Showing posts with label Ronald Reagan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ronald Reagan. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

India And Reforms

When Indira Gandhi nationalized banks across India, she called it reforms. When Ronald Reagan orchestrated large scale privatizations across sectors of the US economy, he called it reforms. I guess you want to be seen reforming.

In Germany, they have this concept of lifelong employment. You go to work for a company early in your life, and you stay with that company for much of your working life. And Germany is a top performing economy. It beats the US economy by a wider margin than does the Chinese economy.

There are people who argue for US-style hire and fire policies in India. They call it labor reform. That hire and fire can work. But in India, for many people, or maybe most, if you get fired, you face a certain financial cliff. You might not be able to go grocery shopping in a week. In such a scenario hire and fire might be a catastrophe.

In Japan also they have this concept of lifelong employment. I am not arguing for it. All I am saying is there is no magic pill. Too many people argue if only India were to put in place easy hire and fire, the economy would rocket past the Chinese economy. Not true. Stop looking for magic pills.

A great Indian example was Indian Railways when Laloo Yadav was Railway Minister. Indian Railways is state owned. It is the largest employer in the world. And rule number one for Laloo was, do not fire anyone as we attempt to increase our revenues and profits. Rule number two was, do not raise railway ticket prices. Because "I am a man of the people." Within those two parameters, Laloo managed to usher bumper profits. He managed to slash prices on railway tickets.

So it is not true state-owned companies are always a bad idea. When Modi was Chief Minister of Gujrat he did not nationalize a single state-owned company in his state. Instead, he granted each of them autonomy. The major thing he did was he brought political interference to a halt. They all became profitable.

State-owned companies can work. Private companies can work. Collect data. Assess data. Engage in evidence-based decision making. Do not blindly follow this or that ideology. The proof has to be in the pudding.

When Laloo took over Indian Railways that was in the red, the number one piece of advice was, fire a bunch of people. If you want to turn a profit, fire a bunch of people. Indian Railways is "bloated," he was told. But Laloo knew better. I can not fire people, Laloo said. "I am a man of the people."

He turned Indian Railways around.

Another buzz phrase is land reform. Basically, the idea is it should be much easier for industrialists to buy land. Maybe the idea does not work in India. You are mostly talking about small farmers. That small piece of land is their entire world. They depend on it for their basic food. It is not that they are against industrialization, but what will they eat the day after?

Land pooling is a better idea. You turn those landowners into shareholders in your proposed company. Why will you not look at alternate ideas like these? Chandrababu Naidu successfully implemented that idea as he started work on his dream city Amaravati. And the farmers who participated are happy. Akhilesh Yadav used something similar as he acquired land for the Delhi Lucknow expressway.

The very phrase land acquisition is problematic. It sounds like robbery. Land pooling is a friendlier phrase.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Bernie Is Leading

And taking AOC around the country like she were his running mate!

Ronald Reagan also ran and lost one time. Then he ran again four years later.

Bernie is in better physical shape than Ronald. Because Bernie runs. Not run for president, which he does. But run as in jogging.

Bernie also has some other parallels with Ronald Reagan. He is very, very clear about a few basic things that also happen to be fundamental. That clarity comes from deep conviction.

He is a breath of fresh air.

It was Bernie who put Medicare For All on the national map. Now every Democrat running is for it. That is an achievement. It just makes sense. Medicare For All is arithmetic.

So right now it is looking like:

President: Bernie Sanders
Vice President: Kamala Harris
Fall 2020 Campaigner: AOC
UN Ambassador: Tulsi Gabbard
Secretary Of Labor: Andrew Yang
Texas Governor: Beto
Senate Majority Leader: Elizabeth Warren
Secretary Of Urban Affairs: Pete

Trump predicts 'Crazy Bernie Sanders,' 'Sleepy Joe Biden' will be 2 Dem 'finalists' in 2020 race
The 2020 Race Is Going Just Like Bernie Sanders Wanted The senator from Vermont is starting to think he will not only win the Democratic nomination, but beat Trump and become president...... The campaign is moving toward its internal $280 million target and savoring polls that have Sanders just behind Joe Biden, whom Sanders and his team expect will only go down once he gets in the race. The number of candidates keeps growing, lowering how many people it would take to come in first, beyond the 15 percent to 20 percent of primary voters who will stick with him no matter what...... Americans want Medicare for All, but are just anxious that Sanders wouldn’t be able to manage that or any of the other big changes that he’s promising. They believe a tightly-run campaign would demonstrate that he could run the country, too. .... he’s the only candidate with a sizable chunk of the electorate that won’t waver, no matter what, so a field that keeps growing and splitting support keeps making it easier...... Medicare for All has become a litmus test for many progressives, as has free public college tuition. ...... there was a band of young white guys in hockey jerseys playing a song about “cosmic dust” ahead of the Pittsburgh rally and staffing tables of merchandise with Sanders as a Sesame Street character and “Let it FUCKING Bern” written over a picture of a marijuana leaf

When Trump is calling Bernie "crazy," he is talking about Bernie's Einstein hair.

