Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Just Keep Raising Taxes

A Gift from Moose:
"I came across this editorial today, and I sums up rather well what I have tried to say here on your blog and why we butt heads on most topics here...particularly the following:

"If I have to pay a little more with each paycheck to ensure my fellow Americans can access health care? SIGN ME UP. Poverty should not be a death sentence in the richest country in the world. If you’re okay with thousands of people dying of treatable diseases just so the wealthiest among us can hoard still more wealth, there is a divide between our worldviews that can never be bridged."

Liberal Progressive Mindset"

Which reminds me of this Sojourner Piece... Have We Forgotten the Point of Christianity... And here is an exchange we had on FB...

"Christianity is also about charity and giving, not tax and spend. It interesting how some want to help others as long as others are paying for it. I have my usual questions: as a country we already take in ~1 million legal immigrants and refugees per year, we have many people from South America who have needs and are closer, and we have many people millions of people with poor household incomes in the USA. How many of the worlds 5 billion struggling humans do you want to bring in ? What will they do to earn and living? How will this impact our low income workers who are already struggling? I think people who are concerned should be more charitable and help others while they work to improve their own country." G2A

"As usual, your arguments aren't really about the exercise of faith, but about politics." FB1

"My exercising my faith means that I give to charity and help people that I interact with. It is you and the author who want to politicize faith to force people to do what you believe is moral. Instead of asking people to give, pray, volunteer, etc... The author is promoting using our government to tax and fund per his priorities. It reminds me of when the religious right tries to use the government to prevent homosexual activities and abortions." G2A

"Strange, I didn't read that." FB1

" I think his final paragraphs make the point well. So when we’re confronted with national questions regarding refugees, immigrants, racism, national security, the economy, and social justice issues, we must remind ourselves of the old adage: “What Would Jesus Do?” because we already know what he did, and it’s our responsibility to do the exact same thing. God help us.

So back to my questions... Any answers?" G2A

"Nope" FB1
I mean the Liberal Progressive philosophy sounds so simple and perfect. If we just give everyone every thing they need they will be motivated, happy, knowledgeable and work hard to improve and perpetuate our society.  Kind of like living with the 7 dwarves.

That is until the cold light of reality illuminates it's flaws. I mean for 100+ years we have been increasing our taxes big time and giving more care, food, education, housing and healthcare than ever in history.  And what do we have to show for it...  More single parent households than ever, a huge academic achievement gap, people who keep themselves trapped in generational poverty, violent crime in the streets, etc.  I don't think I am excited to double down on the "war on poverty" given how disastrous the first round was...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Who Will Work the Fields?

From Laurie.
"There is no recent topic on illegal immigration so I will post my link here:

Trump’s Crackdown on Immigration Is Terrible News for Anyone Who Eats Food

Seems to me widespread deportation is a bad idea. I am in favor of small scale selective deportation. Deporting people who are serious criminals seems like the way to go to me."

Heroin Deaths in MN

A gift from Sean.  I moved it from Neither Party Cares Comment String
"Let's hop in the time machine back to the 1980s, when the crack epidemic was at its peak. What was our society's response? We militarized our police forces (urban and rural). We started high-intensity police patrols that used "broken windows" policing strategies that in many places (like Ferguson, for instance) turned poor black folks into an ATM for local government. We instituted mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug offenses, and we treated drug addiction like a crime instead of a disease. Deaths from crack and powder cocaine combined peaked at about 3,000 in the late-1980s.

Today, we have an opioid epidemic that killed more than 50,000 last year. How are we responding to that crisis?

I'd like to think that the reason we're responding differently to opioids is because we've learned from the damage we did to communities 30 years ago. But I fear it's not that at all. Because we sure didn't see gauzy stories like this from local news channels about those impacted by crack back in the day:

KARE: Minnesota families grieving the toll of heroin "

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sean's Healthcare Improvement Plan

I was looking back at the G2A Nolan Diagram post for something and saw the following comment from Sean. I am not sure if I ever posted it for discussion, so here goes.
"Sean, If I remember correctly it was something like the German system. Correct?" G2A
"No. I think you can make some changes to the ACA to make it work much better. Here are four such changes that could make an impact right away:
  • I would extend the subsidies beyond their current cutoff point to limit some of the impact on those who are being impacted by the rising individual market premiums. The current cutoff point is around $90,000 income for a family of 4, I would extend that up to $250,000 with the subsidies having less value the further you move up the scale.
  • I would increase penalties on those who choose to go uninsured, or alternatively, institute automatic enrollment in Medicaid or a public option (see below).
  • I would institute a public option (allow people to buy into Medicaid or Medicare) at first in areas where there is only one private insurance option and to cover those who don't purchase insurance on their own if automatic enrollment were selected.
  • I would reinstate risk corridor payments in areas where there are low amounts of competition." Sean

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Neither Party Cares About Helping Poor People

CNN Kasich Says Neither Party Cares about Helping Poor People

I keep liking this guy more and more.

"You look at the rates of poverty, the problems in this country. We have not designed a system to get people work. Everything we're talking about now — getting people healthy, giving them health care — is designed to get them to work. It's designed to give them an opportunity to have a better life.

"And maybe this is a signal that instead of people just confessing their loyalty to one party or the other, maybe they ought to be confessing their loyalty to the country," Kasich said, adding that political leaders need to stand up and say what they think about things regardless of potential backlash.

"I don't think we have enough leadership," Kasich continued. "I think too many people cower, you know, in the wings because of partisanship. Not just Republicans; Democrats as well. If you try to get a great number of governors, Republican or Democrat, to speak out on this, where are they? All you hear are crickets and chirping because they're, they're worried about upsetting their base." 
"Or getting ads run against them like that," Bash added.

"So what?" Kasich replied. "Then get -- then, if you can't take a fastball on the inside, get out of politics."
Makes sense to me...

 Liberals seem to think giving poor people "something for nothing" is in some way helping them "learn to fish" when it just teaching them to "line up for more free fish". And of course it is teaching the bureaucrats that if you fail you gain funding and job security.

