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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Midweek Politics: Video: Debt Ceiling Truth: President Reagan Raised It Way More Than President Obama: How to Raise The Debt Ceiling

Good luck getting todays Republicans to agree with this but that alone doesn't make this false. But President Reagan raised the debt ceiling something like six times, maybe eight times. And I believe every time he did that, he had a Republican Senate in divided Congress's between. House and Senate but to be completely truthful, President Reagan had rising debt and deficits. Throughout his Presidency one of the reasons why he raised taxes in 1983 and I believe in 1985 and 1986 as well. But then Senator Barack Obama in 2006 voted against President Bush's request to raise the debt ceiling. Arguing that the debt was way too high and that its time that the United States started paying its bills. Instead of shifting the costs of government over to future generations. One of the differences between being President of the United States and serving in Congress especially as a freshmen. Where your responsibility is a lot less and you can say things that you can get away with until you obtain more responsibility either in. Congress or move up to the Executive Branch and actually have to run something like an administration.

As far as the debt ceiling itself, I take our current national debt and deficits very seriously. They are the biggest problems along with a sluggish economy and high unemployment and rising poverty that we face in this country. And there are responsible Republicans and Democrats who believe the same thing, along with members of the military. That see the debt and deficit as threats to our national security because of leverage that other countries. Can hold over us which is why I'm not in favor of just raising the debt ceiling unconditionally. Or what the White House calls a clean raise of the debt ceiling. That we have a huge debt and deficit that aren't sustainable without doing serious damage to our economy and that these things have. To be addressed along with more economic and job growth and new assistance for people in poverty in the areas. Of education, job training and job placement so we can bring down our unemployment and poverty levels.

Which is why I'm in favor of tying deficit reduction to raising the debt ceiling but doing it in a way. That doesn't hurt people who need whatever assistance they are getting. Like seniors, low income people, veterans and so fourth that absolutely have to have that assistance. That we are overcommitted as a Federal Government in other areas and have to make savings there. While we do raise the debt ceiling, as well as passing policies that will lead to better. Economic and job growth which will also help us bring down our national debt and deficit.

Washington Times: National Security: Via AP: Maggie Michael: Egypt’s Islamists Join Liberals in Calls For Unity Government

Egypt’s Islamists join liberals in calls for unity government - Washington Times

Good to see Egyptian Democrats stepping up and showing leadership

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vinicius Vieira: Video: FX's Rescue Me Theme Song C'Mon C'Mon

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Post on Blogger

I’ve only watched a handful of episodes of Rescue Me which came out less than three years after 9/11 in I believe the summer of 2004. Dennis Leary and his partners wanted a show about the New York City Fire and Rescue Squad as a tribute to the New York heroes that rescued a lot of people during 9/11. And that is really about what this show is about the NYC fireman and the life that he lives and the job that he has. As well as several other characters on the show. Not that Rescue is a bad show, but I believe the thing that sticks out about it is the theme song from The Von Bondies. C’Mon C’Mon which I first heard in a movie theater the same summer that Rescue Me came out. And the theme song and the whole intro of the show the credits and everything will at least get me to see the first scene of the show. Because it really gets me going and wanting to see more.

RT: Video: Breaking The Set: Abby Martin: "Death of The Liberal Class", OWS With Chris Hedges: The New-Left in America

I disagree with Progressive author Chris Hedges on this point about what he calls "The Death of The Liberal Class". That what America has now is two Leftist movements or even three. But that the FDR coalition of Progressives who were basically Democratic-Socialists on economic policy. People like Henry Wallace but were tough cold warriors and Liberal-Internationalists when it came to. National security and foreign policy who were against Communism and Authoritarianism in general and didn't have much respect for classical Socialism. But believed in a strong safety net to protect the vulnerable and perform services that they don't trust the private. Sector to be doing, people like Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson, who created the New Deal and Great Society. But remember its Democrats that built up the so national security state and council in this country. To make us strong enough militarily to defend this country but also to be a force for good around the World. And how the United Nations and NATO got created and Europe responding with the European Union and so fourth.

Thats the old left, the New-Left emerged in the 1960s as an antiwar movement against the Vietnam War. But also calling for things like what they call social justice and creating an economic system that would produce a fairer economic system in this country. Thats government based and would build off of the New Deal and Great Society. The New-Left is the Occupy Wall Street movement of today that Chris Hedges as well as the Russian owned Russia Today. New network are apart of, I myself am not apart of either left in this country. I guess the left I'm apart of what would be called the Reformed-Left something that the Labor Party in. Britain went through in the 1990s under Tony Blair and something apparently they moved away from. Since Prime Minister Blair left office in 2007, the Reformed-Left in America started with. Jack Kennedy in 1960 and was revitalized by Bill Clinton, Mike Duakis and other so called. New-Democrats in the 1980s and 1990s. John Kerry is part of this movement and so is Barack Obama today.

The Reformed-Left is the real Liberal movement in America thats built around individual freedom. But individual freedom across the board and for all Americans, including Americans who don't fit into the Neoconservative Tea Party view of what America is. They represent a big part of the Barack Obama Liberal-Democratic coalition that got the President reelected. And we believe in things like freedom across the board for all Americans, as well as. Constitutional and individual rights for all Americans and we are simply not as Progressive or Socialist. As the New-Left and tend to differ on economic and foreign policy and represent this battle. Of ideas and control of the Democratic Party today.

EuroNews: Video: Europe: Spanish Recession Deepens

Still rather be investing money in North America rather then Europe right now

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Commentary: Philosophy: Peter Wehner: The Virtue of Moderation: The Benefits and Limits to Moderation

The Virtue of Moderation: pI recently read a splendid book by Harry Clor, On Moderation: Defending an Ancient Virtue in a Modern World, whose purpose is to “articulate a coherent, defensible case for moderation as a virtue, the possession and encouragement of which is important for us.” Maybe the best way to begin is to be clear on what [...]/p

If the definition of Moderation is to move slowly but steadily forward towards progress, then I can agree Moderation is a good thing. But if the definition of a Moderate is someone who splits the differences and thats their governing and political philosophy. From two sides, left we'll take half of what you want and right we'll take half of what you want. No matter how those two halves would and come together, then no I don't have much respect for that. Because half of a doesn't always work well with half of b and besides that there are times when you simply have to take stands. Like on civil rights, what would've been the Moderate solution on civil rights, minorities can have their civil and constitutional rights. In the Northeast but not in the South or maybe African Americans can vote in the South but non minority. Employers can fire them because of their race or deny them housing or education because of their race. And besides civil rights was an issue where the solution to it was both Liberal and Conservative that all Americans should be judged. By their character and not race and who they are as people, not by their complexion or racial features.

There are times when Moderation can be a weakness and where it has faults. Take the Vietnam War were the United States took, excuse the language a half ass approach not staying out of it but not doing. What it takes to win the war, when instead had America took a Liberal or Conservative approach. We would've ended up staying out of a civil war and saving 100K American lives there or would've ended. Up winning the war and preserving Democracy in Vietnam and defeating Communism in a big country with a lot. Of room to grow but what we did instead was not do enough to win and not do little enough to lose. And ended up splitting the difference, so of course extremism and the fringes have serious flaws but just because you are on the right or left. Doesn't make you an extremist or part of a fringe, it depends on how far to the left or right you are that determines whether you are an extremist or not.

