Kire Schneider Online

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Friday, January 31, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields & Brooks on Pipeline Politics and Chris Christie Scandal

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The Keystone Pipeline is something that President Obama almost has to do for the economy. And I believe he and Secretary of State John Kerry who are going to have to sign off on this. Because of the jobs in the energy sector that will come to the United States. And also the biggest thing that President Obama can do for the economy to create good jobs by himself. So if he’s getting environmental reports that say there isn’t much of an environmental impact to this, he almost has to sign off on it. For the jobs and economic growth that is needed in this country.

As far as Governor Chris Christie, wow those Dick Nixon comparisons from a few weeks ago might have looked extreme then, but are now looking real and credible. About someone who probably knows more about a bad story than he wants to admit to, but if he gives too much out right away it could hurt him politically. But the problem being for him that he can’t control the story. Which is what happened to President Nixon in 1973-74 with the Watergate scandal.

State of the Union, I would give President Obama a B perhaps even a B+, but certainly not a great speech. It was strong in the areas that he wants to move the country forward especially economically. And that he’ll do whatever in his power to make that happen. But I don’t believe there was anything in it that will bring people who weren’t already behind him to him. “And say we need to get Congress especially the Republican House of Representatives to work with President Obama.”

Thursday, January 30, 2014

WTTW-TV Chicago: Chicago Tonight- John Callaway Interviewing Senator George McGovern, in 1978

Source: WTTW-TV-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

If George McGovern was a loser, than America needs a lot more losers just like him. When it comes to knowledge, experience and judgement, because he is one of the finest people America has ever produced. And we are lucky to have a man like him. Because here’s a distinguished teacher, historian, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator and again historian, as well as U.N. Ambassador for Food and Agriculture. Who was always about two things. Public service and public progress.

When it comes to Senator McGovern’s politics. We probably do not agree on much at least as it related to economic policy. He was a real FDR Progressive Democrat and the real thing unlike some of these so-called Progressives today. That I’ll talk more about later, but he and I are probably pretty close as it relates to things like civil liberties and personal freedom. So on those issues Senator McGovern was probably to the Left of President Franklin Roosevelt.

Another thing I would say about Senator McGovern was that he was a real FDR New Deal Progressive Democrat. As it related to economic policy, foreign policy and national security. Who wasn’t anti-military, or anti-law enforcement. Unlike a lot of his supporters who helped cost him the 1972 presidential election. But he was someone who had a real respect for limited smart power. And not just as it related to economic policy, unlike a lot of the so-called Progressives today. Who sound more like Socialists and even Anarchists at times.
WTTW-TV Chicago: Chicago Tonight- John Callaway Interviewing George McGovern

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CBC News: Video: The National: Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau on Senate Reform

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Perfect example of how the Canadian Senate is different from the American Senate. In America the Chairman of the National Party Democratic or Republican Party can’t order their party members to do anything. And neither can the President of the United States and even if we had an official leader of the opposition, which we don’t and I wish we did, that person wouldn’t be able to order their members of the Senate or House of Representatives to do anything. Especially kicking members out of their caucus. Because we have checks and balances and different branches of government.

In the Federal Government of Canada the official party leaders basically have complete control over their own parties. And can even make decisions about who can stay and who can go even in political bodies they aren’t members of. The Leader of the Opposition in Canada is a member House of Commons and not the Senate. In the United States Congress only the party leaders in both chambers can decide who can and cannot be members of their caucus. And they probably need majority support of their caucus to do so.

I’m not a Canadian, but an American of course and it seems to me Canada should make a decision about their Senate. Which right now is technically their upper chamber in their Parliament. And that is to either have a real Senate with real authority only accountable to their constituents and not the Prime Minster or Leader of the Opposition, or get rid of the Senate. And have a unicameral Parliament or just call it the House of Commons. Because their Senate is a joke. And this story with Leader Trudeau is a pretty good example of that.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Paul Ibbetson: Video: Larry Schweikart: A Patriot's History of The Modern World

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I love the United States Constitution. The whole document and not parts of it like the Far-Right and Far-Left like to pick off. And say this what is great about the Constitution as they try to destroy other parts of it. I like the whole document and every amendment to it including the First Amendment that includes Freedom of Religion and I’m in favor of that even as an Agnostic whose in a small minority when it comes to religion. But our constitutional rights do not come from God whether it its a Christian God or anyone else. Our constitutional rights come from the U.S. Constitution itself. Our constitutional rights come from our Founding Fathers who founded our Federal Republic and liberal democracy. Who wrote our U.S. Constitution. Not from God, Christian or otherwise.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lord Rothschild: Video: The Situation Room: Michelle Bachmann Debates Bernie Sanders

