Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reform Party USA: 'Core Principles of the Reform Party

Source:Reform Party USA- the official logo of RPUSA.

"We, the members of the Reform Party, commit ourselves to reform our political system. Together we will work to re-establish trust in our government by electing ethical officials, dedicated to fiscal responsibility and political accountability."  

I hope the title of this post is long enough, otherwise the hell with it. But I agree with the notion of this blog post from the Reform Party that governing simply shouldn’t be about compromise. That even with a divided government with two parties that do not like each other (which is putting it very mildly) and certainly do not trust each other that both sides at the end of the business day still have a responsibility to not only govern, but to govern well.

And in divided government like today that means taking the best from both sides and putting into a package that works. And throwing out the garbage from both sides instead of just splitting the difference on each key issue. As if that is governing even when trying to go half way on each issue may not and in most cases does not result in a good end result. 

There are plenty of examples going back to the early 1980s when the Federal Government became very partisan with a new Conservative President in Ronald Reagan, with a Conservative Republican Senate. To go with a Progressive Democratic House where they managed to govern very well with divided Congress’s.

It is not so much the art of the compromise that should try to be reached. But the art of the consensus. What do both sides want and on a lot of key issues both sides tend to have the same end goals. And after that has been established now where are both sides, what would each side do if they were completely in charge. In other words: what is the opening offer from both sides so we know where both side is. And after that has been established you look to the common ground.

You find that and you put that in the final package and then after that you look for victories from both sides. The good from each side and put their ideas alone on certain key issues. For example the 1996 Welfare to Work Law is a perfect example. Republicans wanted time limits and work requirements in the new Welfare system. Democrats wanted job training, education, and childcare for people on Welfare. What happened is both sides won and the final bill had job training, education, childcare, time limits and job requirements.

You take the good from both sides and throw out the things that probably wouldn’t work. Or that both sides simply can’t live with. Meaning both sides get their victories, but do not get everything they are looking for. Instead of just splitting the difference and running for the middle on the key issues. And that is how you get good government in a divided government. 

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American Thinker: Christopher Chantrill- 'The Four Freedoms: 75 Years of Liberal Betrayal'

Source:Wikipedia- Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms.

“In the second half of the 2000s liberals did a fine job of blaming Bush for everything that went wrong in the US. His “neo-con” supporters, they asserted, were just as bad.

Now that President Obama and his signature legislation are a twin disaster the same opportunity beckons for conservatives. It’s not just Obama, it’s the whole liberal project that created this mess. So the road to 2016 involves discrediting Obama, but also the whole liberal ruling class.

A good place to start would be FDR’s Four Freedoms, for when the campaign to elect the un-Obama kicks off in 2016 it will be 75 years since Franklin Delano Roosevelt unveiled his Four Freedoms on January 6, 1941. In case you forgot, the freedoms were:

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Worship

Freedom from Want

Freedom from Fear”

“When Chris Morbitzer and his University of Cincinnati (UC) chapter of Young Americans for Liberty sought permission to gather signatures across UC’s campus for a time-sensitive, statewide ballot initiative, their request was denied. Morbitzer was told that if he and his group were seen gathering signatures outside of the school’s tiny and restrictive “free speech zone,” campus security would be called and they could be arrested.

“I think it is absurd that they were threatening to put me in jail for exercising what is a constitutional right,” says Morbitzer in FIRE’s latest video.

Dismayed that he might not be able to gather many signatures if he was confined to a free speech zone that comprised just 0.1% of campus, Morbitzer took a bold step: He sued his university.

“Me suing the university felt a lot like David versus Goliath,” says Morbitzer, “like, I stood no chance at all because, you know, I’m just a little student.”

On far too many campuses nationwide, universities unreasonably restrict students’ expressive activities to limited areas—so-called “free speech zones.” When challenged in the court of law and the court of public opinion, these zones routinely lose.

In this video, we chronicle Morbitzer and his student group’s fight against their school’s attempts to limit their speech. In the process, we examine the problem of restrictive free speech zone policies on and off campus—policies that exile would-be speakers to far off corners of their campuses or, in some cases, place protesters behind barbed-wire fences.” 

Source:FIRE- talking about free speech on college.

From FIRE 

I’ve seen a lot of dumb blog posts before that have close to absolutely no truth in them. But this post from Christopher Chantrill is right up there. It is nothing more than partisan, right-wing, talking points, about what liberalism is supposed to be about and what Liberals are supposed to believe in.

First of all, if you do not believe in Freedom of Speech even as it relates to negative speech about groups of people, or even hate speech about groups of people, you are not a Liberal. Because liberalism is built around Freedom of Speech and Association for all. Without fear of government especially the central government bringing down negative consequences towards you.

As far as the religious aspect from Mr. Chantrill, (just to be nice) there are of course Atheists and even religious bigots in America who use their free speech rights to put down religion in America even if they aren’t big fans of free speech in America. And there are fundamentalist religious believers who use their free speech rights to put down other religions. Even if they aren’t big fans of free speech either. But the Atheists tend to be on the Far-Left people who worship the central state instead. And people on the Libertarian-Right who worship their notion of liberty instead.

To have Liberals who don’t believe in free speech, you would have to a Conservatives who don’t believe in private enterprise. Those things simply do not go together, meaning you can’t be a Liberal who doesn’t believe in free speech and you can’t be a Conservative who doesn’t believe in private enterprise.

