John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reform Party: Opinion- Nicholas Hensley: Governing by Finding Common Ground is Irrational & Deserves The Public Interest

Source: Wikipedia-
Source: Reform Party: Opinion- Nicholas Hensley: Governing Only by Finding Common Ground is Irrational and Deserves The Public Interest

I hope the title of this piece is long enough, otherwise the hell with it. But I agree with the notion of this blog from the Reform Party that governing simply shouldn’t be about compromise. That even with a divided government with two parties that do not like each other which is putting it very mildly and certainly do not trust each other that both sides at the end of the business day still have a responsibility to not only govern, but to govern well.

And in divided government like today that means taking the best from both sides and putting into a package that works. And throwing out the garbage from both sides instead of just splitting the difference on each key issue. As if that is governing even when trying to go half way on each issue may not and in most cases does not result in a good end result. And there are plenty of examples going back to the early 1980s when the Federal Government became very partisan with a new Conservative President in Ronald Reagan, with a Conservative Republican Senate. To go with a Progressive Democratic House where they managed to govern very well with divided Congress’s.

It is not so much the art of the compromise that should try to be reached. But the art of the consensus. What do both sides want and on a lot of key issues both sides tend to have the same end goals. And after that has been established now where are both sides, what would each side do if they were completely in charge. In other words what is the opening offer from both sides so we know where both side is. And after that has been established you look to the common ground.

You find that and you put that in the final package and then after that you look for victories from both sides, the good from each side and put their ideas alone on certain key issues.

For example, the 1996 Welfare to Work Law is a perfect example. Republicans wanted time limits and work requirements in the new Welfare system. Democrats wanted job training, education and childcare for people on Welfare. What happened is both sides won and the final bill had job training, education, childcare, time limits and job requirements.

You take the good from both sides and throw out the things that probably wouldn’t work. Or that both sides simply can’t live with. Meaning both sides get their victories, but do not get everything they are looking for. Instead of just splitting the difference and running for the middle on the key issues. And that is how you get good government in a divided government.
Stanford University: Leon Penetta- Reasons For The Bipartisanship in Washington

American Thinker: Opinion- Christopher Chantrill- The Four Freedoms: "75 Years of Liberal Betrayal": Say What?

Source: American Thinker: Opinion- Christopher Chantrill- The Four Freedoms: 75 Years of Liberal Betrayal

I’ve seen a lot of dumb blogs before that have close to absolutely no truth in them. But this post from Christopher Chantrill is right up there. It is nothing more than partisan right-wing talking points about what liberalism is supposed to be about and what Liberals are supposed to believe in. First of all, if you do not believe in Freedom of Speech even as it relates to negative speech about groups of people, or even hate speech about groups of people, you are not a Liberal. Because liberalism is built around Freedom of Speech and Association for all. Without fear of government especially the central government bringing down negative consequences towards you.

As far as the religious aspect from Mr. Chantrill, just to be nice. There are of course Atheists and even religious bigots in America who use their free speech rights to put down religion in America even if they aren’t big fans of free speech in America. And there are fundamentalist religious believers who use their free speech rights to put down other religions. Even if they aren’t big fans of free speech either. But the Atheists tend to be on the Far-Left people who worship the central state instead. And people on the Libertarian-Right who worship their notion of liberty instead.

To have Liberals who don’t believe in free speech, you would have to a Conservatives who don’t believe in private enterprise. Those things simply do not go together, meaning you can’t be a Liberal who doesn’t believe in free speech and you can’t be a Conservative who doesn’t believe in private enterprise. Now people can call themselves whatever the hell they want to. That is also part of our free speech protections. But for me to take you seriously as far as how you label your own politics, you have to believe in and practice the values of that philosophy. And not just use the label.

Richard Nixon Library: New Federalism- Returning Power to The People

Source: Richard Nixon Library: New Federalism- Returning Power to The People

Here’s where the real conservative side of Richard Nixon comes out which is federalism. Which is about returning power back to the states and the people when it comes to the social insurance system. And have the states run the New Deal and Great Society programs instead of the Federal Government trying to run everything for everybody in a country of fifty states. And back then of around two-hundred million people. And President Nixon’s idea of welfare reform that became popular in the early and mid 1990s, was about moving people off of public assistance and into the workforce that would come with education and job training. So this population could get themselves the skills needed to get themselves a good job.

What makes Richard Nixon different from Ronald Reagan and today’s Tea Party, is that he wasn’t about cut and run when he came to these programs. And trying to make the case that they were unconstitutional or something. But what he did instead was acknowledge the reality that they were here to stay and that they should be run as best as possible and serve the people they are intended for. And be designed to move people off of these programs so they wouldn’t need them forever. And that is the conservative side that I really love about Dick Nixon and a big reason why he wouldn’t be very successful as a national Republican today. Along with not being on board with the Religious-Right.

