Theodore Roosevelt: Let Us Remember

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Source: AZ Quotes

It seems to me from this Theodore Roosevelt quote that he was arguing for both a progressive income tax and national service. A progressive income tax where Americans are taxed based on their ability to pay taxes.

The more money you make an earn on your own, the more in taxes that you would pay. For people in poverty they would pay the less if any in income taxes and people in the middle would pay a moderate level of income taxes. Which is the income tax system that America has right now, if you exclude the tax deductions and benefits that benefit corporations and wealthy individuals greatly. While middle class Americans other than being able to deduct their home mortgage interest and their state sales taxes, as well the child tax credit, tend to pay the U.S. Government (or Uncle Sam) what they owe by law in taxes. I believe its safe to say like its also safe to say that it snows in Minnesota in January, that Teddy Roosevelt wouldn’t be a fan of the modern American income tax system.

And then you look at the TR quote where he’s saying that as much that has been given must, much will be expected in return. Again, I believe he’s arguing for progressive taxation there, but he’s also arguing for national service and public service. That its a real privilege to live in and be born in America and we simply have the advantages that a lot of other people if not most people who are born and raised in other countries which is why we have the economic as well as personal freedom that we do, that we should be expected to give back to the country, because so much has been given to us. Not just in taxes but in public and national service to make the country a better place. Whether its military service, foreign service, law enforcement, becoming teachers, or volunteering for charities , that we should give back because so much as been given to us.

As strange as this might sound there is a lot of TR in the wealthiest and most successful of American families. The Bush Family has always believed in public service. The Roosevelt’s obviously, the Kennedy Family, the Rockefeller Family, the Carnegie Family, and many others. These great families believe that other Americans who didn’t grow up with the same advantages as they did and perhaps didn’t have any advantages at all, believe that the underprivileged deserve an hand up to help them have a better life in America. And not just through public policy, but through private charity and other non-profit organizations that serve the needy in America. Which is also a major part of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy.

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BBC Newsnight: Emily Maitlis Interviewing Kurt Anderson- Donald Trump and Fantasyland

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Source: BBC News

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Donald Trump and Fantasyland? Donald Trump is Fantasyland! Donald Trump is the President of Fantasyland! The United Donald of Fantasyland is the country that he presides over where facts don’t matter and even exist. “If Donald Trump says it, it must be true.” According the citizens of Fantasyland which is a fairly big country. Roughly 60 million people give or take voted for Donald Trump for President in 2016. If there was an amusement park called Fantasyland, Donald Trump would run the place. Well, he would probably just own it and instead hire someone who knows what they’re doing run the place for him instead.

About 46% of the vote, voted for Donald Trump for President. Not talking about Lebanon or some other country that might have an authoritarian government but is so small as well as poor that it doesn’t represent much if any threat to even its neighbors, let alone people around the world. Fantasyland is a country where everything that Donald Trump says especially about himself, of course is true. Because again we’re talking about Fantasyland where everyday is a marijuana high. Where facts don’t matter. If Donald Trump had to operate in the real world, take Planet Earth to use as an example, he would fail miserably because he would have to deal with truth all the time. Which is generally bad about him because lack basic human values. Like commonsense, maturity, character, decency, and unfortunately I could go on but I’ll spare you.

Albert Einstein once said about the truth that, “whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Donald Trump is a man who can’t even admit the simplest mistakes that he’s made in life. Like falling asleep one night on his phone when he was in the middle of tweeting something around 2AM. Or claiming that he had the largest crowd size ever for a presidential inauguration with the National Park Service, that was only in charge of the event contradicting the President of the United States hours later.

Donald Trump simply a man because of lack of knowledge as well as honesty, who mentally doesn’t operate in the real world. Says and sees things about himself and others that simply aren’t there. In some cases he’s simply lying, which of course is not uncommon with politicians, but in other cases he simply doesn’t know any better.

When you lose touch with reality or simply deny it and Donald Trump who is only the President of the United States unfortunately qualifies on both scores, you can’t be trusted. Because you’re dishonest and irresponsible. Anyone who trusts a dishonest person is asking to be screwed by that person. “I’m an idiot because I trust you, do your worst to me.” And the same goes with an irresponsible man who sees pigs flying in the air, three-million Americans voting illegally with absolutely no evidence to back that up.

I don’t enjoy saying these things about the President of the United States and have never been this harsh about any President including President Richard Nixon. But to quote Khaled Hosseini, “better to get hurt by the truth, than comforted with a lie.” The only way people can self-improve is to first know where they’re at fault. The only way Donald Trump could ever become an even decent President is to operate in the real world. And stop making things up and seeing things that simply don’t exist.

BBC Newsnight: Emily Maitlis Interviewing Kurt Anderson- Donald Trump and Fantasyland

Liberty Counsel: Newt Gingrich Q&A- Why Do You Admire Theodore Roosevelt?

Source: Liberty Counsel: Newt Gingrich Q&A- Why Do You Admire Theodore Roosevelt?

