Entitlements

Donald Trump Changing His Views Like The Typical Politician He Says He Hates! The Ultimate Chameleon!

Donald Trump, the bully, braggart, narcissist, egotist, misogynist, nativist, racist, and all the other derogatory adjectives we can employ, is NOW proving he can change his views like the typical politician he says he hates!

Trump is now backing off on so many issues—the minimum wage, the Muslim ban, the self funding of his own campaign, the entitlements modifications—and if you give him enough time, he will back off on everything else!

Will that change the minds of his admiring followers, who are proving how clueless, ignorant, and quite frankly, lacking in factual knowledge, they are?

All my readers know the answer!

Trump is a charlatan of a massive order, a PT Barnum, and he has discovered there is a “sucker born every minute!” He is the ultimate chameleon!

The question is how anyone could trust Donald Trump with power, when he is a “loose cannon” with Fascist techniques. appealing to the insecurity in the American people!

The Likelihood Of Joe Biden Succeeding Barack Obama: Less Than 50%

With the second term of President Barack Obama beginning, already the news media is speculating on the likelihood of Vice President Joe Biden running for President, and the odds that he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party in 2016, and become our next President.

Biden is certainly encouraging speculation, while saying he has not made up his mind. It is clear that he would like to run, but even he admits that the success or lack of success of the first two years of the second term of Obama, on top of his first term, will have a dramatic effect on his decision to run, and the odds of his having a good chance to become the 45th President of the United States.

Biden has a long record in public office, actually greater in number of years than any President of the United States having come to the Senate at the minimum age of 30, serving six terms (36 years), and now on his second term as Vice President, which, when he completes it, will mean he has served 44 years in national office.

Biden knows Washington DC like few know it. He also knows how to work with the opposition Republican Party in a manner unseen since Lyndon B. Johnson, although Johnson had a much more unorthodox approach to bargaining, and “wheeler dealing”, than the much more proper and mannerly Joe Biden.

But he also has a long list of gaffes, most not harmful, except to those who oppose him, and his liberal views have alienated major groups, as he has worked on issues highly controversial, including gun rights, women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights, foreign policy, Supreme Court nominees, and protection of the Great Society and New Deal programs, including the so called “entitlements”.

And his age, now 70, meaning he would be 74-78 in a first term, and 78-82 in a second term, is not a plus, as we only had one President beyond the age of 70, Ronald Reagan, who seemed to be in decline in his second term of office, finishing it at age 77 and about 49 weeks,

And there is the challenge of Hillary Clinton, whose public opinion ratings are higher than Biden’s, although there is much doubt that she will, ultimately, run for the Presidency. This author and blogger has already theorized, at the beginning of January, that Hillary will decide not to run. Her performance in testifying today at the Benghazi, Libya hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be crucial in any plans she might have, after a good rest and recovery period, to run for President in 2016.

And of course, there is the “younger” or “newer” generation of political leaders who have interest in running—including Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Martin O’Malley of Maryland, both taking strong leadership on gay marriage and gun regulations in their states; plus others, including Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and even possibly others, including Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

So the likelihood of Joe Biden running, while good, is not, automatically going to give him an edge in a field of many likely challengers. And of course, even if many Republicans like Joe Biden personally, it is certain, and obvious, that they are building up a long list of issues to use against the Vice President, should he end up as the Democratic nominee for President in 2016.

Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural Address: A Speech For The Ages And A Call To Action!

President Obama has just finished his Second Inaugural Address, and it can be seen as a speech for the ages, and a call to action, far more impressive than his first Inaugural Address four years ago.

He brought up Seneca Falls, New York (women’s rights), Selma, Alabama (civil rights), Stonewall in Manhattan, New York (gay and lesbian rights)!

He brought up climate change, clean energy, immigration reform, protection of children and all Americans from gun violence.

He brought up the Founding Fathers, and our imperfect Union, being made more perfect over time, and with lots of hard work and dedication to making America better!

He spoke of the need to address the crises of entitlements of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and the need to fix them in a responsible way.

He challenged America to come together and take action to make America a better nation that fully promotes equality, social justice, and tolerance for all. In many ways, he sounded like FDR in his Second Inaugural Address!

And he called upon the nation to attempt diplomacy in place of going to war, and sending our military into harm’s way.

It is an ambitious agenda, but it is an inspiring speech that calls for our better nature to prevail!

Let us hope for a better second term for Barack Obama!

The Nerve And Gall Of Mitt Romney: Against The Principles Of The Declaration Of Independence!

It has been a few days since Mitt Romney’s comments at a Boca Raton mansion leaked out, and the more one thinks about it, it makes one simmer and boil with rage!

Here is a man, and all of the wealthy “prima donnas” who gave $50,000 campaign contributions to hear him speak and answer questions, and what does Mitt Romney say?

That 47 percent of the population feels they are “entitled to food, housing and health care and whatever.”