And Conservatives seem to think that the unsuccessful folk will somehow magically succeed if the government does nothing to help them. Apparently it was just a fluke that all those people were unsuccessful and impoverished before government started offering aid.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Family Bonding and Belief Development

Now for something totally different. If you have any desire to understand how I developed into the man that I am... (for better or worse)  This is a typical example of how my Father and I bond...

Some Fathers like to golf, go to sports games, fish, camp, hunt, etc. Well mine likes to do productive projects that create, repair or maintain something.  Or what most people call work...

So I have Fridays off during the Summer and spent the day bonding with Dad. For you city folk this activity is called "fixing the plugged field tile".  Tile are the plastic, concrete or in the old days clay perforated or non-perforated tubes that farmers put in the field to drain away excess water. Kind of like that bottom tray on your flower pot.

The activity involves finding where something is stopping the water flow (ie roots, crushed tile, debris, etc), digging down to the tile, cutting out that section, clean out the obstruction and reinstalling a new tube.  Needless to say it is a physical and muddy activity. And as you can see Dad believes in using the newest and fanciest equipment... (Not...)  Apparently the Farmall 350 Utility Tractor is older than I am.

Thus my focus on learning, working, living below one's means, saving and investing.  If I had been raised elsewhere by different Parents maybe I could have been a true Liberal.  Now isn't that scary... :-)

Monday, June 19, 2017

How Kids Get Screwed Up Long Term

Now here are some links I can get behind. Also, why I am so frustrated that anyone is allowed to have kids in America. One has to pass a drivers license test and have enough money to pay for a car and insurance to drive legally. And yet to be a Parent one has to just have poorly protected sexual intercourse and not have an abortion. And I can guarantee that raising kids well is a lot harder than driving. 

 And as this says the long term consequences for the children and our society are huge.  Thoughts?
Childhood Emotional Trauma Closely Linked to Problems in Adulthood
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Unfortunately it doesn't look like licensing Parents made the CDC's list...  Oh well maybe next time. :-)
CDC Abuse / Neglect Reduction Strategies

Friday, June 16, 2017

Yanez Castile Verdict and Protests

Well apparently the protesters are back after the police officer was found not guilty. Here are a couple of comments from my more liberal FB friends.
"Well that's a shame, although not unexpected. Pray for peace."
"Just not right. Not Guilty. Really. Wow.
"He didn't deserve to die for that traffic stop."
SFGate Officer Acquitted
CNN Officer Who Shot
CNN Protests follow verdict

And here are some of my responses.
"So let's summarize, an investigation was held, the officer was charged, a trial was held and he was found not guilty by a jury of our peers and you think it is shame. Do you think he should have been found guilty because the victim was a black man? The victim regardless of race had been smoking pot, had pot in the car and was carrying a gun on him. (ie high risk lifestyle) If the victim was a white man would see the verdict as a shame?" G2A

" I never said he deserved to die, this iis a tragic situation for all involved. One young man is dead and another has spent a year being tormented by crowds of people and likely by his own mind. Again, would people be marching tonight if this was a young high gun toting white man? What do the marchers want beyond an investigation and trial?" G2A

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Electoral Votes: What is Fair?

So this discussion started here. And it requires an image for a better answer.

"Moose, Now don't be silly... They still only have 3 votes... Now each individual citizen has more power, but it is still just a pittance compared to the urban States.  So yes the system is working great. And I am thankful because Wyoming is beautiful.  I am always amazed when urban Liberals want to rule the whole country with an iron fist... So much for that tolerance of different beliefs and peoples." G2A

"Voting Power You were saying...?" Moose

"Excellent source... And I believe I was saying... "Now each individual citizen has more power, but it is still just a pittance compared to the urban States.

This is a trade off we make to keep America whole and stable. And to ensure the dominant majority of City/Coastal Americans do not run rough shod over everyone else. 

Imagine how much better off and stable Iraq would be if the Shiites could not run rough shod over the Sunnis and Kurds as they can with their form of government." G2A

"Not according to my previous source." Moose
My point was that even with the weighted electoral college system, Wyoming only gets 3 votes out 538...  That is a pittance when it comes to national control.  And strangely Liberals who usually want the minority voices to be heard would happily quiet them further.  As is often the case, I find this ironic.

MN Teacher Licensing Improved

Another big improvement that occurred is that local schools have been given the freedom to interview from a larger pool of candidates to ensure the best most qualified Teachers are allowed in the classroom.  Previously the bureaucrats and Teacher's Unions had this pretty well locked down.

MPR MN Teacher Licensing Change
Mn Daily Teacher Licensing Change

The benefit for them of course was to reduce the pool of available applicants, therefore putting upward pressure on required employee compensation.  And making it harder for administrations to replace poor teachers, therefore encouraging administrators to just keep the questionable performer.

Now we know that ED MN is livid, so it is probably a pretty good thing. Please remember that ED MN is a Teacher Union, no matter what else they say.  Their goal is to maximize compensation and job security for their members.  This is not bad or evil, it is just why they exist.

Their goal is not to ensure that our public schools maximize their performance for the good of all American children.  That is the duty of our elected school boards and the school superintendent that they hire.

Monday, June 12, 2017

MN Teacher LIFO is Gone: Thank Heavens

Erin does an excellent job with MP LIFO Surprise. As you are aware, I am against tenure, Last In First Out, steps/lanes and all the other silly Union / State rules that prevent school administrators from keeping only the best most cost effective teachers in the classroom.
Now I am aware that teachers with seniority and tenure appreciate their high job security and relatively high wages and benefits. And that they want the Union and Liberal politicians to do everything in their power to protect this good deal. This makes sense from the point of view of a Teacher in this position.
However if you are a tax payer, a parent, a young gifted teacher or a student this is a terrible deal... Here are some of the reasons why:
  • Some teachers are paid more than their performance justifies. They may be stuck in a school district where they are burnt out but still paid better than they can get else where. Do you really think they are giving 100%? Don't the kids deserve better?
  • Raises are constrained for young energetic gifted teachers by the steps/lanes table. This would have driven me crazy when I was a young workaholic engineer. No wonder attracting young highly motivated talent is hard.
  • The reality is that if any of the teachers are paid more than what they would command on the open market or if the district has to expend a lot of money to get rid of questionable performers, it means that fewer Teachers can be hired and class sizes are made larger.
  • Other
The good news is that we have made one more common sense reform in MN. At least now the admin and teachers can negotiate this at the local level. However, the Ed MN President said one of the most disturbing things: 
"It’s too early to tell what sort of an impact the state-level LIFO repeal will actually have on schools. But Specht suspects there’s not much of an appetite, on the local level, to use anything other than seniority.