The New Republic: Opinion: Noam Scheiber: Raising the Minimum Wage Isn't Just Good Politics: It's Good Economics

There are both good political as well as economic reasons for raising the minimum wage in America. If it is done right and I’m going to give you an example of why it make sense to raise the minimum wage in America. Raising the minimum wage in America if it is done right makes so much good sense that I can give you two good examples from both a political, but as well as an economic example and give you both of them from the Right even though I’m a Liberal Democrat

The political example would be this. Imagine you are Joe or Mary taxpayer in America and you work very hard for a living just to pay your bills. And raise your kids and you are a little angry about that and feel overtaxed, because here you are playing by the rules and doing everything you can to pay your own way. But you are also paying taxes to pay for people who don’t pay their own way because they are low-skilled.  

And as a result low-skilled workers work low-skilled minimum wage jobs and have to collect public assistance in order to survive. Because these low-wage employers are able to pass their employee costs onto you. And have you make up the difference for these workers housing, groceries and health care. But you raise the minimum wage to ten, twelve dollars and hour with a break especially for small employers and you keep their public assistance benefits where they are now, now these low-skilled workers can pay more for their costs of living. And Joe and Mary Smith and many others won’t have to pay as much in taxes to make up the difference.

The economic example is pretty simple. You want more people working and fewer people collecting Unemployment or Welfare Insurance, than working has to pay more than not working so people are incentivized to work for a living. And not collect public assistance checks for a living instead. You raise the minimum wage to ten or twelve dollars an hour with a thirty percent tax break for employers especially for small employers and you have employers pay their share of the public assistance costs with like a payroll tax. 

And tell employers they can get all that money back if they instead just pay their low-wage employees those costs. Or train them so they can move up in their organization or a combination of both. Now employers won’t be able to pass their employees costs on to the backs of average Joe and Mary taxpayer. And many others and you would be able to cut the middle class tax burden in this country. The politics for Democrats are very good here. 

And this would be a very good way to get Democrats to the polls in 2014 and get organize labor to help them out. It is actually good politics for Republicans as well if they are truly interested in reaching out to the working class. And not just there to carry the water for the wealthy and corporate America. Because they could say they are in favor of this as well so we can cut the taxes for average workers.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Richard Eskow: Was This The Social Contract's Comeback Year?

Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Richard Eskow: Was This The Social Contract's Comeback Year?

When it comes to things like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Insurance, Medicare. Public Housing, Food Assistance to use several examples, I prefer the term safety net or a public social insurance system or PSIS. Which are insurances that people who need them can collect when, well they need them. But if you able to take care or yourself and you have what is called economic freedom that is the ability to pay your own bills and be self-sufficient in life with money left over to spend in things you want, then that is essentially the American dream.

Then that is exactly what you and this is how a safety net or PSIS would be different from what is called in Europe especially in Scandinavia a welfare state. Where these are all sorts of public program funded through taxes there to take care of people. I as a Liberal Democrat do not want to have to live off of government or anyone else if I’m able to take care of myself. That would be just one example that would separate me from a Democratic Socialist or a Social Democrat. Someone who bases their political philosophy on what government can do for people when it comes to economics.

If you want to use the term social contract, fine I’ll go along with that. But what I’m really in favor of when it comes to American capitalism is individual economic power. Again which is another way of saying economic freedom. And what I would like to see in this country and perhaps even go back to is an economic power system that is there for all Americans to be able to take advantage of to create their own economic freedom.

And this is where government plays its biggest role along with regulating predatory behavior. And this comes from making quality education and job training available for everyone universally to everyone K-adulthood if needed. So as many Americans as possible have that individual economic power or people power to be able to take care of themselves. And live a good life however they define that for themselves without having to use public assistance or private charity. In order to pay their own way and bills.

If you are talking about having a federal government so big especially as it relates to economic policy that it is designed to meet a lot if not most of people’s economic needs, you are no longer talking about a safety net or a social insurance system, but a welfare state. A socialist superstate big government at about as big as it can without nationalizing the entire economy and outlawing private property all together. And that is not what I’m in favor of.

Thom Hartmann: Follow the French on the Millionaire Tax

Source: PLYT-
Source: Thom Hartmann: Follow The French on The Millionaire Tax

You want everyone paying their fair share of taxes at all economic levels. Which is one of the reasons why I’m in favor of what I call the Progressive Consumption Tax. Which would accomplish most of that especially by eliminating all the wasteful tax loopholes in the tax system, including corporate welfare. But you don’t want taxes so high on anyone that it discourages people to be productive and successful. And gets them asking the question, “why should I work hard and be productive when Uncle Sam takes most of the money that I make anyway?”We do not want taxes so high to that point which is what we saw in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with a recession, followed by weak economic and job growth. Similar to what we’ve grown through the last five years. And even though the Great Recession wasn’t a result of taxes being too high, taxes that are too high can play a role in creating recessions with people not having enough money to spend to create strong economic growth. And what we saw as a result in the mid 1960s was a Progressive Democratic president in Lyndon Johnson and a Democratic Congress with Conservative Republican help, is cut taxes across the board for everyone. Which contributed to an economic boom of the mid and late 1960s.

