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Post 24 Nov 2019, 7:12 am

Buttigieg for me … I can't stand Trump, but both Warren and Sanders scare me on the economics. I could live with Booker, Bloomberg, Patrick. Biden is just not up to the task regardless of his politics.

I would really like for Trump to be out of the picture so we can get a sensible Republican on the ballot.
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Post 26 Nov 2019, 11:17 am

Here's my assessment so far:

Buttigieg: Too young, too bland, pre-packaged. I am pretty sure he knew when he went to Afghanistan that was with an eye to his political future. It's great to sacrifice for your country...but it seems to provide an early entry to a political career, which I am betting he knew.
Gabbard: Not a typical Hawaiian personality, that's for sure! Again, the military career, again very young. There is such a thing as wisdom...such as being smart enoug not to meet with a repressive dictator like Assad...
Biden: See RJ's comments. My gosh...he wasnt a good candidate when he wasnt going to be 78 when he would be president. It's not like his mind worked that great when he was young, either...
Sander: I do believe that we need some fundamental changes but he is probably a little too far left for me. I prefer Warren to him. Regarding the need for fundamental changes changes...our life expectancy is going down. The changes we have made to our economy combined with globalization that allowed more of our wealth to go toward the wealthy....is literally killing people. Other western economies are not having these issues. Much of the decline are indications that our society is making people very unhappy: suicide, drug overdoses, too much drinking and perhaps even obesity. I am not going to support any candidate who is basically saying the status quo is ok...because the status quo sucks. And unless we find ways to distribute the wealth across more of the population...than we are going to have a return to tribalism. Oh, we already have...Trump is just a symptom of a deeper disease.
Warren: I thought maybe she did not have the voice, the personality maybe...but I'm all in now. Has an understanding of what ails the country and has well-thought out solutions for solving the problems we face.
Booker: I like him a lot. He's smart, he's thoughtful, he's empathetic. Maybe not quite enough fire in the belly, though. You got to really, really want it. He was a huge recruit as a tight end at Stanford and wound up hardly playing. Maybe that that example is a little unfair--maybe he was just more into politics and did not care about sports that much--but that is kind of my impression of him. I would be find with his being president, though.
Kamala Harris: I dont have a good reaction to her. I am not sure it's fair, though. I just see an opportunist who has had this paved road from being a DA to attorney general to senator...without leaving much of a track record. Some of the tactics she has used as a candidate have annoyed me, too.
Bllomberg: No, No, No! We don't need a billionaire running the country! I just love the reaction of billionaires to Warren's proposed wealth tax. They go nuts over something that will have literally have no impact on how they live their life. Ok, for low-income soldiers to die defending our country...but them make a small financial sacrifice. No way! That's another thing ...with this financial system which encourages such greed, it's not a surprise that someone like Trump--with zero thought of doing anything that would help another person or putting country over personal gain-- would become president ...should not be a surprise. Extreme concentrations of wealth are not conducive to democracy. What does our vote matter when after Citizens United billionaires can spend massive amounts of money to influence elections? The moral cowardice of Republican politicians not standing up to Trump so they can maintain political power and also enrich themselves after they leave office...is just disgusting.
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Post 04 Dec 2019, 9:30 pm

To my shock, I agree with most of what you've laid out here Freeman. Except the bit about Warren. And of course, Miss Hawaii!!

Ray Jay mentioned Booker. I don't know what to think of him really. I should probably do some research on him to find out more.
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Post 13 Dec 2019, 7:32 am

It's good to see some old names and friends.

I'm thinking about the British election and what it means from a US perspective. It's always hard to understand politics in other countries, and they don't always translate to your own country, but my take away is this:

1. People on the left sometimes denigrate people on the right as unsophisticated and duped by politicians. They said that individuals were misled when they voted for Brexit. However, as a whole, they clearly understood Johnson's message and approved it. Brexit has been ratified and those who voted for it 3 years ago meant it.

