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andym's Journal
andym's Journal
November 20, 2019

Not certain that the Senate will remove Trump-- even now

Look at these ridiculous headlines on CNN:

"GOP senator: "I don't necessarily agree" with Trump's actions"
Good that he doesn't "agree" with bribery.

"These GOP senators say they haven't watched the hearing"



Conryn's full quote:
“I don’t necessarily agree with it. But you can disagree with the action and ... believe (that) this is not a reason to tear the country in two a year before the election.”


Fortunately Trump is definitely getting impeached by the House with full justification.

November 1, 2019

With Detailed Pay-For Plan, Warren Touts Medicare for All as 'Bigger Than the Biggest Tax Cut' in US

"If you're not in the top 1%, Wall Street, or a big corporation — congratulations, you don't pay a penny more and you're fully covered."
Joe Queally

It won't be a burden. It will be a relief. And for the large majority of those living in the United States—a huge tax break.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a 'Paying for Medicare for All' proposal on Friday morning, laying out her detailed approach to financing a federal health care plan that would provide comprehensive coverage to all Americans by demanding the top 1% and corporations take the brunt of the costs while promising "not one penny" more in taxes for working-class and middle-class families.

"No middle class tax increases," Warren said of her plan in a detailed blog post as she vowed to put "$11 trillion in household expenses back in the pockets" of U.S. families. That figure, she said, is "substantially larger than the largest tax cut" in the nation's history......

"There's a reason the American people support [Medicare for All]. It's because when it comes to the cost of health care, we are in the middle of a full-blown crisis."
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren
This is how MFA becomes a winning issue-- greater cost savings than the biggest tax in history. Lets hope all the candidates jump on the bandwagon.

October 22, 2019

Adam Schiff: It will be said of House Republicans....

It will be said of House Republicans,

When they found they lacked the courage to confront the most dangerous and unethical president in American history,

They consoled themselves by attacking those who did.


October 21, 2019

It's possible to avoid 3 trillion/year "taxes" for M4A

I'm surprised that it's been talked about so little. I suspect Elizabeth Warren will propose something like this.
Right now a plurality (49%) of the private health insurance premiums are paid by employers to private (group) plans. Having employers pay will mean they get a big new tax, but individuals won't.
It would be quite possible to shift their obligation to a M4A program.
It is the co-pays that are the question.

Personal insurance is only a small percentage of the total market. Medicare, Medicaid and the VA are already government run.

The numbers from the Kaiser Foundation:
49% employer covered (group)
7% non-group (eg Obamacare)
21% Medicaid
14% Medicare
1% Other public (like VA)
9% uninsured

So the key is covering the uninsured and the non-group individuals==~16% which will be much less than the 3 trillion/year bill.

This will be similar to the contribution employers make to social security for each employee.

October 6, 2019

Does Trump's transcript/memo basically demonstrate a direct violation of federal law?

5 CFR § 2635.702 - Use of public office for private gain. An employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office in a manner that is intended to coerce or induce another person, including a subordinate, to provide any benefit, financial or otherwise, to himself...

In the Ukraine memo/transcript first Trump asks for some (personal) favors, Trump then says “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great...”

Seems to be a clear violation of the law. No quid pro quo required.

September 29, 2019

Impeachment is a formality

Trump already confessed to the crime on the memo/transcript of the call with the Ukrainian prime minister that he released-- his impeachment is a formality. Asking a foreign leader for a private favor to "get" a political opponent. Trump had no business asking, he's not the AG investigating crimes, and in a foreign country (there is no possible national interest here)-- so he is clearly guilty, and presumably that's why Nancy Pelosi proceeded with the inquiry.

Using the office of the President for private purposes is a high crime clearly understood by the founders of the nation.

But did he violate any actual law? Yes indeed:
LII Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) Title 5. Administrative Personnel Chapter XVI. OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS Subchapter B. GOVERNMENT ETHICS Part 2635. STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH Subpart G. Misuse of Position Section 2635.702. Use of public office for private gain.
(a)Inducement or coercion of benefits. An employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office in a manner that is intended to coerce or induce another person, including a subordinate, to provide any benefit, financial or otherwise, to himself or to friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.

