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Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

If there is one thing that you can give Donald Trump credit for as far as the strength of the American economy, its all the jobs that have been created in the comedy industry simply because of The Donald and his crazy narcissistic irresponsible behavior. George W. Bush, was great for comedy. Bill Clinton, was great for comedy,. Ronald Reagan was great for comedy. Jimmy Carter was great for comedy. But they are all minor players as far as their affects on the comedy industry, in comparison to Donald Trump. They would be like the Toledo Mud Hens in comparison to the Detroit Tigers. One is a AAA minor league club, the Tigers are obviously a major league club.

Alec Baldwin is one of the top and most popular comedians in America now. I’ve always seen him as a very funny man and someone who was great with wisecracks before. Very similar to Tom Hanks, but now Baldwin is one of the most popular and visible comedians in America simply because he plays President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. Which is probably still the most popular comedy show on TV. Donald Trump is obviously not the most popular man in America. I mean to be the most popular man in America with a 32% approval rating, means most of the country is either in a coma or you have a hell of a lot haters in the country who hates practically everybody. Perhaps the average American suffers from depression and hates everything that they see.

But Donald Trump is probably the most visible American in America, if not the world and when he makes an ass out of himself and generally he doesn’t go a day without doing that, the comedy industry both right and left and generally left, pick up on that and run with it. And Alec Baldwin has made a new career at literally making fun of and impersonating President Donald Trump. The man should be sending President Trump a Christmas card everyday of the year. Because Trump has been horrible for the country, at least according to his approval ratings and how he’s seen around the world, but he’s been great for Alec Baldwin and the broader comedy industry.

Politics and Prose: Alec Baldwin and Kurt Anderson- Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump

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Source: Glenn Beck

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The key term from Glenn Beck’s speech is here is that ANTIFA are anti-liberal. Which is what illiberal means and a lot of the people in so-called mainstream media haven’t even heard of the word illiberal, let alone knows what it means. An illiberal is someone who opposes liberal values, especially liberal democratic values. Things like free speech, free assembly, free press, right to privacy, property rights, self-defense, to use as examples. Individualism really in all forms. That everything should be equal and the same for everybody even if people are different and even more productive. And that this so-called equality should be forced on everyone even through force and the government.

ANTIFA calls themselves anti-fascists because they oppose racism and bigotry towards minorities. And yet they use fascist tactics like violence in an attempt to eliminate right-wing fascism and bigotry. Which is hypocritical to put it mildly. It would be like an obese person who goes out of their way to prevent their kids from eating junk food and drinking soft drinks. Because this person says those things aren’t good for you which is why you shouldn’t eat and drink those products. Someone who is actually and anti-fascist, is actually an anti-fascist. Just like someone who is a Progressive, is actually a Progressive.

You can’t say you’re an anti-fascist on one hand, while you support fascism on the other hand. Even if you support some fascism because you believe the polices behind it. If you’re going to call yourself an anti-fascist, than you better oppose all fascism otherwise you’ll lose credibility with anyone who doesn’t already support you. Which is what this so-called ANTIFA movement is all about. They’re not anti-fascists, but instead oppose right-wing fascism. So at best they’re anti-right-wing fascists.

ANTIFA are not even progressive, because they have regressive tendencies and want to go backwards and say people who don’t agree with them don’t have the same free speech rights as the so-called ANTIFA activists. They’re illiberal people on the Far-Right like with the Christian-Theocrats and Christian-Nationalists, and Neo-Nazis, who back Donald Trump. The so-called ANTIFA movement represents fascists illiberal’s on the Far-Left.

Glenn Beck: Daily Show- ANTIFA

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Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

What Socialists don’t like about Libertarians and libertarianism, is that Libertarians have this inane idea (according to Socialists) that people should be allowed to make a good living and then be able to live off of those rewards. The fruits of their labor, to sound like a cheeseball.

What the Christian-Right and now Christian-Nationalists (who voted for Donald Trump) don’t like about Libertarians and libertarianism is that Libertarians have this crazy idea (according to the Christian-Right) that people have property rights and that extends to their homes and their bodies. And that people should be able to live their own lives as they see fit, short of hurting innocent people. Even if that offends the religious and moral values of the Christian-Right.

What I don’t like about the Libertarian-Right, well their a few things and I guess I could name them all. But they claim to be against big government and government interference and yet they tend to sound more like they’re anti-government all together. That they see America as some deserted island where there’s almost no evidence of life and all of these people show up all the sudden and over the years and create a new society short of having any government.

