Friday, January 22, 2016

Marmar: Jane Fonda Interview With Barbara Walters in 2006

Source:The Daily Review

At risk of sounding exactly as I wrote with what I put on my Google+, Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook accounts, (do I have enough social network accounts?) I love the realness of Jane Fonda. There’s nothing phony about her, at least in real-life. Keep in mind she’s an actress and a damn good one and as I said in my last piece about her, the best actress of the Silent Generation not including Liz Taylor. So she can play real as well as it can be done, at least onstage. And since I’m not the purely cynical asshole that I tend to get seen as, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt here. And say she’s truly a real person in real-life. What you see for good and I believe at least the majority is good and for bad and I have my own political and judgment issues with her, what you see is what you get.

Despite Jane’s Far-Left collectivist politics there’s a real individualistic side to Jane Fonda. That says people should be who they are and then own that. Instead of feeling the need to fit in and be other people. Which is exactly how I look at life as a Liberal. Personal freedom can never be real if individuals are not only free to be themselves, but then accept that and take advantage of that. But to paraphrase Jane, then you have to own who you are. ‘This is who I am as a person for good and bad. This is where I do well and perhaps could do better. This is where I come up short and need to work on to be a complete person.’ Not that you try to be perfect, but that you’re as good of a person that you can be. Because you know who you are and where you’re strong. While you’re improving at your flaws.

Without Jane Fonda’s activism against the Vietnam War and how big she was with the anti-war movement and the broader New-Left, I don’t there’s a whole lot to criticize her about. I don’t think there would be much that is controversial about her. The Christian-Right would still get on her about sexual movies in the 1960s like Barbarella, but that was in the 1960s at the heart of the Counter Culture and Cultural Revolution. And today if anything she’s still very popular, because she did movies like that and others like The Chapman Report. That looks at sex between married couples as well as adultery. Which was still very controversial in 1962. Jane Fonda, is someone who you really have to look at the whole picture before you make up her mind about her. Because she’s truly a complete and real person who can’t be looked at as good, or bad, or in black and white. Because like life in general she’s complicated.

The National Interest: Daniel McCarthy: 'The Ugly Truth of Barack Obama’s Last-Gasp Liberalism'

The National Interest: Opinion: Daniel McCarthy- The Ugly Truth of Barack Obama’s Last-Gasp Liberalism

I feel a little strange commenting on the Obama presidency and it’s impact on America and the rest of the world when it still has a about a year left in it. There are several president’s who’ve accomplished a lot for good in bad in their last year in office. President George W. Bush for example had to deal with the collapse of Wall Street and the banking system in his last year as president. But with Daniel McCarthy essentially arguing that liberalism American and otherwise is dead, I sort of feel the need to weigh in on this. Since again we still have a Center-Left president who is a Liberal, or Progressive, even if he’s a moderate one when it comes to civil liberties and freedom of choice issues.

When Barack Obama came to office, the American economy was literally collapsing. He inherited a budget deficit of over a trillion-dollars and a national debt that rose seven-trillion in the previous eight years and was a eleven-trillion when he took office. Plus the Great Recession just added to that with an economy shrinking at seven-percent and we were losing seven-hundred-thousand jobs in each of the last two months of the Bush Administration. Which adds to the unemployment rolls which adds to the deficit and debt with so many people who previously had middle-income and better jobs now receiving Unemployment Insurance from the Federal Government.

President Obama, had a lot to deal with in his first days as president, plus weeks and months. Like passing a Federal budget and the appropriations bills that the previous Congress and President Bush failed to pass. He had to get a stimulus bill through Congress to get the economy to stop dropping and buy it time to start recovering again. Which is what happened by the summer of 2009. America started creating jobs again by the spring of 2010. The President had forty-five-million Americans without health insurance and lot of those people simply couldn’t afford it. All of this on top of an economy that was falling. Which were the reasons for the auto bailouts, the American Recovery Act, the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform. All of this legislation in his first two-years as president.

And that is before you get to the President inheriting two wars in the Middle East. With no clear end to when either one would be over and the hundreds of billions of dollars that was borrowed from other countries to pay for those wars. Seven years later is America perfect and is every problem that the President inherited completely solved with nothing left for the future president to have to deal with? Of course not, but that is not how you judge presidencies. You judge them by the State of The Union from which the president inherited to how it was when they left office. Wages aren’t as high as we would like them and the size of the American workforce isn’t as large as it was in 2008. But the economy is no longer falling. The deficit is now 1/3 of what it use to be at around four-hundred-billion dollars. In April we will have seen six straight years of job growth and by the summer seven straight years of economic growth. More Americans now have health insurance than before.

I’ve always seen Barack Obama as a progressive pragmatist. Not as a Socialist, which the Tea Party loves to throw at him, especially the Birthers. Or a Neoconservative/Moderate Republican that actual Socialists like the Noam Chomsky’s of the world see him as. I see the President as Progressive who has big progressive goals and values, but won’t fight to the death for them and come up empty. So of course he’s not Bernie Sanders. He’s someone who goes issue by issue and looks for the best solution to each issue and then looks for the best solution possible. He had a Democratic Congress for his first two years and a divided Congress with a Republican House and Democratic Senate for the next four. And his last two years he’ll have a Republican Congress. So of course he’s had to compromise even with his own party in Congress a lot.

America really at least since the 1960s with the Cultural Revolution and then add the Reagan Revolution of the late 1970s and early 1980s, has always been as Barry Goldwater like to say a big government out of our wallets, bedrooms, boardrooms and classrooms country. Which is why both Center-Left Liberal Democrats (the real Liberals) like Jack Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and yes Barack Obama, have done pretty well politically in this country. And why Center-Right Conservatives (the real Conservatives) like Barry Goldwater, Ron Reagan, George H.W. Bush and you could add Dick Nixon as well, have done well in America as well. Because they’ve tended to know where the people are and share their values and what they can accomplish politically as president. Senator Goldwater, was obviously never president, but he fitted in well with the Center-Right.

Liberalism, is not dead. Assuming Hillary Clinton is the next Democratic nominee for president and she becomes president, whether she governs as a Liberal or a Progressive, she’ll try to move the country forward from the Center-Left. And if she does that she’ll pretty successful politically. As long as she knows where she wants to go and can avoid big government and political scandals and handles issues competently. So in this universe as long as Liberals are actually that and don’t try to govern, or win office as Socialists and even Democratic Socialists, Liberals as long as they stay as who they are and stay in the Center-Left as people who believe in both personal and economic freedom and creating a society where everyone can succeed and use a limited government to help create that, they’ll do very well politically. Which is the politics that Barack Obama has always represented.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Liberty Pen: Ted Ralls- 'We Get The Politicians We Deserve'

Source:Liberty Pen- As the great George Carlin said: "We get the politicians that we deserve."

Source:The Daily Review 

"CARTOON: Ted Ralls - We Get The Politicians We Deserve" 

From Liberty Pen

To sound like George Carlin, we get the politicians that we deserve. Most if not all of us have voted for someone who has been elected to public office. And for those of us who haven't who you might be able to set up a small club and hold your meetings in a bathroom. Those people probably don't bother to vote. Or vote for losers, or vote for good people in a jurisdiction that has a lot of idiots or crooks. 

So if you voted for a crook even an oil slick crook, whose fault is that? The crook who knows they are a crook and is just doing what they normally do until they're caught? Or the good person who should know better than to vote for crooks and let their dog eat their homework before they voted?

I at least would argue that voters are always responsible for who they voted for. For anyone who voted for George W. Bush twice for president and now sees him as the worst president in their lifetime, they only have themselves to blame. 

