Assume a D President with D Senate and House in January 2021 – what first?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

2009 – Obama is inaugurated (to a sizeable live crowd) and had a D Senate and House.
D Senate for 15 or 16 months, D house until January 2011.

He chose healthcare and passed the ACA.

He had other big accomplishments. But ACA was the thing that he did with that D majority.

At the time, I agreed addressing healthcare was a good choice. (shouldda kept the public option, shouldda stabilized Medicare, shouldda wouldda couldda)

Assuming Biden has a D majority:

– healthcare?
– DACA/immigration reform?
– fix Social Security?
– fix Medicare?
– Fix voting rights and election security?
– restore control to COngress or weaken the office of the president
– fix the tax code?

Trump Will Win

“total power”

Delay the census.

I think the math is pretty straight forward in the big picture.

I’m nos sure which states it puts back in play – but that will show later.

SOTU Open thread

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I know lots of people said they won’t watch.
I know lots of people shouldn’t watch.

but he is the President and it is the SOTU.

Sanders Wins

get used to the idea.

Sure, he has numerous candidate flaws. Who doesn’t?

But if the Democrats think they can both save the party from a Sanders win and GOTV for voters who support him – the math doesn’t work.

It comes down to let voters vote  or blow up the party.

Felony

Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution: “And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.”

US Federal law

110.20 Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals (52 U.S.C. 30121, 36 U.S.C. 510)

A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.

https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/candidate-taking-receipts/who-can-and-cant-contribute/

Campaigns may not solicit or accept contributions from foreign nationals. Federal law prohibits contributions, donations, expenditures and disbursements solicited, directed, received or made directly or indirectly by or from foreign nationals in connection with any election — federal, state or local. This prohibition includes contributions or donations made to political committees and building funds and to make electioneering communications. Furthermore, it is a violation of federal law to knowingly provide substantial assistance in the making, acceptance or receipt of contributions or donations in connection with federal and nonfederal elections to a political committee, or for the purchase or construction of an office building. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, acting as a conduit or intermediary for foreign national contributions and donations.

A person acts knowingly for the purposes of this section when he or she has:

  • Actual knowledge that the funds have come from a foreign national;
  • Awareness of certain facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that there is a substantial probability that the money is from a foreign national; or
  • Awareness of facts that should have prompted a reasonable inquiry into whether the source of funds is a foreign national.

Pertinent facts that satisfy the “knowing” requirement include knowledge of:

  • Use of a foreign passport or passport number;
  • Use of a foreign address;
  • A check or other written instrument drawn on an account or wire transfer from a foreign bank; or
  • Contributor or donor living abroad.

Definition of foreign national

A foreign national is:

  • An individual who is not a citizen of the United States, and not lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(20)); or
  • A foreign principal, as defined in 22 U.S.C. § 611(b). Section 611 defines a foreign principal as a group organized under the laws of a foreign country or having its principal place of business in a foreign country. The statute specifically mentions foreign governments, political parties, partnerships, associations and corporations.

 

https://www.history.com/news/foreign-influence-constitution-founding-fathers

“… the framers needed a founding document that fully recognized and defended against the corrupting influence of foreign money and power, particularly on the president.

Article II of the Constitution gives such power to the president to run the executive branch that a president under the influence of a foreign nation would be far more dangerous than any other single individual,” says Stephen Saltzburg, professor at The George Washington University Law School. “That kind of conflict, between loyalty to the United States and loyalty to a foreign nation, would be intolerable.”

Protection Against Presidential Corruption

To guard against such conflicts and provide a remedy for a worst-case scenario of presidential corruption, the founders built two key provisions into the Constitution: the so-called “emoluments clause” and the power to impeach a president.

//
Lying liars and foreign influence.

CoPols Denver Meetup (board games and costumes optional)

Saturday
October 26, 2pm > (there ain’t no curfew)

exact location – TBD

harryd – can you check with your Lincoln triangle guys?
I’ll check with the lads at The Abbey.

“check” = parking, any special events we should know about, dress code, budget, and whatever else is good to know

 

 

Medicare, a primer (no math)

QMB- qualified Medicare beneficiary

MFA – Medicare for all, including Medicare for others

 

Current
Medicare Part A

  • covers inpatient care, including care received while in a hospital, a skilled nursing facility, and sometimes at home.
  • Most QMB qualify for $0.00 premium Medicare Part A.
  • Most QMB earn eligibility at age 65 by paying in through 40 quarters of qualifying employment,  their’s or their spouse’s
  • Pays everything after annual deductible
  • Annual deductible and lifetime caps
  • Part A deductible, and the 40 quarters of paying in (most QMB pay in wayy more than 40 quarters) and the actuarial math provide a reasonable forecast of Part A cost. The Part A deductible is set annually.

