Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway

Monday, August 31, 2015

Brookings Institution: Government Studies: Thomas Mann: Election 2016: The Dumbing Down of American Politics: How Can American Politics Get Any Dumber?

The Donald-
Brookings Institution: Government Studies: Thomas Mann: Election 2016: The Dumbing Down of American Politics: How Can American Politics Get Any Dumber?

Tom Mann-“Donald Trump and the chorus of Republican presidential aspirants may have appeared to monopolize the capacity to make fantastical claims about what’s wrong with America and how to fix it. But a new entrant–Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig–has outlined a very different sort of fantastical claim. In this post, Thomas Mann looks at Lessig’s candidacy and what it says about the state of American politics.”

The Dumbing Down of American Politics, so I guess American politics had reached a new low and American voters are now borderline retarded. And vote for people based on what realty shows they watch, or who they’re favorite celebrities are, or do they have the same smart phone. Wait, Americans voters already vote for candidates based on those things. How else do you explain our last two president’s. Neither one of them became president based on their deep knowledge of the issues, or their brilliant resumes. But because they’re likable and the country was looking for something different. And this coming from someone who voted for Barack Obama twice. But not because I think he’s like totally awesome, or whatever. But because he was the best person for the job.

I don’t think American politics can get any dumber. The presidential election is already a popularity contest. The candidate who gets the voters to personally like them the most for whatever the reasons tends to get the job. The most important job and election in the world is not rewarded to the person who has the best economic, national security, or foreign policies, but to the person who looks the most Hollywood, lets says. The person whose seen as the hippest. And a lot of our Congressional races both House and Senate are decided that way as well. That is you get a billionaire like a Donald Trump, who the whole country knows from his so-called realty TV show, looking like a contender for the Republican presidential nomination.

As George Carlin, politicians are us. They’re the people they represent. They weren’t beamed down here from Star Trek, or someplace to play career politicians on TV. They live and come from our communities and speak the language of the people they live with and share the same politics. And what career politicians do, that is people who get a heart attack at the even thought of having to have a real job and work outside of government and perhaps go back to selling shoes, or auto insurance, is take advantage of the communities that they come from. And the more extreme the community they represent, the more extreme rhetoric. Whether they actually believe the bullshit that they’re saying, or not.

If Americans want better politicians and politics, they need to be better voters. The only ways someone like a Donald Trump can get on the national scene is, that he’s a billionaire. who had his own so-called reality show and that there a lot of dumb voters in America who believe Latinos are invading America and raping their daughters , trying to occupy America as if they were a Western ISIS and want to create a Greater Mexico. And oh by the way. They believe Latinos are stealing their fast food, food service, retail and agriculture jobs. That most Americans wouldn’t take even if it meant they would have to starve. And what The Donald does, is play to those fears of a very ignorant people who simply don’t know any better.

American voters should look at politicians and political candidates the same way they look at buying a car, or house, or clothes, What’s the best purchase for them based on the money that they can afford to spend on that purchase and exactly who’ll represent them best with that purchase. And stop looking at American politics likes it’s a game show, or beauty contest. But instead whose the best candidate for the job based on how they would vote, or what policies they would push and what they would do for the country. Who would best defend, promote and develop the country so the most Americans possible can live well here. Instead of voting for people based on what they’re favorite movies, or entertainers are and do they watch celebrity TV and so-forth and so on.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

MSNBC: The Mind of Manson- Keith Morrison: Documentary on Charles Manson

Source: MSNBC-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Whatever your position on the death penalty is and even if you’re in favor of the death penalty, but agree that forty-five years later not executing the Manson Family murderers other than Charlie Manson himself was the correct decision, I think most of the country can agree that once you intentionally take the innocent life of another human being and are convicted of that murder, or murderers, you forfeit your right to freedom for the rest of your life. I could imagine only anti-use of force at anytime groups, as well as anti-prison advocates, or Anarchists having a problem with that.

Bruce Davis, has never even admitted, or apologized for his role in the Manson murders. The only thing that puts him ahead of Charlie, is that he’s made a productive life for himself while in prison. Which is one of the reasons for having prison. Which is the whole point of rehabilitation which is self-improvement and not just preparing people who have a release date on the outside for life there, but empowering people who are serving life, or very long sentences to make a positive life for them self in prison and allow for them to give back. Which is what she should be doing a lot more with our prisons and would make them a lot more affordable to run. But that’s a different subject.

