Category Archives: Politics: National

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

It’s true.  It DOES take a village to succeed in life.  You need family, friends, neighbors and networks to survive in the world – you can’t do it alone.

Yet I cringe when I hear the phrase.  That’s my issue.

Anywho – I’m surprised at the tone of The Atlantic:

How do single moms with few resources and little income survive?

“They trade, they bargain, they strategize, they give each other daycare help, they share housing and food—women learn to strategize their way through all of these resources,” Suzanne Morrissey, a professor at Whitman College who has studied these families, told me.

Research suggests that while two-parent families may be isolated islands of efficiency, single parents—even poor ones—rely on an ever-expanding social network to get by. That social network has become even more important in the wake of welfare reform, when women who couldn’t find work could no longer count on cash assistance, and had to depend on their families and friends.

“It was really piecing together help from family and friends, letting bills stay unpaid, and in some of the more dire situations, they doubled up with friends and other family members because housing is such a big cost,” said Kristin Seefeldt, a professor at the University of Michigan who recently released a study about the strategies used by low-income parents in the wake of welfare reform.

I remember being low income.  I had a roommate and often times roomMATES.  We shared many things; food, rent, cars, utilities and yes – money.

In fact, I vividly remember having conversations with my main man that should either of us find ourselves in the position of having a kid out of wedlock that we would BOTH work to support that child – whatever came our way.

Why is that a bad thing?

Also, and I can’t let this slip, especially after my post on ‘social contract‘, when does single mom become a choice as opposed to an unwanted aspect of life?

Syracuse resident Brandi Davis, a 35-year-old mother of five, has been on public assistance since she was 18 years old. She asks her parents and grandmother to watch her kids when she’s working her minimum-wage job at the grocery store, and sometimes her older children help out, too. The help is necessary, especially since the jobs available to Davis, who has a GED, mostly pay minimum wage.

Beginning at adulthood, young Ms. Davis has never cared for herself yet has brought 5 children into this world.

Five.

Does society’s obligation have limits?

Restroom Solution

No Stalls

With all of the hullabalu created by the liberal democrats in Charlotte regarding potty policy, I humbly suggest an easy and economical solution.

One room, no stalls and no sexual discriminating facilities.

Simple.

This doesn’t discriminate on sex, biological or identify, and allows for maximum usage based on events that might skew based on gender – home craft show vs. fishing expo.

In real life,  I ran track in high school and when we traveled to Fairmont, MN the field house for the men was configured in this manner.  One large room with 4 toilets in the center – no walls creating stalls at all.  Two sinks in the corner.

Similarly, in the 7th and 8th grades I was introduced to ‘public showering’ in PE and then in after school sports.  12-13-14 year old boys showered in this:

Gang shower.2

One giant room with 8-10 shower heads where we all showered together.  My freshman year at the University of Minnesota – same thing.

In high school, the showers transitioned to this:

Gang shower.1
Post showers with 4-5 heads per pedestal.  Two pedestals per shower room.

If you think that North Carolina’s HB2 is discriminatory or offensive or distasteful, then step forward and support complete and total gender agnostic bathroom and shower facilities in our Jr. and Sr. High Schools.

Anyone?

Where The Liberal Confronts Proper Role of Government

Role of Government

I often harp on the proper role of government.  In fact, it’s a favorite topic of mine.

“Yes, programs that provide milk to mothers are good for the mothers and the children, but is that the proper role of government?”

So you can imagine my excitement when I was confronted with a liberal questioning if a particular policy was, indeed, the role of government.  After all, it is the fall back position of the liberal to use the coercive force of the state to force compliance for an otherwise unpopular program.

“Don’t wanna voluntarily donate money to the plight of the spotted owl?  Fine, I’ll elect 2 new county commissioners and force you to pay taxes to do just that.”

Anyway, to the chase:

Is this the role government ought to be playing in people’s lives? John Stuart Mill condemned such efforts, writing, “The only purpose for which power may be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.”

People may make bad choices, Mill and others argue. But that’s one of the costs of a free society. And it’s not as though government intervention is risk-free: The government may make even worse decisions on people’s behalf. Or, when it treats them like children, why expect that they will ever act like adults?

What sorcery this?  Who has swooped in and transformed my liberal into a rock-ribbed conservative?  What government over reach could they possibly be protesting?

Or, as described below:

But the Worcester program goes a step beyond many of these initiatives, as the penalty for not complying is so great.

Jeepers!  What horribleness could this be?

“IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Residents Required to Go to Work/Attend School.” As long as they weren’t disabled or over 55, the letter elaborated, at least one member of each household had to go to work or school, or risk eviction.

Bullshit!