September 26, 2019

Ukrainegate is Trump's homage to Watergate

and Nixon: an attempt to use the government and other means to denigrate political opponents, and then a coverup to prevent anyone from learning what happened. Barr is Trump's Attorney General equivalent of Mitchell. The difference is that Nixon and his men were far more intelligent. Trump doesn't even understand fully how deeply he has messed up.

September 21, 2019

Are there websites that compare the aggregate plans for each candidate in terms of benefits/costs?

I find it difficult to get the whole picture comparing the benefits that are proposed with the costs and the specific taxes needed to implement.

In addition, showing the changes in GDP ($19 trillion/year in 2017), government costs ($4.1 trillion in 2017), and government revenue ($3.4 trillion in 2017) would be very useful in determining how people will be affected and whether plans are affordable as proposed.

Tables for each candidate with programs, costs and taxes would be very useful.

Is there such a website or blog?

August 18, 2019

I believe next to defeating Trump. the most important thing a candidate can do in be an influencer."

Likewise, the most important thing a President can do is be an "influencer"-- especially in the modern era of social networks. Let me define this a little more strictly than is done on social networks. I mean more than just having a large collection of followers.

From history, TR (progressive era) and FDR (New Deal and liberalism) were influencers by my definition-- Americans changed their world outlook because of them. Unfortunately, Reagan (modern conservatism) was an influencer too-- Reagan made antipathy toward the government and aggressive self-interest popular and they remain so. Trump is an influencer too, not so much policy-wise but his crass ugly behavior is redefining what is an acceptable public demeanor. History seems to suggest that one needs to win the Presidency to really influence the body politic, but perhaps that is becoming somewhat less true in the era of social networks.

If a candidate can actually change hearts and minds about everyone in the country being in this place we call America together, he or she will have succeeded regardless of whether they win the nomination. Can he/she promote the positive role of the government, civil/equal and other rights (health, freedom from poverty, opportunity, college education, clean environment) for all? This counts for a lot. Such a person might be the next FDR, but even if he or she is not, perhaps his/her actions will help bring about the next FDR by having shifted public opinion so that the political environment is permissive.

To the extent that our candidates can get people to think about and maybe change their minds about these key ideas, they are doing a great service independently of whether they ultimately win the nomination. I find it encouraging that many if not most of our candidates are trying to become "influencers' before they reach the Presidency. A good example of what i mean is Beto O' Rourke going to gun shows to discuss an assault weapons ban with the attendees, and then making such discussions public-- that's the kind of thing that may eventually change minds.

July 17, 2019

Democrats should run on "National unity and good [better] jobs"

From an opinion piece in the NY Times by Thomas Friedman
(Ignore the tabloid title and look for the key ideas inside)

I think the following is a winning message for a general election and a very good summary of how Democrats can craft a strong economic message that appeals to everyone but Republicans who hate the government:

"That doesn’t mean a Democratic candidate should stand for nothing, just keep it simple: Focus on building national unity and good jobs. I say national unity because many Americans are terrified and troubled by how bitterly divided, and therefore paralyzed, the country has become. There is an opening for a unifier.

And I say good jobs because when the wealth of the top 1 percent equals that of the bottom 90 percent, we do have to redivide the pie. I favor raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans to subsidize universal pre-K education and to reduce the burden of student loans. Let’s give kids a head start and college grads a fresh start.

[But] The winning message is to double down on redividing the pie in ways that give everyone an opportunity for a slice while also growing the pie sustainably. Democrats should focus on how we create sustainable wealth and good jobs, which is the American public-private partnership model: Government enriches the soil and entrepreneurs grow the companies.

It has always been what’s made us rich, and we’ve drifted away from it: investing in quality education and basic scientific research; promulgating the right laws and regulations to incentivize risk-taking and prevent recklessness and monopolies that can cripple free markets; encouraging legal immigration of both high-energy and high-I.Q. foreigners; and building the world’s best enabling infrastructure — ports, roads, bandwidth and basic social safety nets."

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