For anyone who voted for Barack Obama twice for president and now see him as some weak moderate, or even worst, you had opportunities to vote for Dennis Kucinich and Jill Stein in both elections and instead went with the establishment Democrat. Crooked politicians (as if they're any other politicians) don't get reelected over and over because they have guns to all of their constituents heads. They're not Saddam Hussein, or some Marxist who says: 'Vote for me, or go to jail, or even die.'

Crooked politicians, stay in power by buying off their constituents and taking a hell of a lot of money from groups that don't have the politician's constituents interests at heart and many times what they're protecting goes against their constituents interests. 

But the crooked politician always has to run for reelection to stay in power. And if they have a smart educated constituency they risk losing. Because someone steps up and says: 'I can beat this bastard and get the support to do it."And the crook can get voted out. But as long as voters still use: 'The dog ate my homework" excuse and don't bother to do their homework before they decide who to vote for, crooks will continue to get elected and reelected and not be held accountable for their crookedness.

James Patterson: 'Freedom is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report'

Source:Amazon- James Patterson's book.

“On June 4, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson delivered what he and many others considered the greatest civil rights speech of his career. Proudly, Johnson hailed the new freedoms granted to African Americans due to the newly passed Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, but noted that “freedom is not enough.” The next stage of the movement would be to secure racial equality “as a fact and a result.”The speech was drafted by an assistant secretary of labor by the name of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who had just a few months earlier drafted a scorching report on the deterioration of the urban black family in America. When that report was leaked to the press a month after Johnson’s speech, it created a whirlwind of controversy from which Johnson’s civil rights initiatives would never recover. But Moynihan’s arguments proved startlingly prescient, and established the terms of a debate about welfare policy that have endured for forty-five years.” 

From Amazon

“Sponsored by the United States Studies Program.
Book Discussion: Freedom Is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America’s Struggle Over Black Family Life—From LBJ to Obama”

Source:Woodrow Wilson Center- taling to James Patterson.
Source:Woodrow Wilson Center

What I take from Freedom is Not Enough from the James Patterson book is that freedom is not free. Unless you have the skills to get yourself the job that earns you the income to live as a free person and be free from poverty and government dependence, then you’re not free. Sure! You have the right to vote, the right to assemble, speak, practice your faith, or not practice any faith, the right to self-defense and everything else in the Bill of Rights and privacy. But you don’t have economic freedom and the right to self-determination. Because your lifestyle and well-being is either partially, or completely dependent on what government will give you through public assistance.

Conservatives like to argue that what people in poverty need is freedom. That government should get-out-of-the-way and let the so-called free market take it’s course. But how is someone who didn’t even finish high school who has a couple of kids, maybe three kids and doesn’t have the education to get themselves a good job that brings her and generally we’re talking about mothers when it comes to single-parents, but not all cases. But how are single-parents under these circumstances suppose to live in freedom. They’re not going to be able to in many cases to be able to get a good job, because they’re under educated, to say the least. They obviously can’t afford to go to college on their own and they don’t even have a high school diploma. And even if they can go back to school, they need someone to watch their kids.

So for freedom to be real for anyone they have the skills that gains them their freedom. It starts with a good education that gives them the skills to get themselves a good job. Then they have to get a good job that they’re qualified for. Once they accomplish those things now they have the skills that they need to live in freedom. Before that they’re not free, but dependents on the state. Having to have public assistance and will probably need private charity as well in order to just barely get by. A roof over their head, the bare-minimum as far as food for themselves and their kids and everything else. Conservatives are right, freedom is not free. It’s something that you have to earn and then work to keep so you don’t end up on Unemployment Insurance or something.

So to move people from poverty into the middle class and better, they need the opportunity to do that for themselves. They need to be able to finish and further their education, child care for their kids if they have them, to go along with the current public assistance they’re receiving. And it shouldn’t be suggested that they improve their own lives, but instead required. Along with making sure their kids are going to and staying in school and learning. As well as getting their education so they don’t end up in the same economic status when they’re adults. Again freedom is not free, you have to earn it and government should require everyone on public assistance to work for their own freedom. And then give them the opportunities to do that. Otherwise people in poverty will never be free. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Paul Krugman: 'New Deal Created the Middle Class'

Source: Fora-TV-
Source:Paul Krugman

Government, doesn't create economic classes. They can assist people to do better. Which is where things like education, infrastructure, a modern working regulatory state, a tax code that encourages expansion and economic growth, a safety net for people who are struggling, etc. Government can also encourage people not to do well. We have ghettos, because of public housing being concentrated in low-income communities that have low education and high crime rates. Families with mothers who don't have the skills to take care of their kids and where their father of their kids are out of the picture, etc.

The New Deal was not an economic policy, or ideology. But the creation of the American safety net that is today even with the Great Society is still much smaller than European welfare states. I and others left and right would argue that is a good thing. But that our safety net need to be better, not bigger and designed to empower people to take control over their own lives. And not leave them in poverty. Which is really a different discussion. It wasn't the New Deal that created the American middle class. We already had one before the Great Depression. Just like the New Deal didn't get us out of the Great Depression. Since we were still dealing with the Depression at the start of World War II.

The role of government at least in a free society with a private economy is not to manage the economy. But to see that there is an environment where the most people possible can succeed. Which is what I mentioned in the first paragraph. Quality education for all, a national modern infrastructure system, a tax code that encourages economic growth, a modern regulatory state that does the same thing, while at the same time protects consumers and workers. You want government to promote your trade and your products and a safety net that empowers people to get up on their own feet. Doesn't hold them down with a few extra bucks. And then let the people make the most of the economy that they put into it and collect the results from it.

Nome De Plume: Rita Hayworth- Put The Blame on Mame

Source:The Daily Review

I saw the entire Gilda movie for the first time last week and I really believe this is Rita Hayworth at her best. And she and Glenn Ford, are great together. Glenn Ford’s character in Gilda, reminds me of the Sam Rothstein character from Casino. Gilda, played by Rita of course, not that different from Ginger played by Sharon Stone in Casino. A women who marries rich to live well, but not in love at all her wealthy husband with her husband knowing that, but loves her to the point he plays like an over possessive father and not a husband. With Gilda almost being like a sixteen or seventeen-year old girl who wants to breakout and have her freedom.

Ginger, in Casino was not a singer, or an entertainer at all. More like a part-time gambler and former prosecute who gets Sam Rothstein’s attention played by Robert De Niro, at his casino. Gilda, played by Rita is a singer and dancer. Which a lot of Rita’s characters were. She was this red-hot adorable sexy goddess, with an incredible voice that helped keep her very young for a long time. She was great in Gilda again as a women who was really just trying to have a good time in Argentina and perhaps escape her past in America and live as well as she can. While having men around her that loved her perhaps too much and were very possessive of her. She does a great job in this video Put The Blame on Mame and just one reason to watch Gilda.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Harold Orndorff: 'American Federalism'

Source:Harold Orndorff- Alexander Hamilton: one of our Founding Father's and Liberals.

"A brief review of federalism and the history of federalism in the United States." 

"The great American experiment is based on the revolutionary idea that power flows from the people not the government; the rights of people granted by the Creator, not the Divine right of kings.

Lincoln encapsulated that when he said:

…government of the people, by the people, for the people…

The Constitution defines a government where the people exercise power by electing -- and getting rid of -- politicians. Because in the vision created by the Framers, laws can only be created by the people’s representatives, Congress, the people control, albeit indirectly, what laws are passed."

From American Thinker

I'm both a Liberal and a Federalist and for people who have stereotypical views about what Liberals and liberalism actually are and is especially on the Right, that might sound like someone who says they believe in both a federal republic and theocracy. Well which one do you believe in, the federal republic or theocracy? Because they are two different things. But liberalism and federalism, actually go together. Because they both believe in the notions that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Especially big centralized power like in government, or in national multi-national corporations, to use as examples. Federalism, says that you have a Federal Government for a reason. To deal with national issues that affects everyone. And then let the states and localities deal with the issues in their jurisdictions.

