Category Archives: Politics

Is Losing an Election Reason Enough To Not Keep A Promise?

So Hillary Clinton lost the election and she disappeared into the woods until a few days ago. Now that her month of soul searching is over what is she going to do about all those promises she made? Will she attempt to keep them?

She could still have an effect on the world, even as just a private citizen. This article brings up some very good points about losing politicians. They seem to just give up after losing. It points to Al Gore just disappearing after his loss to George W. Bush and again to John Kerry. Both made a ton of promises as presidential candidates but pretty much gave up on those promises when they lost.

So, will Hillary Clinton do the same? Is her life of public service over?

Trump’s Collapse Gives Johnson an Opening

Have you had enough yet? Do you see now how Donald Trump could never be a successful president but Hillary Clinton is still just too distasteful to turn to? Your answer is right there in front of you, on the ballot in all fifty states he’s your choice. And all you have to do is just vote for him.

When the Trump tape surfaced, Johnson issued a strongly worded condemnation that reminded folks of his former party affiliation: “Millions of Republicans are facing a moment of truth. As a former Republican Governor, I don’t envy them.” In a report from Albuquerque’s KOAT he claimed that “dozens of GOP officials” had contacted his campaign after the tapes surfaced, saying that they wanted to know how to help his effort.

Source: Donald Trump’s Collapse Gives Gary Johnson an Opening – The Daily Beast

Read that again, “Dozens of GOP officials” have contacted his campaign saying they want to know how to help his effort!

Gwinnett County Novemeber Ballot.

I grabbed a sample ballot for Gwinnett county this morning and looked it over. I was disappointed in the fact that over half of the incumbents are running unopposed.11-08-2016_consolidated_ballot_revise_9_16_16-thumbnail What particularly disappointed me is that  out of the twelve county offices that are on the ballot only three have more than one candidate. The district attorney, the sheriff, the superior court clerk, the tax commissioner, district 1 county commissioner and all three school board positions are running unopposed.

This isn’t right. Gwinnett County has nearly 900,000 residents. Surely there are people out there who could run against those running unopposed. The day after the election I’m going to start looking for those people for two years out. I would love for you to help me on this.

For now, just don’t vote in the races where there is only one option.

And while we are talking about elections, there are four proposed amendments to the Georgia constitution on the ballot. While I won’t give recommendations for individual candidates this time around I would like to comment and make recommendations on these amendments.

On Amendment 1.
Provide greater flexibility and state accountability to fix failing schools through increasing community involvement.

This bill allows for the state to take over schools that are failing for three or more years from local school boards. It creates an “opportunity” school district that the schools will be pulled into. Once the schools are back on a sound academic footing they are released back to the local school board.

Who could oppose this idea. Right? There is heavy opposition to it and I can sort of understand this. No one wants control of education taken away from the local community however it can become necessary and this amendment is necessary to allow this to happen when it needs to.

I endorse a “Yes” vote to Amendment 1.

On Amendment 2.
Authorize Penalties for sexual exploitation and assessments on adult entertainment to fund child victims’ services.

The authorizing of penalties for sexual exploitation I’m all for but the assessments on adult entertainment I have trouble with. This sounds more like a porn tax to me. Let the legislature revisit it and tighten things up a bit so we are just penalizing crime and not legal vices.

My recommendation is to vote “No” on Amendment 2 for now.

On Amendment 3.
Reforms and reestablishes the Judicial Qualifications Commission and provides for its composition, governance, and powers.

This piece of shit amendment was pushed through the legislature by a former judge who had to resign because the current Judicial Qualifications Commission did its job and investigated his fondling of women, particularly lawyers who had to deal with him and clerks who worked under him. He resigned and promptly ran for the state legislature and now wants to put the JQC under the control of Georgia politicians.

Don’t just vote “no”, vote “HELL, NO!” on Amendment 3.

On Amendment 4.
Dedicates revenue from existing taxes on fireworks to trauma care, fire services, and public safety.

Seriously, I don’t know a thing more about this than what the ballot reads. I’ve heard one news report about it around six months ago. On the face of it, who can argue with it? The thing is, I don’t know how the money is being spent now. Is this excise tax being spent solely at the discretion of the county commission? I don’t think this is something that we need to put in our constitution regardless of how well-meaning it looks.

Vote “No” on Amendment 4.

Special Election.

And we are also having a vote on a special local option sales tax (SPLOST) for transportation, recreation and other infrastructure. This one isn’t focused enough. Gwinnett has a wonderful park system now and we have plenty of senior service facilities. What we need is more ways to get from one park facility to another, not just more roads. We need more public transit, walking paths, and bike paths. Give me a place to walk or ride my bike to my destinations. Give me a transit center close to my home that will take me into Atlanta. Give me a reason to get out of my car for a change. This SPLOST isn’t going to do that. It will be spent on asphalt.

