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Archive for May, 2011

U.S. Senate Leader Harry Reid, D

U.S. Senate Leader Harry Reid, D


Crooks and Liars: Opinion: David Neiwart: Senate Resoundingly Rejects Ryan Budget, 57-40

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday afternoon showed again that they are not ready to make a big decision on another key issue, the Federal budget. In a way this is good because the House GOP budget should never become law. Because it transforms Medicare into a voucher system. It puts most if not all the budget deficit on our safety net. And doesn’t do a damn thing to reduce overall spending on defense. Or repeal the tax cuts for high earners, or end corporate welfare. This House budget went down overwhelmingly 57-40.

Then Senate Minority Leader McConnell brought up what he called President Obama’s Federal budget plan. Which was more of a set of goals then anything and not a serious proposal. And that went down by a whopping 97-0. But with Senate Democrats apparently incapable of offering a serious budget proposal that gets our deficit and debt under control in a responsible way. The Senate was left with a choice of two budget plans that will never become law. Even though the Senate minority can’t block budget related items. And the Senate Democrats have a three seat majority, they have been incapable so far of coming up with their own budget plan that they can pass and send to the House.

It would be both great politics and policy for Senate Democrats led by Senator Kent Conrad Chairman of the Budget Committee, to develop their own budget plan that’s responsible and pays down the deficit. Because they would have something to counter the House with and be able to take it on the campaign trail. “This is what we want to do and this is what House and Senate Republicans voted for.” And have a major campaign issue, meaning Medicare to use to retake the House in 2012 and keep control of the Senate.

Because between the House and Senate roughly 280 Republicans members of Congress voted for the House GOP budget. That cost the GOP a House seat Tuesday night. This is something they could take nationally, just a thought. Leadership is about choosing and governing. Not you can sit on your hands when you’re in the opposition and minority. This is a lesson that the White House and the Senate Democratic Leadership should learn. The House Democratic Leadership drafted its budget plan and they are in the minority.

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Paul Ryan Thinks Voters Will Reward Republicans for Dismantling Our Social Safety Nets | Video Cafe.

Its not everyday, week, month, year perhaps I could go farther but I’ll spare you for now. That you see a politician or in this case politicians and lets use the House GOP as an example. Especially in Washington where you see politicians put their neck on the line, in this case Political Careers. For a vote because they thought it was the right thing to do. But thats exactly what the House GOP did back in April, by voting to reform Medicare by turning it into a Voucher System. Where seniors would be forced to get their Health Insurance somewhere else. Because they would eliminate the Health Insurance part of Medicare. Leaving Senior Citizens with less choice in where they get their Health Insurance. Its really that simple and Congressional Democrats both in the House and Senate have been making the House GOP pay for it ever since especially at House GOP Town Halls. Where these GOP Reps have been getting hit hard because of their vote for the Paul Ryan Medicare plan. They’ve gotten hit so hard by it, that now Speaker Boehner has taken the Ryan plan off the table as far as reforming Medicare and paying down the Federal Deficit and Debt.

Its a Damn Shame for the House GOP because they had all the momentum going into 112th Congress and for about three months were controlling the agenda. Despite the fact that democrats still control the Senate and White House. On Fiscal Policy they’ve gotten a lot of their Budget Cuts through and will probably get more. Senate Democrats were unsure on how to deal with the House GOP. The Senate GOP Leadership were just playing off the House GOP and letting them control the ball and backing what they do. But I’m not sure Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell believes thats a great idea anymore. And they’ve started to offer their own legislation to counter Senate Democrats. But with the vote on the Ryan Medicare plan passing with almost all GOP Votes in the House. And with how unpopular with a Consensus of Americans disapproving of the plan. The House Democratic Leadership will try to use it almost exclusively to win back control of the House in 2012. They think they can take this issue to the bank. And the Senate Democratic Leadership will force the Senate GOP to take a stand on the Ryan plan one way or the other by forcing votes on it because they are still in control in the Senate.

The Ryan Medicare plan is an example of what can happen when you wish for something too much. Because you can get it and get more then you bargained for.

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Appointments will fuel backlash against Senate, parties say.

Canada is probably the closest democracy to America as far as its freedom. In a lot of ways its a Liberal Democracy just like America but if anything has more freedom on Social Issues. Like on Gay Marriage, Prostitution, Marijuana, they even allow Law Biding people to own guns. And don’t have a National Gun Registry like America. But they have much more socialist Economic Policy whether the Liberal or Conservative Party is in charged. With a much broader Welfare State then America. And even though they have a Federal System unlike Britain. They are a lot more centralized then America. But they are probably our closest ally in the World, where the cultures and people are pretty similar. Canada in my opinion does a lot of things well but in one area they are lacking even though they have a Bi Cameral Federal Parliament. With the House of Commons and Senate, their Senate unlike America’s is a joke. No more important then the UK House of Lords. Even though on paper the Canadian Senate is the Upper Chamber in Parliament like America. Unlike the US Senate it doesn’t act as one with very little if any power. Whereas in Australia the Senate there is the Upper Chamber in Parliament on paper and in practice. And where the Prime Minister has to appear in both Chambers weekly when Parliament is in session. Unlike in the Canadian Parliament where Prime Minster only has to appear in the House where Prime Minster Questions is conducted. Where Senators don’t appear.