Medicare Part B

 

  • Covers outpatient medical services or supplies needed to diagnose or treat a medical condition; preventive services, doctor appointments, ambulance, physical therapy, durable medical equipment
  • All QMB have a Part B premium (sometimes Medicaid or other source will pay it)
  • Most QMB earn eligibility at age 65 by paying in through 40 quarters of qualifying employment, their’s or their spouse’s
  • Pays up to 80% of Medicare allowed charges
  • In the olden times – 1965 – the requirement was that the Part B premium be calculated to pay 75% of the cost of administering Part B. For a variety of reasons, that doesn’t really work anymore. But in concept, it’s helpful. Like A, the annual deductible, time paying in through qualified work, and the actuarial math using age and those factors provide a reasonable forecast of Part B cost.

    But the main funding for current Part A and Part B expense is all the current qualified employment paying in. Current workers are not paying for their own future medical expenses, they are paying for their eligibility and the current money paid in pays for current beneficiaries’ medical insurance.

MFA proposes to open the eligibility to a new class of beneficiaries, so the math has to be redone in order to pay for the new beneficiaries’ medical expenses. It’s complex, stochastic, actuarial and doable and could yield a premium/deductible structure that improves the stability of Medicare.

WIthout proving the math, any medical insurance plan becomes more stable by adding premium paying, younger, healthier members. Likewise, if there are more future beneficiaries paying in each year (qualified work) the plan gets more stable.

There are a variety of differing proposals to implement MFA. But an important common feature is the ginormous reduction in administrative expenses and the elimination of private market profit margins for most situations.

Current Medicare includes insurance plans to cover things Medicare doesn’t cover – mainly the 20% coinsurance for Part B services, also Part A services that exceed the cap of original Medicare and also optical, dental, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. But in MFA a majority of insurance industry profit margin would be gone.

Part D prescription drugs and Math will be in part 2, but we can tell it would work.

An example: lowering eligibility age to 60.

  • Lets call QMB who become eligible under the current rules RED
    And QMB who qualify under the new rules BLUE
  • RED: nothing changes

BLUE:

If employed, continue paying in (otherwise it weakens the actuarial math for RED)

Coverage rules are essentially the same for RED and BLUE
Part A&B premium set to pay 100% of the cost from 60 to 65, and then BLUE QMB become RED.

In this model, if 50% of Americans who are enrolled in an exchange plan (ACA, Obamacare) now instead choose BLUE, the premium would be approx $450/mo.  Yes, way higher than RED, but way lower than the insurance currently available.

Yes- there is an actuarial problem with allowing BLUE QMB to opt in or out. The 50% most likely to opt in are the most ill and in need of expensive care. SO far better actuarially if eligibility for all BLUE would work like RED now.

 

Who wins:

BLUE QMB

Who loses:
– health insurance companies who profit from premium paying Americans age 60-65 who opt in to BLUE
– companies who need to retain staff and rely on the fear of the staff that they will not find insurance if they leave
– an economy that needs BLUE QMB to continue working as long as possible, not as long as they want, but as long as they possibly can

(this starts to get into the really complicated math – FDR’s guys did the math in the 30’s and chose 65 as the magic age and LBJ got Congress to do it 30 years later. Losing those workers’ means in order to preserve GDP and overall profitability, we need to add more workers to replace them – in the 40’s companies convinced FDR and the New Dealers they would cooperate later, after the war. Yeah – ok.)

Merica, week of Nov 6 2017

Ow.

 

Here’s some things I learned this week. Or at least I heard ’em.  I only got one black eye, so supposedly there’s hope for me yet.

If you can get a carry permit (CCW or Open) and don’t, you’re just as responsible for the innocent deaths as the shooter.   Ow.

If you got the permit and carry, or just carry cuz you can, and you are there when the deranged white Christian guy starts shooting, or the terrorist non-anglo guy starts evildoing, and you don’t draw the gun and put ’em down- you are just as responsible as the shooter/evildooer.

Prayer is powerful enough to stop evil. Even though there is always free will.  But that means praying for the victims is far, FAR more than enough. But restricting the shooter from getting guns and requiring that he stick to praying for his killin’ just ain’t right, it;s no ‘Merican.

The so called “The Big Line” is way, wayyy off. Pols won’t fix it cause they’re stupid heads. Big ones.

Bump stocks should be… wait, what?  nevermind.

Penn State should have to disband and start over in 4 years. Pediophiles and manslaughterers and craven indifference and some good people too.  But jay-zus!

I pray to an awesome God, too.  And the answer isn’t always what I think I want, but it was yesterday, more or less.  (Now if we could all just come to our senses and instead of just outlawing the choice to declaw cats, we ban feeding them or (pretending too) keep them as pets, we could all get on step closer to God.)