Moderation at its best in politics is where neither side has enough power to do what they want completely. And need to work with the other side to get things done and govern. But that doesn't mean you split the difference necessarily. Civil rights and the Vietnam War being perfect examples of that, what it means is that you take what's good from one side and combine that with what's good. From the other side and combine it into one package that works and does the job, deficit reduction. Would be an example of that, we need to cut and we need new revenue but we need to do both of those things. In a way that gets the debt and deficit under control without hurting the economy and hurting people. Who absolutely need those services, so you cut things that you don't need to do or don't work. Reform things that you need to make them work better and find new revenue from things and people who can. Afford to pay more for the services that they consume.

But there are also times when Moderation is not the best course of action or not the right thing to do. If one side has all of the power and has the White House and Congress and the votes to get passed. What they want to do and has the best approach to solve those problems. They almost have a responsibility to pass that agenda even if no one from the opposition votes for it. Because thats the best course of action to take, so Moderation has its benefits but it also has its limits as well.

Monday, January 28, 2013

AEI: Fiscal Policy: John Pethokoukis: Total Tax-Code Termination?: How to Reform The Tax Code

Total tax-code termination? - Economics - AEI

Down the line I would like to and believe we need to scrap the current Federal tax-code and basically start over. Thats based on promoting economic and job growth as well as fiscal responsibility. Rates low enough to promote economic growth and eliminating tax expenditures that leave the Federal treasury. Add to the national debt and doesn't do much if anything and in some cases hampers our economic growth. The tax reform I'm for would probably produce lower revenue for the Federal Government, not necessarily a bad. Thing but produce higher economic growth because individuals and business's would be judged by the tax-code based on how productive they are and what they spend. Rather then what they need to pay their bills and stay in business and my plan is something I believe should be passed if at all. Down the line after we get the national debt and deficit under control so they are no longer growing faster then our. Economic growth so I'm looking at ten years down the line when I believe it would be a good idea to pass my. Version of tax reform and it would also have to come with Federal spending reform to the make the Federal Government more efficient and cost effective and less centralized.

Assuming we were to get the debt and deficit under control and this is how I would do it and leave most of the current Federal tax-code in place until we accomplish this. And I would do this by first using the new revenue from the fiscal cliff deal to go towards deficit reduction. Plus an additional 500B-1T$ in new short term tax reform by closing wasteful tax expenditures, mostly relating to corporate welfare. But then lowering taxes on business's that invest and create jobs in America in exchange. But also eliminating the tax deductions for state and local sales taxes, we as Americans all have a responsibility to. Pay for the public services that we consume at least through sales taxes. The home mortgage deduction, cap that at 1M$ and index it for inflation and eliminate the deduction for second homes especially. Vacation homes, getting our defense budget back to 2000 spending levels, which means the revenue from the drawdowns of Afghanistan and Iraq would go towards deficit reduction. Medicare and Medicaid, stop paying doctors and hospitals based on how much they spend and only. Compensate them based on how healthy their patients are.

I would go much further with Medicare and Medicaid, Medicaid I would turn over to the states to run or oversee. Let each state have their own Medicaid program and let it be run independently of government but with the states and Feds serving as regulators. But then make Medicaid fiscally self sufficient with their own dedicated revenue coming from employers as well as employees. With an increase in the earn income tax credit to pay for that and I would also decentralize Medicare and let the states have their. Own Medicare system again with the states and feds serving as regulators and turning it into a public option. Allowing non senior citizens pay into Medicare and using it as their main source for health insurance. I would actually go further and turn the entire Federal safety net over to the states for them to run, again with the states and feds serving as regulators. With each of these services having their own dedicated revenue to pay for it and empowering non profits who perform similar services. To do the same thing as well.

Once we were to get the national debt and deficit under control and coming down. And then we have a reform plan for the Federal Government that brings its spending down, then we could pass what I call. A Progressive Consumption Tax that would bring in less revenue for the Federal Government but again. The Feds would be doing less and not need as much revenue to pay for its operations. What is a Progressive Consumption Tax, well its basically what it sounds like. We would tax as a country people based on what they consume not what they produce and would tax basic necessities that people. Need to live healthy, groceries, healthcare, housing, transportation, clothing to use as examples at a fairly low. Rate but tax luxury items, luxury cars, vacations, expensive meals, parties, vacation homes to use as examples. At higher levels, so groceries like a loaf of bread or gallon of milk would be taxed at 5-7% but a Mercedes or yacht would be taxed at lets say 25% to use as examples.

Tax reform is fairly simple and its based on do we want people to work hard and be productive or not. Hopefully for most of the country the answer is yes and if thats the case, then we shouldn't penalize them for doing so. But instead tax people based on what they consume from society instead so people are encourage to be productive. And hopefully smarter about how they spend their money but my Progressive Consumption Tax or PCT. Would only replace the Federal income tax, not the payroll or corporate tax but scrap income and production for consumption.

National Journal: Politics: Jill Lawrence: Sarah Palin and The End of an Era

Sarah Palin and the End of an Era -

Hopefully for the GOP the stupid party is over in the Republican Party

Saturday, January 26, 2013

John Boehner: Video: A Message For The 40th March For Life

The so called right to life community and the broader religious right in America would have a lot more credibility in America. If they just didn't believe in the right to life when it came to fetus's or for murder victims but. Actually cared about the well being of so many people in America whose lives aren't very good. Because of lack of opportunity and education and so fourth and were interested to the point of people whose lives. Are simply not very good and struggling just to live basically with cost of living and so fourth. And spent some of their efforts trying to empower these people.

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's Time For a Change: Video: Raymond Massey For Barry Goldwater in 1964

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Post on Blogger

What apparently Raymond Massey wasn’t aware of is that Senator Goldwater was in favor of a full-out war against North Vietnam. And doing what it took to win that war and secure that country for the democrats in the South to govern a United Democratic Vietnam. President Lyndon Johnson was the so-called peace candidate in the 1964 presidential election. Even though President Johnson escalated the Vietnam War by getting America completely involved and in the war. And doing a lot of the fighting and supplying the resources to South Vietnam and ourselves to fight and end this war. The so-called Tet Offensive of 1965 put America not only in this civil war in Vietnam. But with a lot of if not most of the responsibility for winning this war. And trying to prevent Vietnam from going communist. Which it did anyway by 1975-76.

Commentary: Republican Party: Jonathan S. Tobin: "Gov. Jindal’s Populist Manifesto Has a Problem": The Future of The GOP

Jindal’s Populist Manifesto Has a Problem: pLouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made some headlines with his speech to the Republican National Committee yesterday in which he called out the GOP as having behaved like “the stupid party” in 2012. He is hardly alone in considering the infamous cracks of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock about rape and pregnancy to be classic examples [...]/p

There's this saying going around in the Republican Party that the future of the GOP is with its Governors. Where they now hold thirty state houses, I'm a Democrat and I agree with that to a certain extent. But with not all thirty governors, there are Republican governors that would be a disaster for the GOP at the. National level Republicans who would have a very hard time reaching past the GOP base and the far-right. People like Rick Snyder of Michigan who have pushed hard for these bogus 'Voter ID' laws that are intended to solve a problem that doesn't exist. As well as prevent Democrats from voting so Republicans can have even more power. Republicans like this wouldn't be able to appeal to Latinos and Asians groups that Republicans are going to have to make some gains with to win at the national level. In the future but then there are Republican governors who can speak past the far-right and the Republican base and even. Take on the far-right, Republicans like Governor Chris Christie who has his own baggage but is a Republican. Whose a big tent governor and someone who takes on his own Republican base when he believes they are wrong. And Bobby Jindal Governor of Louisiana is in the same mold as Chris Christie.