American Thinker: Opinion: Trevor Thomas: Neal Boortz, Libertarianism and Moral Government: Differentiating Social and Religious Conservatism

Barry Goldwater- "I want big government out of the bedrooms, boardrooms and classrooms". This is what conservatism is about, conserving freedom for the individual. Familiar with individual freedom, well that is what it is. That the state meaning government whatever the level should but out of the personal affairs of the individual and that the individual is then responsible for their own decisions in life. 
People for good and bad are held accountable for their own decision and we do not have to bail out bad or stupid mistakes of others that others have nothing to do with. And so we hold people accountable for their own decisions in life. So when people make good decisions, they are rewarded for it and get to keep most of the rewards for those good decisions. But when people make bad decisions, they are then held accountable for their own decisions instead of forcing taxpayers to pickup up the tab for that bad decision-making.
That is still the definition of the Conservative and what conservatism is. The Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan school of Classical Conservatism which is the real Conservatism in America. Which is about conserving freedom for the individual when it comes to politics. And how much better off would the Republican Party be today if they stayed with that conservative philosophy. And had they not got in bed with the Christian-Right with their brand of big government. Trying to force their religious views through government on the rest of the country. 
Sure the religious-right was helpful to the Republican Party in the 1980s and 1990s. And to a certain extent in the 1970s helping to reelect Richard Nixon as President of the United States. But the Democratic Party still dominated both chambers of Congress in the 1970s and dominated a lot if not most of the state governments as well. The GOP would be better off today because Americans tend to want big government out of their wallets. But we want big government out of our lives as well.
Now here’s the definition of a religious or Christian-Conservative. Coming from either Reverend Pat Robertson or Reverend Jerry Falwell. Someone who believes that government should be based on their fundamentalist Evangelical Christian view of the bible that is anything they view as wrong or immoral, shall be illegal ,or at least looked down upon in the strictest terms by government especially the Federal Government. And the Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg has the correct term for the religious-right and calls them nationalists when it comes to social issues. 
Christian Nationalists in America do not  believe in states right at least as it relates to social policy in this country. But instead their interpretation of the Bible dwarfs state government and perhaps even the Federal Government. That any activity viewed as wrong or immoral by the Christian-Conservative, shall be illegal. Even if the activity is between consenting adults and not hurting anyone. So there you have it the political Conservative or Conservative Libertarian, the Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan and their real Conservative followers. 
Versus  the religious-right or Neo-Right that really has only been around since perhaps the mid 1960s. And if it wasn’t for my differences between Conservatives or Conservative Libertarians on economic, foreign policy and national security, I would probably be a Conservative instead of a Liberal myself. And you can see how they are much different from the Christian-Right or Neo-Right in America.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

MLB Classics-ABC Sports: MLB 1986-ALCS Game 5-Boston Red Sox @ Anaheim Angels: Full Game

Source: MLB Classics-Boston Red Sox-
Source: MLB Classics-ABC Sports: MLB 1986-ALCS Game 5-Boston Red Sox @ Anaheim Angels: Full Game

Perhaps the best MLB playoff game at least in my lifetime. And the biggest choke in my lifetime at least in MLB with the Angels blowing a 3-1 series lead with the opportunity to win the American League Championship at home with their offense, defense and pitching. And they simply didn’t close the door to a team they probably should’ve beaten at least in six games if not five. Wally Joyner not in the Angels lineup certainly hurt them in-game 5. But you got to know that they had the Red Sox beat in the ninth inning with their closer Donnie Moore who was lights out most of the 1986 season on the mound. He makes a bad pitch to Dave Henderson and that forces the game to extra innings. But Joyner would’ve been a big force in the Angels lineup in-game 6 and 7, when the Red Sox blew out the Angels at Fenway Park.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Real Redskins: Blog Rick Tandler: Should Mike Shanahan Stay or Go

Real Redskins: Blog: Rick Tandler: Should Mike Shanahan Stay or Go?

Should Mike Shanahan stay or go as the Redskins Head Coach/Head of Football Operations. That will be the number question and decision that Dan Snyder will have to deal with in the 2014 Redskins offseason. When their season is officially over after playing the New York Giants tomorrow.

Reasons for letting Coach Shanahan go outnumber the reasons for keeping him. In four seasons with the Redskins the Redskins have lost ten or more games three times. And if they do not beat the Giants at New Jersey tomorrow a team that has a better record than the Redskins, won twice as many games 6-9 than the 3-12 Redskins and have already beaten the Redskins on the road this year, the Redskins after already having the worst season of the Shanahan era at 3-12, will fall to 3-13.

And you can’t make the case that Coach Shanahan doesn’t have the players. For one he’s also in charge of personal and two they picked by most of the so-called experts people who understand the NFL to win the NFC East probably the worst division in football this year with the Redskins actually having the worst team. You can say that Coach Shanahan doesn’t have a very good coaching staff especially at the top with his offensive coordinator who also happens to be his son in Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. But again Coach Shanahan picks his own coaching staff.

The reasons to fire Coach Shanahan are pretty sound and clear and a big reason why it would be a pretty popular decision in Washington. A city that hates to lose and hates losers. But some of the issues with the Redskins management even though Coach Shanahan doesn’t have complete control of the organization, isn’t all of Coach Shanahan’s fault and responsibility. He doesn’t have a solid football person like a team president that he can report to. Who can also supervise and advise him on things like how to sign players and manage the salary cap, negotiate trades, manage the facilities and so forth. Not so much a general manager but someone at the top besides the owner that Coach Shanahan can report to that the coach can get advise from sort of like a partner. But someone who outranks the head coach, like a head of football operations.