The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, declared that there were certain basic natural rights of man–including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

So EVERY person in America, supposedly the most advanced nation in the world and a democracy, should be entitled to:

Food
Clothing
Shelter
Health Care
Some Joy and Contentment in their lives on a daily basis, and particularly when older

With all of the 47 percent paying some kind of taxes, and many of them being senior citizens, who have contributed to Social Security and Medicare all of their working lives; and many being veterans who have fought for their country; and with single mothers contributing children who will later be taxpayers; and with college students being educated to contribute taxes with their employment in the future—with all these realities—NO POLITICIAN and NO PARTY should tell the American people that they are not entitled to food, clothing, shelter, health care, and the ability to have some joy and contentment in their lives, at all times, but particularly when older!

The answer is for the American people to repudiate Romney and his Republican party, and stop allowing wealthy people to divide us by bringing up issues of race, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to divide us—and also—keep religion out of government, and promote separation of church and state!

This is supposed to be a government OF, BY, and FOR the people, so let’s get to work!

Chris Christie And “Couch Potatoes”: The Gall Of The New Jersey Governor!

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, riding a wave of popularity in public opinion polls, is at it again, with outrageous, and bullyish comments, while instead it would be best if he kept his mouth shut!

Christie claims that Americans are becoming “Couch Potatoes”, waiting for the next check to arrive from the government, and that we are becoming a “paternalistic entitlement society”!.

At a Republican gathering in New York City, which included former President George W. Bush in attendance, Christie went on to say that hard working Americans who use their ingenuity, honor and integrity, will succeed in life.

One would think that Christie would understand that the recent Great Recession has put people who are hard working and have ingenuity, honor and integrity into an impossible situation, with the collapse of the economy under the Bush Administration, and contributed to by their reckless tax policy, resulting in loss of millions of jobs and millions of home foreclosures!

But instead, he blames the victims for their plight, rather than the capitalist ruling class on Wall Street and in the Republican Party, which brought this about, and now wants to further enrich the top one percent with the Paul Ryan plan to cut the social safety net in tatters!

Considering Chris Christie’s tremendous girth, he should look in the mirror at the TRUE “Couch Potato”, who has benefited very handsomely as a member of the New Jersey legislature and as Governor of the state, and has no problem pontificating about others, for whom he fails to see the plight they are in!

This is all part of Chris Christie’s hope that maybe, just maybe, he could end up as Vice Presidential nominee for Mitt Romney, and if Mitt loses, then Chrisitie would be the front runner for 2016!

Just what we need: Two egotistical, insensitive, materialistic, greedy, politicians who do not give a damn for the American people, just for themselves and the wealthy one percent they represent!

Defense Cuts Coming: Unavoidable, And Reasonable Long Term

The Pentagon, Secretary of State Leon Panetta, and President Barack Obama have announced plans for the future of our military, which are unavoidable and reasonable long term.

The philosophy behind the defense plans is that present costs for military spending, and trying to have the capability for involvement in two major wars at the same time, is unsustainable in the present economic climate.

Instead, involvement in one major war, with ability to send troops to a second theater of war, with eventual commitment of some troops from the first theater of war over time, is the best that America can do.

Also, the goal is to face the reality that future military personnel cannot have the same expenditures on families, health care costs, salaries, and pensions, as those costs now are beginning to become a financial burden on the American treasury.

Also, the major focus will be on the area of Asia and the Pacific, rather than the Middle East, where so much effort has been concentrated . The thought is that China, North Korea, and Pakistan are the major challenges for the long term future, and should be given the focus of our attention, without forgetting about Iran.

The one way not mentioned to change this reality is to start heavier taxation, particularly of the wealthy, as cutting of entitlements, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is not acceptable in any major fashion. We will have tp pay as we go if we want everything to be what everyone wants, but right now, that is not possible, so we need to concentrate on where it is felt the major challenges are in the future.

We must also face a more restrained use of military force in general, and more modest foreign policy goals, and deal with the internal problems this nation faces.

Conventional forces will be de-emphasized in favor of counter terrorist actions and “irregular” warfare, and greater investment in long range stealth bombers and anti missile systems.

Fighting regional wars, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be no longer a goal of the military, causing long periods of commitment and wearing down the budget costs.

The goal is to cut defense spending by $480 billion over the next decade, but if Congress fights over it, automatic cuts could rise to $1 trillion!

Special Forces troops, elite counter terrorist troops, and armed drones are the future of the military, with a decline in conventional ground forces.

The Army and Marine Corps would decline in numbers, and fewer troops would be stationed in Europe, in order to allow greater deployment into the Asia-Pacific theater.

This plan for the future will lead to a fight in Congress, but what else is new?

Mitt Romney’s Attack On The “Entitlement” Society Speech Of Barack Obama

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, in trouble in the public opinion polls in the Republican Presidential race in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida, states in which former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich leads by growing margins, is obviously very desperate!

