Devolve Or Dissolve

The partisanship these days is worse as it ever was and getting worse as the years go by.

I have written to help and try to explain why this is happening…..https://lobotero.com/2018/05/11/tribes/

There is some great observations about American society…..

There is not “a single important cultural, religious, political, or social force that is pulling Americans together more than it is pushing us apart.” That was written before the Black Lives Matter protests and riots. It’s gotten worse since then. A lot worse.

There’s not much left of a common American culture. We watch different networks, read different websites, and have a different set of Facebook friends. Politics has come to shape our identities, for both left and right. Tell me who you vote for and I’ll tell you what sports you like, what music you listen to, what blogs you read, and even where you buy your groceries.

America’s Choice: Devolve or Dissolve?

But what do the American people think?

I wrote about a study back in 2012…..https://lobotero.com/2012/10/10/we-are-sick-of-the-partisanship/

https://lobotero.com/2010/11/19/do-americans-really-want-a-divided-government/

Another pressing question is…..should the US be broken into two?  (This article deserves to be read!)

Many in blue states have gone through a Kubler-Ross range of emotional reactions to the Trump/Republican administration. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. When you get to the acceptance part, a psychologist told me, “You need to figure out a plan of action that changes things in the real world. Acceptance is not the same as resignation. Being bummed out is not the end of the road but should be a beginning.” We are probably at that political point now. I know I am. 

After all we have been through, after the last four years of Trump’s antics, he still has the support of a little over 40 percent of the electorate. His base fervently foresees that life post-Trump will resemble a Stalinist gulag of socialist regulation, late-term baby killing, and political correctness equal to China’s cultural revolution. Right-wing media, in all its hydra-headed broadcast and internet forms, has provided this vision. As QAnon has shown, when it comes to irrationality, there are no limits. 

Should America Voluntarily Split In Two? Election Day May Force Us To Ask

With the vote just days away…maybe now would be a good time to decide what kind of country you want before you mark the ballot.

Once again I think about the cartoon that Ben Franklin came up with in the early days….

How Ben Franklin's Viral Political Cartoon United the 13 Colonies - HISTORY

Interesting thoughts and the Old Professor would like to have yours as well…..

Be Smart!

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–13Oct20

Do You Make $400,000 a year?

If so then according to the chairman of the RNC you are the same as 82% of the American people.

Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairperson of the Republican National Committee, on Sunday faced backlash after suggesting that “82% of Americans” make more than $400,000 per year.

In a tweet on Sunday, McDaniel pointed to a video clip from a conservative media group, which asserted that “middle income earners” will see a tax increase under a Joe Biden presidency. However, Biden has said that he will not raise taxes on individuals making less than $400,0000 per year.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/10/twitter-buries-gop-scumbag-liar-ronna-mcdaniel-for-claiming-82-of-americans-make-over-400000-year/

Is this broad that out of touch?  Maybe she is just a long toad like her fearless leaders.

Are you in that false 82%?

I’m not.

This is just one example of why I have a hard time voting GOP at any time….they are just so damn out of touch with the society that they cannot possible do anything for the whole country.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

What Cost Racism?

This country is once again trying to have that much needed conversation on racism and as usual we are failing miserably.

For instance did you realize that the US could have been $16 trillion (yes, that is trillion with a “T”) but systematic racism deprived the nation of the money.

A report issued by Citigroup, a bastion of capitalism and not some phony Left wing think tank…..

America could have been $16 trillion richer if not for inequities in education, housing, wages and business investment between Black and White Americans over the past 20 years, new research concludes.

The study, released this week by Citigroup, is the latest in a body of research that attempts to quantify the economic impact of systemic racism. Citigroup arrived at its $16 trillion figure after estimating that:

  • Black workers have lost $113 billion in potential wages over the past two decades because they couldn’t get a college degree.
  • The housing market lost $218 billion in sales because Black applicants couldn’t get home loans.
  • About $13 trillion in business revenue never flowed into the economy because Black entrepreneurs couldn’t access bank loans.

What’s more, the U.S. could have $5 trillion in gross domestic product over the next five years if those gaps and others were closed today, the study indicated.