The so-called Anarcho-Libertarians, seem to believe that arresting suspects as part of a criminal investigation, is somehow a form of kidnapping. That if someone wrongs you its up to that person to get justice for themselves. Instead of relying on a law enforcement department to handle that for you. Because if we have public law enforcement and government, that would require taxes to fund those agencies. That putting convicted murderers, to use as an example who are actually guilty of murdering the people they were convicted for, that putting them in prison for their crimes, somehow violated the murderer’s rights. Someone who believes that comes from another planet and perhaps is just on Earth for a visit. Perhaps to see what the real world looks like.

Conservative-Libertarians like the Barry Goldwater’s from back in the day, Senator Rand Paul and a few others in Congress today, P.J. O’Rourke, those Libertarians I can respect, because they’re not Anarchists, but Libertarians. They want a government limited to only doing for the people what we can’t do for ourselves. And not messing around in other countries affairs. And also they sound like sane intelligent people who base their politics from this crazy word called reason. And not sounding like escaped mental patients, who’ve been on nothing but marijuana and alcohol, since they fled from the institution.

And I could also talk about how conspiratorial Libertarians tend to be and how they resemble the Socialist-Left in America and how dovish they are and blaming Lyndon Johnson for the JFK assassination. Libertarians are supposed to hate Socialists and socialism, and yet they sleep in the same bed at the same time with Socialists when arguing about all of these conspiracy theories. Like the JFK assassination, but arguing that 9/11 was an inside job and I could go on. Just look at Alex Jones website if you want more.

Or the antisemitism and even racism that Libertarians have expressed against non-Europeans in America and how now a faction of the Libertarian-Right is now part of the Alt-Right. The Stefan Molyneaux’s and others who claim to be Libertarians, but have argued that immigration is somehow a threat to the European-American culture. As well as some Libertarians arguing at least in the past and again something they have in common with the Socialist-Left in America and people like socialist author and writer Noam Chomsky, that America is largest terrorist state in the world and perhaps the only international terrorist organization in the world.

As a Liberal I’m all about (to use a cliche from the 2000s) getting and keeping big government out of my wallets and bedroom. The whole notion of being an adult (who is not currently incarcerated) is that you get to make your own personal and economic decisions, but then have to deal with the consequences of our actions. We don’t need a national, or even state, or local, religious leader or nanny statist, babysitting free adults.

So again, I respect the Rand Paul’s Jeff Flake’s, Ron Johnson’s, Justin Amash’s, and others in Congress. These are all Republicans by the way in the Senate and House. But the Alt-Right that is part of the Libertarian-Right and the anarcho wing of the Libertarian-Right, they can sound just as crazy as the Socialist-Left. Perhaps as if they did time with them in an institution. And when the crazies become the faces of your movement, your movement loses credibility and the ability to be taken seriously in American politics.

The Independent Institute: P.J. O’Rourke- The Outlook: How Things Look From Here

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Source: The Nation

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I believe to listen to Gore Vidal speak or read any of his material, you first have to know where he’s coming from and what his political background is. He doesn’t view individual rights and freedom like most Americans do. He has more of a social democratic or democratic socialist approach to how looks at politics, rights, and freedom. He was as far to the left as Henry Wallace who ran for President for the Progressive Party back in 1948, Senator George McGovern, who ran for President three times for the Democratic Party, or Senator Bernie Sanders today.

So when Gore Vidal talks about rights and freedom, he means the right not to go without the basic essentials in life.

The right not to starve.

The right not to want.

The right to health care and health insurance.

The right to housing.

The right to work if someone chooses to, but that work shouldn’t be required even for people who are mentally and physically able.

And for people who literally choose not to work in order to support themselves, those people are also entitled to the same rights that I just mentioned.

The rights that President Franklin Roosevelt proposed in 1944 in his second Bill of Rights speech. What would be called today welfare rights and perhaps back then as well. The rights for people to be taken care of instead of everyone going out there and making their own way in life and creating their own individual freedom for themselves. Which is very different from what the Founding Fathers created for America even though they didn’t tend individual rights for all Americans and not just Englishmen of wealth. Those individual rights that all Americans have regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender, apply to all Americans because that is how the Founding Fathers (Founding Liberals, really) wrote our Bill of Rights.

All what was consistent with Gore Vidal and is also consistent with the Socialist-Left today that Noam Chomsky and others argue, is that America doesn’t even have a two-party system, let alone a multiple party system. That we have a one-system that has people called Democrats and others called Republicans. Who are both controlled by big business in America and the National Security State.