So he lashed into President Obama today for his Osawatomie, Kansas speech, in which Obama invoked the New Nationalism and Square Deal concepts of Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, who made progressivism fashionable at the beginning of the 20th century.

Romney, who was born to wealth, and is estimated to be worth at least $250 million dollars, certainly feels “entitled” to use his wealth and privilege to run for President, even though he has never had to struggle for anything in his life!

Not everyone is so fortunate to be born into such good circumstances, and one would think that Romney would feel like many other wealthy people, that he needs to “give back” to those less fortunate, rather than take a hard hearted attitude toward those who don’t have the advantages that he and his wife and five sons have!

For a man of religion, who is proud of his Mormon faith, he seems unconcerned about the struggles of those on the lower end of the social scale, which is ironic, because Christianity broadly teaches that we must come to the aid of others, and Romney says he is a “good Christian”, even though many consider the Mormons to be a religious cult.

The point is that with his good fortune since birth, and his supposedly strong religious convictions, Romney should wish to help others get some of the “entitlement” that he was born to, but NO, instead, he appeals to the selfish, self centered nature of someone who is arrogant and looks down on the poor, all for political advantage in a party which has sold out completely to religious hypocrites and wealthy people and corporations!

What are all Americans entitled to?

1. A decent educational opportunity to achieve all that one can in pursuit of a better life and job career.
2. A decent health care system which allows everyone to get appropriate, quality attention from doctors, nurses, and hospitals.
3. A decent housing situation, which promotes a sense of security and safety from harm.
4. A government which treats everyone on an equal basis, not victimizing those who are different in race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation.
5. Respect for the elderly, and proper treatment of them in their twilight years.
6. Protection of the childhood of the younger generation, and encouragement of the accomplishment of their goals to grow up happy, secure, and pursue their dreams.
7. Respect for and protection of the disabled among us, giving them maximum opportunity for as normal a life as possible.
8. Protection of the environment, and promotion of consumer rights to avoid harm to the population.
9. Enforcement of the civil liberties of all Americans, preventing an oppressive government over our private lives and our public activities.
10. Protection of our nation from the abuse of corporations who are more concerned about profit than people.

These points above are “entitlements” that should come with being an American, not just based on how much money one has or inherits! Equality and justice are essential to keep the “American Dream” alive!

The Lack Of Reality Of The American People As Shown In Public Opinion Polls

It is becoming very clear that the American people, based on public opinion polls, at least, are living in a dream world, avoiding reality!

Polls indicate that the people do not want entitlement cuts to deal with the debt problems the nation faces.

At the same time, they do not want to see the debt limit raised next month!

The lack of economic knowledge and understanding is pitiful, as indeed many Americans lack the ability to balance their own checkbook or take care of their own finances, and yet, somehow, magically, they seem to think that the only thing that matters is do not touch anything, and refuse to recognize that entitlements must be paid for, and that the good faith and credit of the United States government is at stake if the debt limit is not raised!

While it is clear that most Americans want the corporations and the rich to pay more taxes, it is also clear that even doing so cannot resolve the debt or deficit crisis!

The fact is that all of us will have to pay MORE taxes in order to sustain the entitlements that most Americans do not want to be cut back! There is no free lunch, as the saying goes, and praying for divine guidance will also not be enough to deal with reality!

So the answer is to make sure that corporations and the top two percent of the people pay a higher tax rate as they paid under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton.

Secondly, all of the rest of us will also have to pay higher taxes and stop complaining about it, since we want the various entitlement programs to be sustained.

Third, there is an essential requirement to start cutting back on overseas defense bases and military commitments, which are having a horrible effect on our budget deficits.

Fourth, there is a dire need to reform the Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security system long term, so as to sustain them. Anyone who suggests no changes is being totally irresponsible!

Fifth, the debt limit MUST be raised next month, as not to do so would be totally reckless, dangerous, and detrimental to the economic welfare of the nation, as well as the world at large!

Finally, the spirit of compromise somehow must be promoted, or else the nation will at some point be in as dangerous a situation internally as it was 150 years ago, with economic class warfare, age warfare, racial warfare in the offing, a horrific thought!

A spirit of nationalism, and bipartisanship, is sorely needed, and right now, to resolve the nation’s ills!

Republican Aims And Public Attitudes Clash!

The Republican Party, which took over the House of Representatives today, is committed to cutting of entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid), preserving of defense spending, and continued cutting of taxes.

At the same time, public opinion polls show just the opposite! They show the public wants heavy taxation of the rich, cutting of defense spending, and leaving entitlements, that have been the heritage of the New Deal and Great Society, alone!

Will the Republican Party listen to the American people in public opinion polls? The answer is almost certainly no, but by ignoring the public, it is likely to harm the GOP push to keep the House of Representatives and gain control of the Senate and the Presidency in 2012!