Bernie Sanders Imagines a Progressive New Approach to Foreign Policy Sanders had scarcely talked about foreign affairs in his 2016 campaign, but his framework had a natural extensibility. Under way in the world was a simple fight, Sanders said. On one side were oligarchs and the right-wing parties they had managed to corrupt. On the other were the people. ....... He begins the 2020 Presidential campaign not as a gadfly but as a favorite, which requires a comprehensive vision among voters of how he would lead the free world. ..... “reconceptualize a global order based on human solidarity.” ..... In 2016, he had asked voters to imagine how the principles of democratic socialism could transform the Democratic Party. Now he was suggesting that they could also transform how America aligns itself in the world..... Basic impression: same guy. ....... “How many people in the United States understand that we overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran to put in the Shah? ...... One condition that Americans had not digested was the bottomlessness of inequality. ....... “Twenty-six of the wealthiest people on earth own more wealth than the bottom half of the world’s population. Did you know that? ..... “twenty-six people, 3.6 billion people. How grotesque is that?” ...... “When I talk about income inequality and talk about right-wing authoritarianism, you can’t separate the two.” ....... his thesis had always been that money corrupted politics, and now he was tracing the money back overseas ...... as emergencies in Libya, Syria, and Yemen have deepened, the reputation of Obama’s foreign policy, and of the foreign-policy establishment more broadly, has diminished ....... She and others now see in Sanders something that they didn’t in 2016: a clear progressive theory of what the U.S. is after in the world. “I think he’s bringing those views on the importance of tackling economic inequality into foreign policy ........There has been, he went on, “a bipartisan assumption that we’re supposed to love Saudi Arabia and hate Iran. And yet, if you look at young people in Iran, they are probably a lot more pro-American than Saudis. ...... But they also have more democracy, as a matter of fact, more women’s rights, than does Saudi Arabia...... Sanders seemed to oscillate between proposing a characteristically transformational reimagining of American policy at the grandest scale and, in specific cases, more complicated approaches ...... In Sanders’s account of global affairs, Americans have been as likely to be villains as heroes. Six trillion dollars had now been spent on the war on terror since 2001. “It’s an unbelievable amount of money,” he said. “Is this going to go on forever?” Seven hundred billion dollars was being sent annually to the military, he noted. “Do we really need to spend more than the next ten nations combined on the military, when our infrastructure is collapsing and kids can’t afford to go to college?” ......... whether the most powerful nation on earth is excessively capitalist or sufficiently democratic....... whether the existential challenges of climate change create a moral imperative for deep structural reforms, including the abolition of the filibuster and the Electoral College ....... it was hard to see much evidence for the global popular movement against the right that he hoped to ignite. ...... That is the optimistic scenario: that climate change will bring about a new spirit of international coöperation........ Power revealed steeliness in Obama, and an instinct for the consensus, and caution. ..... he has bent the Party’s policies and priorities so that they largely match his. ...... the fiery-sermonizer figure is in retreat, and he is sounding notes of caution. Most of the other Democrats running for President have embraced broad structural reforms: the Electoral College must go, and perhaps the filibuster. Not Sanders. On Palestine, he now invokes the tradition of Carter and Clinton. If the newer candidates must demonstrate and defend their beliefs, then Sanders is undertaking a more subtle task, in trying to accomplish a turn in his public character as he nears eighty: to extricate the person from the ideology, and to suggest that he is not just a revolutionary but also a safe pair of hands.
Bernie Sanders acknowledges 'serious problem' at the border, demands 'sensible immigration reform'
This is how Bernie Sanders thinks about foreign policy The senator wants to create a global democratic movement to end oligarchy and authoritarianism..... has a consistent foreign policy thesis: income inequality and authoritarianism are intricately linked. .......... Create a global democratic movement that counters authoritarian leaders from Russia to Saudi Arabia as a way to improve the lives of billions around the world....... “The United States must seek partnerships not just between governments, but between peoples” ...... the senator explained that the US shouldn’t pick sides in ongoing geopolitical feuds, like Saudi Arabia vs. Iran or Israelis vs. Palestinians. ..... Musgrave had the same concern. “Financial firms in London, Geneva, and New York, including their intermediaries in places like the Caymans and the Channel Islands, play a big role in helping to preserve international oligarchs’ wealth,” he told me. “Presumably a President Sanders could deal with New York’s role in domestic politics — but how would he seek to shut down other countries’ financial networks?” ...... Sanders seems to think authoritarianism and oligarchy cause most of the world’s problems. “It comes a little close to a ‘Theory of Everything’” ...... When he was in the House of Representatives in 1998, Sanders famously grilled then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin on IMF loans to repressive governments. And in 2015, he blasted the IMF for imposing austerity measures on Greece as a condition to receive economic aid during its financial crisis. ...... “At a time of grotesque wealth inequality, the pensions of the people in Greece should not be cut even further to pay back some of the largest banks and wealthiest financiers in the world.” ...... “It’s a vision in which international economics would be subordinated to a vision of political relations and human rights that would be as big a departure from Clintonism as Trumpism, just in a different direction,” Musgrave said.
Bernie faces voters in the heart of Trump country