Once you murder someone, you can’t take that back. Your victim never recovers from that. And because of that why should the murder be able to live freely when their victim, or victims can never live at all? So one should feel sorry for anyone who decided to hook up with Charlie Manson. None of the Manson Family members were kidnapped and all voluntarily joined that group. And they were all eighteen, or older when they got involved and they all knew what they were doing when they committed those murders. And they’re all paying the price for it in prison and will continue to pay that price as long as they’re alive. Because their victims will never recover from their murders.
MSNBC: The Mind of Manson- Keith Morrison: Documentary of Charles Manson

Saturday, August 22, 2015

CBS News: 60 Minutes- Lesley Stahl Interviews Jimmy Carter: The White House Diary

Source: CBS News- 60 Minutes Correspondent Lesley Stahl-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I mentioned this last week, but President Jimmy Carter was not a failed president and I laid out why I believe that. And of course we have the benefit of history now. And the economy was in bad shape when he left and the Soviet Union seemed to be stronger, even though again from the benefit of history their economy was failing with all of their bread lines, unemployment, poverty, shortages, that took them at least twenty years to over. So of course the Soviet Union wasn’t stronger when President Carter left office. Their military was just doing more because they thought America was weak.

There a couple of reasons why Jimmy Carter wasn’t a great president. One of them his fault and the other partly his fault. His relationship with the two Democratic Congress’s that he had, especially with Senator Ted Kennedy, but Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil and Senate Leader Robert Byrd and many other examples. President Carter, actually had a better relationship with Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker, the ranking Republican in Congress during the Carter years, than he probably had with any Democratic leader in Congress. Including Southern Democrats who he probably had things in common with.

The other issue being all the problems that he had to deal with as president. Not his fault for the most part that they happened. Especially with the economy, but where he comes up short from my perspective at least was his failure to deal with them and gain traction and success in those areas. President Obama, inherited a worst economy than either President Carter, or President Reagan and yet the economy started moving again fairly quickly under his administration. And started creating jobs early in his second year.

I think what you see in the Carter White House diary, is what Americans back then and today really like and respect about the man. That Jimmy Carter, is a person and individual before he’s a politician.
He’s the politician that Americans say they want. Above board, free-thinker, free speaker, above politics, not all the time, but a lot of the time, does and says what he believes and then deals with the consequences. Including about how he feels with people he has to work with. As you see in his White House diary. The problem with Americans though and perhaps where Carter’s personality hurt him, is that is just what Americans say they want. They actually prefer bullshit artists who tell them what they want to hear, generally.
CBS News: 60 Minutes- Lesley Stahl Interviews Jimmy Carter: The White House Diary

Saturday, August 15, 2015

NFL: Remembering Hall of Famer Frank Gifford: A Giant Living Legend

A Giant Legend
NFL: Remembering Hall of Famer Frank Gifford: A Giant Living Legend

Frank Gifford, was truly one of a kind. I don’t believe we’ve had another Hall Fame football player and Hall of Fame sportscaster in one person. Frank Gifford, was the voice of Monday Night Football. Howard Cosell, was the comedian of that show, but Frank made that show with deep knowledge of the game. As a Hall of Fame player for the New York Giants, his intelligence and his great voice. He was both an announcer and an analyst and did both jobs at the same time. His main role was as the announcer, but the way he would call what he was seeing was from an analyst’s perspective. Because he knew exactly what he was seeing and why he was seeing it.

Growing up as a kid, I couldn’t wait for ABC’s Monday Night Football. Still the best football show on TV, at least prime time show. I couldn’t wait to hear Frank do the intro for that show. Because he brought such passion, intelligence and humor to that show and brought the audience into the show as if you were going to a football party at someone’s house. With the host welcoming you in as you were at home. That’s what it was like listening to Frank call games. It was like as if you were there with him. The only NFL announcer I would take over Frank Gifford would be Pat Summerall and maybe be Al Michaels. But Frank is in the same class as both of those men.

As far Frank Gifford the NFL player, when you talk about hybrid players today, guys who could play running back, or wide receiver and are so good at both you have to use them at both positions, Frank Gifford was the first great hybrid NFL player on offense. He would’ve been a great running back, or receiver. Because he had great hands, quickness, footwork and size. He could’ve played quarterback as well. Very similar to a Paul Hournung with the Green Bay Packers. Frank, was the leader of those great Giants teams of the 1950s that went to five straight NFL Championship’s. But he was also the leader of ABC’s Monday Night Football the best prime time NFL show of all-time.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Onion: Candidate Profile Donald Trump

The Donald-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I’ve actually sort of gone out of my way to not comment on Donald Trump for president for several reasons. One, just about everything I would’ve said about him most of it, actually all of it negative has already been said. Even by Fox News to the point that The Donald has added Megyn Kelly to his women’s enemy list. The fact that the Republican Party would have a joke like The Donald whose only able to run for president, because he’s a billionaire, just shows you how big of a joke the Republican Party is right now. I mean, their frontrunner’s last name is Bush. I’m sure Jeb is a good guy and all and probably would’ve been successful in life if his name was Kowalski and he grew up in Pittsburgh the son of a truck driver. But he’s the frontrunner, because he’s a Republican and his last name is Bush.

