Friday, November 01, 2013
Massachusetts – The Tea Party, Past Presidents, and Identifying with Independent, Fiscal Conservatives – From the National to the Hyper-Local – People’s Political Minds are Changing.
Image The Atlantic – article Why a Democratic Tea Party is the Best Hope for Fixing Corrupt Govenrnment
Watching the massive grass-roots, tea-party, people’s movement towards electing candidate, Scott Brown, to the U.S. Senate, on the ground one could feel the determination of those political neophytes who had never picked up a phone, or knocked on doors in the past to get anyone elected. It was refreshing to see so much more involvement by the people of the Commonwealth. That feeling, it appeared, had all but dissipated as Massachusetts appeared to be drifting further and further left with the election of Elizabeth Warren and then Ed Markey to the U.S. Senate.
That said, a recent op-ed on the Springfield Republican’s, site, does give one a bit of hope. The Letter entitled “Tea party Republicans embrace principles of nation's founders”speaks to the thoughts of a man who is just laying out what he sees in the Tea Party, rather than what is the general “talking points” provided by the left. (, which includes most editorial boards and journalists). The 74 comments included below the piece show a stark contrast between the Tea Party members, general individuals and those hard-line progressives thought to make up all of Massachusetts.
On an even more local level, one email chain from an individual whom one might characterize as Tea Party- Republican with the emphasis on the Tea, is urging residents to help reelect a City Counselor - a Democrat. The Democrat is a fiscal conservative, or what today would be called Tea Party, but in reality and 40 years ago, would have been called a Democrat – in other words, not the hard line left Democrat who is only concerned with Reproductive rights, taxing billionaires, and socialized everything. Rather the type of Democrat in the JFK mold, who is more concerned with how the people will grow by self-determination, how the people who have will support those that have not, and how the people will support a Federal government’s role is as stated in the Constitution – in other words – today John F. Kennedy, might be considered a Tea Party Member.
Therefore, Tea Party – as some have suggested is more politically philosophical in nature, than any group with aspirations of becoming a third party. Which, one also suggests that those that identify with the Tea Party might include individuals from any political party. A recent Rasmussen poll on political identify taken October 29, 2013, suggests just that – with 42% of the nation identifying with President Obama’s political ideology and 42% of the nation identifying with Tea Party ideology. There balance of these polled were on the fence, not sure if they preferred the President’s ideology (one which on surface, one must agree, is moderate) or that of the Tea Party.
If this is, indeed the case, this early in the 2014 and 2016 election cycle, and should there be continual problems with the Health Care System, branded as Obama Care, one can imagine those numbers should increase, and not for the President, or anyone associated with his “Brand”.
That is evident as the New York Times reports that the roll out for Obama Care has Democrats feeling anxious and they should.
As the figure bandied about as to how many individuals the White House knew were going to lose their health insurance as the plan took hold was upwards to 93,000,000, should that be the case, those Republicans and Democrats will be facing primary challengers and election challengers from – Independents or Tea Party Democrats and Tea Party Republicans.
Yes, Virginia, there are Tea Party Democrats, call the JFK Democrats, my father’s Democrats but never-the-less Democrats who will be unfairly damaged – they might as well campaign with either Obama or John McCain, as it would have the same effect, or they could run under a different banner, on less…suddenly distasteful to the general voting public.
That is what the major parties fear, sharing power with a third party, or having members that are not going to “tow the party line” (See Republican Leadership and their Tea Party Members).
Which brings one back to local Massachusetts, if there are Conservatives with Tea Party credentials or ideology in Massachusetts – surely that means that other states with a lesser makeup of Progressives, are more inclined to favor a third party or independent run. Should this political mindset shift across the nation and include even the bluest states, within four to ten years, one will see a new political party, or two rise from the ashes of the once powerful. This would make our present and future decade the most politically-historically interesting time in at least a century and a half.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Obama, Under Siege, Goes to Boston to Defend Obama Care – As Romney Care! – Sebelius Falls on Sword –The Republican Blame Game Begins to Sound Hallow - Ted Cruz to Leno!
From the Boston Globe The President stopped in Boston, Massachusetts yesterday to defend his Obama Care plan, and compare it to the Massachusetts Romney Care plan upon which, he insists, it was modeled. Romney on the other hand, suggested – not-so-much – pointing to the folly of attempting to define what works for one state and transferring that model to the entire nation.