Currently the Prime Minister appoints at least some of the Senators as well as people inheriting that position. Canada is much better then this, they are not an Authoritarian State or a Monarchy. They should modernize their Senate and have a true Bi Cameral Parliament where each Province gets and equal number of Senators and where the each territory gets one each. And let the Canadian People decide who their Representatives in Parliament are in both Chambers. And let the Senate be an equal player in Parliament or the Upper Chamber. Democracy works best when the people are in charge.

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Source: The Hill: Kevin Baogardus- AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka Looks to Independent Labor Movement

If you look at the American Labor Movement today, it more resembles the politics. Especially on Economic Policy, of the British Labor Party, or the Canadian Democratic Party, that I call a Socialist Democratic Party. Or the German Socialist Democratic Party. More then the politics of the American Democratic Party. Organized Labor in America, at least at their Leadership Level. Tends to be in favor of Democratic Socialism and expanding Democratic Socialism in America. Like Single Payer Health Care, guaranteed pensions, guaranteed employment and then they tend to be Anti Business, Anti Free Trade. Even though a lot of their members work for business. Even though the Democratic Party still supports the Right to Organize and Collective Bargain, including for Public Employees. And the Democratic Socialist Faction of the Democratic Party is still in Lock Step with Organized Labor. Especially the House Progressive Caucus, they are still a small faction of the party. The Democratic Party has moved away and I believe for good reason from the policy’s of Organized Labor, for about twenty years now. And have become a Liberal Capitalist Party. Still liberal on Social Issues and supporters of the Safety Net. But doesn’t believe government can solve all problems that society faces with more Government Programs.

The Democratic Party had been handcuffed to a certain extent to Organized Labor in the past. Organized Labor still has strong roots in the Democratic Party but no longer runs it. Organized Labor still controls about 20% of the party, the House Progressive Caucus. They are becoming a movement without a party and their numbers are shrinking. They need to realign and reform and find a party that they can influence. If they still want to be a major force in American Politics.

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Crooks and Liars.

As a liberal who actually does love the US Constitution, American Liberalism is based on liberty and the Constitution that we use as our Guiding Force. The American Civil Liberties Union is all about the US Constitution and defending it. The Christian Right has their version of the Holy Bible as their Guiding Force. Liberals have something that was actually written in law that governs America. And when I here the Far Right saying how much they love the Constitution but then seem to be against the First Amendment except or Political Speech. The Fourth Amendment that protects against unreasonable Searches and Seizures. The 17th Amendment that gives the people the right to decide who their Senators in Congress are. Neo Conservatives being in favor of allowing the Executive Branch to suspend Constitutional Rights. When they feel they endanger the country or against the Equal Protection Clause especially to prevent homosexuals from marrying each other. The Christian Right trying to bring religion closer to government. Tea Party conservatives trying to prevent workers from organizing and Collective Bargaining. I think to myself really, because these are fundamental Constitutional Rights that they seem to be against. Perhaps its not the US Constitution they love but only parts of it.

Political Conservatism is suppose to be centered around the US Constitution and protecting and defending those basic rights. That makes our country great especially in a Liberal Democracy. Conservatism is not suppose to about authoritarian Big Government where rights can be suspended if the government feels its in the best interest and doesn’t even have to justify it. Conservatism at least Conservative Libertarianism with Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, Gerry Ford, Bob Dole, Ron Reagan and others. Was about Limited Government and preventing government from getting big. Because they believed when government got big, the people gave up some of their freedom. Mainstream Conservatism is about protecting Constitutional Rights, not denying that they exist.

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Crooks and Liars.

America is in a interesting and awful situation that we can and probably will recover from. But it has to be dealt with, we have package of sluggish Economic Growth, High Unemployment and a massive Federal Deficit and Debt. All things that have to be dealt with and I believe all at the same time. Which makes it more complicated and even harder to do. But if we are smart in how we approach them, we can get them done and be stronger as a result. The good news is that we’ve had strong Job Growth so far in 2011 but with low Economic Growth. If we can get them going at the same time, that would take care of economic and financial issues. Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction is not an either or, this was done back in 1993 with the Clinton Economic Plan. Yes President Clinton inherited a much better but still a bad economy then President Obama. But this still can be done. We have a Debt Ceiling that will have to be raised, but we are currently at 14T$ and any time your debt equals your National Income. You really need to be able to show that you can at least pay it down and are willing to pay it back. The question is how, do cut the budget just to cut the budget or do you do it in an intelligent way. That not only pays down your debt but strengthens your economy as well. Which is what we should be doing.