Bruce Allen is the team’s official general manager, but he reports and works for the head coach and not the other way around. It is not that Coach Shanahan shouldn’t have the final say in personal, but he shouldn’t be running the entire football operations department either. Someone besides Dan Snyder needs to be there and be able to say, “I like what you are doing here.” But when the coach makes a bad decision be able to step in and say, “we shouldn’t do that.” And even be able to veto things that do not make sense. Someone with a football background.

One of the reasons why the San Francisco 49ers were so successful in the 1980s was because of how their management was structured. Ed Debartalo didn’t try to be the owner of the franchise as well as the team president. Bill Walsh was the head coach/general manager, but he had a team president to report to in Carmen Policy. Instead of Eddie Debartalo trying to fill both roles as owner and president. Well right now Dan Snyder is trying to fill both roles as owner and president of the Redskins. He’s simply not qualified as a businessman and not a professional football man to fill both roles as owner and president. And for the Redskins to succeed in the future with either Mike Shanahan or a new head coach, they need a new management structure.

Their management structure is going to have to change or they are going to remain in between mediocrity and a consistent, to a losing team without much of a future. And another thing that Dan Snyder needs to consider is who out there would be better than Mike Shanahan. To be their head coach/head of football operations who would also be willing to work for Dan Snyder. To make this a little personal.

I’ve made the case for both firing Mike Shanahan and keeping him on board with a new team president. And a new offensive and defensive coordinator and giving Coach Shanahan one more season. And reevaluating him at the end of 2014. Because I haven’t completely made up my mind. But if I’m Dan Snyder I’m leaning towards keeping Coach Shanahan under this new proposed management and coaching arrangement. Instead of firing Coach Shanahan and starting over.

But I would also tell the head coach that, “look are defense was horrible this year and that has to change. You need a defensive coordinator that is going to run the defense based on the personal that he has to work with. We are going back to the 4-3 and you are going to move either Ryan Kerrigan or Brian Orakbo to defensive end. And get an outside linebacker whose a very good pass defender and tackler as well. So you can blitz less and get more of a pass rush with just four or five pass rushers. Instead so you leave more help for your secondary. And give up fewer big plays in the passing and running games.”

This should be a tough decision for Dan Snyder and I hope he hasn’t made up his mind yet. And that postseason meeting with both he and the head coach happens with minds haven’t been made up yet. Because again a very good case for dumping the head coach, but there is also a good case for bringing Mike Shanahan back under the right circumstances.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Hampton Institute: Opinion- Josh Hatala: The Socialist Party of America- A Historiographical View

Source: The Hampton Institute- Socialist Party Presidential Candidate Eugene Debbs-
Source: The Hampton Institute: Opinion- Josh Hatala: The Socialist Party of America- A Historiographical View

Where I disagree with Josh Hatala on this where I could probably make this whole post about, is that there are still two somewhat viable democratic socialist parties in America. Democratic Socialists USA and the Green Party, as well as many leftist Democrats who are mainly in the Democratic Party for political reasons in order to get elected and be active in a major leftist party even a center-left party. Socialism has failed as far as producing a major social democratic party that can compete and beat Democrats and Republicans on a regular basis.

But you got to know that U.S. Senator Bernie of Vermont the only self-described Socialist in Congress is a Socialist, as well as several members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Both in the House and Senate that Senator Sanders is a member of. But most of the members of the CPC prefer to be viewed as Progressives because of the negative stereotypes that come with being viewed as a Socialist or even a Social Democrat.
Socialism hasn’t failed in the sense that their ideas have failed or are considered too extreme. At least what would be viewed as mainstream both in America and in Europe that is democratic socialism. That combines both capitalism, a vibrant private sector, but that is heavily taxed and regulated to fund a very large welfare state to provide a lot of the services that people need to live well. From education to healthcare that is common in Scandinavia. A long with a safety net for people who are unemployed and so-forth.
That is basically Scandinavian or Nordic capitalism, which is the mainstream form of socialism in Europe. But even in America where capitalism was basically invented, we have a socialist component to our economic system as well in the form of our safety net for people who can’t take care of themselves. Who are out-of-work or can’t afford services that they need in order to survive like health insurance and food, even if they are working. It is just that our national social insurance system is a lot smaller in America than it is in Scandinavia.
It is not that so much that socialism has failed in America, because the Democratic form of it that I just explained is alive and well. Just look at the popularity of Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. All of which could and have been labeled specially by their opponents and proponents as well as socialist programs. It is Marxism or Marxist socialism, where the state essentially is responsible for running the entire economy and to large extent the people’s lives, that has failed everywhere that it has been tried. Which is why most of the world has moved away from it.
Austin Peterson: The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann- Does Democracy Inevitably Lead To Socialism

American Thinker: Opinion: John W. Howard: Liberalism and its Discontents

American Thinker: Opinion: John W. Howard: Liberalism and its Discontents

I can’t remember the last time I agreed with anything that was written on the American Thinker. And this is a publication I read practically everyday and maybe the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, was the last time I agreed with anything on the American Thinker. Actually I wasn’t alive in 1908, sorry Cubs fans. But is been a while since I’ve agreed with anything on the American Thinker. But John Howard makes some good points in this article even if it comes with some straight falsehoods.

