Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Reason Poll Goes against "Every Other" Poll on Millennials [UPDATE]

If you haven't seen it yet, Reason Magazine released a poll about a week ago convinced Millennials were soon going to flock to their small government, private tyranny ideology.  They've run over 10 stories related to this poll, conducted and overseen by Emily Ekins, here's her twitter account, and here's her bio on Reason:

"Emily Ekins is the director of polling for Reason Foundation where she leads the Reason-Rupe public opinion research project, launched in 2011. Emily's research focuses on public attitudes toward government, public policy, and how individuals make trade-offs with an emphasis on quantitative analysis. She is an active member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the American Political Science Association (APSA). Emily is also working on her PhD thesis in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Emily's professional experience includes quantitative analyses of the Tea Party movement for the Cato Institute, and conducting survey analyses and case writing for Dr. Peter Tufano at the Harvard Business School. She has discussed her research on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, The Blaze, and her research has appeared in The Washington PostPoliticoThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Times."

Here's an appearance on Fox a couple of days ago touting the poll findings.

Just a few thoughts on that... And by a few thoughts, I mean let me lay out just about every other poll that hasn't been conducted by a Libertarian run magazine that says the opposite.  

Why they cut off the age of those polled to 29?  I have no idea.  But I'd bet it has something to do with the fact that those of us old enough to suffer our early 20s through the Bush Administration might tilt this poll in a direction Reason didn't care for.  Harvard did the same thing with a recent poll, there was a small split amongst 18-24 and 25-29:

[UPDATE] I messaged Trey Grayson asking him "why" they cut off was at 29 years of age.  He said that's a standard polling age cut off.

Here's a poll covered by the Atlantic and conducted by the Pew Research Center released around March 2014 - here's Millennials on government involvement in the economy -- a generation that gave Barack Obama a 2-1 advantage in 2012:

Here's the portion on the 'role of government':

"The poll results show Millennials to be overwhelmingly supportive of progressive policies that promote opportunity and economic security:"

A "not" insignificant pattern here...  It literally flies in the face of just about everything the Reason poll is alleging.

Reason has dropped story after story related to this one poll.  And even non-Libertarians publications took the bait, commenting on the poll:

"Millennial politics is simple, really. Young people support big government, unless it costs any more money. They're for smaller government, unless budget cuts scratch a program they've heard of. They'd like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn't run anything."

In contrast here's a piece just released from the Brooking' paper in May:

"Millennials’ attitudes as consumers, as workers, and as investors are unique enough for Winograd and Hais to conclude that Wall Street may well be in for a “millennial reckoning.” For example, one of the studies the authors cite found that almost two-thirds of millennials "would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring." Not only do millennials focus on corporate social responsibility, but their lack of trust in the financial sector does not indicate good things for the current governing philosophy on Wall Street. As the paper points out, organizational cultures “that lose touch with the changes taking place in a society pose a clear danger to the future of those organizations.” This does not “bode well for the survival of America’s current corporate governance practices."

Some takeways from the paper/polling:

"Key Millennial values shaping the future of the American economy include:
  • -Interest in daily work being a reflection of and part of larger societal concerns.
  • -Emphasis on corporate social responsibility, ethical causes, and stronger brand loyalty for companies offering solutions to specific social problems.
  • -A greater reverence for the environment, even in the absence of major environmental disaster.
  • -Higher worth placed on experiences over acquisition of material things.
  • -Ability to build communities around shared interests rather than geographical proximity, bridging otherwise disparate groups."
Here's the WSJ fretting in 2012 about Millennials and their Socialist tendencies fresh off the heels of the Occupy movement:

"According to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of millennials (age 18-29) view socialism in a favorable light, compared to 43 percent who view it unfavorably.
Moreover, millennials like the sound of socialism better than capitalism. 46 percent of millennials have positive views of capitalism, and 47 percent have negative views.
This is different from the country’s population overall: 60 percent say they have a negative view of socialism, versus 31 percent who say they have a positive view. Young people are the only age group whose support for socialism outweighs that of capitalism."
Here's some whining analysis:  
"But I think my innate cynicism leaves me with this as the most likely answer. Given the increasing infantilization of our society, the way in which few are gainfully employed until their mid- to late 20s, the young are of course in favour of a system which passes all sorts of things on to them for free. The old are less enamoured of such a system as they have the experience of paying the tax bills for all of it."