A lot of members of the Tea Party, sound like Libertarians on economic policy, even if they are Big Government Republicans when it comes to social policy and would like to outlaw a lot of personal activities including what people do in their own homes and privacy. Former Representative Michele Bachmann, former Governor Sarah Palin, Governor Scott Walker come to mind, Phyllis Schlafly from back in the day.

Newt Gingrich even though he has many things in common with the populist blue-collar wing of the Tea Party that now backs Donald Trump 100%, is not a Big Government Republican when it comes to either economic or social policy. He doesn’t want government taxing and regulating private business’s to the point where they’re essentially public utilities that are owned by shareholders. But he’s not a Libertarian either or even a Conservative-Libertarian. He believes in a big strong national defense and strong law enforcement, as well as low taxation and regulation. But he does believe in limited regulation not to run business’s, but to protect consumers and workers from predators.

Theodore Roosevelt was a Progressive Republican and so is Newt Gingrich. Where they differ on the issues, is anyone’s guess. They both believe in a strong America both economically, but also militarily and believe America can be positive force working with our allies around the world. And they both believe that government has a limited role in helping people achieve success for themselves. Neither one of them are Liberal and certainly in Teddy Roosevelt’s case, not a Conservative. But both believe in using a limited government to help build a better America by empowering people to take control of their own lives. And seeing that America is as strong and safe as possible. This is why they’re both Progressives and both Republicans.

 

James Michl: The O’Reilly Factor- Glenn Beck Talking To Bill O’Reilly About Newt Gingrich

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Source: James Michl

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I just have a flat disagreement with Glenn Beck on what a Progressive is and also find myself on this weird planet if not universe, where I’m agreeing with Bill O’Reilly on anything. I wasn’t sure I could agree with Bill O’Reilly about current weather in Miami or how many states are part of the United States, because Bill is wrong about so many things. But he’s right about Newt Gingrich at least in the sense that what was a Progressive in the early 20th Century about being someone who is about progress and using government to help create that progress and what’s supposed to pass as a Progressive today (like the Cleveland Browns trying to pass as an NFL franchise) , are two completely different things.

According to Glenn Beck a Progressive and a Socialist, are the same thing. Hell, why not add Communist and say being a Communist is the same thing as being a Progressive. Even though most of the Communist ideology is regressive with how authoritarian it is and all the rights and freedom that people would lose if Communists were to some how come into power even though democratic means. Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive. Bernie Sanders, Socialist. The Progressive doesn’t want a government dominated society where most if not all of our social benefits and economic security, is provided by government and financed through our taxes. The Democratic Socialist at least, doesn’t want government completely in charge of society. But our individual freedom and personal income, would be much more limited if Democratic Socialists were to ever come to power.

Newt Gingrich is obviously not a Libertarian, or a Nationalist, has some things in common with the Christian-Right, but doesn’t roll with them on all their policies. Not a Conservative-Libertarian either, but he’s a Progressive in a conservative sense. Someone who believes in using government to create progress, but through conservative free market principles. For example, instead of just having people on public assistance just stay there and give them some money, Newt would say that those people should be looking for and getting work, as well as education so they can get themselves a good job and no longer need public assistance at all. As a condition of receiving that taxpayer funded public assistance. With is very different from a Libertarian who says that government shouldn’t be involved in public welfare at all. And a Socialist saying that government should guarantee a basic income for everyone with no conditions.

For perhaps the first time in my life I find myself in agreement with Bill O’Reilly on anything. I don’t even drink alcohol, let alone use illegal narcotics but it feels like I’m on some high and seeing things that shouldn’t be there. Like Donald Trump being President of the United States. Wait, that actually did happen. But O’Reilly’s idea of a Progressive is inline with Teddy Roosevelt’s, as well as mine. That progressivism is about progress. That the first eight letters in the word progressive is actually progress. And that being a Socialist is about socialization and using government to solve most if not all the problems in the country. With Glenn Beck believing that Progressive is another word for Socialist. Someone who believes in big government. Even though a Socialist is lot more ideological than a Progressive would actually ever be.

James Michl: The O’Reilly Factor- Glenn Beck Talking To Bill O’Reilly About Newt Gingrich

HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- Monologue: Sweet Home Alabama

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Source: HBO

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I’m not from Alabama and have never even actually spent a day in Alabama, but I get two things out of this story. One, that this behavior (assuming Roy Moore is guilty) is actually normal and if Roy Moore wasn’t running for the U.S. Senate, maybe it wouldn’t have become news. I mean, you had Republican leaders in that state saying what Moore is accused of are gifts from Good and natural acts. I’m paraphrasing, but thats pretty close.

That if Moore wasn’t the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate that this story would have never come out. The women wouldn’t have come out because no one in Alabama including the media there, would have taken them seriously, let alone bothered to look into the allegations. Once Roy Moore not just declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate and then won the GOP nomination, is when this story became a national story.

The Senate is part of Congress obviously and a Federal institution and not many people more powerful in the country than a U.S. Senator. And not many institutions covered more closely than Congress, because of how important it is. Which is why you had a Washington Post reporter covering a Alabama Senate race in Alabama and the women going to The Post to talk about their allegations. Now, if Roy Moore was running for State Senate in Alabama representing Gadsden, Alabama, then this story wouldn’t be a big deal. Again, we wouldn’t have heard from the women because they wouldn’t have been taken seriously. And again, to go back to Alabama as a state, this behavior seems to at least be acceptable to the Christian-Right there. Which is more of a religious cult than anything else.

