative, read that book.

And then read anything that has ever been written by Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann or Pat Buchanan and you'll see that conservative philosophy is based on the Conscience of a Conservative. That the Federal Government is too big and must be trimmed down, that big government is a threat to individual freedom. That people need more individual freedom to live their own lives and pay much less in taxes. And then read Rick Santorum or Commentary Magazine or the Washington Times editorial page, or Reverend Pat Robertson and you'll get an idea that Americans have too much freedom. Because of all the things that they want to ban and this freedom is hurting our national morality and security.

Conservatism in a political sense is literally about conserving freedom not subtracting from it. Which is one thing as a Liberal, is what I respect about it. Neoconservatives do believe in things like economic freedom and religious Freedom. (To a certain extent) Well religious freedom for Christians, especially Southern Baptists. But they also believe in conserving a certain way of life that's based in the 1950s, where homosexuality, pornography and racial, ethnic and religious minorities weren't prevalent in America.

And especially where today's New-Americans didn't vote in large numbers, like they do today. And vote overwhelmingly Democratic and see these people as threats to America. Michele Bachmann actually said the 'same-sex marriage is a threat to national security.' Perhaps her most infamous line of her brief presidential campaign. They don't believe in conserving individual freedom. But in conserving a certain way of life.

If the Republican Party was made up of mainly Conservatives with some Moderate Conservatives lets call them mixed in, then to me as a Liberal Democrat, the GOP wouldn't be nearly as dangerous or scary. Except that they would be a hell of a lot harder to beat. Because they would be people who are against high government spending and taxes, but also not interested in telling people who they can sleep with and marry and what they can watch on TV and listen to on the radio. But as a Neoconservative Party, we simply can't afford to have them in charge of the Federal Government. We found that out with the Bush Administration and have been paying for it ever since.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gary Johnson Libertarian Party Candidate for President with John Gizzi: How Gary Johnson could Affect The Presidential Election

Its good to see the Human Events who I consider to be a Neoconservative Publication, because even though they do talk about the importance of Economic and Religious Freedom. In the next post one of their writers will talk about the dangers of Gay Marriage or that any cuts in the Defense Budget. Will weaken our National Security but they do from time to time have Libertarian writers like John Stossel so they do have other voices other then Neoconservatives but its good to see them interview. Someone who doesn't come from the Tea Party side of the Political Spectrum, which in Gary Johnson's case is a perfect example of that, he's definitely not a Neoconservative but more of a Liberal-Libertarian and I say that because he can appeal to both Liberals and Libertarians. I see him as a Liberal Democrat like myself and if this were the 1920s, thats where he would be considered on the Political Spectrum. Someone who believes in Liberal Democracy and is against Big Government across the board, he reminds me of the 1940 Republican Presidential Nominee Wendell Willkie. Who also considered himself to be a Liberal and was a Democrat up until the 1930s with FDR's New Deal, that he saw as an encroachment on Individual Freedom.

I haven't seen polling that would suggest that but the person that Gary Johnson could take votes away from. Meaning votes that would otherwise go to either one contender or the other, is Barack Obama and here's why I believe that. Conservative Republicans, people who are actually Conservative, the establishment in the party, are going to vote for Mitt Romney. Aren't even going to consider Gary, because they believe that voting for Gary would hurt Mitt. Religious and Neoconservatives may not vote at all, because of Mitt's Mormonism and Mitt's religion is still his main drag. With Right Wingers but Liberal Democrats and I mean real Liberals may look at Gary. People such as myself that are fed up with the War on Drugs, the Patriot Act, Indefinite Detention. All things that President Obama at least officially supports, these are the voters that the President has to worry about, the President only came out in favor of Same Sex Marriage when he did, because his Vice President did.

Progressive Democrats would never vote for the Libertarian Party, because they see people like that as enemies of the Welfare State. And supporters of Corporate America and all of that but thanks to the Tea Party, they won't vote for a Progressive Party either, because they don't want the Tea Party to run the Federal Government. Which is exactly what will happen if they don't vote Democratic.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Reagan Foundation: 1980 Presidential Debate: Governor Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter

Even though the 1980 Presidential Election between former California Governor Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter turned into a landslide, with Ron Reagan winning something like 47-49 Sates, and with around 56% of the popular vote. and with Senate Republicans picking up eleven seats and winning control of the Senate for the first time since 1952, (these stats coming from doing too much research) I now have some of them locked in my memory not that I'm going to release any. But it didn't have to turn out that way. The first Presidential Debate between Ron Reagan and Jimmy Carter, was an opportunity for Governor Reagan to convince voters especially Independents, that he's not crazy.