The biggest takeaway?  They couldn't hide the fact through all of this that Millennials "still" favor the Democrats.

In conclusion?  If the neo-right thinks Millennials, a generation who has survived an economic collapse and horrid job market second only to the Great Depression is going to flock to their ranks when they offer nothing but corporate, free market ideas that favor the rich they have a reckoning coming in 2016 and thereon after, even "if" someone like Rand Paul happens to survive the GOP primary.  

We're Elizabeth Warren Democrats for lack of a better term, and we're tired of playing nice with corporate/Wall Street giants and masses of concentrated capital which isn't even earned anymore, but inherited:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Elizabeth Warren touting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at UK

Here's Elizabeth Warren at the University of Kentucky in 2011 touting the CFPB.
I posted this years earlier, but with Warren's election to the senate and her rise to populist stardom I recut the video from several into one:


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Establishment R's are Losing Primaries -- and the Death of the Mainstream on the Right

Tick tock...

If you would have told me back in November of 2008 when I was working against Mitch McConnell the country would change but I would have to wait longer for radical change I wanted to see I would have told you that you were nuts.  The country as I saw it as a brash, green 25 year old was ready to usher in a new left leaning country, but I would have to wait.

And wait I have...  In the summer of 2009 I sat through the great recession like most of the rest of the country.  Absorbing an electoral advantage neither mainstream American party had since since the Democrat's supermajority during Lyndon Johnson's Presidency.  And in 2009 I don't think anyone on the left was foreseeing the Republican wave in 2010 that would pull us into current state we're in.

Eric Cantor got knocked off the evening of Tuesday June 10th 2014, the first time a majority leader in the house that has been toppled in a primary in 115 years.  But the Republicans are taking the wrong message from this win, and while they've won a few battles recently, they're certainly losing the war.

Whites quite simply are going to lose majority status by 2043, they're already the majority in California.  But poor John Boehner can't keep the GOP alive because of a radical low tax, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, pro-rich base, and after Tuesday they sure as hell aren't going to touch immigration reform now.

You won't have to wait till 2043 to see the Dems route the R's over and over again in statewide elections.  If 2012 was any indication -- the Dems have a solid political coalition made up of non-whites, women, white liberals and a giant percentage of Millennials.  Millennials -- literally, the most pro-democracy, liberal generation of any generation.  Look at the polling, it's simply staggering.

And contrary to the old expression conservatives love to throw around convinced those on the left eventually go to the right, "Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains."  Yeah, well, turns out that's total bullshit.

And the re-branding known as Libertarianism won't save them either.  94% of them are white males.  But the GOP/Tea Party won't understand any of this, or can't.  All they'll hear is something along the lines of, "the country loves our message, we just have to get a little louder!"

Friday, June 6, 2014

David Simon (The Wire, Treme, Generation Kill) sums up American life

This is one of the most amazing pieces I've seen in a long time, transcript below the video:

The Guardian: There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show

"America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics. There are definitely two Americas. I live in one, on one block in Baltimore that is part of the viable America, the America that is connected to its own economy, where there is a plausible future for the people born into it. About 20 blocks away is another America entirely. It's astonishing how little we have to do with each other, and yet we are living in such proximity.

There's no barbed wire around West Baltimore or around East Baltimore, around Pimlico, the areas in my city that have been utterly divorced from the American experience that I know. But there might as well be. We've somehow managed to march on to two separate futures and I think you're seeing this more and more in the west. I don't think it's unique to America.

I think we've perfected a lot of the tragedy and we're getting there faster than a lot of other places that may be a little more reasoned, but my dangerous idea kind of involves this fellow who got left by the wayside in the 20th century and seemed to be almost the butt end of the joke of the 20th century; a fellow named Karl Marx.

