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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Spiritual home: the rocky Maine coast
Member since: Sun Mar 27, 2016, 08:06 PM
Number of posts: 1,629

About Me

Greetings... what can I say? I'm an old time hippie and anti-war activist from the 60's. I was radicalized then and have always remained political. One's politics can have different aspects. Economically I'm an FDR liberal. Socially I believe in the Ninth Amendment that government has no legitimate power to limit some rights such as responsible drug use, the right to choose, or one's sexual behavior. Politically I'm to the left of the Democratic Party. Why? Over the years I realized the focus of activists should not be stamping out brush fires and putting band-aids on problems. The effort must always be to keep in mind the root of most of our problems such as wealth inequality, growing corporate power, voter apathy, climate change, etc... is an electoral system that is incapable of measuring the popular will and a political system that is incapable of implementing it. Sadly, the Democratic Party seems to need a push to find a greater appreciation for... and to work towards, implementing common sense democratic reforms to both those electoral and political systems.

Journal Archives

Dems MUST demand Mental health and Tax Records on Trump...

What do we really know about Trump? There are old rumors of his use of amphetamines back in the 80s and 90s which may have led to his financial collapse around 1992. And his behavior on the campaign trail has similarly been erratic. Is Trump mentally fit to be president? No doubt many people feel he's mentally ill. Is there any mandatory mental health security screening for the presidency?

And we know next to nothing about his foreign business entanglements. How many of these arrangement pose a not just a conflict of interest, but a real security threat? What is the Trump/Putin connection?

We know the GOP will not raise any of these question. They need to protect Trump even if he's just a figurehead, to push through their agenda.

But where are the Dems on these issues? Why aren't they demanding these records... and if they have to have their own unofficial House or Senate hearings... so be it. If Dems can't stand up for something as vitally important as insuring we don't have a madman or one fatally compromised as president... who will?

Social Security Interest Rates... an insult to workers and the disabled.

Now before any hothead here says I have a secret agenda to privatize SS... they're dead wrong. I'm at retirement age... SS needs to be protected... and I would never want to see the thieves and sociopaths on Wall St get anywhere near SS money.

But those who aren't hotheads need to seriously look at these abysmal interest rates SS has been getting... and how that that affects the health of the trust fund.

Here are the monthly rates NEW money coming into the trust fund are getting

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/newIssueRates.html Some of these rates ARE BELOW INFLATION!

Here is are the average and effective rates


The interest rate is set by Congress... https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/intrateformula.html

There is something radically wrong when we're being taxed for our retirement etc... and there is no minimum floor beneath which these interest rates should fall. I think that should be at least a 4% minimum. And maybe we'd get more bang for the buck if this SS money were actually invested in our infrastructure where the improved efficiency of the economy could be taxed as income for the fund... something along the lines of Gore's lockbox. Just lending money to the government to get shit for interest is an insult to all those who depend on a healthy SS program.

So where TF are the Dems on this issue?

Trump: Just SHUT THE F*CK UP!

You've not yet been installed as president and imposed on the nation that REJECTED you.

So please shut the f*ck up and stop trying to steal the limelight and interfering with the work of REAL president already in office.

Bernie On NPR "On Point"... link to podcast here

Sorry for the short notice


Listen live now... or to the podcast later

BLUE COLLAR BETRAYAL! When Will Trump Voters Realize They've Been Had?

Trump was on record that he was FOR free trade but the US wasn't competitive in the global economy because US wages and corporate taxes were too high. This is a typical right wing position. Yet just how can US wages be too high? In terms of share of aggregate national income the US Census reported in 2014 the bottom quintile peaked in 1974 and has decreased 28% by 2014... while the income of the top 5% went up 32% during that same period. This is what we'd expect given the far right's war on labor.

The GOP has long tried to undermine labor laws to shaft US workers and benefit corporations. For example if the 1968 minimum wage were simply adjusted to inflation it would today be $11.05... or $7300 more a year. This affects millions of workers who fall in that $7.25 to $11.05 range. This war on the minimum wage demonstrates typical far right duplicity. They've worked for decades to addict our economy to a depreciating minimum wage then they use that addiction as an excuse to keep the MW down. Then there is the abuse of worker categories to exempt workers from wage and hour laws by dubbing them "supervisors". Obama was finally going to stop some of this abuse... as Carter tried to so... but the GOP has been in a uproar about these changes.

Trump's pick for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, is proof Trump intends to continue to the rights war on labor... and to use a depreciating US minimum wage and other labor law abuse as backdoor welfare for US corporations. But, it comes as no surprise Trump is more than willing to give uber-rich and himself massive tax breaks.