Like Liberal Democrats back in the 1960s controlled Congress even though the Southern Dixiecrats who represent today represent a lot of the modern Republican Party had most of the power in Congress. The Senate filibusters of the civil rights laws are perfect examples of this. But John Howard’s good points are about how the Left has changed since the late 1960s and what it was before that. The emergence of the Far-Left or New-Left came about in the late 1960s as a response to the Vietnam War. And what these leftist radicals saw as out of control wealth and out of control American capitalism.

The people who today are called ‘Modern Liberals’ even though they aren’t that liberal at all, represent the New Left in America that before lets say 1965 were seen as Un-American and as extreme. Now seemed to have found a following in America. They are still Far-Left by American political standards, but the New Left in America is a social democratic movement that has strong socialist big centralize government viewpoints. That is strongly against local and state control and has problems with American capitalism and for profits all together.

People who want to see a lot of power centralized with the Federal Government with taxes that are lot higher. With a big federal state powerful enough with the resources to run most of the country. When the trend the last thirty-forty years has been about moving power out of Washington and back to the state and local governments and into the hands of the individuals themselves. These Social Democrats who are Democratic Socialists not Communists, generally want that power back in the hands of the Federal Government to create a Scandinavian style socialist superstate in America.

But if you are a true Liberal and I’m one of them in the Jack Kennedy school of liberalism, you have a healthy skepticism about government especially centralize big government that has so much power. That it leaves the individual dependent on the state, because they do not have have much power of their own lives. And that you aren’t anti-government, but you do not want government so big and centralized leaving people without much freedom to run their own lives.

Townhall: Opinion: Michael Tanner: A Real Life Example of Welfare Reform

Townhall: Opinion: Michael Tanner: A Real Life Example of Welfare Reform

If you want more people in the workforce working with real jobs they can rely on that they are qualified for, than working whatever the job is has to pay more than not working and collecting public assistance at home. And that starts with having a real minimum wage that pays more than being at home and collecting public assistance per hour. But moreover we need a real education and job training system in this country that empowers our low-skilled workforce to finish their education. And that means both high school and at least junior college or vocational education.

And that also means that people on public assistance need to be required as well as encouraged to be actively searching for work while they are also finishing their education. And not passing up jobs because they do not like the job, or doesn’t pay a lot. Even if that means finishing their education while they are now working. And they could still get their public housing, Medicaid, food assistance, but as long as they are doing what they can to go to work, or go back to work and improve their employment outlook.

I’m all in favor of education and job training in America especially for our low-skilled adults and kids who are still in school. But as long as the work is part of the puzzle and the end goal of having a good job that empowers people to finally get off of public assistance and become economically independent. Living in economic freedom with the power to take care of themselves and making these services affordable to taxpayers and the people eligible for them. But as long as work is part of the package and we are empowering people to get themselves solid job experience.

Empowering people to finish their education with the skills that they need to be successful in life that comes with a good job that allows for people to become economically independent in life. And you don’t get there as long as we pay people not to work and not do anything constructive that empowers these people to improve their lives. And education, job training and work experience are investments that expand economic freedom in America.

When you are talking about public assistance in America, you are essentially talking about public charity. Even though taxpayers do not have a choice in whether or not to help finance it. But if public assistance comes with education, job training and work experience, as people are collecting public assistance checks, now you are talking about economic investments that lead to good jobs with a high-skilled workforce. With a small population of people who still need to finish their education so they can get off of public assistance.

Lucky Larue: Vince Lombardi Teaches The Power Sweep

To judge whose the greatest head coach of all-time in the NFL you first have to know what is the job of the head coach and what his responsibilities are and what you expect from him. To me at least the job of the head coach is of course to win and win at least a good deal more than he loses. And make the playoffs and be successful in the playoffs. But more than that the job of the head coach is to get the best out of his team with the players and talent that he has.

A head coach could inherit a young inexperienced team that doesn’t have that much talent. And not make the playoffs and not even come close to having a winning season. But could still have a successful season if he gets the most out of his players that he possibly can and perhaps even overachieves. And that team wins a few games that they shouldn’t have because they were playing better teams. And a coach could have a very talented and experienced football team and have an unsuccessful season. Even if they make the playoffs especially if they go out early in the playoffs or lose the conference championship. When that coach had the best team in the league that year.

And based on these standards Vince Lombardi is definitely the best head coach in the history of the NFL. Because no head coach ever got more out of his players and was a better motivator than Vince Lombardi. Because he always knew what he wanted from his team. What type of team he wanted to have on both offense and defense. The available talent that he had and how to get the most out of his talent. And a perfect example of this is the year before Lombardi arrived in Green Bay.

The Packers were 1-11 and in Lombardi’s first season in Green Bay, they were 7-5 their first winning season in eleven years and Lombardi had basically the same team to work with in 1959 than the previous Packers coach had in 1958. But the difference being that Lombardi knew how to get the most out of the players that he had. He knew where to play them and how to use them on both sides of the ball. In 1958 the Packers had a talented football team. But in 1959 the Packers were a good football team, which was the difference.