Its easy to be against things and even to a certain extent explain why you are against things especially when you. Are in the opposition which is where Republicans find themselves at the national level but its another thing. To explain what you are in favor of and why you should be back in power and where the GOP is today. With only controlling half of one branch of the Federal Government, they are a party without one leader and someone to take the party forward. So its not clear where the GOP wants to go in the future but is clear that there are now a lot of Republicans who believe. That what they did in the past is not working and certainly didn't work in 2012 and that they need a new course. In how to move forward if they are going to become the governing party again. And that starts with a positive agenda that the party as a whole can get behind and showcase that agenda to the rest of the country. And be able to appeal to non traditional Republicans and be able to appeal outside of the Bible Belt.

So I agree with Governor Jindal that the Republican Party can't succeed in the future as a stupid party. Especially not as the stupid party that they have to be a party of ideas, facts and most importantly intelligence. Being able to know what the actual facts are then base their policies and opinions on those facts and intelligence. And behind this they can be a real party of individual freedom, limited government , fiscal and economic Conservatism. That can actually win and lead at the national level because they can appeal to a big tent of Americans.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Liberty In Our Time: Video: Social Insurance: Paul Gootfried: "The Therapeutic Welfare State": The Role of Social Insurance in America

I don't like comparing America with Europe when it comes to the role of government. Because we are completely different societies politically and culturally and we expect different things from our. Governments, government in Europe tends to be twice the size of America as it relates to our GDP's. To give you an example of what I'm talking about, economic Liberalism comes from America, economic Socialism comes from Europe. And the system that Europe has up until recently has worked very well there and the American system up until recently has worked very well here. And both places or unions are now also in transition and reexamining what the role of the. Federal Government should be in America and Europe as well, so the role of government in both. America and Europe is definitely changing and in Europe I believe it will become more limited and in. America it will be reformed to work better and serve to empower more people rather then having so many. People live off of public assistance and as we are seeing in Britain and in Greece they are doing the same thing as well.

Progressives in America want us to look more like Europe, Libertarians want us to go back to the way. We were pre 1930s and the Great Depression but Liberals where I am want America to look more like America in the Liberal tradition. Where the role of government is to protect freedom for individuals who already have it and still deserve it. And expand freedom for those who don't have it but deserve it and need it and we'll see what the role of government. Looks as we move forward in this century.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AEI: Entitlements: Andrew G. Biggs: How To Reform Social Security and The Retirement System

Don’t raise Social Security taxes: But if it’s necessary, here’s how - Economics - AEI

I disagree with Andrew Biggs one of the economists at the American Enterprise Institute when it comes to raising payroll taxes. I wouldn't raise them across the board because its already an regressive tax that hits middle and lower income workers very hard. That discourages working and hiring because employers know they'll get stuck with having to pay this tax. Social Security does need to be reformed and needs new revenue but it has to be done in a way that doesn't come off as a middle class tax. Increase or a tax increase on low income workers, if anything the payroll tax should be lowered on those workers. Raise them on high earners and then lift the cap on the payroll tax from 100K$ where its currently to. 500K-1M$ while raising the payroll tax on those workers as well and then taxing their Social Security benefits. Not at 100% but consistent with what the payroll tax would be for those workers if thats what they were making. At work and by doing these things we would make Social Security solvent not only for baby boomers and people. Older then that but for Generation X my generation and Generation Y as well younger people.

But making Social Security solvent shouldn't be the only thing we should be looking at when it comes to retirement. We should be increasing benefits for low income workers so those workers who are retiring or about to retire. Would collect at least 20K$ a year from Social Security so they have an opportunity to live out of poverty. But expand retirement income for all workers so we would have less workers in this country only collecting Social Security for their retirement. Create what's called Social Security Plus that would go along with other retirement plans and wouldn't be new program to run it. But all workers would have the option to run their own individual retirement account, not their employer or government. But individuals themselves would be able to run their own IRA by increasing their own payroll tax. That would be tax free as long as they don't spend any of these savings before they retire, that would be. Matched by their employer that would be tax deductible and individuals would be able to save and invest this money to plan their own retirements.

Reforming Social Security is actually fairly easy as far as what needs to be done. Its Medicare thats a real challenge because Medicare is tied to our unaffordable healthcare system which needs further reform to. Reform Medicare and vice versa thats a real challenge but Social Security can be strengthen just by adjusting the payroll tax and lifting the cap. And we could go further with the retirement age if we have exceptions to it but Medicare is the real challenge. And reforming these programs shouldn't be linked together.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Euro News: In Mali Rebels Try to Buy Support

Source: Euro News-
Source: Euro News: In Mali Rebels Try To Buy Support

Mali right now is in a debate to see if they are going to remain half-free and half-slave, or is the national government there going to regain control of North Mali and restore democracy there for the entire country and not just the South. This sort of reminds me of President John F. Kennedy's Cold War speech about freedom and communism, where he said (and I'm paraphrasing) we're now in a struggle to see whether or not America will half-free and half-slave, or will the forces of freedom win out. Europeans might have started slavery in Africa by kidnapping millions of Africans and bringing them to North America and South America, to be used as slaves. But slavery has never none away in Africa. That is just part of the legacy and conditions of a continent that has all the economic recourses in the world as far as what they're capable of producing for themselves. But has lacked the moral character and leadership to empower their own people to make the best lives for themselves that they possibly can. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Liberty Pen: Video: US Senator Barry Goldwater: 1964: To The Future From The Past

Senator Barry Goldwater as part of his 1964 Presidential campaign warning us of what he saw was a dangerous experiment. With Socialism in America and that it was time for Americans to get back to their Constitutional roots and limit government.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

AEI: Politics: Jonah Goldberg: "Wake Up, Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservatives": The Future of The Republican Party

Wake up, socially liberal fiscal conservatives - Politics and Public Opinion - AEI

I don't like the term fiscally Conservative socially Liberal Republican but because of the lack of knowledge and education. That Americans have about Liberalism and Conservatism, its probably the best I can do layout what I mean when I'm talking about. What I call mainstream Republicans the real Conservative-Republicans in the Republican Party. To a typical American if you use the term social-Conservative, they most likely automatically think of the religious-right. People who believe that homosexuality and pornography are threats to our national security and must be outlawed. And that Hollywood must at least be regulated or controlled by the Federal Government to only represent what. They see as traditional America and that if you are a social-Liberal you are someone who believes in social freedom. And strong on civil rights and civil liberties and so fourth and that if you are a fiscal Conservative, you are against the New Deal and Great Society. And would like to see those things eliminated and that the defense budget has nothing to do with the debt and deficit and our. National security should be based on how much we spend on national defense rather then what we need it to do.