Gore was somewhat conspiratorial to say the least. And even though he was a helluva lot smarter than your everyday JFK assassination conspiracy theorist and a very intelligent and funny man in general, he had his own conspiracy theories as well.

The Nation: Gore Vidal- Speech at The Nation in 1990

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Source: Vanity Fair

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Looking back at it now twenty years later (think about that for a second) the difference between the 1960s especially the early 1960s with President John F. Kennedy and the 1990s with President William J. Clinton, has to do with the internet age and media culture. The personal scandals that Bill Clinton was involved both real and fake in the 1980s and 1990s, aren’t that different in seriousness from the real scandals that President John Kennedy was involved with in the early 1960s.

President Clinton, had a short-term affair with a White House intern. President Kennedy, had affairs with mob girlfriends, women who were still involved with their mobster boyfriends and would then tell those men about their involvement with President Kennedy. Judith Campbell was one of President Kennedy’s White House girlfriends. She was Italian mobster’s Sam Giacana’s girlfriend as well. Bill Clinton while as Governor of Arkansas in the 1970s and 1980s, had an extra marital affair with former model and now writer Gennifer Flowers. Jack Kennedy when he was Senator Kennedy in the 1950s and after he married his wife Jackie, had multiple affairs with multiple women, which continued while he was President in the early 1960s.

So what’s the difference between the affairs that Jack Kennedy had in the 1960s and the affairs that Governor and later President Bill Clinton had in the 1980s and 1990s? Only one difference really which is the media.

If you wanted to watch TV back in lets say 1963, you had three channels to choose from. In some big markets maybe there would be an independent station that wasn’t affiliated with CBS, NBC, or ABC. PBS didn’t even come around until the late 1960s. Forget about satellite, there wasn’t even cable. You wanted to read a newspaper of magazine, you had to subscribe to one and it would be mailed to you physically, not electronically and you would probably get it once a week. Same thing with a newspaper but it would be sent to you everyday. Or I guess you could actually leave the cocoon of your house and get some fresh air and go down to your local convenient store and pick up a magazine or newspaper.

You could also get news on the radio and have serval choices there. Cable TV and satellite, didn’t come around until the mid 1970s. And probably wasn’t universal until the mid or late 1980s. The internet, what the hell is that back in 1963. That didn’t come around until the early 1990s and wasn’t mainstream until 1995. Smartphones unless you include Blackberrys, have only been around since 2007.

My point here is (and yes I have a point) is the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton affair of the mid and late 1990s, was not new at least as far as how serious it was. Yes, both people especially President Bill Clinton who is old enough to be Monica’s father and of course was married, but then the fact that he’s President of the United States having a White House affair with a 20 somethingWhite House intern, showed horrible judgment here and have been paying a price for it ever since. The difference being is that we knew about everything that Bill Clinton was involved with by late 1991 and certainly into 1992 and for his whole presidency, because of new technology and the information age.

No longer just network news, radio, and the newspapers. Not just 24 hour news networks, but online publications (that we call blogs today) Americans simply having the ability to find out everything that they wanted to find out whenever they wanted to by only having a laptop or desktop, or a smartphone. As well as a new media culture that instead is run by lets gets the truth before we put it out, even if that takes longer, is now about having to get something out there before their competitors do, or it will cost them money. Especially ratings and advertising. Not sure that attitude has dominated network news as much as cable news and online publications, but others probably know that better than me.

Not saying the Clinton-Lewinsky affair wasn’t serious and shouldn’t have been paid attention to. How serious it was and what should’ve been the consequences for it, are really up to the people involved especially the people who were directly hurt by it. Most notably Bill Clinton’t wife and daughter. And to a certain extent President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky herself. Not by some religious cult thats from the 1950s and got caught in some Star Trek time warp and suddenly finding themselves living in the 1990s and deciding that since they’re now in the 90s that they’re going to not only bring their lifestyle and culture with them, but try to force every other American to live like them. And of course I’m referring to the Clinton haters that Hillary Clinton correctly labeled the vast right-wing conspiracy.

My point is what happened between Bill and Monica, is not much more serious and consequential if at all to the political and sexual affairs of the 1960s. What made Bill and Monica and different is the time and technology in which their affair happened.

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Source: Bob Daugherty 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Looking back at it The Hollywood Blacklist and The Hollywood 10 and the so-called House Un-American Activities Committee which was as Un-American as anything they were investigating and perhaps the most Un-American committee we’ve ever seen in Congress, looking back at The Hollywood Blacklist and The Hollywood 10 and the investigations that they were under simply for their ideological beliefs.