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The North Korea Question

Trump’s policy toward North Korea is founded on false assumptions that the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, will give up his nuclear weapons, that China can save the day and that military options are real...... a war here would be not just a regional disaster but a nuclear cataclysm. ....... the American military estimated back in 1994 that another Korean war would cause one million casualties and $1 trillion in damage. Today, with the possibility of an exchange of nuclear weapons, the toll could be far greater: One recent study suggested that if North Korea detonated nuclear weapons over Tokyo and Seoul, deaths in those two cities alone could exceed two million........ both sides are fearful of appearing weak and are trying to intimidate the other with military bluster, but that each would prefer a peaceful resolution — yet doesn’t know how to get there politically.
How about Trump and Kim holding summit talks Reagan Gorbachev style? That is better than the military option that is not even an option. This is not about political ideology. This is about avoiding nuclear catastrophe.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

A Campaign To Thoroughly Discredit Reagan

There is a campaign underway to thoroughly discredit Ronald Reagan, the Republican gold standard, and, surprisingly, it is not coming from the Democratic side. There are conservatives out to prove Ronald Reagan was exactly like The Donald before he got elected president. Reagan also supposedly hosted a talk show. Trump talks of Mexican rapists, Reagan supposedly holds the copyright on the phrase "welfare queen," an intentional gross exaggeration of the facts. There seem to be quite a few such parallels.

Facts-free racism, as directed against Barack Obama by a recalcitrant Congress, and facts-free sexism, completely unhinged from facts and logic, as directed against Hillary (for the umpteenth time, it is the Department Of Defense, not State, that has been tasked with protecting embassies) is a slippery slope. When you lack political mojo, but you practice it, then, it is a slippery slope. You keep falling. If it were evidence based decision making, data based, subject to logic, deliberation, and such, then you have something to hold on to, and you don't fall. But facts-free is slippery. You fall.

There is a very real possibility Donald Trump is the last of the Mohicans, I mean Republicans.

Lincoln moved above party, even country, a long time ago. He is not thought of as American, let alone Republican. Reagan was all you had. Trump is busy knocking out the facade. Emperor Reagan, it seems, was naked. Supply side economics is voodoo. That was Reagan fishing in the murky waters of the Cold War. It was voodoo from the outset.

I am for small government. There's stuff a government must do, and only the government can and should do, and I want all that to be done with as little money and people as possible. Efficiency is good for business, it is also good for government. But learn from the Chinese to respect bureaucrats.

I am for a total spread of democracy, but you get there by allowing everyone who lives in New York City to vote in the city elections. NYC is under colonial rule right now. Almost half of New Yorkers can't even vote in the city elections.

I am strong on defense, but the best way to get there is through a total spread of democracy and, yes, a world government, one person one vote one voice 24/7 local to global. Every country should pay 1% of its GDP as a membership fee. The world government is what will bring about a total spread of democracy, it's not the other way round. People are born equal, all people, everywhere.


Friday, April 08, 2016

Bernie: The Progressive Ronald Reagan?

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del...
Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del Cielo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I don't seem to like anyone on the Republican side, and it is not because I am a Democrat, I am not. But I have been neutral on the Democratic side. I guess I like them both. I like the idea of a first female president, I also like the idea of someone who is a policy wonk with executive experience, who has been to all parts of the world. But then Bernie is Jewish and that is a plus. He would also be the first Jewish president. Dean 2004 was grassroots 1.0. Obama 2008 was grassroots 2.0. If Bernie 2016 is grassroots 3.0, what are the structures? Bernie should be able to build something 10 times better than what Obama built, because now we have technology Obama did not have. I have not been following the campaign too closely, so I don't know. But if he had built that, it would have made news. And it is not for lack of money. The guy seems to be breaking his own record every month for several months now.

It just hit me that Bernie Sanders could be the progressive Ronald Reagan. Bernie does have executive experience. He was not Governor, but he was Mayor. And just like Reagan, he has been saying the same things for decades, until finally the dog seems to have caught up with the car. Any of the two Democrats would win. So it is not about November worries. And, no, Bernie would not have governing problems. If you think he will, you don't understand the powers of the presidency.

Reagan's thing was primarily messaging. He distilled it all into a few neat phrases, and that is the primary thing he did. For example, phrases like strong on defense, or small government, or tax cuts, or personal responsibility, freedom. Bernie does not have quite the short phrases yet, but he also seems to have been moving towards the five clear ideas. He wants money out of politics. He wants to break the big banks. He wants to build on Obamacare to give more to the needy, as in get closer and closer to the Canadian model until he does have the Canadian model. If the people want it badly enough to bother to get organized, of course it is possible. He has similar thoughts on education. He is so strong on health and education, you have to think this guy "gets" the knowledge economy. America's sorry state of investments in health and education is why America keeps taking faltering steps towards a knowledge economy, a knowledge economy that works not just for the Silicon Valley elite, but for all.

