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There were two major stories today.  One was that Justice Antonin Scalia died.  I am not going to say a whole lot about Justice Scalia.  That is because there really isn’t all that much to talk about.  Either you liked him and his decision, or you didn’t.

Justice Scalia was a very smart man.  However, just like everyone on the planet he made what I consider to be some very stupid and mean things.  That can be said about anyone, including me.  I didn’t like Justice Scalia’s view of our country.  I believed him to be behind the times and unwilling to listen to anyone who disagreed with him.  Even with that said, I do not doubt that he believed what he said and ruled on was an honest expression of his beliefs.

I will not vilify him, nor will I praise him.  He was a Justice on the Supreme Court which is praise enough for anyone.  It was his duty to make decisions based on his interpretation of what he considered facts.  Whether or not I agreed with him does not make him good or bad.  I do want to express my sincere condolences to his family.

The other thing that happened today was the ninth Republican Presidential Debate.  However, I am beginning to believe that calling these spectacles a debate is going to far.  They are merely shouting matches and personal attacks that serve no purpose.

It took me a while to sit down to write this because I spent a lot of time throwing up after the shouting match.  It was like watching an horrendous train wreck.  You want to turn away, but just can’t.  It was a total waste of air time.  Of course, at the outset, each candidate remarked on what a wonderful “conservative” Justice Scalia was.  Then they went on to say that the current President should not even nominate anyone to fill the vacancy.  They prefer to let the next President nominate the next Justice, figuring one of them will be the next President.

It was humorous to discover that according to every candidate on the stage that no “liberal” is qualified to be a Justice on the Supreme Court.  Only “conservatives” need apply.  This was echoed by every candidate on the stage.

I also found out tonight that, according to Marco Rubio, the constitution is “not a living document” but should only be interpreted as it was meant to be.  That is very interesting.  If you really want to discuss what was actually meant in the Constitution of United Sates of America, you need to be a scholar in the “Kings English” of the 1700s in order to really understand what it is suppose to mean.  That was the language used to write it.

None of the candidates on that stage, from my research, is a scholar in the Kings English of the 1700s.  So I find it difficult to believe what their interpretation of “what it really means” is.  On the other hand, if it was supposed to NOT be a living document able to adapt to changing times, then why is there so much vagueness built into it?

They all talked about the freedoms and liberties we are all supposed to have under the Constitution, then ticked off about seven or eight civil rights they plan to outlaw should they become President.  So much for “following the Constitution as it was written.”

Oh, they continued their rantings about same-sex marriage, “religious liberties” for Christians only, their hatred for immigrants, their hatred for gays, their hatred for the poor, and of course their hatred for President Obama.  About the only other thing they ranted about was their hatred for each other.  And, they call that “running for president”.

They never discussed improving education, our infrastructure, climate change, or energy needs.  They try to claim that our military leaders should be listened to all of the time, but ignore the fact that our military leaders have called climate change one of the greatest national security threats we face today.  In their nine debates, none of these topics have been touched or even mentioned by any of the candidates, nor asked about by any of the moderators.

The worst part of the whole night was the simple fact that they made John Kasich seem like the only rational, thinking, calm person running for President on the Republican side.  But, if you look at John Kasich’s record, you will find out he is no different than the other five people on that stage.

It is becoming more and more apparent to me that these Republican Candidates really believe that the American People are totally stupid.  They really believe that they can stand up on a stage, shout insults at each other, not talk about any real policies, and believe that you will vote for the loudest one shouting.  They believe that you don’t have any brains and won’t think about what is best for you when you go to the polls.

Am I the only one who sees this?  Am I the only one who sees past the $1,000 suits and $100 haircuts and really sees they do not have your best interest at heart?

For example, we have the best equipped, best trained, and most powerful military in the world.  But, if you listen to them, we have a Third World military.  This President helped end the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression.  We have created over 16 million new jobs in the last seven years.  Yet, if you listen to them, the economy is worse than it was when President Obama took office.

They are shallow, heartless rubes who are trying to tear down our country.  They want to end any “liberty” that is in contrast to their personal beliefs.  At least half of the six are very willing to go to war, even with Russia.  It is almost like they want the nuclear missiles to begin flying and put an end to our civilization and planet.  That is something to really be afraid about.