There are some locals that are probably going to just put seniority in their contract because it’s easy, it’s predictable,” she said. “We actually hear that a lot of superintendents and principals like it because sometimes having those tough conversations, it’s hard for them. We also believe that teacher development and evaluation law might play into this.” 
The idea that our highly paid school administrators are too scared to address poor performing teachers and that the ED MN President is okay with it makes me SO ANGRY... Both of these groups swear that they are there to ensure that only the best teachers are in the classroom. And yet they both may support seniority policies because it is easier. Definitely some major league hypocrites. 
This quote does give me hope though I am floored that this would be a new concept in the public schools... No wonder they have so many unresolved challenges.
"My guess would be that even though it’s no longer in state law, the status quo is still going to be the default unless there’s a specific effort to change it. And that is a battle that can often require a lot of political capital on the side of the district,” said Kency Nittler with the National Council on Teacher Quality. 
Even so, she says that the repeal of LIFO legislation in Minnesota opens up a number of new possibilities for districts to factor criteria other than seniority into their layoff policies. For instance, some districts might look to negotiate a system that buckets teachers into groups based on their performance-evaluation ratings. Those with the lowest level of ratings may be let go first
From there, any additional cuts might be based on seniority. In some policies she’s observed, districts have adopted a point system where teachers can get points for their performance evaluation. This portion often carries the most weight, but they can also get points for things like experience, leadership roles, or other measures of professional growth. 
I think there are ways to make systems that are not purely 100 percent based on performance that are certainly much less quality blind than 'last in, first out,' but are perhaps palatable for the negotiating table,” Nittler said."
I mean really...  What a creative new idea.... Layoff the poor performers first...  What will they think of next... 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Anti-Sex Ed Conservatives Cause Unwanted Babies

I'll never understand the desire by the religious right to keep young adults ignorant.  NPR Teen Pregnancy Rates  From my post regarding older mothers...
"Remember that I am fine with abortions up to ~14 weeks, IUDs and morning after pills. And I am the odd voice that says welfare Mom's with 2+ kids should be forced to have an early abortion or give the baby up for adoption if they get pregnant with another while on welfare... Or they should be forced to give up all benefits...

My goal has been very consistent... Babies who are born should be taken care of by responsible and capable Parents who can afford them. I don't think Mom's / Dad's who delay pregnancy and increase chances of the baby having serious health problems so they can pursue their degree / career first count as responsible parents." G2A

And yet those back woods Religious Right folks strive to keep young women ignorant and unprotected during the time that they are at their highest risk of becoming an unprepared, unqualified and low income mamas.

Let me see: brain not fully developed, hormones in abundance, peer pressure and mixed messages all around them, emotional attractions, etc.  And the Religious old folks want them to "just say NO" because "we said so".  It is kind of like locking an over eater in the candy store and telling them to just use their will power to not eat...

What are these pious puritanical adults thinking.  And then on top of this they want to make abortion illegal and they want to cut the financial support needed by these unprepared, unqualified and low income mamas. And the irony of course is that then they say they "value humans lives"...  Maybe they do as long as they don't cost them any money or time, and they get to keep them ignorant.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

DEMs Keep Fighting Themselves

This is an interesting twist...  Apparently it is Obama's fault that Clinton lost...  Thoughts?

CNN Actually Hillary has a Point

Comedians Spark Outrage

I am wondering if Kathy Griffin and Bill Maher are smart comedians who are getting just what they want.  A lot of free publicity...  I mean a LOT of people now know Kathy's name who may not have last week, including a LOT of Liberal of potential customers / employers who support her foolish choice.

CNN 2 Comedians

Friday, June 2, 2017

Generations of Disabled Rural White Moochers

A gift from Laurie
Here is a link on another recent topic - this one about (rural white) moochers:  Generations, disabled
Just skimming it... It looks like a good application for my "don't let baby mama's and daddy's keep having and keeping babies they can not care for" rule. And yet no one likes that rule, they would rather these children grow up neglected.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trump Climate Announcement

Yes I have found one more reason to dislike Trump...  Why would anyone in their right mind exit a global accord like this one?  I keep thinking that he is trying as hard as he can to give the Democrats full control of the House and Senate in 2019 & 2020...  Maybe he truly is a closet Liberal looking to be the next Obama starting 2019... :-)

CNN Trump Announcement
CNN Money Elon Musk to Quit as Counselor
Science Trump Dumps Accords
WP Fact Checking Trump
Politifact Fact Checking Trump
CNN Business Support Accords
CNN CEOs Very Unhappy with Trump's Choice

This SNL skit seems appropriate today.
Trump Talks with Supporters

ED MN Upset By Licensing Change

There are some really good comments in this string.  That unless ED MN gets rid of the comments from Teachers who disagree with them...
FB ED MN Letter from Denise Sprecht

And here is some more coverage.  Since I support licensing reform and the end of tenure, I am with the GOP on this one.
MPR Ed Bill Passed
ED MN More Negotiations
AT Gov Vetoes Needed Licensing Reform

Democrats Not being Very democratic

This Super Delegate thing confuses me...  Especially from a party that each and every vote must matter...  Thoughts?  CNN DNC and Super Delegates

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Selfish Old Women Getting Pregnant

When I hear about this trend my blood starts to boil.  CNN Births to Older Moms  Selfish women who put themselves first during normal child bearing years. And then feel the need to spend a lot of money and take a lot of risks later in life.  And we wonder why US Healthcare Costs are high.

G2A US Healthcare Cost Factors

And before I get called out for picking on women, I think men should also honor that 25 to ~38 year old time frame that is optimal for many reasons.

MN State Police Community Task Force

It looks like the folks with the communities with the problems are looking for a fall guy... Again...

Instead of focusing on fixing their communities...  They want to make things more difficult for those who are trying to help...