Federalism, doesn't say that you shouldn't have a Federal Government and that there isn't much if any role for the Federal Government. This isn't a libertarian philosophy even though Libertarians tend to support federalism. It just lays out exactly what the Federal Government should be doing. We need a national defense. we need a national foreign policy and diplomatic relations. We need to regulate interstate commerce when economic crimes are committed by the same people in multiple states, to use as examples. You obviously have to collect revenue for your Federal Government. You need to prosecute and police interstate crimes. The Feds, have to fight and prosecute terrorism. You need a national infrastructure system so you know that people can drive from state to state.

But that the states and localities need to be able to handle the issues that go on their own state. Dealing with local crime, education, building their own roads, dealing with their homelessness and poverty issues, collecting their own revenue, regulating their own economies, etc. Not that the Federal Government doesn't have a role here, but that they shouldn't be in charge here and telling the states and localities, 'this is what you need to do here.' Without providing the resources to pay for what the Feds want to do. Where the Feds can and should come in is helping communities especially struggling communities, deal with their issues. And not just the government's in these communities, but the private sector, non-profits to deal with poverty, lets say. So everyone has a real shot to overcome these issues which are a national concern.

Federalists, just say that government needs to be limited to exactly what we need it to do. And that includes the Federal Government especially in a huge country with all of our land and people which is what America is. And that power needs to be decentralized and spread out. Let Wisconsin and Colorado, to use as examples figure out how to educate their kids, fight crime, deal with poverty and others issues in their states. Leave the Feds to deal with issues that we must have it doing. Like foreign policy and defense, terrorism, but interstate commerce and crimes, regulating the environment and energy policy, would be other issues. As well as assist local communities and states both in the public and private communities, deal with tough issues that they're struggling to deal with.

The New Republic: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqif: 'America’s Most Electable Fictional Presidents'

Hey, what do you know. The New Republic with an article not only worth sharing, but commenting on and blogging about all in one. Maybe they’re partially only dead and when they’re finally sold and hopefully bought by people who know what they’re doing this time and who aren’t to the left of Bernie Sanders they may come back to life. And return as a great center-right, liberal magazine that they use to be. And stop doing their impersonation of Salon. And leave socialism and political correctness for Socialists and political correctness warriors. Not people who call themselves Liberals.

I’m going to cover a few of the Hollywood president’s that I’m actually familiar with. I know, why not instead speak about Hollywood characters you know almost nothing about and pretend to be intelligent about them like every other asshole blogger out there who knows so much about nothing. I guess I just have this weakness called character and a conscience that prevents me from talking about people and things I’m simply not familiar with, because I lack interest in them. Anyone born before 1980 might think I’m talking about people from the 19th Century, or something. So you might want to leave this page and get back to your favorite reality TV programs. There’s the asshole in me.

This might sound corny, but I guess my favorite Hollywood president is Andrew Shepard. Who sounds like a Founding Father or something from New England, or some place. But even if Carl Reiner only spent all of two-minutes coming up with the name for Michael Douglas in The American President, this character is a great character. Douglas, plays a president with big progressive goals, but knows how to work with people even in his own party in order to move the ball forward and get a progressive accomplishment. Which is the definition of a pragmatic Progressive, something that I believe Franklin Roosevelt would be proud of. While at the same time he’s also a man and a widower and has needs and falls in love. And hopefully you’re familiar with the rest of the story.

Jack Evans from The Contender from 2000 played by Jeff Bridges. Someone whose determined to nominate and get confirmed a female Vice President after his first Vice President has the nerve to die before his term is up. There’s an unfortunate political correctness slant to this as well. That a President would go out-of-their-way to pick a women as his VP simply because there’s never been a female VP before. But the story is great and the Republican opposition especially in the House of Representatives wants to make Senator Lane Evans personal life especially her sexual history the focal point there. Instead whether she’s qualified for the actual job of both Vice President and President of the United States. Where they never question her credentials. And President Evans and Senator Hanson, never play ball with the House Republicans on her past and nomination.

I would be lax in my duty here if I didn’t mention a character who I spent too much of my life during their seven-year run watching, if I didn’t mention Jeb Bartlett. Who of course is played by the great Martin Sheen in The West Wing. I can’t think of a Hollywood character who was better suited for the job of President of the United States than Jeb Bartlett. Who always knew what was going on what needed to be done and what he needed to do to get it done. That he had his own politics and policies, but who never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. To use a cliché, but who had a Republican Congress his entire time as President. And had to deal with all sorts of horrible issues and a lot tough decisions that yielded him no political benefit. But made them, because they had to be made.

I think if you’re going to do a show or movie about an American president, you should be realistic. Either cover someone who has already had the job, but give your character a different name. But with the same character, personality, intelligence, demeanor, judgement and everything else. And cover similar stories that the real president dealt with. Or come up with your own president that perhaps represents America at its best, or worst and deal with stories that haven’t been dealt with, but arerealistic. I think the problem with a lot of Hollywood political movies especially about the President, is that they look like they come from Hollywood. And they look almost completely make-believe. Like Dave from 1993. The Hollywood president’s that I mentioned are realistic, because the characters are believable and so are the issues that they dealt with.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Democratic Socialists of America: Thomas F. Jackson- Martin Luther King for Our Times

Democratic Socialists of America: Thomas F. Jackson- Martin Luther King for Our Times

What Thomas Jackson was writing in his DSA piece about Martin King was the next stage of Dr. King’s civil rights and really people’s right campaign. His Poor People’s Campaign and his campaign for economic justice. Dr. King, was the Henry Wallace or Norman Thomas of his time. The 1950s and 60s version of Bernie Sanders. A hard-core self-described Democratic Socialist. Who saw racial bigotry and poverty, especially poverty that overwhelmingly affects one race of Americans over everyone else, as a horrible tragedy. As a national man-made disaster that had to be dealt with right away. Not just for people who suffer in deep poverty, but for the country as a whole. The fewer people you have in poverty the stronger economy you’ll have. More people working and consuming quality products.

Dr. King’s, vision of economic justice not just for African-Americans, but Americans in general was a welfare state that was big enough so no one had to live in poverty. Where all American workers could organize and become members of labor unions. Where the Federal Government guaranteed a national basic income for all of it’s citizens. Where no American was so wealthy that any other American had to live in poverty. Where quality education and housing would be available to all Americans. His agenda, would be even radical even today. Senator Bernie Sanders, is a self-described Democratic Socialist today. But a lot of his followers who are even to the left of Bernie are still afraid of that label and as a result won’t own their own politics. So you could imagine how Dr. King’s economic vision was viewed as back then.

Similar to Senator Sanders, I share many of Dr. King’s goals, but I don’t share the same vision for how to achieve them. But what I like and respect about both them is that they both put their visions and plans out there. And then let people let them know how they feel about them. Dr. King, didn’t want to assist people in poverty. He wanted to end poverty and have an economy where everyone could get educated and get good jobs. Including taxing the wealthy heavily to fund programs to help people achieve their own economic success. Which would be form of wealth redistribution. He put his whole agenda post-civil rights movement and the Fair Housing Law of 1968 out there. About what the next stage of his human rights campaign would have gone into the 1970s.

