Monday, September 30, 2019

A.A.'s Should be Furious with Democrats, Neo-Cons

The first noticeable distinction between 2016 and 2019 is the number of new cars now occupying the roadways.

The second noticeable distinction between 2016 and 2019, are the increased numbers of black faces greeting you when you drive through a McDonalds, walk into a Kroger or enter a bank.

In essence, people who were looking in from the outside in '16, are now in the middle of things. Working! And, working for companies that provide benefits and longevity.

True, there are the cynics, who find disfavor in everything. Yet the fact that more Americans are working today than ever, can't be slighted! I hear the naysayers now. They called it "trickle down economics." As in, the rich get richer and the poor get the "crumbs." That was Nancy Pelosi's description.

Amazingly, even Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the two leading "progressive" candidates vying for the right to face Donald Trump in 2020, have deleted a major point. They have talked about the rich getting richer. But, they have been vague as to "how" the rich have gotten richer.

Here's a tip: The President's "American First" agenda is about, "charity beginning at home." In short, take care of Americans first!
This translates to using every means possible to encourage American companies to keep their plants and factories within our shores.

Neo-Cons, such as Mitt Romney, Carly Fiorina and the late John McCain described themselves as "free traders." Which translates to, "the best jobs are those that can be outsourced."

The border crisis hasn't been solved, but is solvable. It's about "having the will" to solve it. Neither Progressives or Neo-Cons have showed must interest in a solution. Why should they? For Progressives it's about new voters. For Neo-Cons, it's about cheap labor. Never mind "who" in America gets hurt by this posture!

When you push for open borders, you hurt Americans at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. Traditionally, these Americans are black and brown. You do it by depressing the wage. When you have people slipping into the country, living in the shadows and accepting less for their labors, this is the result.

We're not exclusively talking about Eight-dollar-per-hour jobs! I recall my wife's friend's husband sharing a poignant story that exemplified "why" Corporate CEO's tend to be so wealthy.

"Roger," a $46,000 per year technician working in Hewlett Packard's Sacramento office, was called in one Friday.

His boss related, "I have some good news and some bad news, Roger. The bad news is that your job's being outsourced to India. The good news is that you'll be able to stay on six months; to train your Indian replacement."

Bad news! But, it could have been worse!

In the following weeks Roger learned that his Indian counterpart would be paid $9800 per year. This represented a significant savings for the company. As then CEO, Carly Fiorina phrased, "it's about acknowledging that ours is a global economy and we must make the necessary adjustments."

Donald Trump came on the scene and immediately saw the fallacies in the Trans Pacific Partnership. For Fortune 500 companies, it brought greater access to sweatshop East Asian labor. That it might compromise the American worker, well...

I recall a friend from J.P. Morgan Chase who whispered, "you see all the empty cubicles. These used to house 35k per year Universal Bankers. But why pay that when someone in the Philippines will do the same job for $7,000 per year?

I can't spite Warren or Sanders too much for their slip up. Neither are business people. They talk about increasing disparity of incomes. But has either come out with proposed legislation that would include, but not be limited to, a "prodigious outsourcing tax" for these American companies who choose to take their jobs offshore?

This China trade war is really not a trade war. It's about punishing American companies who elected to move their plants to Mainland China. Here they have been able to take advantage of the Totalitarian Chinese Government, the docile Chinese population and slave labor conditions. It does make for a better bottom line!

What mystifies me is "why" our mainstream media has not brought all of this to the nation's attention! Maybe it's because they too, are "globalists," caring little for their countrymen.

Even more baffling is why especially Black Americans have not seen through it! You look at long term Congressional members, Maxine Waters and Elijah Cummings then look at how people live in their districts. Then you ask, "how" can their constituents keep electing them! Stokely Carmichael once posed this question.

In short, they can hate Donald Trump with every ounce of vigor in their soul. He never promised that he was going to be their "buddy." What he has done is stood up for them; against Democrats advocating open borders and depressed wages and Neo-Cons seeking to siphon off their prosperity to a foreign country.

