MEDICARE FOR ALL looks like it is the very best way to dramatically reduce rising health care costs and perhaps the only way possible. In contract to what we currently have, which is unsustainable, the 12 point plan outlined in the link below is workable, equitable and practical. If elected, I would add my name to the list of co-sponsors of this legislation.
EQUAL RIGHTS/EQUAL PAY
“The Equal Pay Act of 1963, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex….” has been the Law of the Land for some 55 years. Even so, even now after all this time, such disparity exists, and we all know it; indeed, all too often women are paid less than men for the same jobs throughout the land. Such injustice cannot be countenanced, excused or ignored. This must change. Gentlemen, what are we afraid of?
COMMON SENSE GUN CONTROL
While there are many good suggestions being discussed (i.e., universal background checks, raising the minimum age for weapons purchase, domestic violence ban, ten round magazine limits, no assault weapons, no bump stocks, and no cranks, among others) perhaps the very best suggestion is for anyone running for public office to repudiate the NRA and refuse their blood money. “Praise the Lord and Pass the Bribery Checks?” I would never (and never means never) accept any donations from the NRA.
I am committed to a massive public works infrastructure undertaking, for both for virtual and real projects, every generation or so predicated on the ones from the New Deal, the Interstate Highway System and the I64/US40 construction of just a couple of years ago here in STL. Such endeavors are examples of the proverbial “tide that raises all ships” benefitting every single one of us, no matter who we are, what kind of work we do, or where we hail from. And enterprises such as these remind us perhaps like nothing else does that, indeed, we are all in this together and have little rational choice other than to work in concert for the Public Good.
To paraphrase the link below, capital investment in public works can be used to reduce unemployment and while opponents of internal improvement programs argue that such projects should be undertaken by the private sector, rather than the public sector, in the private sector, entrepreneurs bear their own losses and so private sector firms are generally unwilling to undertake projects that could result in losses or would not develop a revenue stream at all or not quickly enough as other investments. Governments may invest in public works because of the overall benefit to society when there is a lack of private sector benefit (a project that will not generate revenue or sufficient) or the risk is too great for a private company to accept on its own.
In other words, any attempt to undertake such a massive public works infrastructure project of the size this needs to be, with private funds, rather than public, will be horribly undercapitalized and will result in little more than a public failure and/or yet another boondoggle at taxpayer expense for those who have fed too long at the public trough. Sometimes, the Market is not the answer, but instead it is the problem, whereas Government is the answer.
PRESIDENT’S APPROVAL RATINGS
Certainly this is not good news for Democrats, but let's be realistic here. Even if his approval rating were to dramatically fall by as many as 10 points these would be his core supporters; and if just 80% of them voted, this would give him a little more than a quarter of the electorate. Since half of us don't vote, that would leave the Dems with less than 25%, and consequently the Repubs would win going away.
We cannot allow this to happen. We have a sitting President who boasts about leading women around by their private parts and the rest of us around by our noses. We have to get out the vote and keep these folks engaged or the Conservatives will continue their apparent compulsion to drive us deeper and deeper into the abyss of tyranny.
All of which means we have to press hard, now, and until we rid ourselves of this travesty force upon us by the Korporate Khristian Konfederacy. The Charlatan-in-Chief (I cannot bring myself to utter his name!) is their creation, their spawn, their legacy.
Having looted the treasury under the guise of "tax cuts", the Korporate Khristian Konfederacy, the rot within American created by Conservatives, will attempt to pay for this giveaway with cuts to social services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Time to put a stop, once and for all, to threats against the fundamental underpinnings of decency, charity and indeed of Liberal Democracy itself, also known as Western Civilization.
Just as we need Common Sense Gun Control, Medicare for All, and Equal rights for All, we need a Tax Policy that will work for all Americans, and not just the Rich. What we have now will never do. Instead, this travesty is an over-engineered and micromanaged blasphemous, slight-of-hand con game devised by Special Interests designed chiefly to provide Corporate Welfare and other fodder for the Fat Cats at the expense of the rest of us. And I for one am tired of underwriting their glutinous lifestyles.
The new Tax Law will mean that many of us who once upon a time were able to itemize (and thus were able to lower our tax liabilities), will no longer be able to do this, and yet the more wealthy of us will have their loopholes preserved. As much as one might decry this fundamental Un-American unfairness, I’m actually in favor of getting rid of ALL exemptions and subsidies, and replace them with a broader system than what the Conservatives fostered on us. I would double the standard deduction from $12,000 to $24,000, but then tax us all, including corporations (which are after all individuals per the Conservative Supreme Court) at the same rate (e.g. 10%) for all revenue streams, with no exceptions – none whatsoever. All means All, and None means None.
