Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Maybe never?

This week, we were going to attempt a more upbeat post and articulate our position that everything will be fine...eeeeee-ventually. However, after the less-than-earnest State of the Union address last Tuesday evening, and the resulting (idiotic) responses from the GOP, well, let's just say we are less than optimistic. Certainly, we've been left with more questions than answers. When will we even acknowledge the questions, let alone seek the answers? Maybe never?


One very large question is, how can two points of view regarding one subject (the economy) be so diametrically opposed. Listening to the president, we have turned the corner and all economic indicators are trending upward...conversely, the GOP (response and later commentary) says we have little for which to be hopeful. Of course, it's somewhere in between and we here at MediaCopp try to lean toward the positive, but this week, it's difficult...


How are we going to make (any of) this work? Even on education? We the people don't agree that Community College for all is a right and hell, we can't even agree that it's a good thing. I WAS hoping we'd be able to start there--that it could indeed be a good thing--but the president, as is his right, went straight for the "rights" argument. Of course, he can't be blamed...the Republicans hear any type of proposal from the president and immediately say "no."


So, let me be the arbiter? Let's agree that college is a good thing. Okay? Now, let's also agree that everyone who wants to go to college should be allowed to go to college. Still with me? All right. Next, can we stipulate the poor should be allowed to attend college for free, if they fulfill ALL the requirements? Oops, so we've got a few "Negative Nellie's" out there? Well then, what would it take to get you on board...NOT that we need to do anything since poor people already get free college. A buy-in of some sort? I mean, besides showing up. Mr. President? How 'bout it? Good...


Now, let's move toward the "free college for all" portion of today's game. What would it take for you, Mr. Republican, to agree to this...and how we pay for it? Oh, you don't want to tax the rich, because you say it will trickle down to the middle class...and you also don't want to add to the National Debt to accomplish this. All right then, how about another buy-in, this time a public/private partnership with folks who sign up under the middle class section of the program also commit to employment in the sector to repay the middle class enrollee's "sponsor?" Sound good? Good...


Now isn't that better than being the party of "no?" Or being an out-of-touch, fuzzy math President? What do you mean, "when Hell freezes over?"

Monday, January 19, 2015

State of the...

This week, President Obama will give his State of the Union (SOTU) address...and many believe he has a lot for which to be proud. He has been able to accomplish much of his agenda despite the Democrat Party only holding full legislative control for the first two years of his presidency. The GOP was able to thwart action on many pressing national issues, like immigration, tax reform, and minimum wage, but he was still able to get the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed which altered the national landscape and many say will be his signature achievement...


"What the hell are you talking about? He's done nothing...we're still fighting overseas, wages remain depressed, he hasn't even closed Guantanamo like he promised." Norm...is that you? I guess I should introduce you...Norm is another one of my alter egos, a progressive living in Davis, CA, who works for the University (and yes, he drives a Prius). Thanks for chiming in...but you know a transformation doesn't occur overnight. You should pay attention to what he has to say Tuesday night and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.


Much of his big ticket items have already been leaked and there has been grumbling from the GOP. As I explained last week, it will be useless to oppose the "Free Community College for all," plan.  One only need look at the last six years to see the futility of such a tact.  For instance, the "party of no," will immediately say we can't afford the program all the while allotting another increase to the Pentagon for more overseas adventures...and the media will take note...and attack...


A better approach would be to agree that everyone willing to put in the time and effort deserves a chance...this also goes for the other items on the president's agenda, including paid family leave, mandatory sick leave for "workers," and low interest loans for the poor and others who might not be able to qualify for a conventional mortgage.


"I am nothing if not a fair-minded liberal, but didn't we already do that...I mean, the home loans for the poor? Didn't that lead to the 07-08 meltdown?" Remember, Norm, that was the banks' fault...and big business, you know, Bush's recession...the government was not involved in the slightest, except for when the GOP deregulated the industry, causing the entire economy to collapse. We have a much better leadership team this time and won't let the Republicans get their evil talons on any part of this...the president has his veto pen and he will not hesitate to use it. This time, he is even proposing tax hikes for the wealthy...to insure there won't be another collapse...