There was nothing mushy-middle about Dr. King. The civil rights movement of the 1960s was not considered mainstream. It almost destroyed the Democratic Party in the South. But as Dr. King said, ‘it’s always time to do the right thing.’ If something is right you do it whether it’s popular or not. Civil and equal rights are now the backbone of American liberal democracy. But they weren’t even in the 1960s and after that campaign was won. Dr. King didn’t decide to move to the center. But instead moved even farther forward. With his own democratic socialist vision for America that unfortunately, because of his assassination he didn’t have much of an opportunity to see it through. And his
movement didn’t really have anyone as strong as him that could pick up his mantle and move the ball forward for his campaign.

All About Judy: Judy Garland- The Jack Paar Program 1962

Source:The Daily Review

Before GetTV started playing reruns of The Judy Garland Show on every Monday night starting back in October, I had heard of her. But didn't know much about her. I thought she was an actress from the 1940s, or something and didn't have much if any idea who she was. That is the advantage of these great classic TV and movie networks is that it gives people such as myself who didn't start watching TV at all until the early 1980s a chance to see what entertainment, Hollywood and what life was like before I was born. Which is something that today's Millennial Generation, who are all about now and everything before that is old school to them, which is bad to them doesn't seem to grasp. But because GetTV plays The Judy Garland Show I now have a good idea who she was.

Judy Garland, was a hell of an actress, singer and comedian. She was good and funny enough to perform with, well Jack Paar. But Johnny Carson, the Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra and many other great performers. She was adorable, she was very lively, very funny and loved doing her job. She was probably a singer first, but she was a good actress and she was very funny and could make people laugh and also had one of the best and cutest laughs you'll ever see. As you see in this video on Jack Paar. The whole thing about these studio executives who didn't see her as attractive, I don't get all all. Was she Sophia Loren or Marilyn Monroe, or Lana Turner? Of course not, but most women and even entertainers are not. She was very cute, pretty and very good at what she was. Which is one of the best and most versatile entertainers of all-time.

CKDTA: ABC News- Dark Days at The White House

ABC News, wasn’t number three on the network news battles back in the early 1970s. But they were buried in last place which just happened to be third back then. Well behind CBS News and NBC News. They would have been what the CW is today behind CBS, NBC, ABC and even FOX. They simply didn’t have the viewership of the other networks, because they didn’t have the affiliates and perhaps just barely qualified as a national broadcast network back then. But they were able to cover Watergate and did have their own nightly newscast and did have very good people working for them. Like Howard Smith, Frank Reynolds, Harry Reasoner, Sam Donaldson, Peter Jennings and a young Ted Koppel.

Watergate, was nothing more than a local Washington city burglary in the summer of 1972. At least that’s how it was portrayed early on. With some real differences even early on. 1972 was a presidential election year. It wasn’t the Watergate Hotel itself that was burglarized, but the Democratic National Headquarters that had their office at the Watergate that was burglarized. The burglars had both CIA and White House connections with the Nixon Reelection Committee. The White House under President Nixon, involved themselves early on in this story in the summer of 72 when the President told his Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman to tell the FBI to get out of the story. Which wasn’t learned until the summer of 73 with the Senate Watergate investigation.

Without The Washington Post and a certain extent Walter Cronkite at CBS News, all of those stories that broke in the spring and summer of 73 about Watergate, do not come out. Because The Post was hammering away and digging into Watergate from day one. Because Watergate happened in their city and they had all the connections including in the Federal Government, but the local City Government as well to investigate this story. And that is when you see organizations like The New York Times, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, and others, starting to not just look into Watergate, but what else the White House might have been involved in and their other illegal operations back then.

Reelz Channel: Steve Patterson- The Kennedys in Culture

Source:The Daily Review

The Kennedys, which I don’t believe was a great mini-series, but it was a very accurate series about The Kennedys. And showed Jack, Bobby and Jackie, for what they were. Not for how their followers want to view them as, but as they were. Jack Kennedy, as this very intelligent man, with a great sense of humor, whose Center-Left liberal politics which was probably ahead of its time back then, but I believe fits in perfectly where America is now. Who was a very hip and even cool man especially for his time, but still looks great today. But who at times had difficult even walking and physically was a very frail man with a serious back condition. Who was never made to be a husband and could never be happy with just one beautiful women.

They showed Bobby Kennedy as the tough bulldog who would have jumped out of an airplane without a parachute for his brother Jack. Who was a bit idealistic compared with Jack’s realism, but who also bring Jack back when he was lacking in confidence and not sure what the right course was to take. The Bay of Pigs fiasco is a perfect example of that where he encourages the President to admit he was wrong and to apologize for it. They showed Jackie as a beautiful adorable stylish women that she was, as if Cutie, I mean Katie Holmes is capable of playing anyone else. Who wanted Jack to be her full-time husband and hated his cheating. They showed Joe Sr. as the tough champion for his family who would do anything for his kids other than let them fail and succeed on their own.

At least one of these episodes is somewhat slow and almost wants at least me to turn the channel. Like the episode involving Rose and her mental retardation. Rose, was the Kennedy daughter who doesn’t have much if any impact on American culture, or politics at all. But that episode gives you an idea what Joe would do for any of his kids. But still, she’s not even a minor player compared with the rest of the Kennedy kids. The 1960 presidential election, the 1946 House election, the 1952 Senate election, the Bay of Pigs episode, the civil rights story, the days leading up to the assassination, President Kennedy’s womanizing, these are all the good stories. In a very good mini-series about the Kennedy Family.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

NBC News: The Pragmatic Progressive Versus the Idealistic Socialist

Source:NBC News- with their 2016 Democratic Party presidential debate.

"Join NBC News' Lester Holt, Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd and YouTube creators Connor Franta, Marques Brownlee, MinuteEarth and Franchesca Ramsey as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley debate in Charleston, South Carolina. 
Pre-Debate coverage begins at 8pm ET"  

From NBC News 

If you’re familiar with what I wrote about Hillary versus Bernie on Friday, you should know where I’m coming from here. 

Hillary, wants to be the pragmatic Progressive in this race who knows how to get things done, because she’s already done them. The pragmatic Progressive is someone with progressive goals, but is willing to settle for less than the perfect if it means the compromise moves the ball forward on the issue and makes things better than they already are. That is basically her message so far. 

Secretary Clinton wants Bernie Sanders to be seen as a Far-Left, idealistic, Socialist, who sees things as he wants them and whose not in touch with reality. And because he doesn’t see the world for how it is does not know what is possible and what can actually get done. That is Hillary’s message in this debate.

Watching the two-hour debate which I thought was very good and NBC News’s Lester Hold and Andrea Mitchell, other than the Bill Clinton’s and women’s issues, I believe did a very good job. After watching the debate I saw it as a draw with Hillary scoring big on gun control. With Bernie still being unable to answer why he believes voting for the Charleston loophole which you could make a case was a reason for the tragic shootings in Charleston last year. Not Bernie himself, but the loophole and he’s still unable to answer why voting for that loophole was a good idea. 

Bernie, came back on health care to a certain extent. But Hillary now being a very effective counter-puncher (similar to Muhammad Ali) hit him back with: "The Affordable Act, was the best that we can get right now. Let's not scrap it and try to start over especially when we might fail. Instead let's build on the ACA, like with a public option for Medicare and prescription drugs and make it better."

Bernie, scored again on Wall Street and Wall Street reform. Mentioning that Hillary has received a lot of money from Wall Street. But again Hillary, is the only one up there with a plan to reform Wall Street that left-wing economist and columnist Paul Krugman, has endorsed. Professor Krugman, hardly a right-winger, (and the sun is hot and water is wet in the world of obvious) who has a lot of support with both Progressives and Democratic Socialists. 