Now people can call themselves whatever the hell they want too. That is also part of our free speech protections. But for me to take you seriously as far as how you label your own politics, you have to believe in and practice the values of that philosophy. And not just use the label. 

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Richard Nixon Presidential Library: ‘New Federalism: Returning Power to The People’

Source:Richard Nixon Presidential Library- President Richard Nixon's OMB Director Richard P. Nathan.

“August 08, 2011: Nixon administration officials discuss RN’s national policy to transfer power from the federal government to state and local governments.

Location: Richard Nixon Presidential Library

Edwin Harper, Nixon White House Domestic Council Assistant Director;
James Falk, Nixon White House Domesctic Council Associate Director;
Richard Nathan, Assistant Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Nixon;
Shirley Anne Warshaw (moderator), Professor of Political Science, Gettysburg College.

Organized by Nixon White House Associate Director Geoffrey C. Shepard, the forums are co-sponsored by the National Archives and the Richard Nixon Foundation.”

"New Federalism Interviews: James Falk"

Source:Richard Nixon Foundation- interviewing James Falk.

From the Richard Nixon Foundation

"The New Federalism investigates whether returning a variety of regulatory and police powers back to the states will yield better government. It poses the provocative question, Can the states be trusted? and emerges with a qualified yes. This book should be an invaluable resource to federal and state policymakers alike." 

Source:Amazon- The New Federalism

From Amazon

I think to understand what Richard Nixon’s vision for what they called the New Federalism, you have to understand the political climate of the 1960s, the 1970s, and even the 1950s, when Richard Nixon was Dwight Eisenhower’s Vice President. And then you also have to understand what the Republican Party was like back then as well. Otherwise the New Federalism, the concept of a public safety net coming from a Republican President, will look very alien and foreign to you. It might look like a hip-hopper at a Mississippi country music festival, or something so out of place like that.

During the 1960s, we had President John F. Kennedy’s vision for the New Frontier, where he wanted to use the Federal Government to help people in need, help themselves. Then we had President Lyndon’s B Johnson’s Great Society, where they believed so American  should have to go without and that it was the job of the Federal Government to make sure that everyone is taken care of.

When Richard Nixon becomes President in January, 1969, he didn’t come back to Washington to destroy the New Deal or Great Society. He didn’t have the power to do that with a Democratic Congress (House and Senate) with solid majorities in it. And he didn’t thinking eliminating those programs would be good politically or on policy grounds either. But he believed as a Republican that the country needed a choice and not have a Republican President that governs as a Progressive Democrat.

This might sound hard to believe with Watergate, the plumbers and all the constitutional civil liberty violations that the Nixon White House was guilty of in the early 1970s. But ideologically, Richard Nixon was a Progressive Republican. He had a lot more in common with Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Dewey, Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, then he ever had in common with Robert Taft, or Barry Goldwater, or Ronald Reagan. Nixon believed in progress and using government to help create that progress. But he wasn’t a Socialist either or even a Democratic Socialist.

The New Federalism is the Progressive Republican vision of the public safety net in America, where you would have public programs available for people who truly need them, but they would be designed to move people out of poverty, with educational and work requirements, as well as time limits on then. And they would be run by the state and local government’s. But by the Feds, unlike with the Great Society and New Deal. 

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The New Republic: Noam Scheiber: ‘Raising the Minimum Wage Isn’t Just Good Politics: It’s Good Economics’

Source:The New Republic- supporters for raising the minimum wage.

Small Ivy: “Erik, this is a fantastic idea – cut the taxes for employers if they pay their employees more. How about this – how about making salaries paid to employees a direct tax credit, such that employers could reduce their taxes to zero if they pay their employees the money that would have been going to taxes. This would get the money right into employees’ pockets instead of needing to send it up to Washington and then back to the employees through welfare checks. Would teenagers get the higher wages too, or just adults with kids at home to feed?”

“The minimum-wage debate follows a predictable pattern any time it flares up in the media: Liberals say it’s a moral outrage that people can toil away at full-time jobs and still live in poverty. They nod at the overwhelming public support for raising the minimum wage as a way to shame reluctant politicians. Conservatives, for their part, insist that all the minimum-wage talk is just self-defeating do-gooder-ism: great for making Upper-West-Siders feel righteous, a lot less so for helping the people they claim to care about. In the real world, conservatives argue, raising the minimum wage costs jobs that the poor and young desperately need. At which point liberals mumble defensively and retreat to their original talking points, if they respond at all.”

There are both good political as well as economic reasons for raising the minimum wage in America. If it is done right and I’m going to give you an example of why it make sense to raise the minimum wage in America.

Raising the minimum wage in America if it is done right, makes so much good sense that I can give you two good examples from both a political, but as well as an economic example and give you both of them from the Right even though I’m a Liberal Democrat.

The political example would be this: Imagine you are Joe or Mary taxpayer in America and you work very hard for a living just to pay your bills and raise your kids and you are a little angry about that and feel overtaxed, because here you are playing by the rules and doing everything you can to pay your own way. But you are also paying taxes to pay for people who don’t pay their own way because they are low-skilled. You probably feel like you have an extra burden to pay to go along with yourself and your family, even though you are not getting any extra money to pay for that burden.

