Running for the Republicans

So yesterday I posited the idea of running for the Democrats as a non-Democrat, and not in the Bernie Sanders kind of why.  I can’t say I’d do the same for the Republicans, at least not at this time.  The first reason is that the Democratic party has, at least locally, accepted the notion that they are a party in disarray.  They know this.  Second, I can get behind a lot of their social programs without accepting their economic ones.  The Republican party?  Yeah, not so much, and it might be because I came from them originally.  I’ve found I disagree with many of their social stances, and I’m opposed to their attempts to push the Christian religion as the basis for our government and policy decisions.  On paper, I agree with many of their stated goals, at least as far as limited government and fiscal spending go, but in reality I have found that they have no desire to actually abide by those ideals.  It’s not a sales thing, or a presentation of the platform, it’s that in many ways, they are actively working against their stated principles.  To me that’s a longer row to hoe.  I also think that, as a party, they are still unaware of just how broken they are – Even as they laud their victories in the last election, they fail to see that many of those victories were on the back of Trump’s platform, which ironically, was similar to President Obama’s.  Change.  The people aren’t happy with the status quo and they’re looking for options.

I don’t think politics will ever change, but it could be an interesting political landscape in the next few years.

And your new Democratic candidate is… Not a Democrat

Dear God, help us!

Heh.  Still between that article, and another one I read but cannot find, the Montana Democrats are in need of a few good candidates.  Perhaps I should throw my hat into the ring as the kind of candidate they need.  You see, I’m not a Democrat.  I’m not a Republican any more, either.  The Democrats have a tough go of it here in Montana – their social platform actually benefits a lot of the state, but they have no concept on how to market it.  On the economic side, well, Democrats suck.  We might identify, economically, as a state/nation of have nots, but even though the idea of sticking it to the man is appealing to many, even more of us want to be well off.  Sure those guys oppressing us are rich, but we wanna be rich too.  Taxing the rich isn’t something a lot of Montanan’s get behind, I think because many people identify wealth with hard work.  And while that isn’t as accurate as it used to be, we’re not really ready to throw that association out, not around here.  And truthfully, we shouldn’t.  Whether Democrats like it or not, the wealthy already foot the bill for the majority of our expenses- taxing them more just because we feel they can afford it is not a policy we should ever agree to.

So that’s where I come in.  Let’s get back to the basics of streamlining our government.  Less at the Federal level, more at the State.  Let’s invest in our infrastructure – our people, and we’ll sell it as good for business, good for the environment and good for the profits of everyone.  Well, almost everyone.  🙂  Let’s move from the extremes of both parties and find some ground that actually lets us accomplish some work in our country.

A take on the healthcare plan

Economix had a fun tear down of the current plan put forth by the President and the GOP to replace the current ACA.  The author’s politics run counter to Trump’s and the far right, but he does a pretty good job of keeping it real from an economic standpoint.  He also points out that one of the big issues of repealing the ACA is how much of it was based on Republican ideas.  If you’re protesting your own ideas, your alternative options tend be even more limited and extreme.

One of the things he briefly touches on, but doesn’t really address, is that success is sometimes measured by how we failed less than previously.  Specifically I am speaking about the rise of costs and premiums, which continued to rise at rapid rates during the ACA, with many traditionally conservative states seeing the largest increases.  The success is that some of the increases were less than the increases seeing prior to the ACA.  That kind of measuring for success works in the short term, but if you’re measuring against a flood, either do something different or build a boat…
Another thing the author glosses over is the use of subsidies.  Although he points out that the Feds will subsidize the premium for the States, which he uses as an argument for why some states should have adopted the ACA, he ignores their premise for why they might have rejected it in the first place – It doesn’t matter whether the Federal government or the State government subsidizes the premium, it’s still a redistribution of wealth.  If you’re opposing the ACA, or any similar plan, because of your opposition to Taxation, any argument involving subsidies is going to fall flat.

Take the analysis for what it is, a visual breakdown of the shortcomings of the current and proposed plans, as well as a bit of insight as to why things might not be working as they could.  It’s a fun read and he lists his references, so if you disagree with a particular point, you can at least see what he based his argument on.

Snoop on them as they would snoop on us

http://lastbestnews.com/site/2017/01/prairie-lights-putting-the-public-in-public-records/

Ed writes on something that should be a non-issue, but very clearly is not.  Here in the Big City, the local rag has done battle many times with the Powers That Be to gain access to records that are open to us by the mandate of the People.  Time and time again they have gone to court, time and time again the P.T.B. lose, yet they continue to gird their loins for battle.  Windmills, it seems, are not as puissant as they used to be.

The government surrounds itself in secrecy, sequestering itself behind closed doors and ramparts of red tape and ingenue, as if the People should believe their protestations of innocence and benevolent action.  It’s not conspiracy if we’re doing it for the good of the people!  The funny thing about the business of negotiation, especially as it pertains to government, is that little secrecy is needed.  Our aims are clear, 1)To benefit ourselves first  2)To grow the strength and wealth of our nation 3)To advance our beliefs in the rest of world.  The particulars might not be shared at the first meeting, but the gist will always be known.  When we deal in secret, as we did with the TPP, we can no longer assure that our government is advancing the aims of her People.