Reagan, not looking to go to war with the Soviet Union, or anything like that. That he was a cool in the political sense, calm intelligent man that had core classical conservative beliefs. But that conservatism wasn't crazy and neither was he. And it was an opportunity for President Carter, really his last opportunity to show Americans, when this election was still close and have a chance to beat Reagan and put himself in position of winning the election. By giving Americans an alternative vision of where he would want to take America in a 2nd term. The difference between front running politicians and underdog politicians when it comes to political debates, is that the frontrunner tends to take a positive approach to the debate and just tries to sell themselves. "This is what I'll do if you elect, or reelect me."

The underdog politician, the one who's trailing in the election, tends to take the opposite approach. And decides, "the voters clearly don't like me and so what I have to do, is to convince voters that they should like my opponent even less." And then win the election by default and thats exactly what this debate had. Ron Reagan was clearly in cruise control and tried to make this debate a referendum. "You should vote for me because I will take this country in a different direction, much different from where we are going now, which is clearly not working." Whereas President Carter was on the attack almost the whole debate and trying to make it about Ron Reagan. The famous line in this debate is of course Ron Reagan saying in his closing statement, "saying are you better of today, then you were four years ago. Is the cost of living lower, are jobs more secure, have the taxes gone up, or down?" That sort of thing. People clearly didn't feel better off in 1980 than they did in 1976 and Reagan was successful in making this election a referendum on President Carter.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Craig Rintoul: Conrad Black- The Invincible Quest- Richard Nixon Biography

Richard Nixon, lived such a long, complicated and productive life with a lot of ups and downs, that writing one book about him, doesn't do him justice. Or the people justice who are interested in learning about him. Every time a new documentary, movie or book about Dick Nixon comes out, I at least look into them and a lot of times get a copy of them for myself. I have a few books about him and several documentaries about him as well.

This is a man that came from a loving home, but from basically nothing in Whittier, California, yet he ends up graduating from law school, having a good military record, Duke University, U.S. Representative by 33 in 1946 and famous in the House as a freshmen. U.S. Senator by 37, Vice Presidential nominee for Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 at 39. Vice President of the United States by 40, reelected Vice President in 1956. The first influential and important Vice President that Americans were actually familiar with. Republican nominee for President in 1960 at age 47, comes within 100,000 votes and Dick Daily in Chicago and LBJ in Texas of being elected President in 1960. Law partner in a major law firm after the Vice Presidency in the 1960s and Republicans turning him to run for President in 1967-68, after what he did for Congressional Republicans in 1966.

All of the chapters that I've mentioned about Dick Nixon's life, all are worth a book about them and his life. Nixon's life wasn't just about ups and downs and hot and cold, but about one of the most important figures that we've ever had in American history. His foreign policy dealing with our opponents so we can influence them and their people, instead of ignoring them. Like with Russia and China and was 15-20 years ahead of its time and considered mainstream today. Another fascinating thing about Dick Nixon, was it was very difficult to define his politics.

Somewhat liberal-progressive on economic Policy, pushing Welfare to Work over twenty years ahead of its time. The Affordable Care Act gets a lot of its roots from the Nixon health care bill in 1974. President Nixon was pushing energy independence in 1973 well before it became popular. A Conservative on national security and a Conservative Internationalist on foreign policy. Its hard to box him in. If you are going to try to write a bio about Richard Nixon, first you should try to get the whole story. Instead of trying to write the Defense of Richard Nixon or a hatchet job, which a lot of books about him are. And then if you want to write he whole story about Nixon, you should write a series about him. Otherwise you are looking at writing thousands and thousands of pages into one book, assuming you do an accurate job.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

NGC The Final Report: The Story Behind Watergate: The Dumbest Political Scandal in American History

When I think of dumb Political Scandals in American History, Watergate is always the first one that comes to my mind. Because it was so unnecessary, President Nixon beat Senator George McGovern with over 60% of the Popular Vote and won forty nine States and this landslide had nothing to do with Watergate as far as what the Watergate men were after. It also had nothing to do with the Presidential Election, because it was still a new story and the Nixon Coverup of the scandal wasn't apparent yet. To the people or even the media, Senator McGovern tried to make a big deal about it but what else could he of done, he was down from anywhere between 15-20 points in the polls. And wasn't gaining any traction anywhere, he was losing in perhaps all fifty States, this scandal was completely unnecessary that any person who was healthy mentally, would never come up with this brain dead idea of breaking into the Opposition Parties National Headquarters, a party that was floundering, divided and in debt. The Watergate Scandal was also tragic because without and it would've depended on how the rest of President Nixon's 2nd term would've gone but he could've easily of gone down as a great President, the best since Harry Truman. Especially for what President Nixon accomplished in Foreign Policy.

