Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Violence in Roanoke

Anything to allow a shooting like the one outside of Roanoke, VA is a signal that we need to do something to stem the rising tide of gun violence. It's nuts to think that we should allow this type of activity to continue with almost no limitations. Where and when does it end? What is our continued rationale behind solving our disputes through loaded firearms? It just doesn't make any sense. I have to say that both Barack Obama and Terry McAuliffe  are right to be saying we need drastic action. This is reaching the point of becoming a public health crisis.

Hillary and the Democratic Nomination for President




From watching TheDemocrats' presidential nomination race, I can say with some degree of certainty that Hillary Clinton's email server controversey has basically killed her chances to grab the nomination, especially among rank & file Democrats. I've highlighted this in my last Youtube video, and it's becoming more and more apparent that she may not win. She's in a bad place now politically. As I mentioned in my video, I'm aware that Hillary was trying to be as honest and transparent as possible, given that her emails were being picked apart by the State Dept and the CIA.
She came out on ABC News earlier today apologizing for her lapse in judgment in using a private server, especially when it became known that 2 emails had classified information pertaining to North Korea (or one may have, I'll have to look at the article on ABC News' website) and its illegal nuclear weapons program. While Hillary's right in saying that what she did previously was not technically illegal, but she is consciencious of the fact that it would have been smarter to just use the State Dept.'s server for official emails rather than a private one. That and she realized she should of used a second mobile device given to her specifically by the State Department itself. She would've spared herself the massive headache she's finding herself in today.

If that wasn't enough of a headache, an article on The Hill mentioned that she's losing support among labor unions as well. That's a major blow to Hillary's campaign and it shows how cautious some factions in the base have become in backing her up. In fact the union mentioned in the article, the AFL-CIO, has become a moving target for her, and it's becoming apparent in how infuriated labor has become with Hillary, especially after waiting until the last minute to take a stance on the issue of the Trans-Pacific Partnership's Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) or Fast-Track Bill's eventual passing in Congress. Hillary's flip-flopping while they were campaigning heavily against the TPA Bill was seen by them as a means of throwing them under the bust. So that's a couple of factors working against her during the campaign.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Case For Opening Primary Season To The Entire Electorate

Just to be clear on something, there's a lot of panic goin on in the Democratic and Republican Establishments about both Bernie Sanders & Donald Trump. I read an article on Right Wing News on how Trump could basically kill the GOP's chances for claiming back the Presidency in 2016 if he's either the party nominee and/or runs a third-party campaign. It also makes the point of saying that the public needs to quit funding these primary elections/caucuses and debates with their tax-dollars. This is interesting since it points out that these debates only bring out about 9% of the electorate out, and that both the Democratic and Republican Parties operate as private clubs. Right Wing News cited an article and video from Ben Swann that actually gives some credence to calling for the end of public financing of the primaries (both elections and debates), for the low turnouts they produce. While I don't entirely agree with the fact that there should be no public financing at all, I do however see their frustration with the low turnout and how it can be a waste of money if the point is to drive out both TheDemocrats & the Republicans' base supporters. Here's where I have some agreement, & I think we should open the process to the entire electorate during primary season. By expanding the electorate we can get a better idea as to the will of the people. The author of the RWN article, Terressa Monroe-Hamilton is right in saying that 9% is not a representative sample.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Case For Updating Parts Of The Affordable Care Act

I think from how the Affordable Care Act was set up, we're still seeing problems in its operation. Billing patients is only one part of it, but it's a major one, especially on the side of premiums and claims. What I'm saying is that the law is particularly weak in overseeing companies like the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association are paying claims after collecting premiums, and not just pocketing premiums. This is a massive flaw within the system, and one that will get worse overtime. This was one of my many misgivings about the law having little teeth; designing the program around the insurance companies that have a history of scamming premium-payers. The insurance companies would not be liable for their own misdeeds since they are now de facto organs of the 50 states and the Fed itself.