I'm not a Marxist in the sense that I don't think Marxism has a very specific clinical answer to what ails us economically. I think Marx was a much better diagnostician than he was a clinician. He was good at figuring out what was wrong or what could be wrong with capitalism if it wasn't attended to and much less credible when it comes to how you might solve that.

You know if you've read Capital or if you've got the Cliff Notes, you know that his imaginings of how classical Marxism – of how his logic would work when applied – kind of devolve into such nonsense as the withering away of the state and platitudes like that. But he was really sharp about what goes wrong when capital wins unequivocally, when it gets everything it asks for.

That may be the ultimate tragedy of capitalism in our time, that it has achieved its dominance without regard to a social compact, without being connected to any other metric for human progress.

We understand profit. In my country we measure things by profit. We listen to the Wall Street analysts. They tell us what we're supposed to do every quarter. The quarterly report is God. Turn to face God. Turn to face Mecca, you know. Did you make your number? Did you not make your number? Do you want your bonus? Do you not want your bonus?

And that notion that capital is the metric, that profit is the metric by which we're going to measure the health of our society is one of the fundamental mistakes of the last 30 years. I would date it in my country to about 1980 exactly, and it has triumphed.

Capitalism stomped the hell out of Marxism by the end of the 20th century and was predominant in all respects, but the great irony of it is that the only thing that actually works is not ideological, it is impure, has elements of both arguments and never actually achieves any kind of partisan or philosophical perfection.

It's pragmatic, it includes the best aspects of socialistic thought and of free-market capitalism and it works because we don't let it work entirely. And that's a hard idea to think – that there isn't one single silver bullet that gets us out of the mess we've dug for ourselves. But man, we've dug a mess.

After the second world war, the west emerged with the American economy coming out of its wartime extravagance, emerging as the best product. It was the best product. It worked the best. It was demonstrating its might not only in terms of what it did during the war but in terms of just how facile it was in creating mass wealth.

Plus, it provided a lot more freedom and was doing the one thing that guaranteed that the 20th century was going to be – and forgive the jingoistic sound of this – the American century.

It took a working class that had no discretionary income at the beginning of the century, which was working on subsistence wages. It turned it into a consumer class that not only had money to buy all the stuff that they needed to live but enough to buy a bunch of shit that they wanted but didn't need, and that was the engine that drove us.

It wasn't just that we could supply stuff, or that we had the factories or know-how or capital, it was that we created our own demand and started exporting that demand throughout the west. And the standard of living made it possible to manufacture stuff at an incredible rate and sell it.

And how did we do that? We did that by not giving in to either side. That was the new deal. That was the great society. That was all of that argument about collective bargaining and union wages and it was an argument that meant neither side gets to win.

Labour doesn't get to win all its arguments, capital doesn't get to. But it's in the tension, it's in the actual fight between the two, that capitalism actually becomes functional, that it becomes something that every stratum in society has a stake in, that they all share.

The unions actually mattered. The unions were part of the equation. It didn't matter that they won all the time, it didn't matter that they lost all the time, it just mattered that they had to win some of the time and they had to put up a fight and they had to argue for the demand and the equation and for the idea that workers were not worth less, they were worth more.

Ultimately we abandoned that and believed in the idea of trickle-down and the idea of the market economy and the market knows best, to the point where now libertarianism in my country is actually being taken seriously as an intelligent mode of political thought. It's astonishing to me. But it is. People are saying I don't need anything but my own ability to earn a profit. I'm not connected to society. I don't care how the road got built, I don't care where the firefighter comes from, I don't care who educates the kids other than my kids. I am me. It's the triumph of the self. I am me, hear me roar.

That we've gotten to this point is astonishing to me because basically in winning its victory, in seeing that Wall come down and seeing the former Stalinist state's journey towards our way of thinking in terms of markets or being vulnerable, you would have thought that we would have learned what works. Instead we've descended into what can only be described as greed. This is just greed. This is an inability to see that we're all connected, that the idea of two Americas is implausible, or two Australias, or two Spains or two Frances.