2. Labour veered to the left and lost big. If the Democrats do the same here they will also lose. Warren or Sanders as the nominee will result in a Trump reelection. Swing voters (such as myself) do care about those less fortunate and believe in some government intervention in the economy. However, we all see the inefficiencies (to put it gently) of government on a daily basis and are wary of its heavy hand.
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Post 14 Dec 2019, 5:53 pm

Exactly when should liberal voters demand changes to an economic system that is way over-tilted to the wealthy? A moderate Democrat president will have been coopted by the prevailing economic consensus that I think the Democratic Party nationally moved to in the 90s under Clinton. I am not saying you're wrong on the political impact of nominating a liberal; I am just saying that if independent voters are going to vote for Trump, a guy who has been taking a pick-axe to democratic institutions, over Warren because of economic concerns...then ok.

Speaking of not opposing Trump, the behavior of Republican congressman kowtowing to Trump has been pathetic.

Too much money going to the money/big business, and with that excess money (particularly after Citizen's United) they influence elections more and more. That will not change under Biden, who should not even be running with his being the point man for the Ukraine under Obama, while his son was getting a fat salary doing nothing on Burisma's board. Conflict of interest anyone?

As long as there is so much wealth stratification, either we can move to rein that in (like what happened from 1848 through the 1970s)....or tribalism will become ugly. People will blame other groups for their economic problems. I opt for a modest reining in of the Modern Robber Barrons...
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Post 16 Dec 2019, 12:37 pm

This story shows the delicate balance the Democratic Party has in that if they nominate a progressive that might cause some moderate voters like RJ to vote for Trump...but if they nominate a moderate--like say Pete Buttigieg--they risk losing turn-out among young voters.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/16/politics ... index.html

Someone like Obama would work just fine right now--basically a moderate who wont try to change things too much, but not white and can appeal to young voters. But with Harris out of the race and Booker struggling..that doesn't look to be an option. Young corporate white guy (Buttigieg)...old corporate white guy (Biden)...neither one is an option for a lot of progressives, particularly younger ones.
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Post 16 Dec 2019, 4:31 pm

freeman3 wrote:Exactly when should liberal voters demand changes to an economic system that is way over-tilted to the wealthy? A moderate Democrat president will have been coopted by the prevailing economic consensus that I think the Democratic Party nationally moved to in the 90s under Clinton. I am not saying you're wrong on the political impact of nominating a liberal; I am just saying that if independent voters are going to vote for Trump, a guy who has been taking a pick-axe to democratic institutions, over Warren because of economic concerns...then ok.

Speaking of not opposing Trump, the behavior of Republican congressman kowtowing to Trump has been pathetic.

Too much money going to the money/big business, and with that excess money (particularly after Citizen's United) they influence elections more and more. That will not change under Biden, who should not even be running with his being the point man for the Ukraine under Obama, while his son was getting a fat salary doing nothing on Burisma's board. Conflict of interest anyone?

As long as there is so much wealth stratification, either we can move to rein that in (like what happened from 1848 through the 1970s)....or tribalism will become ugly. People will blame other groups for their economic problems. I opt for a modest reining in of the Modern Robber Barrons...


Thanks … I see your point. You want something that is not Republican and not moderate Democrat. Having Bloomberg, or Bennet or Klobuchar or Buttigieg or Biden will not give you the change you want.

For me the issue isn't that I'll be a little poorer under Warren. For me the issue is that everyone will be poorer under Warren, and that allows a different kind of ugly unrest. We've lost our civility and common understanding while economic times are relatively good. What would happen to our political culture if there is real inflation, real unemployment, and investments (pensions / retirements) were going down?
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Post 17 Dec 2019, 2:02 pm

Even though I think Tulsi Gabbard is a fine choice for POTUS, I would vote for Bloomberg in a heartbeat and for one reason. His policy on gun control is very well balanced and sensible.

https://www.mikebloomberg.com/policies/gun-safety

If the only thing he succeeded at as POTUS was to curb gun control history would be kind to him.

The need for sensible gun control is so blatantly obvious it's embarrassing that we've yet to address it in a meaningful way.

Normally I would veer from electing yet another billionaire as POTUS but I came to grips with the fact years ago that we really don't live in a democracy any longer. Only the very wealthy typically have a shot at the Presidency.