As a result, low-skilled workers work low-skilled minimum wage jobs and have to collect public assistance in order to survive. Because these low-wage employers are able to pass their employee costs onto you. And have you make up the difference for these workers housing, groceries and health care. But you raise the minimum wage to ten, twelve dollars and hour with a break especially for small employers and you keep their public assistance benefits where they are now, now these low-skilled workers can pay more for their costs of living. And Joe and Mary Smith (or whoever) and many others won’t have to pay as much in taxes to make up the difference. 

The economic example is pretty simple: You want more people working and fewer people collecting Unemployment or Welfare Insurance, then working has to pay more than not working so people are incentivized to work for a living. And not collect public assistance checks for a living instead. You raise the minimum wage to ten or twelve dollars an hour with a thirty percent tax break for employers especially for small employers and you have employers pay their share of the public assistance costs with like a payroll tax.

And tell employers they can get all that money back if they instead just pay their low-wage employees those costs. Or train them so they can move up in their organization or a combination of both. Now employers won’t be able to pass their employees costs on to the backs of average Joe and Mary taxpayer (or whoever) and many others and you would be able to cut the middle class tax burden in this country. The politics for Democrats are very good here.

And this would be a very good way to get Democrats to the polls in 2014 and get organize labor to help them out. It is actually good politics for Republicans as well if they are truly interested in reaching out to the working class. And not just there to carry the water for the wealthy and corporate America. Because they could say they are in favor of this as well so we can cut the taxes for average workers. 

It’s not just the minimum wage, but every physically and mentally able adult in America should be incentivized not just to work, but to pay their own away. No physically or mentally able adult in America should be able to collect more from public assistance and not working, then working any full-time job. What you would make in a week working a full-time minimum wage job, should be more then what you would get from a Welfare check and not working at all. We should not just raise the minimum wage to a working wage, but subsidize the employment of low-income, low-skilled workers, to encourage as many Americans as possible to make it in America on their own. 

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Huffington Post: Richard Eskow- 'Was This the Social Contract’s Comeback Year?'

Source:Crooks & Liars- U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Democrat, Maryland)

"What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, a president and a party who had just won an election with progressive rhetoric were quickly pivoting toward a “Grand Bargain” which would cut Social Security and Medicare. Leaders in both parties were obsessed with deficits, and there was “bipartisan” consensus that these “entitlements” needed to be cut. The only questions left to debate were when they would be cut, and by how much. To resist these moves was to be dismissed as “unserious” and “extreme” — in Washington, in newsprint, and on the airwaves.

Today the forces of corporate consensus are on the defensive. It’s considered politically reckless to get too far out front on the subject of benefit cuts. Some of the think tanks who advocated Austerity Lite one year ago are focused now on inequality. And, as the leaders of Third Way learned recently, the same rhetoric which earned nods of approval all across Washington this time last year can get you slapped down today."  

From the Huffington Post 

"A promotional video produced by the US government to highlight the projects and programs of the Roosevelt's New Deal during the Great Depression." 

Source:All Histories- a film about the New Deal.

From All Histories

When it comes to things like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Insurance, Medicare. Public Housing, Food Assistance (to use several examples) I prefer the term safety net or a public social insurance system or PSIS. Which are insurances that people who need them can collect when, well they need them. But if you able to take care or yourself and you have what is called economic freedom that is the ability to pay your own bills and be self-sufficient in life with money left over to spend in things you want, then that is essentially the American dream.

Then that is exactly what you and this is how a safety net or PSIS would be different from what is called in Europe especially in Scandinavia a welfare state. Where there are all sorts of public programs funded through taxes (not free for the people) there to take care of people. 

I as a Liberal Democrat do not want to have to live off of government or anyone else if I’m able to take care of myself. That would be just one example that would separate me from a Democratic Socialist or a Social Democrat. Someone who bases their political philosophy on what government can do for people when it comes to economics.

If you want to use the term social contract, fine I’ll go along with that. But what I’m really in favor of when it comes to American capitalism is individual economic power. Again which is another way of saying economic freedom. And what I would like to see in this country and perhaps even go back to is an economic power system that is there for all Americans to be able to take advantage of to create their own economic freedom.

And this is where government plays its biggest role along with regulating predatory behavior. And this comes from making quality education and job training available for everyone universally to everyone K-adulthood if needed. So as many Americans as possible have that individual economic power or people power to be able to take care of themselves. And live a good life however they define that for themselves without having to use public assistance or private charity. In order to pay their own way and bills.

If you are talking about having a federal government so big especially as it relates to economic policy that it is designed to meet a lot if not most of people’s economic needs, you are no longer talking about a safety net or a social insurance system, but a welfare state. A socialist superstate big government at about as big as it can without nationalizing the entire economy and outlawing private property all together. And that is not what I’m in favor of. 

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Thom Hartmann: Follow the French on the Millionaire Tax

Source: PLYT-
Source: Thom Hartmann: Follow The French on The Millionaire Tax

You want everyone paying their fair share of taxes at all economic levels. Which is one of the reasons why I’m in favor of what I call the Progressive Consumption Tax. Which would accomplish most of that especially by eliminating all the wasteful tax loopholes in the tax system, including corporate welfare. But you don’t want taxes so high on anyone that it discourages people to be productive and successful. And gets them asking the question, “why should I work hard and be productive when Uncle Sam takes most of the money that I make anyway?”We do not want taxes so high to that point which is what we saw in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with a recession, followed by weak economic and job growth. Similar to what we’ve grown through the last five years. And even though the Great Recession wasn’t a result of taxes being too high, taxes that are too high can play a role in creating recessions with people not having enough money to spend to create strong economic growth. And what we saw as a result in the mid 1960s was a Progressive Democratic president in Lyndon Johnson and a Democratic Congress with Conservative Republican help, is cut taxes across the board for everyone. Which contributed to an economic boom of the mid and late 1960s.