The best way to pay down a deficit and debt is with a strong economy. Thats the main reason why the Federal Government was able to balance its budget by 1998 in the 90s. And was actually talking about completely paying off its National Debt within ten years after that. So what we need is an Economic Policy that encourages Economic Growth, which will create more jobs. A combination of an Energy Policy that moves us towards Energy Independence and finally off of Foreign Oil. By promoting our vast Natural Resources. An Infrastructure Policy like a Infrastructure Bank so we can start repairing our 100s of billions of dollars of Infrastructure Repairs. That would create a lot of well paid infrastructure jobs. And keeping taxes down on the Middle Class if not cutting them further. And then we need to start paying down our deficit and debt in an intelligent way and do it right away. Like bringing troops home from Developed Countries that can afford to defend themselves. Using the revenue from the Troop Withdraws from Afghanistan and Iraq. And using that revenue to pay down our deficit and debt. Reforming our Social Insurance programs and design them in a way that moves people to Self Sufficiency and off of Government Dependency. Reforming our entitlements to make them better but more Cost Effective. Tax Reform that taxes more at Lower Rates. Eliminating Corporate Welfare and reforming our Agriculture Insurance. Raising taxes on High Earners to pay down the deficit and debt.

What we shouldn’t be doing is passing Tax Hikes on the struggling Middle Class. Which is what the House Progressive Caucus has proposed to do. Or ignore our deficit and debt and get to them when we feel like it. As if its not a real problem. The deficit and debt has to be paid back whether we do it by choice. Or that money is taken away from us in high Interest Rates. What we need is a balanced Fiscal Policy that gets our economy back to strong Economic Growth and lowers our Unemployment Rate with strong Job Growth. And gets our deficit and debt under control.

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All forms of Racism is bad not matter what Race its directed at : Crooks and Liars

As a liberal as an american but more importantly as a person and I would hope that all people feel this way. But unfortunately thats not the case, I believe all forms of racism is bad. No matter who’s it directed at and what race. Just as there’s no such thing as a good from of slavery or evil, there’s no such thing as a good form of racism. As someone who’s a proud product of a very diverse High School, Bethesda Chevy Chase. Where literally the whole World is represented there and still is and someone who went to diverse schools my whole Educational Career. And who met and experienced people of different races growing up. Including befriending them and still knowing some of these friends today. I got to know people of different ethnicity’s and races early on. And learned on my own that they are just people, you know who happened to look different then from people of my ethnicity and race. And then once you establish that, you learn that they are people and you can treat as such and not differently. As oppose to someone who grew up in a segregated area and didn’t meet and was unaware of people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds growing up. Perhaps grows up with parents and grandparents with bigoted attitudes growing up. And once they finally are around different people, perhaps in college or when they are working. Don’t know how to act around them. Now I’ll admit as an Caucasian American my experience at feeling racism towards me is pretty limited, mostly in the form of humor. And most of that bad humor has been directed at my German Heritage. So mostly about my ethnicity not race. And a lot of those jokes have been German Ethnic Stereotypes. Still bad but not things like Ethnic Slurs.

Racism is bad, whether its coming from the Far Right or Far Left and whatever race its directed at. Conservatives get accused of racism especially towards minorities all the time. But they don’t own a monopoly on it, even though it clearly exists and has been well documented. But racism also comes from the Far Left and a lot of times in the form of humor. Directed at caucasians, jews and in some cases asians. And generally directed at men and I believe even though they would describe it as being Race Conscience. They also tend to be more likely I believe, to identify ones race in describing someone. Instead of their hair color or outfit, physical build etc. To me any Dr Martin Luther King who I consider the Leader and hero of the Civil Rights movement. And with his I have a Dream Speech of 1963. Laid down the vision of Civil Right and Equal Rights. That famous and most important line, “I have a dream that one day my children would be judged by the Content of their Character. Not by the Color of their Skin. Most important thing ever said in the Civil Rights Movement because that laid down the vision of what that movement was all about. That all americans would be treated by the Content of their Character and not by the Color of their Skin. That all racism was evil and needs to be defeated.

All racism is bad and should be treated for the evil that it is. If all people just remember the MLK I have a Dream Speech and just treat people as people. Judge them by their character and not race or ethnicity. Then Dr King’s dream will become a reality and America will live up to what it represents. As a land of Equal Opportunity for all not for a special few.

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