The difference between a good head coach and a bad head coach is of course the good coach knows what he is doing and the bad coach spends most of his time trying to figure it out and experimenting. But the reason why the good coach knows what he is doing is, because he knows what type of team he has. And then sets expectations for his team and player based on that. And then knows how to get the most out of the players that he has and Vince Lombardi is simply the best at this.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Onion: Peter K. Rosenthal Looks Back at It's a Wonderful Life

Source: The Onion: Peter K. Rosenthal Looks Back at It's a Wonderful Life

How can one Uncle Billy can completely change the complexion of a movie review? You know if I had an uncle who was that big of an asshole and screw up, I doubt my life would be so golly gee swell. (To use a term from that era) Especially if I was relying on a dipshit like this to help me run my business. First of all, if I’m dumb enough to rely on a dipshit to help me run my business, I’m probably not that much of a businessman to begin with. Maybe Uncle Billy has something that he can use as blackmail that keeps him in business with his partners. Maybe he saw Joe kissing Sally instead of his wife Mary and threatening to use that against Joe or something. But the people who go into business with someone like Uncle Billy are people who go out of business. Because they are not smart enough to hire people who are not dipshits to work for them.

It's a Wonderful Life, is a classic 1930s, 1940s, 1950s Jimmy Stewart movie. Where he represents a a very simple man from a very simple time. (At least according to Hollywood) Where he's a very well-liked town and knows everybody there and they seem to like him, because he's just like everybody else in that town. You don't cuss, even words like damn and hell are considered sins. And if there wasn't for this little annoying thing like the First Amendment, you might get arrested for saying damn or hell in public. Joe Smith is married to Mary and they have 2-3 kids. Of course Joe works and of course Mary stays home and raises their kids. Because it's considered a sin for women to work in Pleasantville. Because in Pleasantville women are not only not expected to work, but be subservient to their man. Perhaps Pleasantville is the capital of Saudi Arabia or at least part of Saudi Arabia. Except in Pleasantville the people aren't Muslin or Arab, but Protestant and tend to be Anglo-Saxon. Except for the servants, who of course are African-American and in some cases even use to be slaves. 

And Joe Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) is curious what life looks like outside of Pleasantville USA. And is curious what life looks like outside of his collectivist town where everyone seems to almost be a clone of someone else. Where everyone talks and thinks the same way, lives their life the same way. Again absolutely no cussing, no dancing in public, no drinking on Sunday. Everyone says Grace before they eat, etc. And Joe wants to know if everyone else in America lives this way and perhaps what big city life would be like. The problem is that Joe is dumb enough to get in bed, I mean go into business with his Uncle Billy and of course Billy's nickname is screwup, or even even dipshit and runs the business into the ground like a drunk autopilot crashes a plane. And now Joe is stuck in Pleasantville or Bedford Falls (to be precise) and left there pick up the pieces and put his life back together. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Salon: Opinion: Hamna Zubair: Jon Stewart Defends Duck Dynasty Star's Right to Free Speech: The American Right to be Assholes

Salon: Opinion: Hamna Zubair: Jon Stewart Defends Duck Dynasty Star's Right to Free Speech

I’ve gone out of my way not to comment on the so-called Duck Dynasty controversy. From either the way so-called Progressives have responded to what Phil Robertson has said, or of course how the right-wing media has defended not only what Mr. Robertson has said, but his constitutional right to say what he believes and thinks. For one I do not watch the show and yes I’ve seen a few moments of it from time to time to time. Flipping around the tube when I’m up too late or turning on A&E when I’m waiting to see the A&E shows I’m actually interested in. Longmire, American Hoggers and now Rodeo Girls.

So I’m not a regular viewer of Duck Dynasty to so say the least. But also I’m not surprised by what Mr. Robertson said. I mean let’s be real about this show. It is in a part of the country where these views are fairly common. This is where the anti-sodomy laws are still in existence and where the same-sex-marriage bans come from. Not saying that everyone from the Bible Belt and rural America are bigots. Just a lot of ignorant people there to put more faith into their religious views, than education and America. But lets face it this is where these views tend to come from. But also so what if some asshole on a TV show doesn’t like homosexuals and sees homosexuality as a sin. 

How is some ignorant redneck's views on homosexuality news. And besides Phil Robertson has a constitutional right under the First Amendment to say these things and any ignorant garbage he wants to express. And of course A&E under that same constitutional amendment has the right to run their network under few exceptions the way they want to. But to kick off or suspend one of their cast members because he doesn’t like gays and made that public on one of their shows, looks like nothing more than political correctness leftist fascism politics run amuck. 

And doing it to avoid being sued out of business by so-called Progressives activists who want to outlaw any type of hate speech that may happen to offend minorities they care about. Phil Robertson is basically only famous because he happened to say on a TV show something negative about gays. And of course the national media and so-called Progressive media going out-of-their way to keep the story alive to bring attention to hate speech in America. And perhaps promote one of their lost causes of outlawing hate speech in America. Which of course is protected by the first amendment whether it comes from the Right or Left. That the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled time after time.

