Category Archives: Jottings and Questions

My 3 Political Desires 2020

I am convinced there are three political objectives we must correct by 2020.  Do I believe we can do any of this? No.  But I still want to, who is interested in supporting my PAC?

1) Nationally, end gerrymandering of political districts and require bipartisan or multipartisan state judicial redistricting boards nominated by all stakeholders.  Force those members to base the district on population and convenience of meeting.  By convenience I mean if possible, make it convenient for people to attend meetings more easily.  It isn’t convenient for a person in the 1st district living in Luverne to drive 250 miles one way for a monthly meeting in Rochester.  And it isn’t convenient for either a person in in the 7th district living in Montevideo or a person living in Thief River Falls to drive to Detroit Lakes for a meeting.  Districts should be more square!

2) Eliminate the Electoral College and elect the President by popular vote, the same way we elect every other politician.  The person who gets the most votes is the winner.  In California, a Republican’s presidential vote does not count toward the presidential election, and in Kansas, a Democrat’s vote does not count.  Every vote should count!

3) Stop PACs from running political ads on public airwaves and make politicians appear in every ad via picture or video for their campaign.  If a campaign wants to attack another candidate, make the opposing candidate do it him or herself.  Also, make it illegal for a candidate to use the image of another candidate in their ads.  Let’s make people earn a vote!

In summary, square districts, every vote counts, and earn votes. Now I just need a catchy PAC name.

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Annette Meeks partying like it’s 1799 – Her absurd logic on keeping the electoral college.

Do you remember in 2010, when Republicans like Annette Meeks, Tom Emmer and Dave Thompson kept using the phrase, “it’s just common sense” when referring to changing the constitution to restrict a person’s ability to vote? Today, Annette Meeks, proves it is not at all about common sense. It is really an “it’s all about me” attitude and about protecting her own interests.

In an opinion piece in the StarTribune today titled “Lobbyists target Electoral College,” Ms. Meeks argues that the antiquated Electoral College should stay in place to elect presidents, rather than a majority of voters who vote in the election like we determine every other election. She states: “The current system works very well and ensures that states like Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin matter.” Here is where I am going with the selfish “it’s all about me” argument too many Republicans get caught up in. Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin matter in this scenario, but what about Kansas, Wyoming, California, Hawaii, or Nebraska? Are their votes less important Ms. Meeks? Because if the reason we matter is that our states are in play, and we live here, do the California voters who voted for Mitt Romney (5 million plus voters), or John McCain, George W. Bush, or Bob Dole, not matter? Because their votes have not counted in over 20 years. This system is an absurd out-of-date system that was established in the first place to keep the average person from choosing the president.

It is time for the Electoral College to go, and it is time for the President to be elected by Popular Vote. Just like every other election in America is decided.

It’s funny because when the fight was on to give women the right to vote, the system “worked very well” then too. Does that mean we shouldn’t have changed? The real reason Ms. Meeks and so many other Republicans don’t want this change is that the trends are showing more and more Democratic voters are voting. They are afraid that their extremist views and agenda driven gerrymandering will become a thing of the past, as more centrist candidates will be needed to win an election. Ms. Meeks is scared of losing her place in politics.

One thing I have learned about living in a very conservative district is that constant losing breeds voter apathy. When the main voting draw is the election of a president, how many more Republicans in California, or Democrats in Mississippi might go out to vote if they knew their vote actually meant something? Ms. Meeks is dead-wrong. This system doesn’t work. This system was designed to make voters irrelevant. The Electoral College is an archaic remnant of a time when white men owned slaves, women couldn’t vote, and cocaine was used to treat a child with a tooth ache.

Ms. Meeks, I won’t bother to say step into the 21st century. It is apparent you need to first try stepping into the 19th century.

Republicans are huge government spending hypocrites! We need to vote with compassion.

Did you read this story in the StarTribune about Chip Cravaack’s massive pay raises to his staff after he lost the election?