The American Thinker: Trevor Thomas & Neal Boortz: 'Libertarianism & Moral Government'

Source:American Thinker is a right-wing populist publication.

"While substituting for Sean Hannity recently, Neal Boortz went into another of his "libertarian" rants against "social" conservatives. Taking note of the recent flak involving Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty," while pleading that the fate of the republic may depend upon Republicans retaking the U.S. Senate, Boortz forebodingly predicted that Republicans would fail in this task because, "they [Republicans] simply cannot resist the urge, the impulse to get into this social conservatism."

Long known for his disdain of the "social" (I prefer "moral") issues, like many others, Boortz masquerades as libertarian while in reality being nothing more than a liberal on the moral issues of our time.

Contrary to what self-described libertarians such as Boortz and John Stossel would have us believe, if conservatives simply shut up about issues like abortion and marriage and focus on things like debt and fiscal responsibility, there's no guarantee when it comes to election time. It is a long-held myth, typically perpetuated by self-described liberals in the mainstream media but also by self-described libertarians, that whenever the moral issues are prominent in elections, conservatives lose. As I have noted before, Jeffrey Bell in his book The Case for Polarized Politics helps dispel this myth.

"Social issues were nonexistent in the period 1932 to 1964," notes Bell. "The Republican Party won two presidential elections out of nine, and they had the Congress for all of four years in that entire period. . . . When social issues came into the mix -- I would date it from the 1968 election . . . the Republican Party won seven out of 11 presidential elections."

Bell concludes, as have many others, that American social conservatism began in response to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Thus, it is unsurprising that all of the most significant "social" issues in America today are sexual issues. Abortion, homosexuality, marriage, contraception, and the like, are not hot political topics merely because they relate to people's personal lives. They are hot political topics because they reside deep within the moral realm of our culture.

Whether liberals or libertarians care to admit it, somebody's morality is going to govern us. Libertarians would do well to examine America's history before ranting about the morality of today's [Christian] conservatives. Like our founders, most conservatives today understand well that religion (especially Christianity) is an indispensible tenet of liberty.

America's "Schoolmaster" Noah Webster bore this out in his 1832 History of the United States when he wrote that "our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion." Webster rightly concluded that, "The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles... to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government." 

Additionally, and again contrary to popular myth and what pundits like Mr. Boortz would have us believe, Christian conservatives aren't the aggressors in the so-called "culture wars." It has been liberals with the aid of those like-minded in our courts and our media who have forced their moral views on our culture. Whether it's abortion, the environment, public displays of religion, marriage, or other issues, liberals have taken the view of what is typically a small minority and imposed their will on the country.

In more ways than one, the results have been disastrous and (speaking of debt) expensive. As an example, consider the environment and the myth of man-made global warming. Starting out with a small minority, through judicial fiat and a relentless media campaign, liberals began preaching that through the use of fossil fuels, human beings were warming the globe and that (of course) drastic political measures needed to be taken to "save the planet."

Though most Americans do not consider global warming a significant issue for our government, decades of propaganda have taken a toll on our nation. For too long, conservatives didn't do enough to combat the tactics of liberals on this issue, and today far too many Americans believe the lie that the actions of humans are warming the planet. So much so that the last Republican-elected president, George W. Bush, signed a significant piece of legislation that was premised on the notion of man-made global warming. 

After signing the Energy Independence and Security Act, President Bush declared, "Today... We make a major step toward reducing our dependence on oil, confronting global climate change, expanding production of renewable fuels and giving future generations a nation that is stronger, cleaner and more secure."

According to the New York Times, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi echoed Bush's sentiments by describing "the bill as groundbreaking because it would reduce oil imports, cut production of the gases that scientists blame for global warming and significantly increase the efficiency of the nation's auto fleet." 

Boortz would do well to note that this is what happens when conservatives acquiesce to the positions of liberals. We get conservatives at the highest level parroting liberalspeak and the government spending billions of dollars on a problem that doesn't exist -- even telling us what light bulbs we can use. However, this is nothing compared to the slaughter of tens of millions of children in the womb or the legal redefinition of the institution upon which our republic rests.

Libertarians like Boortz can moan and groan about the moral positions of "social" conservatives all they want, but it doesn't change the facts. All law is rooted in some morality; thus somebody's morality is going to "determine the fate of this republic." Libertarians need to decide with whom it's easier to live: those who share the morality of the vast majority of our founders, who gave us the greatest document for self governance ever created by men; or those who seek fundamentally to change this republic into something that conservatives and libertarians both will lament."

From the American Thinker   

Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater: I want big government out of our wallets, bedrooms, boardrooms, and classrooms.” That’s my idea of a Conservative.