With Massachusetts basically the size of a postage stamp, bleeding population, and with a health care system that is far removed from what Romney envisioned but, for reasons unknown still defends, has enjoyed the following: lower premiums for some, huge increases in the budget, and deficits to run the program, large increases in insurance premiums (on average 20 to 40% per year) for private payer systems, and middle class families that fall through the cracks, completely uninsured. Those that do not make quite enough to qualify for Commonwealth Care subsidies, and with premiums for families at the $800 per month level, a family making less than $50,000 a year (before taxes), simply does not have the room to pay for that kind of coverage – so they pay the annual fee to the Commonwealth, instead – they are not insured.
Imagine transporting that system nationwide before thoroughly investigating the problems, and designing one that would, yes, be similar, but would address those problems so that no-one would fall through the cracks. The practice of hiking insurance premiums through the roof based on one set of economic levels, in order to pay for the subsidies of those that fall below, does not take into account the individual circumstances of those who are “deemed” capable of paying more. Massachusetts’s model has been less than perfect from the get-go – and those who pay the fines rather than enjoy the benefits of insurance – are unreported.
It was a hard sell to begin with to half the nation and now with the individuals nationwide losing insurance coverage as their policies are deemed “inadequate” (they need to pay higher premiums and load the coverage with all types of extra benefits, not necessarily fitting lifestyle in order to pay for others.), the fact that the President lied (along with others in D.C.), that one could keep what they had for coverage, for three years prior to the start date, the fact that the startup was totally mismanaged by a contractor that had ties to the Administration, it is a total mess.
To take the blame outright in order to attempt to appease the detractors, Kathleen Sebelius, took the blame for all, while the President blamed – those Republicans. (New York Times).
Herein lays the problem with that scenario for the thinking person. Yes there was a temporary government shutdown, the purpose of which was to stop funding and delay the program for at least a year, if not entirely. That lasted merely 17 days, with the rollout of Obama Care, supported in the Senate and the House by the Republican Leadership, who were battling their own members who wanted to derail what they felt was certainly going to hurt American People. However, that aside, did 17 days really matter in the grander scheme of things with a program that was signed into law in 2010, and should have been, under any conceivable circumstance, ready to roll out three months minimum before the start date. The entire mess, therefore, belongs to Obama and his administration and to anyone who signed onto the plan in the Senate and the House.
The system could work, with a lot of if’s attached, but in its present form, heavily mandated, driving up individual premiums and driving doctors out of the program, it will not. A few tweaks would help a great deal, and those have all been proposed – by Republican’s in the House. Unfortunately, those who would cast blame (see Harry Reid, Obama, et al), would not even entertain those options. Ego got in the way and they wanted to have a plan that was solely the creation of the Democrats. So, shame on them.
It would be the same if the shoe were on the other foot, and the Republican’s pushed through unpopular legislation, lost control of the House as a result, then pressed on, with a press that would look the other way under any circumstance – and roll out a substandard national program – then blame the Democrats!
Sick of it yet?
One might be going out on a limb here, but one might hope that the President will go on the stump in 2014 and 2016 for every single Democrat candidate who supported this program, and that John McCain might do the same for the Republican candidates that were the counterparts, especially those locked in heated primaries with Conservative candidates. The people may be determined to be “low information voters”, hwoever, should this mess continue, one will bet the House and the Senate, that night major political party will be thrilled with the outcome when the dust settles.
2016 Update - Maybe The Senator that has the ability to say "I told you so", one Ted Cruz of Texas will make an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on November 8th (Variety) . As with past speculation on appearance by Sarah Palin, etc., the appearance does not necessarily mean the individual in question will actually run for the Presidency. In the case of Cruz, it allows him the ability to become more familiar with the general public, and perhaps, give them a little insight into what's up with him and the causes he supports or refutes.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Did the President Lie About Obama Care – The Affordable Health Care Act? If He Did Lie, Who Else Knew That You Could Not Keep Your Plan or Doctor?