It’s Trump.

Trump is going to be the nominee.

For this not to happen he would have to die, quit, or reveal some GIHUGENT scandal.  (Caution on the last – it could help him.)

 

The message to moderate, persuadable, right leaning family and friends needs to be “a D President won’t do much…we will still have the R Congress… .” 

We have been the laughingstock of the world before. We can do it again. But we need to think carefully about apathy and indifference that can result from anger and frustration.

 

So what our first choice D candidate didn’t get in?  Mine is not even in the race (because he’s not electable even though, maybe because, he is a successful Governor in California).

It’s Trump.  Everyone needs to persuade the middle, draw out more detail from the new guy than “it will be great,” and get out the vote. Voter registration, turnout is all it ever is.

 

 

 

ps- the open thread needs to resume at 6am. Bring back elected fpe- we got the easy stuff done.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Everyone Should Leave the Democratic Party

Sure, they suck, so there’s that.

Sucking less than the other guys is just so disappointing. And a little frightening. My elder son is a socialist, he understands what it means but he also understands why “burn more coal!” is a recipe for not good. What he is only just starting to understand is why science, logic and better ideas don’t win elections as consistently as one might think.

Democrats are really bad at messaging.

I don’t mean avoid getting photographed with Shirley McClain or don’t talk about increasing revenue, talk about a strong economy.  I mean discussing the death tax as not unfair, and trying to win people over on healthcare because access is humane and should be a human right, or even the Christian thing to do. (Who really said if you want to cut Social Security, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, etc. you have to stop claiming to want to build a Christian nation?)

Let’s talk healthcare. First, “healthcare” has become a conflation of medical insurance and medical services. Lumping them together is bad for the D message. More of the middle could get behind improved access to services, especially necessary services or minimally necessary services (that there is no other kind is not the point), if this did not also mean access to insurance. Insurance, we all fear, that is as good or even better than ours and cheaper due to subsidies.  

It is not and should not be about insurance. Even if it was, Liberals should be talking about tax cuts by making now required medical insurance premiums tax deductible. What?! Liberal tax cuts. Every Budget bill, every Defense bill every everything should have the tax deductibility of health insurance premiums attached.

Public vs. Private Health Insurance on Controlling Spending

Of course, public health insurance does better controlling costs. Lower overhead, better access, better administration. And they have the law on their side.

Of course (as more than one of the commenters points out), Altman leaves a lot out.

Example- Medicare has a bit over 50 million members, and they tend to be sicker, older and the most likely consumers of health services. Even the 10.5 million Medicare benificiaries under 65, are disabled or have ALS or kidney failure.

TRICARE would be a good comparison to the general population – at least based on age and large numbers. But it costs a little less than Medicare to run – and there is less fraud so Altman leaves it out.(I don’t have the data, but I predict it’s because TRICARE contracts out the contact management – call centers and billing and stuff.  $13.50/hr with skimpy benefits vs the federal employees running CMS and Medicare.

Of course public plans that can set their own payment schedule can control cost better. Of course,  a private self contained plan (like Kaiser or other HMO) can do the same but health plans that do not employ their own providers are stuck paying whatever rates they can. And public plans have no shareholders or profit seekers to satisfy. Of course, there are private non-profits too. But they still cost more and do worse controlling costs.

But here is the real dilemma: descriptors like “private” and “competition” assume a free market.  Health insurance is not a free market.  They also assume consumers can choose rationally based on price – and we cannot. 

If I go to the Cell Phone store I get some choice.   If I can get unlimited domestic voice and text with some data for $50/mo with a reasonably current and efficient smart phone or I can get the Gordon Gekko brick phone, and pay$200/mo and $1.00/min with no data or text – I know which to choose.  

But if I am shopping health insurance, and I can get plan A for Premium X with high deductible, low copays and thin network or Plan B with Premium (X*1.5), lower deductible, higher copays, and broader network – which is a better purchase? What about Plan C with Premium 2*x, higher deductible, higher copays, very thin network, but I can add my spouse and unlimited dependent family members for the same premium.

Maybe I can get something like Senator Gardner’s Golden Unicorn plan, low premium, no copays, and broad network. But what if it only covers “catastrophic” events and excludes a ton of stuff that I don’t understnd or care about.  And the only providers are located far from me.

The point is this – free markets work great when service providers and consumers can understand the services being exchanged through price.  I’ll take the small phone with tons of service for $50/mo onver the 1980’s style brick with no service. (Though I would like to have a Gekko brick.)  But markets fail when price fails to convey the necessary information for consumers to choose how much to demand or to communicate to providers how much to supply.