I do not claim to be the smartest person on the planet.  But, I do know a snake-oil salesman when I see one.  Tonight I saw six of them on that stage.  I saw six supposedly grown men shouting insults and not talking about a single issue that will make the country safe or our lives better.

I saw six men who are morally bankrupt and downright evil.  Please tell me I am not the only one who sees this!  Please tell me that there are others who are willing to go to the ballot box and keep these serpents from getting anywhere near the White House.

It is really hard for me to swallow the idea that we, as a nation, have sunk to such low depths that we would actually take any of these snakes seriously.  I cannot be the only one who sees that.

I once wrote here that our country’s survival may depend on this upcoming election.  I was wrong.  Tonight I learned that the survival of the whole planet is at stake.  I am hoping that you see it as well.

Tonight we saw the “shirts” keep marching very loudly!

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Last night was the Democrats sixth debate.  I am sure everyone has their opinions on who won or lost.  However, I am still undecided as to whether or not I support Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.  I really didn’t see anything last night that changed my mind.

I think Hillary Clinton proved she is a more “polished” politician and debater than Bernie Sanders.  Yet, the outcome for me is still in doubt.  With that in mind, I am going to change course here and not talk about the debate anymore today.

Rather, I am going to talk about a bill that passed the House Transportation Committee yesterday.  This bill called The AIRR [Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization] Act shows exactly what Republicans want to do with our government.  Namely “privatize” it.

The bill will take away Air Traffic Control from the FAA and give it to a “private” organization instead.  The major argument is that the FAA has been slow to upgrade to new technology and the “private” organization will do it better.

The Republicans don’t say that in order to upgrade technology it takes money.  The one thing that they aren’t too good at giving the agency.  Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation committee said:

The AIRR [Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization] Act provides the transformational reform necessary to bring our antiquated air traffic system into the modern era, and allow America to lead the world again in aviation.

The Committee considered approximately 75 amendments during today’s meeting, and more than half of them were approved.  Today’s open process led to many improvements to the legislation, and I look forward to moving ahead.

Democrats opposed the bill.  Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) said:

Despite the many positive reforms included in this bill that will support a strong aviation system and its workers, I remain concerned about the proposal to hand over our airspace to private control.

Running a science experiment with the most complex airspace in the world comes with a lot of risk, including the uncertain futures of thousands of workers at FAA.

You may wonder who is behind this new bill.  Why would the Republicans take control of our air space away from the FAA?  The answer is very simple.  It is the major airlines, except for Delta, that are pushing for this bill.

Under the bill, there will be a new board of directors managed by the airlines.  There will be 11 seats on the board and four of those seats go directly to major Air Lines.

The top lobby for most major U.S. airlines has said the proposal to spin-off air traffic control from the FAA would bring the nation’s aviation system in line with countries such as Canada, which have similar not-for-private flight navigation organizations set up.  Wow, that is a mouthful.  I wonder why it is okay to follow Canada to use a private air traffic control but not for health care?

Airlines for America President Nicolas Calio said:

U.S. airlines connect the world like no other industry can and this legislation marks a historic step toward making our Air Traffic Control system the best it can be.

Delivering a more efficient system with proper governance, funding and accountability will bolster our nation’s first-rate safety record and make flying better – and at no additional cost to travelers.

Critics said the proposal to spin-off air traffic control from the FAA is a “misguided policy” that would give too much power to airlines, however.  Julia Alschuler a spokesperson for Americans Against Air Traffic Privatization said:

Today we watched as over and over again Chairman Shuster refused to accept amendments to the AIRR Act that would give consumers and workers a fair seat at the table, implement protections against indiscriminate user fees on passengers and curb the power of the airlines over a private air traffic control board.

This bill is included in a funding measure that would spend $17 billion per year on the agency over the first three years.  During that time the independent air traffic control organization will be set up.  After that period, the FAA will see its budget slashed to approximately $6 billion to cover non-air traffic control functions at the FAA.