But Bernie is not concretely building the grassroots structure. And he has not yet distilled his key ideas into a few short, neat phrases. As for execution, Reagan appointed the key people to that end, and went to sleep. Hard work never killed anybody, but I figured why take a chance, he said. Bernie seems too sprightly to go to sleep. He might actually put in the hours. Bernie's physical vigor should make you want to run marathons. That is how he did it.

My advice to Bernie: hire Alanna Krause, the thought leader in the space, and put about 10-20 million into it, and build something to last. As in, the grassroots is integral to your governance. It is about building a one person, one vote, one voice structure. People should gather, people should speak, and people should be heard.
Just as early waves of technological innovation in education and health care simply attempted to digitize old practices — putting an analog class into a MOOC or a patient’s file into the cloud — early forays into governmental technology involved bringing civil services online and enabling citizens to follow government protocols on websites instead of in buildings. .....

new governance technologies preparing to reroute lines of authority and change what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century.

....... Others are helping teams to build consensus and budget together, dynamically and elegantly. Still others are creating operating systems for political parties that are already winning seats in government. .....

Whether we're facing climate apocalypse on Earth or colonizing Mars, the deciding factor between human civilization being extractive and oppressive, or cooperative and generative, will be how much we as a species have practiced the skills of equitable collaboration on a day-to-day basis — hearing diverse viewpoints and synthesizing them, consciously understanding the flows of power dynamics, and designing in the key factors of human wellness.

......... Human beings have been sitting in circles listening to one another for millennia, but software and the internet allow us to scale up these practices in a way we never have before. ....... Cobudget for funding and Loomio for decision-making. ........ Many of the worst aspects of command-and-control, mechanistic, hierarchical governance are consequences of limited communications technologies. If we can make distributed cooperation just as efficient, the need for those old governance forms — which cause a lot of human suffering in the name of efficiency — could be obviated. ..... The key difference is: are you privatizing everything, or are you building the commons? The real distinguishing factor isn't the governing practices, which may be similar to a point, but the governing purpose. Are we building in service of the people and the community, deeply rooted in social values and human rights, or are we in service of private interests, which only answer to their own internal logic of profit and power? ....... Already, in our network, Enspiral, where we run businesses in service of positive social outcomes, we constantly have to 'hack' company structures to make them reflect how we actually want to work. We're sticking to the law, of course, but there's some legal gymnastics involved and we're constantly having to blaze a trail. Are we a community? A company? A charity? None of the current forms actually quite fit, and the distinctions seem contrived. ........ One of the protections against government corruption in democracies is that the moment of the vote is hidden and blind. ......

the very idea that our key moment of agency as a citizen is ticking a box every three or four years is the insane part

..... Our 'democratic' system is another example of something developed a couple hundred years ago because of very limited communications technology — election dates in the US are still determined by how long it took people to go on horseback between cities. ..... What's actually incredible is when you create a society where people not only feel safe being open about their political opinions, but they genuinely discuss them with different people, and their opinion can evolve through that interaction — they can change their minds.

When citizen deliberation is possible, that's when truly amazing solutions can emerge, from synthesizing different views.

......... What can users of SMS-enabled mobile banking in Africa teach us about how our apps could work? People in war zones and disaster areas know a ton about decentralized networks, because centralised infrastructure fails them. Activists threatened by oppressive governments have heaps to teach us about privacy, identity, and leveraging online communications tools for effective action and resistance. ....... most people in this space are running completely analog processes using technologies like neighborhood meetings and science-fair like exhibitions of citizen-generated ideas. They are willing to pound the pavement.
If Bernie is the Democratic nominee, he is the next president. And if he is, he is going to govern just fine. Right now I don't know if he is, but he does seem to be running neck and neck. He seems to have momentum.

I am neutral because Barack Obama is neutral.

America can be taken to a 5% growth rate, absolutely. It is just that when you destroy 13 trillion dollars, the resultant wage depressions will take some time to recover.
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. ....... There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.
What might be some Bernie catch phrases that progressives might repeat for 20 years?

  • Take money out of politics
  • Strong on education, strong on health
  • Too big too fail it too big to exist 
  • One person, one vote, one voice 24/7, local to global 
Maybe I am not that neutral. Both on message and the organizational structure, Bernie seems to get me. I was a Deaniac in 2004, in Indiana, of all places, and I was Barack Obama's first full time volunteer in New York City in 2007. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

The R Word

Blackmon’s book describes what he calls the “Age of Neoslavery,” in which newly freed slaves found themselves entangled in a legal system built upon involuntary servitude — which included the selling of black men convicted of crimes like vagrancy and changing employers without receiving permission........ “The constitutional amendments that were supposed to free African-American slaves did something for about 10 years, then there was a North-South compact that granted the former the slave-owning states the right to do whatever they wanted,” he explained. “And what they did was criminalize black life, and that created a kind of slave force. It threw mostly black males into jail, where they became a perfect labor force, much better than slaves.” ...... “If you’re a slave owner, you have to pay for — you have to keep your ‘capital’ alive. But if the state does it for you, that’s terrific. No strikes, no disobedience, the perfect labor force. A lot of the American Industrial Revolution in the late 19th, early 20th Century was based on that. It pretty must lasted until World War II.” ....... by the 1970s and 1980s it’s going back to the criminalization of black life.” ....... “It’s called the drug war, and it’s a racist war. Ronald Reagan was an extreme racist — though he denied it — but the whole drug war is designed, from policing to eventual release from prison, to make it impossible for black men and, increasingly, women to be part of [American] society.”
Obama shared personal anecdotes about the racist double standard she had encountered as the wife of the nation’s first black president