It thoroughly pisses me off! And I am not even Black!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Healthcare Deal Possible with Compromise

No topic has drawn more discussion or scrutiny than the nations Health Insurance crisis!

Notice I did not say, "health care" crisis. Why should I? We already have the finest health care in the world!The issue is with insurance.

The "Affordable Health Care Act," AKA Obamacare, brought more people into the family. But, it fell woefully short of it's goal. There are entirely too many people still not covered. Many have watched their premiums skyrocket, their deductibles jump ridiculously.

There are winners and losers with Obamacare.

I know a family of three, previously not covered, that qualified for better than $20,000 in free health care. Not a cent out of their pocket! Another family of four, watched their deductibles climb to $5000, their monthly premium shoot from $400 during W's last year in office to more than $900 in 2016.

I recall hearing from this woman, a part time Realtor for Keller Williams singing "hey, hey the witch is dead. Which ole witch, the wicked witch." You recall that iconic song from the Wizard of Oz. She was singing it the day after Hillary Clinton's defeat.

Trump's plan ran off the rails, thanks in part to John McCain. The newly elected President never was in sync with then Speaker, Paul Ryan. In retrospect, he would have been better off tabling health care until after the tax swap.

One problem is that we are paying entirely too much for pharmaceuticals. Even worse, is that many of our political leaders are receiving monetary help from "big Pharm." Nobody likes to bite the hand that feeds them. Unfortunately, it opens the door for corruption. Herein lies the dilemma.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren advance their aspiration for "Medicare for all." In theory, we do have a rich nation and probably can afford to provide something for everyone. But, there will be conditions. And restrictions. Neither Warren or Sanders want to go there.

So, we are back to square one. Is there some middle ground here? And could this middle ground be found that utilized capitalism and the free market to bring the cost of good healthcare to affordable levels?

Maybe. But, it would require a compromise. Any real compromise will result in neither party being totally happy. That's why they call it a compromise. So here goes! And, I guarantee you! Neither Republican or Democrat will be overly thrilled...

The starting point is "pre-existing conditions." All of the Democrats and the majority of Republicans are together on the need to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.

The watchwords are "it could be me." For those who have faced insurance companies and been doomed to impossible costs know! Half of the bankruptcies in America are Medical BK's.

This brings us to the proposal: "What IF we designated a national sales tax, perhaps as little a "on-fourth of one cent," and used it to establish a "Catastrophic pool." The "pool" would be unavailable until an annual claim reached $10,000. It could be one claim, or cumulative claims.

Upon reaching $10,000, "80% of subsequent claims total would be covered," leaving the insured with a "20% co-pay." This would climb to 85%, when an annual claim/claims reached $50,000 and cap at 90% when the claim/claims hit $100,000.

So total cumulative claims of $13,800 would qualify for $3,040 from the Catastrophic pool. $65000 in annual cumulative claims would yield $44,750 from the pool.

We currently have 1300 insurance companies nationwide. This number would increase dramatically. The consumer would be allowed to cross state lines, as they do with auto insurance. "Aflac like" companies selling inexpensive "Cat Pool" supplemental policies would appear overnight.

I can hear the moans and groans from both sides!

Democrats will say(correctly) that this was a "regressive tax." Proportionally, "more of the burden will fall upon the poor."

Republicans will say(correctly) that "this is universal health care." Besides! "Can we trust the federal government with such a money pot?"

All concerns are valid. Let's address the last one first. Clearly noted stipulations prohibiting any Cat-Pool monies drawn out for other needs would be an imperative! In other words, "no borrowing from Peter to pay Paul!"

Regarding the "regressive tax on the poor" argument, remember this: The poor will still be buying beer, cigarettes and eating at McDonalds! So if a Big Mac, French fries, a pie and a milkshake, come to $10, the buyer will have contributed 2.5 cents to the pool.
Smart money says, "they won't miss it!"

Meanwhile, new insurance companies will be popping up all over the place! For the typical American family seeking a "80-20 co-pay featuring a $500 deductible for $150 per month," they'll be in luck! A family in Waynesville, North Carolina might ultimately contract with Sun Valley Health Insurance of Pocatello, Idaho. But so what? It's about shopping for the best deal.