Thats how Republicans tend to get labeled now when the fact is you can be a Conservative and both believe in. Economic and social freedom to go along with fiscal Conservatism including as it relates to the defense budget. And that people who are labeled social-Conservatives really aren't Conservative at all and are really religious-Conservatives. Who look at politics from a religious vantage point rather then from a Conservative political vantage point. And don't believe in conserving social freedom but restricting and limiting it and the people who are stereotyped. As fiscally Conservative and socially Liberal Republicans, are the real Conservative-Republicans people who believe in. Conserving economic and social freedom, who are fiscally Conservative as well but their fiscal Conservatism. Covers the entire Federal budget and doesn't leave out national defense, Republicans that Neoconservatives. Like to call rhinos or in Ron Paul's case Liberal.

The future of the Republican Party are what the media like to call Northeastern-Republicans a coalition that. Mitt Romney up until 2009 or so was very comfortable being part of, that former US Senator and Representative Olympia Snowe. Who was in Congress for thirty six years is a part of today and I believe will look to rebuild this faction in the GOP. The real Conservative-Republicans in the Republican Party are the Northeastern-Republicans and the Ron Paul coalition. And these are the Republicans that the GOP needs to start embracing and getting behind if they want to remain a major political party. In America and not become a far-right third party.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Human Events: Current Affairs: Anne Coulter: "Guns Don't Kill People, The Mentally Ill Do": One Way To Curb Gun Violence

Coulter: Guns don't kill people, the mentally ill do - Conservative News

I actually agree with Anne Coulter at least to this extent, that mental illness kills people not just the people who. Have it but depending on how bad the condition is, it kills people who are exposed to people with serious mental conditions. Who suffer from paranoia and so fourth and don't see the World clearly, now after agreeing with Anne Coulter on anything. Now I think I have to vomit but I'll try to hold it in until the conclusion of this post. To suggest that guns have nothing to do to kill people is ignoring intelligence and common sense, something that Anne Coulter is far too often guilty of. Criminals and the mentally ill that use guns end up killing people with guns and to make it so obvious that anyone could understand. If you point your finger at someone or make your hand look like a gun with your pointer finger stuck out. And you pull your thumb down as if you were pulling the trigger on the gun, guess what you've shot no one. You know a kid could understand that but if you're holding a gun and pointing the barrel of the gun at someone. And a gun with bullets and you pull the trigger, you'll end up at shooting that person if you don't miss. And you'll end up at least injuring that person.

I said this a month ago that gun control is not enough to solve our gun violence problem in this country. That we need a comprehensive approach where sensible common sense gun control is part of that. But where we also look at mental healthcare in this country and look at how we finance it as long as fully. Financing mental healthcare in America and looking at how we regulate our entertainment industry. And doing things like making mental records open to institutions that educate and hire people, as well as. Housing so we can limit the amount of mentally ill people who are dangerous to either themselves. Or to others as well is something that we are going to have to do and the questions of privacy will come up. But for anyone whose concern about the right to life in America should be more concern with the right of. Innocent Americans to be able to live their own lives and not have to live in the fear, should be a bigger concern. Then the right of privacy for dangerous people, so we are going to have to balance both.

So allowing for institutions to have access to people who do business there or work there, get educated there. To those peoples mental records as long as they don't make those records public, as long with fully financing mental healthcare in this country. So we are no longer releasing mental patients because mental hospitals can no longer afford to take care of them. Or mental patients not getting the care they need because they can't afford it. Needs to stop and doing those things would go a long way along with sensible common sense gun control in curbing gun violence.

National Journal: Congress: Rebecca Kaplan: Senator Leahy Will Wield His Gavel on Gun Control, Immigration Reform

Leahy Will Wield His Gavel on Gun Control, Immigration Reform -

Senator Pat Leahy Chairman of the Judiciary Committee is smart to push for new gun regulations that stop short of an assault weapons ban. Because an AWB most likely wouldn't pass this Congress, House Republicans rather lose their majority then pass that. And I believe Senate Democrats know this but working with Senate Republicans, in particular Senator Grassley the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee in that committee are the Democrats best shot at getting a gun control bill passed in this Congress.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

AEI: Politics: Jonah Goldberg: "Time To Grow Up GOP": Why Conservatism Isn't The Problem But People Who Call Themselves Conservatives Are

Time to grow up, GOP - Politics and Public Opinion - AEI

When I think of Conservatives, I think of Barry Goldwater and Bill Buckley people who wanted government. Limited to doing only what we need it to do and nothing more and that it wasn't the job of government to run our lives. But protect our freedom to live our lives, another words Conservative is someone who believes in conserving. Thats where the word comes from and when it comes to politics, that means conserving freedom and not rushing. To respond to things that some people may see as problems that have to be solved, its not that government. Can't try to solve problems but that government needs to be limited in how it solves problems because there's a limit. To what government can do Constitutionally and effectively and that government shouldn't be the only game in town. When it comes to problem solving and  again its not the job of government to tell us how to live our lives and what we. Can do with our own lives, just put rules in place to protect innocent people from being harmed and to punish those who hurt innocent people. Which is different that Conservatives aren't Statists but people who believe in individual freedom.

The problem today with the Republican Party is not that its too Conservative but its not Conservative enough. Especially going forward against a Democratic Party thats becoming more Liberal and embracing individual freedom more. In a country thats becoming more Liberal and Libertarian and less Statist and the only thing that Republicans have to counter that. Is Conservatism otherwise they might as well just become Democrats and we become another one party state. The problem with Conservatism is not Conservatives but people who call themselves Conservatives. Who believe one of the roles of government is to tell Americans what it means to be an American and call anyone Un American. Who doesn't fit in that box and that another job of government is to tell Americans how to live their own lives. For the good of the country, you can't be a Conservative and a Statist, its one or the other.

The Statists who call themselves Conservatives but who aren't Conservative is what's giving the GOP and Conservatism a bad name. Because when Democrats and Independents see someone like Rick Santorum or Todd Akin. It scares the hell out of them because they see two guys who want to tell. Us what healthcare we can have and what we can do with our own bodies, who we can marry and so. Fourth and its Statists that the GOP needs to break away from to be able to compete with Democrats long term at least at the national level.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Human Events: Politics: Pat Buchanan: Is Barack Obama Shaping a New Majority?: The New Democratic Majority in America

Pat Buchanan: Is Obama shaping a new majority? - Conservative News

I'm not sure what Barack Obama has done is create a new Democratic majority but has built off of the old Bill Clinton majority of the 1990s. People who are no longer in their twenties or teens but who are now thirties, forties and fifties and has added the twenty something generation. Generation Y, the last twenty years or so the Democratic Party has added most of the young adults in this country. They are all Democrats for the most part and without the voters Barack Obama is never elected President. Let alone reelected President of the United States and these are the same voters who almost put John Kerry in the. White House in 2004 but not enough of them voting yet to make that happen for Senator Kerry. And as the country is getting younger, we are getting more Liberal and Libertarian and more tolerant of people who. Aren't exactly like us and the Democratic Party is getting younger and becoming more Liberal as well but Liberal in the classical sense. Not what's called "Modern Liberalism" today these are voters who all love America for the most part. All love freedom but across the board for all Americans and get turned off by people who they see as intolerant. Which is how both Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock both lost US Senate Elections they should've won because they were both seen as intolerant.