If we really want a Meritocracy, something we so desperately need and do not have, we must begin with an equitable, fair and honest tax code.
It’s been said that Freedom isn’t Free, which typically refers to military service. Overall, I agree with that and enthusiastically so. Perhaps if I were more prudent, I would say nothing more on the subject, but I cannot look away. Citizenship requires that I not look away, that none of us look away. Instead, we simply must acknowledge that all too often we have asked our young men and women in uniform to do things we never should have asked them to do and with resources less than what they needed to get the job done.
The fundamental question, then, is not whether or not we will ever fight, but when ought we to do so? As citizens, we have an obligation to those in uniform to not send them into Harm’s Way, unless we have a compelling reason for doing so. A lower price for oil is an insufficient reason. Neither is saving face is not a good reason for doing so.
It is on all of us as citizens to be critical, first, last and always, of our leaders. Far too often, we have gone along simply without a single word, like obedient sheep. We should never have done that. We ought never do so again.
And when their battles are over, at whatever stage that might be, we must honor their services and their sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. We cannot spend billions for defense and pennies on those who defend us.
I am very much in favor of the “expectation”, as opposed to the “requirement”, that, with very few exceptions reserved solely for those who are physically unable to perform such duties, all of us commit to two years of National Service. This might be in the military of course, an international development program such as the Peace Corps (something I did way back when), teaching, or working for a non-profit service organization, among other examples. Furthermore, as an encouragement for such a commitment, I am in favor of forgiving, in total, the Student Debt of all of us who make a long-term commitment in the field of “good works”. This will demonstrate that we value such sacrifice much more than merely saying the words, “Thank you for your service.”
RIGHT TO WORK IS ALL WRONG
“Right to Work” is just another slight-of-hand, shell-game con by Conservatives designed to keep us all disillusioned, disenchanted and deeply in debt.
REPEALING THE FIDUCIARY RULE
Representative Ann Wagner (R, of course!) US HOR in the Second Missouri District, is against the Fiduciary Rule and took the lead in overturning it. Here’s why that matters to all of us: Per the link below, “While the fiduciary rule is complex, essentially the aim is to require any financial advisors that help Americans save for retirement to adhere to a so-called fiduciary standard—putting a client’s best interests before their own. While studies show most Americans believe financial advisors already do this, in fact, many are held to a less binding standard that allows them to recommend products that pay the highest commissions.” In other words, any financial advisor operating outside the Fiduciary Rule, doesn’t work for you, doesn’t necessarily represent your best interest, but yet (and make no mistake here!) still gets paid by you, either directly or indirectly. Being able to conclude that a financial advisor is acting in our best interest, a part of Dodd-Frank, is designed to help the citizen get ahead, or at least stay afloat, here in the Korporate Khristian Konfederacy, this corrupt, blasphemous, racist rot fostered on us by Conservatives. Unfortunately, however, they have convinced themselves and far too many of the electorate, that such protections are too onerous and somehow stifle Free Enterprise, their one true god.
Perhaps the pre-eminent leader behind this Rip Off (supported by Edward Jones, one of her greatest supporters) is none other than Phyllis Schlafly Light, Ann Wagner herself, currently, but for not much longer if I have any say in the matter, my “Representative”.
She prefers the term “Congressman” and well she should, since she does not “represent” me or, I would argue, anyone else other than companies that are committed to picking our pockets and taking us all to the cleaners.
Even though I am against Capital Punishment (for the very good reason that there are plenty of people in prison for crimes they did not commit!), if we must execute people, then let us execute those who betray the public trust.
Conventional Political Wisdom
“Why are you still in this race, when you know you cannot win?” a self-appointed spokesperson for Conventional Wisdom recently asked me. Why indeed? Here’s why:
Because I’m an old-fashioned, New Deal Democrat without equivocation, qualification or apology who abhors the fear, hatred and prejudice prevalent in this country and who wants instead to see us offer Medicare for All, Equal Rights for Everyone, and Common Sense Gun Control, just to name three positions I support. Because the Charlatan-in-Chief and all of his Little Helpers (like the current US Representative in the MO 2nd, Ann Wagner, a Republican of course) are either the spawn of, or apologists for, the Korporate Khristian Konfederacy, the rot threatening Liberal Democracy, aka Western Civilization, created by generations of corrupt, sacrilegious and racist false prophets and false patriots.
Because I know that indeed, we are all in this together, and unless the Democratic Party once again returns to its roots and stands up to the powerful forces committed to nothing less than to our destruction and enslavement, not only will our own Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness be at risk, but Self-Government itself will be in peril. We will be lost.