Vote “No” on the special election.

Federal, State or Local?

I’m curious and I’d really like some feed back from you. We often hear people talking about government should do this, or government should not do that. But we have at least three layers of government; federal, state, and local. What I want from you is a list of services that only the federal government should provide, a list of what only state government should supply and a list of what only local government should supply. There are also areas where all three of these layers of government coördinate activities, what should these be?

Young voters prefer Johnson

The millennials are close to being as large of a population as the baby boomers and as we baby boomers continue to age and die out they will be the predominate demographic.  They will change the political landscape in the very near future.

Johnson wins 35 percent of young voters, Democrat Clinton comes in second at 30 percent, Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets 14 percent, and Trump only receives 12 percent.

Source: Here’s how much young voters like Gary Johnson more than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – Rare

Now if we could just persuade them to vote in November.

Even The New York Times is taking Gov. Gary Johnson seriously this time.

Glancing through the news this morning on Google and I noticed this article by The New York Times. While they aren’t giving Johnson any chance of becoming our next president they are giving him attention, mostly as a spoiler but for whom?

Spoiler or not the fact that he got this attention from the NYT speaks volumes for him. People reading the article who don’t know Johnson will likely give him a closer look and with this article pollsters are more likely to include him in their poll questions.

That last point is important. If he isn’t being asked about in the polls he can’t place in the polls. If he doesn’t place at 15% in the polls before the presidential debates he won’t be in them.

Mr. Johnson is at roughly 10 percent in recent polls, well above where he was in 2012. The question, of course, is whether it will have any impact.

Source: Can Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Nominee, Swing the Election? – The New York Times

So the NYT says he is at 10%, which is much better than the 8% that a friend of mine states but not as good as the 13% that Johnson claims after scoring that percentage in a CNN/ORC poll. He needs to move to 15% in several polls before the debates in September.

This is important for exposure and not just any exposure, he needs to be compared to both Trump and Clinton and seen as their peer in order to be taken seriously enough to be significant in the presidential race. Hopefully this article will be the first step to that.

The death of humor.

Donald Trump makes a joke, a surprisingly good joke, at the expense of the DNC and their nominee, Hillary Clinton. I immediately recognized his comment as humor. The DNC is claiming that Russia hacked their email server to advance Trump and Hillary has 30,000 missing emails which has been in the news lately.

So why does Trump have to explain his joke to the Democrats?

“Of course I’m being sarcastic,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired the day after his comments sparked a national furor. “You have 33,000 emails deleted, and the real problem is what was said on the emails from the Democratic National Convention.”

Source: Donald Trump: Russia hacking comments were ‘sarcastic’ – CNNPolitics.com

I don’t care much for Trump. He says a lot of stupid things that he’s serious about so there should be no lack of fodder for the Democrats to criticize so why do they show their lack of a sense of humor by attacking his joke? This only makes the Democrats criticizing him on this look bad.

Clinton is no criminal, just extremely careless.

FBI Director, James Comey, has declared it, Clinton isn’t a criminal, just extremely careless.

The FBI recommended Tuesday that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges over her use of private e-mail as secretary of state, even though she and aides were “extremely careless” in handling classified information.

Source: FBI: Clinton faces no charges over e-mail, but acted ‘carelessly’

I’m not sure which is worse for a presidential candidate, being a criminal or being careless.

Why This Sanders Supporter is Now Supporting The Libertarian

Most of you know that I have been a Bernie Sanders supporter. Most of you didn’t know I was also a John Kasich and Gary Johnson supporter. We have been in the primary season where we look at the crop of candidates among all parties and develop our list of who we would like to see run against each other for the presidency.

While we can only vote in one party’s primary that doesn’t prevent us from favoring candidates in the other parties to win that party’s nomination. Some will favor the weakest candidate in the opposing parties. I favor whoever I think would be the best president in each party.

Had Bernie Sanders won the Democratic nomination I was ready to support him all the way to the White House. I would have supported John Kasich had Bernie Sanders lost but he won. Neither happened so I’m supporting Gov. Gary Johnson.

I know it is hard for some of you to understand how I could go from supporting a democratic socialist to supporting a libertarian but aside from economics they are really very similar. Both support civil liberties, both support civil rights, both support reproduction rights, both support gun rights and both support staying out of wars, including deploying our military to places we have no business deploying and the so-called war on drugs. Both also support reasonable and compassionate immigration policies. All of that is important to me.

Economics? We have proof that both democratic socialism and capitalism work and they also work in mixed systems. Sanders wanted to see free college. Johnson wants to see an end to government backed student loans. Both plans will lower the cost of education to the students and drastically reduce student debt on graduation.