Because they were not just Socialists and some of them were simply Socialists and not Communists, but there were also Communists in this community. But they weren’t being investigated for being American traitors working for Communist Russia. They were investigated for being Communists, for having communist beliefs. This was the most extreme form of political correctness that we’ve seen in this country, at least in the 20th Century, because this wasn’t just people getting shouted down because they have what might be extreme political views, or just having political views that offend some political activist community that actually might not be extreme.

Which is today’s version of political correctness that the Far-Left (talk about Communists and Socialists) uses to try to shut up and censor right-wingers who they disagree with. But this is government-sponsored state-run political correctness. That says your (meaning Communists and Socialists) First Amendment rights aren’t as strong as people on the Right and Far-Right, simply because you’re Communists and Socialists.

If they were the KKK, Neo-Nazis, fundamentalist theocratic Christians who believe women’s place is in the home and it should even be illegal for them to work, or gays should be in jail and prison simply for being homosexual, well the argument from the fascist Far-Right would be there that they’re just expressing their First Amendment rights to free speech.

But if you’re a Socialist or Communist who believes in state-run health care and health insurance, having a state-run banking and even energy, but aren’t active politically in the sense that you’re running for office, or even campaigning for any Far-Left political candidates or politicians, or have any affiliations with Communists states, well you’re Un-American according to the fascist Far-Right. Who had this Leave it to Beaver 1940s and 1950s view of what it means to be a real American. Sort of the like 1940s version of the modern Tea Party today.

To put it plainly, political correctness really sucks. The only thing that was Un-American during these supposed investigations of Socialists and Communists in Hollywood, was the House Un-American Activities Committee itself. We have guaranteed free speech rights in America which means you can be on the Far-Left and believe in democratic socialism or even communism and believe that right-wing and perhaps even Center-Left political parties shouldn’t even have the right to exist.

Or you can be on the Far-Right and be a Far-Right Nationalist-Tribalist who believes your culture and faction in the country including ethnicity and race are the true Americans and the only people who will standup for America. And see everyone else as threats to your state and therefor aren’t deserving of the same constitutional rights as your culture and political faction. Or you can be religious theocrat who puts your religious beliefs over everything else including the U.S. Constitution and are so fundamentalist and have so much faith in your religious beliefs that you believe everything else should not only live under your cultural values, but be forced to live under them in some religious theocracy.

Just as long as the Far-Left and Far-Right aren’t violently acting on their beliefs even in an attempt to defeat or eliminate the opposition in order to accomplish their political beliefs. We have a right to free speech and belief, but not a constitutional right to violence short of self-defense. Americans have a constitutional right under the First Amendment to be stupid and even be assholes. Just as long as we’re not violent assholes and physically trying to hurt people simply because we disagree with them or even hate them. Our guaranteed right to free speech and beliefs the ability for every American to think for themselves is as American as anything we’ve ever had in this country and still have.

What’s Un-American are not political beliefs whatever they are, but trying to censor those views simply because you disapprove of them or are even offended by them. If Socialists and Communists want to hold political rallies attacking America with their rhetoric and call America the real evil empire in the world and argue that we’re some materialistic racist corporate state, because we allow wealth and don’t expect government to manage our daily lives for us, they have the guaranteed right to make those arguments and even publish articles, book, produce documentaries. Even if their nothing but great fiction, at best.

If the KKK, Neo-Nazis, want to argue that America is going to hell because of our non-European immigration in the country and that non-European-Americans are Un-American, they have can hold peaceful political rallies, publish articles and books, produce documentaries, making those arguments. And be treated by the public with the public’s free speech rights as the complete assholes that they are.

There’s nothing dangerous about free speech short of people telling others that certain people should be physically harmed, or have their property attacked, be falsely libeled and accused. What’s dangerous is trying to eliminate speech and thought in America simply because you disapprove of what the speaker is thinking and saying. Because the same thing can happen to you by the opposition when they don’t like your politics. The American way to confront speech and politics that you disagree with is to peacefully speak out and organize against it. Make the case as far as why the opposition is wrong. Publish articles, books, produce videos, documentaries, with the best available information that you can get about why the opposition is wrong. Which is as American our great diversity and melting pot that represents the entire world that we all call America.

Bob Daugherty: Mysteries & Scandals- The Blacklist & The Hollywood 10

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Source: Fix The Debt

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

“The Fix the Debt Campaign is bringing together Americans from all walks of life and from across the country to get the national debt under control. Learn more and join us.”