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I don’t know why anyone takes Representative Michelle Bachmann seriously on anything. Except when it may come to satire or what is stupid in the world today. I could just concentrate on the fact that she spends her time repeating Tea Party talking points that are completely false. The Obama War on Women to use as an example, the Obama War on Success or the Obama War on Energy. Are just a few examples and the fact that CNN brings her to debate someone as serious as knowledgeable as Senator Bernie Sanders whose also a gentleman and let’s people speak, is beyond me.

You want to know why CNN’s ratings are down and they are actually losing viewers to that joke called a news network MSNBC, I’ll tell you anyway. Because Wolf Blitzer and other’s at CNN bring on Michelle Bachmann and people just as ignorant and rude as she is. And just basically let her talk the whole time and when they have what they call debates with her there, she not only get’s to speak as long as she wants to, but get’s to take the person’s she’s debating with time as well. Not stopping her awful interruptions and as a result viewers have to listen to all of her garbage. That doesn’t get questioned or turn to another channel.

As far as poverty in America, I actually watched the entire video of the interview of the poor single mom. And what she was said was that she needs additional skills and education so she can get herself a good job and not need public assistance at all. Because she knows she simply can’t support herself on public assistance or working a minimum wage job with public assistance. Which has been one of my main points when it has come to the so-called War on Poverty in America.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The McLaughlin Group: The State of The Union, Economic Mobility, Syria, Liberal vs Progressive

Source: The McLaughlin Group- John McLaughlin-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

As far as the State of the Union. If I’m President Obama or he could hear my advice for him, I would say use this speech to kickoff the 2014 Campaign to Save Congressional Democrats. Keeping the Senate majority and keeping the House Democratic Caucus at about where it is right now.

“And this is how we are going to do that by making 2014 all about the economy and the liberal democratic vision to move the country forward economically.” If he’s successful in doing that, he could take sixty percent of the country with him who tend to like Democrats more on these issues than Republicans.

Economic mobility is about making 2014 about the economy. Again the liberal democratic vision.

1. Extend Unemployment Insurance so people struggling so hard just to go back to work at least have some income while they are doing that. And what we are also going to do is expand job training for these unemployed workers, but also for low-income low-skilled workers. So they can get the skills they need to either go back to work at a good job, or get an even better job from what low-income low-skilled workers are doing right now.

2. Create going to create a ten-dollar an hour minimum wage to make work pay more than not working. And so these workers can purchase more which will help drive consumer spending and economic growth.

3. Going to create a National Infrastructure System and actually add to that. With a national public/private corporation or National Infrastructure Bank with the simple task of prioritizing infrastructure projects that either have to be rebuilt or built. That would reward contracts to private construction companies to do the work and bring in private investors to pay for the projects.

What President Obama could say to Congress that is the Republican House that isn’t really interested in doing anything that may need Democratic support to pass. And a Democratic Senate that has a Republican minority that is only interested in winning back the Senate. “I’m offering my hand and if you want to be my partner in helping to put Americans back to work and jumpstart the economy. You can either work with me on this, or I’m going to do as much as this by myself as I can. In case you try to stonewall me with the Republican House not doing anything. Or Senate Republicans trying to block anything that the Senate Leader Harry Reid brings to the floor to address these issues.”

As far as Syria the United States lost whatever opportunity it had a year ago or two years ago to knock out the Assad Regime. And at least give the Syrian Opposition a fighting chance to not only defend themselves, but to try to do the job themselves. And now as a result we are at a point where we are trying to prevent the worst from happening with Bashar Al-Assad still as President of Syria. And both sides already know this.