James Miller Center: Video: President Gerald R. Ford State of The Union Address, January 12, 1977

Whatever you think of Gerry Ford the man, you have to at least give him the facts that he was a man of class and character. Not someone who said he had these things, but showed the people that by how he represented them. And how he went about his business and did his jobs. Either representing his Michigan constituents in the House of Representatives, leading the House Republicans, as Minority Leader, Vice President of the United States or serving the country as President of the United States. And this is a speech he did not have to give since he lost the presidential election in 1976. But chose to give this speech to let the country know the State of The Union as he was about to leave office. Most president’s after losing reelection, use the last few months to just wrap up their presidency and administration and work on the transition to the next president. And perhaps prepare for life outside of the White House. But President Ford as a losing president, saw his duty to give one final report to the country and perhaps let the future president know where we stand.

VOA News: Judy Tableou- Prison Work Farm Rehabs Inmates, Horses

Source: VOA News: Judy Tableau- Prison Work Farm Rehabs Inmates, Horses

This is exactly what prison inmates in general population who want to build their lives and become productive in life should be doing. Which is working, but working in a field with the skills needed so they not only have good jobs in prison, but also now have the right job skills and job experience needed to get themselves a good job once they leave prison. And not need to come back to prison because now they have the skills they need to do well in life legally. This is a much taxpayer investment than to lockup inmates all day except for their meals and yard time and perhaps doing a few chores, that is for inmates who are in general population. Where all they learn there is how to become better criminals.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The American Prospect: Opinion- Monica Potts: Paul Ryan's Misguided Poverty Plan

Source: The Washington Post-
Source: The American Prospect: Opinion- Monica Potts: Paul Ryan's Misguided Poverty Plan

There are good progressive policies in dealing with poverty in America. Like increasing the minimum wage or even creating a new living wage of around twelve-dollars an hour. That I would be in favor of if it came with a thirty-percent tax break for employers, so their payroll costs do not go up too much, especially for small employers.

Another good progressive policy would be to have employers who pay their workers poverty wages to the point that they need both public and private assistance to survive, have employers subsidize their low-wage workers public assistance, instead of middle class workers.

Have these employers pay at least part of their low-income workers public assistance costs. Which would also make our debt and deficit outlook better as well. But going forward we need to think more liberally in how we try to reduce poverty in America. And get more pro-active and develop policies that empower these people to become economically independent so they can take care of themselves and move off from public assistance. It is not like we need to develop some new grand strategy or plan to combat poverty in America.

And we simply do not need to create some type of new War on Poverty or Great Society to do this. The information, evidence and facts are already in how you reduce poverty in America. First, yes you need public cash assistance for low-skilled adults whether they are working or not so they can cover their short-term bills. But long-term to actually move these people out of poverty, you have to be more liberal and less government centric and oriented.
We need to be less socialist when it comes to poverty and more about individual empowerment even. And be less about government taking care of people and become about empowering this population to be able to take care of themselves. And that gets to things like education and job training for adults who need it to finish their high school education. But moving forward moving to higher education with junior college and vocational opportunities opening up for these adults.
When it comes to combating poverty in America, you need to know what your goals and plans are, what are you trying to carry out. And for eighty-years this country has mostly been about giving people in poverty more money so they can live more comfortably while still living in poverty. What I’m interested in doing is actually empowering this population so they can move out of poverty into the middle class and become economically independent.
Nightly Business Report: John Harwood Interviewing U.S. Representative Paul Ryan- Anti-Poverty Plan

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Atlantic: Opinion- Josh Freedman & Michael Lind: The Past and Future of America's Social Contract

Source: The Atlantic-
Source: The Atlantic: Opinion- Josh Freedman & Michael Lind: Past and Future of America's Social Contract

When we are talking about the social contract, we should be clear about what are we talking about. Because this gets to the heart of what we want from government in America especially the Federal Government. Are we talking about the American tradition of the safety net that has helped contribute to the largest and most powerful economy and country in the world. Or do we want a Scandinavian welfare state.

With a welfare state the Federal Government would play a huge role especially in an economy of seventeen-trillion dollars in a country of three-hundred and ten million people in providing us with most of the services that we need to live well in America.

Or are we talking about building off of the New Deal not to turn Americans into Nordics economically and ideologically, but to empower more Americans with more economic power in this great vast diverse huge country of three-hundred and ten million people. And empowering more Americans regardless of race, ethnicity and gender with the economic power to live in freedom to be able to take care of themselves.
As a New Democrat I’m in favor of the third option of building off of the New Deal by not having government take care of more people. But using government to empower more people to be able to take care of themselves. Which would be great for the economy as well as the fiscal condition of the country. With fewer people collecting from the social insurance system and more people paying into the system. Because we would have a larger middle as well as larger upper class with more people starting new business’s. Because of the greater access to education including college and fewer people in the lower economic class either unemployed. Or working low-income jobs, but still collecting public assistance to survive.

