Monday, October 2, 2017

ACA and Gerrymandering

When you consider how many are still uninsured, and how much of our elections have been distorted  and will continue to be distorted for quite a while, was the Affordable Care Act worth it? With almost 30 million still uninsured, is what it accomplished worth the consequences ? 

It seems that largely due to the passage of the ACA, a GOP tidal wave took place in the 2010 election. And since 2010 coincidentally  was a census year, the GOP controlled and gerrymandered both Congressional and state districts to lock in GOP majorities in the House of Representatives for at least 10 years. Those gerrymandered GOP majorities will stay in place at least until 2020, unless the Supreme Court acts and declared gerrymandering unconstitutional .  

With all of the havoc which the GOP controlled House has reeked , and will continue to , reek, was it worth it if almost  3/4 of the pre-ACA uninsured remain uninsured. In addition  many people who had insurance feel their insurance options are worse today than before ACA. 

Will we look back on this as a good beginning , as with social security or Medicare , or a political disaster with not enough positive impact?

 While many provisions of the ACA are beneficial, I just question whether the ACA is accomplishing it's core primary goal of eliminating the uninsured. The price  paid so far is sustained undemocratic GOP control of the House of Representatives.


Why No Country for Kurds

Why until recently does almost no one talk about a country for the Kurds, but constantly focus on a country for the Palestinians?

The Kurds has been a separate people for centuries. They live in a relatively compact contiguous area which today constitutes parts of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. They are treated badly everywhere. In Turkey they were not even allowed to speak their own language. At least Palestinians are Arabs and Arabs have many countries. Do the Arabs really need another country, while the Kurds have none and the Jews just one.
All things considered the Kurds have a stronger claim to a country of their own to most countries  in that region. 

Almost almost all countries , except Israel , are against a country for the Kurds . Their positions are based on geopolitical stability.

 But what about the Left and academia? They passionately demonstrate for a Palestinian State, but seem to have no interest in the Kurds. Maybe if they were fighting Jews the Left would act differently. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Just who is disrespecting the American Flag

Aren't those Trump supporters who carry around and waive Confederate Flags disrespecting and dishonoring those who fought and died to preserve our country? Isn't that dishonoring the American Flag?

Trump hasn't attacked them, nor has the media picked up on this issue. 

Also no one has asked why Trump even brought up this issue now in Alabama.  Kaepernick is not even in the league now. What brought on his tirade; perhaps his failing policies. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Return to Normalcy

Fake News from fringe Internet sites, abetted by Russian hacks etc. will  lead to a return of wide spread recognition of the legitimacy and reliability of established media.  

Most people will begin to recognize that you can't rely on the Internet for any credible information. Social media and fringe Internet sites are like the "Wild West". 

 In addition, foreign interference taints all but the most secure and reliable sources.

Of course, there will still be confirmation bias; but there is a big difference between political points of view from right and left, and outright phony agenda driven stories on the Internet. 

Standards, and the reliance on credible facts from reliable sources, will be viewed as important again.

People will largely return to trusting only objective, well researched articles etc. from decent widely respected credible people and organizations. 

Those sources will include: Network TV, including PBS;  Cable News such as CNN,  Fox News and MSNBC; and Major circulation Newspapers , Magazines and Periodicals.

The mania of Fake News will abate and a semblance of  Normalcy will Return. 


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Big Cleanse

If we can survive the next 3 ½ years without too much long term damage,
the Trump debacle may be just the thing this country needs to cleanse
itself of the madness released by Trump's candidacy and election. .

People will realize just how wrong and destructive Trump's behavior and
ideas are. They'll see there is a proper and important role for government
within a free and fair dynamic capitalist economic system.

The hatred, racism and anti-Semitism will be exposed for the cancer that
it is. Trump will be exposed for the fraud he is.

Maybe the Democrats will even see that the positions of the far left are
wrong headed and perhaps equally destructive.

We need trade, successful businesses and strong private sector unions to promote good paying jobs.
The tax code can be reformed without a vendetta to soak the rich in a
counterproductive way. We can provide for the poor, and better still,
provide opportunities so they don't have to remain poor and dependent

Cultural differences don't have to devolve into culture wars. As the Pope
once said "Who am I to judge?"

Competence and integrity will once again be important criteria for
high office. An appreciation for decency will return. Policies of
divisiveness will be rejected.

The dark side of Trumpism will be exposed and rejected. This couldn't have
happen without the fever that is Donald J. Trump.

Many have said that I'm too optimistic; but while not every Trump supporter will be convinced,  enough voters may come to  understand what a disaster Trump is to change future election results.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Voter Paradox

 In following the health care debate and reading about the proposed Trump tax cuts, among other issues, the following thought occurred to me:

 Why do so many of the very people who the Democrats care about the most-- the working class - hate them so much?

 While those same people love Trump, even though his policies don't help them, nor does he or the Republicans really care about them.

 For the Democrats to start winning over those working class voters and resume winning elections , they'll have to figure out how to over come this seeming paradox.

Monday, July 10, 2017

How to reverse a trend

I  was distressed to read about Sinclair Broadcast Group buying WGN and other Tribune local stations around the country.

This is  especially troubling since Sinclair requires that their local stations to adhere to their right wing party line propaganda.  This is unlike Fox which allowed it's local affiliates to be non-political.

That means Channel 9 here in Chicago will become a local version of Fox Cable News.

The only way out of this is for Democrats  to start winning elections.

As a good friend pointed out to me, for the Democrats to start winning ( at a minimum) they need to do the following:

1. Stop being so hostile to business ( where do they think the jobs come from).  

2. Hammer home Trump's love of tyrants and his cowardliness in defending our country from them.

I'm guessing many progressives won't agree with #1 above; but as long as we view ourselves as a capitalist country, hostility to business can only hurt the party.

Regarding the first point above, I just finished a book, The Mandibles: A Family, by Lionel Shriver. It was a near future dystopian novel set in an America in which a total financial and market meltdown had just happened. Many people were thrilled that the wealthy had lost all their money when the market and businesses collapsed.

That euphoria ended  when the government and people realized there were no incomes to tax because the rich had lost everything, and therefor there was no money to be generated from taxes for social services and the like.

 The government had to print more money, but of course, the dollar soon became worthless.

As to my second point, how can can conservatives and other patriotic Americans continue to tolerate President Trump's embrace of dictators and autocrats while insulting our democratic allies? His defense of Russian subversion of our democracy is down right cowardly. Why doesn't he have the courage to stand up to Putin, but has no trouble dumping on our allies. 

The Democrats can reverse this Trumpian trend if they can be identified as supporting the American economic system and exposing Trump's patriotism and his lack of courage in the face of our foes.