Today we are looking at the New Democratic Party, a party that Bill Clinton and other New-Democrats built in the 1980s. And capitalized on in the 1990s that of course had a bit of a setback in the 1994 Congressional elections. But the reason why the first Democrat to be elected President in 1992 since 1976 in Bill Clinton and the first Democratic President. Reelected President since Franklin Roosevelt, because the Democratic Party was no longer seen as a Big Government Socialist Party. But a party that believed in things like national security, defending the nation, law enforcement, fiscal responsibility. But that we also believe in social freedom and civil rights and equality of opportunity. To go along with economic freedom and limited government. But that government could also serve to help people who are down by helping them get on their feet. Which is what Welfare to Work in 1996 was about, its not that the Democratic Party moved to the center but that it moved from the far-left to the center-left.

When President Clinton left office in 2001 and George W. Bush becomes President, the DP like most opposition parties in America. Were left without a Leader until Barack Obama wins the Democratic President nomination in 2008. And what then Senator Obama did was to build off the old Bill Clinton New-Democratic coalition. And bring in new voters to the party that I just described who had never voted before and thats the Democratic Party we see today.

Washington Times: Opinion: J.T. Young: A Lesson For Socialists: What Socialism Actually Is and Not How Its Stereotyped

YOUNG: A lesson for Socialists - Washington Times

This is an interesting debate and even humorous to me because people who tend to talk about Socialism for one thing don't understand it. And they also mislabel it and treat as something as its not and compare Socialism vs Capitalism like they are squaring off. Like you would compare a Jaguar with a Mercedes which are both cars but problem with comparing Socialism with Capitalism. Is that yes they are different but so are lions and giraffes, yes they are both animals and mammals but they aren't the same thing. Socialism and Capitalism are two different things, Socialism is a political philosophy yes with an economic component. But like every other political philosophy but just different, Liberalism, Conservatism, Libertarianism. Go down the line they all have economic components to them otherwise they wouldn't be much of a political philosophy. Whereas Capitalism is an economic system based on private enterprise rather then the government owning the means of production of society. Which is what Classical-Socialists believe in but thats not the whole range of their political philosophy.

So if you want to compare Socialism with other economic philosophies, you should compare it with Liberalism. Conservatism, Libertarianism and so fourth who by the way today all believe in at least a certain level of Capitalism. As we see in America, Canada, Europe, Asia and so fourth where Socialists all over the World have embraced Capitalism at least to a certain extent. Another thing that people should understand about Socialists is that not all Leftists are the same thing. Not all Leftists are Liberals and not all Leftists are Socialists that Leftism represent a diverse group of political factions. That include Liberals as well as Democratic-Socialists or Progressive/Social Democrats people who are to the left of Liberals. And todays Socialists for the most part don't believe in state ownership at least when it comes to business. That we should have nationalize corporations and so fourth but that they should remain private but taxed and. Regulated to fund the things that Socialists see as the commons, education, healthcare, health insurance, retirement, banking even. Things Socialist don't trust the private sector to manage.

So its helpful when you speak about Socialism like anything you might speak about, to know what you are. Talking it about to know what Socialism is and what Socialism is about and what Socialists believe in. Rather then comparing it with things that it isn't, that Socialism is a political philosophy not an economic system. But a political philosophy that covers all areas of current affairs that also has an economic component to it as well.

RedState: Fiscal Policy: Erick Erickson: BRAC The Budget: New Commission To Cut Waste in The Federal Government

BRAC the Budget | RedState

I kinda like this idea from Erick Erickson a right wing blogger who I rarely agree with when it comes to policy. But who I respect for his observations about the Republican Party because he honest and just doesn't defend them because they are Republicans. I would probably go further and set up what I would call a Government Accountability and Reform Commission. Or GARC that would be permanent and set up similar to Simpson-Bowles it would be Bipartisan or even non partisan. And it would cover the entire Federal budget with a full committee, as well as sub committees under it. Similar to how Congressional committees are set up and run and would have subpoena power and have a sub committee. That would focus on one part of the Federal Government, a sub committee for defense, education, social welfare etc. And would cover the entire Federal budget, as well as look at things like tax subsidies, tax loopholes especially corporate welfare. And what are called duplicate programs, two different programs that address the same needs.

The job of GARC would be to examine what works and what doesn't work in the Federal Government. Look and propose to eliminate waste and look to reform areas of the Federal Government where we need the Feds. Doing those things but we need it to work better and be more cost effective, as well as ways to look at where. We can cut costs in the Federal Government by giving the states more authority and passing more power down to them. In a way that would make those programs work better and be more cost effective.

Monday, January 14, 2013

AEI: Social Insurance: Michael Barone: "History Suggests That Era of Entitlements is Nearly Over": The Clinton/Obama New Democratic Era

History suggests that era of entitlements is nearly over - Society and Culture - AEI

From really since President Franklin Roosevelt started passing the first programs of the New Deal in the 1930s. America entered a new Progressive/Social-Democratic era where the Federal Government would take a much larger role. In making sure that Americans had enough to get by and even live well with all the new social insurance programs. From Unemployment Insurance to Retirement Insurance which is what Social Security is to Welfare Insurance. For low skilled people who simply don't have the skills to take care of themselves, get a good enough job that would allow for them. To support their kids and families, to the national highway system in the 1950s, to public housing health insurance for seniors and the poor in the. 1960s to education for low income students in the 1960s, there was a feeling in the 1930s that actually started. Earlier in the 20th Century that private enterprise and Capitalism which should stay in place but that alone was not good enough. To meet the needs of the American people and we needed a safety net to cover the rest.

That really started changing in the mid 1960s with Barry Goldwater's Republican Presidential campaign and with. More Conservatives getting elected in 1966 and 1968, with Richard Nixon being elected President in 1968. The feeling wasn't really to blowup the safety net but to manage it better and decentralize it and use. It in  away that would allow for people who are on public assistance to be able to work their way off of it. And that the Federal Government needed to be capped when it came to social insurance spending and that taxes. Were getting too high period and needed to be rolled back something that Gerry Ford tried to do but wasn't successful as President. That other Conservatives had success at doing at the state level in the late 1970s and that Ronald Reagan was finally able to pass at the Federal level. In 1981 and really since Barry Goldwater, Dick Nixon and the late 1960s we've moved out of the Progressives welfare state era. Into a more Conservative era that Ron Reagan and other Conservative Republicans were able to capitalize on in the 1980s.

This is something that Bill Clinton and other New-Democrats the real Liberal Democrats in the Democratic Party. Saw coming and realized in the 1980s and started their political comeback and rebuild the Democratic Party. And now only be able to compete in the new Conservative Republican era but to come up with a new Liberal Democratic vision. And even create their own era that was about the people and not about government or private enterprise. But that government is here to serve the people not take care of people who can take care of themselves. Who are physically and mentally capable of working but lacked the skills to work full time and be able to take care of themselves and their families. And that its the job of government to empower these people to able to take care of themselves with things like. Education, job training, childcare and job placement which is what the 1996 Welfare to Work Law or TANF is all about.

We are now in this Clinton-Obama New-Democratic era of Liberalism that Republicans who are still in a Neoconservative political World. Haven't figured out how to compete against at least at the national level and bring in new voters. Who not only believe in freedom but believe in freedom across the board and for all people and not just restricting freedom. To economic freedom or freedom for Christians but freedom for all Americans who only want to work hard. Be productive and successful in America and be able to live their own lives which is New-Democratic Party of today. Who want government to serve us and not be there to take care of us.