Richard Nixon is not responsible for the Watergate Breakin happening but he was responsible for covering up this scandal and doing it from the White House. He's clearly guilty of Obstruction of Justice probably on multiple fronts and another thing that makes this scandal so sad. Is President Nixon was also a very accomplished and very successful lawyer and probably knew a lot better then to coverup a scandal like this.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Freedom is the Only Solution: How Today's Republicans and Democrats have Moved Away from Freedom

If there's one thing that Liberals such a myself and Conservatives like the late Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan's can agree on. Is that freedom is the answer and Statism, whether it comes from the left or right is the problem, that free adults have the Constitutional Right to live their own lives. Without government interfering with how we live our lives, as long as we are not abusing innocent people or hurting them. That use to be what Conservatism and Liberalism were about in America and to me at they still are, I don't by terms like "Modern Conservatism", which is basically Neoconservatism, a form of Right Wing Statism that today dominates the Republican Party. Or "Modern Liberalism", which is Progressivism which is very influential in today's Democratic Party. This is not Conservatism or Liberalism but different Political Ideologies, Conservatism and Liberalism are both about freedom. How to protect it for the people who already have it and how to expand it for the people who don't have it but deserve it. Which gets to economic opportunity, how to empower Low Income people take the next step up and get themselves out of poverty.

This is what freedom is about which is what today's Neoconservative Republicans and Progressive Democrats don't understand. Neoconservatives want to take America back to the 1950s and protect what they see as the American Way of Life, where we weren't as free and where American Democracy didn't work a well for all Americans, just the special few. And Progressives instead of protecting and expanding freedom want the Federal Government to have more power to take care of Americans for themselves. And protect us from ourselves and that usually gets to money, making sure we don't have too much of our own money to spend as they would see it. And use our own money to take care of us but also to a certain extent when it come to Social Issues, Statists Progressives. Don't want us to be able gamble our own money, make too much on the Stock Market and tell us how we can eat and drink and not be able to hurt other peoples feelings, that is people they care about.

Neoconservatives don't tend to speak in terms like freedom, except when it comes to Economic Freedom and Religious Freedom for Christians. If you are a Neoconservative and Progressives tend to speak in terms of Europe, this is how its done in Europe, they don't seem to have a problem with less freedom over there. And it seems to work, which is why we should be like them, which is neither Conservatism or Liberalism.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Grover Norquist Schools Liberal Media On Obstructionist Charges": Why Grover is Losing Credibility on Taxes

When even Republicans like Senator Tom Coburn, easily one of the top Fiscal Conservatives in Congress, as far as his consistency. Says that Grover Norquist the head of Americans for Tax Reform, an anti Tax Hike group based in Washington, thats famous at least in Washington for their No Tax Pledge. That is if Members of Congress agree not to vote for Tax Hikes, they won't oppose them in their next reelection, says that Grover has too much influence in the Republican Party. Then we should listen to Senator Coburn, who's never voted for a Tax Hike in his entire time in Congress, both House and Senate, now thirteen years or so. You take Grover out of the picture in the Republican Party, Deficit Reduction become fairly simple both politically and what needs to be done. It would similar to what was done in 1986, 1990, 1993 and 1997, cutting back in areas that we don't need to spend as much on, reforming things that we need to work better so we don't have to spend as much money on them. And a combination of either Tax Reform or Tax Hikes on people who can afford to pay more but done in a way that doesn't hurt Economic Growth or a combination of both. Thats how you get o Deficit Reduction but both sides have to pay a price or we are not going to accomplish it.