This would be possible BECAUSE the "Cat-Pool" will serve as a backstop in the event of a large claim. So the small Idaho based company can offer inexpensive policies to middle class American families, without the worry of a few large claims putting them out of business.

Americans with pre-existing conditions would have protection. There would be companies offering not so good deals to cover the first $10,000. And, there would always be the option to self insure. Especially if the insured was a Cancer survivor, was
taking nitroglycerine or something equated with high risk.

Of course, there will be losers. The large insurance companies will ultimately become reinsurance companies, working on a lower margin. I recall a Blue Cross-Blue Shield representative in Indianapolis telling me that their profit margin was something around 12%. That's pretty lucrative!

What about the Pharmaceutical companies? Why ARE we paying damn near twice as much as the rest of the world?

Hate Trump or love him, he IS trying to address this problem. Democrats need to join him. Forget about who gets credit! We need this to happen and happen now!

Would "1/4 of a penny" tax be enough? Not certain. But, it would be a starting point.

Bottom line with this idea is, "Republicans could say that they drastically lowered health care costs for all Americans including those with pre-existing conditions." Democrats could accurately attest to the fact that they delivered on their goal of "Universal Health Care" for all of the country.

In the end, not perfect but fair.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Medicinal Cannabis Here to Stay. What Next?

I agree wholeheartedly with the President. The disposition of Recreational Marijuana should be decided at the state level. Read the 10th amendment.

Recently I spoke with Kentucky State Representative, Travis Brenda about why he opposed legalizing medicinal Marijuana. His comments reflected sincere concern. But, they sounded like they had been prepared by former Education secretary, Bill Bennett.

There is a haunting misnomer that Marijuana is and always has been, a "gateway drug." It is. But, in a different way than most perceive.

In the states that have not already legalized Cannabis, one must get it through the black market. As expected, the black market is what it implies: a source whereby illegal substances may be procured. As in, "anything goes!"

People trying to buy Marijuana through such a source can generally find other "controlled substances, ranging from Meth, Heroin and Cocaine" to name a few. A black market source can often place a seeker in touch with the requested supplier.

Take Marijuana away from this black market source and the distribution channel is altered. In the seventies, they referred to this guy as a "stash sharer." He would buy a pound of pot, sell off three fourths, keeping the remaining quarter for himself. The result: His weed was free.

With legalization, the "stash sharer" is all but eliminated. Most users opted to buy their smoke at dispensaries. Those too poor or too cheap to buy it from a dispensary, grow it themselves. You might say, the "stash sharer" has become an anachronism in states that have legalized Recreational Cannabis.

Medicinal is legal in 28 states and counting. And, for good reason! It's a proven remedy for nausea. Not to mention migraines, glaucoma and even excessive stress! What a lot of people don't know is that it's been used medicinally for ages! In fact, Marijuana in general wasn't criminalized until 1937.

So, what's the issue with those still opposed to legalizing medicinal? Actually, it's pretty simple: "They seek to not bite the hand that feeds them!"

Show me a politician who opposes medicinal legalization but accepts campaign contributions from Pharmaceutical companies and I will show you corruption. There is simply no other way to express it!

A close friend who recently had stomach surgery complained that ONLY Cannabis brought relief to the accompanying nausea. But, when he tried to find it, he quickly learned that his state, Tennessee didn't allow Medicinal. The guy was a securities dealer and as straight as an arrow and as vanilla as Mr. Rogers!

What did he do? His secretary hooked him up on the black market. My friend didn't want to go this route! He admittedly resented being presented with such a quandary! As he confessed, "I am no pot smoker! I hardly drink! But, damn it! It brings relief like nothing else(The doctor had previously prescribed a number of different drugs. None brought relief).

"Anyone who opposes legalization of medicinal Cannabis," my friend added, "is either dogmatic, sadistic or both!" His doctor concurred.