Societies are exactly what they sound like. If everybody is invested and if everyone just believes that they have "some", it doesn't mean that everybody's going to get the same amount. It doesn't mean there aren't going to be people who are the venture capitalists who stand to make the most. It's not each according to their needs or anything that is purely Marxist, but it is that everybody feels as if, if the society succeeds, I succeed, I don't get left behind. And there isn't a society in the west now, right now, that is able to sustain that for all of its population.

And so in my country you're seeing a horror show. You're seeing a retrenchment in terms of family income, you're seeing the abandonment of basic services, such as public education, functional public education. You're seeing the underclass hunted through an alleged war on dangerous drugs that is in fact merely a war on the poor and has turned us into the most incarcerative state in the history of mankind, in terms of the sheer numbers of people we've put in American prisons and the percentage of Americans we put into prisons. No other country on the face of the Earth jails people at the number and rate that we are.

We have become something other than what we claim for the American dream and all because of our inability to basically share, to even contemplate a socialist impulse.

Socialism is a dirty word in my country. I have to give that disclaimer at the beginning of every speech, "Oh by the way I'm not a Marxist you know". I lived through the 20th century. I don't believe that a state-run economy can be as viable as market capitalism in producing mass wealth. I don't.

I'm utterly committed to the idea that capitalism has to be the way we generate mass wealth in the coming century. That argument's over. But the idea that it's not going to be married to a social compact, that how you distribute the benefits of capitalism isn't going to include everyone in the society to a reasonable extent, that's astonishing to me.

And so capitalism is about to seize defeat from the jaws of victory all by its own hand. That's the astonishing end of this story, unless we reverse course. Unless we take into consideration, if not the remedies of Marx then the diagnosis, because he saw what would happen if capital triumphed unequivocally, if it got everything it wanted.

And one of the things that capital would want unequivocally and for certain is the diminishment of labour. They would want labour to be diminished because labour's a cost. And if labour is diminished, let's translate that: in human terms, it means human beings are worth less.

From this moment forward unless we reverse course, the average human being is worth less on planet Earth. Unless we take stock of the fact that maybe socialism and the socialist impulse has to be addressed again; it has to be married as it was married in the 1930s, the 1940s and even into the 1950s, to the engine that is capitalism.

Mistaking capitalism for a blueprint as to how to build a society strikes me as a really dangerous idea in a bad way. Capitalism is a remarkable engine again for producing wealth. It's a great tool to have in your toolbox if you're trying to build a society and have that society advance. You wouldn't want to go forward at this point without it. But it's not a blueprint for how to build the just society. There are other metrics besides that quarterly profit report.

The idea that the market will solve such things as environmental concerns, as our racial divides, as our class distinctions, our problems with educating and incorporating one generation of workers into the economy after the other when that economy is changing; the idea that the market is going to heed all of the human concerns and still maximise profit is juvenile. It's a juvenile notion and it's still being argued in my country passionately and we're going down the tubes. And it terrifies me because I'm astonished at how comfortable we are in absolving ourselves of what is basically a moral choice. Are we all in this together or are we all not?

If you watched the debacle that was, and is, the fight over something as basic as public health policy in my country over the last couple of years, imagine the ineffectiveness that Americans are going to offer the world when it comes to something really complicated like global warming. We can't even get healthcare for our citizens on a basic level. And the argument comes down to: "Goddamn this socialist president. Does he think I'm going to pay to keep other people healthy? It's socialism, motherfucker."

What do you think group health insurance is? You know you ask these guys, "Do you have group health insurance where you …?" "Oh yeah, I get …" you know, "my law firm …" So when you get sick you're able to afford the treatment.

The treatment comes because you have enough people in your law firm so you're able to get health insurance enough for them to stay healthy. So the actuarial tables work and all of you, when you do get sick, are able to have the resources there to get better because you're relying on the idea of the group. Yeah. And they nod their heads, and you go "Brother, that's socialism. You know it is."

And ... you know when you say, OK, we're going to do what we're doing for your law firm but we're going to do it for 300 million Americans and we're going to make it affordable for everybody that way. And yes, it means that you're going to be paying for the other guys in the society, the same way you pay for the other guys in the law firm … Their eyes glaze. You know they don't want to hear it. It's too much. Too much to contemplate the idea that the whole country might be actually connected.