Liberal vs. Progressive or even Social Democrat (as I prefer to call so-called modern Progressives) Is really about the two Democratic economic visions coming from the Left. Liberals want to empower Americans who need it to be able to create their own freedom for themselves. Which is why President Obama is going to focus so much on education, job training and infrastructure. Today’s so-called Progressives are essentially saying that, “the wealthy have too much and what we really need to do is take a lot of money from them so the Federal Government has enough money to take care of everyone else.”
The McLaughlin Group: The State of The Union, Economic Mobility, & Liberal Vs Progressive

Friday, January 24, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields and Brooks on Bob McDonnell, Income Inequality and Hillary Clinton

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The so-called income inequality issue or what I prefer to call it the education gap that leads to the income gap, has to do with professional skills or the lack of them. People at the top or even upper middle class tend to be well-educated and the people at the bottom not so much. I would love to see an official statistic about the percentage of minimum wage or low-wage workers who even have high school diplomas. And I bet it is much lower than people even making fifty-thousand dollars a year who are not collecting public assistance at all.

The Bob McDonnell story is funny in a way just because of how stupid Governor McDonnell was. Just to be involved in something like this. He was the governor of one of the biggest states in the union that both parties try to win during the presidential election. A successful governor who was on course to a promising national political career. One of maybe two Republicans who has both the respect of the Far-Right and the mainstream economically oriented Center-Right. And that is all gone for him even if he doesn’t end up in prison.

Hillary Clinton will get a challenge from at least one Center-Left Democrat in 2016. The party wants that and quite frankly she needs that to get her out of this, “I’m going to be the first female President of the United States and I’m the most electable Democrat. Therefore I don’t have to offer a national agenda for the country and have strong positions on any of the key issues mode.” Which is where she is right now and that won’t get her to the White House. If the GOP puts up a real challenger.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

RT: The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann- Louis Michael Seidman: Should We Give Up on The Constitution?

Source: RT-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

Just from the outset, this is a pipe dream of the Far-Left who want to make the Federal Government a hell of a lot bigger so they can transform the country into a socialist collectivist society. Where they can decide what is good for us. Or what a majority can decide what is good for us like in a real majoritarian social democracy. Where big issues tend to be decided based on referendum. This will never happen because as a country we have never had so much faith in our government especially at the federal level. Where we would be willing to give them the keys to the national car. And say, “we now leave everything up to you without anything to stop you.”

I have some questions that are really targeting to let’s say 85-90 percent of the country who thinks this is a crazy idea.

1. Do we really want a country where free speech and assembly are not guaranteed?

2. Do we really want a country where we no longer have a constitutional right to defend ourselves?

3. Do we really want a country where our privacy and property rights aren’t guaranteed? Where government essentially owns everything and could come into our homes at will?

4. Do we really want a country without an Equal Protection Clause? Where we could be discriminated against based on race or ethnicity just to use as a couple of examples?

These are just some of the things that our United States Constitution guarantees us under law. The problem with our country is not our Constitution, but big government politicians on the Far-left and Far-Right who do not agree with it. So they do not enforce it. Which would be legal for them if you throw out the Constitution. And they would be able to write laws as they see fit. Without a Constitution to at least slow them down when they go too far, or just plain stop them.
RT: The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann- Louis Michael Seidman: Should We Give Up On The Constitution?

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Daily Conversation: Long Lost Martin Luther King Speech

Source: The Daily Conversation-Dr. Martin L. King-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The thing that I may respect most about Dr. King was his ability to make his case to the country simply based on the facts. With a very sober demeanor that was designed to bring people to his cause based on the facts. That what he was talking about in accomplishing were equal rights under the law. That the United States Constitution guarantees everyone and that all Americans were supposed to be treated equally. And that we were entitled to these rights based under the United States Constitution. Dr. King wasn’t calling for special rights or treatment for African-Americans. Just the same rights that Caucasian-Americans had and that no one was supposed to be discriminated against based on race. And treated better or worst because of their race. That we are all supposed to be treated equally under the law. And that it wasn’t some law that needed to be passed to guarantee our rights, because these rights were already guaranteed to all Americans again under the United States Constitution. Dr. King also understood that for him to achieve the goals of his movement, which was racial equality under law, that he was going to need help. That African-Americans couldn’t make this happen on their own. That they needed other Americans including Caucasians as well. Simply because his community was outnumbered and need others to make their goals reality.
The Daily Conversation: Long Lost Martin Luther King Jr. Speech

Sunday, January 19, 2014

ESPN: SportsCentury- Muhammad Ali: The Greatest of All-Time

Source: ESPN-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

First of all Muhammad Ali is the greatest not only boxing heavyweight of all-time, but the greatest sports performer of all-time. Because of his incredible personality, incredible confidence that was warranted and his great intelligence as well. Plus the fact he knew exactly who he was better than anyone, but also because he knew exactly what he wanted. And that is what his career was about and what all the trash talking was about. Using all of that to get what he wanted. Which was either to remain world champion or win another world championship.