Sanders wants to see free medical care paid for by the government. Johnson wants to see less regulation on insurance companies to allow them to offer policies at lower cost with higher coverage which will allow more people to be insured.

This year, 2016, I have racked up around $100,000 in medical care. I’m insured and my out of pocket cost was $4,000. While free health care would have been great so was having insurance. I don’t care which system we use as long as it goes toward reducing money coming out of my pocket.

I love the idea of a lower tax burden on me but if I’m going to pay taxes I want it to be for services to me and others in the middle and lower classes. I don’t want my tax dollars going to bail out huge banks, oil companies or any other large corporation. Both Johnson and Sanders address that concern I have from different but workable directions.

Economics? There are numerous ways to level the economic playing field and I’m not really concerned with how we get to a fairer economic system as long as we get there. I am concerned about civil liberties just as Sanders and Johnson have both shown to be as concerned with as me.

Check out both Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld. I think if your concerns are with civil liberties you will like what they are saying. They are both incredibly experienced in successfully administering government.

Handing Trump The Election

I know a lot of people who are scared to death of a Trump presidency and who think Sanders should bow out of the race before the convention. Many wanted him to bow out before the California primaries. I suspect a few of these people just didn’t want the competition for Clinton or think that Sanders is damaging Clinton’s campaign to the point that Trump will win.

To that last point as long as Bernie isn’t lying about Hillary he’s not the one damaging her campaign. She is.

But there is a very good reason for Sanders to stay in the race until the convention. As T.A. Frank points out in this Vanity Fair article:

Every increase in delegates gives Bernie a stronger claim to being heard and appeased when it comes to what happens at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He has already been granted the privilege of selecting five of the 15 members on the national convention drafting committee (not that it’s mollifying anyone at the moment).

So damaging Clinton or not Sanders needs to stay in until the convention or his “revolution” is still-born. And whether or not Sanders supporters turn their support to Clinton should Sanders lose the nomination isn’t something that is Sanders’ responsibility, it’s Clinton’s. No one is going to support someone they feel is unsupportable and many Sanders supports see Clinton as unsupportable.

Frank continues to point out:

This has created a curious state of play in which more centrist Hillary supporters seem to fear Trump a good deal more than the more leftist Bernie supporters do. Some of them probably feel like Susan Sarandon—that the status quo is so unacceptable that a Trump blowup has its merits. Others just resent having Trump held over the head like a stick, threatening to beat them into pro-Clinton solidarity.

Don’t assume that just because you see Clinton as a far less evil than Trump that Sanders supporters feel the same way. Heck, I don’t feel that way and if those two are the only choice I have no reason to vote because between the two, I don’t care!

Sacrificial Lamb?

She must have seen it coming. Bernie Sanders has declared war on Debbie Wasserman Schultz by backing her opponent in her congressional race and declaring that if he is declared the Democratic candidate for president he will strip DWS of her chairmanship.

It seems like he has convinced some establishment Democrats that removing her chairmanship is the only move to be made for party unity.

“There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on,” said one pro-Clinton Democratic senator.

Source: Dems discuss dropping Wasserman Schultz | TheHill

Surely she would know that her openly antagonistic actions toward the Sanders campaign would produce an enormous amount of blowback that would be all over her. Surely she would understand that the huge support Sanders was getting would translate into political klout.

One can only surmise that she is now the sacrificial lamb.

Hillary Clinton Thinks Successful Business People Could Make a Suitable Running Mate

Sec. Clinton has announced that she will include those outside of politics for a running mate.

In choosing a running mate, Mrs. Clinton said she would seek, above all, someone prepared to be president and “someone you can work with — someone you believe will be a good partner.”

Source: Hillary Clinton Warns Against Treating Donald Trump as ‘Normal’ Candidate – The New York Times

Someone like Lloyd Blankfein, perhaps?

Sanders isn’t a Democrat; What’s in Party Unity for him?

There is absolutely no reason for Sanders to sacrifice his goals to Democratic party unity, he isn’t a Democrat. I think he knew coming into this campaign that he would either become president or he would retire.

Leading Democrats are growing increasingly vocal in their concerns about the White House hopeful’s continued candidacy, and whether he and his legions of enthusiastic supporters ultimately will unite behind Hillary Clinton in a general election against Donald Trump.   For his part, Sanders has sharpened his critique of the party. He says it would be “sad and tragic” if Democrats don’t stop relying on big money, and he is assailing Clinton for her dependence on wealthy donors.

Source: Some fear Sanders won’t exit gracefully

So, what do they have to negotiate with? This is the only way they are going to have their peaceful convention, by coming to terms with Sanders’ terms. That’s the only way they are going to be able to keep the Sanders supporters in their corner is through negotiation. Loyalty will not come into play here.