“Racial inequality has always had an outsized cost, one that was thought to be paid only by underrepresented groups,” Citigroup Banking Chair Raymond McGuire said in a statement.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-gdp-growth-missed-16-trillion-systemic-racism-inequality-report/

If you cannot understand the cost of racism from the point of social issues then maybe you can put your small head around the monetary cost of hatred.

Does this change anything?

Of course not.

This subject will never be settled until until people learn to talk to each instead of at each other.

Or until the country moves past the silly tribalism that is griping our society by the nuts.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time To Reform Social Security

How many years have you heard this issue in the last decades?

Our cowards in Congress keep upping the age so that you pay and pay and die before you can collect.

To the GOP it means to gut the system and make it invalid.

To Dems it is to expand and fund the system.

BTW, the Social Security system is going broke because Congress is a spineless group that has done the most to make the system a failure….that includes both parties.

But it is getting to the point that we are running out of time to make the needed reforms to save and expand the system.

he Congressional Budget Office warned this week that the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted within 10 years, and a federal budget expert is urging Congress to take action before it is too late.

In a report titled “The Outlook for Major Federal Trust Funds: 2020 to 2030,” the CBO also warned that the Highway Trust Fund will be depleted by the end of next year.

“We know how to fund highway trust funds, you know, you raise the gas tax or you change the distribution of highway spending,” Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told Just the News. “We know what to do about Social Security, you adjust the retirement age, you increase the amount of income subject to the tax. We know the options here. We just need the political will to come to an agreement, and we’re running out of time.”

https://justthenews.com/government/congress/were-running-out-time-reform-social-security-expert-warns

Policies are killing the only retirement some Americans will ever have….tax cuts and tax breaks have done more to kill the system than any one person…..

Arrest The Lot Of Them!

It is time for Congress and SCOTUS to step out of the partisan shadows and think and act for the good of the nation.

Time for the officials in DC are held accountable and responsible for their actions.

There are lots of examples but the one that sticks in my throat…is the looting of 9/11 funds….

A health care program that serves 9/11 first responders is nearly $4 million short because the Trump administration shifted those dollars away to another program, the New York Daily News reports. In fact, the Treasury Dept. has quietly siphoned money from the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program—which covers paramedics, EMTs, and firefighters—for about four years now. “This was just disappearing,” says program director David Prezant. “This is the most amazing thing. This was disappearing—without any notification.” According to Prezant, the program lost between $500,000 and $600,000 a year from 2016 to 2019, then fell short roughly $1.5 million through late August of 2020.

Pezant says he complained for years to no avail, until GOP Rep. Pete King got involved. King, who called the shortfall “disgraceful,” wrote Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin two letters and never received a direct response. But MSN reports that a Treasury official told King’s office in August that nearly $2 million had been shifted to another program to offset costs. “I don’t even care what the details of this thing is. That fund has to be fully compensated, fully reimbursed,” said King. “I mean, this is absurd.” Sen. Chuck Schumer agreed, saying “this needs to stop forthwith.” Prezant says the program is still functioning with money fronted by the Fire Department—but the feds are supposed to reimburse those dollars under the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

This is not the worse violations of them trust the voters gave these people….but just the most recent.

All the lies and corruption that has finally come to the head of the government needs to be punished…… and punished hard!

If Democrats do hold their House majority and retake the Senate and the White House, pressure will be intense to avoid looking backward and focus solely on solving the problems in front of them. This is understandable: the wreckage the Trump administration would leave behind after just four short years is immense, the policy challenges dire. If successful in November (and if Trump doesn’t create irredeemable chaos in the transition), Biden and Congressional Democrats will have to deal with a raging pandemic, a collapsing small business and renter economy, a climate crisis and continuing unrest over racist police violence—as well as the myriad ongoing policy challenges related to healthcare, tuition, inequality, tech giant accountability and so much more. It’s easy to foresee a scenario where, coupled with pressure from Republicans and centrists, Democrats decide that the public is sick of even thinking about Trump and bygones are allowed to be bygones.

But that would be a huge mistake. If Trump and his enablers are allowed to get away with the misdeeds of the last four years unscathed, it may mean the end of the American experiment.