Monday, April 13, 2015

The “Walking Dead”

When Karl Rove attacked Hillary for being too old, something like that, Bill Clinton went on TV and suggested that if you were to listen to Rove you would think Hillary was a member of the “walking dead.” This was months ago. And his use of that phrase struck me. Because I had used that precise phrase only a few weeks before that. There is this politician Hridayesh Tripathy in Nepal. I have admired him over the years. He wrote me a recommendation letter when I was applying for colleges in America. I was actually one rank below him in a political party with two MPs right before I came to America for college, too young to be running for anything.

Hridayesh had just lost a parliamentary election, actually elections to Nepal’s constituent assembly, its second constituent assembly. (Yes, you read that right. He was a MP back when he wrote the recommendation letter. In the years that followed Nepal ended up with an ultra left group that outshone the Shining Path of Peru. Time warps, political wormholes etc.) He reached out to me on Facebook. He was new to Facebook. Then we got talking on Viber. He was feeling crestfallen. He said he was getting old, and he was thinking of retiring from politics. This was his first electoral defeat.

To console him I said, if he was old, Sushil has to be considered a Walking Dead. Sushil is the current Prime Minister of Nepal, in his 70s, a short, thin Ronald Reagan, if you will, talking strictly of age. Hridayesh is barely past 50.

I preceded Bill Clinton by a few weeks in use of that particular phrase. And it was eery to me because this was probably the fourth or fifth time something like that had happened to me, where I had preceded Bill Clinton. They say serial killers can communicate with each other, even when they are not even aware of each others’ existence. I must be a pretty good student of the US presidency, and my political instincts must be sound.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Is Hillary Running?

So far I have said no, because she has said no, many, many times. No, she is not running in 2016. Although the noise is deafening. The Clinton brand name is a strong one.

She is qualified. Super qualified. No doubt about it. She might be the most qualified person for the job by now.

This reminds me of 2003. Bill Clinton tried to move heaven and earth to try to get her to run. She absolutely refused. She is refusing now.

She is talented, she is qualified, she is prepared. And her elevation would be quite a statement against sexism and ageism. I never thought she was too old. Ronald Reagan was not too old, Joe Biden is not too old. Hillary is not too old. And she is a progressive dream. It will be like FDR's third term. It will be pretty much a no contest election.

But she is not running. That's what she has been saying.

She is the most popular politician in America. She has a mate who is quite a politician. I have been following this couple since 1991. I was in Nepal back then.

I think she will rest for a year. Then she will write a book. Year three she will go on a book tour. And then she might not be able to resist. If she runs no one stands a chance. Bobby will have to run for Governor of another state, since the poor guy is term limited! (Bobby Is Going To Run And Win In 2016)

2008 was personally hard for me. I was conflicted between the idea of the first black president and the first woman president.

If she runs, she will win. And she will do two terms. FDR did not do four terms.

Who do you think she will pick for running mate? How about a woman? I like the idea of two women running the show.

Hillary running and winning could be the best possible thing that could happen to Barack Obama's legacy. If she runs 2016 would be the most uncontested presidential campaign in history.

Did I mention? She has been an excellent Secretary of State.

She has been vetted many, many times over. She is post-sleaze. There is no mud anyone can throw on her. Everything has been tried.

As for agenda, this is my wish list.
  1. Gigabit wireless broadband for every human being. 
  2. Budget surpluses like Clinton 42. 
  3. A female running mate. 
  4. A female Secretary of State. (White men have been running the show for so long, having just one female in the Oval Office might not be enough.) 
  5. Universal health care. 
  6. Universal lifelong education. 
  7. Universal credit access in all income brackets.
  8. A trillion dollars into global microfinance. 