You know my view, if Nekima etal spent more time helping the police kick the gangs out of their neighborhoods...  The other problems would go away...

But it is always easier to see obstacles elsewhere than to look in the mirror.
MP State Police Community Task Force 

MN Legal Battle Pending

Well it is good to see that our Governor and Legislature are getting along so well...  (Not...)


MP MN GOP Cuts Women Studies Office
VN Dayton Vetoes Leg Funding
Inforum Leg to Take Legal Action

Monday, May 29, 2017

Some of Us are Complicit in Racism

So the writer of this piece espouses the tired old liberal elite belief. CNN Some of Us are Complicit in Racism
"Let us make it clear that robbing people of their right to vote is sinful, shameful and unacceptable. Let us work to heal the breach between police departments and black communities. And let us correct those congregants, parishioners, elected officials and opinion makers who deny, against all evidence, that racism remains a powerful force in American life. "
Where as I agree with Ben Carson's assessment better. And this interview with another driven Black man seconds Ben's views.
"ROLLE: No. I honestly - I never had a doubt. And I cannot take the credit. I give that to my parents. You know, we came from the islands of the Bahamas, and I left there when I was very young, ended up moving to New Jersey. And in New Jersey, my parents were prophesied to my brothers and I and speak and hardwire into our minds that just because we come from a small country, just because we have dark skin, just because we don't have a lot of money does not mean that we cannot accomplish our goals in this country that has an abundancy (ph) of resources.

We have to develop our firm foundation of education. We have to believe in ourselves. We have to be good citizens, good leaders, stay true to our Christian principles, and these things could happen for us. So they poured the confidence in me, and I walked out of my house in New Jersey every morning thinking, yeah, why not? Why can't I do both? Why can't I do all things? Once I had that firm belief, it gave me, you know, the initiative to kind of go and pursue those things with all veracity."
Here is a Liberal video response to Carson's comment.  It like the original piece is very complicit in the racism of low expectations and excuses..  When are Liberals going to respect people of color enough to hold them to the same standards of behavior, effort, academics, etc as every one else?

Now I agree that there are some terrible people out there like this deranged supremacist who killed people for telling him to stop badgering innocent girls.  The good news is that we can find and deal with people like him.  I am more worried about all of the Liberal elites who keep supporting policies that trap people in poverty and dependency.

Biden Has Advice for DEMs

It seems Joe Biden agrees with me in one area.  The DEMs have focused so much on the poor folks, LGBT folks, public employee union members, supporting racial conflict, environmentalism, government handouts, etc that they have forgotten all the hard working middle class people from all races. I wonder if they will refocus their message to be more inclusive or if they will keep pandering to their core constituents?

NBC News Biden
Breitbart Biden
The Hill Biden

Saturday, May 27, 2017

If Kushner Goes to Jail, That Would be Funny

Now that would be amusing if Kushner gets in trouble and ends up in jail...  Since he had no government standing at that time I am not sure what they would get him for?

This drama seems to be never ending...  And Trump's actions seem to indicate that there is fire to go with the smoke.  And then to make things worse Trump would probably pardon any of the people who get convicted...  The chaos that is American politics...

CNN Kushner and Back Channel Communications
CNN General Says Off the Map
CNN FBI Looking into Kushner Role
CNN Russia War Room 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Almost Anyone Can Teach?

This is compliments of one of my FB Friends.
WP AZ Allows Teachers with No Teaching Background

"New legislation signed into law in Arizona by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will allow teachers to be hired with no formal teaching training, as long as they have five years of experience in fields “relevant” to the subject they are teaching. What’s “relevant” isn’t clear. 
The Arizona law is part of a disturbing trend nationwide to allow teachers without certification or even any teacher preparation to be hired and put immediately to work in the classroom in large part to help close persistent teacher shortages. It plays into a misconception that anyone can teach if they know a particular subject and that it is not really necessary to first learn about curriculum, classroom management and instruction."
US News AZ Teacher Certification
"Senate Bill 1042 would allow individuals with expertise in certain areas to obtain a "Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching Certificate" to become eligible to teach in schools and bypass the state's regular requirements to obtain basic or standard teaching certificates.

The bill would require candidates to have taught relevant courses for the last two consecutive years and for at least three years at an accredited college-level institution. They would also need to have an academic degree in their subject area or demonstrate expertise through at least five years of work experience in a relevant field."
Of course I support this as long as the Principal has the authority to interview, hire, observe and quickly fire poor performers.  Just as I wish they could do with every teacher in America. (ie private business model)  The kids deserve only the best most capable teachers in their classrooms, no matter their education, experience, seniority, etc.

And if the Principal is incapable of staffing their school well and keeping their teachers satisfied / engaged, then maybe we need to start firing poor performing Principals.


And as a readers bonus...
WP 5 Startling Things DeVos Told Congress

AHCA Scoring and ACA Options

From a previous comment, Sean's ACA Improvement plan.

"No. I think you can make some changes to the ACA to make it work much better. Here are four such changes that could make an impact right away:

  • I would extend the subsidies beyond their current cutoff point to limit some of the impact on those who are being impacted by the rising individual market premiums. The current cutoff point is around $90,000 income for a family of 4, I would extend that up to $250,000 with the subsidies having less value the further you move up the scale.
  • I would increase penalties on those who choose to go uninsured, or alternatively, institute automatic enrollment in Medicaid or a public option (see below).
  • I would institute a public option (allow people to buy into Medicaid or Medicare) at first in areas where there is only one private insurance option and to cover those who don't purchase insurance on their own if automatic enrollment were selected.
  • I would reinstate risk corridor payments in areas where there are low amounts of competition. "
And here is Moose's thought.

"Liberals aren't the ones working to take away health insurance from 51 million people in the next 10 years."
CNN CBO Gift to DEMs

Now Sean and I are actually somewhat aligned on this though I do not like the "tax the rich" technique of paying for it. And I am not sure it would be a good idea if the subsidy from the tax payers exceeded what companies pay there employees.

I mean just think of the strange warped twist...  The companies and all employees pay extra for their health insurance and the money is given to the self insured.  Thoughts?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trump's Budget Field of Dreams

I do not have much time to look into the details but overall you know my view...  The Feds should get out of the Welfare and Medicaid business and return it to the States and Charities...  No sense having the Feds collect the money just so they can give it to the States.