The other thing that I get from the Roy Moore story is that this is Alabama. Anyone left to wonder the Alabama is seen as a backwards redneck neanderthal state that was in a statewide coma during most of the 20th Century and would only come out of their coma to prevent African-Americans from exercising their constitutional rights as American citizens. So of course a lot of Alabama is not aware of what has been going on in America in the last ten years or so, let alone the 20th Century, because they still believe America is in a pre-civil war area. And that women should be nothing more than servants to men. So why not teenage girls being servants to men and their sexual needs. At least this is the perception of Alabama and not just for Washington, or New York, or San Francisco, but Atlanta and a lot of the state of Georgia which is a neighbor of Alabama.

HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- Monologue: Sweet Home Alabama

Andrew Kaczynski: Newt Gingrich- ‘I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican’

Source: Andrew Kaczynski: Newt Gingrich- ‘I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican’

This video is about the 2012 Republican presidential primaries when Newt Gingrich was doing well in December, 2011 and January, 2012 and even won South Carolina in January. And was a real threat to defeating the so-called Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney for the presidential nomination. Mitt only won 1-3 of the first three primaries which was New Hampshire which of course is in his backyard and represents his own progressive Northeastern brand of Republicanism. Which is ironic since the Romney Campaign went out of their way to label Newt Gingrich as a Progressive, because Mitt Romney up until he decided to run again for president in 2007 and then again in 2011, was essentially a Progressive Republican himself.

I would label Newt Gingrich’s politics as a Conservative who believes in using government to achieve progressive goals through conservative principles. Using government to reduce things like poverty, but through conservative policies. Things like requiring work and education for people who are on public assistance. So they can improve themselves while they’re on Welfare or Unemployment Insurance, living in Public Housing, so they no longer need those public benefits and can become self-sufficient. Conservatives wants fewer people in poverty and on public assistance as well, but instead of saying we’re just going to eliminate those programs, Newt’s approach was to instead using those programs effectively so people would no longer need them because now they can get themselves a good job.

Newt’s politics are conservative and believes in things like low taxes, low regulation, strong national defense, strong long enforcement, fiscal responsibility and not running high deficits and debt, but he also believes in limited regulations and needing at least some taxation so we can fund the things that government should do. Including an effective safety net for people who truly need it, but use it to help people become self-sufficient and no longer need public assistance at all. Instead of saying that government should do practically nothing other than national defense, homeland security, law enforcement, foreign affairs. Which is more of a libertarian approach to government.

 

College Humor: Visiting Home is Weird on Thanksgiving

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Source: College Humor

Source: College Humor: Visiting Home is Weird On Thanksgiving

To paraphrase the great Johnny Carson, Thanksgiving is that one day a year that we spend visiting our relatives that we hate. And then discover why we don’t see them very often and just once a year. Hate, might be too strong of a word here. Or at the very least worth debating if its too strong of a word in this case. I don’t actually have any relatives that I hate (that I know of) and my family is relatively small even if you include both of my in laws.

Thanksgiving is that one day a year where we can be proud of the fact that 1/2 Americans are obese, because one of the major activities during Thanksgiving is of course not just eating, but seeing how much you can eat before you break the chair you’re sitting on or literally lose everything you’re eating. And not because the food is bad but because you overindulged. Perhaps the number one motivation for actually seeing those relatives that you spend 364 days a year pretending you don’t even know, because you know at least the food will be good and more importunely it will be free.

Not to make too much about Thanksgiving because it is literally that one day a year where we can celebrate eating, which just happens to be one of my favorite holidays. As well as little things like being thankful for what we have and thank our military personal for the great job they do protecting our country so we can celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving. But there reasons why all of us have relatives and even close relatives like siblings and even parents that we not only not see very often, but stay away from and not even communicate other than maybe email and its not just because of physical distance. Some of that distance is personal as well.

Relatives might be that only group of people where you have so much in common with those people physically and as far as DNA and everything else and yet you seem so different from them personally. And end up socializing more not just with your friends, but your coworkers and even clients, because personally you’re more in touch with those people, than you are with people who have the same face, or eyes, or hair, like your parents and siblings, or even grandparents. And its not because you’re a bad person or your relatives are bad people. Well, in most cases thats true, but because no one knows you better than your siblings and parents. And they probably know you better than anyone else.

Our relatives know all of our strengths and weakness and we know all of their strengths and weaknesses as well. We know each other so well and like the Americans that we are we tend to focus on the things about people that we don’t like even to the point that we try to change people that are close to us to make them more like us or more acceptable to us. And tend to forget about the things that we have in common with the people that we’re supposed to love like our relatives. And we end up driving each other crazy and go a year or years without seeing each other. Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity every year to be thankful for what we have and not dwell on what we don’t have. And an opportunity to discover our relatives again and hopefully see why maybe we should get together more often in the future.