Markets fail for other reasons too – and if the market is for something “necessary” or a general good, then we (USA) regulate the markets and try to allow private (shareholder owned or mutal assocaitions) deliver, with subsidies and regualtions. Sometimes it has to be governement providers because there really is no private market.    Electric. Gas. Air traffic Contral and other safety for Commercial aviation. Used to be telephone – but the market evolved and Judge Green gave us a whole new world of telecom.

Health insurance for sure, and medical services possibly, as a for profit, private market have failed. We should regulate them like we do for the utilities (and other markets) unless or until providers invent or innovate a new product that supercedes the need.

Should we have single payer? Of course. Not like Canada or the UK or Germany.   A distinctly U.S. market, closer to the Swiss, with no restriction on supply.  

But the argument, the message, to get support of we the people – mostly the center – is not, cannot be because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s humane, because human rights, because fairness and justice,  yada yada yada… 

The winning argument – the ony argument – is the market has failed – and single payer will cost less and deliver better. 

Could be government run – just open Medicare, lowering the eligiblity age a few years at a time, charging market rates and watch Medicare outcompete every plan out there. It could be a regulated like a shareholder owned utility – like Excel or the old AT&T.

Here’s one more health insurance related example of Democratic party messaging sucks.  Medicare beficiaries who oppose insurnce and health care access for others are confident in their conviction that their Medicare should be inviolate and untouchable because they earned it, they paid for it. But the current FICA  taxes are NOT premiums that pay for the contributor’s future coverage.  They are the taxes that earn the payor’s (and their spouses’) future eligiblity and pay for current beneficiaries’ coverage.  In the future, future contributors  pay for the future beneficiaries.   No one messages on this. And that allows the myth to perpetuate.   It solidifies the current state of Medicare  – Ike was right only the stupid believe the voters will allow it to be repealed.  But it is the wrong message and it allows the U.S. to continue down a stupid path.

To be continued…

 

 

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2014

 

Campaign Romanoff sent an email : 

 

 

"Join the 2014 Team!"

 

 

That's why I'm asking you to join our 2014 Team. Team members pledge to raise $2,014 by March 31. Here's how: …..

 

 

The suggestions for how are pretty good and I spent a few minutes thinking about how I would do it.

Perhaps one hundred people writing a check for $20.14.

Maybe 50% response rate…so 200 requests.  Maybe 25% so 400.  Would I write the check if asked?  

 

Hmmm… well,  I like Andrew.  I would much rather have him than the guy in the seat now. Can he win?  I really, really, like to win.  

Sure – he's experienced, perceived as young, moderate and practical.  All favorables.  Women like him – and despite the incumbent's recent (expedient) reversals, I think Romanoff wins that part.  Miklosi was close – I think Andrew maybe could do it. 

 

Will he be able to run the kind of media campaign he would most likely need?  Maybe he could do it without $1 – $1.5million  (or more) dedicated to tv in Aug – Oct 2014.  Maybe.

 

But I think he's going to need big money donors. I do not believe he can self-fund.  I have not seen any hint that big enough private donors are willing to write the kind of checks that would be required.  I don't think he gets big enough dollars from house parties.  I think he's going to have to have PAC dollars. 

 

I have high hopes for the Cubs 2013.  I get slumps, but it's been 105 years. This one's gotta end sometime.

 

2014 is a ways away.  Until I see the path to a big enough media budget for the one thing, I'm focused on another starter or two and a no kidding slam-the-door closer. 

 

 

 

 

hFUtg

Why is the Gun Debate so Pointless?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

All the comments and hype and most of the media coverage are crazy.

There are things most of us agree on.

– Assaulting a legislator that you disagree with is inappropriate. And illegal.
– Death threats against someone you disagree with are very inappropriate and probably should be illegal
– Death threats against the family of someone you disagree with is illegal
– The US Constitution says we the people have the right to keep and bear arms
– The US Supreme Court has ruled (more than once) that right is not unlimited
– Hardly anyone believes that the right to keep and bear arms should be unlimited

So the necessary public discussion should be about what limitations are appropriate. 

(more…)

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Nothing to say

Right now.  Right right now I only got one thing:

The rest can wait.

🙂

<    smiling and breathing   >

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I do have something to say….

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BTW-

http://www.coloradopols.com/di…

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Why the 2012 Election Cycle Sucks, and how to blame the party of your choice

The Republican primary should have energized the party and thus the process.  It did not.  It could have – it should have.  

The Republicans acknowledged that the 08 Democrat (sic)  primary energized the Democratic Party.   When was the last time there were tens of thousands of protestors and witnesses at the credentialing meeting of any party at any convention?

But there’s a problem with the R attempted mimicry.  They excluded Ron Paul and all his supporters form the the show.  Contrast that with 08 when Hillary nominated Barack from the floor. No back room deal – she just did it.

