My Ideal Candidate

This just in:  Election season is officially here.  There is probably no single candidate that agrees with me on everything.  However, I thought I would put down those campaign issues that get my support…in order of priority.

Get money out of politics.  This is the root cause of nearly every problem in D.C.  Politicians are spending half their time raising money and, in the end, vote in accordance with what their largest donors want.  Jon Stewart, yesterday, said that politics is no longer about governing; its about getting re-elected.  I agree.

Education.  We are not even in the top 15 when looking at global achievement in all areas of basic education.  We have a system designed in the early 1900’s that was intended to crank out people that would work within the framework of the industrial revolution.  Now we are in the digital age.  We’ve been here for some time.  We need to innovate.  We need to look at countries that are doing it right and learn what we should do.  We need to make education available and affordable to everyone.  We need a system that allows our citizens to achieve the highest level to which they aspire.  We don’t need to do this because we are benevolent.  We need to do this so we can remain on the top of the hill.

Healthcare.  If you tell me we can’t get this done, you don’t get my vote.  Obamacare was a baby step but it was better than nothing.  Universal healthcare works.  My view is that we not only provide healthcare, but we fund research.  So long as companies can maximize their profits by “treating” rather than “curing”, that is what they will do.

Income Inequality.  There is an abundance of evidence that says “The greater the inequality, the greater the social strife.”  I don’t begrudge anyone’s ability to make a ton of money.  I don’t want “their” money because of some Atlas Shrugged plot line.  We need to redistribute income because it makes us a stronger country overall.  We need high speed transportation.  We need education.  We need healthcare.  We need innovation.  We need so much.  Instead, we funnel money to they very rich in hopes that they will maybe create a new job; perhaps we can mow their lawn.

Taxation.  We need to have a progressive tax system that funds our national needs.  Cutting taxes does not create long-term growth and raising taxes will not create long-term stagnation.  Trickle-down economics is a scam created by those that would take advantage of the intellectually lazy.  The rich need to pay much, much more.  Stuff is not free.

Civil Rights.  We should treat all people equally.  I don’t care about your religion.  I don’t care about the color of your skin.  I don’t care about your social status.  I don’t care about where you came from.  I don’t care about your level of education. I don’t care about your sexual orientation.  I care about the content of your character.  That’s it.

Climate Change.  This appears to be real.  I’m not a scientist so I rely on scientists to tell me what’s going on.  They are saying, “This is real.  This is man-made and this is a problem that is getting worse.”  We can not only address this, but we can do it in ways that are extremely economically beneficial.  Fighting climate change is not a burden; it’s an opportunity.

Then there are a ton of other issues: Corruption in politics.  Immigration.  Gun Control.  Worker benefits and minimum wage. Abortion/Choice.  The truth. The military.  International relations.   These are all important.

So, if you find a candidate that fits all of these, point them out.  Those are the people that I want to follow.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

 

 

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Basking in the Glory of “Words”

This just in:  I see that Trump allowed himself to get played by North Korea; today, stepping out of the proposed summit so that “He could do it before they did.”

Just in case you missed it, Trump has accomplished virtually nothing since taking office.  Yes, some things have happened but nothing that would (or should) be considered an accomplishment.

Trump is very big on making a bold promise and then basking in the adulation.  Here’s the deal…he actually doesn’t do anything other than say the words.  I’m going to post a list of things that Trump has claimed credit for doing simple because he “says he’s going to do it.”

First, a couple of footnotes:  (1) Trump recently told Leslie Stahl of 60 minutes that he calls news fake so that people will not believe it when bad stories are written about him and (2) In his book, The Art of the Deal, he says you can lie to people and then do whatever you want to do.

Here is my list….