As far as Muhammad Ali the fighter, you are talking about a mountain of perfection. As far as both great physical talents, but also that great intelligence as well. A 6’3 210-220 pound fighter depending on who and when he was fighting, with incredible hand and foot speed. The man look like a great tailback in football or a great big wide receiver. Tall, big and all muscle with a great mind and wit as well. And if he had any faults, it was that he went too far with it later in his career believing he was still that great fighter he no longer was. And losing fights to people who had no business fighting him. And taking too many beatings late in his career.

I’ve always viewed Muhammad as a power puncher who wasn’t a knockout artist. If that makes any sense, but what I mean by that is that he wouldn’t knock you down in a couple of punches. But would wear you out in hundreds of punches and simply just beat you up until he finished you off. Which is how he won a lot of his fights. Which is how be beat Ron Lyle and George Foreman and Joe Frazier the third time. One of the things that made him great was that he could deliver a lot of firepower. Without either getting hit back or not getting hurt by it. Which is why he was able to fight so long.
ESPN: SportsCentury- Muhammad Ali

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The McLaughlin Group: National Security Surveillance and Hillary Clinton 2016

Source: The McLaughlin Group-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

I covered this last night, but President Obama essentially gave the speech that he had to give. And I believe the speech that he wanted to that he and his administration are aware of the concerns that Americans have over their privacy at it relates to the surveillance reports that the NSA and other agencies cover. But that he and his National Security Council are going forward in doing what they believe they need to do to protect the country and will try to find a way that better protects our privacy.

Benghazi, is only big news to Republicans and others who do not like Hillary Clinton. And she’ll find Democrats and I’m one of them who do not like her that much as a presidential candidate. Because she’s too safe, too centrist, not liberal enough for me and a lot of other Democrats. And other reasons I’ll spare you for now, but the only real threat she has to not being elected President of the United States in about three years other than not running for president, still a possibility comes from her center-left in the Democratic Party. Real Liberal Democrats who want to move in a clear direction.

One thing I agree with Bob Gates on is that Richard Nixon is our strangest president in at least modern times let’s say since TV has been with us since the late 1940s. But like a lot of other president’s he’s someone who looks better as history moves along because of his success’s in foreign policy and even making energy independence and putting Welfare reform and broader health care reform on the national agenda even though he failed get to major legislation passed in those areas.

Here’s an example of bad Bipartisanship. What is going on in Congress right now with Iran. For the first time in thirty-five years America has a chance to get a real diplomatic agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran over their nuclear weapons program. With a chance later on of reaching an agreement that may lead to both countries opening up a dialog. That could lead to the countries back to diplomatic relations with each other and officially talking to each other again. Having a formal relationship with each other that would include international trade. And Congressional Democrats and Republicans for political reasons and what they are trying to do with new sanctions. Would end that possibility.
The McLaughlin Group: National Security Surveillance and Hillary Clinton 2016

Friday, January 17, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Brooks and Marcus on President Obama's Surveillance Reforms, Benghazi

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The speech on national intelligence that President Obama gave, was almost a speech that he had to give because of the political situation with so many Americans on both the Left and Right. Worried about government spying on them especially innocent civilians. And with the Obama Administration being caught spying on people and the country starting to look like a National Security State. And less like a Liberal Democracy.

The way Hillary Clinton get’s beat in 2016 if she get’s beat at all and right now she’s the favorite both to win the Democratic nomination for president and the presidency itself, but the way she’s get’s beat is from a strong center-left Liberal Democrat, no one on the Far-Left can beat her whether it’s Bernie Sanders or Dennis Kucinich, but someone like Brian Schweitzer or Martin O’Malley. One a former governor and the current Governor of Maryland in Martin O’Malley. Because they both have solid liberal credentials unlike Hillary. Both would be liked by young voters. Not so much Hillary who looks like an establishment inside Washington politician politically. And both would be able to raise a lot of money.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Fiscal Times: Opinion: Eric Pianin: Get Ready For One-Party Rule if GOP Wins The Senate

The Fiscal Times: Opinion: Eric Pianin: Get Ready for One-Party Rule If GOP Wins the Senate

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I blogged last night that best ways to fix Washington as far as the national political scene goes, is first by fixing Congress. And that starts in the upper chamber the U.S. Senate. The U.S. House of Representatives has a lot of issues as well that contributes to the over partisanship as well. But the Senate is supposed to be that Congressional chamber where both parties are supposed to work together. At the very least get along after both sides get their say and can offer their ideas and plans to address whatever the issues are in the country. And currently the Senate is not like that.