Will I win this election? Perhaps not, but that’s not important. What is important is that I will take a stand, that I will give everything I have for the good of the Republic.
Flipping the House
Help me make the Missouri 2nd one of those districts turning blue from red by telling your friends about my candidacy and asking them to tell theirs; and in this fashion, we build campaign networks.
I abhor the fear, hatred and prejudice prevalent in this country and want instead to see us offer Medicare for All, Equal Rights for Everyone, and Common Sense Gun Control, just to name three positions I support.
I will not promise you that you will always agree with me, nor even that together we will prevail, for the odds are long indeed, and there are powerful forces working against us who want nothing less than to leave us all disheartened, disenfranchised and deeply in debt.
Instead, I will promise you only that I give everything I have to give for the good of the Republic.
Our Money Costs Too Much
We need to eliminate the penny altogether and replace the dollar bill with the dollar coin. The penny, worth only a fraction of what it was worth originally, costs us about 1.7 cents to make, and we make $312 million worth of them annually. Stopping production on the penny, would save us $10 billion in a generation; and replacing the paper dollar bill with a dollar coin would mean a savings over thirty years, the typical life of a coin, of an additional $4.4 billion for a total of well over $14 billion. There is no better return on investment for the tax payer except perhaps voting all Republicans out of office. And to make things even sweeter (and to rub their hatefulness in the noses of the Korporate Khristian Konfederacy, the corrupt, sacrilegious and racist rot forced on us by Conservatives), let’s place the likeness of an African American Lady Liberty on the obverse of that coin. Now that would be priceless.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is scheduled to hear a second, recent case on this matter, and this time perhaps things will not go against the Republicans and in favor of the Democrats, as it was a Democratic State Legislature that drew the Congressional boundaries, rather than a Republican one in this case. While it’s true the Republican Party used to support Labor Unions and Social Security, just to cite two examples of their more honorable past, they certainly are not in support of such things now, and while I am in disagreement with essentially everything the current Republican Party supports (being convinced that they have been hi-jacked by a Korporate Khristian Konfederacy, a corrupt, blasphemous and racist regime that is an existential threat to the Republic of these United States), gerrymandering is an existential threat to Liberal Democracy, aka Western Civilization, as it undermines Self Government on which everything I hold dear stand.
I am not in favor of abortion and, frankly, never met anyone who is. This includes of course all who identify themselves as Pro Life, but it also includes all who see themselves as Pro Choice. Has anyone every gotten out of bed one morning and thought, “I think I’ll have an abortion today?”
As this link indicates, abortion, within certain limits, is the Law of the Land and almost certainly will remain that way, no matter how many restrictions are placed against it. Furthermore, within those limits, since someone ultimately has to make a decision in this regard, this must be left up to the one carrying the child, the woman.
I was not always of this opinion. Frankly, when I was a much younger man, having a say in such a matter (should this be a matter of mine in actually rather than merely in theory), was something I felt strongly was my right as much as it was a mother’s. I even contended that if any such intimate in my life were to make such a decision without including me in the process (or, worse, going contrary to my wishes), it would be unforgiveable. When parsed, however, in further conversation and after much uncomfortable thought, ultimately the question became, for those who wish to allow abortion as I do, whose decision is it? There can be only one answer to such a question. Even though there may be restrictions placed here, it is the woman’s right to choose. Not mine. Not society’s.
For those who argue that abortion should not be allowed at all and contend that all life from conception on is sacred, rather than argue the point, my response is that there has always been, and there will always be, abortion. If there is not legal, safe abortion, there will be illegal back alley abortions for most and illegal, silk stocking abortions, performed as other medical procedures, for those who can afford them.
I know some people who disagree with essentially every position held by Representative Ann Wagner (R) of the Missouri 2nd District, except for her stand on abortion. Being Pro Choice, in some circles, even some otherwise progressives ones, is so fundamental as to be essentially the only things that really matters. It does not signify, for example, that she proudly pushed something, which the President gladly signed, which places retirement for millions and millions of Americans at risk (appeal of the Fiduciary Rule allows financial advisors to recommend investments as much or more to their advantage than ours), and it does not matter that the leader of her political party brags about leading women around by their private parts. Perhaps even women carrying a child.
I do not understand, but I cannot fault. This is a difficult decision for all of us, and almost certainly there are those who might otherwise vote for me, who cannot bring themselves to do so because of my, by default, Pro Choice stanch. As much as I might be tempted otherwise, I ask only that you remember when it comes to the Democratic Primary and the General Election, that I did not try to keep this from you.