So, there you have it...the president will provide the answers Tuesday evening. Don't worry...even if he can't get a majority to see the vast improvement these policies will have on all Americans, it will at least get the discussion started...after all, Rome wasn't built in a day. Have no fear, this national transformation will eventually come to fruition...yes, eeeeee-ventually...


To be continued...


Monday, January 12, 2015

Are we not men?

No, not being a "misogynist,"...when I use the term "men," I mean it in the generic sense...as in grown ups...adult human beings...you know? Now that's cleared up, let's continue...when I spoke of helping you (us) find better ways to navigate through the Obama recess...er, I mean, recovery, I began thinking about something my then teenage son once told me when I asked why he couldn't or wouldn't do something...he said, "it's not going to be good enough for you, so why should I even try?" I always thought that was kind of a lame excuse, but I see this same mindset among many of us today.


Yes, the media embraces and enhances much of this mindset...but it starts with leadership. The narrative could easily be contradicted by offering clear, concise AND documented alternatives or improvements to the present administration's policies. Many say we have, but it is usually reported only on Fox News and no where else...so, if they or any of us want to be seen as something more than my teenage son, we need to sound off...trumpet clear concise alternatives from the highest mountain...to EVERY policy introduced by the president...AND most of all, stop simply saying no...because doing that, we leave definition of the narrative up to the media, who are after all, only a wing of the Democrat Party.


Let's start with the "free community college for all" announcement by the president. The response right away was, "how are we going to pay for it," and "it's just another liberal entitlement program that does nothing to help the middle class." In other words, to our media, it's anti-Obama or just plain racist. Here's a better response..."what a great idea! We are rewarding Dreamers with free college so let's also help the struggling middle class." Then, use the president's own words to "fine tune" this proposal so it's not just another giveaway program...we agree that "everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules."


THAT...is what needs to happen...whether we're talking about free community college...or creating jobs for the middle class...or even fighting global terrorism...so what if he refuses to call it Islamic extremism. Wouldn't you rather do SOMETHING to answer the terrorists...than complain about the president's symbolic reaction to terror? Do you want to "be a man," and work hard(er)...or a boy who won't even try because the media says it won't be enough?

Monday, January 5, 2015

All right, we're back...

It's been awhile...but I'm back...just like the Aaron Rodgers' State Farm commercial with Hans and Franz...you know, some bits are just so good, they keep coming back. You know who else is back? Barack Obama! That's right, he's back...and at the top of his game...you know, the game to transform America into his vision of fairness, where "everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."


So, how's he doing? Well, he had (HAD) the lowest approval ratings in history and got his head handed to him on a platter during the midterm elections. Then, guess what happened? He ignored the results and is more popular than ever...and the country is more divided than ever...the income gap has widened significantly...the rich are becoming richer than ever...and the masses are being silenced (this time) by tumbling gas prices...


Falling gas prices? C'mon, it's more than that...no, not really...the 80% of the public (not in the stock market) are not experiencing the fluctuations of the Obama recess, er, I mean, recovery...much like the previous decade, decade and a half, when the masses were kept fat and happy by inflated commerce numbers, swelling home prices, and easy access to cash, this time the sheep are now being distracted by fluff like low gas prices and of course, the duplicitous media description of improving economic conditions.


Don't believe me? Please look back at previous posts from this blog...it's pretty much gone according to plan. So, please...stay tuned...in coming issues (Draconian term for posts), we will be offering ways, positive ways, LEGAL ways to wade through and survive the new economy. Yes, the transformation, though far from complete, is well under way...and you need to know how to deal with the changes. If, however, you are one of the people on the forefront of this movement and are happy with the direction of the country (and I KNOW there are a lot of you), this may not be the blog for you...


...and if that's the case, well, you're going to need more help than anything I (or any SNL skit) can provide...

Monday, December 17, 2012

A special place in hell...

Today, the funerals begin for the victims of the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Our nation's collective hearts mourn the loss of these 20 children (six and seven years old) and 7 adults...all at the hands of a monster named Adam Lanza, a creep who decided one morning to kill his mother in cold blood, then travel to the elementary school where she worked and, armed with three semi-automatic weapons, proceed to shoot (and murder) innocent children and their teachers, before turning the gun on himself. Adam? I hope you burn in hell...