Sadly for this gentlemen and countless others, there are those "Sadist-Dogmatics" who do exist! Former U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions was typical.

As earlier stated, I believe that the decision to legalize recreational Marijuana should be left up to the states. However, the question of making Medicinal legal in all 50 states should be done.

Nancy Pelosi has the votes, both in the House and the Senate. The President will sign it. Why she hasn't already introduced legislation is political.

Colorado's Republican Senator, Cory Gardner is up for reelection. He is a proponent of such legislation. If a bill legalizing Medicinal at the Federal level were to pass, he would be largely credited for it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Article Five Convention Could Save America

Our founding fathers were insightful guys!

From the outset, there was always a lurking fear that the government that they were creating might someday get away from the people that it was supposed to serve. Sadly that day has come.

I have attended "Convention of States" meetings. I have read carefully their positions. Most, if not all, I support.

For those not familiar, here is the skinny: We need 34 states to agree to hold a convention. But first, we must define the stark distinction between an Article Five convention and a Constitutional Convention. It's confusing!

In an Article Five Convention, the states "pre-set conditions within the existing structure." In a constitutional convention, it's more about "rewriting the government outside the existing structure."

I have heard horrible predictions by noteworthy people, regarding the dangers of a Constitutional convention. It amounts to anything can happen, depending on "who" is most influencing the convention.

An Article Five Convention poses fewer surprises. 34 states meet and make alterations within the existing structure.

Co-founder, Michael Ferris explains the distinction. The objectives are,

Reducing the size and scope of the Federal Government.
Fiscal restraint through a balanced budget amendment.
Enacting term limits for elected federal officials, including Supreme Court Justices.

Thus far, 15 of the needed 34 states have signed on.

When I attended a rally held in Frankfort, Kentucky it became painfully apparent Kentucky was not going to be an easy addition. Many in attendance who otherwise supported the measures, didn't like the idea of term limiting a Kentucky Senator, who had made his way to Majority leader!

There are others who are saying, "no so fast," when it comes to a balanced budget amendment!

In short, while the proposed measures gather justified support, the question becomes, "can we ever expect to gain participation from the required 34 states?

Here is a thought. "What if we focused on some critical issues that would address some current stalemates in Washington?"

Such as,

+- Making English official language in the U.S.
+- Mandating that ONLY American Citizens are allowed to vote
+- Requiring that all voters present photo identification at a polling center. No "ballot harvesting." Any absentee ballot would need to be applied for at the county clerk's office thirty days prior to the election.
+- Congressional Representation would be based of U.S. Citizens, not persons. When the Constitution was written, there was no such thing as an "American Citizen." You were a citizen of the state you resided.
+- Birthright citizenship would be defined as "any person born in the U.S. who was previously engaged in involuntary servitude or who had no previous status."
+- Chain Migration would be defined as "an immediate family member only."

I have no doubt that we can get 34 states to agree to these specifications!

Make no mistake! There should be discussion regarding reducing the size and scope of the federal government. Term limits should be on the table! And we must get our fiscal house in order! Yet, can we do these things before it's too late!

For skeptics, take a look at California! Facts are facts! We are running out of time!

America stands at a crossroads! We can "swing for the fences," hoping to hit a home run. Or, we can play "small ball," temporarily settling for singles and doubles.

It begins with returning control of the country to American citizens.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Green New Deal May Run Through Russia- Part II

Last month, I posted what some might consider a preposterous idea: "Working with Russia to reduce global carbon emissions."

In fairness, there might be an insightful few who would ask, "Even if we offered to foot the tab, could we honestly trust Putin to do his part?"

To fully gain a valid answer, one merely needs to place themselves in Putin's, and most Russians' shoes for an instant. Their predicted response would be, "could we trust the Americans who were making such a proposal?"

Which brings us to their next question: "Which Americans?"

Russian intelligentsia concludes correctly that there are two Americas, vying for power and control in the United States. They have identified the two factions as "faith based, national populists," who are backing the President, and "secular, global socialists," who oppose him.

To do anything with the United States amounts to knowing "which" America that you are negotiating with.

