Kire Schneider Online

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Socialist Party USA: Paulie Frankel- Response to President Obama's 2012 State of the Union Address

Source: Forbes Magazine- President Barack Obama, 2012 State of The Union Address-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times Plus

Democratic Socialists and even Socialists who today call themselves Progressives in America at least since the turn of the 21st Century and back since the Progressive Era in American politics, have been talking about the need for not only democratic socialism in America to make America more like Canada and Europe. But the need for more democratic socialism in America, again to make America more like Canada or Europe. For the need for not only big government socialism in America, but for a more centralized Federal Government in America.

Again more like Canada and Europe, “so we can have a Federal Government big enough to meet the needs of the American people”. To do the things that Progressives doesn’t trust the private sector to do. Things like health care, health insurance, education, infrastructure investment, banking system, pensions etc. And the need to have the tax revenue and taxes high enough to fund this big government. One of the problems that Socialists have had in America is that they haven’t been united, they’ve basically all had the same message. But have been spread across the country in different socialist parties, as well as being in the Democratic Party.

If Social Democrats were to unite in American politics and be unified, they would have one united vision, coming from one Socialist Party. And be able to have the members to at some point depending on how well they build their party, to at some point break the backs of the two-party system in American politics. And take on Democrats and Republicans and even beat them at some point the Progressive Caucus in the Democratic Party. Which is basically a political party within a political party.

Social Democrats aren’t Liberal Democrats, believers in liberal democracy. But Social Democrats believers in social democracy as we see in Europe. You start with them, bring fifty or so U.S. Representatives that make up the Progressive Caucus in the House. The 3-5 U.S. Senators in the Senate, bring in the Progressive Party . Bring in the Democratic Socialist Party, the Green Party, progressive Independents, you would start off the bat with about sixty members of Congress. Perhaps 10-20% of the voting public right off the bat. And a Progressive Party to build on.

What you have now with the social democratic movement in American politics, is that they are spread out over several different political parties. And what happens is that they compete with each other for votes. Instead of competing with Democrats and Republicans for votes and elections. And they end up dividing their own Movement. But together into one Progressive Party, they would have the members and votes. To take on Democrats and Republicans in the future.
The White House: 2012 State of The Union Address

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Buddy Roemer: MSNBC- 'No More Special Interest Money & NO More Corruption

Source: Buddy Roemer-
Source: Buddy Roemer: MSNBC- 'No More Special Interest Money & No More Corruption'

I like a lot of Buddy Roemer's message when it comes to corruption and limiting special interest influence. The problem is a lot that he wants to accomplish, isn't currently constitutional. It would require a constitutional amendment or amendments to pass a lot of what Governor Roemer wants to do. Because it would get thrown out by the current U.S. Supreme Court on grounds that it violates the First Amendment. And passing constitutional amendments at this point to pass a lot of these progressive reforms that Buddy Roemer, Dylan Ratigan, whether they are good ideas or not, are at least five to ten years away and that's starting after you get a constitutional amendment out of Congress.

So my approach in all of this have been practical but aggressive. Do what we can now that would hold up to constitutional scrutiny. And if that's not enough, try to pass constitutional amendments down the road. And my approach is more of a liberal-libertarian approach, which shouldn't surprise anyone. Yes, I'm a Liberal Democrat and proud of it. Has anyone ever asked why we have thousands if not tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lobbyists in Washington? ( To use a Billy the Kid line )  because that's where the money is. So force those people to disclose who they do business with and when and who they contribute to. And force all members of Congress and the Executive Branch to do the same thing within 24 hours of talking to these people and giving or taking their money. In other words, full disclosure of campaign contributions, campaign and lobbying activity.

My other reform would be to get a lot of of the money out of the Federal Government. But do it in a way that holds up to constitutional scrutiny. Reduce the size of the Federal Government. It currently has a Federal budget of 3.7T$ by far the largest Federal budget in the world. Pass that money down to the state and local government's and private sector. Especially as it relates to social insurance, turn those programs over to the states and locals. And design them to help and empower the people who need them.

Cut the the defense budget by 200B$ a year or more and pull our troops out of developed nations that can afford to defend themselves. And by doing this we would be able to lay off a lot of defense contractors and cut a lot of pork out of the defense budget. And a lot of defense lobbyists as well and reduce the influence the defense industry has on the Federal Government.

Milton Friedman made a documentary movie in 1979-80 called Free to Choose. And in one part of that movie he had a segment about special interest influence in Washington. And one of his solutions had to do with the size of the Federal budget. Back when we were spending 18-19% of GDP instead of today where we are spending 24-25% of GDP.

I like a lot of Buddy Roemer's message about limiting special interests as I already said. But he has a couple of problems. Some of his ideas are currently unconstitutional and he's running for President in the wrong party to get done a lot of what he wants to do. If he runs for the Reform or Independence Party, he might have a better shot at getting his message across. Also if he made his message about fiscal conservatism, limiting the special interest influence on the Federal Government by cutting back on the power of the Federal Government, he would get a lot more play in the media.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tom Froemming: Video: Baltimore Orioles 2012 Spring Training Primer

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Times on WordPress 

In 2011 the Orioles had another disappointing high 90 lost last place finish where they looked like they had a pretty decent team going into 2011, that was at least going to be able to score a lot of runs with a good young pitching staff, but where they got very little from Vlad Gurerro and Derek Lee their top two free agent signings from 2011. They got very little from the 1B and DH, two hitters in the Middle of their Lineup. 
RF Nick Markakis had another off year. 3B Mark Reynolds was a good surprise leading the club in HR and RBI. SS JD Hardy had a big year both defensively and at the plate. C Chad Wieters had another solid season at the plate and catching, making the All Star team. And is probably the best all around C at least in the American League right now. But starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie who was solid, but got very little run support. 
Brian Matusz had a down year and took a step back. Zack Britton was up and down like a lot of young starting pitchers. The Orioles bullpen was inconsistent, sometimes very good and then they could be bad as well. In 2012 for the Orioles to compete in the AL East probably the best Division in MLB, they need to pick up an all around 1B both offensively and defensively. They need a new full-time DH and then they can replace both Gurerro and Lee. 
Nick Markakis has to bounce back and they probably need another starting and relief pitcher for them to be able to compete in the AL East and play for a 500 or Winning Season. After 14 straight Losing Seasons and a lot of these free agents are either gone or out of reach and they haven’t filled most of their holes yet and they don’t have the people down on the farm that can fill these holes at least in 2012. 
So you're looking at making some last minute trades, without giving up too much of what you already have. And I don’t see that happening, so unless something big happens, the 2012 Baltimore Orioles are looking at another down year. Where they struggle just to get to the 70 win mark. Which won’t make any Orioles fans happy, I’m being one of them.
When you have a good young club and you're just a few pieces away from being a winner and a serious competitor and you know you just have to fill a few holes to make that happen and you can become winners again. For the first time since 1997, you have to be aggressive and be aggressive early on. To let other clubs know you're going to compete to be good. And potential players that you're interested in that you're serious. So they will want to play for you and the Orioles haven’t been doing that for a long time.