StarTribune 3/31/13: Lame-duck Cravaack handed out large raises to his staff

This is exactly why I vote for people who demonstrate love and compassion for people first. You cannot trust politicians when they say they will cut taxes or spending, or eliminate waste. But when a politician has demonstrated sincere concern for other humans, and cares how people and families live and survive, you know they will vote to make their lives better, even if they eventually fail on spending promises.

Chip Cravaack was a huge government spending hypocrite! He talked continuously about “what’s best for all Americans.” He attacked Oberstar and Nolan on trust, spending, and government waste. He was a TEA Partier, which should mean he is concerned about how our taxes are spent. And he voted to cut aid and college grants for many people who needed it. I think it is safe to say, he didn’t like “welfare.” But apparently that only applied to people he didn’t know personally. People who pledged an allegiance to him were fine getting welfare. When he lost the 2012 election, he gave his full-time staff and friends a 93% government pay raise for the final two months of their government employment. And worse yet, this government spending hawk, and welfare hater, admits he gave them government welfare. Cravaack said “at the end of the year, I maxed out everybody because I had no idea how long these guys would be out of work.” He gave them extra unemployment. If any of them claimed unemployment Americans paid them twice!

It wasn’t his money to dole out to his lackeys. This is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t trust politicians who care more about taxes than people. This is why I don’t trust politicians like Chip Cravaack, John Kline, Michelle Bachman, Tom Emmer, or Dave Thompson, whose solution to everything seems to be lower taxes and less government. I want politicians whose solution is to improve lives for the next several generations, not to give me an extra $50 at the end of the year. I believe these are self-righteous politicians who want control and prestige more than they really care about their ideals. If these politicians were Doctors rather than lawyers, they would have a God Complex, and a few that I’ve met might have that anyway. In the end, I think they will do what benefits themselves and their friends not what benefits the rest of us, despite what they say.

That’s why it is so unimaginable for me to vote for Republicans these days. I think at one time, there were Republicans who cared about the future and families, and still had plans for less spending. Now it seems caring about people is a bad thing in the Republican Party, and the world and those less fortunate are jokes to them. I can’t see myself voting for anybody other than a liberal in the near future. It is about compassion first, even if fiscal responsibility is second. That’s not happening on the right side of the aisle.

Step 1: Raise the debt ceiling. Step 2: Cut spending. It doesn’t work the other way.

So I called up my bank today and told them, “we have a spending problem here, and we need to do something about it.”  I told them, “my credit card is maxed, my spending is out of control, I mean look at my statement, $29 at Panda Express, $45 at Holiday, $20 bucks for a haircut?  Unless the bank does something about my spending problem, I am not going to be paying my mortgage or my Visa bill anymore.”

Silence.

Sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it?  But that is exactly what Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are doing about the debt ceiling.  The debt ceiling isn’t for future spending, it is for past spending.  Congress has already agreed to spend that money, and now Republicans are basically calling up taxpayers and saying, Congress has a spending problem, and the only way we can do anything about it is to become deadbeats and do what Donald Trump keeps doing and just quit paying the bills.  Sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it?

Here’s how you fix it.  Step one: raise the debt ceiling to account for what you have already spent.  Step two: cut future spending so you don’t have to worry about the debt ceiling anymore.  Hello? McFLy??

It isn’t that difficult.  Well maybe you need a step 1-1/2, get corporate money out of politics so politicians don’t spend money on crap to keep donors happy.

There is no good argument against new gun laws

Norway and Sweden have high gun ownership rates, but low gun murder rates.  Hunting is a big deal in those countries and people have guns for hunting.  They are also world leaders in target shooting as a sport.  BiathalonBut they don’t have automatic weapons, they have restrictions on handguns, limits to ammunition storage and purchasing, special rules for gun collectors, required gun safes, and applications to buy guns.  We can own guns, and we can be safe, but the NRA and gun fanatics and their hateful rhetoric are completely responsible for the inability in our country to develop and implement smart and safe gun rules.  The Brady Campaign was so important, and we have just forgotten about it because President Bush decided to ignore it instead of extending it to appease his and other Republican’s NRA cronies.  No specific gun crime can be traced back to the NRA or right-wing hate, but the rising number of occurrences, is directly related to politicians afraid of what the NRA can do.

It’s time to change things.