The Republicans put on a lame show of wanting to energize their party, and thus the process.

But at every turn, they chose their third rail issues and not only allowed but encouraged some coat-tail riding loser to take the whole thing off the rails.  

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining. The Ryan/Romney budget needed to die in committee (which is how Boehner runs the House). As did the hundreds of other for show only pieces they brought to a  vote.  Even S&P pointed the (middle)  finger right at the Republicans when they issued that downgrade on our sovereign debt.

And, lest you think I was not paying attention, the R supporters right here on CoPols have let us all down.

I wrote the redundant, boring diary about why I am voting for Obama again.  Overtly challenged the Romney supporters here to do something similar for their candidate, and challenged them to come up with something more intellectually developed than “he’s not Obama”..  < crickets  >

Complain about how gov’t functions or not  as much as you want- it works almost precisely how the founders intended.

Including the possibility that we people would want to change how it works.  But to do that, we have to want to engage and make it happen.

I’ve heard one serious proposal for a Constitutional amendment in this cycle: from President Obama regarding corporate personhood status.  

You want to have mandatory drug testing for recipients of public benefits?  Amend the 4th Amendment, or decriminalize drug use.

You want fewer abortions to be taking place?  Support  sex education and contraception.

I could go on, but what would be the point?

When I’m ready to engage and do it- I do. Or will.  Why should I or anyone give it all away in advance?

That said- our process is screwy. Exactly as intended.

The parties do not help in the sense that they are not guaranteed or even designed to get voters to engage.

In the end- I’m complaining about you weak posters here on CoPols.

Two recent quitters who tried to save face and claim it’s the heat and bitterness. In truth it was the carefully observed and reasoned calling out of their bs.

We even went out of our way to elect a front page editor, aka CoPols Overlord, from the anti-Obama, R leaning posters. Nada de Lo Squada. (not to be confused wi the parody band of the same name).

I’m not quitting CoPols.

I wish I had more time to help Miklosi in CD6  – he has the chance to be every bit as caring and helpful a representative as Perlmutter, and I wish Team Miklosi all the good luck in the world.  (Joe should do more to highlight Coffman’s ghostly presence in the District and then debate an empty chair. I’ll wear the chicken suit a couple of times if you want.)

And I will be there for GOTV.  

Anyone want to go to the inauguration?

Why I will vote for Obama , Again

(A well written explanation for a reckless act.  Just kidding.  Great diary, MADCO.   – promoted by ellbee)

The primary is over, the general is supposedly in full swing but I have not yet seen any coherent  explanation from anyone why they intend to vote for Romney. “Anyone but Obama” doesn’t really count.  It’s the intellectual equivalent of saying  “I just don’t like that guy.”   I get that there are voters that give it about that much thought.    I can’t engage them –  well, I could, but I am not a dating service.  (Unless, of course, Charlize Theron is looking for some dinner talk.)  

Now if someone was able to factually or intellectually deconstruct Obama and demonstrate he is not American or he is a communist or that he hates America, that might count.  I mean, first do no harm, would seem at least as reasonable a bar to set for the president as it is for a physician.  But just saying He’s a Socialist! Solyndra! Lying African!   are not intellectually stable arguments for “vote for Romney.”

– I am glad we have not invaded Iran or N. Korea. I came to wish we had not invaded Iraq and wanted a sensible ending.    I wanted al-Qaeda and bin Laden killed.  I wanted direct, sensible confrontation with the Somali pirates. Check, check check and check.

– While we are waiting for comprehensive tax reform we need to make the income tax more fair/progressive .  It should be more like it was – fewer and fewer people paying it until no one pays it at all. The way to start is to let the Bush tax cuts expire on the highest earners who benefit the most from public spending.

– Our military involvement in Libya was just right. LIkewise, our (apparent) avoidance of military involvement in Syria.

– The Ryan plan, which Romney now says he supports*,   ends Medicare, TRICARE and the Department of Veterans Affairs health care as we know them.

* (not to get all Marty McFly, but I honestly cannot recall    whether Romney was against this in the past or will be in the future).

– I trust Obama: not that he’ll do or not do whatever I want (though I believe he is way more likely to do more of what I would want and far less likely to do what I don’t want) , but I know what he will do   Romney is a mystery. Is there a single political position he was not for before he was against or against before he was for?   And I mean, of course, besides he wants the job.

– I don’t trust the LDS/Mormon church, perhaps because I don’t understand it   I do not care about the clothes or access to the temple.  Likewise I don’t generally care about separate planets and universes, though I worry about elected officials who claim special understanding about God’s will, which is not uniquely Mormon. But it was officially racist until the 1978, You could look it up — but not on Wikipedia- it’s been scrubbed.    Rev Wright doesn’t bother me –  I don’t care about angry black theology from the South Side of Chicago.