National Journal: Politics: Ron Fournier: Talkin' About Revolution: Six Reasons Why the Two-Party System May Become Obsolete

Talkin' About Revolution: 6 Reasons Why the Two-Party System May Become Obsolete -

I'm a proud Liberal Democrat and imagine I'll always be a Democrat unless the Progressive/Social-Democrats takeover the Democratic Party. But we need to end the two party system and develop a multiple party system because this country is so diverse politically. And we are all over the political spectrum and go from Theocrats and Neoconservatives on the far right to Democratic-Socialists on the far left. To Liberals on the center-left and Conservatives or what's left of them on the center-right including Libertarians. And we are simply under represented politically as a country.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

C-SPAN: Historical Inaugural Moments

Source: C-SPAN- President Barack Obama, 44th POTUS-
Source: C-SPAN: Historical Inaugural Moments

Granted I'm only 37 years old and generally I see that as a positive thing. With the energy level and strength that comes from not even being 40 years old and I generally only feel old except when I'm talking to Millennial's. But there's only a limited amount of memories I have when it comes to American presidential inaugurations and I'm a self-confessed political junky and perhaps more interested in political history since there's more for me to learn there than today's twenty-four-our spin-cyle in too many cases tabloid oriented political coverage of who is up and who is down and what does that mean ratings driven political coverage. (Except for C-SPAN, of course) My point being there's a limited amount of presidential inaugural moments that I've actually personally experienced.

But one that comes to mind is President Bill Clinton's 1993 inaugural where he says, " there's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed with what is right with America." Unemployment was high, the economy was growing slowly, high interest rates and inflation, Americans weren't feeling good about things. And you have this 46 year old Baby Boomer President essentially saying we can get through this. And things will get better. That is my inaugural moment. 17 year old high school junior getting home early that day because of winter exams and I got to see and hear that. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Commentary: Foreign Affairs: Jonathan S. Tobin: "Money Alone Won’t Bail Out The West Bank": The Future of Palestine

Money Alone Won’t Bail Out the West Bank: pAs I noted yesterday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is on the road this week attempting to persuade Arab countries to give him money. Unfortunately for Abbas, his upgrade at the United Nations last month hasn’t made his panhandling act any more popular with those who voted to upgrade his status at the world body. [...]/p

Palestine or the Palestinian Authority as its officially called is basically and independent state, province or republic. Of the State of Israel, its not like a state in America like California or even a American commonwealth. Like Puerto Rico that basically governs its owns affairs except as it relates to national security, foreign policy and the currency. Palestine right now is basically a country inside of another country without the full authority to govern its own affairs. Israel or Palestine are essentially made up of two countries, the Jewish State of Israel in the East and the Palestinian State of Palestine. In the West and South with most of the authority and power going to Israel and the Israeli's. With Palestine having the ability to govern its own domestic affairs and to a certain extent their foreign affairs. The ability to talk and communicate with foreign leaders but in a lot of cases without the resources to govern their own. Affairs so on a lot of ways the Palestinian Authority has been set up to fail without the ability to draw the resources to govern themselves.

Even if Israel and Palestine were to somehow reach a final two state solution with Israel and an independent Palestinian state. That might not be the right future of Palestine, because Israel would still run through  two of the states in Palestine. Gaza and West Bank so and unless Palestine has the ability and resources to govern themselves, with their own currency. And the ability to tax and develop their own economy to meet the needs of their people and the ability to defend themselves. With a solid law enforcement and military, Palestine might not be worth governing or having. So going forward for any Palestinian state thats not part of Israel where Israel no longer has the authority over. Palestinian affairs, Palestine has to have a credible and solid government that can govern and defend the country. This is an area thats in need of serious nation building for Palestine to succeed in the future.

For Palestine to succeed it has to be governable which is not the current situation with the ability to take on. Terrorists so they can't attack Palestine or Israel so the Palestinian economy can be developed, boys and girls. Going to school and getting a good education, job and companies being created in Palestine and so fourth. And an independent State of Palestine might not be the way forward but they need to break away from Israel. For Palestine to be secure in the future and perhaps the future of Palestine is a greater Palestine that would. Include Gaza, West Bank, Jordan and Lebanon and maybe down the road Syria but for any of these things to happen in the future. Palestine has to be able to govern and defend themselves with the resources to do so.

National Review: War on Drugs: Antoni Gollan: The History of Marijuana Prohibition

Antoni Gollan - National Review Online

When you look at the purpose of laws you should also have an idea of the purpose of freedom should be as well. How free should individuals be to live their own lives if have any freedom at all, if you believe freedom should be limited. To protect innocent people from the harm of others, then you are in the mainstream of American thought. If you believe that freedom should be limited to not only protect innocent people from the harm of others but to protect people even from themselves. Then you believe in the notion of a strong government, big government even thats designed to have a secure country. Even if that means limiting peoples ability to live their own lives even if they aren't hurting anyone with what. They are doing which would make you more of a Statist not to sound insulting but descriptive which is common in Neoconservative and. Progressive thought in America, rather then you being a Liberal or Conservative and just because you are a Statist. Doesn't mean you are a Communist exactly or another type of Authoritarian, you can be a Statist and still be a Democrat. But you are someone who values security over freedom.

As a Liberal I believe that we can't have freedom without security and vice versa. Freedom is great as long as we aren't free to hurt innocent people, just free to live our own lives as we see fit. But security isn't worth much without freedom because the longer you try to hold people down the more angry they get. And will want to take that anger out on the state thats holding them down as Egypt and Libya found out in 2011. As Syria is finding out now and as Eastern Europe found out over twenty years ago, so thats my biggest problem. With the War on Drugs is that it puts security over freedom for how people live their own lives and tries to protect. People from themselves even if that means locking them up in places that aren't very good for them and doesn't. Do a thing for them so they can get help with whatever addiction they may have and the idea isn't very intelligent either. Lets send pot smokers and drug users to a place where they won't want to be and by doing that they won't want to come back.

We have over eighty years of evidence to know that if people want to do something bad enough they'll find. A way to do that and damn the consequences which is why the War on Drugs doesn't work and especially with marijuana. Where a lot of pot smokers aren't addicted to pot and are clever enough not to get caught smoking pot or being high. In front of law enforcement and all these marijuana raids are design to protect people from themselves. Instead of using those resources to put away actual dangerous criminals, which makes the War on Drugs a waste of tax payer dollars.

National Journal: Foreign Policy: James Kitfield: Can President Obama and President Karzai Avoid Iraq Redux?

Can Obama and Karzai Avoid Iraq Redux? -

Afghanistan will finally have the opportunity to govern and defend themselves

Thursday, January 10, 2013

AEI: Healthcare: Thomas Miller and Catherine Griffin: US National Healthcare Spending Continues Trend of Slow Growth

US national health care spending continues trend of slow growth

You want to cut Medicare as well as broader healthcare costs in this country, you create a public option in the form of Medicare. To do that where all adults in this country would have the option to purchase Medicare and use that as their health insurance. And where seniors who've already paid into it but can't afford to spend more for their health insurance. Wouldn't have to pay additional costs but where wealthy people who can afford to pay more for Medicare. Would get their Medicare as if it was private health insurance and be required to pay for all of their Medicare benefits. This is how we would save Medicare by having more healthy people on it as well as more people with means on Medicare. Which would bring down the costs of the program and we could even have a fifty state public option for Medicare. Allowing each state to set up their own Medicare systems to go along with the private health insurance market. And be able to see what works best in each state and what doesn't work very well and what we can improve on.