CNN Money Trump Budget
VOX Trump Relies on Magic Growth
VOX Trump Cut Medicaid Funding in Half
VOX Cuts Explained
FOX News Puts Tax Payers First
FOX News GOP Wary of Cuts
Market Watch Cuts Bloat that is Strangling Us
CNBC Red States would be Hit Hard
NPR Deep Cuts

Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump Approval Numbers and Amateur Judges

First gift from Laurie...
"57% of people think the government should do more:"
Disapproval of President Donald Trump Grows in Latest WSJ/NBC News Poll
Second gift from Laurie, in response to my saying that we should wait for the Special Prosecutors report before saying that Trump is guilty of more than just being a big mouthed person who talks too much and thinks too little.
"Your comments excusing all of Trumps actions make you look idiotic, John. While we still don't know to what extent Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russians, it becomes more clear everyday that Trump is a moron. I am not a lawyer, but it also appears to be obstruction of justice to me."
 It seems the Liberals are as anxious to get some rope for Trump as the Conservatives were to do the same with Clinton... And yet both sides see themselves as rational...  I will never understand...

Why do we have perfectly good investigative services and judicial systems if every one thinks they can pronounce guilt or innocence with certainty based on news reports from unnamed sources.

I wonder how many of these keyboard judges and jurors got his one correct?
Tulsa officer Acquitted in Shooting of Unarmed Black Man

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The G2A Nolan Diagram Rev 00

So Moose told me I am not a centrist and Jerry said he does not need labels, so I stayed up much too late combining some of my past diagrams from...  G2A Political Self Awareness and G2A How to Boil a Frog  I will need to look at it when I am not so bleary eyed.  Thoughts?

Remember that if you click the image it will get bigger.

For your info I did a self check here and they say I am more of a Libertarian than I thought...  I keep wondering why Liberals mistake me for a Conservative... :-)
And here we go again...  And no I am not trying to fool the quizzes.
Over the years I have landed in this area every time.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Trump Gets a Medal

Well it looks like the Saudi's like Trump better than they liked Obama...

I bet he is eating that up, and the Liberals will be gnashing their teeth.

CNN Trump Gets a Medal
CNN Head Scarves Trump Inconsistency
CNN Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

When World is Run by a Child

David Brooks is one of my favorite people to listen to and read. Here Eric covers one of David's columns. MP Chaos President It is definitely worth a read.

Here are some related links...

PT The Marks of Maturity

12 Signs of Emotional Maturity

NYT When the World is Run by a Child

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Did Trump Commit Treason

Per Moose's request...
"No word on Trump's treason today? I'm just fascinated by all the down-playing and spin, spin, spin that's happening from the corrupt administration today.  I mean...this is far worse than Hillary's emails...yet..." Moose
VOX Leaking is Outrageous, not Treason
BBC Can Trump Share Top Secret Info?
WAPO On Campaign vs Now
MM Fox Rushes to Defend Trump
Fox News Sharing was Wholly Appropriate

I know pretty much nothing about this and it seems it is pretty vague.  Maybe more concrete information will come out some time.

Dayton Digs in on Budget

Now this is even getting more exciting....  Thoughts?
MP Dayton Digs In - Briana
MPR Dayton and GOP to Resume Talks
Dayton Veto Detail Page

To add a little substance here, Jerry claims the GOP budget is balanced and that he wishes the GOP had been even more aggressive..
"Personally, I would have preferred a REAL budget battle, in which spending got pretty much held the same and then increased very modestly once the Governor found he couldn't bully Republicans into getting everything he dreamed of. I don't count a, what, 12% increase, as a win for fiscal sanity." Jerry

"As I said... It won't be the high level issues that will cause heart burn... It will be those devils in the details. Those annoying controversial things that the dominant party thinks they have a mandate to put in a bill where they don't belong. " G2A

"That's a very interesting take. Mine is that most people don't make it past the high-level "spin" put out by both parties. Everything depends on the "message" getting out, and whoever has to talk nitty-gritty details usually loses the debate. Let's see how this plays out.

The question would be: suppose the Republicans "compromise" with the Governor. What do you suppose he would take, and how would he get it? The GOP budget is balanced. " Jerry

A balanced budget seems dependent on the forward looking expectations from the sides reviewing it... Or has the State Management group deemed it so? G2A
Personally I find it hard to believe that anyone knows if the budget is balanced in reality.  I mean how would they know how the changes they are implementing will impact revenues / expenditures without a serious review by an impartial party?

Go MN GOP Claims Balanced
Daudt's Letter

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hillary's Resistance Group

Well it was unlikely that we had seen the last of her... 

CNN Hillary Launches Resistance Group
Onward Together Mission Statement

Senate Struggles with ACA Replacement

CNN Senate GOP Run Into Same Problems
Reuters DEMs Criticize All Male GOP Working Group
VOX Top Senator Comments
VOX How Nevada Fixed ACA
The Hill Senate Defends Writing It's Bill in Private

I find it humorous that the GOP wants to lower healthcare premium costs by decreasing coverage for many.  Isn't anyone truly interested in reducing the cost of Healthcare in America?  It seems everyone is more concerned about who is going to pay how much for what...  Which of course does pretty much nothing to improve the health of people in our country or the amount of our GDP that goes to pay for it.
"Conservatives are making their case to leadership that to lower premiums, Republicans have to gut as many Obamacare regulations as the House bill did. On the chopping block are regulations that include things like the "essential health benefits," a regulation under Obamacare that requires insurers cover key medical costs like maternity care and prescription drugs. Some conservatives have suggested going even further than the House bill did, proposing that instead of allowing states to opt out of the regulations, the Senate would move to remove them altogether and then allow states to opt back in if they choose.

"I think we're going to leave it up to consumer to decide what they want to buy and what they need, so we're going to eliminate mandates, not add them," Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, the majority whip, told reporters when asked about the "opt in" option.

He added, "We haven't made any decisions. We're just batting around ideas.""

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Which is More Caring / Moral?