When I think about the US future:

– I hope it remains unnecessary to invade Iran or N Korea and that Syria, Egypt, and the rest of the middle east can find peace without us.  

– I hope deficit reduction is more about innovation and GDP growth than austerity.  (US GDP growth has been stronger and more consistent when our Gini coefficient  has been smaller like 1932- 1972, and much worse when it’s been larger like 1973 to now. I.e., too much of the GDP gain is going to too few.)

– I hope educational opportunities improve and are less dependent on zip code than aptitude and hard work.  (I like the Swiss model for higher ed, and a standards and performance based core curriculum for P-10).

These three lead me to support Obama.

– I hope China allows their currency to float more.

Big edge to Obama until Romney releases his tax returns (what’s he hiding?) because we may find out that Romney’s personal wealth is far more closely tied to parts of the world outside the US. (Why the banks in the Caymans? Switzerland? Why did he sign over those investments to Mrs.  Romney the day before he became MA Governor? Seriously, bank accounts in the Caymans?) Ultimately, I think the US President has less chance to get the yuan float than Warren Buffet, Nigeria (oil), Australia (uranium) or whatever Chinese politburo sees to the exchange and runs their banks.

I know Obama is not a communist or a socialist.  I was not present at his birth, but in my  heart I know he is just as American as anyone. Tax rates have not gone up – if anything they have gone down since 2009.

I know the Senate has not passed a budget – don’t care.

I know the ACA process was imperfect and the ACA is thousands of pages long – welcome to big league legislation – don’t care.   Of course the GOTP lied about ACA and death panels, sixteen thousand new armed IRS agents and free care for non citizens. I do care about that. I don’t care that the parties don’t get along.   I do care about having a national dialogue about major issues, like ACA.  And now we have been and can continue.

In the end, and I hope after my rational, intellectual side assesses the above – I like Obama.   Make fun of the “beer summit” all you want – I liked it.  It’s the kind of thing I would do.  All the public news out of the G20 was spot on.  The drone assassins – can we get some more bad guys? OBL- dead. Chrysler – alive and well.   Stimulus was too small – sure Solyndra failed, but Tea Garden didn’t.  The only thing I didn’t like about cash for clunkers was I kept my clunker (and blew the head gasket 4 months later).

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Trayvon Martin Was Lynched

from Merriam Webster –

transitive verb

: to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal sanction

paraphrased from the Wiki

Lynching is a nonjudicial execution, often by hanging by mob, but also by burning at the stake or shooting.  the goal is not justice nor revenge, It is an execution done in order to punish a supposed transgressor,  to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people.

Lynchings have often been the means used by the politically dominant population to oppress social challengers.

People get shot and killed everyday in the USA. Approx 27.

I don’t notice, and while in a generalized sense I care, I’m used to it and so it doesn’t pain me.   I”ve bee thinking about why certain murders affect me more deeply, even when I don’t know the victim.

(slight apology for the length – I’m sure there is a way to edit it down, or perhaps just the lynching piece is on Youtube somewhere.  But the rest is pretty sweet.)

I’ve been feeling especially bad because Trayvon Martin was lynched.  It may not have started out that way – although I haven’t heard the “gated community” where it happened apologizing or distancing themselves from the killer.  But in the instant that Zimmerman decided to follow Trayvon Martin, to stalk and intimidate him; to ultimately murder him, this became a lynching.

Martin was just a kid. By all accounts a good kid. And now he’s dead.

Clearly the crime of walking while black knows no age limit.

The 911 recording makes it clear that Zimmerman was at least partially motivated by Martin’s race.  “fuciking coons” is what he said, and it sounds partly like he’s trying to stoke his own fear and anger, partly like a practiced expression of racism.

The description of Zimmerman as some kind of neighborhood watch vigilante makes it sound like perhaps the “gated community” wanted him on the lookout for undesirable types.

And while I think it too convenient to draw a conclusion about the original motivation based on the outcome, I feel confident that black kids out walking are going to avoid that neighborhood.  And if they live there – they will stay inside.

No way Zimmerman shoot the kid if the kid looks like him.

No way Zimmerman’s community is going to put him ont he other side of their gate.

WIll he be prosecuted?  Apparently not be the locals. And making the federal case seems ….difficult.  

And here in Colorado we have make my day and private carry and guns on college campuses (students – not staff) and some who want a Florida-like stand your ground law.  

Trayvon Martin was lynched – that’s why it feels so bad.

Whatinhellisgoingon?

– access to birth control is like Hitler and genocide and euthanasia

– President should enforce imaginary anti porn law

– gas prices up (from supply and demand): It’s Obama’s fault!

– S&P/DJIA/NASDAQ up (recession is ended – see “demand” problem above): It’s because of breaking a union

– Re-nig?