This bill is nothing more than the Republicans trying to let corporations “police” themselves.  It will harm the safety of air travelers.  It will probably also mean higher fares because the airlines will say they need more money to run the air traffic system.

Furthermore, it will place the major airlines in charge of our air space.  That means non-commercial planes will be put at the back of the line when it comes traffic control.  Groups supporting non-commercial pilots are against the bill as well as Democrats.

This bill is a perfect example of the Republican’s plans for our country.  They plan to place all major agencies under “private” control.  They plan to privatize air traffic control, they plan to privatize Social Security and Medicare, they plan to privatize our public schools, and they plan to privatize the Veterans Administration.

It is all part of their plan to take us back to the 1880s when there was no government oversight and safety laws.  Corporations were responsible to “police” themselves.  After all, they know what is best for their companies.

That is a policy that killed millions of people at work.  And, it is the same policy that gave us the Great Depression and the economic meltdown just a few years ago.

With bills like this one, can we really count on the Republicans to “move the country forward” in the 21st Century?  I think not!

 

 

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The Democrats are holding another debate tonight.  The Republicans have all gathered in South Carolina where dirty tricks are aplenty.  The Water Crisis in Flint MI continues and only the Democrats have even mentioned it.

However, Flint, Michigan is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are thousands of communities just one bad decision away from a similar disaster.  Our infrastructure is crumbling in front of us.  There are millions of miles of lead pipes in the ground being used to ship water to homes.  Even worse, there are still thousands upon thousands of older homes that are still covered in lead paint.

Lead is a very dangerous metal.  It gets into the blood stream and causes havoc in the body.  IQ can be decreased by lead.  Behavioral problems like hyperactivity in children and cardiac problems in adults can become the norm.

Scientists and doctors all agree there is “no safe level of lead” in the blood.  A pinhead full of lead is enough to kill a child.  Yet, lead is all around us.  Still, no one is really doing anything about the problem.

Let’s face some simple facts.  Our infrastructure was created around the turn of the century.  The turn of the twentieth century.  Some of our water pipes have been in the ground for over 150 years.  When those lead pipes were placed, we were told it was safe.

You all know the phrase “crazy as a mad hatter”.  That came about because hat makers used to use lead to firm up the bills of hats.  The workers were poisoned by the lead they were using.  They weren’t crazy, they were dying.

In the 1920s tetraethyl lead was added to gasoline.  A representative of Ethyl Corporation, a company formed by GM, Standard Oil, and Dupont called it a “gift from God”.  Despite warnings that this lead could pollute the entire planet, which it did, it took three-quarters of a century for it to be banned in gasoline in the U.S.

In the meantime, millions of metric tons of lead polluted our soil and water.  It entered our bodies through the simple act of breathing.  But, automakers didn’t want any “knocks” in you engine and fought hard to keep it legal to put in gasoline.

Other gasoline additives have poisoned the water supply in many communities in our country.  Yet, nothing is being done to stop the madness.  Yes, there are some “safety standards” on how to handle lead, but it is still poisoning our children and us.

What makes matters worse, is our politicians don’t seem to think that it is important to have a discussion about it.  The Republican side thinks that climate change is not happening.  They despise science in general.  And, the Democrats seem to be letting them off the hook on the subject.

Without real public discourse, we will never be able to confront and fix our problems.  The other day the Supreme Court voted along political lines to suspend the President’s new clean air regulations until it was settled in court.  Republicans hailed the decision as the “right thing to do” to stop the “President’s overreach”.

There has been a Transportation and Infrastructure Bill languishing in the House of Representatives for seven years.  That bill is designed to redo our infrastructure like the electric grid and water distribution.  But, Republicans don’t even want to talk about it, much less vote on it.

Republicans are great at talking about small government and fiscal responsibility.  They are loath to talk about moral responsibility to protect the citizens from pollution.  It is the responsibility of our governments to ensure our safety.  It is their responsibility to make sure that our drinking water, our soil, our air is free from the pollutants that will kill us.

It doesn’t matter where you live, or how rich you are.  The chances are your children and you yourself are being poisoned by lead and other toxins.  These  pollutants are in our water, the food we eat, and the air we breath.  As a country, we are just one bad decision or “mistake” from having a national crisis on our hands.