The South Florida Sun Sentinel asks the question this morning: “Did Obama Blatantly Lie About Keeping Your Doctor Under Obama Care?” – and the answer from the paper’s, Gary Stein, is a resounding – yes.. One might also turn to the national NBC News article where it is revealed that the administration knew “millions could not keep their health insurance” – for three years prior to its implementation.” For those who understand the President has said, on numerous occasions, that one would not lose their insurance plan nor their doctor, it does appear as if he did, indeed, lie to the American People, however, the question should be asked: “Who else knew that one might not keep their insurance plan, or that their doctor was not about to accept patients under Obama Care? “: -
That answer is: every Congressional Representative, and every Senator – they had the bill, they had oodles of time to read the bill and should have been screaming from the rooftops in each and every hamlet that this plan was going to tug at the emotions, finances and general trust in government by those millions and millions who now find that they are losing both.
As the President’s team starts to go into “damage control”, the line is that one might not keep their “sub-standard” plan. The term sub-standard applies to any plan that does not meet the minimum requirements of additional mandates added to the program. For example, living in Massachusetts under “Romney Care”, one is obliged to carry infertility benefits in their plan, regardless of gender or age. The reason: the increase in insurance premiums that are collected by the insurance carriers (big business), on plans for individuals who do not need the coverage, pays for those who do! Some of the benefits mandated may seem medically unnecessary – however, in an attempt to please everyone, those who are socially liberal will mandate just about anything imaginable. – It is simply not fair. The nations workers already pay taxes for Medicaid – which is for coverage of those who cannot afford it, this type of mandate becomes a second or hidden tax.
Every single one of those Senators and Congressmen and women who supported this bill, or who allowed it to go through the last budget standoff (otherwise known as the government shut-down) knew about this – Those who were screaming to Defund Obama Care knew about it – Ted Cruz warned, Mike Lee warned, and their “Tea Party” crazy friends and allies – they knew too – they just wanted to let the America People know.
Now we know.
Did we expect a President to lie to the American People? If the answer to that is no, then one has a short memory – or has no reference in history. Nixon famously said “I am not a crook”, Bill Clinton “Did not have sexual intercourse with that woman”, Republican and Democrat alike, they both lied to the public. They both were chastised; Nixon resigned in disgrace and Bill Clinton was impeached, but forgiven in the long run. Assuming that all things are equal, then one would understand that this should be an impeachable offence, however, one would have to impeach: Harry Reid, Democrat Senate Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Congresswoman from San Francisco’s district, John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House, John McCain, former Republican Presidential Candidate, and so on and so on.
Since that’s not quite possible, one might also take their angst out at the voting booth – One might ask the important question of their Congressman or Senator, or Presidential Candidate, if they voted for either Obama Care outright, or if they voted to fund the government, and then Obama Care – if the answer is yea, then vote for the other candidate, Republican or Democrat, Tea Party or Progressive, Independent or Green Party – replace the incumbent who knew exactly what they were doing to a huge segment of the American People.
One cannot vote President Obama out of office, he’s a “lame duck” or in his final term and cannot run again (regardless of the conspiracy theorists). He may lose the trust of the American People (some of them) – but vote for the individual who might have wanted to fix the plan, start over and keep segments in place, but not fund the darn thing. Those that think that Ted Cruz was wrong to point out that the plan was a problem for millions, like potential 2016 presidential candidate and former 2012 Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum, or Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA who clearly voted to fund the program, or anyone of their ilk, should not be given a glance – it should be the individuals who stood to uphold the Constitution, those crazy people who would rather have millions enjoy the freedom to choose their own plans, while funding a plan for those who could not afford one – a system that is already in place.
The media is already being clearly careful in its reporting on the issues (See the analysis here by Reuters this morning. Therefore, which suggests thousands might be affected, rather than millions, but does it really matter? It was the fact that from the President on down, throughout the hallowed halls of the Senate and the Congress, they knew – and they all lied to the public.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
US Chamber of Commerce - Washington Lobbyist Team with GOP to Unseat Tea Party – The changing of the Party Guard.
Inside the beltway of Washington D.C. are those who make up the government, the elected officials and the lobbyists/special interest groups who determine legislation, regardless of the impact it may have on the nation. It is a way of doing business that has developed, one which can change the tone of political discourse in a heartbeat, given the right amount of cash. Lately, the exploration of a need for a third political party to end the apparent stalemate in D.C. has put those lobbyist in the driver’s seat on edge, so much so that one particular group has decided to invest in a strategy with the national GOP to stop those who would be more constitutionally prone – the Tea Party.