Really?  How does this count as free speech?

– Rev Wright reflects poorly on the President, but the various religious …”curiousities” of the GOTP candidates are off limits.

– Birth control reduces abortions and unwanted pregnancy.  How is it “pro-life” to be anti birth control?

– The rapist’s victim was forced to marry the rapis (Morroco) and then commits suicide and she’s the one who doesn’t repsect life?

– a rape victim who gets pregnant should welcome the life forced upon her. (Santorum and other nut jobs.)

– Why are so many pro-lifers in favor of capital punishment?

– Keystone pipeline (inevitable) will reduce the supply of oil in the USA, and therefore increase price while offering a few temporary jobs. But to oppose it is bad for America.

– The USA consumes 20% + of the world oil supply and has 2% of known reserves.  Drill baby drill is insane.

– It’s March. so it’s looking good to great for the Cubs.  

Libya intervention – bad, even though it (apparently) worked.

Syria lack of intervention – bad, even though there is no clear path to any kind of success (Though Turkey could “solve” this for us as a NATO issue.)

Killing Somali pirates, and OBL, and other terrorists – what?

Not invading Iran – mistake.  Even though, like Syria (hmm- could the two be related?) there is no path to “success”.

TARP, QE1, 2 (and 3 and 4), auto industry bailout: all bad. Even though there was no depression (yet) and all saved jobs.

The gov’t should get out of the way and not intervene to affect unemployment.  Or the gov’t hasn’t done enough to get unemployment lower.  Either way, blame Obama.

We should follow China’s example. China are godless commies.

Welfare bad- ag subsidies good.

Law and order and support the police.  Except private carry guns on campus are good and the police don’t want them.

There Are Reasons Rush is So Popular.

Rush Limbaugh is approx 1/2 way through an 8 year contract  with Clear Channel for $400 million through 2016.

He has high ratings – top 3 in most markets in his time slot.

We can all complain about things he says or does – too many people are listening to his show for it to matter.  Rush matters because Rush has ratings.

Rush never shuts up – which is another way of saying “no dead air”. In radio this is a good thing.

Rush tries to be funny – comedy is a plus. Even though it’s hard and his particular mean spirited sense of humor  is highly offensive to some, probably even more than those for whom it is funny.

But Rush has ratings.  If we assume the ratings are true, Rush has a large audience.  And this is why Rush is the head of the GOTP. And  why the R’s are afraid to disagree with him.

But Rush used to have a tv show. HIghly offensive. Highly targeted. Successfully targeted.  Once people stopped watching, it went away.

The problem isn’t Rush – it’s his audience.  A few years ago some knucklehead wrote a book called Rush Limbaugh is Big Fat Idiot, with footnotes and well researched fact checking.  At which point Rush should have become irrelevant.  But his audience got bigger.

Either the audience can’t read, didn’t believe the facts or don’t care.  To defeat Rush, we just need to stop paying attention to him.  When his ratings tank – he’ll go away.

Unfortunately, it appears as long as there are functioning radios, Rush will have an audience.

Yesterday on Caplis & Silverman, one of them was defending Rush, claiming that until this recent assault on the Georgetown law student (which is, after all, exactly what the left does, and was true, and etc and etc)  there was no memory of Rush being misogynistic (whatever that means).    “Feminazi”  doesn’t count?

Rush is a fool who will say anything to get ratings. Because he’s become the head of the GOTP he says pro-GOTP things.  

2012

1) Why Libya but not Syria?

2) Did we extend the tax cut or not?

3) Why are we not talking about the destruction of al Queda?

4) or the end of the occupation of Iraq?

5) or the millions of injured vets?

6) Why is not surprising that we all know the South can be counted on to vote as a block and no one cares?

7) Go Broncos.

8) And Nuggets.

9) Avs.

10) 2012 will be a good year for the Cubs. (They need to get out of Wrigley, but it will be a good year.)

11) Sometime in June Romney will be the nominee.  Sometime in November Obama will be re-elected.

12) Putin is done, no matter what anyone saw deep in his eyes.

13)  If I had less obligation I would move to Massachusetts to work for the Warren campaign.

14) Money supply has grown very fast. Where’s the inflation?

15) There’s a great article about Chuck Berry in the current Esquire.   I always hoped to hear he had punched Keith Richard in the face- apparently he did.  (He still performs live,   including tonight in NYC.)

16) There are less than 6 10 celebrities I’d like to see naked in 2012.  You know who you are.

17) Will Connecticut take the opportunity to elect a decent Senator? Will Nebraska?   Arizona?

18) Does Hawaii have a deep enough bench to replace Akaka with someone at least 1/2 as good?

19) S&P, DJIA, and the NASDAQ composite will be up 3.5% by August.