The debate then moved to foreign policy and national security, where I believe they all do well when it comes to civil liberties. At least in this debate, but of the three Democratic candidates, Senator Sanders comes out number three behind Secretary Clinton and Governor Martin O’Malley. And he’s been in Congress now for twenty-five years and unless he wins the presidency, will be a member of the next Congress as well. I mean calling the King of Jordan, whose a dictator, a hero, is hard to back up and explain to put it mildly. Putting Cuba in the same class as Iran, which is a state-sponsor of terrorism, is also hard to back up.

So on second reflection, this was not a draw, but a clear victory for Hillary Clinton. Not a blowout, but maybe 10-14 points, (hey it’s NFL Playoff season) because again she knows where both the Democratic Party is and where general election voters are. And is putting herself in the position of a mainstream Progressive very similar to President Barack Obama, who knows where the country is what she and the Democratic Party can do and get done. Who has both the Congressional and foreign policy background to be President of the United States, because she knows how the real world works in Washington. 

Hillary versus an idealistic, Vermont Democratic Socialist, who apparently believes the rest of the country is as Far-Left as he is. And believes the country as a whole wants what he wants and will pay the taxes for it. And I think she did an excellent job of framing the debate as a pragmatic Progressive who understands how government works. Going up against an idealistic Socialist, who sees things as he wants them and doesn’t know how to work in the real world. 

You can also see this post at FRS FreeState, on Blogger.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson: Rodney Dangerfield (1981)

Source:The Daily Review

Every time I hear Rodney Dangerfield talk about his wife I think of the sitcom Married With Children and the marriage between Al and Peggy Bundy. They have two kids as well and that might be the only reason why they stayed married. To hear Al Bundy (played by Ed O'Neal) you would think you were listening to Hot Rod do his standup routine about his wife. But replace Mrs. Dangerfield with Peggy Bundy. They make so many cracks about their wives you would have to think they were drunk when they got married and had kids together. Otherwise why would a sane sober man marry and have kids with a women he doesn't like and isn't attracted to. Unless he's an idiot.

The 'I get no respect' routine is what made Rodney Dangerfield a star. And then add the wife bit and that makes the routine ever better. Because now Rod can say he doesn't even get respect from his wife. Again, how believable this is, you can decide for yourself. Maybe the only reason why Mrs. Dangerfield stayed with Rod is because she rather be with an overweight unattractive successful man, than a handsome well-built loser who can't even hold down a job as a burger flipper at a fast food joint. I mean how hard is it to flip burgers anyway. But perhaps you would have to ask Mrs. Dangerfield that yourself. And she also might show also show you how flip charcoal, I mean burgers as well. But you take away 'I get not respect', what does Hot Rod have going for him. But he played it as well and as long as anyone could.

Jonathan Turley: Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Answer The Difference Between a Socialist and Progressive

I’m going to answer Chris Matthews here on the difference between a Progressive, like lets say Hillary Clinton, even if she’s a moderate one. And a Democratic Socialist such as Bernie Sanders.

But before I do that I just want to layout why Hillary probably didn’t answer the question. Assuming she’s the Democratic nominee for president she doesn’t want to offend the Far-Left. She’s going to need them in the summer and fall and not working and voting, if they bother to vote at all for Jill Stein. Who would be the Socialist third-party candidate for president for the Green Party. So she doesn’t want to paint Bernie Sanders at least not too hard as some radical Socialist. Who doesn’t represent America and what we stand for. And instead save those charges for the Republicans. Which was probably a smart play on her part.

I’m not running for any office this year. So I have the freedom to answer this question without worrying about offending anyone. When I think of Progressives, I think of Theodore Roosevelt, his cousin Franklin, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and go up today to Senator Sherrod Brown. People who don’t want a government big enough to take care of everyone, but want a government with the resources to see that everyone can succeed in America. And have the freedom to do that. People who believe in public infrastructure, public education, job training for low-skilled workers and the under-skilled unemployed. A safety net for people who truly need it. And there other things as it relates to civil rights, national security and foreign policy. But these are good examples.

Democratic Socialists, don’t trust the private sector and private enterprise. See capitalism as a crony way to make a lot of money from investments. Only support private enterprise to the point that they understand economics enough to know that you need a vibrant private sector in order to have a strong growing developed economy with a thriving middle class. So you’re not a Marxist state where there’s no such thing as property rights. With the state in control of everything. But with the central government responsible in seeing that everyone gets the basic services that they need to live well. Education, health care, health insurance, childcare, pension and other examples.

Progressives, believe in federalism, checks and balances, put real limits on what the Federal Government should be doing in the economy. Believe in a regulatory state, but not an unlimited one. The Socialist, their ideology is all about not just the state, but the national state. No such thing as taxes being too high with all the services that people get in return. According to the Democratic Socialist. Believe in more of a unitarian government where most of the government power is with the national government. Socialists believe that wealth and being rich are bad things. Because it makes you unequal from people who aren’t wealthy.

There are actual differences between a Progressive, again in the New Deal or Great Society sense. And a Democratic Socialist who didn’t emerge strongly in the Democratic Party until really when Senator George McGovern became a national player in the party in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But Progressives have been around in the Democratic Party at least since Woodrow Wilson if not farther. And they’ve never believed that the American form of government is flawed. And that we need to move a Scandinavian social democratic government where a lot more power is centralized with the central government.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Marmar: Jane Fonda interview With Barbara Walters in 1978

Source:The Daily Review 

Jane Fonda, I believe giving Barbara Walters an interesting interview in 1978. Whatever you think about her politics she’s very honest and open about them and her life as well. Like losing her mother at the age of 12, her somewhat distant relationship with her father Henry Fonda. Her political activism in and outside of the Democratic Party and I could go on. I believe that is what people like her whether they like her or not they at least respect her realness. And that there really isn’t anything fake about her. And as a result the characters that she plays in her movies come off as so real as well. California Suite, where she plays a somewhat cold and distant mother, is a perfect example of that.

Whatever you think of Jane’s politics I think even her strongest opponents will give her that she’s a great actress. Perhaps would prefer her to stick with acting and leave political activism to people who know more about the issues that she campaigns on. But she’s a great actress and I at least believe if there wasn’t an actress named Elizabeth Taylor, I believe we’re talking about the greatest actress at least of the Silent Generation. And that includes women like Sophia Loren, Angie Dickinson, Kim Novak, Karen Black, to use as examples. When it coms to acting she’s in the same class as Liz Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Susan Hayward and many other great actress’s. And that should never be misunderstood and forgotten about Jane Fonda. Regardless of what you think about her politics.

The Federalist: David Harsanyi: 'Republicans, Don't Be Hypocrites On The Filibuster'

"There’s a lot of dispute in contemporary Republican politics about who is and isn’t a true conservative. One would imagine, though, that a genuine ideological conservative — the type of person cautious about change — would believe that preserving the filibuster is even more important than a “productive” GOP Congress."

Source:The Federalist

"With Senate Republicans meeting Tuesday to debate how to handle the filibuster in the 114th Congress following last year's "nuclear option," Roll Call looks at a June 2013 speech from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatening to maintain a reduced threshold for advancing legislation if Democrats changed Senate rules."

Source:Roll Call- Senator Lamar Alexander and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in 2013.
From Roll Call

Senate Republicans, have all the motivation in the world to not only be in favor of the filibuster, but to want to keep it even though they’re current in the majority in this Congress. They could easily be in the minority in the next Congress next year. They currently have a better shot at losing their majority than keeping it if you look at how many more seats they have to defend and how many of those seats are in blue states. Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, to use as examples. Senator Rob Portman, will have a tough reelection campaign in Ohio which is swing state. 2016 presidential election where they’ll most likely be facing Hillary Clinton, where there will be a huge Democratic turnout. And their candidate might be Donald Trump. And I can’t wait to see every ad against him.