This is something that both Senator Coburn and Senator Lamar Alexander both understand, neither one of them would be mistaken for Progressives when it comes to the Federal Budget. Both understand and have said so both publicly, that neither one of them wants to raise taxes on anyone. But they know the problem is so big, that we are so deep in debt and are now running around a 2T$ annual Budget Deficit, that just targeting 15% of the Federal Budget, won't solve the problem. That we need better Economic Growth, more people working and paying taxes and we need more revenue, through either Tax Reform or Tax Hikes on people who can afford to pay more. Or a combination of both, just ten years ago we had a National Debt of around 4T$, ten years later we are over 16T$, thats more then 1T$ a year in new Debt, we've simply borrowed too much money as a country and need to start paying it back.

Its people like Senators Coburn and Alexander that tell me that some type of Grand Bargain, that includes savings in the Defense Budget. Reforming the Entitlement System, especially reforming the Federal Government as a whole to make it more efficient, as well as a combination of new revenue, through better Economic Growth, Tax Reform and Tax Hikes on people who can afford to pay them. Is why we may see a deal between Democrats and Republicans on Deficit Reduction next year.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vice President Biden: "This ain't your Father's Republican Party: The Now Neoconservative GOP

Vice President Joe Biden was dead on when he told the NAACP Convention that today's GOP "aint your father's Republican Party". I'm old enough to remember most of Ronald Reagan's Presidency, I remember him being elected President in 1980 and I remember the last two years of the Jimmy Carter Presidency. I remember Jimmy Carter as President as well and the Republican Party that I grew up with, I've never been a Republican, I'm from a Democratic Family. But the Republican Party that was around when I was growing up, was led by President Reagan and built around one idea. Freedom and that Communism and other forms of Big Government were the enemy of Freedom. When today's Republicans talk about Big Government, they talk about it as it relates to the economy. And to a certain extent how it threatens Religious Freedom for Christians, not Religious Freedom in general, just Religious Freedom for Christians. They consider other religions to be Un American and in the case of Mormonism another form of Christianity, they feel the same way about Mormonism as Islam. That these two religions are not even religions at all but they are cults, they believe their Presidential Nominee is a member of a cult. Thats the intelligence level of the GOP right now.

I'm not even sure a Catholic especially from the Northeast or Midwest could win the Republican Nomination for President right now. Even though Rick Santorum came damn close, its not Freedom that Neoconservative Republicans are interested in but Freedom for people who think like them. The Freedom to live their lives the way they want them to, which are two different things. If Freedom was main thing that today's Republicans were interested in, then Ron Paul would've been a much stronger Presidential Candidate. Who they wouldn't of viewed as a Liberal and Mitt Romney who isn't a Neoconservative for the most part and would've fit in very well with the Reagan GOP. Wouldn't feel this strong need to go out of his way to convince Neoconservatives that he's one of them, when he's not. And would've had very little difficulty getting the GOP Nomination and Rick Santorum would've been seen as a Fringe Candidate.

Today's GOP is so far to the right that in one sentence they talk about Freedom and the dangers of Big Government. And in the next sentence they talk about Pornography and Homosexuality being threats to National Security and they must be outlawed, actually illegal to view Pornography and live as a Homosexual. And that Ron Reagan who said that Big Government is a threat to America, couldn't get the Republican Nomination for President, because he would've been seen as a Liberal.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Senate Minority Leader McConnell: "We Can't Vote on a Speech": Senate Republicans Strategy of Obstruction

Its a little hard to here Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell talk about Democratic Obstructionism. When thats all they've been doing since Barack Obama became President of the United States in January, 2009. Its Minority Leader McConnell that said on the Senate Floor in his first speech in the 111th Congress in 2009, that his number one priority was to see that Barack Obama. Is only a one term President, thats been the Senate Republican strategy since Barack Obama became President in 2009. They want President Obama to be seen as a failure, someone who's stuck in gridlock and can't get anything done and anything passed out of Congress, even though President Obama. Has a very good Batting Average at this point of his Presidency, of passing legislation out of Congress. Despite the Republican Obstructionism and in the last year or so Minority Leader McConnell has actually helped make that happen, as the President has become a better negotiator and put down his own ideas. Instead of coming out for what he would accept from Republicans if they agree to this.

