16 Sep 2017

two-faced Trump is no independent
None of us can do much more than speculate over what President Trump's motivations were for siding with Democrats over the short term debt ceiling deal, but we can say that doing so doesn't magically make him an independent (much less a centrist), no matter how many absurd articles claim otherwise. Trump is a Nontraditional Republican - Not Centrist or Independent Donald Trump is as much of an independent centrist as water is dry. Not only is he a member of a party, which precludes someone from being an independent - by definition, but he's the leader of that party. Him not being the leader or a member of one of the two primary factions - establishment mainstream conservatives or Tea Party right wingers - doesn't mean he's not a Republican. Like it or not, he's a Republican. He defeated a slate of people who are what those pretending that Trump is a centrist and/or independent in a Republican primary. Millions of Republicans flocked to his ra...

12 Sep 2017

chart showing the tens of trillions in debt Bernie Sanders' single payer plan would add to the national debt
Left wing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is set to release legislation based on his 'single payer', socialized healthcare plan soon, which means it's time to revisit the false claims he made about it during the his presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton, and especially the huge gap between the reality of how much it would cost, and how much Sanders falsely claimed it would cost.     In line with Sanders' pattern - falling  inline with that of corrupt politicians from time immemorial - of giving more than he takes and passing the bill to future generations to pay off, the Sanders campaign released cost estimates of around $13.8 trillion over the first ten years. The problem with that is it's completely disconnected from reality - independent estimates from economic think tanks put it around half of the actual cost. This chart, from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget - a widely respected nonpartisan fiscal organi...

24 Aug 2017

Great Wall of China
Trump's Wall to Growth We all remember candidate Trump's repeated claim that he would build a huge wall between the United States and Mexico. Most see that nonsense for what it is - throwing empty promises at a base to try and get their votes, but Trump went even further and claimed he'd get Mexico to pay for it. He's backtracked on that promise since then, equivocating in a number of ways to say that maybe Mexico won't pay for it at first, but will later (among other strange equivocations). Here's a tweet where he said exactly that: [caption id="attachment_7554" align="aligncenter" width="450"] For sake of speed - because that's believable.[/caption] Up until recently, all this hot air has amounted to just garbage the media chews on, but President Trump recently took it to the next level in comments threatening to shut down the federal government (presumably through veto, or pressuring his party to somehow impede passing a debt ceiling in...

07 Aug 2017

Banner for our beta re-launch
After a few years dormant, we are re-launching and putting out an open call to centrist & moderate voices across America to join our open community. Help us build a network of people who will put their money where their mouths are to build a network of centrists & moderates across the nation, aimed at seeing our views fairly represented in Washington again, fighting corruption and reforming our democracy.   Our Centrist Big Tent - Moderate Left to Moderate Right All Welcome Here From center-left Democrats like Senator Claire McCaskill, Senator Joe Manchin III, Blue Dog Democrats, Third Way, Center Forward and trailblazing independents like Senator Angus S. King, Jr. of Maine... ...to center-right voices like Michael Smerconish, moderate Republicans like Senator Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, the Tuesday Group that was recently instrumental in stopping the terrible GOP health care bill, Connecticut independent candidate for gove...

06 Feb 2014

No matter how you try and spin it, there has been a gigantic shift in what candidate Obama claimed to be for when he ran for office, and what president Obama done since taking the reigns of power – on a great number of issues. The latest move to use the powers of the Executive Branch to their fullest abilities, to get around Congressional logjams, is just one more example of this. It's also another in a long line of expansions of executive powers (over the last couple decades - not just during Obama's administration, or even Bush '43's). I was one of the people who were duped into supporting Obama during his first campaign. There were a number of reasons I did that Obama has reversed himself on since, but among them was his stance on reduction of executive powers. I very much agreed with candidate Obama that the power of the executive branch of our government had grown too large, and wasn’t checked enough – mostly by Congress / the legislative...

15 Aug 2011

Cut out almost every income tax loophole, make all income (capital gains on investments included) taxed using the same simple model, lower rates across the board (especially for lower and middle income earners - where the money will mostly go to boosting demand, where the economy is weakest right now) and put at least half of the savings towards cutting the deficit. Common sense ideas like this are how we could, in one fell swoop, make the tax system more fair, cut deficit spending and stimulate the economy where it needs stimulation - if we lived in a saner world. Fellow Omaha resident Warren Buffett (whose house I used to walk by often, having no idea it was his) talked at length about part of this equation in an op-ed in the New York Time on Sunday, saying that we need to "stop coddling the super-rich". I would have gone farther, saying we need to stop giving special deals to anyone. For example, why should investment income be treated any ...

07 Aug 2011

In his usual rare form, Fareed Zakaria's monologue on the budget deficits, debt and credit rating this week cut to the heart of the issue. People are complaining up and down about the S&P downgrading our federal credit rating - which is likely to cost us hundreds of billions in increased debt payments and will damage our economy to an extent that can't be known until later, but many of them have been saying the exact same things that the S&P gave as their reasoning behind the credit downgrade. Really what it comes down to is people don't want to accept the reality of the situation that we're in. The fact of the matter is, the S&P's analysis is absolutely sound. Zakaria explains by saying that our leaders in Washington have demonstrated that our political system is broken, and that because the ideological and/or partisan zealots refuse to budge on issues that are required to be worked on if we want to start shrinking our deficits - ...

06 Aug 2011

Thousands of jobs pointlessly taken out of the job market for two weeks and hundreds of millions in lost fees at a time when the government should be pinching pennies and maximizing revenue, but what are the two parties doing? They're on vacation, and holding up and agreement on long term funding for the Federal Aviation Administration over two absurd stances they have so far refused to budge on, again doing precisely the sort of thing the American people overwhelmingly has said they don't want them to do on contentious issues like the debt ceiling. The Republicans have gone so far into right field that they are now willing to undermine the rights of workers to use their vote as they see fit, in an effort to weaken unions. They want to make it so a worker who chooses to abstain from a unionization vote in their workplace would be automatically counted as a no vote. This is right up there with Paul Ryan's right wing budget as far as how cartoon...

03 Aug 2011

There really aren't any political figures that look like winners coming out of the debt ceiling debacle - there are just losers, and those who look less bad. As I said in my last post on the subject, the GOP clearly won the fight over the debt ceiling, but I think it will end up costing them dearly in the next election. They won the battle much like a drunk who people will agree with just so they'll shut up. They might get their way, but nobody likes them for it. After taking a slew of House seats in last year's wave election, the GOP made the same mistake the Democrats did in 2009, and are pushing an agenda that is far too extreme for swing voters to stomach. So, in the long run, the folks on the far right, that got the vast majority of what they wanted and still didn't vote for the bill, are the people who look the most childish in all of this. They may be champions of their hard core base, but to the 80% of the American people that wanted a de...

01 Aug 2011

I've been very lucky to have been spending quite a bit of my regularly blocked out time for blogging focused on building a new website the last couple weeks. The news has been so frustrating, so roller coaster like, and so depressingly tilted towards extremists that I've wanted to just put on my headphones and bury myself in HTML and CSS. I took a break from this around 1:30am on Monday, and saw that we've finally got a deal that looks like it will pass. This is certainly better than nothing, and lets hope this is enough to keep the credit rating agencies from downgrading us. This is all assuming that the grumbling on the left doesn't result in a large block of Democrats who don't vote for this deal after all, or the Tea Party right wingers manage to scuttle this somehow. Thank heaven we can move on to other things now, right? Like, you know, the two major parties arguing about who won, and who this will help politically... because that'll help....