During this election, the candidates don’t want to talk about it very much.  The media doesn’t want to talk about it either.  That is why you don’t hear any questions about these problems during the debates.  Especially the Republican debates.

We often hear about “American Exceptionalism” from the conservative side.  What we don’t hear about is “American Legacy” from them.  Is that because the American Legacy is that we have allowed ourselves to be poisoned?  Have we degraded to the point where the almighty dollar is more important than our and our children’s lives?

We have had a century where we were told it wasn’t the oil companies fault, it wasn’t the chemical companies fault, it wasn’t the paint companies fault, it wasn’t the electrical companies fault, it is all our fault.

We shouldn’t let our children ingest lead paint.  We shouldn’t let our children play in the polluted dirt.  Air pollution is something we need to keep our utility bills lower.  Basically, we have been ignored and poisoned so companies can keep making money even if it kills us.

Without forcing our politicians to talk about these issues they will continue.  They will get worse.  The next Water Crisis may be in your city.  It may be your children that are being poisoned.  The thing is, they probably already are, and you don’t even know about it.

Maybe this is the real reason the Affordable Care Act is so toxic to Republicans.  By allowing corporations to poison our environment, our medical costs will sky-rocket.  By eliminating the ACA they can continue to put the blame on us.

These problems can be fixed.  We have the technology to improve our infrastructure.  We have the knowledge of what to do.  But, it will cost money.  That means taxes may have to go up, especially for the corporations who are the polluters.  That is something Republicans say cannot happen.

By doing this work, millions of good paying jobs would be created.  The government would see revenue increase due to the extra taxes the jobs would create.  This is a win-win for our nation.  Still, Republicans are not willing to “invest” in our lives and our children’s lives.  That is totally irresponsible.

It is time for America to wake up to the facts.  Republican environmental policies are killing our children.  That is their legacy to the American Century they seem to love so much.

 

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On the Democratic side, the only real surprise last night was the margin of victory for Bernie Sanders.  It was huge.  Bernie Sanders seems to have hit a nerve with many Democratic voters.  Yet, we must also remember that in New Hampshire, Independents can vote and Bernie got a lot of independent votes.  In other states, you must declare party affiliation in order to vote in the Primaries.

On the Republican side, the results were predicted as well, except for the idea of Kasich coming in second.  Cruz finished third, which is no surprise since New Hampshire doesn’t have the evangelical population like Iowa has.

Of course, Cruz is claiming “victory” because he came in third.  I never understood how you can be the winner when you lost.  But, that is politics for you.  Even if you don’t win, you can claim “victory”.

The one thing that came out of this primary is evidence that politics is not dead in America.  According to what I have read and saw, New Hampshire’s primary resulted in a record number of people casting a ballot.  That is truly good news.  Hopefully, the remaining states will have record turnouts as well, right through November.

There are also some disturbing things that came out of New Hampshire.  Those disturbing things come from the Republican side.  The biggest disturbing thing to me is that during an exit poll, two-thirds of New Hampshire Republican voters believe Muslims should be barred from coming to this country.

When you take that into consideration, it is little wonder some consider the fact that only 40% of those same people believe that Mexicans should be deported.  But then Mexicans aren’t Muslim are they?

There has been a lot of conversation about the “establishment” wings of both parties being upset over the results.  After last night, the Republican Establishment is being told to support Kasich instead of Rubio who finished fifth.  I don’t see Kasich as being compassionate or “moderate” like some other pundits like to call him.  Kasich has proven to be just as “conservative” as Cruz and the other wing-nuts in the party.

Kasich faces the same problem that Sanders faces moving forward.  He got a lot of “independent” voters to back him.  In many of the upcoming primaries, he won’t have that luxury.  The Republicans are even more strict about independents than the Democrats are.  Therefore, it is way too early to say Kasich can hang on and be a viable contender to Trump and Cruz.