Even now, the ACA does nothing to really help mitigate the monopolies of the health-insurance companies and their corrosive effect on prices, only subsidizing the monopolistic effects. I know of the greater goals that the ACA pushes forth for us, but as I said earlier it needs some major tweeking in order to work.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Why It's Important To Listen To President Obama On The Recent Deal With Iran

Take this opportunity to listen to Barack Obama's explanation of the recent deal with Iran. Besides the deal being historic, it was the best opportunity we had to really place comprehensive limits on Iran's nuclear program to ensure that it would never come close to building a nuclear bomb. The GOP, together with the Prime Minister of Israel and AIPAC, will continue to lie about several key aspects of the deal, ranging from we need to go to war to ensure Iran has no nuclear weapon to this deal doesn't go far enough by not disallowing Iran to have the program in the first place. Both of these assertions are wrong on their merits, and on a political level as well. Iran was looking for a means of curbing the need to import oil despite having the world's 4th largest reserves, and by attempting to obtain a nuclear program, it was a means of freeing up many of its reserves for export. The White House has placed a graphic on its website outlining the key elements of the deal and what's at stake if this deal was never reached at the outset. It makes more sense to simply give the President the thumbs up to implement it as soon as possible following the 60 day review.

I also want to point out that Benjamin Netanyahu made an appearance on Face the Nation this morning and parroted the same talking points that the House Republicans and Senate GOP have done all week. It's important to note that he's colluding with them in their treasonous acts so that the President has no ability to implement this. Go ahead and watch his commentary, guaranteed what he's telling you is utter bullsh*t. It's better to let yourself hear what both Secretaries John Kerry (Foreign Secretary/Secretary of State) and Ernst Moniz (Energy Secretary) have to say, as they were at the negotiating table with Iran, so they have the specifics of what's at stake. Bibi was never at the negotiating table nor were the Congressional Republicans. They're looking to distort anything and everything that has to do with this deal. Whatever fear-mongering and war-mongering they do, don't buy into it. Our national interest is not to prosecute a war with Iran. The fact is that Iran has more to lose from this deal than we do.

I mentioned this on my YouTube channel (subscribe) in a video, in addition to my blog, and I'll say my bottom line about the deal here.

Here's what I need you folks to do:

  1. Get on your phones and call your representatives and senators, telling them to approve this deal. Our national security is at stake with this.
  2. If you can't call, email them.
  3. Hit them up on social media (FacebookTwitterGoogle+, etc.).
  4. Lastly, do the same steps above for the President to let him know you're behind him with implementing this deal.
The bottom line is that we need to make clear that we want this and we're not going to allow the Republicans to scare the living crap out of us, scaring us into a war we don't need.

Lastly, hit me up with comments here on my blog, or on my Youtube channel. Also hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Iran Deal And How It Plays Into The Republicans' Lusting For The White House In 2016

It's incredible for me to think that whenever the GOP talks about the prospects of it taking The White House in 2016 (your's truly will be working his ass off to make sure that they don't), that one of their first orders of business would be to tear up the Iran Deal, that is before repealing Obamacare. For what? These people are delusional unless their intention is to start a new war in the Middle East, in which case that should be enough of a reason not to elect a Republican President next year, but knowing the political winds, that's all but a done deal.

Speaking of all Republicans running for President, the one I'd say has the most recognition and is the preferred candidate of the establishment is none other than Jeb Bush, although the base is clearly with Donald Trump as of right now. Then again that's no surprise, Trump is selling White supremacy, which is a real hit with the bigoted portion of the base. In fact even his wealth flaunting is not hurting him, which means that at this point the mainstay of the committed Republican base is either uninformed, or so incredibly dumbed-down that they don't really pay much attention to that because of the race-baiting Trump sells. I can see where this is going, and it's not a pretty picture.

Going back to Iran, this is where it gets exceedingly dangerous. By ripping up the Iran Deal, that's the fastest path to war. This is entirely what the chickenhawks of the GOP want, a new war to give them boners (I remember writing on that topic a few times: here, here, here and here). I'll never understand this war-lust or governing-by-crisis, as it does nothing to help anyone. In fact, it makes them out to be bullies, by constantly scaring the hell out of everyone.

