Vermont did it the right way

Yes,  

I still disagree with the decision to change the definition of marriage to include people who want their same sex relationships recognized as a marriage, but...

at least it was done the right way.

I, for one wouldn't want a conservative or moderate court to decree that somehow the legislature's vote was invalid, or that somebody's rights were being trampled on, or that because of some technicality the new law is unconstitutional.

I am prepared to win the battle in the court of public opinion.

I believe that God made humans to fit man and woman.

I believe that society works best when marriage is a special union between one man and one woman.

I believe that we as a country have been under a cultural assault from extreme left wingers who believe:

-in abortion on demand (I agree),
-against gun rights (I agree)
-support of radical enviornmental protections (I disagree)
-a dishonest feminist agenda that seeks to have it both ways-  =equal when it benefits, keep unequality when it is convenient (for example fighting in the military--same standards on police force etc.)(I disagree)

and in this case a radical gay rights agenda (I disagree)

whether I agree or not,  I reject the idea of bullying people into agreeing by mental co-ercion.  Through court decree.  Through promoting the idea that they are evil, or something wrong with them if "they don't believe in global warming".

Again,  I respect the Vermont system, and will work to change it peacefully if I can.  If the people agree with me, the legislators will be removed.

But I will say, the Vermont action started through the courts.  Which was wrong. That is what is wrong with Iowa and California.  It gives an unfair advantage through the tyranny of the law .  People on high telling we the people what we must do.
 Then they have to jump through hoops to change it.

It is wrong from either side.

As Democrats we should support democracy.

There's more...

Court granting bogus rights Ok? gays versus anti-abortion

I'm a pro-choice democrat.

I'm a traditional values democrat. I'm against gay rights in general and certainly the gay rights agenda of today.

So I'm arguing for other pro-choice democrats to think what Iowa's decision along with other states where Judges are setting up a situation where they make a decision, and then set up a circumstance where the people either through referendum or through their government can't legally change it for many years to come.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article /20090403/NEWS/90403010
90403010

Such a change would require approval in consecutive legislative sessions and a public vote, which means a ban would could not be put in place until at least 2012 unless lawmakers take up the issue in the next few weeks.

They are determining the status quo through manipulation, and then play intelligent defense to keep it legal.  

The new reality become normal.
People compare "this" to real problems like "the economy" or "crime".

We are defining deviancy downward.
---
I challenge those here to say why Conservatives shouldn't pack the courts with right-wingers and make jududicial decisions granting human rights to  Fetuses.  Proclaiming them to be a part of the human family and that the U.S. Constitution all along should have been protecting their Civil Rights?

Forget the idea of repealing Roe v Wade.  Institute bans on abortion and grant civil rights and protection to every unborn child.

Never mind the history of the Constitution, the application of our jurisprudence and laws, Roe v Wade, etc.

I hear the idea that we shouldn't "write discrimination into our Constitutions" well what about the discrimination against allowing the murder of unborn human beings?

----

My point is once you allow a small group of people (judges) to vote their personal opinions onto the population, it leads to unintended consequences and the door is open.

It is wrong from the right or the left.

These issues should be left up to democracy.

If you can honestly debate it, it's not a civil rights issue.

yes I know women's rights were debated, and African American's rights were debated.  But not honestly.

Humans have the ability to make distinctions.  Words and Ideas matter.

The gay rights movement has been playing undercover and politically dirty games to advance their agenda.  For example:

In Iowa they used arguments such as "there's no need for a Constitutional amendament to ban gay marriage because the courts haven't done anything".

Now that the courts have done something, "It will take 2 legislatures to undo it" and here come all of the stalling tactices and the political games.

See Mass. and other states.