An AP article in the Gadsden Times entitled: “Business, GOP establishment: Tea party is over” speaks of the alliance of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National GOP to spend millions in an attempt to move the Republican’s in Congress from Tea Party to “Center-Right”. The AP report notes that the group is halfway to its 8 million dollar goal to build a “war-chest” to fight Congressional races. The usual Democrats are thrilled that there is such a schism in the GOP, and plan to take advantage in these races. Two races are highlighted in this article, both in Michigan.
There are two important aspects to consider, the U.S. Chamber is a lobbyist group, in DC. Who represents the interests of Chamber Members across the U.S., but being in D.C. can be lucrative, and, as the group is Bi-partisan in nature, similar to Unions, those at the head tend to make decisions more in keeping with Washington politics rather than the universal interests of the group (See ThinkProgress.org’s article on the Chambers help in winning and losing elections in 2010, very few were Democrats, mainly Republicans). Secondly, raising eight million dollars in D.C. should not be that difficult of a challenge, especially for the GOP and the U.S. Chamber, so what gives?
The Tea Party according those in the media, pollsters and the National GOP and DNC, are somewhat “Dangerous”, but to whom? Why is the National GOP so leery of the group that brought them the possession of the House of Representatives? Simply put, it is the attachment of the National GOP to the Tea Party (which is, when on weighs all points, Independent in nature), which ended, not in obedience by those Tea Party members as anticipated, once safely surrounded by those more senior members of the Houses, it was the fact that they stood alone, opposed their “own party”, and shut down the government for fifteen days. A shut-down that very few, outside of the media, knew or even cared about, that had more to do with the debt ceiling and finance, which fewer understood.
The Tea Party is less of a political party and more of a political ideology, with various fractions, that could, if members so desired, form an actual political party. Instead, those members tend to run under the Republican brand, in order to get elected, a rather disingenuous way of getting around the fact that they do not have a political party per se, to stand upon. Not unlike the Progressives who have run successfully as Democrats, and have successfully unseated those Tip O’Neil Democrats, the Tea Party members are doing the same with the GOP. It is a change in the two major political party’s makeup, one to the very left and one to the very right, with little room in the middle.
There are enough of these members to hold the lien on both sides of the political aisle – they are less of a third political party and more of a coup. That’s the danger and why those who would maintain the status qua (the moderates such as the McCain’s, Graham’s, Boehner’s, etc.) are having conniption fits and calling names.
It’s just that simple. If it were in the true nature of the political party formation (Libertarian’s, Green Party, etc.) there would be little material support for that group to say, best a standard Republican or Democrat, or so that’s the school of thought – Not enough cash from fewer members to oust one of the major party players. Therefore, those that wish to change from the right and from the left, do so by aligning themselves with a major party. The most astounding outcome in this whole process is, using one example; both the Tea Party Members and the Standard GOP are surprised when there is a disagreement. If the founders of this nation had their way – one would imagine more of a mixture of ideals and political parties, rather than two large political parties holding sway over the states. It is, one would imagine what those grassroots activists, progressive and tea party, would dream about. To this mind, it is nothing more than – bluffing. To unseat two Conservative (Tea Party) Republicans’ in Michigan, by running Center Right (Moderate) Republican’s in a primary against said Conservatives, should the moderate win, then the seat would go to the Democrat – it is what the National GOP does best – especially in general elections. The DNC, to be fair, has had more practice with their Progressives, who now are in full control of the party, but it took decades to reach the point where they are today. To wit, this is just the beginning, and it is doubtful that those in the GOP have the ability to turn back the tide at this point in the game. That will mean more losses for standard GOP elites and more wins for those Tea Party type insurgents. It is taking time, but they need only look to the Progressives to see the end in sight.
Would it be better to have four, five or six major political parties? Of course, more would get done for the people as there would have to be more compromise, and the lobbyist would have to spread themselves thin, having less influence overall on the outcomes of legislation. It is changing the Major Political party from the inside out that is the preferred route for those who fear the deep pockets, rather than rely on the trust of the American People and build as best they can, over decades a third party.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Ted Cruz in Iowa, image Huffington Post.
One has to merely read a headline to be under the impression that Senator Ted Cruz (R) Texas is running for President in 2016. If one were to consider the field of candidates that has yet to be formed and is based purely on speculation (given where individuals choose to speak and to whom), then it makes sense to project a Cruz 2016 run. For example, his strong showing at the Values Voter’s summit straw poll, would suggest that he is indeed positioning. (CNN) The value placed on straw polls every general election cycle generally equates to investing in U.S. made Twinkies, given the number of straw poll winners who have not even made it out of the box (so to speak).