MP AHCA Sam Even though we dropped of the first page at MP, this treasure trove of comments keeps growing.
"The word you are looking for is "Humanity" no offense. As a non religious, raised catholic, we all need to show "Humanity" if we are to survive in this world, no humanity is 101 the strong survive/ animal kingdom, the way we exterminated the indigenous people (no-humanity) the question comes, how much is enough, when does my part end and the other persons part begin? When do I have more than my fair share because I have been blessed? (Only using the term as a frame of reference)" Dennis 
"Please remember that I see government provided gifts as a 2 edged sword.
  1. On one hand it helps people who are truly in need to live and improve their lives.
  2. On the other hand it is an enabler that allows people to stay trapped in poverty, low education, dependency and lacking hope.
The first is a wonderful thing, the second is about as de-humanizing / immoral as it gets. (ie like feeding livestock) The challenge is how to use charity and social benefits to guide these people to see the value of learning, good choices, work, saving and investing." G2A 
"John:  Your tactic of shifting the argument transparent. Your basic contention was that taxation was immoral ". I must have missed the lessons regarding how the moral thing for individuals to do is to promote society forcefully taking $1 Trillion from certain citizens so that it can be given arbitrarily to other citizens."
I gave you the answer to that: a clear and direct writing by a Catholic publication on the morality and necessity of taxation for the support of the less fortunate members of society.
Your reaction is nothing more than the defense of the cult of self-interest and money, not morality." Neal 
"I believe wholeheartedly that tax payer's funds should be used to take care of the truly disabled. And that tax payer funds should be used to support people in their short term times of need, and to train them to escape dependency. This is what the piece supported.
Please remember from your quote:
"Another moral principle is that everyone is responsible for his or her sustenance"
This seems to be the part that many people on the Left have forgotten. All citizens have the moral and societal responsibility to strive to learn, improve, live within their means, work, save and provide for their own sustenance.
I believe in safety trampolines and you seem to believe in safety hammocks." G2A

Friday, May 12, 2017

Trump Comey Soap Opera

First Trump loves Comey for being unbiased, candid and getting attention.

Then Trump fires Comey for being unbiased, candid and getting attention.

It seems Trump wants to Grand Stander in Chief...

CNN Trump Threatens Trump
CNN Story Variations
CNN Trump Throws Staff Under Bus
Fact Trump Nothing to See Here

This is won of the funniest tweets from the King of Conspiracy...  I wonder if he feels any remorse for what he did to Obama / Clinton or if that is beyond his self centered capacity...
"When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?" Trump tweeted.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Life Expectancy Varies

On the way home I heard these 2 stories back to back and just had to shake my head.  Are we surprised that different areas have different life expectancies when some neighborhood businesses have to have bathroom security due to drug addicts over dosing and/or dying in the stall?
NPR Bathrooms and Opioid Crises
CNN Life Expectancy Varies

And Neal at MP pointed me to this piece. And then we disagreed... Surprise !!!
"How to decide??? That is the question. 
"Therefore, everybody should just take it easy, and the government must provide for them? No. Another moral principle is that everyone is responsible for his or her sustenance, but if something beyond his or her control gets in the way, either by personal misfortune or more general problems, such as emanating from in society, public authority cannot simply ignore anyone in need. "
Is our epidemic of single Parent homes that continues to propagate poor academic achievement and generational poverty a personal choice issue or a societal blight? I lean towards personal choice since birth control is readily available and one does not have to have poorly protected sex.
And if it is a social blight, did the war on poverty promote it by transferring the negative consequences of the actors involved to the shoulders of the tax payer?
By the way, please remember that the Good Samaritan is a story of personal charity. Not broad social welfare. I am a huge proponent of charitable giving." G2A

"Your tactic of shifting the argument transparent.  Your basic contention was that taxation was immoral . "I must have missed the lessons regarding how the moral thing for individuals to do is to promote society forcefully taking $1 Trillion from certain citizens so that it can be given arbitrarily to other citizens." 
I gave you the answer to that = a clear and direct writing by a Catholic publication on the morality and necessity of taxation for the support of the less fortunate members of society.  Your reaction is nothing more than the defense of the cult of self-interest and money, not morality." Neal
"I disagree... I believe wholeheartedly that tax payers funds should be used to take care of the truly disabled. And that tax payer funds should be used to support people in their short term times of need, and to train them to escape dependency. This is what the piece supported.  Please remember from your quote:
"Another moral principle is that everyone is responsible for his or her sustenance" 
This seems to be the part that many people on the Left have forgotten. All citizens have the moral and societal responsibility to strive to learn, improve, live within their means, work, save and provide for their own sustenance.  I believe in safety trampolines and you seem to believe in safety hammocks." G2A

Of course the irony is that I am Lutheran...  Not Catholic... 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

AHCA is Inadequate

Jerry and I have been going at it regarding ACA, AHCA, pre-ACA and Medicare. Then I saw this piece's Title and just had to start laughing... I mean the irony that the Left thinks AHCA is inadequate for one set of reasons and the Conservatives think it is inadequate for a totally different set of reasons is humorous... Well at least for me it is. :-)

CNN Kasich Says AHCA is Inadequate
TP AHCA is Inadequate
Kaiser Health News

I especially like this title...
How A Bill That Nearly All Opposed Managed To Pass The House

MP AHCA Links for my convenience. Even though my latest comments have not been showing up...
MP AHCA - Eric

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sanction of the Victim

So we recently had Moose calling us more Conservative folks "Morally Bankrupt" and Laurie said we are "proponents of the prosperity gospel in life and healthcare"...

Thanks to my reading Atlas Shrugged I understand the trap that these comments set for the hard working productive person.  People who are capable, independent, driven and motivated to succeed are susceptible to the trap, and Liberals rely on this.

It would be pointless to taunt slothful incapable people of low moral standing because they would not care, and could not provide what was needed if they did.  So the goal of the trap is to appeal to the work ethic and moral standards of the producer to motivate them to keep working harder so others can take more and more.  Ironically the producer / enabler can only be free once they decide to ignore those voices.

Since I am blessed to have many skills, am a workaholic and my nature is to assist people.  I bought into the guilt, taunting, name calling, etc for a long time before I learned about "Sanction of the Victim" the hard way.  If you don't remember the story, in 2004 I suffered a major panic attack in Paris France that set my nervous system bouncing between anxiety and depression. (it sucked big time...)

