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PatrickforO

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Hometown: Not disclosed
Home country: USA
Current location: Not disclosed
Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
Number of posts: 11,013

About Me

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Archives

Let me try and explain it in a way that cracks open the myths surrounding

the NPV compact.

From my perspective, we've had three presidential elections stolen since the year 2000. Three. This last one, Clinton had 2.9 million more votes than Trump. 2.9 million. Yet, due to the electoral college system, Russian hackers were able to help Trump win by 25-35K votes in key districts in a couple of swing states. And because of that, he won the Electoral College vote, but not the people's vote.

This is an explanation from the official site, which I encourage you to visit. Here is the link to that site: https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/answering-myths

As a Coloradan, I supported this effort.

Now, before the excerpt, let me say one more thing: you can tell a tree by its fruit. The Democrats are generally FOR this because electing a president based on the national popular vote is more, well, democratic than relying on an antiquated group of people using a system designed to prop up slave states. The people against NPV? You guessed it. Nearly ALL Republicans.

The small states (the 13 states with only three or four electoral votes) are the most disadvantaged and ignored group of states under the current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes. The reason is that political power in presidential elections comes from being a closely divided battleground state, and almost all of the small states are noncompetitive states in presidential elections.

The small states are not ignored because of their low population, but because they are not closely divided battleground states. The 12 small non-battleground states have about the same population (12 million) as the closely divided battleground state of Ohio. The 12 small states have 40 electoral votes—more than twice Ohio’s 18 electoral votes. However, Ohio received 73 of 253 post-convention campaign events in 2012, while the 12 small non-battleground states received none.

The current state-by-state winner-take-all system actually shifts power from voters in the small and medium-sized states to voters in a handful of big states that happen to be closely divided battleground states in presidential elections.

The fact that the small states are disadvantaged by the current state-by-state winner-take-all system has long been recognized by prominent officials from those states. In 1966, Delaware led a group of 12 predominantly small states in suing New York (then a closely divided battleground state) in the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to get state winner-take-all statutes declared unconstitutional.

Under the current state-by-state winner-take-all system, a vote for President in Wyoming is equal to a vote in California—both are politically irrelevant.

America Needs Radical Solutions

This guy, Juan Williams, is an analyst for Fox, but I thought, even though he IS a Fox guy, I'd share this with you all because it seems even some of the Republicans are repudiating Trump's misbegotten policies. Here's an excerpt, after which he goes into actual poll numbers indicating Americans DO want socialism in the form of healthcare, and they DO want a Green New Deal. By large margins.

Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that a record 7 million Americans are three months or more behind on their car loan payments. Last year, the Federal Reserve reported that 40 percent of Americans can’t cover an unexpected expense of $400. Then there’s the pressure on families from student loans and credit card accounts. In 2018, total student loan debt was $1.5 trillion and growing. And the credit card debt collectively owed by Americans in 2018 surpassed $1 trillion. An alarming number of accounts are delinquent. Maybe that’s why retail sales had a big drop in December.

Trump backers, also open your eyes to a new study from a University of California at Berkeley economist, Gabriel Zucman. It shows that the 400 richest Americans (.00025 percent of our population) now own more wealth than the 150 million poorest Americans (60 percent of the population).

So while President Trump is pledging “America will never be a socialist country,” a lot of Americans are looking for any policy that will help them pay the bills in a time of stagnant wages and high income inequality. Trump and McConnell have no ideas for dealing with income inequality. Their tax cut put more money in the pockets of the rich and corporations. That is not working for the middle-class.


https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/430427-juan-williams-america-needs-radical-solutions

See, I think this is a big irony, you know? That we are trying to put forward policies that will actually preserve and strengthen this nation, while the Trumpies and the 'freedom holy-roller caucus' is trying to tear what we have down, put us into chaos and have us emerge as a theocracy ruled by a bunch of billionaire parasite oligarchs. Funny how Juan and some of the other Republicans see this.

They are still enemies to good policy - don't get me wrong, but Juan seems to 'get' what is wrong with the fundamentals of our economy.