How dare the government over reach when applying conditions to government over reach!?

Yes, you read that right.  Forget the fact that confiscating my money to pay for someone else’s home is somehow not over reach, the radical idea that such a recipient should work or learn a skill enabling work IS over reach is only  possible in the mind of the leftist.

 

HB2

Big group of isolated small people in a line

It would seem that North Carolina is the talk of the ball.  Of course, it all centers on HB2.

So, last I left you I was writing that North Carolina passed a law that said restrooms were to be used by people based on their sex.  And by sex, NC means the sex listed on their birth certificate.  I was wrong – kinda.

North Carolina has said that in schools and state building restroom policy is based on sex, yes.  However, the bill now law, also says that individual business owners may craft their OWN restroom policy as they see fit.  Cities may not – North Carolina has stated that such powers are not granted to cities.

Also in the bill, now law, are the following:

  • Cities may not raise minimum wage
  • Employees may not use state law to sue employers for wrongful termination
  • There is no ‘protected class’ extensions for folks based on sexual orientation or identity

In order, my take on each.

The United States is built on the concept of state sovereignty – states have the power, not the federal government or the cities within it.  It is fully within the state of North Carolina’s authority to grant cities THEIR authority.  And having common wage levels across the state can make sense.

The decision not to allow folks to sue using state law is a bit of a head scratcher for me.  I fully admit to the possibility that this is bad policy.

The most controversial aspect of the law is the protected class portion.  I can absolutely understand the very strong and the very real desire to include such protections for the LGBT community – and, as a practical matter, such protections should be included.  However.

There is always a however.  As a libertarian, my natural inclination is to say that there should be no law restricting the right of association.  That is, people may freely choose to associate, or not, for any reason under the canopy of heaven.

Don’t like me because I have long hair?  Don’t hire me.

Don’t like me because I am fiscally conservative?  Fine – don’t associate with me.

Don’t like me because I’m a Viking fan?  Good – don’t invite me into your Cheese Head bar.

Now, before you bash me for hating, hear this.  Discrimination based on race, orientation, identify or religion indicates that you are ignorant.  And an ass.

I just don’t think that being a dumb ass should be illegal.

Now, for the record, here are the OTHER states that don’t extend protected class status to the LGBT community:

Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indian, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alaska.

Where is the righteous rage in these jurisdictions?

Money and Politics

Donars.2014

The way we hear democrats scream about outside money in politics, you would be sure that all the money was going to republicans.  But that wouldn’t be true.

I went to Open Secrets and found the data from the 2014 cycle.  Interesting.

In the top 10, only 1 – the 10th place listing, goes to republicans.  In 9th, the break is nearly 50-50.

The top 8 are all democrat donors.

And the demonized Koch brothers?  14th.

 

 

Upside Down: Wherein The Liberal Agrees With Pino

Upside Down

After all this time, The Atlantic agrees with Pino.

First, the backstory.

For the better part of a decade, and really longer because I’m only counting the time I have been engaged in a structured format, I’ve been frustrated by the debate when discussing events of the day with my more liberal friends.

“We need to raise the minimum wage!”

“I disagree, I would rather that wage remain lower.  After all, we want to empower more and more people to work for compensation they’re willing to work for.”

“You are greedy and hate poor people!”

I walk away frustrated.  Frustrated not because my ideas were shown to be incorrect or flawed, but rather that I lost the opportunity to debate those ideas.  I didn’t know how to interact.

I’ve seen my flaw.  Above, my friend isn’t working to change *my* mind, he’s working to change the minds of the people *listening* to us.  If he can make me greedy and hateful, he can associate that with my policies.   He’s deftly switching policy for intention and has ZERO interest in having an open and earnest discourse.

The trick, of course, is to make explicit as soon as possible that we both have the same intention, whatever that might be.  We just differ on the path.

How delicious then, to see that the inmates are running the asylum:

Hundreds of Yale students are attacking them, some with hateful insults, shouted epithets, and a campaign of public shaming. In doing so, they have shown an illiberal streak that flows from flaws in their well-intentioned ideology.

The only aspect in which I disagree with ‘The Atlantic’ is the manner in which they make this tactic appear like an ‘oops’.  It’s not.  It’s deliberate and it’s horrible.

Why Republicans Are Exercised About Voter ID

Immigration

Contrary to popular Democratic shoe banging, Republicans are not passing voter ID laws to restrict poor and minority voters from voting.  Republicans are passing voter ID laws because Democrats want illegal aliens to vote – and those people vote for Democrats:

Are voters ready to let illegal immigrants vote? A sizable number, including most Democrats, are.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that one-out-of-three Likely U.S. Voters (35%) now believes that illegal immigrants should be allowed to vote if they can prove they live in this country and pay taxes. Sixty percent (60%) disagree, while five percent (5%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Democrats think tax-paying illegal immigrants should have the right to vote. Twenty-one percent (21%) of Republicans and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major political party agree.