‘Rodham’ the movie: How to cast Hillary and Bill Clinton?
Why Hillary Clinton Would Be Strong in 2016 (It’s Not Her Favorability Ratings)
Mrs. Clinton might be the most polled about American in history, other than those who have actually become president. ..... The release of the Senate Whitewater committee’s report in June 1996, which largely lacked substantive proof of wrongdoing by Mr. or Mrs. Clinton, seemed to help relieve the strain on her popularity .... Perhaps Mrs. Clinton’s most impressive attribute is her ability to withstand criticism — and often emerge the stronger from it. If she runs for president again, she will surely receive plenty of it.
Newt Gingrich: If Hillary Clinton Runs In 2016, Republicans 'Incapable Of Competing' (VIDEO)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regularly brushes off the idea of a 2016 presidential bid. .... A recent Washington Post poll found that 57 percent of people would support Clinton as a 2016 presidential candidate.
Axelrod: Hillary Clinton 'First Among Equals' for 2016 Nomination
“I think the reality of a woman getting elected the president of the United States may be an even more powerful incentive in 2016.” .... how the Democratic establishment would treat 2016: If Clinton gets in, everyone else should get out. ..... The warning extends even to Vice President Joe Biden. Asked about Biden, Axelrod praised his tenure as Obama’s No. 2 and called him a “very formidable candidate.” But among all possible candidates, Axelrod called Clinton “first among equals.” .... "I think a lot of the race is going to center on whatever decision Secretary Clinton makes,” he said. .... It’s unusual that a sitting vice president is considered the second-choice successor to the president, but few believe Biden could defeat Clinton .... Democrats also have a strong desire to nominate a female candidate ..... Clinton’s effusively praised four-year stint as secretary of State and former President Clinton’s tireless campaigning this year on Obama’s behalf. ..... Of course, all of this depends on whether Hillary Clinton runs. And for the umpteenth time this week, the soon-to-be-jobless Clinton—looking forward to a break after stints as first lady, New York senator, and Cabinet secretary—sounded like anything but a candidate eager for another crack at the nation’s highest office. In an interview that aired on Wednesday on ABC, she admitted to Barbara Walters that she is exhausted. “To be honest, I am. When I do something I really want to do it, I want to do it to the best of my ability. That means I pretty much work all the time.” ..... She reiterated that she has no plans to run for office again.
Nancy Pelosi: Hillary Clinton should run in 2016
Are Republicans really 'incapable' of beating Hillary Clinton in 2016?
Clinton holds a 60 percent favorability rating – higher than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (39 percent), Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida (33 percent), Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (47 percent) and Vice President Joe Biden (46 percent) .... As Democratic strategist and Clintonite James Carville said on ABC’s "This Week" Sunday, “Every Democrat I know says, ‘God, I hope she runs. We don't need a primary. Let's just go to post with this thing.’ ” ..... Clinton's current popularity, as we've written before, is in part a reflection of the nonpartisan role she's taken as secretary of State, as well as the nostalgia surrounding her husband's now-well-in-the-past White House years. If she were to become an official candidate – coming under attack from rivals, subjected to much harsher scrutiny in the press – it probably wouldn't take long for much of that warmth to fade.
'I am... not only healthy, but have incredible stamina and energy:' Yoga enthusiast Hillary Clinton says she's not too old to run for president in 2016
While she maintains publicly that she has little interest in running for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton doesn't want anyone to think she is too old for the job ... At the same time, Clinton acknowledged that she's exhausted and just wants to 'kick back.' ..... 'Being on planes.. as much as I am, takes something out of anybody, doesn't matter how old you are, or how often you've done it,' she said. Clinton added that she swims and does yoga regularly to keep herself fit and replenish her energy. ..... The soon-to-be former secretary of state said that while 'all doors are open' in terms of her future plans, she has little interest in anything beyond rest and repose for at least the first couple months after her resignation becomes effective. ..... 'I've said I really don't believe that's something I will do again,' she said. ..... Clinton's version of kicking back means reading, writing and resting after traveling and working nonstop for the last couple years. .... she has traveled close to one million miles across 112 countries. ..... 'I go into places where people are lying to me, where people are arguing terrible things to their own people,' she said. 'You know you have to keep finding ways to connect with these people, try to move them somehow toward better behavior. It takes a lot of thought but you have to be rooted yourself to have any chance of doing it.' ..... Walters asked Clinton about her laid-back hair style, which is a topic of much consternation among celebrity bloggers .... 'I do not travel with any hairdresser, or anybody, to help me do that, and I'm not very competent myself. I've been admitting that for years, which should be obvious to everyone.
Hillary set to 'buy a Hamptons house where she and Bill can plot her plans for 2016' and Newt Gingrich even admits that the Republicans have no one that could beat her
The compliment is particularly surprising considering that Gingrich and Bill Clinton famously sparred when they were rivals in the 1990s, and Gingrich was the one to push for the investigation of the then-President's affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. ..... A home befitting two of the country's biggest political heavyweights would easily run in the multi-million dollar range, any the couple are known to enjoy the benefits of a lifestyle that allows private jet use. .... As recently as September 30 of this year, Hillary still has $73,000 remaining of her campaign debt...... She reportedly thinks that one of her biggest mistakes in her last presidential bid was announcing too early, so if she goes for it again, she likely won't say so publicly until mid-2015 .... Speaking engagements and a new book about her time as Secretary of State are two other options for the ways to fill the time- and her bank accounts- but the frankness of those potential opportunities will be limited if she does eventually decide to run for president again.
Hillary Clinton Talks About Her Future, Politics and Hair
Barbara Walters to Hillary Clinton: Are you too old to be president?
Hillary Clinton: At 69, will Hillary Clinton be too old to run for president in 2016?
Certainly not too old--John McCain was 72 when he ran in 2008, and Ronald Reagan was 73 when he ran for his second term in '84. That said, Secretary Clinton has been very clear that she's not planning to run in 2016.
Hillary Clinton For President: Why This Would Be the Best and Worst Choice For Democrats in 2016
How Old Will Hillary Clinton Be in 2016?
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Friday, November 02, 2012

Barack Obama: Still The Candidate Of Change

When they were trying to impeach Bill Clinton, the leading Republican in the House - I forget his name - quoted from someone. Bill Clinton went to a bookstore - a deliberate act designed to make news - to look up the guy. It was some racist white guy from the 1600s.