Don Trump, is not an idiot and he’s not crazy. A big asshole, no argument here. An egomaniac, I’m still looking for a bigger egomaniac. Actually I stopped looking when I first saw The Donald. He’s a guy who simply wants attention and for whatever he’s involved in to simply be about him. He’s a one man entertainment and comedy show who has no idea what he would do as president and has nothing to run on as far as what he’s in favor of and what he would do. I mean the guy is a Republican, who’s supposedly anti-immigration, even though he’s probably hired thousands of illegal immigrants. And those people not being from Ireland, or Britain, but Mexico and other Latin American countries.

How do you take someone like that seriously for president. He wants to be President of the United States and talks about our eighteen-trillion-dollar national debt and two of his companies have gone bankrupt. So ironically that sort of makes him an expert on our bankruptcy laws. What is The Donald’s message on fiscal policy? Don’t run the United States the way he ran his companies. Because it will fail and instead of filling for bankruptcy and being bailed out by taxpayers, we’ll try to get bailed out by China, or Saudi Arabia?

I did see the Republican debate on FNC on Thursday. And actually I think the FNC panel did a very good job questioning the candidates. I was expecting to see batting practice at a home run derby from the questioners. And see them loft up a lot of hanging curves and softballs at the candidates. For them to well hit out of the ballpark and look good. But as I was watching the debate I was sort of thinking to myself how would Saturday Night Live play this. And looking at The Donald, you don’t need to see SNL doing their version of this debate, because what they would’ve done is what we saw on Thursday.

The panel, asking The Donald very tough questions and trying to put him on the spot. With Trump coming back with some wisecrack to get the audience behind him. This is what running for President of the United States the most important job in the world to the The Donald. His own reality show and all about him and nothing else. With every network that covers politics picking up the series. The reason why The Donald is in first place in a single a baseball league as far as the quality of talent when you’re talking about the quality of candidates that they have, is because the state of the Republican Party right now. Not because of how great a presidential candidate that The Donald is, or his qualifications for being President of the United States.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

CBS News: Video: The Longines Chronoscope: U.S. Representative John F. Kennedy in 1952

Liberal Democrat
CBS News: Video: The Longines Chronoscope: U.S. Representative John F. Kennedy in 1952

John F. Kennedy, at this point was Representative John F. Kennedy who was completing his third and last term in the House of Representatives. And was running for Senate against a moderate-conservative Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. Jack Kennedy, was only thirty-five at this point and would become one of the youngest people ever elected to the U.S. Senate at thirty-five. JFK, served a total of fourteen-years in Congress both in the House and Senate and yet he was forty-three when he left Congress for the presidency in 1961. He is someone who wanted to move up quickly in American politics and not stay in one office for very long.

The House, was too small of a platform especially if you’re last name is Kennedy. So it’s a little hard to believe that JFK would’ve been someone who would’ve spent 20-30 years in the House even if it meant being Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, or serving in the Democratic Leadership. I think JFK like his brother Ted, would’ve made a terrific U.S. Senator if he wanted it and served four, or five terms in the Senate after the House and completed his Congressional service and even public service in the Senate. And perhaps would’ve ended up chairing a couple of committees and maybe even becoming Democratic Leader in the Senate.

Jack Kennedy, didn’t have a very good record in the House. He was bored there and had a hard time dealing with being one of 435 Representatives there and a back bencher at that. And wasn’t a very serious Representative who missed a lot of floor votes and committee hearings and not known for passing any legislation. He wasn’t much better as a Senator at least in his first term. But he writes a book Profiles in Courage in 1956, he marries Jacqueline Kennedy and his name is always in the news and starts to draw a serious following in the Democratic Party and becomes serious as a U.S. Senator. Which is how his name starts to get floated around as a possible presidential candidate. Who almost becomes Adlai Stevenson’s vice presidential nominee in 1956. And after that he when he puts most of his focus into becoming President of the United States.