So I'm astonished that at this late date I'm standing here and saying we might want to go back for this guy Marx that we were laughing at, if not for his prescriptions, then at least for his depiction of what is possible if you don't mitigate the authority of capitalism, if you don't embrace some other values for human endeavour.

And that's what The Wire was about basically, it was about people who were worth less and who were no longer necessary, as maybe 10 or 15% of my country is no longer necessary to the operation of the economy. It was about them trying to solve, for lack of a better term, an existential crisis. In their irrelevance, their economic irrelevance, they were nonetheless still on the ground occupying this place called Baltimore and they were going to have to endure somehow.

That's the great horror show. What are we going to do with all these people that we've managed to marginalise? It was kind of interesting when it was only race, when you could do this on the basis of people's racial fears and it was just the black and brown people in American cities who had the higher rates of unemployment and the higher rates of addiction and were marginalised and had the shitty school systems and the lack of opportunity.

And kind of interesting in this last recession to see the economy shrug and start to throw white middle-class people into the same boat, so that they became vulnerable to the drug war, say from methamphetamine, or they became unable to qualify for college loans. And all of a sudden a certain faith in the economic engine and the economic authority of Wall Street and market logic started to fall away from people. And they realised it's not just about race, it's about something even more terrifying. It's about class. Are you at the top of the wave or are you at the bottom?

So how does it get better? In 1932, it got better because they dealt the cards again and there was a communal logic that said nobody's going to get left behind. We're going to figure this out. We're going to get the banks open. From the depths of that depression a social compact was made between worker, between labour and capital that actually allowed people to have some hope.

We're either going to do that in some practical way when things get bad enough or we're going to keep going the way we're going, at which point there's going to be enough people standing on the outside of this mess that somebody's going to pick up a brick, because you know when people get to the end there's always the brick. I hope we go for the first option but I'm losing faith.

The other thing that was there in 1932 that isn't there now is that some element of the popular will could be expressed through the electoral process in my country.

The last job of capitalism – having won all the battles against labour, having acquired the ultimate authority, almost the ultimate moral authority over what's a good idea or what's not, or what's valued and what's not – the last journey for capital in my country has been to buy the electoral process, the one venue for reform that remained to Americans.

Right now capital has effectively purchased the government, and you witnessed it again with the healthcare debacle in terms of the $450m that was heaved into Congress, the most broken part of my government, in order that the popular will never actually emerged in any of that legislative process.

So I don't know what we do if we can't actually control the representative government that we claim will manifest the popular will. Even if we all start having the same sentiments that I'm arguing for now, I'm not sure we can effect them any more in the same way that we could at the rise of the Great Depression, so maybe it will be the brick. But I hope not."

Monday, May 5, 2014

Jack Conway to announce for KY Governor tomorrow

You know him as your AG who supported gay marriage

He ran against Rand Paul in 2010.

He's running for Governor in 2015.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Who are the Libertarianians anyways?

White males.

"Compared to the general population, libertarians are significantly more likely to be non-Hispanic white, male, and young. Nearly all libertarians are non-Hispanic whites (94%), more than two-thirds (68%) are men, and more than 6-in-10 (62%) are under the age of 50."

Stick a fork in the conservative movement, it's done.

There just aren't that many white people to make a difference anymore:

End of story.

The Onion might just be the best news source of our time

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Oh look another polls saying the Republicans are irrevlavent to Millennials


Tick tock... I think that's the sound of the Regan coalition's pace maker:

A major reason young adults are increasingly likely to prefer the Democratic Party is that today's young adults are more racially and ethnically diverse than young adults of the past. U.S. political preferences are sharply divided by race, with nonwhite Americans of all ages overwhelmingly identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic.

Gallup estimates that 54% of 18- to 29-year-olds are non-Hispanic white and 45% nonwhite, compared with 71% non-Hispanic white and 29% nonwhite in 1995, the first full year Gallup measured Hispanic ethnicity.