To Save Democracy, Democrats Must Hold Trump Officials Accountable

Arrest the lot of them.  Just once I would like to see a politician in the leadership rolls to be held accountable for their actions….especially when it comes to the deception of the population.

Arrested, tried and sent to PRISON!

Just a fanciful dream on my part.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is Trump What America Needs?

I know some readers will say yes he is….and others will scoff at the idea.

But is he?

That’s look at the country as a whole and not your personal beliefs.

In 2016, Americans were asked to pick their poison.

On the one hand a highly competent, highly qualified mainstream pro-Wall Street pro-corporate candidate who would in most regards hold the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama trajectory—while entirely missing the desperation working Americans were feeling.

On the other hand a corrupt businessman calling bullshit on the entire system, willing to burn everything down to Make America Great Again—meaning give working people back the dignity (and manufacturing jobs) that had been stolen from them by the evil cabal of globalist elites. The fact that he was lying was entirely beside the point for his supporters.

And many Americans were willing to live with his exploiting of resentments and divisions to get anything that wasn’t business as usual.

What was business as usual?

What If Donald Trump Is What America Needed?

An interesting article by a publication started by “Never Trumpers”……..

This question makes me think of a political theory…that being the theory of the unitary executive…..

To what extent can presidential power be restricted by Congress?

Some believe the president holds broad power, citing this passage from Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution:

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

And from Section 3:

[H]e shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.The view that the president holds total control over the executive branch is called the unitary executive theory.

Under the George W. Bush administration’s interpretation of the unitary executive theory, the president has authority over members of the executive branch.

 

He functions as a CEO or Commander-in-Chief, and his power is restricted only by the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the judiciary.

Congress can hold the president accountable only by censure, impeachment or constitutional amendment. Legislation restricting the executive branch has no power.

https://www.thoughtco.com/unitary-executive-theory-the-imperial-presidency-721716

SCOTUS is making the case for a “Unitary Executive”…..

On June 29, Chief Justice John Roberts relied heavily on something called the “Decision of 1789” to expand presidential removal powers. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that the structure of the CFPB was unconstitutional as an independent agency, because Congress required the president to have good cause to remove its single director.

Roberts held that such a requirement interfered with a president’s power to supervise the executive branch, because a sole director with for-cause protection would have held too much concentrated power independent from presidential control. Roberts limited this decision to principal officers as singular heads of agencies, as opposed to commissions. However, his expansion of the “unitary executive” theory could continue expanding presidential power and thwart potential reforms to address recent abuses.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/imaginary-unitary-executive

That said…now I ask is there a pragmatic cvases for a unitary executive?

The theory of the unitary executive is gaining traction in American law. That view of the Constitution asserts that the president controls whatever power is given to the executive branch of the federal government. As a result, the president must be able to dismiss his subordinate executives at will. Otherwise, these officials will be responsive to others or to themselves, not to the chief executive.

The unitary executive is persistently, sometimes willfully, confused with the notion that the president enjoys large residual constitutional powers. But the scope of presidential powers is distinct from the control over whatever those powers are. As Justice Samuel Alito said at his confirmation hearing, the first question “is the scope of Executive power: [W]e might think of that as how big is this table, the extent of the Executive powers.” That was distinct from a different question, “[W]hen you have a power that is within the prerogative of the Executive, who controls [it]?” The unitary executive is concerned only with the second question

The Pragmatic Case for a Unitary Executive

After the ruling by SCOTUS and the chance for a pragmatic reason for the unitary executive…..are there any risks?

Of course there is!

PHH Corporation involves a challenge to the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a powerful financial regulatory agency headed by a single director appointed by the president for a five‐​year term, during which he or she can only be removed “for cause.” As Kavanaugh explains, the Constitution lodges all “executive” power in the hands of the president. Independent agencies such as the CFPB, he says, are “a headless fourth branch of the U.S. Government” that poses “a significant threat to individual liberty and to the constitutional system of separation of powers.”