On the upside, it probably saved my life.  I had been letting too many people pull my strings for way to long and was burning the candle at both ends and in the middle.  And the worst part was that I had NO IDEA that I was walking on the edge of a big cliff...  So this terrible experience made me aware of many things and gave me motivation to learn / change.

In the past I gave people permission to mistreat and demand things from me. (ie Sanction of the Victim)  And usually my reward for doing so was more requests, guilt trips and little true appreciation expressed for my efforts.  

Today... After counseling, reading, learning and some lively confrontations, I have set much firmer boundaries and learned to not let the comments of others control my sense of self, happiness, etc.  By the way, my relationships are fine and I still help everyone.  The difference is that I don't let myself get manipulated or guilted into doing so. If I am doing something for you or giving you something it is because I truly want to.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Guilty Liberals Prayer

Now here is a link theat Laurie will probably like.  Ben Corey Prayer Wish  It showed up on a Liberal friends Facebook and needless to say we disagree.
"I read the whole thing... But it was painful,,, It does amaze me how some people choose to carry guilt for things that were done centuries before they were born. I think someone should buy him a book called The Present by Spencer Johnson...The Present" G2A 
"I agree that the oppression continues, that is why the USA who the writer thinks is normal sends troops and aid all around the world to help people of all faiths... This "not special" country drove the Taliban back so Muslim girls can go to school, and eliminated a violent dictator so the people of Iraq had free choice. This "not special" country provides nearly a trillion dollars per year plus even more in free education to help it's unfortunate citizens strive to escape their current reality. And yet some folks want to focus on the things that did not go right. Someday I hope they can start looking at how full the cup is and start to find peace." G2A

ACHA Passes: Now What

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Who Should Pay More for Sick People?

This is a fascinating topic.
VOX I'm Sick, Not My Fault and Should Not Pay More
NY Mag Rep Says Sick People Should Pay More
VOX Rep Says Sick Should Pay More
G2A Pre-Existing Condition Fraud

The reality is that some people cost insurance pools more money...  This can occur for many reasons, but there are three broad categories:

Bad Personal Choices:
  • Smoking
  • Over weight
  • Addicted
  • Hish Risk Lifestyle
  • Other
Bad Luck:
  • Genetic condition
  • Bad accident generates chronic issue
  • Complications from medical procedures
  • Other
Normal Life Issues:
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Other
With this in mind I support:
  • Mandating that everyone carry a defined minimum level of insurance
  • That premiums be increased based on the "Bad Personal Choices" criteria
  • That premiums not vary more than 2 times based on the Bad Luck and Normal Life Issues. Yes that means that old people, women and people with pre-existing conditions do need to carry some of their extra burden.  However the pools can also help.
  • Lastly if someone has chosen to not pay their insurance premiums and help fund the pool on an on going basis. They should receive no governmental assistance.  They should go beg for assistance from charities.

Monday, May 1, 2017

GOP Trying So Hard: Healthcare

Well on the upside, as the GOP continues to try to author something better than ACA...  More people are starting to appreciate the benefits of ACA.  I love the irony.

CNN GOP Healthcare Effort
RCP Most Americans Support ACA Now.

Trump Ramblings

I keep hoping that Trump will learn and grow into the POTUS position...  It just seems like it may beyond his capability.

CNN Trump on Civil War
CNN Trump I Thought It would be Easier
CNN Money Trump on Wire Tapping
USA Trump 100 Day Fact Check
Fox News No Major Legislation
Fox News Civil War

And talking about fear mongering...
Fox News Trump on NK: No One is Safe

Sunday, April 30, 2017

School Lunch Shaming

I am curious what the folks who often seem hesitant to hold Mamas and Papas accountable think of this story...  MSN NYT Lunch Shaming

Personally I think the kids should get their lunch and the irresponsible Mamas and Papas should get punished somehow... (ie late fees, public service, etc)

Why Clinton Lost?

Well here is a new analysis.  MSN Why Clinton Lost

This leaves me wondering what Urban Dems will do differently to attract rural and suburban working class voters?  Or if they will continue to double down on trying to win the votes of the poor, minorities, LGBT, urbanites, environmentalists, etc by buying them and/or scaring them into it.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Trump's First Hundred Days

Personally I don't think Trump has accomplished much during his first 100 days, I mean they couldn't even get Gorsuch passed with 60 votes.

Fox News 100 Days
NPR 100 Days
WP 100 Days WH Defensive

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Seattle Minimum Wage Lessons

Peter posted an interesting piece at MinnPost.  Thoughts?

I simply think.  Be careful what you ask for.  You may get it...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Caring Economy

From Laurie

This morning I have been putting together the discussion topic for a small group of church members that I have been meeting with monthly for more than 10 years.
My topic relates to a couple of comments I have recently made here, so rather than link to a news article I am providing a link to a blog post by a Budhhist monk: 
Towards a Caring Economy 
My topic for the church group is Altruism based on a book written by Ricard.
My main question is can society become more altruistic in a relatively short time frame - my main concern is for the environment.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Democrats Should Go Further Left

This opinion piece reminds me of Paul, far Left commenter at MinnPost.  If you are interested in his views, see them at the bottom of this MinnPost piece.  Here is some of the discussion we had.