If you think  your viewpoint is inevitable and won't be reversed, therefore no need to worry about these tactics,

See Republican Party 3 years ago, with THE NUCLEAR OPTION! concerning filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate.
---

Democrats please lets have a positive agenda to strengthen traditional marriage.  It  should include:

reform of no-fault divorce
counseling/waiting periods to get married
re-figuring of tax benefits to incentivize healthier marriage
universal healthcare to help the financial strain
govt. sponsoring of family friendly media entertainment.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

There's more...

Obama- so far better than the hype

It is a great pleasure to be a member of the Democratic Party as the Majority Party of America.  

Back when Howard Dean took over as chairman of the DNC, I honestly didn't think we could get back to this position so quickly.  I can thank Republican incompetence for that.

What is so inspiring is our President.

He has shown himself to be unbelievably agile on the various issues that confront this nation.

I just watched his mini-press conference on the White House Lawn, and was in awe.

I thought to myself that there was not 1 democrat, not even Hillary (whom I supported) could have been so credible in dealing with this AIG mess.

I applaud his bold budget blueprint. I really like the fact that his adminstration is on offense setting a bold agenda.  I honestly don't think my original candidate would have done that.

He is being very prudent in foreign affairs.

He made a great first pick to the judiciary.

All told.

So far.

Obama is actually better than the hype.

There's more...

Obama had school choice why not d.c. children?

Bad move to limit vouchers in D.C.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/educat ion/28voucher.html?_r=2
The NYTimes reports:

WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats have put conditions on future federal financing for a small school voucher program here, and they are urging the schools chancellor to prepare the public schools to re-enroll, in fall 2010, some 1,700 students currently attending private schools at taxpayer expense.

That would be a horrible mistake. In the article many opponents state that test scores for those in private school don't demonstrate a dramatic improvement, therefore concluding vouchers a waste of money. That is the wrong metric. That is nonsense.

The proper way to measure whether vouchers are good or bad:

ask the parents!

The essence of America is choice. I have choice for my children, and choose to send them to private school.

Please explain to me why otherwise liberal democrats would want to limit an option for children because of how much money their parents make?

I am please to note the perspective of the school system's leader:

Michelle A. Rhee, the schools chancellor, said she did not share the negative view of vouchers held by many big-city superintendents.

"Part of my job is to make sure that all kids get a great education, and it doesn't matter whether that's in charter, parochial or public schools," Ms. Rhee said. "I don't think vouchers are going to solve all the ills of public education, but parents who are zoned to schools that are failing kids should have options to do better by their kids."

Other leftwing groups have mistakenly attached their agenda to that of the 1960's Civil Rights cause, but this is a real Civil Rights Issue that goes beyond race into economic status.

Many middle and working class parents don't make enough money to pay a private school bill, yet their public schools are a failure. It doesn't matter what is wrong with the schools per se, it matters what each individual parent finds fault with in a particular school for their particular child.

We have to decide who should be the "decider", millions of parents for their own child's unique needs or a government planning board that groups people together in the thousands and millions. What if I truly think my child needs school uniforms and more math? What about no school uniforms and more science? What about all girls and more sports? What about a Spanish immersion curriculum? While no school can offer exactly what every parent would want, we should give parents a reasonable opportunity to find a the school that fits best for their particular child.

What's more important eating or education? I'll answer eating. Yet, we aren't assigned a grocery store by the government. In fact, we don't have anyone overseeing the free market that gets food to every grocery store in America every day. What we do is have regulations, inspectors, and other ways to ensure quality and saftey.

For those who need help whether it with unempoyment insurance, food stamps, social security, etc. We give them the money and let them participate in society.  We don't assign them certain places to shop.

We allow the free market to rule. Education needs to be done the same way.

I choose America. I choose choice.\

Our President looked at the public and private schools and decided which were best for his needs.  That is how it should be done.

Democrats we have a chance to remake America.
If we can propose trillion dollar budgets, surely we can use some of that money to give every parent the options the wealthy among us have routinely.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

There's more...