But its to the point now that Senate Republicans are even blocking Senate Leader Harry Reid, when he brings things to the floor that Senate Republicans once agreed on. Today being a perfect example of that with the bill to give Small Business Tax Relief, which is actually a Republican idea. Later on Senate Republicans will probably once again block a bill on Full Disclosure and they'll say because it only targets corporate money and not Labor Unions. They are actually correct there but you don't see them offering amendments to fix that and force Labor Unions to Fully Disclose how they finance their Political Operations. All you get from the Minority Leader is we don't like the Democrats bill, so we say no. Senate Democrats could propose a Flat Tax tomorrow and Senate Republican would vote no or a bill to eliminate the Estate Tax and they would say no to that, just because they are offered by Democrats.

The Senate Republican Strategy of Obstruction is built around one thing, if Democrats are for it, we are against it. And if they are against it, we might not be for it but we want to force them to vote on it, because they don't like it, just as condition not to bring the Senate to a halt. And so far Senate Republicans have been successful with it but we'll see how long they can get away with it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

House Leader Cantor Remarks On "The Obamacare Repeal Act": What House Republicans are Trying to Deny that they Receive

As much as House Republicans complain about how bad the Affordable Care Act is, its almost as if they've read the 2000 or so pages that are in the bill. That they've managed to find the time in the twenty eight months since the ACA was passed in 2010, to read the whole bill. But when you actually listen to what they are complaining about, then you know they didn't either read a huge bill they voted against. Even though Democrats spent over a year trying to pass this bill, with all of the hearings they held on it, with the Congressional Townhalls they held on it, both the House and Senate. With all the amendments they attached to the bill, a lot of them now being Republican amendments and Republicans ideas, like the Healthcare Mandate. The Tax Credit to purchase Health Insurance, closing the doughnut hole in the Medicare Advantage plan and many others. Or House Republicans haven't comprehend what they've read over two years later in this 2000 page bill or they are simply making up things as they go along to convince Tea Party members that they hate this bill as much as they do.

There's that old expression that you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. And one of the reasons why this expression is so old, is because Republicans constantly say things that are their opinions at best but portray them as facts and the whole debate over the Affordable Care Act is a perfect example of that. If you listen to the way House Republicans talk about the ACA and I'll use Representative Paul Ryan Chairman of the Budget Committee, as well as Member of the Way and Means Committee. Both Committees have jurisdiction over this bill, you'll hear Representative Ryan call the ACA or of course he will call it "Obamacare". As a Government Takeover of the American Healthcare System, that gives the Federal Government the power to decide. What Healthcare and Health Insurance Americans can have and will make all of the Healthcare decisions for the country from Washington and he'll talk about this new Entitlement Program that the ACA creates.

But of course Rep. Ryan can't name the new Entitlement Program thats in the ACA, you want to know why, well I'll tell you anyway. Because there isn't one in the bill, the ACA is made up of Tax Credits for employers and individuals to purchase Health Insurance that otherwise wouldn't be able to do so. As well as Patient Protections for individuals and the Healthcare Mandate so Free Loaders can't pass their Healthcare Costs onto others. Thats what House Republicans would actually see in the Affordable Care Act if they actually read the bill or had someone who understands the bill, read it to them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer: "ACA Business Mandate not an Impediment to Economic Growth"

There are two specific previsions in the Affordable Care Act that are mandates to provide Health Insurance. One of them is the Individual Mandate that requires that all Americans who can afford to purchase Health Insurance do so, instead of passing their Healthcare Costs onto people who are responsible enough to pay for their Healthcare. The other mandate relates to employers that all employers with fifty or more employees, provide Health Insurance for their employees. They don't have to provide it for free but they do have to offer their employees Health Insurance. And there is even a Tax Credit for employers that want to provide Health Insurance for their employees but can't afford to do so. So no this doesn't add more costs to employers and Small Business's who can't afford to pay them but it will make their places of business more attractable. Especially for workers that have kids or have a Pre Existing Condition, because now they'll have a way to pay for their Healthcare. And workers will say I should work there because they have a good Health Insurance Plan that I need to cover my Healthcare and the Healthcare of my kids.

Thats what House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer was talking about today, ending the Healthcare for Free Loaders. People who've made the conscience decision to pass their own Healthcare Costs onto people who've decided to pay for their own Healthcare on their own. And workers who currently can't afford Health Insurance on their own and may have kids or a Pre Existing Condition. And aren't poor enough to be eligible to receive Medicaid, will now have the opportunity, that of course they'll have to take to pay for their own Healthcare Costs. And not pass those Healthcare Costs again onto people who are responsible enough to pay for their own Healthcare. This is what this whole debate is about and is actually a Conservative idea if you think about it, that we all have skin in the game and not live off of others and pay for our fair share.