Having worked in law enforcement and at times as a first responder, I still can't even begin to imagine what these people went through...however, I can relate and I believe have a somewhat keen understanding of the second guessers and Monday morning quarterbacks who can't even wait for the youngest of the young to be laid to rest before they begin spouting their bifurcated political drivel. One side begins the volley with the "guns are the problem," diatribe, immediately followed by the tried and (un)true, "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Tell that to the children...I don't want to hear it...

One of my favorite people in the industry (although we've never met) is Marcos Breton, a columnist with our local rag, the Sacramento Bee. He wrote almost immediately after the tragedy, a thoughtful and insightful piece which clearly showed respect for the victims and families, yet also offered a scathing indictment of the problem...NOT the same old back and forth, but clear cogent advice as to how we as a nation can begin healing and at the same time, start to take more responsibility for ourselves and our families. Marcos summed it up nicely within the first few paragraphs with, "can't we simply agree that there are some people in our society who should not have legal access to guns and ammunition?" The entire column, a must read, is attached...

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/16/5057222/marcos-breton-action-needed-on.html

I'm not sure how much better I can say it than this column, but as you know, as always, I'll give it a shot. Since when is requiring someone to understand the responsibilities inherent in owning and operating a firearm...a violation of 2nd Amendment rights? IT IS NOT! Since when is starting a nationwide firearm registry in order to document who has a firearm and whether they are responsible enough to own one...a violation of 2nd Amendment rights? IT IS NOT! While we're at it, since when is limiting the amount of ammunition and capacity of magazines on firearms...a violation of 2nd Amendment rights? You got it...IT IS NOT!

Here, I'm not going to get into the age-old debate about how criminals don't care about laws and they will simply ignore the limits and requirements of any new law...nor am I going to remain static when people start whining about how "we don't enforce the laws we already have on the books." Again, we get nowhere when the debate stoops so low. That's old news. I'm also not going to go the "we need better mental health treatment," route. Though undeniably true that mental health "treatment" is vital, it gets us only so far...first things first...those children's classmates, teachers and families should be the first ones to receive this type of assistance...and of course, the first responders.

Nope, what we've got to do...is see to it that, as much as humanly possible, we take steps to insure that monsters like Adam Lanza have a "more difficult" time gaining access to all types of firearms and ammunition (don't even get me started on body armor)...and while we're at it, let's also do our best to keep bows and arrows, spears, knives, hell, even sharp spoons out of the hands of scum like him.







Sunday, December 2, 2012

Let's get started, shall we?

As you may or may not know, I "work" at a bingo hall. I mean, I "volunteer" at a bingo hall under a non-profit organization's IRS number, for benefit of my daughter's continuing education and athletic career. I worked my way up to "caller," and one of the quote-unquote "catch phrases" I started using was, "let's get started, shall we?" Well, I don't know if you've heard, but bingo players are impatient by nature and that particular phrase is about 4-5 words too long. Still though, I like the phrase and it's certainly appropriate here.

I DO want to help us all find better ways to make our country's "new" economy work better for each and every one of us. "What the hell are you talkin' about? New? Ain't nothin' new...the rich keep getting richer and nothing will ever change?" Hello Buck...of course you are correct, in your own monosyllabic, borderline psychotic way,  but even you, even you can't deny we have had (and are continuing) a fundamental shift toward a more collective, redistributive type of government. Right or wrong, I have pledged to help others (including myself) find better ways to deal with the change.

Of course, the ultimate goal (now) is to spend more time in the "receiving" line, as you do in the "contributing" line. "Oh my God...how cynical? What is wrong with you? Sore loser!" No, I don't think so...I signed up for a program where if you work hard, and are RESPONSIBLE, you receive (either tacitly or not) a "leg up" in the game, so to speak. In other words, play by the rules and you have a better chance for ultimate success. There was never a guaranteed outcome. Today, I think we are headed that way...under the guise of fairness. However, I believe that when we erode motivation for responsible behavior, it wanes...AND it is very, VERY difficult to ever get it back.

So, what do people (like us) do to maintain any sort of "edge" for responsible behavior. If you're like me, it's not as if you can become irresponsible overnight. But there are many things you can do to NOT contribute to (or at least not further reward) irresponsible behavior. We will talk about these things on a regular basis (at least) for the next four years. Yes, it is certainly "walking a tightrope," to continue to be responsible yourself without rewarding the irresponsibility of others, but it most certainly can be done.