Flexible Federal Auction: A new way to pay for Obama's Big Government

President Obama unveiled a 10 year budget that assumes higher taxes on the top earners in our country. We are about to enter the same ole debate between Democrats and Republicans. If forced to choose, I would support President Obama's plan to pursue Universal Healthcare, Energy Independence, and other worthwhile programs with the repeal of the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy. But I suggest real change in the way we raise revenue:

We as liberal democrats don't have to accept the status quo as a given, but instead could work to find ways to advance progressive and newliberal ideas. This must be done in a way to attract mainstream America, whose interest in politics and policy is fleeting at best.

A FLEXIBLE FEDERAL AUCTION TAX.

As Democrats we are often promoting expansive ideas that cost a great deal, and the tax and spend liberal label is applied negatively upon us. We can offer great ideas, and pay for them in a more creative way.

We should eliminate the Personal and Corporate income tax, and all state/local property taxes. The average individual and/or business should not have any contact or concern with the government over taxes.

We should collect all the revenue, that we as a people through our Government decide is necessary, through a FLEXIBLE FEDERAL TAX that would be collected by an
INDEDEPENDENT GOVERNMENT BOARD similar to the Federal Reserve Board.

Their job would be to find creative ways to raise revenue in the least intrusive way as possible.

Their main tool would be the ability to PURCHASE ANY HIGHLY DEMANDED GOOD/SERVICE at the retail price, and AUCTION them at a market price.   They can allow private companies like EBAY or Amazon.com to do it in the most efficient and creative way.

So for example, a few years ago when the Star Wars movie opened to sold out shows, that represented an opportunity for the IGB to purchase 10% of the opening night tickets, and resell them at the highest price.

This process could be repeated thousands of times per year at:

-Super Bowl, NBA playoffs, and other high demand/low supply events
-Iphones,
-hot, novelty gift items for Christmas or other holidays where supply routinely sells out.
-any situation whether local, state, or national where the public wants to buy a good or service, but it is clear there is a limited supply capacity.

People wanting to see popular, first time, rare events have demonstrated through out the years a willingness to pay high prices for the pleasure.

3 examples:

1.  When Apple announced the new Iphone, and Microsoft announced the new XBOX360 it was sold out for weeks.  These events are predictable, and currently there are those who routinely profit from buying them up and reselling it.  If the government would become the number 1 reseller, we as a people get that revenue, the person bidding gets the Iphone, and no one paid anything involuntarily.

2.  Many local parks have a permit system for holiday reservations for grill/bench locations.  Currently it is first come/first serve.   Instead of having all 30 grills assigned that way, take 3 to 5 of them and auction them off.  This still allows 80-90% of the locations to the general public, but those who either thought of the idea too late or just want the very best spot to see the fireworks will willingly pay for the privilege.

3.  We have sporting events, plays, and all types of events that routinely sell out every day of the year because there is never enough capacity.  Sometimes the resell value is astronomical.  For example a ticket to a Duke/NC basketball game  that is relatively cheap can be resold for thousands of dollars.  

The IGB would simply be able to buy the first 10% of any good/service it deemed would be easily resold at a high profit because of excessive demand.

The tax code would be reformed completely with the emphasis on ZERO taxes on everyone unless they wanted to purchase one of the above items/events.

Once Congress, and State/local governments determined their desired level of taxation, the IGB would determine the best route to collecting it.

By eliminating the IRS from average people and business lives, we will rid ourselves also of unproductive avoidance behavior, with people finding creative ways to lower their burden. Those resources could be redeployed to grow our economic output.

Our debates would be more over values and what is the proper way to do something rather than the stale  higher taxes/lower taxes saga.

The end result would be an ability to do more good through the government like:

universal healthcare with maximum choices for each person.

universal education k - college in a marketplace system w/o govt bureacracies and decision makers controlling the process.

We can do more in the public sphere without the resentment from the earners in our society of taking their tax money.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

There's more...

The real race card vs the phonies in our party

College Football has a problem.  There seems to be a reluctance and/or desire to allow African Americans to be head coaches, athletic directors, and other positions of real power.