  1. Trump promised better healthcare at a much, much lower price.  “The best healthcare you have ever seen.”  He got lots of applause for this on the campaign trail…then did nothing.  That’s not quite true.  He actually made it worse by eliminating the “individual mandate”; a move that is supposed to add $1,000 to the average medical bill next year.
  2. Trump promised to cut taxes which will bring jobs back to America, lower the debt and spur grow “like we’ve never seen before.”  He claimed, without evidence, that GDP would grow at a rate above 5% under his plan.  Again, people ate this up on the campaign trail believing that Trump could turn water into wine.  As it turns out, he had no plan.  This allowed the GOP to cut taxes for their billionaire donors, leaving the rest of the 99% to foot the bill of the largest deficit ever.
  3. Trump promised to deal with North Korea.  So far, his strongest action has been a tweet calling the leader of North Korea “rocket man.”  On his watch, North Korea has developed the ability to strike North America with a nuclear tipped ballistic missile.
  4. Trump said he would deal with the Iran threat.  Instead, he reneged on a treaty with Iran and 5 other countries; opening the door for Iran to once again pursue the development of nuclear weapons.
  5. Trump claimed that he would renegotiate the TransPacific Partnership trade deal.  Instead, we dropped out and the deal moved forward without us; effectively reducing our ability to trade with about half the world.
  6. Trump claimed that he would renegotiate NAFTA.  Instead, both Canada and Mexico are looking for trading partners to replace us with.
  7. Trump claimed he was going to “deal with China”.  Instead, China claimed the South China Sea as their own.  Economically, they have outplayed him in every way.  China knows that Trump responds to flattery and bribes so they use both to great effect.
  8. Trump claimed he would build a Mexico wall and have them pay for this.  His supporters (those that fear we will become a non-Christian, non-white country) loved this idea.  Mexico has told him to pack sand.
  9. The biggest one is simply Trump getting on television and saying, “We have been the most productive administration of all time.”  His followers believe this and applaud wildly.

Sadly, this too is just words.  He brags.  People hear what they want to hear.  He retains his power.

Sad.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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I know who to blame

This just in:  I noticed I have become increasing less sensitive to those that propagate political nonsense.  For example, yesterday I saw a post that said, “Hitler supported universal healthcare.”  The implication seemed to be that if you supported everyone having healthcare as a right…you want to kill 6 million Jews.

So…today…I’ve decided to put “niceness”aside and call ’em as I see ’em.

Let’s start with Trump.  He is a crime family boss indebted to the Russian government.  His existence as our president instead of an an inmate is the fault of the Republican Party and those that vote Republican.

For underprivileged kids that get free meals at school because their parents can’t afford to feed them….I blame the Democrats and those that vote Democrat.

For a tax break that gives billions to the richest in the country while almost nothing to the middle class and the poor, all the while creating the largest annual deficit in our nation’s history…I blame the Republican Party and those that vote Republican.

Every time there is a “Death by Gun” I blame the Republican Party and those that vote Republican.

When there are federally funded advances in technology and medicine, I blame the Democrat Party and those that vote Democrat.

Every time there is an attempt to keep people from voting (voter suppression) or to keep 1 vote from having the same weight as another vote (Gerrymandering) I blame the Republican Party and those that vote Republican.

Every time I see a public project, like transportation, that costs billions but contributes to the public good, I blame the Democrat Party and those that vote Democrat.

Whenever the NRA gets it way with regards to gun legislation, I blame the Republican Party and those that vote Republican.

Whenever our government reaches out to help those in need (contributions to poor countries, welcoming refugees etc) I blame the Democrat Party and those that vote Democrat.

Whenever my health care cost go up as services decline, I blame the Republican Party and those that vote Republican.

Whenever I see the United States working with other countries in harmony on issues such as the Environment or trade, I blame the Democrat Party and those that vote Democrat.

When I see a news station put out knowingly bias and/or false information while those that offer real news are called “fake” I blame the Republican Party and those that vote Republican.  (You must watch this video to see what I mean.  After watching…pass it along)

When people see families as families and not as “Muslim” or “Mexican” and treat them as such, I blame the Democrat Party and those that vote Democrat.

Whenever I see the rest of the world turning their back to the United States, whether it’s because of trade or human rights or whatever, I blame the Republican Party and those that vote Republican.

When I see hate groups legitimized; when Muslims are seen as terrorists and Mexicans as someone to blame for our own shortfalls, I blame the Republican Party and those that vote Republican.