That is the real problem.  It appears that Trump and Cruz are going to be the last men standing on the Republican side.  We will have a choice from Republicans that is disturbing at best.  One is a white supremacist, nativist, fascist who likes torture as a means of “interrogation” and wants to keep every foreigner who is not white out of the country.  The other is a bigot who believes that anyone who is not a follower of his religion, which really doesn’t exist, a traitor to America and wants to establish the Jim Crow days again but including not just blacks but non-white people of any kind, gays, and women.

Between the two, they garnered over 40% of the New Hampshire primary votes.  That is even more depressing than their views.  To believe that over 40% of people in New Hampshire think like they do.

The next primary in South Carolina will be interesting to watch.  Cruz’ main support comes from social issue evangelicals.  Trump’s main support comes from white supremacists and nativists.  South Carolina has a very large evangelical population.  But it is also known for their white supremacists and nativists.  It will be interesting to see if the evangelicals or white supremacists win out.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton needs to come up with something viable to run on.  As one pundit put it last night, Bernie Sanders wants to become president because he hates income inequality and is fighting for the poor and middle-class.  Hillary Clinton is running because she would do a good job.  That isn’t a very good campaign slogan.

Bernie Sanders has found something to get his supporters fired up.  Hillary Clinton has not found that, yet.  If she can get her supporters fired up about something, she will probably get the nomination.  If not, we could see Bernie Sanders as the Democratic candidate.

In either case, we now have two political parties that are polar opposites.  One party, the Democrats, have remained true to the values of the poor, working poor, and the middle class and civil rights.  They look to move the country forward in ways that will benefit everyone.

On the other hand, the Republican Party has become a party of fear and hate.  They want you to be afraid of everyone and everything.  Their motives are to keep the oligarchs in power and are happy to be their mouthpieces.  You, the common person don’t count.

The things these Republican candidates believe in are very scary.  They believe in torture, racism, poor education for the non-elites, closed borders, second-class citizenship for those “others” in our society, and constant wars.  They believe that is how we “make America great”.

All you need to do is look at the leading candidates for each party, and you will see I am right.  On the Republican side, last night proved the “shirts” keep marching along!

 

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All through this election cycle, we have heard Republican Candidates, Fox News, and other conservative media rail against “Political Correctness”.  The fact of the matter is they really don’t hate political correctness, as long as they get to define what that is.

The anti-pro choice, anti-gay, anti-woman agendas they are trying to get America to buy into are all versions of “political correctness” as defined by conservatives.  If you do not believe in their versions of these issues, you are “politically incorrect” according to their talking points.

However, nothing exemplifies this more than the conservative “outrage” over the Super Bowl Halftime show with Beyoncé.

It began immediately after the new day’s news cycle started yesterday.  Steve Doocy thought Coldplay was just OK and Bruno Mars was “fantastic,” he telegraphed his point by noting that Beyoncé “was in there too.”

“I couldn’t really make out what Beyoncé was saying,” host Brian Kilmeade added after the show aired some footage of her performance. “But at the end, we find out Beyoncé dressed up in a tribute to the Black Panthers, went to a Malcolm X formation. And the song, the lyrics, which I couldn’t make out a syllable, were basically telling cops to stop shooting blacks!”

“I think it was outrageous,” Giuliani said. “The halftime show I thought was ridiculous anyway. I don’t know what the heck it was. A bunch of people bouncing around and all strange things. It was terrible.”

“This is football, not Hollywood,” he continued, “and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive. And what we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers.”

So, I guess you can say the main theme in all of this is that a black woman was showing disrespect towards police officers.  If you are a black person and don’t like the police, there is something very “politically incorrect” about that stance.  If you believe that “Black Lives Matter” there is something “politically incorrect” about you.

Yet, on the other side of the country, there are still four domestic terrorists holding a wildlife refuge sanctuary hostage, with guns.  Those four holdouts put out their own video over the weekend.  Fox News doesn’t seem to have any problem with their attacks against “police officers”, maybe because they are targeting the nation’s “police officers” the FBI.

These domestic terrorists are all white.  They are claiming they are only “exercising” their right to free speech.  Yet, they need guns to exercise their free speech.

Many of the original group are under arrest.  These four want to be allowed to leave without any charges brought against them for their terrorist activities.  They have even built barricades and “defensive” positions in preparation for a shootout with the FBI.