The evidence is in the absence of people of "color".
By the way, I think the lack of Asians, hispanics, and women should be questioned also. Just because they (as a group) don't play the sport, why should that still not be an issue as to a particular indiividual getting a great job?

But the glaring hint of racism deals with African Americans because of the predominance of blacks on the football field.

In many cases, A.A.'s are over 50% of players in division I football while overall about 32% are black.  Yet, out of 119 top Bowl sub-division teams, there are 4 black coaches.

But who's kidding who.  We're really not talking numbers but more so about the "big" jobs:

notre dame (maybe?)
All SEC schools (Florida,Ala, Aub.,etc.)
USC
Okl.
Tex.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/st ory?columnist=lapchick_richard&id=37 55312

I agree with this column about needing a civil rights type movement.

The numbers matter at this low level, but even if over the next 5 years they went to about 25 coaches, the reall issue is about the top jobs.

It is hard not to believe it is racism because common sense would tell you that many former players would want, prepare for, and are ready to run these programs.

In the past it could be argued there weren't enough people prepared, but in today's world that isn't the case.

There are conservative, maybe even racist people running many of these schools.  They may be the boosters who raise millions and they call the tune, or it could be the actual people in charge.

But I call this racist.
It should be changed.

President Obama commented on a college playoff and not this.
He was wrong about the playoff, and should focus his attention on this instead.

I wouldnt advise he do it personally, but hire a white liberal to lead the charge in the civil rights division of the Justice department.
---
Contrast the above with the usual calls about racism:

1.
the bogus charges hurled at the Clintons during the campaign.  Based on "code words" that happen to be true.

2.
Don Imus being forced off the air for making jokes about some female basketball players in offensive language.  Something almost every black person  laughs at when it comes from Chris Rock.

3.
George Bush not signing a "hate crimes" law in Texas for the killers of James Byrd. When he sought the death penalty in that case, but disagreed with the concept of a "hate crime" for other reasons.

I could go on.

The point is that there are still reasons to support Affirmative Action because America, while the best country ever created, still has racial issues.  There is racism in some areas.  College Football is certainly one of them.

But...

Racism doesn't affect the average black person daily.  We eat where we want 99% of the time, we live and work we were are entitled to 99%, and so on.

And in the future we should stop being politically correct and focus on the real problem when they do occur.

There's more...

Richardson at Commerce:"Not an A list position"

Yesterday, I took grief for stating my opinion about the lack of Latinos in the "A" level cabinet positions.

I thought that Obama had created a problem for himself because he willingly played the identity politics game (where you address different segments of the population as members of self-identifyed groups, and make political bargains for votes) and not adequately showing respect to Latinos who were a crucial swing group.  This was especially true with the perceived  black-brown racial tension, and the potential of McCain to appeal to latinos (at least much more than any other Republican).

For some reason, almost everyone disputed the notion of "A", "B", and "C" level cabinet posts.  They also felt that this wasn't an embarrassment for Richardson.

Well maybe a Politico headline, "Downwardly Mobile?, How bad does he want it" will show you I'm on to something.

http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/ 1108/bill_richardson_downwardly_mobile_a b77ff37-3d39-4eaf-bda5-305074d857ad.html

Well politico, which is the Conventional wisdom has come out and said:

"How bad does New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson want to be a part of the Next Big Thing in American politics?

Apparently enough so to accept what is effectively a political demotion.

Richardson is on track to become President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of commerce -- not a bad gig but also not an A-List position a la Treasury, Justice, State and Defense."

Exactly what I talked about yesterday.

Now, you can continue to disagree with the notion. But it's real.
Also, you can quibble with which cabinet posts are perceived as the best, but the fact is, Commerce is an afterthought.

Obama will now have to commit himself to fixing this problem with a grand gesture.

I suspect it could be a Supreme Court nominee,

or

maybe fix it so that a latino takes his place in Illinois.