Keep in mind here I’m a proud loyal partisan when it comes to ideas and philosophy Liberal Democrat. And my party is in charge in the Senate and I hope it remains that way in the next Congress as well. So I believe I have some credibility when I talk about too much partisanship in the Senate. Because it is in my party’s best short-term interest to keep things as they are and even advance them. And turn the Senate into the House as far as rules are set up until Senate Republicans win back the Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of the last people to be talking about too much Senate partisanship. Since he became Minority Leader back in 2007 has utilized every rule known to man, or least people who report on the Senate, to obstruct Senate Democrats and President Obama. And when he was Assistant Majority Leader from 2003-07, he and then Leader Bill Frist used every rule they could find to prevent Senate Democrats the minority party back then from offering amendments and alternatives to bills. And from even being involved in committee hearings. And Congressional conferences between the House and Senate.

But Minority Leader McConnell is right when he says that the Senate has become too much like the House. And it needs to be better and more like the old Senate. Where both sides can offer their own bills and amendments to the issues that the Senate Leader decides the Senate should focus on. The problem that the Minority Leader and why he has a credibility gap on this issue, is that he’s been a big part of the problem. And a big reason why Leader Reid has moved to more majority rule in the Senate. Since Mitch McConnell became Minority Leader back in 2007.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

No Labels: Video: U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and Jon Huntsman on The Morning Joe: A Shared Vision For a Stronger America

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This sounds more like an agenda for a third-party, an American Independence Party. A new center-right fiscally conservative socially moderate or federalist party. Where Jon Huntsman would make a great nominee for president. Instead of an agenda for this divided Congress with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. Where both chambers are so divided on basically everything. They just passed a budget, but that is part of their job and shouldn’t be congratulated for that.

I like the goals and what No Labels is trying to accomplish here. Of trying to bring pragmatists together to solve the problems of the country from both parties. The problem is right now they only have goals without any real solutions. You want to reform Washington, you have to reform Congress to the point where the majority and minority parties in both chambers are allowed to offer relevant substitutes and amendments to bills that the majority brings up. So both sides in the House and Senate at least have their say and can at least have their ideas voted on to what the House and Senate are debating. To turn Congress into a competition of ideas and not partisan attacks.

The other way you fix Washington in this current ultra partisan political environment is for the American people to step up and give one party enough power to govern and put their agenda through. Then at least we would have a real governing party in this country with the power to govern. Because right now it is just too partisan and we are too divided as a country for Democrats and Republicans to do much work together.

Monday, January 13, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Marcia Coyle: U.S. Supreme Court Considers Definition of Recess Appointments

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This is all about Senate Republicans ability to block President Obama’s recess appointments. Simply by having a large enough minority to prevent votes on legislation or executive appointments they do not like or agree with. Or do not believe that position should exist in the first place. Because of partisan ideological positions they have with Democrats. And I believe the Supreme Court will rule on the side of Senate Republicans on this simply because of the fact that Congress was technically in session when these supposed recess appointments were made. And technicalities tend to be very important in these close cases. Which tells me at least that Congress needs a better definition of what it means to be in recess. To prevent these partisan tactics from either the majority or minority from happening again. Especially the Senate that deals with executive appointments.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

CNN: State of The Union With Candy Crowley- Governor Martin O'Malley's Solution To Ending Poverty

Source: CNN- Governor Martin O'Malley, D, Maryland-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Senator Marco Rubio actually makes some good points here. As long letting the states doesn’t come with fewer resources and that Congress funds them appropriately, but then says the states can run them under basic fundamental standards. Meaning everyone whose eligible for program A or B or whatever when it comes to public assistance get’s that assistance. Instead of Washington telling Florida or Texas, or California or whoever how to manage these programs for their citizens. Or Washington trying to manage these programs for everyone with very little if any input from the states.