But first things first...the fiscal cliff. Much of what we will do, or at least what I'll recommend we should do will depend on what occurs over the next month or so. Of course, I believe the answer is staring us in the face. GIVE THE PRESIDENT WHAT HE WANTS...COMPLETELY!!! "What?!? You can NOT be serious!" Yes, Buck (and nice John McEnroe impersonation, by the way), I am deadly serious. He won the election. The people have spoken. As I've always said, Americans as a whole love freebies...well, at least until they see they're not really "free."

So yes, give the president all the economic, tax, and spending fixes he wants...and whatever happens will be his to own. I know, I know...many say it will be the 90's all over again. Fake prosperity, fake surpluses, a compliant (complicit) media...initially? Maybe, but I believe most of us will be able to see through the charade. Just like the "stimulus," (I mean, how do you throw a TRILLION dollars at a problem and have zero quote-unquote "stimulus")...just like the stimulus, it will be very clear whether it works (or not). Many of the (same) folks also say, it will throw us into a recession...no, no it won't. So, let's get started, shall we? What? Too many words?


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The most difficult post I've ever written...

Well, I told you I would make my mediacopp endorsement for the office of President of the United States. Yes, I'm a little late; however, I wanted to wait until after the debates...NOT because my recommendation has changed, nor did I believe it would change...I simply felt it more appropriate to wait. So, let's begin...

Just for background...my first presidential election was 1976, the year after I turned 18. Back then, of course, I was a registered Democrat...I say of course because only rich people were Republicans. Well, rich people and parents...and I was a National Lampoon (well, okay, Mad magazine) reading, wanna-be stand up comic, who fashioned himself the epitome of non-conformism. But something happened on the way to the ballot box. Jimmy Carter.

Yep, Jimmy from Plains, Georgia...I couldn't believe we as a country were actually "going there." So, against what I thought were my best liberal intentions, I pulled the lever for Gerald Ford. Sure, I was a little skittish at first. I mean, he pardoned Nixon...the most evil politician of all time...so I thought. But, I soon got a "real taste" of liberalism and yeah, it tasted kind of like chicken, albeit doused in peanut butter.

Then, after dropping out of college, I entered the working world for a few years. OMG! Are you kidding me? Between the shock of paying bills AND taxes...and watching government give things to people who not only weren't asking for anything...but didn't appreciate it once they got it, well, I soon decided to "get in the other line." You know, the "receiving" line...student loans, grants, etc, etc..

Returning to college, I soon returned to my "non-conformist roots." Only this time, I registered as a Republican more or less as a protest against my fellow students (and most professors). Also, I fell in with a like minded crowd...students who had returned to college after stints in the working world or the military...and we mocked the "kids" who knew not what they professed.

Yeah, I voted for Reagan twice...and I voted for George H.W. Bush...until he broke his pledge (i.e. "read my lips")...yep, I was one of those responsible for sticking us with the "wienie wagger" for eight years. I voted for the bug-eyed, big eared Ross Perot, but not so much as a protest vote, more because Dana Carvey did a mean impersonation...and I thought it would be fun...

Some fun...the "wienie wagger," beget an even dumber Texan...and the Texan ("W") brought us what we have today...and my recommendation is...to give him four more years. WHAT!?!? Come on, think about it...what is our choice? Mitt Romney or Barack Obama...the GOP candidate (remember how bad the last one was) or a Democrat who has made most of us, me included, long for Bill Clinton.

Why? Even though the country is definitely on the wrong trajectory...and responsibility (in both people and behavior) is becoming increasingly irrelevant, to the detriment of all, I believe changing administrations at this point would be disastrous. The Democrats, as I've always stated, would rather be "right" than prosperous...they will do ANYTHING to be right...as evidenced by what they did to "W" during the early part of this century. I don't see Romney as being any better at dissuading the Demo(lition) machine.

"But, but, but...Obama? He'll ruin the country!"  No, this country is stronger than any one person or ideology...although any more Obama Supreme Court appointees might push us past that point. So, what the heck...vote for Barack Obama...but pray for the health of (Supreme Court Justice) Anthony Kennedy...

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