Note – this is not LEGAL immigrants, still not citizens mind you, but ILLEGAL immigrants.

Democrats want to extend this right only because illegal immigrants vote Democratic.

 

President Obama – His Legacy

Obama Rushmore

Lots of talk about Obama and his place in history.  We recently passed the day marking less than 18 months to go before he moves back to Chicago.  So it’s natural to look back and try to identify where he is going to rate.

Not surprisingly, such placements are pretty heavy on the ‘partisan’ influence – for example, Democrats are gonna remember Carter more fondly.  And the same holds for Republicans and Bush the Elder.

Given this, I was very surprised to see the liberal leaning news channel CNN report on the legacy of President Reagan and the as of yet incomplete legacy of President Obama:

(CNN)This may be President Obama’s time, but it’s still Ronald Reagan’s era.

Obama has helped negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, normalized relations with Cuba, and watched his approval ratings recently hit a two-year high after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obamacare. But has he become a “transformational” president like Ronald Reagan?

“He’s simply plowing the ground Reagan cleared 30 years ago,” says Tom Nichols, a political blogger and author of a column “Fantasyland: Obama Is No Ronald Reagan,” referring to Obama’s policies on nuclear weapons and his agreement with Iran.

Shocking.  But there’s more:

But we took the comparison a step further. We asked a group of historians and political scientists from the left and right to describe the qualities that make a president transformational. We also asked whether Obama lines up more favorably against Reagan now that he’s reached a deal with Iran.

The consensus was quick. Even those historians who personally disliked Reagan say Obama still hasn’t matched the Gipper — at least not yet.

Here are four reasons why:

  • Transformational Presidents change the conversation

  • Transformational Presidents deliver great lines

  • Transformational Presidents poach followers from the enemy’s camp

  • Transformational Presidents become beloved figures

President Obama will be remembered as historic; he will be the first black man elected President.  But he won’t be remembered for his accomplishments.

Further, Obama’s accomplishments aren’t that heady.

Obamacare remains a massively controversial program passed in the dead of the night with a congress consisting of 60 democrats.  To date, not one single republican has voted for the program.  Further, it was only finally passed through budget reconciliation.

And we don’t know if the program will do what it says it will.  But we DO know that government is incapable of managing large projects.

Cuba, while great policy, is largely insignificant.

And Iran will be remembered not so much a victory of negotiation and statesmanship as a situation in which we were led to water.  The coalition behind the sanctions was crumbling and nothing we had control of would or will prevent Iran from obtaining a bomb.

America is more divided now than before Obama and the ‘gaps’ the left hates have grown, not shrunk.

We don’t know that Obama is better than Jimmy much less ranking as one of the greatest.

Battle For the Senate -2014 Election Tracker

Republican vs Democrat

Tuesday is a big day – the control of the Senate will be decided as 36 Senate seats are up for election.  For fun I’ve been watching the polling and have been keeping track of the races.  My spreadsheet is below and shows the races not up for election and the ones I’ve called:

 

Contest Republican Democrat
Not 2014 Election 30 34
Kansas
Georgia
Iowa
North Carolina
Alaska
Colorado 1
Louisiana 1
New Hampshire 1
Arkansas 1
Minnesota 1
Kentucky 1
West Virginia 1
Michigan 1
Virginia 1
New Mexico 1
South Dakota 1
Mississippi 1
Illinois 1
Oregon 1
South Carolina 1
Maine 1
Tennessee 1
Deleware 1
Montana 1
South Carolina 1
New Jersey 1
Nebraska 1
Idaho 1
Massachhusetts 1
Hawaii 1
Rhode Island 1
Texas 1
Oklahoma 1
Oklahoma 1
Wyoming 1
Alabama 1
Total Seats 49 46

Going into the election I have Republicans needing 2 to win and Democrats needing 4.  The races in play are listed above.

Stay tuned for election night results.

The One Percenters

 

1 percentTalking to a friend today and the concept of the 1% came up.

Who are the 1%:

  • Roughly 80 percent of millionaires in America are the first generation of their family to be rich.
  • Roughly a third were entrepreneurs or managers of nonfinancial businesses.
  • Nearly 16 percent were doctors or other medical professionals.
  • NYU sociologist Dalton Conley says that “higher-income folks work more hours than lower-wage earners do.”
  • The top 1 percent pay 36.7 percent of all federal income taxes
  • They earn just 16 percent of all income