You might be saying to yourself, if you’re inclined to speak aloud while reading a blog, “But TSW, the veritable Danny DeVito of online writers, what about terrorism and military secrets and FUD, oh my?!”  Well, what about it?  Do the world governments not know that we spy on them?  Do terrorists and various sundry despots not know that we are coming for them?  Will McDonalds ever reveal what the Hell is in their McRib?  Only the last can be answered in the negative.  We can have operational security and accountability without giving our hand away during play, but at the end of the governmental poker game, the People must demand to see the hands and count the cards, and the number had best be 54. We play with the Jokers, you see…

Post Debate – The First Penis

Back around 1996 there was a movie featuring Jack Lemmon and James Garner titled, “My Fellow Americans“.  Tonight’s debate, and the references to certain anatomical parts reminded me of a scene in which former President Douglas, played by James Garner, is using the restroom.  In comes a gentlemen who recognizes him and wants to shake his hand.  Garner’s line is fantastic, “I can’t shake right now. Have to keep my hands on the First Penis.”  Very apt, this evening.

Great movie by the way, grab a chance to watch it, if you can.

Trump on Healthcare

Trump released his healthcare plan today, or at least the talking points.  I’m not sure who wrote it for him, but the guy deserves a raise.  It actually reads fairly well and offers a decent rebuttal to Bernie’s single payer option.  Unfortunately it fails to try and convince the Democrats to come together and craft something better.  Instead it gives a shout out to all those hardworking Republicans who have been, “offering reforms that can be delivered individually or as part of more comprehensive reform efforts.”  I believe the correct phrase is, “completely refusing to work on the original bill and then attempting to repeal the Act while offering token “alternatives” that were actually thinly disguised attempts at repealing the Act again and again.”  Please don’t misunderstand my position, I am not a fan of the ACA, I think it’s a poorly crafted and ill thought out solution to a serious problem in our country.  Made even worse by the fact that it lacked half of our representatives input.  Quite frankly, the only thing worse than the ACA in health care at this point, is the state of our health care system itself.  It is not sustainable.

Still, Trumps talking points on healthcare would be a good starting point.

Still not voting for him, however.

Kevin Spacey – We get what we deserve

Kevin Spacey, paraphrasing Edward R Murrow, said we get what we deserve.  I think that is a great point of his, but it brings up a problem.  You can’t operate a business at a loss and expect to stay in business, it just isn’t feasible.  Money has to come from somewhere, and you can be certain that you don’t want the government or corporate and political interests paying your bills for you.  The news in the United States is owned by a hand full of very powerful individuals, who long ago made the decision that entertainment is news/news should be entertainment.  I think this is just as bad as the government owning all the all the news, as neither has a vested interest in being impartial or keeping to the facts.  In either case, the tail will wag the dog.

Alternatively, we now live in a world of, I hesitate to call them citizen journalists, but citizen somethings…  You don’t need a studio or a massive paper press warehouse with distribution facilities to report the news.  As much as I hate to hold them up as an example, one only needs to look to TMZ to see how modern journalists can operate using a network of informants and reporters.  Sure it’s celebrity gossip, but they’re very successful and have broken many stories- a testament to their methods and effectiveness, without the need for traditional print or media involvement.  What’s more, they’ve managed to obtain a reputation for trustworthiness.  Ironically, the same can not be said of most modern independent news sites, or news blogs, really.  They have gone the entertainment route, or ventured off into extreme partisanship- the talk radio of the Internet.  If Al Franken, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh all got together and had a love child, you’d have something akin to Alex Jones.  It isn’t natural, but people actually turn to him as a source or reliable news.  Dear god, it makes you long for the early days of Matt Drudge, who at least had a good muckraker’s moniker, if not his ethics.  The point is, I believe the time and opportunity is ripe for a few Internet based news organizations to come to the fore as modern news outlets.  Funding will still be an issue, but overhead will certainly be less.

Political Prognostications

No, I do not refer to them as my PP.  That would be juvenile, which is just funny as hell, and therefore not a serious form of humor.

Bernie – He’s struggling to bring in the win in the south like I thought he would.  He’s not losing by much, however, which is better than I expected.  I think Bernie, irrespective of his socialist leanings, has greater appeal, but Hilary is far better at the political game.  Bernie will win hearts and minds but Hilary knows the right people in the room.

Donald Trump – He’s doing better than I hoped, better than I thought, and still a threat.  The GOP is falling fast and it is rapidly coming down to just a couple of candidates.  I could use that shark I mentioned.

The SS

No, not Ze Germans.  I mean Selective Service.  I’ve been inundated with radio commercials lately talking about required registration for SS, SSS as they’re calling it now.  I find it rather telling that they use the stick rather than the carrot.  “Don’t break the law.”  “You won’t qualify for college grants or scholarships.” “You’ll never be allowed into government service.” “You’re required to register.”  I think their marketing department could use a bit of Donald Trump.  “Make America great again!”

When I turned 18, I went down to the post office and registered.  Just a little 5×8 card, I think it was.  1 minute later and I was done.  I don’t remember exactly how I knew I needed to register, it may have been a conversation my American History or Government teachers, or perhaps my dad.  Only later did I find out that student loans/grants were tied into the system- I just knew it as The Draft.  I didn’t like that requirement back then, I like it even less now.  As volunteer professional armies go, the  US fields a pretty decent one.  As warmongering congressmen go, we’ve field some excellent ones for a few generations.  I don’t like the intersection.