Absolutely, I am in favor of this, for not only is such an apology and reparations log since overdue, but also because this would serve as a real (because it is bottom up, rather than top down) investment in the future of our economy. We will never become the City on the Hill, the Light of the World, which is our Destiny, until we admit our transgressions and make amends to right our wrongs.
The early members of this generation have already reached voting age and many more are about to do so just in time for the 2018 mid-term elections and the 2020 presidential election. While they are perhaps not as idealistic as Boomers, at least in their early years (in fact, one authority contents they are more like the Silent Generation who came of age during the Depression and WWII), there does seem to be about them ”a lack of cynicism and a hopefulness whose time has come again.”
Some of the members of Gen Z, including some of those who survived the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, have played key, leadership roles in “March for Our Lives”, have begun to describe themselves as members of the ‘mass shooting generation,” and have vowed to remember with less than favor the “elected officials who turned their backs on their duty to protect children” from gun violence. This of course would suggest that they will become more activist than their elders were, perhaps even as activist, or more so, than the very best of the Boomers, at least when they/we were the same age as the Gen Zs are now.
Curiously, however, many of the most ardent apologists of the National Rifle Association, which includes such Boomers as Missouri (R) Senator Roy Blount for example, don’t seem at all concerned about these young people and with their movement to date. In fact many of them appear to be outright dismissive, condescending and contemptuous.
To those of you who are members of Gen Z, I think I know why, and it’s NOT because of your youth.
Instead, I am convinced that many of my Boomer generation who are stalwart defenders of the NRA (which is not the same as a Defender of the Second Amendment, let us never forget!) and who accept NRA blood money, are convinced you will eventually surrender your principles to those who murder children, as they did, and continue to elect their apologists. That, despite what you may think now or what you might say or do at this moment, you will eventually simply give up and give in. Like so many of us did. (Oh yes, there are many exceptions of course, in that many Boomers kept the faith, myself included I would contend, by working, for example, in education, in the philanthropic sector and for mission-based endeavors, but far too many of us caved, and so many of my generation believe you will succumb to weak resignation, too.)
Personally, I think you are better than that. I think you are better than those of my generation proved to be, at least in the main. I think you will pick up the torch we left flickering on the ground.
It truly is your turn now.
Just to give some perspective, “There were fewer than 3,000 overdose deaths in 1970, when a heroin epidemic was raging in U.S. cities. There were fewer than 5,000 recorded in 1988, around the height of the crack epidemic. More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” In one year alone, we lost more Americans to drug abuse than were Killed in Action during the entire Vietnam War.
Opioids, by and large, entered the Wonderful World of Drug Abuse as a result of the “over-prescription of powerful opioid pain relievers in the 1990s, which led to them becoming the most prescribed class of medications in the United States.” In other words, these medications became street drugs, thanks to the Marketplace’s overwhelmingly successful effort to monetize medicine, leaving us with Kentucky Fried Healthcare, resulting in the death of thousands.
Certainly, the epidemic is national in scope, both in the US and Canada, but let us not forget that to a large extent, unlike other drug epidemics which were more urban in nature, this crisis takes place right in the heart of MAGA Country, rural America, and is a manifestation of the corrupt, sacrilegious and racist rot of the Korporate Khristian Konfederacy created by Far Right Republican Radicals, members of or those in service to, the One Percent Oligarchs who heretofore seemingly only wished to leave the rest of us disillusioned, disenfranchised, and deeply in debt.
Like Communism and Fascism, its totalitarian predecessors, the Korporate Khristian Konfederacy is willing to sacrifice its own, its minions, and its wannabes, to further its agenda. This group of false prophets and false patriots has long since demonstrated its willingness to kick us to the side of the road, but now they show themselves ready, willing and eager to walk over our cold, dead bodies.
Let us remember this, come election time.
Equal Rights, Equal Pay & Equal Opportunity
Monday, April 10th is widely observed as “Equal Pay Day”, a time when women catch up to what men have made. In other words, women in the US, White women anyway, typically work the first one hundred days of each year free. Women of Color have to work for free even longer. On average, a US female stands to miss out on approaching $500,000 salary in the course of a working career. This not only affects her and her family now, it lowers the amount of Social Security she will receive upon retirement.
The attached link refers to comments made by a Republican Representative from Tennessee, but perhaps these amazing comments could just as easily been attributed to the Member of the USHOR from the Second Congressional District in Missouri, Ann Wagner, an ardent opponent of the Equal Right Amendment, whose time has long since come.
Now is the time for all citizens to come to the aid of their country and vote into the Constitution the Equal Rights Amendment, something that will never happen until Representatives like Ann Wagner are still in office.