“We just got done talking with the FBI,” said 27-year-old Blanchester, Ohio resident. “They consider fortifying a crime.”  Fry said he, Jeff Banta of Nevada, and husband and wife Sean and Sandy Anderson of Idaho have “every right” to defend themselves from the “oncoming onslaught of people with fully automatic rifles (and) armored vehicles.

In another video posted Sunday, Sean and Sandy Anderson are sitting together and the husband says they feel like hostages because they can’t leave without being arrested.

“What are they to do with us?” Sean Anderson says. “They either let us go, drop all charges because we’re good people, or they come in and kill us. How’s that going to set with America?”

Even some politicians are getting in on the act.  A Nevada state Assembly member who is sympathetic to Bundy’s cause, Michelle Fiore, said Monday she and lawmakers from several other states plan to meet in Portland this week to protest the jailing of Bundy and his followers. She said the lawmakers are members of a group called the Coalition of Western States, which opposes federal management of Western lands.

“My folks are prisoners for exercising political free speech. That is not OK,” the Republican lawmaker told the AP.

So, you can see the differences between these two “incidents” and why it is outrageous that Republicans keep talking about “political correctness.”  If you are a white person with a gun, and you commit a domestic terrorist act like seizing a wildlife refuge center, and if you are barricading yourself in order to “survive” a planned shootout with police you are “exercising political free speech.”

On the other hand, if you are a black musician, and you do a video or Halftime Show at the Super Bowl showing support for a non-violent group called Black Lives Matter, you are poisoning the minds of the people.

The term “political correctness” has many meanings.  One is designed to prevent hurt feelings.  One is designed to show compassion.  And, from what we have seen from Fox News and other conservative media, one means you can threaten and/or kill federal officers as long as you are a conservative white person.

And the “shirts” keep marching along!

 

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As I sat and watched another Republican Debate debacle Saturday night, I often wandered off into thinking just who is supporting each of the candidates.  With the campaign finance laws the way they are, especially since Citizen’s United, we really don’t know who the money people are behind each candidate.

This election has outpaced passed elections for lies, dirty tricks, and misleading information since Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972.  But, who is really behind all of these lies and dirty tricks?

So, I wondered what it would be like if they had to advertise just who their “sponsors” were.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know just who is backing the robot called Marco Rubio?  His constant repeating of talking points is ridiculous.

Or, what about who is backing Chris Christie?  The one who actually brought up the robot issue on stage.  It might help us make up our mind as to which candidate we really want to support.

There is a group of Californians called “California Is Not For Sale” who want to change the law there so candidates, and for that matter, all elected officials will have to show their sponsors.  They would be forced to wear the company logos on their suits.

You know, just like athletes from race car drivers to golf players and others wear their logos on their clothes.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see just who these politicians are being paid by?

This is a ballot initiative that says that politicians, elected ones included, must wear logos on their clothes anytime they appear for a speech, vote, or to testify.  The logos must be large enough so people in the audience can read them. They would be required to wear their ten biggest contributors.

You may think this is stupid.  But is it really?  Imagine watching CSPAN and seeing s congressman standing on the floor making a speech against a “green energy” bill.  This congressman is talking about how he is morally and ethically opposed to the bill, all the while wearing an Exxon/Mobile logo on his lapel.

That might make you wonder if he is really “morally or ethically” against the bill, or if he is doing his sponsor’s bidding.  What about people like Ted Cruz who constantly talks about “gun rights” having to wear a logo from gun manufacturers on his lapel.  Maybe he isn’t so much for “gun rights” as much as for the makers of guns making more money.

John Cox, the chairman for California Is Not For Sale says “yeah, this is funny, but this is the system.”  The U.S. Supreme Court in its decision on Citizens United said that “corporations are people too, and have a right to spend money on elections as they see fit.”

That is the current law.  But, there is nothing in the decision that would make it illegal to make our elected politicians or candidates advertise from whom they are getting their money.

If nothing else, it would let the general public make better decisions on who to back based on more information about the candidates.  I seriously doubt that this law would force any politician to change their behavior.  But, it would give us more information as to why they are behaving as they are.