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/risks-unitary-executive

My thought is that when it comes to governing the US….the 3 branch system is by far superior than any system that has one all powerful demagogue at the head.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Congress Returns

After a month of laying around the house and schmoozing with high dollar donors the Congress has come back to DC to work on yet another bill that would help during this pandemic crisis we are having.

For the sake of “compromise” the work being done does little to help the jobless keep their homes or feed their children…..and the Dems will do little to help…..

As the Senate returned from its nearly month-long recess on Tuesday, there was little prospect that Congress would provide any significant relief for the tens of millions of workers who lost their $600 weekly federal jobless benefit when it was allowed to expire on July 31.

The ending of that lifeline plunged millions of working class families into desperate financial straights. The economy is still short 11 million jobs from the level of employment in February, and more than 30 million unemployed workers continue to receive government aid.

As of this week, only 19 states will be providing the temporary $300-per-week benefit authorized by President Trump in an executive order last month. The program is financed by Federal Emergency Relief Agency funds that are expected to run out in about five weeks.

The Aspen Institute reported last month that 30-40 million people in the US were at risk of being evicted in the coming months. The Hamilton Project reported even before the cutoff of jobless aid that more than 20 percent of all US households and over 40 percent of mothers with children under the age of 13 were experiencing food insecurity.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/09/cong-s09.html

Please pay attention!

This illustrates that the Congress, both Repubs and Dems, care little about the plight of the people of this nation…..keep that in mind when you go to cast a vote.

Vote for candidates that actually have a plan to help the people with the problems this pandemic has created……Party means NOTHING!  They are the same!

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VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The American Identity

There was a time in the distant past when Americans were of one mind and one action…..but then Reagan happened and the divisions started and continued with the evil Newt came into the limelight and the division started and has never let up for 30 years……

Let’s look at the term “American Identity”…..

The American identity is based on more than diversity, though. A fair judiciary, constitutional protections, and the ability to achieve the American dream are vital aspects of the national identity according to large numbers of Americans. And while sharing a language, customs, and values are also considered important to most Americans, fewer think an essential aspect of the American identity is a culture based on Christianity or European traditions.

Seven in 10 Americans think the United States is losing its national identity, while just 3 in 10 regard the country’s identity as secure, and these attitudes are related to threats to that identity and pride in several aspects of the country. While most Americans are proud of the American military and the country’s many scientific, creative, and athletic achievements, less than half express much pride in how democracy is working. More than half of the public says political polarization is a major threat to the country’s way of life, and nearly as many say the same about the nation’s political leaders.

http://apnorc.org/projects/Pages/HTML%20Reports/points-of-pride-conflicting-views-and-a-distinct-culture.aspx

IST has covered this division in our society on several occasions…..https://lobotero.com/2018/11/05/in-the-age-of-the-idiotarian/

Sociologist Orlando Patterson argues that the very idea of freedom has its roots in slavery. As he sees it, freedom stood as the antithesis to “the social death” imposed by the institution of slavery. It was the desire to undo bondage that gave rise to this ideal which is the strongest driving force for the Western cultures, the United States in particular. Yet, it is an appalling insult to draw parallels between the shelter-in-place orders and slavery. Protesters demand: Don’t cancel my golf season. Open our bars. I want a haircut. Being deprived of recreation, entertainment, cosmetics does not indicate social death.

Such an individualistic, materialistic understanding of freedom—as in the freedom to choose which consumer goods to purchase and leisure activities to pursue—points to something else entirely: enslavement to capitalism.

The Irony of American Freedom 

But no one seems to care one whit that our country is going from unity to massive divisions….

We are at an unprecedented moment in America.

For the first time in US history, white Americans are faced with the prospect of becoming a minority in their “own country.” While many in our multicultural cities may well celebrate the “browning of America” as a welcome step away from “white supremacy”, it’s safe to say that large numbers of American whites are more anxious about this phenomenon, whether they admit it or not. Tellingly, a 2012 study showed that more than half of white Americans believe that “whites have replaced blacks as the ‘primary victims of discrimination’.”