"My thing is that for decades someone says: "Let's do something liberal" and Democrats reply: "No, if we do that we'll lose elections". I mean at some point you just have to admit your're not dealing with liberals. Maybe in theory they could be liberals, but we don't need theoretical liberalism. 
Meanwhile Republicans aren't defeating liberals at the ballot box, they're defeating Democrats. Democrats always try to blame their losses on excessive liberalism but THAT'S a conservative mentality in-and-of itself, so we're back to an absence of liberalism. The more they move the the "middle" i.e. moderate republicanism, the more Democrats lose, yet they keep blaming liberals. Who does that? Conservatives do that, that;s who does that. 
The problem is we desperately need a liberal political Party in the United States because liberal initiatives are the only workable solutions to our most serious issues ranging from energy to education. Since we're stuck with a two party system that means we need the Democrats to a liberal party. THAT'S not going to happen until Democrats who think they're already liberal realize they're not, decide if they want to be, and act accordingly one way or the other." Paul 
"Seems to me that your Progressive / True Liberal is what many call a Democratic Socialist. I mean that is what Bernie calls himself. Is this correct?" G2A 
"Yes and No. Sanders's calls himself a Democratic Socialist, but really he's just a "New Deal" Democrat. The distinction isn't really relevant, a liberal, simply put, is someone who supports liberal agendas and initiatives. Liberals can disagree regarding those initiatives but anyone who simply rejects them out of hand because they're liberal initiatives, isn't a liberal. So in theory liberals could disagree whether or not Obamacare or Medicare for All is the best health care system from a technical perspective, but anyone who rejects either proposal on the grounds that it's "too" liberal simply isn't a liberal. 
For decades whenever we say: "Let's do something liberal" Democrats respond:"No, that will cost us the election". And then they go out and lose elections trying to be something other than liberal. I'm not saying that no Democrats anywhere are liberal, but clearly the Party elite and too many primary voters are something other than liberal... I'd say they look like moderate conservatives who can be socially liberal, but politically and economically conservative. Whatever, I'm not actually interested in classifying them, people can be whatever they are, I don't care. I just want people to know what they are and act accordingly. Don't tell me you're a liberal but you don't believe liberals can win elections in a liberal democracy. Ether sign on to some other perspective or get liberal but don't act and vote like a moderate Republican and tell us you're a liberal Democrat." Paul 
"However the reality is that Bernie is the Far Left and Hillary is the Middle Left. Look at the graphs in these govtrack links for their scores.
As I often say, I hope you do succeed in convincing the Democratic party to go even further Left." G2A
 And though not directly related, I feel for Hiram's comment left at the end of that old piece...  Kind of like a tree falling in the woods.

"Democrats HAD a candidate that knew how to connect to rural voters and address the economic concerns that Mr. Foster claims to be so difficult.  
"Who was that? There is a lot of finger pointing going around. A recent book places just about all of the blame on Hillary. No doubt a lot of mistakes were made by a lot of people, but the real problem is that we didn't have the choice of candidates we needed, Hillary, with all her faults and with all her many virtues, was our party's version of Jeb Bush, a dynastic candidate, running when the era of dynasties is long past. Had Hillary been running in a more filled out field for the nomination, I doubt if she would have made it to the first primary. But the fact was, because of our failures in local election after local election, we simply did not have a viable alternative to Hillary in 2016, and that's why Trump's re-election, despite his extraordinary level of incompetence, is as much of a sure thing there can be in American politics." Hiram

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Liberals Love Refugees and Hate Really Helping

You will need to read the comments on G2A Put a Boot to get all the background, however in summary:
  • I think the USA as a super power has a responsibility to help people if they are down trodden and the USA has a national interest in the situation.  This does not mean that we take over their country and force our social values on them.  It does mean that we help them establish self rule  and some public safety. I compared it to a caring person staging an addiction intervention and paying for treatment. The point being that the country / person may fail to seize the gift they have been given to improve their lives, however the giving of the gift is still important and necessary.
  • Now Sean and Jerry seem to think that...  Well I think you will need to read their comments...
Then I heard Michael Moore by accident on "Indivisible" last night. The host asked him about Trump's Syria missile strike and it sounded a lot like this comment from Sean... 
"If you believe in the "Prime Directive", then you let the Syrian civil war play out, don't you? The reality is that all Donald Trump accomplished with his missile strike was winning a news cycle. The airfield that he struck was operational the next day. Bombing the Assad government went against his pre-existing policy of backing the Assad government as the most effective partner there to fight ISIS. And let's not also forget that while the pictures of the gassed Syrian children were awful, the pictures we don't see from Syria are far worse. The networks can't show us the pictures of the children who have limbs blown off due to mortar fire and other conventional weapons. "Putting a Boot Up Their Ass" may feel good for a moment, but it isn't a strategy."
The point apparently being that destroying 20% of Syria's airforce and kicking Assad in the ass was an insignificant accomplishment towards helping the innocent people of Syria...  And maybe it was depending on what Russia does.  

But if Syria did use banned weapons on their own people, then let's kick them until they stop... Our Prime Directive may not let us interfere too deeply in the self rule of other countries, but we sure can ensure that the players do not violate the Rules of War that that the people of earth have seemingly agreed to.

Well all that said, the following comments came up. 
"Of course the Liberal view seems to be that we should let all refugees come to the USA so they can be cared for here with tax payer dollars. Instead of helping them to stabilize and improve their own country." G2A 
"Let that straw man burn, baby, burn!" Sean 
"As for my view regarding refugees and Liberals... After listening to Liberals for the last year stomp, accuse people of xenophobia and gnash their teeth in opposition to:
  • reducing the number of refugees allowed
  • improving border security
  • deporting illegal workers
  • etc
I think my man is pretty solid. Liberals definitely want to help the world's down trodden by inviting them to come to the USA." G2A 
"Which explains why, under the Obama Administration, we accepted fewer Syrian refugees than Canada? Come off your ideological mountain and join us in the real world." Sean
My long time view is that Peace Loving Liberals want to encourage more poor people to move to America where they can be safer and wealthier.  Even though according to the Liberals we already have too many poor, under-educated, under-skilled, under-paid, etc legal citizens in America. Therefore the Liberals push for more taxes on the successful, more minimum wages, more free services, more cash payments, weaker borders, more refugees, etc.  

And I can understand why the Liberals love these policies.  They can feel good by providing sanctuary to the unfortunate of the world while not having to pay the bill.  I mean who wouldn't like that feeling.

The problem is that there are roughly 7 BILLION people on this earth and having half of them move to Europe and the USA because their region is unsettled is not a good long term plan.  It is a much better plan to help them eliminate their violent abusive Dictators, and then to help them stabilize their home region.  Helping the good responsible people of a region to flee their homeland will not help that region or it's people long term.

As for refugees allowed into the USA.  If language is any indicator, it looks like we have been resettling a lot of folks from the Middle East and Northern Africa here over the last 10 year. And remember you can blow up the image by tapping on it.
Refugees by Region