It's not even a decade ago that these tactics caused them to lose control of Congress. Think about it, for the first 5 years after 9/11, the Republicans continued scaring us with bullsh*t terror alerts and doing so around the time of elections. This was no accident. The response was the expected one, people voted in Republicans to Congress to push through the Bush Administration's illegal mass-surveillance program's funding. To bring that back online would be the dream of the Neo-cons, as they would like nothing better than to spy on everyone uninhibited and scare everyone into accepting that. I got one word for that: bullsh*t!

It's their lusting for war that's making their statements to rip the Iran deal up in its entirety. Besides being exceedingly stupid, it's also exceedingly dangerous. Even though Iran has no confirmed nuclear weapons, it will have a stronger incentive to build them to deter us from attacking much more heavily if the GOP has its way, along with the Prime Minister of Israel. The lack of a deal will also encourage an arms race in the region, besides between Israel and Iran, also the gulf Arab states (with the exceptions of Iraq and Syria) and Iran. Specifically, we need to watch Saudi Arabia, who has threatened to get the bomb to blast Iran to the stoneage. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why I'm For Bernie Sanders

The more I hear Bernie Sanders talk about the need for further radical change in America, the more I like what I'm hearing. Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

In this video, Bernie is clearly conveying the point that unless we band together to tell both Charles Koch and David Koch that our government and nation is not for sale, we'll continue to see the destruction of this nation we call home from within. Unemployment is still unacceptably high, and even with Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), we're still seeing too many people going without healthcare due to lack of insurance or having insurance with premiums and deductibles that are too high for them to afford/pay down. He's also right in saying that we ought to quit dragging our feet and join the rest of the world in ensuring healthcare is a right for everyone, not just a privilege for those who can afford it.

Bernie's also spot on in saying that we need a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and for a disclosure law that forces people like the Koch brothers to actually place their faces on messages they approve of. He's also correct in saying that the middle class is disappearing thanks to economic and social policies enacted over the last 40 years. Think of education, as one clear example, there's a pitch among leading GOP Senators and Representatives, as well as Governors and Legislators, to push for more of our tax dollars going to private schools, both secular and religious, in the form of vouchers instead of simply funding public schools. Like Bernie, I think this is absurd. Just like trying to give megachurches and other religious institutions our tax dollars to do their charity work. Look, the government doesn't need to create more middlemen and create a church-state collusion, but don't bother arguing that fact to the Republicans as they'll simply cast you off as an idiot by saying whole-heartedly that church-state collusion is in the constitution and that this was what the founding fathers intended to happen (yeah, whatever).

To say these points are radical is beyond absurd, as Claire McCaskill certainly did on msnbc. This isn't to say that Claire doesn't agree with Bernie's message, as she acknowledges that it's the clearly the right one, but I also can understand her worry given that Bernie may seem too liberal to some parts of the country. Bernie's the absolute underdog and is gaining on The Democrats' front-runner, Hillary Clinton, but I think Claire and some supporters of Hillary miss his very real point within the campaign: He's not trying to win! Bernie's more aware of the fact that he's possibly not going to get the nomination, but I think his point in running is to make people aware of what's really happening, and that we need to really fight to keep our rights, especially from the people who would love to take them from us and/or deny us them altogether. He cites the Civil Rights Movment, the Women's Rights Movement, the LGBT Rights Movement, and the Disability Rights Movement as a way to demonstrate how we can effect change by uniting together to demand and to force it. More than anything, Bernie's running in the race to start a national conversation, and by all means, that's a good way to do so, especially to help guide Hillary to champion policies that she'd like to see as national priorities if she's elected as President.

I look at what he's saying also through an historical context, and by more counts than not, he's right! By all counts I'm aware that it may be a wasted vote in the primary next June, but I could care less. Since based on the polls Hillary's practically got this locked up provided she doesn't screw up royally, or get too dragged down by Republicans in Congress on the hunt for new conspiracies to waste our tax dollars investigating. The good thing about Bernie in this instance is, other than his potential lack of political support among Democrats thus far, has far fewer skeletons in his closet, and he's not very widely known in most national circles. Not to the extent that Hillary is, after all she is married to the nation's 42nd President, Bill Clinton.

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