Senate Republicans, need to ask themselves a question. Do they really want to be in the 115th Congress with another Democratic president, a Republican House with a much smaller majority and a Democratic Senate with 52-53 seats or more, that doesn’t have a filibuster to deal with. With Senate Democrats passing bills that they and Hillary ran on in 2016. With a Republican House that is now divided because they lost a bunch of seats and aren’t sure where to go from there and perhaps just waiting on the 2018 mid-terms and hoping a President Hillary Clinton is unpopular then. And this is all before you get to the whole hypocrisy of the so-called Senate filibuster debate from both sides. Where there isn’t a Democratic, or Republican position on the filibuster. But a majority and minority position. The majority is against the filibuster. The minority is in favor of it.

Senate Republicans under Mitch McConnell, had eight years in the minority. And in that time became not only very skillful with the filibuster, but Senate rules in general. To try to obstruct and stop Senate Democrats on practically everything in hopes of winning back the Senate. So it’s very hard for them to make the case that the filibuster is a bad thing, because it slows down not only the Senate, but Congress as a whole. Because when the House passes something generally on party-lines the Senate is unable to act on it, because they end up debating what amendments should be allowed and how long to debate. And one side accusing the other of obstruction, with the other side accusing the other of being overly partisan and not allowing for enough amendments. And people wonder why Congress is so unpopular.

The Senate filibuster, is kind of like Unemployment Insurance. You don’t want it and rather not have it, but you’re sure as hell glad it’s there if you become unemployed and you don’t think you’ll be working again anytime soon. At least not making the type of money that you’re accustom to making. The Senate filibuster is there to hold the majority accountable and even the administration accountable when one party holds the White House and Congress. But with the opposition having enough seats in the Senate to slow things down if not obstruct them. When the majority is overly partisan and doesn’t want to work with the opposition and even allow for amendment to bills. Senate Republicans, in 2017 if they’re at around 45-47 seats in the Senate, are going to be glad they didn’t abolish the filibuster.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Liberty Pen: John Stossel- Threats to Liberty

Other than Martin O'Malley for the Democrats and Gary Johnson for the Libertarians, I don't see anyone who truly represents my liberal democratic values. Hillary Clinton, is probably too hawkish for me when it comes to foreign policy. And to weak when it comes to protecting our civil liberties. Neoconservatives, should actually love her in those areas. Bernie Sanders, Far-Left Democratic Socialist, who can guarantee every one in America one thing. Higher taxes on everyone who at the very least is currently paying Federal income taxes. He would argue that we would get that money back in better government services. He'll be swimming up stream with one arm trying to make that argument though.

You go other to the Republican Party and their best most qualified candidate Governor John Kasich, would probably actually make a pretty good Republican president. The Republican Party that is supposed to be the party of conservatism, only has too fiscal conservatives running for president right now. Governor Kasish and Senator Rand Paul and they're both around 5-10% in the national GOP polls right now. Donald Trump, a one-man reality show who is currently doing his impression of Joe McCarthy right now. Almost impossible to imagine how anyone like that could become President of the United States today. Senator Marco Rubio, nothing fiscally conservative about his neoconservative police the world foreign policy. But it would be a big boom to the military industry.

The rest of the Republican field, you have a bunch of candidates who claim they'll reduce government spending, but don't know how they'll do that. And the Ben Carson's and Senator Ted Cruz, could promise middle class taxpayers a tax increase with their flat tax plans. And go to Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum and you have two Republicans who might get big government out of our wallets, but then put it in our bedrooms and personal lives instead. Jeb Bush, still doesn't know why he wants to be president and you might be able to argue that he doesn't and feels some family obligation to do it. Similar to Ted Kennedy in 1979-80. So other than Kasich and Paul, I don't see anyone in the GOP who would perhaps even try to protect both our economic and personal freedom.

I want a presidential candidate a real liberal, who'll protect both our economic and personal freedom. Who won't put national security over civil liberties, but will instead weigh them equally. Who won't put their cultural and religious values over freedom of choice and personal freedom. Who'll will allow free adults to be exactly that as long as we aren't infringing on someone else's freedom. And holds us responsible for the choices that we make. Who won't try to contract economic freedom, but instead try expand it for people and communities who currently don't have it. Through economic development, infrastructure investment, job training, education, small business loans. Things that government can actually do to expand economic freedom. And right now other than Governor O'Mallley and Governor Johnson, I don't see that presidential candidate.

Cliff Michel Moore: Ginger Rogers Interview (1968)

Source:The Daily Review

I've always thought at least since I started becoming pretty familiar with her career, that Ginger Rogers is one of the cutest and funniest actress's and perhaps women of all-time. She was so quick-witted and always had perfect comedic timing whether she was off script, like in this interview, or on script. And even when she was on script she was very adept at adding her own humor to lines and scenes. If you ever see the movie Monkey Business from Howard Hawkes where she plays Cary Grant's wife in that movie, they were an incredible comedy team in that movie. And I believe a lot of that had to do with them always being on the same page when it came to the wisecracks and physical comedy. She was the cutest women in that movie that had Marilyn Monroe in it.

I love women who can make me go, 'aw! you're so cute!' But who can also make me laugh and she was very adept at both. She was an actress who was a hell of a dancer, who could sing, but also give a great comedic performance all in the same role. Had Marilyn Monroe lived a natural life in years, maybe we're talking about her the same way we're talking about Ginger today. Someone who could sing, dance, act, make you laugh, looked great and everything else. That was Ginger Rogers, but she did it for a whole career. She was always as cute as baby physically, but always had the intelligence and maturity of a great women. Someone who didn't need money to be happy, but made a lot of it anyway, because she so good at what she did. And is one of the best entertainers we've ever produced.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The New York Times: President Obama's- '2016 State of The Union Speech'

Source:The New York Times- President Barack H. Obama (Democrat, Illinois)
"The president delivers his final State of the Union address on Tuesday, perhaps the last opportunity of his presidency to frame the 2016 election." 

From The New York Times 

I believe President Obama, gave one of his best speeches tonight. Because it wasn't a laundry list of issues that he wanted Congress to address and pass bills on. But instead he focused on issues where there's actually bipartisan support in Congress. 

The President talked about criminal justice reform, mental health improvement, addressing poverty (to use as examples) while at the same time laying out the differences between Democrats and Republicans, like gun control (to use as an example) the Affordable Care Act would be another, defeating ISIS, and giving Americans an opportunity to decide for themselves who has the better approach on the issues where Democrats and Republican disagree in 2016 to decide who should be in power next year. Who the next president should be and who should control the House and Senate.

A lot of what President Obama wanted to accomplish he already has and did it in the first two years as president. Dealing with the Great Recession, Wall Street reform, small business tax relief. And the next two years which were about the reelection and foreign policy he was able to address those issues without having to get much input from a divided Congress that still had a Democratic Senate, but with a Republican House. 

In 2011-12 President Obama had to deal with Libya, taking out Osama Bin Laden, ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The last three years really have been all about foreign policy and an expanded War on Terror. That now includes Syria and Libya will be next as ISIS is taking a beating in Syria and will move to Libya. And America will need to respond to that as well.

In 2015 alone he got Congress to end sequestration when it comes to the Federal budget and get that paid for. Was able to get a major trade bill passed out of Congress. Middle class tax relief made permanent. The American economy continues to grow and jobs continue to be produced. Unlike in Europe and even Canada now. 

So President Obama's speech I believe he wanted to focus on a few areas where he might actually get some bipartisan cooperation in Congress. Like criminal justice reform, additional Welfare reform, job training opportunities for the underemployed, unemployed, and low-skilled employed. Mental health reform, so we see fewer shootings that involved mentally impaired people in the future. And even regulation reform. And we'll see what kind of success he has in these areas this year. 