Did the Russian leadership favor Trump's election. Yes, but for different reasons than most American media elites will acknowledge.

Contrary to popular opinion, Putin and his inside circle, are not the Communists. In fact, they are the opponents of the Communists in Russia.

Since 1993 Gennady Zyuganov had been the leader of the Russian Communist Party. Last year, the 73-year-old Zyuganov announced that he would not oppose Putin in the upcoming election. Instead, he was passing the mantle to 57-year-old Pavel Grudinin, who ran and lost.

The background of Pavel Grudinin is a separate topic for a different post. But, it should be noted that Zyuganov and Grudinin are friends with John Brennan, who served as C.I.A. Director under Barack Obama.

Putin and Associates see the commonalities between Donald Trump's opponents and their own. They see Trump as a Nationalist, which makes him both a more difficult negotiator, but easier to figure.

Putin is also a Nationalist. He loves Russia and doesn't have a problem with Trump's "America first" ideology. If anything, he admires Trump for making a point of it!

As one Putin surrogate phraised, "Putin is "nash ceela moosheena."(Our strong man) Trump is "vash ceela moosheena."(Your strong man).

Most recall the almost fanatical fixation Trump's opponents and Democrats held when Trump met with Putin in Helsinki. Some even wanted to interrogate the translator!

The fear is simple: "Trump and Putin might just cut a deal, that would derail their globalist agenda permanently."

It's a foregone conclusion that Putin would be willing to cut a deal with Trump. And Trump would be willing to "lock in granite" any deal that was favorable to Nationalist America.

Putin would see a "green new deal" instigated by Trump as an opportunity to work out other differences. Starting with Russian return to the G-7. Trump has already hinted that he thinks it's a good idea, while admitting that Putin might be too proud to embrace such an overture.

Then comes the new "Start" treaty, followed by the lifting of sanctions and the recognition of Crimean annexation. Neo-Cons, most Democrats and of course, the mainstream media, would likely experience convulsions!

Calls for impeachment would dominate the airwaves!

Yet, there would be an unanswered question: "What would the President get in return?"

Putin is nobody's fool! He would know that to gain those concessions, he would need to offer something in return. The idea of global carbon emission reduction would not be unwelcomed. In fact, it would be the foundation for something much bigger.

Let's start with Russia, Ukraine and Georgia becoming part of N.A.T.O. Unbeknownst to most, this was the secret want a decade ago. It could still happen. Could it happen? Those former Warsaw Pact nations would oppose it. Primarily because they didn't then and still don't trust the Russians. The rest of Europe could see logic behind peaceful relations throughout the continent.

Russians have made it clear that they were interested in "integrating, not submitting" to N.A.T.O. This would be a giant step. They would know that to gain such statue, there would need to be serious concessions.

Starting with peace in Eastern Ukraine, allowing Ukraine total access to the Sea of Azov. There would be Russian withdrawal of troops from the Transdneistria region of Moldova, allowing Ukraine to access this "Delaware sized" strip of Moldova, while allowing Moldova to reunite with Romania.

Russia would join the U.S. in mandating to Kim Jong Un, that "nuclear options would not be allowed on the peninsula."

Russia would exit the Western Hemisphere, abandoning Soviet vintage allies, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Russia would even help the United States establish an independent Kurdistan in Kurd held provinces, jointly committing to a condition of religious freedom for all.

It would be called, "an exchange of ideas." To insure that neither side regressed, America would adopt Russia's gender standards. Russia would adopt America's federal land bank. More on both in a future post.

Meanwhile, America's current emission standards would not only be adopted by Russia, but adopted, under the threat of sanctions, by China and India. In reality, this is the only "New Green Deal that will be a New Green Deal."

The bald truth about A.O.C. and friends version of the Green New Deal is that it won't work. But, reduction of carbon emission isn't the objective.

Simply put, it's about "recreating the Soviet Union in America." Nothing more. Nothing less.


It's called "power." THEIR power! It is incomprehensible the absolute power that A.O.C. and friends would gain, if they forced their Marxists agenda upon the well intended, but feckless American mainstream.