My point being four years of Barack Obama is not enough to undo the damage that was done to this country. Yes, Jeb Bush, we are still blaming your brother.

Imagine if FDR had ended his presidency in 1936. You can't.

Obama Claims Mantle of ‘Change’ in 2012 Race
Voters in Colorado tonight got a glimpse of the Barack Obama of 2008, with his soaring, impassioned and relentless rhetoric that electrified a crowd in a way only rarely seen during the 2012 campaign...... On Friday he will spend the entire day at events in Ohio. ..... “I’m not going to allow this nation to be plunged into another battle over health care,” Obama insisted tonight. “I’m not going to allow politicians in Washington to make health care choices for women that they can make for themselves…” The crowd roared. ..... Obama said he is running to be a “champion” for the people who “need a champion in Washington.” ...... “We’ve come too far to grow faint-hearted! Now’s the time to keep pushing forward!” Obama exhorted the crowd which was on its feet with cheers and applause.
Jobs growth quickens, giving Obama some relief
Employers added 171,000 people to their payrolls last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. The government also said 84,000 more jobs were created in August and September than previously estimated. ...... Polls show Obama and Republican Mitt Romney locked in a dead heat in a race in which the nation's feeble jobs market has been front and center. ....... While the rise in the jobless rate was expected, the increase in payrolls beat even the most optimistic forecast in a Reuters poll. ........ The jobless rate, which peaked during the recession at 10 percent, remains about 3 percentage points above its pre-recession level. ...... In October, the jobless rate rose because 578,000 people entered the workforce. That helped push the participation rate, a measure of the portion of the population in the labor force, up two tenths of a point to 63.8 percent. A gauge of the proportion of working age Americans who have a job hit a three-year high at 58.8 percent. ...... Still, 23 million Americans were underemployed ...... All of the gain in payrolls was in the private sector, which added 184,000 jobs in October, the biggest increase since February. The government shed 13,000 positions. ...... Private service-providing jobs were up 163,000, with retail trade adding 36,400 jobs. Temporary help services, often a harbinger of future full-time hiring, added 13,600 jobs ...... The construction sector saw a 17,000 increase in jobs, the largest rise since January, while factories added 13,000 workers, snapping two straight months of decline. ....... the U.S. economy faces a real threat of a renewed recession next year. ....... Without action by lawmakers, taxes will rise and government spending will fall to the tune of about $600 billion. That "fiscal cliff" could easily cause the economy to contract. .......... Europe's debt crisis, which has hit factories around the world, is also weighing on the U.S. recovery.
NYC Mayor Bloomberg endorses Obama
The New York City mayor attributed the ferocity of this week's Hurricane Sandy to changes in the climate. ......... While running as a "consensus builder" four years ago, the president has "devoted little time and effort to developing and sustaining a coalition of centrists, which doomed hope for any real progress on illegal guns, immigration, tax reform, job creation and deficit reduction," Bloomberg wrote. "And rather than uniting the country around a message of shared sacrifice, he engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it." ...... t immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy
Obama close to 271 electoral votes
"Without Ohio's 18 electoral votes, Romney would need last-minute victories in nearly all the remaining up-for-grabs states and manage to pick off key states now leaning Obama's way, such as Iowa or Wisconsin" ...... "Romney seems on track for 206 from 23 states ...... "Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia, with a combined 61 votes at stake, could go either way."
A Vote for a President to Lead on Climate Change by Mike Bloomberg
In just 14 months, two hurricanes have forced us to evacuate neighborhoods -- something our city government had never done before. If this is a trend, it is simply not sustainable. ...... Here in New York, our comprehensive sustainability plan -- PlaNYC -- has helped allow us to cut our carbon footprint by 16 percent in just five years, which is the equivalent of eliminating the carbon footprint of a city twice the size of Seattle. Through the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group -- a partnership among many of the world’s largest cities -- local governments are taking action where national governments are not. ...... America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results. ...... he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts. ....... like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing. ..... When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. ...... One believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision. ..... One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history. ...... One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics. ..... in the end, what matters most isn’t the shape of any particular proposal; it’s the work that must be done to bring members of Congress together to achieve bipartisan solutions. ..... Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both found success while their parties were out of power in Congress -- and President Obama can, too. If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago
As election draws near, President Barack Obama expands lead in Michigan
Barack Obama heads into the final weekend of the campaign with a 6-percentage-point lead in Michigan over Republican rival Mitt Romney ..... "I think the auto issue ... has solidified things for Obama" ....... Michigan hasn't gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, and has mostly been considered safe territory for Obama...... officials with GM and Chrysler also took issue with any suggestion that they have not been fully committed to creating jobs in the U.S. ..... Ohio, second to Michigan in jobs linked to auto manufacturing, has had more visits from Obama and Romney and their close surrogates than any state in the last 30 days. .... The Obama campaign was soon expected to begin airing its first ad in Michigan in months ...... Half of those polled said the rescue of GM and Chrysler was a deciding factor in their support -- and of those, nearly two-thirds backed Obama. Among the slightly less than half who said it wasn't a deciding factor, Romney had a 56%-33% edge. ..... Three-quarters of Romney's supporters considered themselves enthusiastic -- about the same as the number for Obama. ...... Among independent voters, a key bloc, Obama held a 42%-31% edge -- though nearly 30% said they would vote for a third-party candidate or remained undecided. ..... Obama was effectively tied with Romney among male voters, but he more than made up for that with a 51%-41% lead among women.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gaddafi Helped Mandela