I wish Democrats would transition away from playing these political games to get elected.  Perhaps that will be change for the future.  But I linked to a politico story yesterday that showed there was a meeting where various Latino leaders got the understanding that if they performed in terms of getting the vote out for Obama, they would get repaid.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/110 8/15375.html

My solution is for the President-elect to select the very best people for each job regardless of anything else.

He has the credibility as a Democrat to do that.

I believe in affirmative action when its' clear there are people not reaching their God-given potential because of reasons inherit in them or their circumstance.  In those cases we should take affirmative action to try to remove the barriers, stigma, or other hinderances so every child grows up believing in themselves, and we as a nation will prosper overall in the long term from greater productivity and advances.

However, Obama is the living example of the best America has to offer, and so he is in a position to move us toward a post-racial society where it truly is color-blind.  He can make it clear that this is not desirable everywhere and all the time, but where it is, that should be the goal.

Failing all of that, we will continue to play these identity politic games to the detriment of our country.

btw.

I like Hillary for sec of state over richardson because he's too weak and focused on diplomacy.

He is not qualified for any other "A" level job, so he is where he deserves to be.

There's more...

Latinos are insulted with "C" level cabinet post

First of all this country is unfortunately still about identity politics.  Obama played the game with the best of them, and won.

One of the reasons was that he convinced the Latino community to support him over McCain who had been a friend to Latinos, especially for a Republican.

Remember the "latinos won't vote for a black guy", and "they are the ultimate swing vote"?

Well the decision by latinos as a group both individual and institutional with their media and organizations to support Obama has been insulted.

No one could have blamed some of the Latino groups to say "McCain has been the 1 republican trying, and we don't want to disregard that"... but they did.

Now they get only Bill Richardson in the mix for a Cabinet job, and even he as an afterthought.

There are "A' level cabinet positions:

Sec of State
Sec of Defense
Attorney General
and now
Sec of treasurey

They are so because of the media exposure, the importance of the decisions, and the history of the job.

No latinos.  Also, btw No people from the left.

"B" level cabinet positions:

Environmental Protection Agency (sometimes considered cabinet)
Hud (upgraded because of housing crisis)
National security advisor (sometimes considered)
Homeland Security

No Latinos so far, but probably some coming soon.

"C" level cabinet positons are so because no one either knows or cares what they really do:

agriculture
commerce
interior
Energy
Labor

To name Richardson here, when he was already there before is an insult.

If you think I'm exagerrating about 'C" level status:

We just had a gigantic spike in oil up to over $4 and now a dramatic drop, and who is the energy secretary?
What did they do during the crisis?

We are having an economic crisis, and the commerce sec's job is to do what?

--
Obama should have named Richardson to head Sec of State. It would have met his "change" image, and Richardson is Obama's type of Democrat on Foreign issues.

Richardson is too weak to hold any other "A" level cabinet jobs, so that was it.

Hillary will be a great Sec of State but she will be her own person.
Everyone has to know that.

I agree with the pick because to me it means, Hillary will run Foreign Policy.  Otherwise, why would she take the job, to implement Obama's vision?

Obama and Democrats are playing with fire with the Latino sentiment.  Of course there will be chances to fix this with departures later on.  Or maybe a Supreme Court pick.

But for now this is embarassing.

There's more...

gay rights extremists bring us an e-harmony disaster

Democrats we are the majority party now.  We have responsbilities to 100% of the population.  We can no longer look at the country from a protest point of view from various numerical minorities if we don't want to return to be minority status.

Or is that where most here feel comfortable?

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,233 5035,00.asp

This article shows that the exremists in the gay rights movements have moved past tolerance, acceptance, and even equality.  They are demanding that people who disagree with them have their rights curtailed.

In this case the E-harmony business decided it was better to settle than fight a civil lawsuit.  I think that is a horrible idea because it will re-invigorate others to use the law to force others to think a certain way.