The best way to fight corruption is to force elected office holders to “advertise” their sponsors.  We probably wouldn’t even have to repeal Citizens United.  The fact these logos would be on display for all to see might just be enough to stop the corruption that Citizens United unleashed on our political process.

I think this is a great idea.  We just need to make it part of our complete election process.  This would take away the veil of secrecy as to who may be buying our politicians.  That would be a nice start to regaining our democracy.

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Last night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was the best debate so far, from either party.  It was fiery, it was full of specifics, and it was informative.   It wasn’t perfect in the sense of I wanted more specifics on policies.

Yet, I got a whole lot more specifics on policies than the Republicans have given us in total from their debates.  As a matter of fact, they haven’t given us any specifics on anything.

Maybe this debate was so good because there were only two debaters.  Maybe it was because the two moderators were actually intelligent, asked intelligent questions, and then let the two debate.

There were some dull moments.  I wasn’t too impressed with the “progressive” label fight.  I consider both progressive and each offer more to move the country ahead than any of the other sides’ ideas.

The other day I said I wasn’t sure which of the two I was willing to support.  I still haven’t made up my mind on that, but in honesty, Hillary did more to earn my support than Bernie.

Bernie Sanders sounded too much like a one or two issue candidate.  With all of the problems facing our country, I expected more from him than a repeat of those simple issues.

Yes, I agree Wall Street has too much power.  I agree that we need Campaign Finance Reform, but there are a lot more problems facing us, and quite frankly I thought Bernie had a problem talking about anything else.

Sanders seemed to really struggle when it came to Foreign Policy.  He did point out one thing about veterans that I have said many times here.  The quality of treatment veterans get from the VA is top rated.  The satisfaction rating from veterans about treatment is the highest in the Health Industry.

The problem with the VA is that they don’t have enough resources to treat all of the veterans that need it.  On the reverse side, Republicans are not interested in improving the quantity of health services to veterans by the VA, they simply want to eliminate the agency and give us vouchers that won’t cover the total cost of treatment that the VA does.

A lot of Democrats seemed to be worried about the so-called email scandal hanging over Hillary Clinton.  I am not that worried about it.  Especially when you consider that Colin Powell also used personal email for business.  That came out the other day.

Nor am I all that interested in the “speaking fees” Hillary Clinton received from any group including Goldman Sachs.  She may have been planning to run for office, but she wasn’t in office at the time.  Speaking fees are part of the game.  If a company or organization wants you to speak at a function, they pay you for your time.  Those fees are usually more exorbitant the higher your profile.

Speaking fees are different from campaign contributions.  So, that “issue” isn’t of any interest to me.  That interest may change if Goldman Sachs would throw huge amounts of money at Clinton to win the election.  I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

There are a lot of things that were at least mentioned that you won’t hear tomorrow night.  Things like clean energy.  The Flint Water Crisis.  An actual plan on how to fight ISIS.

You may agree or disagree with what was said, but at least they were said.  There wasn’t any fear mongering going on, and there wasn’t any hate spread.  That was refreshing by itself.

This race is really about what each candidate is going to do.  What policies they are going to follow and what their “agenda” is going to be.  To me, Sanders needs to expound more on other topics about his policies and agenda.  Sanders has an advantage in that he is loved by young voters.  I hope that love continues throughout the full campaign right up through November.

Overall, this was an informative debate.  It allowed us to see how each candidate would try to implement their policies.  It allowed us to see the real differences between the two.  It didn’t give us all of the answers, but hopefully they will come out in the upcoming debates.

What is really important is that the Democrats were finally “forced” to allow more debates and that is to our advantage.  If you plan to watch tomorrow night’s debate from the other side, I am willing to bet you won’t hear as much detail as you did last night.

The Democrat primary race is going to be tough.  I am sure that accusations and attack ads will increase from both sides.  These additional debates will help us determine which candidate should be the standard-bearer for the Democratic Party.  In that vein, we all win.

Finally, kudos to Rachael Maddow and Chuck Todd.  They showed Fox News just how a debate should be conducted.  Not that anyone at Fox News paid any attention.

 

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