You can also see this post at The FreeState MD, on Blogger.

Johnny Machine: Bugsy (1991)

Source:The Daily Review

Bugsy from 1991, is one of not my favorite films, but also one of my favorite gangster films. Right up there with Goodfellas, which could be my favorite gangster movie and Casino. This is a great film and even though it is not completely accurate and it doesn’t advertise itself that way anyway, this is a very funny film. Warren Beatty, makes Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, seem like a very funny charming guy. Not sure if Bugsy was that way in real-life, or Beatty just makes him look that way in the movie, because that is how he wanted to play him, because he’s a very funny charming guy. But Beatty makes Bugsy look like a cold-blooded killer with another side to him. That loves his family and the people he cares about as well. But won’t stop to kill someone who gets in his way.

Bugsy, is about the career of Benjamin Bugsy Siegel. Who is a Jewish mobster from New York who operates out of New York, who is sent to Los Angeles on business. To become partners with Italian gangsters over there. To actually buy out their business there and take it over with those people working for him and his bosses back in New York. When Bugsy gets to Hollywood, he can’t find anything he doesn’t like about it and decides he wants to go into films as well. Which is where he meets his long time mistress Virginia Hill, played by the beautiful and adorable Annette Bening. She’s not just an actress and mistress, but becomes his business partner as well. That is the legitimate side of his business dealing with gambling.

Bugsy, is then sent to Las Vegas, which was still a hick Southwestern town in the early 1940s when this movie first takes place. To check out a casino there and to report back on it. And instead passes on that dump of a casino there and discovers that he could develop a casino industry with his own casino-hotel there. And make millions if not billions of dollars there and make Las Vegas a gambling mecca. All this stuff in the movie is completely true. Bugsy Siegel, had a lot to do with the development and economic success of Las Vegas. And a big reason why it goes from a town of maybe ten-thousand people back in the 1940s, to a big city of over five-hundred-thousand people today and one of the fastest growing cities and metro areas in the country now.

Bugsy Siegel, was not a good guy at all. He was a cold-blooded killer who had witness’s whacked and personally murdered perhaps twenty people or more himself for getting in the way of his illegal business’s. But Warren Beatty, does a great job of giving Bugsy a very likable charming funny side. That people could actually like especially if they don’t know he’s a gangster and personally responsible of the murders of so many people. This is a two and a half-hour film that is worth every minute. With a lot of great lines, with a lot of humor and not just from Beatty, but Annette Bening does a great job and so does Harvey Keitel as Mickey Cohen and so many other great character and actors in this movie. This is truly one of Barry Levinson’s best movies.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Lazy Cow: Rodney Dangerfield's Funniest Jokes Ever On The Tonight Show

Source:The Daily Review

I'm not an expert on Rodney Dangerfield, but I believe this is his best performance on this show. This wasn't an interview at all. Johnny Carson, maybe asked Hot Rod one or two questions. And Rod just did his act with one wisecrack after another. Mostly about his wife and kids which might be why male comedians get married so they can have people they know really well that they can make fun of. Unless they're always on the road and when they're in town they mostly are just hanging out with their mistress and their bastard kids they're keeping a secret in some hell hole of an apartment, its their wife and kids that they know the best.

This wasn't Hot Rod's, 'I get no respect routine.' Where he goes off on some airline for giving his first-class seat away because he was five-seconds late for the flight. Or the great view of the bathroom that he gets when he goes to his favorite restaurant. This was his, 'my wife and kids routine.' Where he goes off on his wife Mary, for sleeping with other guys, because she has to have sex and every time she sees her husband naked she just laughs and can't performed adequately as a result. And his son Joe, for being so dumb and wild that he believes every time Joe goes out he needs a leash. So he doesn't run into doors, because he forgot to open them. And his daughter Sally, who sleeps with her teachers, because she's too dumb to do the work in school. And he did a great job.

BookTV: Lesley Stahl Interviewing Gil Troy- The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s

I guess I generally agree with Gil Troy about Bill Clinton, but perhaps I would put it differently. I don't see Bill Clinton as either a Centrist, or a Conservative, or a Center-Right Republican. Someone who would be mainstream on the Right, but certainly not Far-Right. Like Ronald Reagan, to use as an example, or Senator John McCain today. Clinton, was and still is a Liberal, but he's a true Liberal. Not part of the New-Left that is part of the Baby Boom Generation. But someone who wanted to use government to empower people in need to be able to get themselves up. But also have government do the basics that we need it to do. National defense, foreign affairs, infrastructure investment, law enforcement, promoting American trade. All while being fiscally responsible and operating under a budget and protecting Americans personal freedom and civil liberties.

Pre-Bill Clinton, Liberals were seen as soft and socialistic in nature. That had a new tax, or tax increase as well as new big government program to take care of everyone's problems for them. While believing government shouldn't do the basics and its first responsibility was to protect the country from predators. Protect the nation from terrorists and invaders, but also from hard-core criminals that needed to be in prison. Liberals were seen as people who put the rights of criminals over their victims, who had an excuse from every criminal for why they shouldn't do hard-time in prison. That American defense policy was the problem and not something we should do. That poor people shouldn't have to finish their education and work, because government should just take care of them.

I believe that then Governor Bill Clinton, ran for president in 1991-92 to not only save the Democratic Party and win back the White House, but to save American liberalism and Democratic liberalism, from the New-Left and even the Far-Left in the Democratic Party. That were more social democratic, if not socialistic in nature. That didn't believe in national defense and law enforcement, that there was no such thing as government being too big and taxes being too high. Because the people would just get that money back in government services anyway. Bill Clinton, wanted to not just bring liberalism back in the mainstream where it should always be. Not not some dovish big government philosophy, but wanted liberalism and Liberal Democrats to be seen that way as well. 

It's not called the Reagan Revolution for nothing. Pre-Ronald Reagan, America was still in the Progressive Era of the New Deal and Great Society, but Americans were starting to get tired of paying for all of those taxes to fund all of those government programs. Especially if they were out-of-work, or not working enough and seeing their incomes go down and their taxes go up. Which is the 1970s from an economic standpoint. Ron Reagan, capitalized on that and brought a new Center-Right alternative to New Deal progressivism. What Clinton wanted to do, was to do what Reagan did against progressivism with his conservative philosophy of personal responsibility and freedom. But respond to the Reagan Revolution from the Center-Left. With a limited government philosophy that was about having government do the basics well. While at the same time helping people in need help themselves so they wouldn't have to stay on Welfare indefinitely. 

Bill Clinton, is not an FDR Progressive and sure as hell not a George McGovern Democratic Socialist. But a Jack Kennedy New Democrat Liberal, who believed that government could be a positive force in people's lives. But to help them help themselves as they're helping them survive in the short-term. But that government shouldn't replace individual freedom and responsibility and that government again had to do the basics well. Defend the country, fund infrastructure, arrest, prosecute, and lockup criminals and do these things in a fiscally responsible way that promotes economic and job growth. If you look at Governor Mike Dukakis and his failed presidential bid of 1988, ideology Dukakis and Clinton, are very similar ideologically. But Clinton didn't run away from his liberalism, but instead sold it on what is truly is and not how it was stereotyped. Which is why he was politically successful.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Forward With Roosevelt: Paul M. Sparrow- FDR’s Four Freedom’s Speech Remastered

Source:The New Democrat

President Franklin Roosevelt with his Four Freedoms speech, was essentially arguing for a society where everyone would be free not to have to go without. Because there would be a big federal government big enough to prevent that and be able to take care of everyone. Because everyone would have what they need to live well, because it would be provided for by government. At least for people who didn’t work, or simply didn’t make enough money to support themselves on their own.