The other way to bring down healthcare costs in America Medicare and the broader healthcare system. Is to stop subsidizing the quantity of healthcare in this country, stop subsidizing hospitals and doctors based. On how much healthcare they provide and start subsidizing them based on how healthy their patients are. By the results that we are getting from our doctors from the healthcare that they are providing. As well as stop subsidizing junk food and drink through Food Assistance, get junk food and drink out of all public schools. And public buildings in general and instead subsidize healthy foods, good diet and exercise, credits for living well. And so fourth, increase Food Assistance to cover more expensive healthy food and so fourth, health insurance. To cover gym memberships and that sorta thing, to encourage Americans to take care of themselves and penalize. Then when they don't, so they can't past their healthcare costs onto others.

The Affordable Care Act already took big steps to bring down our healthcare costs by having more people. On health insurance and with the healthcare mandate so we have less people receiving free healthcare. In this country at other peoples expense but that was just a first step and we are now at a point where are healthcare costs. Aren't rising as fast but thats not good enough they are still way too expensive and we need to bring them down by half. As a percentage of GDP to help us get our debt and deficits under control.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Weekly Standard: Editorial Board: Compassionate Conservatism, What it Really is

Compassionate Conservatism

When George W. Bush first introduced or started using the term "compassionate Conservative" back in 1999-2000. When he first ran for President, some Americans and perhaps even me on the left saw the term as an Oxymoron. Compassionate Conservative, thats sounds like a jumbo shrimp or hot ice or something that doesn't sound right. Words that don't tend to go together but it is a real term and to a certain extent in things like education reform. And prescription drugs and empowering faith based groups in the War on Poverty, President Bush did make. An effort to make Conservatism look more compassionate, compassionate Conservatism is real. And so are compassionate Conservatives people who actually do care about the less fortunate but who don't believe. That its the role of government to take care of the less fortunate who can take care of themselves if just given the opportunity. But that government should be empowering these people or empowering the private sector to help these people. Become self sufficient and be able to take care of themselves.

Former US Representative and Republican Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate Jack Kemp and former US Senate Leader. And Republican Presidential nominee Bob Dole were compassionate Conservatives, these were men. Who didn't believe in the welfare state and it was the job of government to take care of people unless they were disabled. But to empower people who currently couldn't be able to take care of themselves, Welfare to Work in 1996. Perfect example of that where the Federal Government finally said that its no longer going to allow low skilled. People or anyone else be able to live off of public assistance indefinitely but that these people should be empowered. To go to work or go back to work and get a good job, that it was the job of public assistance to put people back to work. Not leave them on public assistance indefinitely, now you could argue that Welfare to Work was a compassionate Conservative idea. But you can also argue that its compassionate Liberal as well.

The new compassionate Conservatives in the Republican Party people who'll be able to appeal outside of the. Traditional Republican base that they'll have to do in order to remain a major political party in the future are. Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Marco Rubio and others who are students and admirers of Jack Kemp Conservatism. That believe that government can play a role in empowering people to get out of poverty but that the private sector could also play a role here. By encouraging the private sector to invest in low income communities and train their low skilled workers. To get better jobs and we'll see what kind of influence that compassionate Conservatism has on the GOP in the future.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

AEI: Politics: Marc A. Thiessen: "Republicans Should Start Acting Like Barack Obama": How Republicans Should Be The Loyal Opposition

Republicans should start acting like Obama - Politics and Public Opinion - AEI

When Barack Obama became President of the United States in January, 2009 the Congressional Republican strategy. Was very clear and all about getting back into power at least in Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Laid it out in his first speech in the 111th Congress, his number one objective was to see that Barack Obama. Become a one term President and even at times in the beginning they talked about the need to work with the President. And they had those meetings early on from everything from the stimulus to healthcare reform, it was all talk. They were delay tactics, by then House Minority Leader John Boehner and then as well as current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. But neither John Boehner or Mitch McConnel ever intended to deliver votes for Democrats and the President. It got to the point especially on healthcare reform that if President Obama was for it, Republicans were. Against it even if they were for it or at one point were in favor of it, hopefully you aren't dizzy from reading that yet. The healthcare mandate which was originally a Conservative Republican idea is a perfect example of that.

This strategy worked in the short term as House Republicans won back the House of Representatives in 2010. And Senate Republicans even though they are still in the minority picked up six seats in 2010 giving them a large. Minority in the next Congress but being against things just because the other team is for them is a short term strategy. But not a governing philosophy and as House Republicans hopefully learned in the last Congress that once you. Are back in power even if you only control the lower chamber in Congress, you have a responsibility to govern. You have to propose ideas and put things on the table, something that John Boehner didn't have to do when he was Minority Leader. And going forward Americans are going to need reasons to vote for Republicans in Congress and for President. Especially as President Obama's approval rating goes up and Democrats get behind the President and saying. You might still not like us but at least we aren't as bad as the other team won't put Republicans back in power.

Republicans don't need to be more like Barack Obama or be more like Democrats, thats not how an opposition party. In a political system that only has two major political parties is suppose to operate but they have to be more Republican. Let the real Conservatives the adults in the GOP do their jobs and run the party and tell the Neoconservatives to go home. And be a real anti Big Government party rather then bashing anyone who doesn't hold the party line that was. Developed by George W. Bush and Karl Rove, especially if they are actual Conservative Republicans like Chuck Hagel. You should vote Republican because we'll keep your taxes and government spending and regulations down. And stay out of your personal affairs and not try to tell you how to live your own lives and what it means to be an. American and our foreign policy will be about defending America and freedom but doing it in a fiscally responsible. Way and not run up trillions of dollars of debt in the process and not try to govern the World. This is what the message of what the GOP should be going forward.

Republicans are still a long way from getting back to being a real Conservative Republican Party and they are. Still debating amongst themselves how they lost an election and even dropped seats in Congress, an election. That on paper where they only need solid but not spectacular candidates to win going away but they didn't have. Many solid candidates but instead a lot of quite frankly lousy candidates who had no business running statewide or nationally. And are still stuck in 1950s America and want to pass that onto the rest of the country and thats why they lost.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Commentary: National Security: Alana Goodman: The Next Fight: Tea Partiers v. Hawks on Defense Cuts

The Next Fight: Tea Partiers v. Hawks on Defense Cuts: pThe Hill reports that the defense industry is anxious the fiscal cliff tax deal may increase the likelihood of Pentagon cuts: The defense industry is worried last week’s budget deal on taxes could damage its negotiating position for the next “fiscal cliff” deadline two months from now, when across-the-board spending cuts would take effect.  The [...]/p

Now that we are in an era of deficit reduction and I'll credit the Tea Party for getting us here and as someone. Whose a budget and tax payer hawk on the left and yes people like that do exist on the left, I'm glad we are here. Because it yes gives Republicans an opportunity to talk about government waste especially in the area of social insurance where. They tend to only concentrate on and I agree there's plenty of waste in Medicare to use as an example as well as Medicaid. As well as Unemployment Insurance and Food Assistance but it gives Liberals such as myself an opportunity. To talk about government waste in the tax code things like corporate welfare but also in agriculture but also in national security as well. I agree across the board budget cuts in any part of the Federal Government defense or otherwise is a bad idea. Which is what the sequester is about but we still need to make savings in the defense budget for our financial outlook. But also for USDOD which is overstretched because its overcommitted and still responsible for the. National security of developed nations and the drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq is a perfect opportunity. For us to start to make savings in defense that don't hurt our national security.