I can no longer deny that we live in an Oligarchy with debatable checks and balances that sometimes still work.
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Post 18 Dec 2019, 10:55 am

Ray Jay wrote:[For me the issue isn't that I'll be a little poorer under Warren. For me the issue is that everyone will be poorer under Warren


Not sure if you mean that seriously or you're just trying to make a point, but for the record this is not true. It's amazing how many poor people there are in the USA. There are 74,000,000 people in the USA who are on Medicaid. You have to be really, really poor to be on Medicaid. Those people will not be poorer under Warren.
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Post 18 Dec 2019, 10:58 am

dag hammarsjkold wrote:I would vote for Bloomberg in a heartbeat and for one reason. His policy on gun control is very well balanced and sensible.


I only voted for him once, and he definitely has imperial qualities, but his policies, including this one, are generally really smart. I could live with Bloomberg. But I could also live with anyone running against Trump.
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Post 18 Dec 2019, 11:33 am

geojanes wrote:
Ray Jay wrote:[For me the issue isn't that I'll be a little poorer under Warren. For me the issue is that everyone will be poorer under Warren


Not sure if you mean that seriously or you're just trying to make a point, but for the record this is not true. It's amazing how many poor people there are in the USA. There are 74,000,000 people in the USA who are on Medicaid. You have to be really, really poor to be on Medicaid. Those people will not be poorer under Warren.

[url]
https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip- ... groups.pdf[/url]

It is not just financial requirements.

Pregnancy is a qualifying factor. Does a wealthy woman who is pregnant qualify?

Yes, she does. Does her child? Yes. It is not only a financial program. The issue is the mis-use of a program. I see many people who are able to work, but are choosing to be on SSI for the ease of not having to work. That is a problem.

Is there a place for the TRULY needy? Yes. Does the mis-use and fraud take away from the belief in the program?

You bet your boots it does.
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Post 18 Dec 2019, 1:05 pm

Medicaid is health insurance...how many wealthy women do you really think are on Medicaid, Brad? As for SSI, you have to be blind, over 65 or disabled to get SSI. And you need a place to live, and housing is unaffordable for poor people in a lot of places. Federal SSI benefits are $771 per month but they can be supplemented by the state (California SSI is $931.72) If you worked full-time for 10 quarters you can SSDI the average is about $1,200 in SSDI for being disabled but high-earners can get up to $2,800. Section 8 benefits are actually pretty good...but waiting lists are about 10-15 years in LA. If you live alone and don't make much money, you can get $194 in food stamps in California (a family of four gets about $594).

There is no doubt that some people manipulate the system. Get government benefits working on the side for cash. Maybe they could do some work but have some type of disability. But even those people are likely in their 50s and would have trouble working at a full-time job. I am kind of ok with them (people in their 50s with a disability that could conceivably work) not working. And most poor people ain't having a heck of a lot of fun being poor. I am not just not going to get overly worried about the few people that manipulate the system (for a few grand a month maybe) when many people desperately need the benefits. I am a lot more concerned about how our financial industry (Wall Street, banks, etc) takes so much of the wealth of our country while workers get, well, screwed.

As for the RJ's point....I feel pretty confident that even if the economy slowed down a bit the majority of Americans would be better off under Warren and that would ease tensions.
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Post 18 Dec 2019, 6:50 pm

Freeman,
What I said does not disagree with you. I posted the link to show that a woman is qualified, regardless of the income she has.

Do you refute that statement?
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Post 18 Dec 2019, 9:12 pm

I wasn't trying to refute your statement, I was just asking that it be considered about how serious a problem it is. That's all.
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Post 18 Dec 2019, 9:34 pm

Tulsi Gabbard voted neither yea or nay on today's impeachment.

I swear this gal is the real deal. She is very clever.

I believe that she chose to follow her conscience on today's vote, but by not choosing either yea or nay she effectively grabbed more media attention that she is desperate for if she is to continue on her path.

As soon as I learned what she did I went straight to her website and donated $75 more dollars to her campaign. I can only hope I wasn't alone.

I just wish some billionaire or millionaire would support her campaign on principal.

I'm telling anyone who will listen, give this woman a chance and hear her out. She ain't half bad.

dh