In 2013, 62% of nonwhite Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were Democrats or Democratic leaners, while 25% were Republicans or Republican leaners. That 37-point Democratic advantage, though sizable, is slightly lower than the average 42-point advantage from 1995 through 2013.

But young adults are not more Democratic solely because they are more racially diverse. In recent years, young white adults, who previously aligned more with the Republican Party, have shifted Democratic. From 1995 to 2005, young whites consistently identified as or leaned Republican rather than Democratic, by an average of eight points. Since 2006, whites aged 18 to 29 have shown at least a slight Democratic preference in all but one year, with an average advantage of three points.

Our hero Elizabeth Warren goes after Sallie Mae and the student loan crisis

Go Liz go!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Elizabeth Warren's new ad on corporate tax rates and out of control student loan debt:

Go Liz go!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Defining Capitalism and Socialism

Monday, March 24, 2014

Destroy Democracy in our system but why Republicans? A quickly changing majority that's why.

What's up with the right trying to kill the 17th Amendment and diminish Democracy in our system you ask?  Weren't they begging to give the entire world Democracy at the point of a bayonet during Bush?

Well if you believe what the Tea Party crowd tells you, it's something along the lines of leaving the power to the states to balance against the Federal Government.  This dirty commie, radical, librul doesn't buy that for a second.

The telling story behind this advocacy lies in some pretty basic numbers, mainly that this country ain't the same old cracker-whiteville it was even just 10 years ago.  America has changed, and in very drastic ways demographically.

Mitt Romney would have won with the American electorate that existed just 10 years ago, Bill O'Reilly hit it on the money election night 2012 in his very own asshole way:

"[I]t's a changing country, the demographics are changing, it's not a traditional America anymore. And there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it and he ran on it.

And, whereby, 20 years ago President Obama would have been roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney. The white establishment is now the minority. And the voters, many of them, feel that this economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff.

You're going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama and women will probably break President Obama's way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?"

Let's remember, as far as the voters go-- Romney actually outperformed Bush in 2004 as far as the white vote, in fact, 88% of Romney voters were white compared to 58% Bush somehow managed to get in 2004. Though as questionable as 2000 and 2004 were-- ahem voter suppression, cough, cough, 2000 and 2004 were close, very close, but 2008 and 2012 were more or less blowouts, making the scenario seen in Dade County Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004 almost impossible.  It's easier to cheat when it's close.

Think about those numbers for just a second, that's a 30 point jump in white voters for the Republican and Obama "still" crushed Romney at the polls.  That is possible the biggest game changer as far as the history of the American electorate goes, and the right side of the American electorate knows something is very different about the country they grew up in.

The smart ones on the right know what's happening, and the even smarter ones are trying to do something about it--  

Rand Paul to his credit; has been smart enough to hit this situation head on, advocating for an expanded Republican base, and speaking to non-traditional audiences.

Others have gone the opposite route in trying to outright reduce democracy--

In the form of a reorganization of our system to allow states to outright nullify laws they don't care for allowing special status that would eliminate the 'supremacy clause' in the constitution.  There have been calls for a proportionate awarding of electoral votes vs. the general 'winner takes all' and there have been calls to repeal the 17th Amendment, allowing state legislators to vote for their states federal senator instead of a state's citizens.

When Tea Partiers rant about things like 'mob rule' listen for the dog whistle that says-- "Let's change the institutions of government so the new majority can't threaten the wealth of and influence of the minority, Bush failed to give us what we wanted, we tried to change our label, it didn't work and now the country is leaving us and our message behind".

Since Obama's election there's been a loud, concerted effort to try and shift the power from the federal government back to the states, to the last refuge of the radical right.  Mark Levin has been a poster child for this.  Little surprise, the elites hate Democracy for a good reason, people like Levin act on behalf of elite masters believing their interests are tied to his own.  With a 30 year decline in real wages, what do the Republicans really have to lose at this point?  Their policies have crushed our Middle/Working class.

And it's not like the policies of the right are hurting just those on the left, the right's policies suck really bad even for Republicans.  The obsession with minimally regulated markets is almost religious, like, comet coming to take you to heaven religious...