If you’re familiar with this blog, you know I’m a big believer in both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. But this idea that we would have freedom from want, or freedom from fear, sounds very utopian and like someone’s fantasy. Perhaps a fantasy that comes from drinking too much, or smoking pot that is stronger than you thought it was before you smoked it. I don’t make fun of people who want a world where there is no poverty and fear. But coming from and living on Planet Earth my whole lifetime, I’ve learned that it helps to have a healthy sense of reality in life. What’s possible and what might be out-of-reach and what is the best that we can do at the given time.

To create a society where there’s no such thing as poverty and fear, you got to create an economy where everyone has the ability to succeed.Where everyone can get themselves a good education, where their good jobs and modern infrastructure in every community. Where people have the, yes freedom to succeed and even take risks even if some risks don’t pay off. And then you have an insurance system for people who truly need it to help them when they fall down. And need help getting by in the short-term, but also get help to get themselves up and live in freedom on their own.

You create a society where everyone is essentially dependent on government to take care of them and people won’t feel the need and freedom to succeed on their own. And more people will end up dependent on big government to take care of them. And people can point to Scandinavia all they want to, but very small countries in population, with a lot of land, that are not just energy independent, but export their energy and use those resources to fund very generous big centralized welfare states. America, is obviously not like that. Which means for this country to succeed the people need have to have the ability to succeed on their own.

Tenzin Tsetan Choklay: Daniel Patrick Moynihan on Meet the Press

Source:Tenzin Tsetan Choklay- Daniel P. Moynihan, on NBC News's Meet The Press.
"Daniel Patrick Moynihan Meet the Press, 24 appearances in 31 years. Very entertaining interviews with Daniel Patrick Moynihan (March 16, 1927 -- March 26, 2003), He was an American politician and sociologist. A member of the Democratic Party, he was first elected to the United States Senate for New York in 1976, and was re-elected three times (in 1982, 1988, and 1994). He declined to run for re-election in 2000. Prior to his years in the Senate, Moynihan was the United States' ambassador to the United Nations and to India, and was a member of four successive presidential administrations, beginning with the administration of John F. Kennedy, and continuing through Gerald Ford." 

From Tenzin Tsetan Choklay

In this whole video I was most impressed with Pat Moynihan when he was talking about what became Welfare to Work in 1996. Which is what he supported when he worked for President Richard Nixon in the 1970s. 

The Nixon Administration, actually proposed what became the 1996 Welfare to Work Law, but in 1969 and pushed it in the early 1970s, but couldn't get it through a Democratic Congress. He advocated for child care grants, so single mothers could go back to school and go to work. He advocated for job training and even work requirements for people on Welfare. So they're simply not collecting government checks, but not trying to move off of Welfare all together.

Now of course as Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, he voted against the 1996 Welfare to Work Law when Congress debated that bipartisan bill that was signed by President Bill Clinton. But before he came to Congress in 1977 that is the type of Welfare system that he wanted. An insurance system for uneducated adults who have kids too soon and aren't ready to take care of them. Who need help getting by in the short-term, but also help them become independent long-term and off public assistance all together. Because they're getting child care assistance for their kids. They're going back to school, they're working for perhaps the first time in their lives and getting themselves the skills to get themselves a good job and get off of Welfare all together. 

You can also see this post at Real Life Journal, on Blogger.

AEI Ideas: James Pethokoukis: 'Ben Carson's Flat Tax Plan Represents Many of The Least Helpful Impulses in GOP Tax Policy'

Source:Bloomberg News- 2016 long shot Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson.
"Ben Carson has belatedly — his polling numbers have sharply declined the past two months — put out a big tax cut plan. Carson would, according to the Tax Foundation, “replace the federal income tax code with a modified Hall-Rabushka-style flat tax of 14.9 percent.” But let me clarify: For some people, it would be a big tax cut plan. The top 10% of households. For the bottom 90 percent, it would actually be a tax hike. As the WSJ’s Richard Rubin notes:

Poor households, which now get net refunds from the income tax system because of the child tax credit and earned-income tax credit, would no longer get those benefits. And the top 1% of households, which get a much larger share of their money from investments, would no longer pay any taxes on that portion of their income.

So Carson would cut taxes — on a static basis — by a massive $5.6 trillion. Yet most people would still pay more in taxes. Just let that sink in a moment. Go ahead, take two.

Now the Carson plan also includes a novel $100 per citizen minimum tax. (Skin in the game!) Here is my AEI colleague Ramesh Ponnuru on that neat little feature:

Carson justifies this minimum tax by saying it treats everyone in America as a “citizen owner” of the government. I don’t see how someone who gets $10,000 in federal benefits is in any significant way more of a “citizen owner” of his government if he pays a nominal $100 tax than if he doesn’t. ,,, Carson may be alluding to the political case many conservatives make for this kind of reform. On this argument, everyone needs to pay some income tax so that they understand that big government costs them money and so that they then vote in accordance with that understanding.

During his own presidential campaign, Bobby Jindal made this argument, although his plan raised taxes “only” on the bottom 40 percent of filers.

It seems to me that the assumptions about voter psychology behind this argument have to be that: a) many people vote based in large part on a calculation of the benefits they get and the taxes they pay; b) many of these calculating voters distinguish between payroll and income taxes, not counting the former toward their calculation; c) many of these calculating voters would not subtract the $100 from their benefits and see that they are still net “takers” from the federal government; and d) many of these calculating voters will decide to suspend their usual method of determining their vote for this presidential election, and vote for a candidate who is promising to raise their taxes and cut their benefits. These assumptions, in conjunction, seem unlikely.

I mean, I would imagine Carson is putting forward a policy that he thinks represents both sound economics and has some basic appeal to voters. But I am not sure telling someone that you are going to a) immediately lower their after-tax income in exchange for b) a future higher income based on theoretical economic models that c) suggest higher GDP growth by slashing high-end tax rates … well, I am not sure that sells. Oh, and even if you assume the higher GDP growth, the plan still loses $2.5 trillion. That Carson would offer such a plan — one that represents many of the least helpful impulses in GOP tax policy — certainly suggests an interesting take on the GOP voting base."

Source:AEI Ideas

"Chris Wallace tells Ben Carson: The rich 'make out like bandits' under your tax plan" 

Source:Raw Story- 2016 Republican Party presidential candidate Ben Carson, being interviewed by Fox News's Chris Wallace.

From Raw Story

During really the last six years or so of the tax cut and deficit reduction debate in Washington, people who call themselves Conservative Republicans, have argued that they wouldn’t support a tax increase, or a tax hike under any circumstances. 

The so-called fiscal cliff and the extension of the Bush tax cuts in late 2012 was part of the current Republican Party debate on tax policy. However, Representative Michele Bachmann (Republican, Minnesota) when she ran for president in 2011, (her campaign didn’t make it to 2012, or she ran for president in a non-presidential year) argued for increasing taxes on low-income workers. Adding an income tax to their payroll taxes. 

Ben Carson and others, now support a 15% flat tax that would be a fifty-percent tax increase on lower working class workers who currently pay 10% in federal income taxes before refunds and so-forth.

If you’re truly against tax hikes at any point, then you’re against any flat tax that raises taxes on anyone. Every flat tax that has ever been proposed has been both a lower and middle-income tax hike. I have a hard time taking anyone seriously who call them self even a fiscal, or economic conservative, when they support a flat tax. Because they’re supporting a lower and middle-income tax increase, but also on the people who American economy depends on the most to drive economic growth. 

You pass a lower-income tax on people and they’ll stop working and become completely dependent on public assistance, because they can’t afford your tax increase. We need to encourage these people to not only work, but further their education so they can get a good job and no longer be low-income. Not discourage them to work at all.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

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