Trump knows how to play the PR game as he did with Carrier. It's the perfect distraction from his real agenda. While the Blue Collar faith in Herr Trump may be high, their detachment from reality won't forever blind them... and it's only a matter of time before these suckers realize they've been had. Trump's idea for making the US competitive are exactly what we'd expect from a sociopathic billionaire: Trickle Down 3.0. Trump and his billionaire buddies aren't getting enough goodies, and the workers aren't sacrificing enough pay and benefits.

The Only Effective Blind Trust For Trump... Is A Lobotomy!

The idea that there could be a truly blind trust for Trump without total divestiture of ALL his business holdings... so even his kids are out of the picture... is if Trump had a lobotomy and really didn't remember he had a golf course or hotel in a nation he's dealing with. But then the cabinet would. So sorry gals and pals, it's lobotomies all 'round.

Maybe they can get one free before ACA is dismantled. Otherwise... I'm sure we could crowd source the money.

What Should We Call Trump? What Would Make a Good Bumpersticker?

The term usurper is an antiquated term... and there is a long list of them in history https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_usurpers as well as in fantasy such as the book Conan The Usurper.

It means one who wrongfully or illegally seizes and holds the place of another

Despite its usage being relatively dated, I like the title Trump the Usurper.

Other suggestions?

SATURDAY EDIT: I now think my original idea was lame. I'm leaning more towards Loser In Chief... but it still doesn't grab me.

Democratic Reforms Held Hostage To Absurd Amendment Process

If we ever are to make common sense democratic reforms to our federal system... it has to be done by amendment. Yet the absurdity of this process rarely is examined. I'll be using approximate numbers in the following...

To get a proposed amendment out of Congress it has to be approved by 2/3 of both houses. Leaving aside gerrymandering in the House, in the Senate, 18% of the US population gets 52% of the seats. Regardless of what the House does, any amendment can be blocked in the Senate by states with less than 15% of the US population.

Once a proposed amendment gets to the states where 3/4 approval is needed... it can be blocked by states with as little as 4% of the population yet ratified by states with 40% of the population.

But here's where it gets even nuttier... these numbers assume unanimous approval in those states... but chances are there won't be. So assuming a 49-51% split of opinion in each state... amendments may actually be blocked by 2% of the population yet ratified by between as little as 20% of the population (by this I mean their representatives).

Given the hurdles, does it come, then, as any surprise that not ONE of the core antidemocratic features of the federal system has ever been amended away?

Bottom Line For The Electoral College

In the end if all the EC can do is ratify the popular vote, it's not needed.

If the EC can overturn the popular vote, it should not be tolerated by any self-respecting free people.

The EC violates what SHOULD be a core democratic principle: one person, one vote... AND ALL VOTES WEIGH THE SAME in terms of representation.

The EC can not be "fixed" by playing with the state allocation formula or even if all states move to a proportional system. In the end ANY system that still includes weighting the votes of citizens differently by the state they choose to live in can lead to a candidate REJECTED by the People being imposed on the nation.

The ONLY morally legitimate method of electing a president is how we conduct every other election in the nation: by the popular vote.

Should California Threaten Secession To Abolish Electoral College?

PROBLEM 1: The standard for morally legitimate government was best summed up in the Declaration Of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

The Electoral College system now twice in 16 years has imposed on the nation a president who was REJECTED by the People. The EC makes a mockery of the very concept of self-determination. Like Bush2, Trump will do immense damage to the nation and further entrench the power of a toxic GOP into the fabric of government.

PROBLEM 2: The EC is unlikely to ever be abolished constitutionally. The GOP has a well documented contempt for democracy and now that the EC has a clear GOP bias, no proposed amendment will ever get out of Congress. In the Senate a mere 18% of the US population gets 52% of the seats.

PROBLEM 3: Even if a proposed amendment made it out of Congress... states with as little as 4% of the US population can block any reform. The Popular Vote interstate pact is a clever workaround but it is unlikely to ever become reality and the first time a state has to vote against its own election results, there will be a revolt in that state to leave the pact. The only solution is to abolish the EC not put bandaids over it.

QUESTION: How do citizens reform a system that is both antidemocratic and virtually reformproof? One can imagine a 50-100 year campaign to overcome all the obstacles. But how many more morally illegitimate presidents will be imposed on the nation in that time determined to make reform more difficult?

PROPOSAL: I can think of no way to reform the system internally. If you can... I'd like to hear it. The only way I can envision the EC being abolished is if a state like California threatens secession unless democratic reforms are made to the Constitution... thus creating a constitutional crisis.

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