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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

No Longer A Proud, Exceptional Country

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 01/12/18 15:14

by Dave Mindeman

I have paid attention to the political world for a long time. But I have never been so exasperated by an administration like this. And what is even more frustrating is that the Republican party - the so called fiscally conservative party, the law and order party, the moral values party - yes, that party, has become a completely unrecognizable party with little or no core values anymore.

Trump has debased political language even further than it was before...and it was bad. He has taken no responsibility for anything. He has made no secret of his core racism. He makes money off the presidency. He has turned our foreign relations into a hodge podge of who is better at complementing him and our core allies have no idea where they stand.

It is increasingly clear that no matter how many times he says there was no collusion.....there was. And the cover ups, the lies, the distortions....they are reckless and dangerous...and few take the word of the White House as even close to the truth.

How can we call this a democracy? How can we call this actual governance? Trump does not care about tradition, human rights, equal opportunity, or the basics of the middle class. This is all about enriching those who are already rich. And about holding power at the expense of relationships with other countries.

Who would look up to a country run like this? What moral example are we sharing? What is exceptional about our country with corruption so evident?

It is hard to know what to say. As long as Trump is our President, there is little to be proud of about America.

This must be changed.
comments (5) permalink

AG Sessions Wants To Go Back To Fed Marijuana Enforcement #Bad

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 01/04/18 09:41

by Dave Mindeman

Our drug policies are a nightmare and AG Jeff Sessions is about to make them impossible. Marijuana is not a dangerous drug. It is not a gateway drug. It HAS medicinal value.

The future is clear. Marijuana will be a legal drug for medicinal and recreational use. For AG Jeff Sessions to take us back to the "mad reefer" days and the foolish incarceration of marijuana possession is just ridiculous.

We have an opioid crisis - everybody agrees on that. But pain is also a serious problem and we do not have many alternatives. Marijuana could be one. And not just for pain, but it shows promise in epilepsy, autism, muscle diseases, and neurological function. And yet, we are prevented from researching these possibilities by archaic drug policy.

The war on drugs is over. Drugs won. And frankly, that is a good thing. We don't have to create new criminals. Let marijuana join the ranks of cigarettes and alcohol. Regulate it but make it legal.

AG Sessions is a proponent of an archaic past. He has not progressed out the '60's - the part of the regressive sixties, when we feared duck and cover and Cheech and Chong. Drug laws on marijuana have become a farce. We overcrowd the jails with non-violent offenders - who sometimes become career criminals because of being jailed for these drug laws.

Law enforcement has bigger problems to deal with -- free them up to combat the dangerous criminal behavior. Jailing a person for getting the munchies after a stoking session is as dumb as it sounds. We handcuff the police on guns and we waste their time on marijuana enforcement.

Sessions may personally have bigger things to worry about. Maybe he will get to know those marijuana "criminals" up close and personal after he is indicted himself..... for real crimes.
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8 Ways To Solve Some Problems

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 12/30/17 21:50, Edited: 12/31/17 12:22

by Dave Mindeman

As a way to end the year, here are a few things that I believe would solve some of our myriad of problems....

1. Legalize Marijuana - When you talk about the opioid epidemic, there is too much talk about opioids and too little talk about alternatives. And marijuana is definitely an alternative worth exploring. The stigma around pot needs to end and the criminality surrounding it needs to be reviewed. We have never really studied the medicinal value of marijuana because we have been too busy criminalizing it. Evaluate it on merits and maybe, just maybe, we have an answer to opioid addiction.

2. Independent panels for drawing Congressional lines. Face it. Congressional representatives do not answer to the people they represent. They only answer to a tribal base and donors. That is because the drawing of legislative lines have been turned into partisan advantages and both parties are guilty of it. Lines that are drawn for the sake of geography and not based on selecting voters will change that dynamic and make representation more accountable.

3. End the electoral college. We have entered a period of minority rule. Trump didn't get the most votes and neither did the Republicans in the Senate and the House. A similar effect has occurred in state legislatures. Is that what our democracy has become? A method of voter manipulation? Abolishing the electoral college would require a Constitutional amendment, but ending its influence can be done by allowing states to mandate their electoral votes to go to the winner of the popular vote - once states with a total of 270 votes have done this, the electoral college result is moot.

4. Universal automatic voter registration. Once a person reaches the age of 18, they still have to sign up for selective service. So why not have them automatically join the voter roles at the same time. This idea that people have to register themselves is anathema to the democratic process. Every citizen should have the right to vote. If they choose not to exercise it, that is their decision. But to make it difficult to register is ridiculous.

5. Universal background checks for gun purchases. I still do not understand why this is not the law of the land? Purchasing guns is a universal right in America but the rest of us have the right to make sure the gun purchaser can use it responsibly and doesn't have a criminal background. This is not hard. It should not be the least controversial.

6. Obamacare. It's simple. The ACA can be fixed. A public option. Reinsurance for the private market. Reinstate the individual mandate. If we had the political will to fix it, it can be done. A stable health care market would do wonders for the economic engine. Much more than this ridiculous tax bill will do. It will take a Democratic majority and real Democratic will to do it - but that option is there if Republicans would get out of the way.

7. Infrastructure. There is always a lot of talk about infrastructure and it is usually bipartisan. But nothing gets done because we keep bleeding the US Treasury of money via tax cuts. The way to really do this is to impose a surtax on corporations and hedge funds and then actually do it. Fix the bridges. Build the light rail. Get rid of the highway gridlock. The money to do this has always been there, but it keep getting reshuffled to the 1%.

8. End Citizens United. Most of our political problems continue to be derived from big money in politics. A constitutional amendment which would, once and for all, tell the courts that money is not speech and corporations are not people, is a necessary component to solve this problem. The Bible says, the love of money is the root of all evil. In politics, money is the root of bad government.
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