That the mainstream media would advocate such a ruse is inexcusable. But, they are part of it. Never forget this.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Immigration Debate Fraught with Demagoguery

Immigration remains a hot topic for much of America. Most disquieting is how much "demagoguery" has slipped into the discussion!

At the center is "birthright citizenship." Over the decades, the idea that "if you were born in the U.S., you were automatically a citizen," was strategically spawned. Yet, in returning to that 1868 Reconstruction Congress and examining the actual intentions of the authors, a different meaning becomes plainly evident.

Two groups were included. "People who had been previously engaged in involuntary servitude." And, "people born in the U.S., who held no previous status." That's it! No other groups were included. No outside circumstances were considered.

Case in point: The Native American did not gain citizenship until 1924. Case closed!

Chain Migration is a bit more subjective. Was it intended for immediate family members only? Or, were extended families afforded the same inclusion?

Herein lies part of our nation's emerging "clash of perceptions."

Two points of view: (a) Open borders, anyone can come and bring along their distant relatives. (b) We should be more selective with whom we allow into the country, because half the planet would love to be here.

Those supporting "A" are quick to call "B" supporters, "racists."

Those supporting "B" respond in saying, "we need immigrants who can immediately assimilate and contribute; not
jump on the entitlement rolls!"

In 2008, then Louisiana Senator, David Vitter introduced legislation that would base Congressional representation on "U.S. citizens and not persons." To the average American, this amounted to nothing more than "semantics." A deeper look acknowledged that if adopted, California would lose six house seats, New York two and Illinois one. Nine different states would gain seats.

What does the Constitution say?

It says "persons." Because, at the time of it's writing, there was no such thing as a U.S. Citizen. You were a citizen of your state. Many U.S. residents held citizenship in another country as recently as 1900.

Senator Vitter's proposed legislation never made it out of committee. Yet, there remains strong support for it's adoption. So strong that if advocates of an Article Five Convention were smart, they would make this measure their top initiative! I have no doubt that the necessary 34 states would vote to adopt this standard!

Perhaps this is where our immigration discussion needs to begin. The United States was always meant to be a "melting pot." Not a "salad bowl!" We are a nation of immigrants. We need immigrants. The question becomes, "do we want immigrants who want to adopt our culture?" Or, "are we looking for immigrants who want to bring their culture to our shores?"

Hence our "clash of perceptions!'

Most disturbing is how one side, when sensing that they are losing the argument, readily turns to "racism" as the true position held by the other side. This is the worst kind of demagoguery!

Our country is unique. Most of us can claim ancestry that came from another land, seeking something better. In doing so, we have founded the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Those who disagree, probably don't need to be here.

Oops! I recently recall the current President suggesting something along those lines. He was called everything from a bigot to racist to a NAZI to a white supremacist!

From childhood, I recall a popular assertion: "America. Love her or leave her!" Never heard was the cry of "racist or bigot or NAZI or White Supremacist!"

My, how things have changed!

Maybe it's because there is an agenda behind this belief that it's okay to trash out country. Perhaps there are those who are inwardly embarrassed by our success as a nation. I do recall a previous president rushing to Europe to launch an "apology tour."

What I still can't fathom is "what was he apologizing for?" Saving it from Hitler?

When seen in this light, a new question emerges: "Are those who prescribe to position "A" the true fascists?" Jonah Goldberg thought so! In his book, "Liberal Fascism," he revealed a chilling hint that through political correctness, AKA "Cultural Marxism," those proponents of position "A" would ultimately squelch all opposition.

Sound familiar?

Riding point in this discussion is Immigration.

Should we open our borders and allow anyone who can make it here entry? Should these "newcomers" be afforded the right to participate in elections? Should they gain access to entitlement rolls?"

The "A" camp would proclaim, "absolutely, positively, definitely."

The "B" camp proposes that immigration be "merit based." Or, in the words of the current House Speaker, a plan to "white-a-size" America.

Is there no end in sight?