Thanks to Afghanistan and Iraq and the fact that we've never bothered to pay a dime for the costs of both of those wars. We've run up a roughly 2T$ tab for the costs of those wars, thats how much we've expanded the defense budget. Since 2001 and it would've been one thing if we paid for those wars by paying for them in new revenue or budget cuts and. We wouldn't have the debt and deficit that we do today, Medicare Advantage, the unfunded tax cuts and the Great Recession. Are other big contributers to our debt and deficit but roughly 2T$ alone coming from those two wars. So if we were to get back to 2000 spending levels as it relates to defense we could save 2T$ in debt and deficit. And use some of those savings or find new revenue to finance the defense budget of the 21st Century which. Relates to counterterrorism and working with allies in the developed World especially in African and parts of Asia. To help them combat against Islamic terrorism in the future.

President Obama and Congressional Democrats especially in the Senate with their 55-45 majority should take. The Afghanistan and Iraq into the next round of deficit reduction talks in February and March and if anything. Be working with Tea Party Republicans on this issue to get the defense budget back to 2000 spending levels. And use most of those savings to finance deficit reduction because its the right thing to do and would help. Us get our debt and deficit under control without hurting our national security because we would become. Lighter and quicker and be able to respond to future challenges quicker and be more effective.

Human Events: Opinion: Lou Cannon: States Still Walking the Fiscal Cliff

States Still Walking the Fiscal Cliff

The Federal Government has a history which they continue today of both playing the role of supporter as well. As director of how state governments spend money and what services they provide for their residents, thats what. Happens in a Federalist system that states or provinces have the main role to provide what public services. They'll provide their residents as well as deciding what services they'll provide as it relates human services. Things like education, regulations in the economy, help for the needy to use as examples and where the Federal Government. Tends to come in whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge is to play the role of supporter and even overseer. To the extent it helps states that are struggling to finance basic services for their people with funding to do that. But the Feds are also there to make sure that basic services that people need from government are provided. But that they are also being provided fairly and people aren't discriminated based on race, ethnicity, gender to use as examples.

Because of the Great Recession but even before that states were having a hard time financing the public services. That they are suppose to provide which is why we've seen so many layoffs in the public sector and also why. Our unemployment rate which is now finally under 8% at 7.8% is as high as it is, had those public sector jobs. Not of been eliminated we are probably under 7% unemployment right now, which is why President Obama. And other Democrats have been proposing since 2009 and passed in 2009-10 and are still trying to pass more. State aid so states don't have to cut their payrolls in the future but also so they can bring some of those jobs back. Another problem that states have had at least going back to the Great Society years in the 1960s, is what's called. Unfunded mandates where the Feds tell them that you have to do this whether its in education or Medicaid to use. As examples but then they don't provide the states with the resources to pay for those services and then get stuck with the bills.

A good way to fix the debt and deficit issues of both the states and Federal Government, is to eliminate unfunded mandates. And then turn the public welfare services that both the Feds and states provide completely over to the states. For them to run, we are talking about 2T$ annually in revenue that the Feds would no longer have to worry about financing. And then the Feds would play the role of regulator layout basic national standards for the states to follow. To use as an example every American qualified for a certain public service that the states have the resources. To provide that individual the states would have to cover that person if that individual is qualified for those services. And then make these programs self sufficient new revenue to pay for them so the states don't get stuck with additional bills.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Human Events: Congress: Senator Rand Paul: "Nuclear Option Will Destroy the Senate": How to Reform The US Senate

Nuclear option will destroy the Senate - Conservative News

The United States Senate is suppose to be the most deliberative legislative body in the World as well as the upper chamber in the US Congress. The theory being that the children in the US House rush to pass legislation in a partisan way with very little. If any input from the minority responding to their constituents about whatever the latest crisis that happens so. They can tell their constituents that they responded to whatever the latest concern is and then that legislation. Would go over to the US Senate where the adults would takeover, cooler heads would prevail and more sensible legislation. With a Bi Partisan vote would pass, thats what minority rights is suppose to mean in the US Senate, that the. Majority can't run over the minority but where both sides are generally suppose to work together to get legislation passed. Not where the minority runs the Senate, which is what recently the Senate has looked like where the. Republican Minority in the Senate led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has used his power to not work. With Senate Democrats but to get and do things the way he wants them done, which is not how the Senate is suppose to operate.

No one except for maybe the far left in the Democratic Party is calling for the Senate to eliminate minority rights. Or to do away with the filibuster but to establish a system where filibusters are real and actual filibusters. Instead of just one Senator just saying I object and don't feel like voting or speaking now and leaves the floor. Where whatever the legislation is suppose to be is blocked indefinitely until the minority gets exactly what they want. That if the minority or any Senator decides to obstruct that there's a price to pay for that obstruction, that actions. Actually do have consequences, that we do have minority rights in the Senate but the job of the majority is to govern. To set the agenda and what issues are debated and make it to the Senate floor and get to draft bills to address those issues. And what the minority would get in return starting in the next Congress which starts tomorrow and into the future. Is the ability to amend and substitute, to right their own version of the bills that the majority comes up with. Led by the Minority Leader and his or her deputies, as long as its relevant to the legislation being considered.

The so called nuclear option in the Senate where Senate Democrats would rewrite the filibuster rule with a. Party line vote with the minority getting nothing in return which is something that Leader Harry Reid is suppose. To be considering even though I think he's really using it as a negotiating tool because he use to be the Minority Leader as well. Is not something that should be used and would cause a lot of problems with the minority constantly. Looking for ways to get back at the majority and would try to make life as bad on the minority once they. Were to come back into power and is something that should be avoided but the minority should no longer be. Able to obstruct just to obstruct and have to layout why they are objecting which would be their consequence for obstructing. So filibusters would end up being more limited and hopefully only come at the end of debates but what the minority. Would get in return is the ability to influence all legislation with relevant and timely amendments with time limits. On them so they couldn't attempt to amend indefinitely.

The Leader and Minority Leader should be the most powerful positions in the US Senate this is why these positions are created. Rather then one Senator being able to slow down or block anything because they feel like it or not even have. To come out in public and these powers should be based on the majority led by the Leader deciding the agenda. And the minority led by the Minority Leader being able to counter the majority when they decide not to work together. While still having the ability to obstruct at the end the final products of legislation that both sides had their say in crafting.

National Journal: Elahe Izadi: Senate Minority Leader McConnell: The Master Tactician, Emerges as Closer in Cliff Deal

McConnell, the Master Tactician, Emerges as Closer in Cliff Deal -

Once again Mitch McConnell saving the day for his caucus and party by reaching a fiscal cliff compromise with President Obama.