And again and I’m not trying to sound partisan ideologically, but again this gets to what do you want from government. And who do you trust to provide people with the services that they need in life. Do you trust government to take care of everyone. Do you trust an unregulated and almost completely tax-free corporate America and so-called free market to work for everyone. Or do you trust an educated workforce and educated individuals to be able to make their own decisions with their own lives.
As a Liberal I believe an educated public with the right tools and education can take care of themselves and do not need big brother or big government or a nanny state to do that for them. And the main problem with our workforce right now is that we do not have enough workers to be able to make with enough of an education to have the power to be able to take care of themselves. And a big reason why the Left right now is debating what should the role of government, especially the Federal Government be to address the income and skills gap in this country.
I believe Liberals agree with Progressives or Social Democrats that the Federal Government should be doing more. But we differ on what that new role should be. With the lets say further Left of the party essentially wanting to transform America into Scandinavia economically and politically. With the JFK/Clinton New Democratic Coalition of Liberals saying that when people have the tools that they need, they tend to make good decisions with their own lives instead. And do not need government doing everything for them.

My message of economic power and creating what I would call and economic power system, for lack of a better term right now, is about education K-College and quality education for all through college. Once we establish that and lookout for the American economy especially as we move towards energy independence, rebuild our falling infrastructure system and actually start paying down some of our national debt.
The energy and debt are already under way, but the infrastructure still needs a new plan out of Congress to make that happen. And universal access to education and job training for our low-skilled and low-income workforce as well. Our population that collects from public assistance whether they are working or not. So they can get the skills that they need to also live in freedom, the economic power they need to be successful in America.

This shouldn’t be about big government versus small government at least on the Left. But more about big government versus limited, but good government only doing the things that we need it to do for people. And then let the people with this new-found freedom, let them fly and let’s see what Americans can do for themselves. Once they have the power over their own lives.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The New York Times: Opinion-Thomas Edsall- Is The Safety Net Just Masking Tape?: Economic Power vs. The Welfare State

Source: The New Democrat- The Great Depression-
Source: The New York Times: Opinion- Thomas Edsall- Is The Safety Net Just Masking Tape?

I’ve been looking for a new term or phrase that could describe an economic agenda as a New Democrat, a Liberal who has moved past the progressive New Deal and Great Society ideologically. And not to the Left of these programs, but past it and in favor of a new approach to economics. And American capitalist and economic empowerment for all Americans especially those who haven’t found it. President Bill Clinton, a fellow Liberal New Democrat in his first term had an agenda called the New Covenant.

The New Covenant was supposed to be what President Clinton would try to accomplish for the country in his first term. And then later when Republicans took back Congress, the alternative agenda to House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America. New Covenant is a weak term and has more religious than political meaning to it. The New Deal and Great Society were successful at least politically, because Americans could see the goals of these two agendas and what they were trying to accomplish very clearly.
I haven’t found the key catch phrase that I’m looking for yet, but what I’m going to layout with this post is what I believe the role of government is when it comes to the economy. And seeing that everyone has access to economic freedom in America and not dependent on public assistance for their economic well-being. Simply as an American forget about ideology for a moment, I believe that all Americans have the right to make their own beds in life and live up to their own full-potential.
That all Americans have the right make the best out of life that they possibly can, but they also have the responsibility to live with the decisions that they’ve made with their own lives for good and bad. And that means keeping most of the rewards for their production, but also have the responsibility of paying off their own debts from making bad decisions. And paying their fair share in taxes that they owe as well as a cost for living in a civilized developed society. But also paying for the advantages that come with living in a liberal democracy with all the freedom that comes with that especially in the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world.
In other words, I do not believe it is the job of government federal or otherwise to provide for us most if not all the things that we need to live well in life. Government just have the responsibility to see that we all have the opportunities to obtain the freedom and power to be able to take care of ourselves. And then hold us accountable for the decisions that we make for good and bad. So now you know I’m not a Social Democrat or a Democratic Socialist and at least by the popular definition, not a Progressive.
But I am a Liberal Democrat who believes in liberal democracy and that liberal democracy should work for everyone and that government including federal does have a role to play with that. Just not most of the responsibility and certainly not all of it either when it comes to economic policy. And I’m mostly about education and seeing to it that all Americans have access to a quality education from K-12, as well as college. And want to see universal higher education in America so we can all have access to it and government can play a role.

A role not the only role in seeing that all Americans can afford higher education in this country. But even with the best education system in the world, we would still need a public safety and a private safety net there for people who fall through the cracks of this liberal capitalist economic system. As well as for people who for whatever reasons do not have the skills that they need to do well in life, especially if they also have kids. And we also need to make sure their kids get what their parents or parent didn’t get which is a good education.
So no again I’m not a Social Democrat or Democratic Socialist and do not put my economic philosophy around a welfare state and government, federal or otherwise. But my philosophy is built around the individual and ensuring that the individual has the tools that they need to do well in life. And yes government including federal has a big role, but not the only role here. Instead I believe in what I would call an economic empowerment system where the safety net would be part of that. So all Americans can have money to cover their short-term bills. But long-term this safety net would be there to empower people who need it to be able to take care of themselves. And again that is where education and job training play a big role there.
Liberty Pen: John Stossel & Charles Murray- The Welfare State