What Fix The Debt really only offers here are goals that they would like to see accomplished in the next Federal budget that Congress passes and the President signs. Which may happen as soon as 2050 since Congress no longer passes budgets The the last budget that Congress passed was in 2006. What they do instead is pass some appropriations bills and generally its real just the House that passes any appropriations bills. And September comes along which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone since September is an annual event in America and Congress realizes that the Federal Government funding is about to run out and decides to pass a short-term spending bill keeping the entire government running until the end of the year generally.

It use to be better than this when Congress would pass an omnibus bill generally in December that would fund the entire government until the following September. Omnibus bills are one appropriation bill passed by Congress instead of all 13 bills and passed instead of a budget. They’re not as good as a budget that comes with appropriations bills later on, but are certainly better than running a Federal Government with a four-trillion-dollar budget and without around five-million employees three or four months at a time. Better for the workers and better for the economy, because investors don’t have to worry about government shutdowns as much and the negative impact they have on the economy.

The only real solution that Fix The Debt offers here and I doubt the author of this article is actually named Fix The Debt, I mean that is no name for a real human being, but no name for the author is given here, but all they talk about is Congress should pass a budget. Pass a budget that puts us on path to reducing the national deb. And then they offer only one real solution in their article which is called PAYGO. Which is a wonky eggheaded term that in American English means pay as you go.

Makes sense right, is you’re going to purchase something pay for it instead of running up big credit card bills that you can’t pay back or writing checks that bounce like fully pumped basketballs that are slammed on a highway. But Congress doesn’t operate in the real world. They operate in the world of political bases and political contributions. And tend to see their number one job is to get reelected. Especially if they’re in the leadership of the major party in the House and Senate and don’t want to lose their majority during the next election. Or if they’re in the leadership in the minority party they tend to see their number one job is to not only get reelected but add to their membership and win back the House or Senate.

So as long as Congress functions on short-term spending bills and the only real deadline they care about are their primary elections and election days, we’ll never see any real solutions to addressing the big deficit of six-hundred-billion dollars and the national debt of twenty-trillion-dollars. Because addressing these issues will cost political capital and support. Because it will mean addressing entitlements, the defense budget, the tax code, emergency spending like disaster relief, and our public assistance anti-poverty programs so we have fewer Americans living and working in poverty and more Americans working and paying payroll and Federal income taxes.

But if you’re looking for real solutions that might happen at some point in the future, or more realistically could happen in the short-term, I believe PAYGO and disaster relief reform might be the only things that could pass both the House and Senate and get signed by President Trump. Applying PAYGO to disaster relief and the defense budget. No more waiting until the hurricane season in the late summer to realize that we may need a lot of money to pay for that cleanup and help people be able to get back to their lives. With Congress passing a disaster relief package of somewhere around 50-100 billion dollars that of course is put on the national credit card. (Another way of saying national debt)

But instead showing some common sense (almost as rare as July snow in Los Angeles, in Congress) and knowing that August and September are annual events in America and are hurricane season in the Southeast, as well as the Southwest in Texas with all the heat and humidity and that this is a region that will probably get hit by at least one storm and that it could be a major storm and that this region is probably going to need a lost of assistance to handle any recovery that might be needed. And again, to go back to the need for the Federal budget that the Administration and Congress should plan for these events upfront and pay for them upfront.

We need a natural disaster fund in America that should be paid for by the people who receive that assistance when their property is hit by one of these major storms and need financial assistance in order to recover from it. People who live in higher risk areas should pay more for this insurance because they’ll get more assistance when they are hit by a storm or some other natural disaster. This would save the Federal Government 20, 50, perhaps even 100 billion dollars or more each year, as well as taxpayers because the Feds would no longer have to borrow to pay for disaster relief and taxpayers would have less interest to pay back on the national debt when they make purchases.

A fully functioning PAYGO that is tied to the entire Federal budget whether its disaster relief, as well as the defense budget and increases to all parts of the Federal budget including invasions, humanitarian relief efforts that are Defense Department are involved in, repairing and building new bases, alone won’t fix the deficit and the national debt. We really need a comprehensive approach here that deals with the tax code, entitlements, poverty assistance, as well as defense and disaster relief. But it would be a good step forward and tell the markets and Wall Street that the U.S. Government is finally serious about the national debt and sees it as a national priority and at the very least will stop asking to the problem that it created.

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Source: Crash Course 

Crash Course: Adrienne Hill & Jacob Clifford- Deficits a& Debt

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