In short, I see no reason to vote Republican.

I see nothing but The Dark Side, when I think of a Republican.

It has not always been this way.  I, myself, am an ex-Republican.  However, in the last 15 years…this party has morphed into something unrecognizable.

We must vote in 2018.  We need this corrupt Political Party of fear, hate and greed to be erase from the American vista.

Now…it’s time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The Power of Your….One….Vote

This just in: Our elected officials are just that….elected.  Who we elect will dictate the direction our country takes at any given time.  If you vote, you are helping to put people in place that will take us in a direction you want to go.  If you don’t vote, you are letting others elect people that will take us in the direction others want to go.

So…if the direction of our country is important to you…you need to vote.

Here is a list of a few “different directions” and the associated political party:

Gun Violence:

Democrats: We could have sensible gun control that would not violate the Second Amendment but does help reduce gun violence in the United States.  This violence accounted for 38,000 deaths in 2016.

Republicans: We know guns cause gun deaths, however, the NRA funds most of our campaigns so we ignore the 38,000 deaths caused by our inaction in 2016.  Trump received record amounts from the NRA when running for president.  Last year he overturned Obama’s restriction on allowing guns to go to the mentally ill.

Healthcare:

Democrats: We need to take steps towards improved healthcare.  This includes controlling costs and improving care.  We know this can be done because all other industrialized countries have successfully take this issue on.  We like the “single payer” issue where taxes go up but all healthcare is now paid for automatically.  However, many of us lack the political will to follow through with this.

Republicans:  We once supported the “single payer” system but it is too close to what the Democrats want so we are against it now.  We like the “free market” system, not because it works but because people think it sounds “American.”  We actually don’t stand for any particular solution with regards to healthcare but we like the issue since it is politically divisive.

Opioid Crisis:

Democrats:  This is a major issue since 64,000 people died from it in 2016 and the number is expected to be much, much higher in 2017.  This is an “all hands on deck” issue in that every effort must be taken to address this.  We need treatment.  We need to have alternative pain medication (cannabis). We need to prescribe it more carefully.  We need to research other means of addressing this issue.

Republicans:  People should take aspirin instead of opiods.  We need to tell people to “just say no.”

The Economy:

Democrats:  We need to support the Middle Class as they make up 2/3 of our economy.  We need to promote international trade.  We need to address income inequality as it is a known societal disruptor.  We need to provide social safety nets for people that fall on hard times so they can get back on their feet.

Republicans:  If we give more money to the rich, they will hire more people to mow their lawns.  This is called trickle down economics. Social safety nets are for lazy people.  We don’t need international trade deals because other countries actively seek out the “privilege” of buying our goods.

The Military:

Democrats: Our military needs to be big enough to protect the United States.  We need to foster diplomacy since agreements across a table are less costly than agreements across a battlefield.  We need to work closely with our allies.  We do not need to be able to fight the whole world.

Republicans:  Telling people to be afraid is the core of our party.  “Be afraid and we will protect you” has proven to be an effective way  to get people to vote Republican.  A large army makes other countries fearful of us and thus, be more respectful.

Money in Politics:

Democrats:  They take plenty of money from lobbyists and allow that money to influence their policy making.  However, they actively push to eliminate/reduce money in politics.  They can’t simply, “not take money” and let the other party rake it in since money does influence elections.  They are reluctant participants in the “money for policy” mentality in Washington.

Republicans:  They have a history of creating policy completely disassociated with the needs of their voters but in complete alignment with their donors.  They not only love money in politics, they want even more and have come to be completely dependent upon special interest money.

Russia:

Democrats:  Russia is not our friend and needs to be watched carefully.

Republicans: Russia helps to elect Republicans.  That is all you need to know.

As you can see, there are very different directions our country can take.  I haven’t even touched on corruption, civil rights, global relations, global warming, education, science, honesty etc.

In my view, Trump and the Republican Party are the exact opposite of who I think we are as a country.

My fear is that I may be wrong.

My intent is to vote and to get other like minded people to vote as well.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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