Of course Conservatives believe in tradition, conserving, rule of the law, etc. But that’s not the same thing as believing in your religious and cultural values so much, that you want the national government, or any other level of government, using government force to force everyone else to live you way of life. It just means that individuals should be free to live their own lives, short of hurting any innocent person with what they’re doing with their own freedom.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

MLB Vault: MLB 1986-ALCS Game 5-Boston Red Sox @ Anaheim Angels: Full Game

Source:MLB Vault- Boston Red Sox OF Dave Henderson's game winning HR, against the Anaheim Angels in game 5.
"Boston Red Sox 7 at California Angels 6, F/11 -- The Angels needed only one more out to earn their first World Series appearance, but it was the Red Sox who had destiny on their side. Angels closer Donnie Moore pushed Dave Henderson and the Red Sox one strike away from elimination, but Henderson earned redemption for an earlier fielding miscue by hitting Moore's second 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence to give the Red Sox a 6-5 lead. The Angels tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, but Henderson's sacrifice fly off Moore in the eleventh gave the Red Sox the lead and they went on to win the series in seven games."

Source:MLB Vault

Perhaps the best MLB playoff game at least in my lifetime. And the biggest choke in my lifetime at least in MLB with the Angels blowing a 3-1 series lead with the opportunity to win the American League Championship at home with their offense, defense and pitching. And they simply didn’t close the door to a team they probably should’ve beaten at least in six games if not five.

Wally Joyner not in the Angels lineup certainly hurt them in-game 5. But you got to know that they had the Red Sox beat in the ninth inning with their closer Donnie Moore who was lights out most of the 1986 season on the mound. He makes a bad pitch to Dave Henderson and that forces the game to extra innings. But Joyner would’ve been a big force in the Angels lineup in-game 6 and 7, when the Red Sox blew out the Angels at Fenway Park.  
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Real Redskins: Rick Tandler- 'Should Mike Shanahan Stay or Go'

Source:SD Sportzz- Mike Shanahan: head coach of the Washington Redskins.

"Apparently there has been some issues with Dan Snyder, Mike Shanahan, and RG3. Lets talk about it."  

"Should Mike Shanahan Stay or Go" 

Should Mike Shanahan stay or go as the Redskins Head Coach/Head of Football Operations: that will be the number one question and decision that Dan Snyder will have to deal with in the 2014 Redskins offseason, when their season is officially over after playing the New York Giants tomorrow.

Reasons for letting Coach Shanahan go outnumber the reasons for keeping him. In four seasons with the Redskins the Redskins have lost ten or more games three times. And if they do not beat the Giants at New Jersey tomorrow a team that has a better record than the Redskins, won twice as many games 6-9 than the 3-12 Redskins and have already beaten the Redskins on the road this year, the Redskins after already having the worst season of the Shanahan era at 3-12, will fall to 3-13.

And you can’t make the case that Coach Shanahan doesn’t have the players. For one he’s also in charge of personal and two they picked by most of the so-called experts people who understand the NFL to win the NFC East probably the worst division in football this year with the Redskins actually having the worst team. 

You can say that Coach Shanahan doesn’t have a very good coaching staff especially at the top with his offensive coordinator who also happens to be his son in Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. But again Coach Shanahan picks his own coaching staff.

The reasons to fire Coach Shanahan are pretty sound and clear and a big reason why it would be a pretty popular decision in Washington. A city that hates to lose and hates losers. But some of the issues with the Redskins management even though Coach Shanahan doesn’t have complete control of the organization, isn’t all of Coach Shanahan’s fault and responsibility. He doesn’t have a solid football person like a team president that he can report too. Who can also supervise and advise him on things like how to sign players and manage the salary cap, negotiate trades, manage the facilities and so-forth. Not so much a general manager but someone at the top besides the owner that Coach Shanahan can report to that the coach can get advise from sort of like a partner. But someone who outranks the head coach, like a head of football operations.

Bruce Allen is the team’s official general manager, but he reports and works for the head coach and not the other way around. It is not that Coach Shanahan shouldn’t have the final say in personal, but he shouldn’t be running the entire football operations department either. Someone besides Dan Snyder needs to be there and be able to say: “I like what you are doing here.” But when the coach makes a bad decision be able to step in and say: “We shouldn’t do that.” And even be able to veto things that do not make sense. Someone with a football background.

One of the reasons why the San Francisco 49ers were so successful in the 1980s was because of how their management was structured. Ed Debartalo didn’t try to be the owner of the franchise as well as the team president. 

Bill Walsh was the head coach/general manager of the 49ers, but he had a team president to report to in Carmen Policy. Instead of Eddie Debartalo trying to fill both roles as owner and president. Well right now Dan Snyder is trying to fill both roles as owner and president of the Redskins. He’s simply not qualified as a businessman and not a professional football man to fill both roles as owner and president. And for the Redskins to succeed in the future with either Mike Shanahan or a new head coach, they need a new management structure.

Their management structure is going to have to change or they are going to remain in between mediocrity and a consistent, to a losing team without much of a future. And another thing that Dan Snyder needs to consider is who out there would be better than Mike Shanahan. To be their head coach/head of football operations who would also be willing to work for Dan Snyder. To make this a little personal.

I’ve made the case for both firing Mike Shanahan and keeping him on board with a new team president. And a new offensive and defensive coordinator and giving Coach Shanahan one more season. And reevaluating him at the end of 2014. Because I haven’t completely made up my mind. But if I’m Dan Snyder I’m leaning towards keeping Coach Shanahan under this new proposed management and coaching arrangement. Instead of firing Coach Shanahan and starting over.

But I would also tell the head coach that: “Look, our defense was horrible this year and that has to change. You need a defensive coordinator that is going to run the defense based on the personal that he has to work with. We are going back to the 4-3 and you are going to move either Ryan Kerrigan or Brian Orakbo to defensive end. And get an outside linebacker whose a very good pass defender and tackler as well. So you can blitz less and get more of a pass rush with just four or five pass rushers. Instead so you leave more help for your secondary. And give up fewer big plays in the passing and running games.”