I also like Senator Rubio’s work requirements idea for anyone on public assistance, as long as it just covers mentally and physically able people. That if you are on public assistance even if you are working, you are doing everything you can to do as much for yourself. Including getting job training and additional education so you can get yourself a better job. And taxpayers will help you out where you come up short to pay your own bills. And if you are on public assistance and not working, you are either finishing your education or looking for work. Or a combination of both.

These are the first two times I’ve agreed with Senator Rubio on anything in 2014. And perhaps the only two times I’ll agree with him in this Congress. But when people come up with good ideas, even from party that is close to filing for bankruptcy when it comes to good ideas, I like to give them credit for it. Even though this is supposed to be about what Governor Martin O'Malley (my choice for president in 2016) and what he would do when it comes to poverty in America, Senator Rubio one of the original Tea Party Republicans that were elected to Congress in 2010, I believe has the better approach here. At least as far as what he told Candy Crowley during his interview. That ending poverty isn't just about or perhaps not about at all, spending more money on anti-poverty programs. But instead spending that money better and spending it differently.
CNN: State of The Union With Candy Crowley- Governor Martin O'Malley's Solution To Ending Poverty

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The McLaughlin Group: Chris Christie Jammed Up in New Jersey

Source: The McLaughlin Group-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie taking the I was in the dark about this defense. In the dark about the New Jersey traffic jam story or in the dark about his own administration. Remember Governor Christie likes to come off as a strong leader who doesn’t take let’s say junk from anyone. The person head of this scandal also happens to his Deputy Chief of Staff. So we are talking about someone pretty close to the chief executive of New Jersey and the governor not knowing what she was up to.

As far as the Robert Gates book. This man was President Obama’s Secretary of Defense for over two years and if he really believed that President Obama was a weak leader and remember Bob Gates is a career civil servant whose spent most of his career working for the National Security Council and if he really believed President Obama was making national security decisions for political reasons, the man would’ve stepped down well before he did.

As far as Unemployment Insurance if that if not extended which I believe it will be and even the Republican House at the end will agree to do it. And the question is just really how it will be done. We’ll see millions of Americans with absolutely no income with more people being evicted or being foreclosed. Because they can’t keep up with their payments and then what, a lot of people literally on the street with nowhere to go.
The McLaughlin Group: Governor Chris Christie

Friday, January 10, 2014

PBS: NewsHour- Shields & Brooks on Chris Christie & Robert Gates

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

As far as the Chris Christie let’s say stuck in traffic in New Jersey scandal. It just feeds into what we already know about Governor Christie that he is a big tough guy not afraid to throw his weight around (pun intended) and that in some ways he isn’t as strong of a leader as he likes to come off as. Instead of saying the buck stops here to quote an actual strong leader, he tried to put the blame on others. And not to say he deserves all the blame, but this traffic story happened on his watch.

The Bob Gates story the book he wrote about being President Obama’s Secretary of Defense. Of course the partisan Right just focusing on the negative things he had to say about the President, like the defense cuts. But Secretary Gates also called President Obama a strong leader who made strong and good decisions. Who took risks and wasn’t afraid to take risks. And the Osama Bin Laden capture and shooting in 2011 is a perfect example of that.

The War on Poverty, well fifty-years later and we are still fighting this so-called War on Poverty. That has been covered several times on this blog this week. And if you are really interested in that and what has been said about it on this blog, then I suggest you check out the War on Poverty section. But again mixed results at best and as Mark Shields and David Brooks said in the video, the Great Society has benefited seniors very well. But as far as children in poverty they are still growing up in rough high poverty neighborhoods with their parents. And generally one parent not having the skills to raise them in a positive way and move them to the middle class.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Judy Woodruff: Ray LaHood & Ed Rendell Make Push to Revitalize U.S. Infrastructure

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The National Infrastructure Bank is the best answer to solving our infrastructure deficit. Because it would be self-financed because it’s funding would come exclusively from the private sector. Bringing in investors that would get their money back, plus profits on the projects they invest in that the NIB would also get back to pay its bills and even make profits. Based on fees that people would be charged to use the projects like the roads, bridges, airports etc. A NIB at best is around a hundred-billion dollars a year or more. Which would be great if we didn’t have a 1-2 trillion-dollar deficit in infrastructure. So we also need a new infrastructure bill passed by Congress that takes care of most of the infrastructure investment. With the NIB financing infrastructure in this country in the future.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: U.S. Senate Advances bill to Restore Benefits For Long-Term Unemployed