Let's understand:

E-harmony had a business that matched

men

with

women

Everyone was welcome to purchase their service if that's what they wanted.

There are other businesses that offer similar services for people seeking same sex relationships.

Yet, the premise of this suit is that it is discriminatory for
eharmony to be in the business that they want to be in, and that the government should either force them to change their business or go out of business.

For people who keep comparing this to race, this is just one of many examples of why the comparison is not apt.

First it is offensive to me as an African American to compare what my people have gone throught to an orientation that a person can declare or not declare and switch based on their preference.

But I digress.

When blacks sue to be served by the private businesses, it was to receive the same  exact service as the next person.  No better. No worse.  No different.

This person who brought the suit is forcing eharmony to have to actually change his business, change his computer programs, and now actually do something the company obviously didn't want to do.

If Democrats on all sides of these issues can't agree that a website has the right to determine what business they are selling, and not be forced to offer a service they might disagree with, we will deserve to lose the majority.

Luckily, so far President - elect Obama has shown himself to be in tune with the American people.

It would be equal to forcing MyDD to print pro-Republican material to balance the pro-Democratic tilt on this site.

There's more...

Dems should support supply side tax cuts-more govt. spending

We are entering the governing season and hopefully those of us on the left can transition from protest into policy.

I totally disagree with the Republican notion that raising taxes is always bad for the economy.

For instance if there are industries that provide goods or services where the consumer demand is very elastic, then a rise in corporate taxes (passed on to the consumer) won't have any negative effect on the economy but instead would raise government revenue.  For example, if the govt. raised taxes on luxury events such as the Super Bowl,tickets to the Oscars, or Professional Fantasy Camps-- there is so much demand and little supply that it would be a good way to raise revenue without badly impacting the economy.

On the other hand, Democrats who talk about "taxing the rich" under all circumstances as though it never matters are also wrong.

For instance, right now if you own a Starbucks franchise and are making a profit, the decision to expand and buy another store location is going to depend almost entirely on the tax environment you are expecting in the near future.   Therefore, a dramatically lower tax rate on that particular person can be the difference between:

a new store being built (construction jobs/remodeling jobs)
10 people having a job
an area having better choices in retail

and yes, that person making more money..

So in this instance, cutting taxes raises more government revenue, and keep taxes the same or raising actually lowers the revenue because it the margins some people will find it is not worth it to keep running a business at a reduced or non-existent profit.

I give these two examples to show that Democrats need to be smart and offer solutions that matter.  We should embrace supply side tax cuts where they work, and more federal spending where it can help.

1. We should cut taxes dramatically for people who are taking  a risk with their money to create jobs.  This should not extend to people who are making paper)or electronic) transactions in the stock market or some other virtual reality.  I'm talking about real risk that envisions real job growth.

2.  We should raise taxes on people who are gaining from unearned income unless they then risk it in a real venture.  So this would mean people who make money because they:

sold Google stock short  

or

hedged the U.S. currency against the Euro

should pay a higher tax rate

unless they took that money and did something productive like:

-bought and held stock in a company for a minimun of 1 year.
-bought and held debt in a company/government for a minimum of 1 year.
-started a business.

or some other economic activity that potentially could help the economy

3.  The government should pass a Universal Healthcare bill that reduced/removed the burden of healthcare from business.  This could be financied initially with debt.  If done correctly it would stimulate the economy because millions of people would become new healthcare consumers.  This is good debt because a healthy country would become more productive and easily earn more to pay off that debt.

4.  The government should dramatically increase the infrastructure spending to fix America's electicity grid, roads, rails, communication cables, etc.  Again, if done correctly it would stimulate the economy and it would be good debt passed on to the future taxpayers because they would have something to show for it.

There you have it, cut taxes for people willing to create jobs, leave them alone or raise taxes on the rich not taking real job producing risks, and massive new spending that will help the country in the long run.

There's more...

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