January 23, 2012
Got our hands full
Hit the pause button, sit back and make a list of top issues the country must deal with. Imagine giving or writing the State of the Union speech this week.
Issue number 1 in my book is the need to find leaders people will trust. Not many around these days. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Barack Obama... The lack of trust starts with the sad state of our corrupt political system. In order to pay the high cost of running for office (consultants, TV spots, staff) candidates must hone their begging skills. It matters not if a person understands the state budget, but it does matter if he or she can twist arms for money. I get 50 or more money requests from legislators per year and I am tired of it. Hitting up people who support you for money is absurd.
If you are a billionaire, that problem is solved, but there are not many billionaires who will seek office and some of them are not interested in the commonweal. They want more not less for themselves. They do not seem to care about homeless people struggling to keep their noses above the water line, so back to ground zero.
Issue number 2: health care as a right of every citizen. Period. The excuses for not adopting single-payer health care are pathetic.
Issue number 3: Unfair taxes make cynics of all of us, so we must adopt a fair tax system if we expect the middle-class to trust the system.
Issue number 4: Reduce military spending, stop the rush to war.
Issue number 5: Deal with the sad state of education in America. We need to pay teachers more not less, we must make college and tech school free. We cannot afford millions of uneducated young people out of work.
Final issue for a Monday morning: Find iron-clad solutions to climate change.
That's it for the moment. Share your thoughts, please.
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Maybe you should start your own PAC. GarveyPAC. We'll ask for money from the FightingBob base and help state and local progressive candidates get elected here in Wisconsin. We won't raise tons of cash to buy TV time, rather we'll organize people on the ground, like Lori Compas did to recall Scott Fitzgerald.
With a million plus Wisconsinites having signed recall petitions, now might be the time to test people power over money in elections.
Worth thinking/talking about?
-Steve Carlson | Trego, WI. | January 23, 2012
Obama was presumed trustworthy but has failed to fulfill his campaign promises like closing Guantanamo and ending wars. Paying private contractors to be active in Iraq is not ending the war.
Healthcare is another issue where actions did not support the words. The results do not match what was anticipated. Big insurance resisted until they figured out how to game the system.
Unfair taxes will remain an issue forever since those who fund campaigns enjoy the benefits of the current program. If you have the financial ability you too can have a tax haven in the Cayman Islands.
Military spending is obscene and will not change regardless as to who is elected. The military-industrial-political complex Eisenhower warned of is here and will remain prosperous for the near future.
Our current educational policies are dictated by the likes of Ronald Reagan, who as Governor of California, destroyed what was then an example of a strong public education emphasis for all its citizens which included college.
On climate change as with the above items there seems to be little hope for any meaningful changes since our elected officials are fearful of upsetting whom they perceive as their constituents, which are not the residents who live near the waste site or coal-fired power plant.
The issue which is ignored is the obvious renewed attack on minorities as seen during the recent political debates.
The issue is black and white. The south has never forgiven the Democrats. Lyndon Johnson warned the politicans regarding this prior to leaving office.
The current crop of Republican politicians are doing extremely well at developing wedge issues which are causing a rift between those populations which in reality should be joining together to address the issues of the 99%.
Two voices, Nader and Kucinich have for years warned us of the impending troubles we now have.
-Richard Kanak | Cherry Valley, Illinois | January 23, 2012
You did not include the mortgage/foreclosure mess. No resolution, no prosecutions, no nuttin! Could it be that Holder and a bunch of other Obungle appointees worked for the banks before they supposedly worked for us? Why the effort on their part to stop state prosecutors?
I have lost about 100K in home equity that was going to used to help us in retirement. That is if I can even find buyer. And I am one of the lucky ones, our place is paid off.
This is Obungle's biggest failure and all he can be happy about now is that if Newt gets the nomination he too is tainted by his dealing with FannieMae or FreddyMac or whatever the hell he was messed up with.
-Griebnotz Doerkpfester | (Glad) I Escaped, WI. | January 23, 2012
I for one do not trust any of these guys! Where are Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich, Russ Feingold, and Elizabeth Warren? And I would rearrange your issues a bit (ending war at #1, health care for all at #2). There is one more I would add -- a Constitutional amendment to end the Citizens United court decision.
-Linda Wyeth | Curtiss, WI | January 23, 2012
Trust Mr. Obama? I have to admit that Rick Kissell warned me not to, before I cast that vote in 2008. Sorry I didn't listen.
Based on the story so far, we can trust President Obama to break every campaign promise he made, to capitulate to the Republicans at every impasse, and to turn a landslide victory and moment of historic opportunity for progress and democracy into a record of futility, betrayal, cowardice, and incompetence.
For instance: health reform. Obama took single-payer "off the table." Obama rejected the idea of letting states adopt their own single-payer models. Obama's achievement is to entrench and reward the insurance companies' pay-or-die profiteering.
It's worth noting one element of health-care reform which has shown enormous popular support AT THE BALLOT BOX, namely, allowing the medicinal use of cannabis. By vote of the people, this reform has been approved in California, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Maine, Michigan, Washington state, and Washington DC., and rejected only in benighted South Dakota.
Medical marijuana got more support in California than Clinton did in 1996, more votes in Montana than G. W. Bush in 2004, and led Obama in Michigan by a quarter-million votes in 2008--in fact, carried every single one of the 80+ counties in Michigan. In other words, medical marijuana was more popular than the last three presidents IN THEIR OWN POLITICAL STRONGHOLDS.
While campaigning, and even after taking office, the word from Obama was that he wouldn't use federal law enforcement resources to attack medical cannabis programs established under state law. But now he has broken that promise, too, with a far fiercer prosecution effort than even Junior Bush ever authorized, aimed at suppressing this reform.
Talk about the height of hypocrisy--how about the spectacle of the first openly-admitted former pot smoker in the White Houser, now promoting the most discredited legal fiction of all---the DEA's pretense that cannabis is a dangerous drug with no medicinal properties, or that if it has any uses, it cannot be administered safely under medical supervision.
Instead of health care reform worth a damn, Obama gives us his best shot: Criminalize sick people, their physicians and families.
I'm reminded again of what Congressman C. A. Lindbergh, who stood with Fighting Bob against U.S. involvement in World War I, once wrote: "Of all the cowards, no other is so cowardly as the average politician."
-Oliver Steinberg | St. Paul, MN | January 25, 2012
Issue #6- Paper ballots! The physical system of voting must be fudge proof. No hacked machines.
Visually audit-able. Ballots can be designed for optical scans for rapid tabulation...but do we really need machines we use for 1 hour every 2 years?
Issue #7- Campaign finance. A 'fair" contest will look nothing like what those of us alive today are used to. Middle school student councils insist on "fair contests". They are brief, educational & transparent. Communication in structured debates, essays in "papers of record"(free & widely circulated editions), slogan posters & rallys of equal volume.
-Tom Larsen | Ojibwa, Wi | January 26, 2012