20) The Winklvi will not win gold in London and it will be news.

21)  Dec 12 will inspire some great parties. So will Dec 21.  

Marco RuBio for President!

I just heard it on talk radio (not Rush) – so it’s got to be…

a) true,

b) completely made up bs for ratings, or

c) something else.

If/when Senator Rubio declares, in or out, can  the biggest threat to President Obama’s reelection chance, Generic R, be far behind?

Weekend Open

Obama is a little like Reagan.

Reagan had periods of double digit unemployment*.

Reagan had a kill committee – except they were killing Nicaraguans and other foreign nationals.

Now, Reagan raised taxes because he was serious about deficit reduction.  Obama is trying but the GOTP is not serious about deficit reduction.

*

1981-02-01   7.4

1981-03-01   7.4

1981-04-01   7.2

1981-05-01   7.5

1981-06-01   7.5

1981-07-01   7.2

1981-08-01   7.4

1981-09-01   7.6

1981-10-01   7.9

1981-11-01   8.3

1981-12-01   8.5

1982-01-01   8.6

1982-02-01   8.9

1982-03-01   9.0

1982-04-01   9.3

1982-05-01   9.4

1982-06-01   9.6

1982-07-01   9.8

1982-08-01   9.8

1982-09-01  10.1

1982-10-01  10.4

1982-11-01  10.8

1982-12-01  10.8

1983-01-01  10.4

1983-02-01  10.4

1983-03-01  10.3

1983-04-01  10.2

1983-05-01  10.1

1983-06-01  10.1

1983-07-01   9.4

1983-08-01   9.5

1983-09-01   9.2

1983-10-01   8.8

1983-11-01   8.5

1983-12-01   8.3

1984-01-01   8.0

1984-02-01   7.8

1984-03-01   7.8

1984-04-01   7.7

1984-05-01   7.4

1984-06-01   7.2

1984-07-01   7.5

1984-08-01   7.5

1984-09-01   7.3

1984-10-01   7.4

1984-11-01   7.2

1984-12-01   7.3

Friday Jams and Comedy

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – In what the White House hailed as “an example of what can be accomplished when we put aside partisan differences,” congressional Republicans today responded to President Obama’s $447 billion American Jobs Act by allowing the President to create one part-time job.

While details of what the job would entail remain to be determined, it was expected to be in the lawn work or handing-out-flyers industry.

At the White House, the President acknowledged that creating one part-time job fell somewhat short of the millions of full-time jobs envisioned in his proposed legislation, but added, “This is clearly a step in the right direction.”

In order to secure funding for the part-time job, Mr. Obama had to cave to a series of Republican demands, including tax breaks for second homes and third wives.

But even as the President and congressional Republicans announced their agreement on the part-time job plan, the proposal came under attack from GOP presidential front-runner Rick Perry, who blasted the plan for creating yet another worker who would someday be eligible for Social Security.

“If we don’t cut Social Security now, we won’t have enough money to execute our children’s children,” Gov. Perry said.

~ Andy Borowitz

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Elizabeth Warren For Senate!

(Warren! Warren! Warren! – promoted by ProgressiveCowgirl)

Seriously – I’m trying to figure out how it would work if I moved to MA to work for  her campaign and vote for her.

Why?

Whoinhell is Elizabeth Warren anyway?

Well, briefly, she is a lawyer on the faculty of a large university. She is the acting head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (who would have been a great choice to run same, except never in a bajillion years would the GOTP have advise or consented to her appointment).  She’s the main reason TARP and TARP2 will be profitable for the US taxpayers.  She would bring back Glass Stegall II  in a way that a) decreased TBTF risk, and b) would allow the banking industry to stabilize and stop bubbling themselves.

Is she qualified?

Way.

Has Massachusetts ever had a  woman  Senator?

No.

Does she understand what’s happened/happening to the American Middle class?

Yes – read any of her 100+ articles on the subject, either of her books, or if you prefer powerpoints and a lecture format –  see

I don’t know if she’s electable.

I don’t know if she has the fundraising chops required.  I do know her opponent (s) will get tons o’outside, big money, corporate support.  And the GOTP smear factory will be putting in big overtime to try and keep her out.

Brown, as predicted, is a reasonably moderate R.   Other than trying to auction   hook up his daughter last campaign, he apparently has all the right candidate skills.  

But make no mistake, the problem in the American and world economy is the banking sector.   The health of our economy  depends on the health of the banking and investment sector (debt) and because the US is still 25% of the world economy, the health of the world economy depends on us.  And since the Euro zone is also 25%, and just as dependent on the health of the banks and investment sector,  the global economy is dependent on the intelligent management of debt.

We need more Senators and elected representatives who really understand  how it works.