Tea Party people have been railing against the ACA and Medicaid expansion Governor Beshear signed into law by executive order despite it's popularity amongst even people who vote for them (this is headed in a good direction overall by the way).  The healthcare reform law and Medicaid expansion overwhelmingly benefits the very poorest parts of Kentucky which ironically enough votes heavily Republican.  But again, in this game that's a marathon, not a sprint the coming demographics are weighing heavily against the American right.

The bigger states and simple math are running in the left's favor-- Millennials who will compose an estimated 24% of the 2016 election don't care much for the right or their ideas about anything really. "Especially when it comes to the role of government", Millennials want Democracy.

And the bigger states of California and New York, with their bloated budget surpluses, multiculturalism and wonderful example of public transportation are shining like beacons to the rest of the country.  These states are forcing change on the rest of the country by sheer market forces: 

Que 'The Shape of Things to Come', get ready America, this country is going to be more awesome than you can possible imagine, stay tuned:

P.S. COUGH COUGH, There is a ton of evidence that says Millennials would love candidates in 2014 and beyond who would spearhead efforts on student loan relief:

Maybe reinstate the pre-2005 bankruptcy protections?  IBR status for private loans?  Even the private loan industry seems open to it, at least they say they are.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Doing all we can

A piece written by MSgt Thomas Vance USAF Ret.:

A recent article in the Kentucky Enquirer’s USA Today pages titled, ‘Military Efforts to Treat Mental Illness Fall Short’, dated 21 Feb 2014, details the findings of a committee of 13 experts appointed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.  The researchers concluded that, “There is no substantive indication of effectiveness (of suicide prevention programs) and more importantly, there’s no evidence of an enduring impact”.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs about a thousand Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans are being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder each week.

Sadly the treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not on the radar of those enforcing our drug laws.  Here again we see the beautiful odiousness of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act in preventing any actions that might show marijuana is either effective medicine or safe for use.  A Food and Drug Administration approved protocol for a study of marijuana for symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in US Veterans has been on hold for over 3 months waiting for the US Public Health Service to sell researchers the Government approved marijuana for the study.  In the 40 plus years since enactment of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act the US Public Health Service has never provided the marijuana for any research and so far not for this Study either.  No ‘approved’ research, thus allowing the Government to claim they can’t legalize or reschedule marijuana because there is no Government approved research showing marijuana is safe or has any medical value!  Actually there is plenty of evidence, some of it gold standard research, showing the safety and efficacy of marijuana, just none supporting the ridiculous claims of the Government.

Happily though, many Veterans aren’t waiting and are turning to medical marijuana for help.  Many are reporting that marijuana has helped them to live with and control their conditions giving them a more normal life; some saying it saved their lives.  Along with the tons of anecdotal evidence from Veterans themselves there is the unexplainable drop in suicide rates in states that have medical marijuana laws.  There is nothing that has changed in these states other than medical marijuana being available to the citizens to account for the drop in suicide rates.

We could easily change all this. According to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, the head of the Justice Department can, with a stroke of a pen reschedule marijuana.  Or we could just allow the Veterans access through the Veterans Administration.  Do a voucher program with a local marijuana pharmacy for Veterans in States with medical marijuana laws and for Veterans not in States with medical marijuana laws, we can treat them the same as the survivors of the old Compassionate Care Program who still receive a tin of medical marijuana from the Government marijuana farm in Mississippi every month to treat their conditions.

We use statistics from the Veterans who use the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System all the time in studies and research.  Why not believe the Veterans this time.  Give them the medicine they swear is doing them good and see what happens.  It’s not like it’s a medicine no one has used before!  Veterans are using marijuana as medicine as I am writing this and have for 50 years that I can personally attest to and they pretty well know what the results of an honest study will show.