Poll: Just 13 percent want 'Medicare for all' if it means end of private insurance: from The Hill.

Follow the link, read the thing, and then I'll furnish a more appropriate headline.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/428958-poll-voters-want-the-government-to-provide-healthcare-for

Funny how the media, which is corporate owned, really doesn't report the truth, does it?

Let me furnish another, more accurate headline:

71% of Americans want some form Medicare for all.


So, what's the deal? Why the faux controversy? Simple: higher ad revenue. By the way, The Hill is actually a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc., which is owned by Capitol Hill Publishing, Chairman James A. Finkelstein. Now, apparently Finkelstein owns a limited partnership, non-publicly held, that invests in media. Here's more:

James A. Finkelstein is Founding Partner in Pluribus Capital Management LLC Mr. Finkelstein was one of the founding partners of Avista Capital Partners in 2005. Mr. Finkelstein is an experienced leader in the media industry and focuses on private equity investments in the field. He formally served as Chairman of DLJMB Global Media Partners through June 30, 2005. For 19 years, he served as President and CEO of the National Law Publishing Company (presently American Law Media). Mr. Finkelstein received a B.A. Degree from New York University. He also has an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Hofstra University. Mr. Finkelstein currently serves as Chairman of the Boards of InvestorPlace Media, Thompson Publishing Group, and News Communications, the Publisher of The Hill and Marquis Who’s who. He also serves as a Director of Star Tribune and WideOpenWest. Mr. Finkelstein has previously provided consulting services with respect to investments for DB Capital and Veronis Suhler Stevenson. He formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid Society and on The New York University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers.

So there you have it. Capitalism at its best.

My wife and I spent some time talking about Ralph Northam this morning.

We are both white, in that late fifties-early sixties age band.

I've been reading a lot of posts by African Americans that are helping me understand the feelings around this photo, chosen by Northam for insertion into his college yearbook.

I think you're right, here Mineral. I have no business sticking up for Northam because he posed for that picture in the first place, chose it to be in his yearbook, then just forgot about it. He did not bring it up, confess to it, apologize for it until he was caught. It is possible for me to understand the feeling of betrayal that members of the black community now feel for this guy.

They thought he was truly on the side of racial and social justice, and they thought they were electing someone who would fight for the rights of all people in VA, and for an even playing field, voter rights and all the rest. Then...this came out.

I guess for me it would be like being married to someone, loving them, then finding out that in their younger days they did something horrible that is profoundly offensive. Will it ever be the same? No. Can it be saved? A marriage, maybe. But years to build back that trust. For a governor? Maybe not.

I just asked a question on another thread about why so many on here dislike Tulsi Gabbard so much, and maybe I'm seeing that, too.

You know, when I was a kid, I naively believed that we were the good guys - that was before I really thought about our genocide against Native Americans and our enslavement and subsequent entrenched racism. Our foreign policy - the 'dirty war.' Vietnam. We lost our fucking heroes, Mineral. We did.

But, that is no excuse not to TRY to actually BE the good people now. No excuse not to TRY and make this country a real light on the hill, where people can come and find social, economic and environmental justice and opportunity to get ahead with hard work.

So, yeah, we've got to come to terms with the bad in order to embrace the good without soiling everything we touch. And our people do need to follow a higher standard.

Cory Booker on the issues.

I like to research candidates, and have already made a post on Kamala Harris, whom I also like, and who is a strong candidate in her own right.

Now that Cory Booker has announced, here is my initial workup on him.

Background: Booker was born to parents active in the Civil Rights movement, went to Stanford and Yale Law School. He definitely has the brains for the job. If you read his bio at https://www.biography.com/people/cory-booker-20967497, you’ll see that Booker has some really good qualities. He doesn’t give up, he’s resourceful, and he has courage. By courage, I mean both physical AND political. He fixed the structural budget deficit in Newark with a property tax increase, and we’re going to have, at the very least, to reverse the giant fiscally irresponsible 2017 GOP tax cut for billionaires and corporations.

Also, as an economist, I really like someone who actually UNDERSTANDS a structural budget. That’s a really good thing that we did not enjoy under Republican leadership.

http://www.ontheissues.org/Cory_Booker.htm
He’s fine on abortion, gun control, crime and the environment. After reading his quotes, I’m convinced he would be a strong advocate for social and environmental justice. Especially encouraging is his belief the US needs to be a leader in mitigating climate change. Recently he’s come out in favor of a Green New Deal, which I believe is an absolute MUST for any successful Democratic presidential candidate.

On foreign policy, Booker is smart enough to come up to speed quickly, and his quotes seem to present a sane approach – a balance between not keeping our heads in the sand, but not always feeling we need to be the global police officer.

As late as 2017, Booker is on record as saying, “Ok to consider single-payer, but I'm not behind it.” However, he is a strong supporter of fixing Obamacare, and certainly fixing the GOP sabotage would make the ACA nearly universal. This might not be enough in today’s Democratic party, though. Speaking for myself only, I want Medicare for all Americans because I believe in taking the profit motive out of healthcare because it conflicts with the interests of patients.

https://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/76151/cory-booker/
Nothing really new here. There is a bit of concern that he might be ‘too corporate’ or perhaps ‘too Wall Street.’ I wonder how he feels about Elizabeth Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act, which would change the face of capitalism by expanding fiduciary responsibility beyond shareholder earnings to include the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment. This would solve a huge number of problems. Of course, Wall Street greed-lizards are saying it will (gasp!) RUIN capitalism, but here’s a nice Forbes editorial about how it would actually help this country get stronger and rebuild its middle class: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rhockett/2018/08/21/senator-warrens-ben-franklin-capitalism/#7aed66ff66cf

Open Secrets shows that Booker’s fundraising is good. He does spend his money, and has less on hand than Harris, whom I reported on earlier. That 12% of his donations are from small individual donors is a bit low, and again, may open him to criticism about being excessively beholden to Wall Street. https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00035267&cycle=2018

Still, Booker has said he won’t take corporate PAC money, which is a bit meaningless because PACs can only donate a max of $5K to an individual candidate. The game is the game, though, and PACS do buy advertising as they wish, and support whomever they wish. It is unwise to punish any candidate for capitalizing on Citizens United to the degree they can.

In balance, I like Booker. I believe he’d be a very strong candidate, a good president and is a decent human being that we can all admire. I especially liked that he released documents during the Kavanaugh hearings. That took guts and moral conviction.

My conclusion is that Cory Booker is a very solid candidate that could well win the general election. If he is our nominee we could be proud as a party to support him. The same, of course, can be said for Harris. They are both good candidates.

A powerful new centrist voice emerges in our national discourse

Surprise! This article is from the Daily Koz and is about AOC and the Overton Window.

It is well worth reading, though it may make some uncomfortable. It tickles me!

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/28/1830436/-A-powerful-new-centrist-voice-emerges-in-our-national-discourse?utm_campaign=trending

Very cool! I really like AOC.

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Some Dems float idea of primary challenge for Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has infuriated colleagues by aligning with a progressive outside group that’s threatening to primary entrenched Democrats. Now some of those lawmakers are turning the tables on her and are discussing recruiting a primary challenger to run against the social media sensation.

At least one House Democrat has been privately urging members of the New York delegation to recruit a local politician from the Bronx or Queens to challenge Ocasio-Cortez.

“What I have recommended to the New York delegation is that you find her a primary opponent and make her a one-term congressperson,” the Democratic lawmaker, who requested anonymity, told The Hill. “You’ve got numerous council people and state legislators who’ve been waiting 20 years for that seat. I’m sure they can find numerous people who want that seat in that district.”

The New York delegation has eyed Ocasio-Cortez with skepticism ever since last summer when the 29-year-old self-described democratic socialist shocked the political world and defeated then-Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in what many thought would be a sleepy primary race. Crowley, a Queens powerbroker and affable House Democratic Caucus chairman, had been considered a possible future Speaker.


https://thehill.com/homenews/house/427364-some-dems-float-idea-of-primary-challenge-for-ocasio-cortez

Somehow I don't think these anonymous ones are going to have much luck. Unfortunately, real democracy happens when people at the local level have a real say in policies that affect them. If someone purports to represent the interests of those people, but does not actually do so, then what should the people do?

I don't know much about the 'outside group' that AOC is aligned with, but I do know people on the ground are getting pretty fed up, and in poorer districts downright revolutionary. If we want to right this giant ship called the United States, then we are going to have to have a real plan to address global warming, and to redistribute wealth around human need rather than human greed.

I write a lot and have often told conservatives to just throw the middle class a bone - give us single payer healthcare and strong old age pensions. Then, I've gone on, you can screw us for another 75 years, just like the Republicans ate away the New Deal for the last 75 years.

See, if change doesn't happen fast enough, then this is what we'll see. Now I'm sure many of you will feel downright outraged I've even put this out, but my point is this: If groups like this have arisen, then it seems the mainstream party must find a way to bring them into the tent, not fight them, because fighting them won't work. They'll just get bigger and be more of a thorn in the side.

I'm thinking we all need to take a page from AOC's book and begin a real concerted effort to educate people around these complex issues instead of relying on corporate-owned media's 8-second sound bytes. Americans ARE capable of understanding things like why the primacy of the shareholder is like a corrosive acid that eats away at the very fabric of our society. They are capable of understanding why we should repeal the giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations. They are capable of understanding why taxes aren't a bad thing unless they go for things that don't actually help the people who pay them.

Well...blast away, I guess...

White nationalist Max Misch forces resignation of

Vermont's only black state legislator, Ruqaiyah “Kiah” Morris. Because of this asshole, she resigned from office in September 2018.

The Daily Beast article linked below is well worth reading, because it asks some very good, very pointed questions about why other Democrats (and Sanders) didn't focus on this with a more single-minded intensity.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/a-white-supremacist-hounded-a-black-lawmaker-out-of-office?ref=wrap

This Misch jerk trolled Morris repeatedly to the point she felt threatened. The Vermont cops couldn't prove Misch broke into her car or did other damage that happened on her property.

This link is a twitter feed that exposes the racist asshole Misch's twitter account 'hammer of kek' and shows photos of the scumbag.

https://twitter.com/search?q=max%20misch&src=tyah

So...the question here is what to do about these nationalist assholes. When does their First Amendment right to free speech end?

This isn't the America I want to live in, that's for sure. When some asshole like this is allowed to so badly harass a lawmaker that she's forced to resign. No.

I'm getting pretty worried here.

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2019/01/politics/shutdown-effects/

This link shows the shutdown calendar and the millions and millions of Americans that will be hurt in the worst possible ways - no paychecks, not enough food, losing affordable housing.

I'm so angry that it has come to this. An emotional five-year-old shuts down part of a $4.4 trillion government over $5.7 billion in US taxpayer funding for a wall he said Mexico would pay for.

The coast guard isn't getting paid.

TSA isn't getting paid and 10% of that workforce called in sick yesterday.

This shutdown is a criminal action that to my mind is designed to pull down the US, put us in a state of revolution. Just what Putin wants. It is nothing more or less than TREASON.

I'd like to urge all of you who read this post to:
1. call your US representative
2. call both your US Senators
3. call your governor's office (yeah, I know it is indirect, but it could add pressure on these lizards in the Senate, and NO governor wants chaos in his/her state, which is exactly what we will be seeing).

Because here's the thing - when 40 million Americans don't have enough food next month, air traffic stops, 800,000 federal workers and over a million federal contractors can't fill their tanks, pay their mortgages, buy groceries or even have a life, we will be in a state of revolution.

I mean, this is surreal. It reminds me of Rocko in the Boondock Saints saying, "See you on the flip side!"

Problem is, I think all of us want the 'flip side' to consist of the institutions we count on functioning properly. I sure do.

Last thought: Let's not EVER forget this. When we take power, we must hold these criminals accountable for their treason, crimes against humanity, and utter corruption.

Trees, fruit and the Democratic party - musings on Joe Lieberman's recent comment.