This should be a tough decision for Dan Snyder and I hope he hasn’t made up his mind yet. And that postseason meeting with both he and the head coach happens with minds haven’t been made up yet. Because again a very good case for dumping the head coach, but there is also a good case for bringing Mike Shanahan back under the right circumstances.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Hampton Institute: Josh Hatala: 'The Socialist Party of America: A Historiographical View'

Source:The New Democrat- Socialist Party presidential candidate, Eugene Debbs.
"The Socialist Party of America: An Historiographical View." Originally from Joshua Hatala from The Hampton Institution, but the link for his article seems to have been deleted. 

"Russia Today host Thom Hartmann invited Libertarian Republic Editor Austin Petersen to debate the merits of San Francisco's city council voting to push chain store retailers out of the area. Hartmann questioned whether it was valid for citizens to vote if they don't want certain businesses in their area."  

Source:Austin Peterson- debating Thom Hartmann about socialism.

From Austin Peterson

Where I disagree with Josh Hatala on this where I could probably make this whole post about, is that there are still two somewhat viable democratic socialist parties in America: Democratic Socialists USA and the Green Party, as well as many leftist Democrats who are mainly in the Democratic Party for political reasons in order to get elected and be active in a major leftist party, even a center-left party. Socialism has failed as far as producing a major social democratic party that can compete and beat Democrats and Republicans on a regular basis.

But you got to know that U.S. Senator Bernie of Vermont (the only self-described Socialist in Congress) is a Socialist, as well as several members of the so-called Congressional Progressive Caucus, both in the House and Senate that Senator Sanders is a member of. But most of the members of the CPC prefer to be viewed as Progressives because of the negative stereotypes that come with being viewed as a Socialist or even a Social Democrat.

Socialism hasn’t failed in the sense that their ideas have failed or are considered too extreme. At least what would be viewed as mainstream both in America and in Europe that is democratic socialism, that combines both capitalism, a vibrant private sector, but that is heavily taxed and regulated to fund a very large welfare state to provide a lot of the services that people need to live well. From education to healthcare that is common in Scandinavia. A long with a safety net for people who are unemployed and so-forth.

That is basically Scandinavian or Nordic capitalism, which is the mainstream form of socialism in Europe. But even in America where capitalism was basically invented, we have a socialist component to our economic system as well in the form of our safety net for people who can’t take care of themselves. Who are out-of-work or can’t afford services that they need in order to survive like health insurance and food, even if they are working. It is just that our national social insurance system is a lot smaller in America than it is in Scandinavia.

It is not that so much that socialism has failed in America, because the democratic form of it that I just explained is alive and well. Just look at the popularity of Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. All of which could and have been labeled specially by their opponents and proponents as well as socialist programs. 

It is Marxism or Marxist socialism, where the state essentially is responsible for running the entire economy and to a large extent the people’s lives, that has failed everywhere that it has been tried. Which is why most of the world has moved away from it.  

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American Thinker: John W. Howard: 'Liberalism & its Discontents'

Source:The American Thinker is a right-wing populist publication.

“Last month’s solemn 50th year remembrance of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and its confluence with an event of eventual monumental insignificance provides a useful context in which to contemplate the current state of national politics. The one reminds us of a political impulse that was at one time predominant and the other places in stark relief the ideological project that replaced it.

We use labels as a handy mechanism for describing complex concepts. “Liberalism”, as a political term, did not come into broad currency in the United States until the after the First World War. It described a proto-ideology that envisioned a muscular central government reimagined as an engine for social organization in contrast to the benign protector of liberty envisioned by the Founders. In ignoring the assumptions of the Founding, it was not particularly out of character for politics at the time. Other than pro forma invocations of the pantheon of Founding heroes, no one really made much reference to Founding principles in political discourse. They did not have to, of course, since the basic governmental paradigm remained largely intact even in light of the eclipse of state prerogative in the wake of the Civil War.

Though they sought to move on from first principles, they did so, they thought, as an accommodation to modernity, not as a rejection of the idea of America. They thought of liberalism as progress; as an improvement on basic concepts, as a part of an evolutionary continuum of ideas rooted in American tradition. They were, largely, patriotic. They believed in Founding ideals. Though many demonstrated a disquieting receptiveness to foreign ideas, they were, at root, still nationalists who believed in a greater America.

Liberalism became not so much a movement as an overwhelming theoretical assumption and its reach extended far from the politics with which it started, to all corners of society, from literature to music to education to social mores. By the 1950s, it was, quite simply, the predominant philosophical presupposition of American life. It was the more predominant for the absence of any organized countervailing ideological force.

When a component of the liberal zeitgeist, the very real undercurrent of seditious leftism, demonstrated too clear a sympathy to foreign authoritarian impulses — a purer form of the fundamental leftist philosophical doctrine out which liberalism evolved — mainstream American liberals wrote hardcore leftists out of the movement and adopted a vigorous anti-Communism. Many became ardent Cold Warriors. John Kennedy ran for president arguing that a missile gap made the nation vulnerable to Soviet adventurism. Far from running on the notion of diverting defense dollars to social programs, he argued for increases in military spending and a more vigorous foreign policy to contain Communist expansion.