The citizens of 20 States and the District of Columbia have been allowed access to this medicine for over a decade.  Our Veterans deserve no less!  To have a treatment that has been shown to be effective and to forbid access to it for those who need it most is beyond the limits of decency and morality!  It is a black mark on the report card of how we treat those who have sacrificed most for this country and suffer for that sacrifice the rest of their lives.  It is long past time for the Veterans Administration to begin providing medical marijuana to Veterans with qualifying conditions.  To do any less is a breach of the promise to do all we can, as stated in the mission statement of the Veterans Administration, to fulfill President Lincoln’s promise, ‘to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and for his orphan’.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Attention Kentucky Democrats, here's your battlecry headed into November 2014:

Why not put the Medicaid expansion before the Kentucky population to vote on?

"A solid majority of Kentucky Republicans support the state's decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, according to a new poll, standing in stark contrast to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's opposition to the provision." -TPM

That's according to a new poll released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky this month, which is the first since the health care rollout began in the state.
It shows 79 percent of residents favor Governor Steve Beshear’s decision to expand Medicaid rolls last year.
The poll finds nearly 90 percent of surveyed adults saying it is important for the state to do so.
Under the president's health care law states are provided funding to increase Medicaid eligibility to all residents with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled state governments have a right to opt out of that provision, and about half have decided against Medicaid expansion." -WFPL

Furthermore, if Democrats across the country up and down the ballot are looking for an issue to run on to retake the state houses, this is it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Crisis of Capitalism, It's all rigged, Wall Street's 1% and the rest of us, Frontline's "To Catch a Trader"

The land is haunted, haunted by a crisis of capitalism!

The expression 'may you live in interesting times' wasn't a a blessing but a curse.  Many home owners are under water on their mortgages, and student loan debt is at crisis levels (no doubt another bubble).  The issue is systematic.  'Capital cannot abide a barrier' as the video below explains.  And when demand stagnated Wall Street created a abundance of credit to be handed out instead of income.

Things worked for a while under regulated capitalism from around 1932 to 1980. And under a partially workers owned union-corporate-economy things looks pretty good.  Union membership was much higher before Ronald Reagan.

Boy how things did change, while the right loves to attack the idea of State-Socialism-- Red China and Soviet Russia, the kind of Socialism the right talks about is much closer associated what Bill Maher refers to in this piece that's synonymous with the protection of private capital backed up the taxpayers; ie: the state:

While the corporate elite loves to rail again the government, boy do they ignore the fact the very things they profit off of was created by the state (through tax dollars) and private capital picked it up and ran with it claiming it was the private sector that made these things possible.  The bailouts were just the zenith of state-capitalism, when capitalism collapsed on itself with the subprime mortgage crisis corporations begged the assistance of the state.

Little wonder there's radical reaction on both sides of the isle, unfortunately a good portion of that anger is misplaced on the right side of the aisle.  And unfortunately even liberals keep bowing to the corporate-free enterprise, top down hierarchical structure/model.

The folly on the right side of the aisle though mirrors absurdity in regards to the role of the state.  While the right lambastes the state providing services for citizens, the wealthiest ignore the massive subsidies the state affords them.  The mortgage interest deduction is by far the largest government subsidy the government provides to people:

But, there's hope for a new round of thinking, if OWS did anything it was to clear the table in regards to the status quo, Americans are really down on the rich these days, believing few of them deserve the wealth they've "built".  After all, if those influential people who run the state select influential winners in this economy are the wealthiest people's fortunes really earned based upon meritocracy?

From the perspective of a long game, the state-capitalists sense danger on the horizon, people in this day and age are asking all sorts of questions that challenge the very system we're living in.  We've created two Americas-- two economic models and two legal systems.

It's a loaded system with some in the know and in on the take making fortunes on the labor of the working class, then there's rest of us, the 99%.  Stay tuned, we're living in interesting times:

And here's PBS 'To Catch a Trader':

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Elizabeth Warren on the Student Loan Debt Crisis

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bill Nye, Ken Ham Evolution vs. Creationism here

Friday, January 31, 2014

Global warming is real, trust the scientists, not your Uncle Bill Bob, or Rush Limbaugh

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The truth about vaccinations and autism

Watch the video:

All because of this one man, with his "study":

The Socialist response to the SOTU:

Way more interesting than the Republican's, Tea Party or not: