Saturday, November 06, 2010

Election Results: What have we learned?

Not only did Rand Paul win in the U.S. Senate race here, but Republicans nearly swept the ballot locally (with the exception of city precincts, thank god). State Sen. David Boswell lost reelection in what should have been a easy win. Meanwhile, every U.S. Representative incumbent won reelection including two Dems.

I don't know about you, but I didn't learn shit!

I suppose there is a general anxiety or fear out there, but no real reason for the mixed results. Why did John Yarmuth (D-KY3) win? Why not Jack Conway (okay, Rand Paul was a rock star). David Boswell was easily the most popular person on the ballot in Daviess County (67% job approval as of Oct. 1). What the frick?

Obama can finally be President.

Barack "Pussyfoot" Obama can finally give up on this bipartisan bull and actually push some meaningful legislation. Maybe he can submit a budget that cuts spending more than Republican alternatives. That would be hilarious. Let's see how serious these "teabaggers" are about fiscal sanity when presented with a $200 billion military budget cut. How about a truly comprehensive immigration policy that goes after the source of the problem: Illegal hiring?

Let's face it, nothing meaningful is going to get done until the summer of 2012 when people are absorbed in the Presidential contest. Then we'll start seeing some pandering to voters. Maybe Obama's challenger will be a Senator or Representative. Force him/her to vote against something really popular like Bush did to Kerry in '04.

Here's to hoping.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

TOP 5 Policy Changes Yet To Be

Still Up!

1. Proportional Public Campaign Finance

Either ban or significantly limit private funding for elections. Give political parties/candidates, funding based on previous election results. This would require elections with automatic runoffs.

2. Tax Free Investment

Of course you should pay taxes on money you earn (including deductibles). But you should be able to deduct 100% of cash investment that is not "cashed out." If you touch it (AKA sell), it's income and you pay taxes on it. Of course there should still be a Roth IRA option for a limited amount of your investing in mutual funds. Just think, tax-free Roth! Eliminate capital gains and losses.

3. Progressive Taxation With Unlimited Deductions

We really need to raise taxes. Really. Personalized tax brackets. Taxable income is $20,000; You pay 10% flat. Taxable income is $21,000; You pay 10.1% flat. Something like that. Plus, every expense that is necessary or required by law would be fully tax deductible regardless of income. Increase personal exemption and eliminate tax credits. People with high income and low expenses would see a tax increase.

4. Nuclear Power

Of course, I'm nearly guaranteeing a nuclear disaster of epic proportion, but compared to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, nuclear meltdown almost seems preferable. At least we have a plan for that. Even environmentalists are starting to get on board with this one.

5. Medicare Buy-In

The thing that Lieberman supported before opposing it. At least start by letting citizens 55 and older to buy Medicare at a predetermined, income sensitive premium. Just because we're getting rid of preexisting conditions doesn't mean health care will be affordable for these people.

Okay, I'm going to bed. This is getting ridiculous. Fun though.
Another Late Night (Early Morning) Rant

Ya know, it seems I can't have a coherent string of thoughts in the middle of the day. But for some reason, if I stay up all night: Verbal diarrhea!

It's been a while, so let's see what I can cover.

Health Care Reform

We went from "Universal Health Care" to "Affordable Health Care" to "Health Care Reform". What a year! I would warn conservatives that while "ObamaCare" might seem like a catchy buzzword, linking your opposition to health care reform while simultaneously bashing it, will backfire once many of the provisions become active. You opposed "exchanges" and "banning pre-existing conditions" and "free physicals" and "end-of-life counseling?" Are you friggin' nuts? If I were Obama, I would start using "ObamaCare" as part of my reelection slogan now.

Drill Baby, Dr..., OOPS! Plug Baby, Plug!!

I feel for President Obama. Just as he was trying to build support among moderate Republicans (all 3.5 of them) for "Cap and Trade" legislation by dropping the ban on offshore oil drilling, BP has a huge offshore drilling disaster. Kinda like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. AARGH!

On the upside, Mr. Obama has taken the pragmatic pro-nuclear power approach. Hopefully, that works out a little better.

Tanning Bed + Arizona = Awkward Questions

I don't look illegal...Do I?

I actually feel bad for the police and sheriffs in Arizona. One law just turned a bunch of consummate professionals into career racists. Of course the real racists are having a field day.

Tea Partay!!!

The tea party movement, or--as it used to be called--the Republican Party, has so far successfully defeated two of its power players in major senate races. Charlie Crist is trying to pull a "Lieberman" in Florida and I don't know what the hell Bob Bennett is going to do. John McCain is officially on notice.

Of course, this could be good for Dems come November. If Republicans try to overplay their hand with extremely conservative candidates, moderate Democrats will capitalize. I'm interested to see what happens in the KY primaries next week. Rand Paul appears to be riding daddy's last name to a big win. Right now, I'm supporting Dr. Daniel Mongiardo for the Democratic side. He's actually been a vocal supporter of President Obama since early 2008. Jack Conway is a fairly unknown quantity to me, but seems like he could be a superstar in the party. (He's a pretty-boy* with a good head on his shoulders.) Either way, I like our chances in November.

So far, spring has been pretty good to us progressives. I'm going to research Elana Kagan a bit more before I have a full-fledged rant about her as Obama's SCOTUS Justice nominee. Maybe I'll have another late night before summer.

*Being a person of average appearance, I've always been distrustful of attractive people. They tend to "play" a bit more than the rest of us. My first real political support went to Paul Tsongas in 1992 (I was 16), then Howard Dean in 2004, followed by Bill Richardson in 2008. Clearly, I like 'em average. No offense Dr. Mongiardo!