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Good news for unemployed workers and I did here a couple of positive things even from Speaker of the House John Boehner. Who basically said the current bill in the Senate is dead on arrival in the House. But would be open to an Unemployment Insurance extension. If it includes an amendment that has something to do with putting these workers back to work. And that could be thing things like new help for education and job training so these workers can get new skills. But also even requirements that these workers even do that for the workers who’ve been unemployed for a long time. And as far as paying for the bill, there is so much room in the federal budget to cut including in the tax code. That they should be able to find something to cut without hurting the economy. Sometimes it is just a matter of Congress actually sitting down with each other and talking about issues and how they feel about them. And when they actually do that you see mutual legislation move in both the Senate and House.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Heather Digby Parton: David Brooks, "Redistribution Still Not Majority Agenda Because New Yorkers Say So"

Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Heather Digby Parton: David Brooks, Redistribution is Not Majority Agenda Because New Yorkers Say So

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I covered this last night, but David Brooks is actually right when he says and the video from last night makes it clear that Americans want to see more economic freedom and opportunity in America. Through things like expanding quality education for all students no matter the income levels of their parents. And expanding educational and job training opportunities for our low-skilled workforce. So they can do well in life. In other words expanding economic freedom and independence in America.

David Brooks is also right when he says what Americans don’t want to do as a country. Even though Progressives and Social Democrats people even further to the left of Progressives are for this. They do not want to see new big government programs and taxes that are designed to take from the wealthy to take care of the less-fortunate to expand public assistance in America. Which is why most if not all Democrats who run on these issues outside of the Northeast or Northwest tend to lose. And be labeled as tax and spenders or Socialists. But what Americans would pay for is more educational and job training opportunities for people who are low-skilled. To get the skills that they need to do well in life.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Fiscal Times: Eric Pianin- The Unintended Consequences of Expanding Medicaid

Source: The Fiscal Times-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I have a hard time believing that people on Medicaid would end up going to the emergency room more often now that they have health insurance especially for conditions that aren’t emergencies. As this article from The Fiscal Times suggests. And besides even if that is the case why wouldn’t these ER’s just turn these people away or tell them to make an appointment with one of their doctors. And come back tomorrow and if ER’s aren’t allowed to do that, then they should be allowed to.

This whole debate about Medicaid is about the fact that we do not finance it very well. And we do not finance it very well because we do not have a direct revenue source for it. Unlike Medicare and rely on general tax revenue from the Feds and states to pick up the tabs for it. And until recently before the Affordable Care Act the Feds hadn’t been paying their fair share for Medicaid. A public health insurance program that covers low-income Americans. And the Feds haven’t been paying their share under law because of the high costs of Medicaid. But you give Medicaid a direct revenue source and allow each state to run their own Medicaid program and you fix financial problems of it and no longer have states debating whether they afford to expand their Medicaid or not.

The way to fund Medicaid would be to have a payroll tax on it that would be paid for by employers. And workers to not only cover their employees Medicaid insurance, but for unemployed workers as well, or increase what people get on Unemployment and Welfare Insurance to pay for Medicaid as well. And we could also either give our low-income workers and expanded Earned Income Tax Credit to pay for this. Or increase the minimum wage substantially to cover it as well with a break for small employers. And we wouldn’t have to worry about Medicaid financing in the future again.

RW Johnson: Medicaid Expansion Under The Affordable Care Act

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields and Brooks Discuss Addressing Economic Inequality

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

David Brooks even though he’s a Conservative, ha, ha is dead right. When he says that it is not capitalism or economic freedom that is the problem in America or that is unpopular, but the fact that not enough Americans have access to economic freedom. And to the tools that they need to live well in America. And that what we need to do is invest more in education and job training for low-income adults in America. And education reform so more Americans can get themselves the skills that they need to be successful in America. And that these are mainstream center-left liberal issues that Democrats should be pushing.

Isn’t David Brooks supposed to be getting big government off my backs Conservative. Yet he’s taking a position about marijuana that says the state knows best what Americans should put in their own bodies and government should be making these decisions for people instead. And his position just doesn’t have much intelligence around it when he says that we shouldn’t legalize marijuana. Because people getting stoned all the time is not a good idea. Well no joke David! To keep the language clean here. But neither is getting drunk all the time good for society either. But we don’t see a lot of Americans doing either, now do we.