I'm going to have to say that I think AOC, or at least her ideas and her platform ARE the future of the Democratic party.

What I have found is that, with judging any politician (or anyone else), you are on much more solid ground with looking at what they DO first, and then comparing that with what they SAY. I’ve gotten tired, over the six decades I’ve lived, of politicians who come and tell me whatever it takes to get my vote.

Truth is, my grandchildren NEED AOC’s Green New Deal. NOW. The environment has become so fouled that species are going extinct at a rapid, human-caused rate, and the planet may become uninhabitable for humankind. This is an existential crisis and we must address it right away - not soon, not in a couple decades, not with 'all deliberate speed' (remember that?), but NOW. We need to address it NOW.

Our country needs to reverse the giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations passed in 2017 and adopt AOC’s graduated rates. We need our government to provide public services, and to my mind we need to expand the concept of 'public good' to include health care, and de-privatize a bunch of things where the profit motive creates conflicts, such as prisons. We have far too many infrastructure needs to waste public monies on things like a space force (I mean, how is THAT better for us than healthcare?), and we certainly cannot afford to route yet more money to these billionaires through unnecessary tax cuts.

I'll tell you as an economist that most of our problems — with wealth inequality, with environmental degradation, the human-caused climate change, huge and unsustainable national and consumer debt, comes to us as a direct result of the PRIMACY OF THE SHAREHOLDER. You've heard me talk about this before, and few of you comment, but it is the truth.

The CEO of a publicly held company has only one responsibility, and this has been tested to the Supreme Court:

- A CEO's ONLY responsibility is to increase earnings for shareholders. That’s it. So that CEO will bust unions, drive labor costs down, dilute benefits, gobble up pensions because on Wall Street, labor is considered a liability.

- That CEO will put consumer interests on the back burner too, and implement planned obsolescence in products - water them down, decrease the size of the package while at the same time raising the price. Or, if it is a financial service, will adopt predatory lending practices. This is all because the corporate charter says shareholders are more important than the consumer of the good or service.

- Finally, that CEO and his/her other C-Suite officers will foul the environment to whatever degree they can get away with (the capitalist euphemism for this is ‘externality’). In other words, as long as they don't have to pay for the damage to the environment or the people in that environment, the accountants and Wall Street consider this positive because it doesn't affect shareholder earnings. So guess who has to pay to mitigate environmental problems. That's right, us, the taxpayers.

To that end, Elizabeth Warren has introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which expands the fiduciary responsibility of CEOs to include the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment. WE NEED THAT.

In addition, across the USA, states are trying to pass the National Popular Vote Compact, which will force Electoral College members to vote the same way the national popular vote went, in effect replacing the elitist Electoral College with democracy. If enough states had passed this prior to 2016, Clinton would be in the White House actually acting like a president, instead of the petulant emotional five-year-old we have now.

We also must get rid of Citizens United because corporations are NOT people and dollars are NOT free speech. That is un-American.

The truth is that many politicians that have been voted into office over the last few decades would pay lip service to these things, but then, somehow, mysteriously, nothing would ever really happen. And the media won't EVER tell you what I just told you about the primacy of the shareholder. Why? Because nearly all our media outlets, including MSNBC, are corporate-owned and subject to that very same primacy of the shareholder. This is why they love Citizens United - the super pacs are cash cows for them and they gobble up billions in profits every time there's an election.

That’s the pabulum we’ve been fed for DECADES now, and I’m quite sick of it. So, yes, I’m a big AOC fan, and am not fond of the so-called Third Way Democrats because they don’t do much for me. To make my life better. To help me and my family and my grandchildren. To use our tax money for stuff that actually benefits us instead of corporate donors and the MIC. THAT should be the job of those we elect, should it not?

What? Wait? Slow down? Proceed with 'all deliberate speed?' Nope. As Obama said, there is a 'fierce urgency of NOW.'

I'll end with few words from the great Martin Luther King that echo to us through time from the Birmingham Jail:
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."


Let us Democrats move forward now as the party of social, economic and environmental justice. THAT is the future.
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