That said, a nod by the group of evangelicals would suggest an acceptance of Cruz and his principals, and should he decide to run, that fraction of the party amount to upwards of 20 million votes. Those are the voters, the evangelicals and certain tea party principals, who would not cast a vote merely because someone is branded a Republican (See Mitt Romney).
That said, the mere straw poll and acceptance by any given group does not indicate a run. Neither does visiting Iowa apparently, where Ted Cruz did appear at the Republican strongholds, including a Pheasant Hunt, this past weekend. The headlines screamed that surely this Ted Cruz Tea Party crazy person was going to run for President, however, if one reads the Des Moines Register article, entitled (of course): Le Mars welcomes Ted Cruz, possible 2016 run for president, with subtitle: But others protest the visit, calling the senator and Steve King 'crazy.', one finds that the story does its intended job – continues to fuel the speculation of a Cruz run, by demeaning him and other Tea Party members in the same breath. In the article, one has to read through to the bitter end where Cruz suggests:
But Cruz dismissed speculation about the 2016 presidential race after his speech. Just before getting into a car en route to the airport, Cruz told The Des Moines Register, “It is a tremendous honor to be here. The reception has been very warm, very encouraging, and my focus is on the substance of the battles that we have right now — to bring back jobs and economic growth. And right now the U.S. Senate is the battlefield. So 100 percent of my focus right now is on the U.S. Senate because that’s where these fights are being fought right now.
Since no-one on this earth knows what the wily Ted Cruz is thinking, then one might want to take the Senator at his word. Securing the Senate, with like minded conservatives would do two things: one with the current state of affairs it would ensure that the house and the Senate will be simpatico by 2016, second, should that occur, it would require a strong and steady hand at the helm of the Senate –and one can see Cruz as the Anti-Reid.
It is merely – speculation, however, as there are more than enough “potential candidates” as it is, and control of that body would ensure at least passage of land or votes on any number of bills that Harry Reid, the current majority leader of the Senate – blocks on a daily basis.
Of course, as that’s speculation, turning the Presidential Candidate speculation once again, it is not without note that Rick Santorum, who ran in 2012, and was trounced by Romney to finish a strong second, is suggesting on Sunday talk shows that “Cruz did more Harm than Good! (Politico). Of course, one might realize that this is the very same Santorum who was tutored by Newt Gingrich in the House that shut down the government – for real.
Looking for the usual from the national GOP – one has to factor in the “next guy’s turn” theory as to who may or may not get the nod from the power brokers as their candidate of choice in 2016. Usually that’s the guy who ran in the last general election, got second place to some other “next guy”, and is put up to the general public as some sort of “booby prize” Given circumstance, and forgoing some of Rick Santorum’s ,more Catholic craziness (or to the point, being a Catholic, which is today’s American counts as being crazy – maybe not as crazy as the Tea Party, but close), he might, if he moves center left (also known as moderate), just get the nod.
Who would Santorum face if that were to be the disastrous outcome? – Hilly Clinton perhaps? That is what is being touted now – a Clinton Candidacy – she’s even got George Soros at her back – yet…something just doesn’t feel right. There’s also that usual Progressive in the wings – that newest member of the Senate – the Senator from Massachusetts – Elizabeth Warren. With the Democrats, now more than ever, one cannot tell who is going to get the nod until they meet in Convention and throw the popular vote (in the Democrat Primary) and give the nod through super delegates (members of the Senate, Congress, their children, etc.) to someone other than the actual winner.
It is, therefore, a mystery at best at this point, as to who will be putting themselves up to roast by the media on the Republican side of the aisle, given a nod by the brain trust in DC (otherwise known as the RNC), and who knows what the DNC will throw at the general public this time around. One might see the dust settle a bit next year when the candidates begin to round up their staff’s, make multiple trips in their own name and vigorously tell the media – yes! I’m running for President!
As to Cruz, the media is putting a great deal of time into doing, what they perceive as damage, by demeaning, and demagoguing the man to pieces – yet that somehow translates into endearment by the base – should he, indeed decide to run, (which given the time the media is putting into his future plans), then one would think he should be well positioned – perhaps even well-position enough to roll over the usual “booby prize” – no shrinking violet with the press, one gets the impression that, if this does become the case, he would be a threat to all that is progressive, and possibly win hands down.