The only reason why this is a controversial idea, at least amongst Republicans because Democrats have now embraced it. And Republicans now have the idea that if Democrats are in favor of it, it must be a horrible idea or some form of Socialism that must defeated. Thats the intelligence or lack of intelligence level of the Republican Party right now, say no to things that Democrats support even if we support them.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dean Clancy: Three Steps to Patient-Centered Care: The Republican Alternative to the Affordable Care Act

On Wednesday the Republican House is going to hold another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Without offering an alternative to what they would do instead, because they don't have an alternative. This debate started three years ago last month and the Republican Party still doesn't have a plan in what they would do to reform our Healthcare System that even Republicans say is in need of reform and that it costs too much. Whether you like the Affordable Care Act or not and I would've voted for it if I was in Congress or signed it if I was President, even though it wouldn't of been the plan that I would've drafted. At least Democrats have their own Healthcare Reform plan that they passed back in 2010. The only thing that Republicans have put on the table that has come up for a vote in Congress, is what House Republicans when they were still in the Minority. Led by then Minority Leader John Boehner drafted in late 2009 and in 2010, that of course failed to pass in the then Democratic House, that no one again has offered since. Republicans know what they are against when it comes to Healthcare Reform, they just don't know what they are for.

And as more as Americans get to learn the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, especially people who couldn't afford Healthcare any other way. Because they would've been dropped by their Health Insurer, without the Patients Protections in the ACA or wouldn't be able to get the Tax Credit or their employer wouldn't be able to get the Tax Credit. To help pay for their Health Insurance, the harder it is going to be for Republicans to repeal the ACA, whether they still just control the House. Gain more power or lose what they have now, especially if they don't have an alternative to what should be done instead. Which is something that Mitt Romney is struggling to deal with right now, especially since he signed into law in Massachusetts. Something that looks a hell of a lot like the ACA and is something that he's been trying to run away from since, because he doesn't want to offend the Tea Party.

This is why the Affordable Care Act plays well for President Obama and plays badly for Mitt Romney. Because it has in it a lot of provisions that Americans like, even Republicans like, that Mitt Romney now says he's against, even though he signed them into law in Massachusetts. Mitt can't run on a plan that he once supported, because he's a Republican that need the Tea Party to be elected President. But if he runs against the ACA, he opens himself up for attacks as being a Flip Flopper.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Reagan Foundation: Candidacy for Presidency: Ronald Reagan's 1979 Announcement of Candidacy For President

You could make a case that when Ronald Reagan announced that he was running for President in November, 1979 that he won the 1980 presidential election and defeated President Jimmy Carter right there. Because of how different the message that he was giving. Then what was being delivered from President Carter. Carter constantly telling the country how bad the situation was. Reporting on from one disaster from another, especially economically and even telling the country that they were partially at fault for this. Living too well and that was contributing to the economic problems. The country feeling as bad, or if not worse than the President said we were doing.

Especially if Americans were unemployed, or have seen their income fall. And hearing Ron Reagan giving a much different message that was about, "the country is in bad shape, we can do better and we must do better. But we need a change in leadership and together we can get America moving again." Which is much different from hearing that things are horrible and we are the problem and we must sacrifice or things are just going to get worse. Which might not of been the intended message of President Carter, but thats how it came out as.

What you got with Ron Reagan whether you liked him or not, was a vision. "This is what the situation is. This is what's not working and why its not working and this is what we can do together to fix the problems." Thats the type of campaigner and leader he was. He wasn't interested in destroying his opponents, just explaining why their ideas and policies aren't working and why his is better. Which is very different from Republicans and even a lot of Democrats today, who are so interested in winning and having and gaining power. That they never stop campaigning, for fear that if they do, they may lose whatever power they may have right now.

Politicians today, don't want to lose an opportunity to gain more power in the future. And with today's politics its more about not just winning, but destroying the other side and even compromising when there's divided government like now, compromise is considered weak. I've been blogging for a couple of years now, that for the Republican Party to ever be the Grand Ole Party again, they have to get back to Goldwater-Reagan politically. Not just on policy and not be the big government party they have become, with Neoconservatives now running the party, but politically as well. "That our best days are still ahead, that even though we disagree with the other side, we want to beat them politically, but not destroy them." And they still have a long way to go.