Meanwhile, the coming demographic shift has done little to allay minority concerns about discrimination. A recent survey found that 43% of black Americans do not believe America will ever make the changes necessary to give blacks equal rights. Most disconcertingly, hate crimes have increased 20% in the wake of the 2016 election.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/01/how-americas-identity-politics-went-from-inclusion-to-division

I do not see the unity returning….and because I cannot see it…..all I can say is a cartoon from the 1700s….

EVRV2A-00083 (5882843) Framed Prints, Wall Art, Posters, Jigsaws

I fear that the US is looking at a dangerous time ahead….but it is not something we cannot overcome….that is if we as a people want to overcome……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Political Correctness Is Destroying America

The term “political correctness” very popular in this age of social media and the use of disinformation…..but what does the term mean exactly?

….the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

All sides accuse the other of political correction……but where is the true culprit?

Spend some time and learn where the actual political correctness can be found…..it is not where you think….

America today faces a terrifying danger: political correctness. It is an existential threat not just to the United States, but all of human civilization.

By this, obviously, I mean right-wing political correctness.

Maybe you’re surprised to hear this. In the U.S. media, there’s no shortage of lamentations about political correctness and how it chills debate — but they’re almost always about the threat of left-wing PC.

In reality, political correctness, or cancel culture, or whatever it’s called, is not a phenomenon of the left, right, or center. It’s a phenomenon of human nature. All humanity’s infinite tribes are prone to groupthink and punishing heretics. That’s why the principle of free thought has to be defended: It is, unfortunately, a weird and unnatural fit for humans.

There absolutely are examples of ugly political correctness from the U.S. “left,” whatever that means in a country that, by historical standards, doesn’t have a left. But the vast, vast majority of political correctness in America is conservative. Conservative PC is so powerful in the U.S. that much of it is adopted by both political parties and all of the corporate media. Indeed, right-wing political correctness is so dominant that it’s politically incorrect to refer to it as political correctness. Instead, we call it things like “patriotism,” or simply don’t notice its existence.

A full examination of America’s conservative PC culture would take the rest of your life to read. So let’s limit this to four areas where the right’s PC causes some of the most harm: religion, foreign policy, the Republican Party, and police.

https://theintercept.com/2020/07/18/political-correctness-destroying-america/

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“lego ergo scribo”

The Dems And Their Big Plans

I have always said that the Dems have marvelous ideas and plans….they just suck at politics and how to get those plans in motion.

Look at some of the more recent ideas…Green New Deal……a sweeping plan that could change everything in this country….and it will silently disappear after the next election……how about that Medicare For All….another excellent idea that would benefit all of American society…..and it will die an ignoble death……my point is as I have stated….great plans no umpf to get them done.

Now this brings me to the most recent situation in this country….the protests over the deaths of son many Blacks at the hands of the police….there have been many plans by many different activists…..but think about this….what is the “Big Plan” to fight this racism from the white Dems?

(Pause here for thought)

Here is the Dems promise for the future….Joe Biden…..https://lobotero.com/2020/06/18/biden-and-criminal-justice/

Fine words but I fear they are just that……WORDS.

Even before a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, leading to a renewed national conversation about racial inequality, white Democrats were already pretty “woke” on some issues. An overwhelming majority of white Democrats said that racial discrimination was a major barrier to Black people getting ahead in America, that the police and the broader criminal justice system in America treated Black people unfairly and that the legacy of slavery still affected Black Americans today. And on issues of criminal justice and policing in particular, white and Black Democrats held fairly similar views. Surveys since Floyd’s death1 have shown even greater wokeness among white Democrats (and Americans more broadly). White Democrats now view the police even less favorably and the Black Lives Matter movement more favorably, and they are also more likely to agree that Black people face “a great deal” or “a lot” of discrimination in America today.2

What we don’t know yet is whether white Democrats have moved significantly on racial issues beyond policing and discrimination in general — issues that deal with more material concerns, such as school integration and wealth redistribution. Most polling since Floyd’s death has focused on policing, Confederate monuments and other topics that have been in the news.

White Democrats Are Wary Of Big Ideas To Address Racial Inequality

If you think this election will be different…then I feel you will be sorely disappointed.

Most white Dems and even a few of the Black elected officials owe too much to the wealthy elite for any true program to fight racism to become anything but a fanciful thought.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”