Imran Khan, December 2007Image via WikipediaIt is important to maintain perspective.

I have always believed in democracy, and I have never thought of it as some kind of a western thing.

The day 9/11 happened I compared it to the start of something along the magnitudes of the Cold War.

Gaddafi is like Castro in that he saw a lot. He saw colonialism, the Cold War, the aftermath, the War On Terror. This guy stayed in the news for half a century.

I was doing school in Kathmandu. We were amazed about this guy who seemed to drive Reagan crazy. Who i-s this guy? We read up on him.

One of the details that has to be noted is that Gaddafi helped Mandela when nobody helped Mandela. Dick Cheney was opposed to imposing sanctions on the apartheid regime and I don't think he has ever course corrected that stand.

I have often wondered what a Gaddafi like political animal functioning in a democratic set up might look like. Because the world does need people who will speak to the west on their own terms.

I am thinking Imran Khan might emerge that welcome voice, someone who is a democrat, a son of the soil, intelligent beyond belief, and someone who simply can not go corrupt.

Gaddafi was a dictator like Saddam was a dictator. I would not put Castro in the same basket. Castro was never a mass murderer. And the US could learn from some of what Cuba has done in education and health. Castro exported many a doctor to Third World countries over decades.

A new world order asks for personalities like Imran Khan who will ride the world stage on behalf of their peoples, democratically elected, and subject to peaceful recall once every few years.

Imran Khan
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It Will Be Barack Vs Palin

Sarah Palin at the Time 100 Gala, in Manhattan...Image via WikipediaAs soon as McCain lost, Palin started running. She never really stopped. She took a break due to the incident in Arizona. (Inciting Violence: Beyond Wrong, It Is Criminal) But it was just that, a break. Now she is back like she always intended to be.

I think she is going to win the nomination. And I think she is a formidable candidate. And I am opposed to sexist rants against her just like I am opposed to racist rants by her.

But we are going to win. Barack is going to prevail.
New York Times: Signs Grow That Palin May Run: Sarah Palin is fortifying her small staff of advisers, buying a house in Arizona — where associates have said she could base a national campaign — and reviving her schedule of public appearances. ...... Palin and her husband, Todd, have bought a $1.7 million house in Scottsdale, Ariz. ...... the Palins, who have become especially protective of their privacy in the maelstrom that has followed them since 2008 ..... Palin has reshuffled her staff, rehiring two aides who have helped plan her political events. And she is expected to resume a schedule of public appearances soon — perhaps as early as this weekend — to raise her profile at a moment when the Republican presidential field appears to be taking final form. ...... the moves are at odds with conventional wisdom — if not wishful thinking — among establishment Republicans in Washington that Ms. Palin has decided not to run. That thinking has been voiced increasingly as the party’s professional political class, which Ms. Palin has railed against, has sought to declare the field of candidates closed. ..... None of the likely and declared candidates have fully galvanized the Tea Party activists who form the core of Ms. Palin’s support. ...... “I want to make sure that we have a candidate out there with Tea Party principles,” she told the Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity last week. ..... “We have got to have faith that the Republican Party is going to surface somebody who can take on both sides of the aisle,” she said on Fox Business Network. ...... “I have that fire in my belly.” ...... her one-woman media conglomerate
She will run. She will win the nomination. She will lose in the general election by a wide margin. And that will be the end of Sarah Palin as a political figure in America.
Sarah Palin in Savannah, Georgia, Dec 1, 2008 ...Image via Wikipedia
Emphasizing values like faith, family and work is one thing. Talking small government is one thing. Talking low taxes is one thing. But rabid racism is quite another. The Tea Party is not getting away with rabid racism. They shall be countered.

Sarah Palin "gets" the basic conservative principles. She can talk in broad outlines. She is telegenic. She is charismatic in her own way. But on the specifics of policy she remains shallow.

Let there be a fair fight. Let opposing philosophies and worldviews be fully heard by the people, and let the people decide. It does not have to get ugly. Racism is ugly. It worked during the depths of the Great Recession when Palin appealed to the baser instincts of the masses. But that Great Recession is over, thanks to Barack. If this country had done what Palin wanted done during those depths, the unemployment rate in America today would have been more like 29% and not the 9% it is.

We are for eliminating the deficit. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have a better track record on the deficit than do George W Bush, George HW Bush, and Ronald Reagan.

I Am Going To Act Like This Is 2007
Obama 2012 Is On
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