President Kennedy did not say “Ich bin ein Berliner” to suggest appeasement but as a statement of solidarity between Americans and free Germans against Communist tyranny. He did not face down the Soviet Union in the Cuban Missile Crisis because he believed Communism to be an alternate political lifestyle that should be understood instead of defeated. He did not go into Vietnam expecting to contain North Vietnam. He went there intending to defeat it. He had been shaped by the transformative experience of World War II and the self-confidence and triumphalism that informed American politics in its wake.

These, among many other Kennedy Administration initiatives, are why a revisionist cottage industry has lately emerged that suggests that Kennedy was actually a conservative. He wasn’t, of course, but liberals of that tradition were not hard wired to leftist ideology. They still believed in the idea of American freedom and individualistic self-definition. They believed in the heroic. They celebrated individual initiative and accomplishment and their twins, self-discipline and responsibility. They continued to celebrate fundamental American values and to identify with traditional American heroes. They believed in an America worth fighting for.

As the predominant political philosophy, liberalism controlled all levers of government. Democrats held the presidency and 2/3 majorities in both houses of Congress throughout much of the 1960s and again in the 1970s.

The fact of overwhelming liberal political power is why ’60s radicals reserved their greatest disdain for liberals, not conservatives. First, of course, after Barry Goldwater’s landslide defeat in 1964, conservatism went into eclipse and presented no viable opposition to the radical project. Second, it was liberals who transacted a muscular foreign policy, undertook a foreign war and steadfastly opposed Communism and Soviet expansion.

But 1968 marked the decline and eventual disappearance of the liberalism that, until then, animated the Democratic Party and dominated American life. After the radical Chicago riots and the children’s revolt represented by Eugene McCarthy’s abortive presidential candidacy, intellectually exhausted Democratic Party liberals implemented party reforms that allowed its seizure by radical organizers. The devolution of party power from power brokers with a grounding in American traditionalism to street radicals and narrow interest groups warped more by grievance than a notion of a greater good rooted in Americanism, marked a fundamental intellectual shift and the eclipse of liberalism as an energetic force in American politics. The nomination of George McGovern for president in 1972 only confirmed what everyone knew by then: Liberalism had been replaced by unalloyed leftism as the predominant ideology of the Democratic Party. And there it has remained, except for a short detour toward the center during the Clinton years.

The difference between liberalism and the leftism that replaced it is that the latter is less moored to American notions of liberty and individualism than to an authoritarian European redistributionist tradition that celebrates the primacy of the collective over the rights of the individual. That is why it is so foreign to American sensibilities. It is foreign and it is unrooted in any strain of traditional Americanism. It rejects the assumption of individualist achievement embracing, rather, government as the instrument of a “justice” that contemplates taking from those who do to give to those who do not.

Its very terminology rejects the basic assumption of American freedom: the power of the individual to transform society and his consequent entitlement to the fruits of his labor. The term “redistribution” suggests that there has been some sort of initial overarching random societal distribution of wealth that improperly conferred prosperity on some and not others. Individuals do not earn – and therefore have the right to retain — what they derive from their labor. It is given and can therefore be taken by a “just” society that “redistributes” it in accordance with the whim of a government dedicated not to the protection of its citizens but to the shaping of a society. That is why the term is so abhorrent, assuming, as it does, something that is fundamentally and transparently false.

The rise of conservatism required a label with which to identify its adversary. “Liberal” was chosen because it was a term citizens understood and had been freely adopted by those who stood in contrast to conservative intellectual aspirations. It also avoided inevitable vilificationand blithe dismissal as “McCarthyism”. But it was not quite right. By the time Ronald Reagan managed to discredit the term and the philosophy that accompanied it, liberalism was largely exhausted and had been replaced by a more pernicious leftism. Today’s “progressives”, as they now describe themselves, are not the liberals of old, like John Kennedy, who wanted to implement programs he thought would improve the nation but were compatible with national principles. Modern progressivism is much more dangerous because it has as its project not improvement but destruction and rebuilding in its own ideal image. It does not want to improve on the American project but to replace it with a pernicious utopianism and they are not fastidious in how they do it. European leftists have never had moral constrains in their manner of political warfare.

Progressives reject the common assumptions that bound liberals and conservatives as Americans even in their rhetoric.They are unbounded by a traditional decency that used to inform American political discourse. They have no sense of a unified American project informed by American tradition. Theirs is the moral sense of the original Soviet project. Nothing is beneath them.

Which brings us to the incident of monumental insignificance that occurred during the remembrance of a liberal hero but which illustrated, as little else could, the difference between liberals and their bastard progeny, the new American progressive that is now the mainstream of the modern Democratic Party. I refer, of course, to intellectual pygmy Martin Bashir, a man of such limited moral gifts that he descended to revolting scatological references in an attack on Sarah Palin. Can one imagine John Kennedy or Walter Lippman or James Reston ever reduced to such vile babble? Never.

It was not so much that Bashir said it. Little is beneath him so little is expected. But that no one on the left could be roused to condemnation illustrates the impact of a corrosive leftism that has left its adherents desensitized to notions of common decency.

The incident will, of course, be shortly forgotten, and that is as it should be. But it is far past time to acknowledge that the proud liberalism of the past is no longer a vibrant force in American politics and that the progressivism that replaced it is truly anathema to the American project.”   

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Townhall: Michael Tanner: A Real Life Example of Welfare Reform

Townhall: Opinion: Michael Tanner: A Real Life Example of Welfare Reform

If you want more people in the workforce working with real jobs they can rely on that they are qualified for, than working whatever the job is has to pay more than not working and collecting public assistance at home. And that starts with having a real minimum wage that pays more than being at home and collecting public assistance per hour. But moreover we need a real education and job training system in this country that empowers our low-skilled workforce to finish their education. And that means both high school and at least junior college or vocational education.

And that also means that people on public assistance need to be required as well as encouraged to be actively searching for work while they are also finishing their education. And not passing up jobs because they do not like the job, or doesn’t pay a lot. Even if that means finishing their education while they are now working. And they could still get their public housing, Medicaid, food assistance, but as long as they are doing what they can to go to work, or go back to work and improve their employment outlook. 
I’m all in favor of education and job training in America especially for our low-skilled adults and kids who are still in school. But as long as the work is part of the puzzle and the end goal of having a good job that empowers people to finally get off of public assistance and become economically independent. Living in economic freedom with the power to take care of themselves and making these services affordable to taxpayers and the people eligible for them. But as long as work is part of the package and we are empowering people to get themselves solid job experience. 
Empowering people to finish their education with the skills that they need to be successful in life that comes with a good job that allows for people to become economically independent in life. And you don’t get there as long as we pay people not to work and not do anything constructive that empowers these people to improve their lives. And education, job training and work experience are investments that expand economic freedom in America. 
When you are talking about public assistance in America, you are essentially talking about public charity. Even though taxpayers do not have a choice in whether or not to help finance it. But if public assistance comes with education, job training and work experience, as people are collecting public assistance checks, now you are talking about economic investments that lead to good jobs with a high-skilled workforce. With a small population of people who still need to finish their education so they can get off of public assistance.

NFL Films: Vince Lombardi Teaches The Power Sweep

Source:NFL Films- Green Bay Packers head coach/general manager Vince Lombardi (1959-68)

"Power Sweeps" - Winning Football with Vince Lombardi (Volume 7)"  

From Coach D 

I think the best way to describe Vince Lombardi's brand of football, at least offensive football, is to do it with a hypothetical. 

Imagine the night before your football game and you just found your opponent's game plan and playbook. You now not only know what plays your opponent is going to run and how they're going to beat you. Just one problem: even though you know exactly what the Packers (in this case) are going to run against you, you are not good enough to beat them. 

While the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s and 80s ran so many different formations and plays to win their games on offense and the Redskins with different type of offense, but used a lot of different formations on offense in the 1980s, the Packers were beating their opponents simply by out executing their opponents and having better players. Losing to the Packers in the 1960s was literally the death by execution. They had the ball on 1st in 10 from their 20, you knew it was coming but you couldn't stop it. 

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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Onion: Peter K. Rosenthal: 'Looks Back At It's a Wonderful Life'

Source:The Onion- Jimmy Stewart and friends.
"The Onion's movie critic Peter K. Rosenthal looks back at the holiday classic 'It's A Wonderful Life' in this week's Film Standard."  
From The Onion   
How can one Uncle Billy can completely change the complexion of a movie review? You know if I had an uncle who was that big of an asshole and screw up, I doubt my life would be so golly gee swell. (To use a term from that era) Especially if I was relying on a dip-shit like this to help me run my business.  
First of all, if I’m dumb enough to rely on a dip-shit to help me run my business, I’m probably not that much of a businessman to begin with. Maybe Uncle Billy has something that he can use as blackmail that keeps him in business with his partners. Maybe he saw Joe kissing Sally instead of his wife Mary and threatening to use that against Joe or something. But the people who go into business with someone like Uncle Billy are people who go out of business, because they are not smart enough to hire people who are not dip-shits to work for them. 
It's a Wonderful Life, is a classic 1930s, 1940s, 1950s Jimmy Stewart movie. Where he represents a a very simple man from a very simple time. (At least according to Hollywood) Where he's a very well-liked town and knows everybody there and they seem to like him, because he's just like everybody else in that town.  
In Jimmy Stewart's day you don't cuss, even words like damn and hell are considered sins. And if there wasn't for this little annoying thing like the First Amendment, you might get arrested for saying damn or hell in public. 
In Jimmy Stewart's day, Joe Smith is married to Mary and they have 2-3 kids. Of course Joe works and of course Mary stays home and raises their kids. Because it's considered a sin for women to work in Pleasantville. Because in Pleasantville women are not only not expected to work, but be subservient to their man. Perhaps Pleasantville is the capital of Saudi Arabia or at least part of Saudi Arabia. Except in Pleasantville the people aren't Muslin or Arab, but Protestant and tend to be Anglo-Saxon. Except for the servants, who of course are African-American and in some cases even use to be slaves. 
And George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) is curious what life looks like outside of Pleasantville USA. And is curious what life looks like outside of his collectivist town where everyone seems to almost be a clone of someone else. Where everyone talks and thinks the same way, lives their life the same way. Again absolutely no cussing, no dancing in public, no drinking on Sunday. Everyone says Grace before they eat, etc. 
And George wants to know if everyone else in America lives this way and perhaps what big city life would be like. The problem is that Joe is dumb enough to get in bed, I mean go into business with his Uncle Billy and of course Billy's nickname is screwup, or dip-shit and runs the business into the ground like a drunk autopilot crashes a plane. And now Joe is stuck in Pleasantville or Bedford Falls (to be precise) and left there pick up the pieces and put his life back together. 
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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960