Out of the pool

I think it is time to fire any politician in Washington who is forgetting why they are there. We could start with the White House incumbent and then take out hundreds of members of Congress in both houses. I understand fully Congress must investigate and provide oversight over the Executive Branch. That is part of their job and the current incumbent has given them cause to dig further.

Yet, I have this simple idea that leaders of both houses sit down with legislative liaisons from the White House and figure out some things they can pass and sign into law. I think a civilian board could list about a dozen major issues to focus on and say work these out. It should not take a civilian board, but these folks are too beholden to funders to come up with a workable list.

A key reason for not listing the problems is too much discussion occurs around whether not solving an issue helps them politically. A curse word comes to mind, so please insert your favorite. A good example is a bipartisan Senate immigration bill was passed in 2013, but the House refused to take it up as leaving immigration unaddressed would help the Republicans in the 2014 midterms. The Democrats should not be smug as they do the same thing.

Because of the Republicans unhealthy focus on dismantling the Affordable Care Act, the party justifiably lost seats in the 2018 midterms. To be frank, they should have lost seats with a rushed process that did not follow form and came up with several awful ideas. They should also thank Senators John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski for saving them from themselves by voting against an ill-conceived vote.

But, what have Dems done with improving the ACA with their winning back the majority in the House – nothing other than “beating on their chest” bills that went nowhere? Not that they were bad bills, but don’t wait until an election in 2020 to address healthcare. The ACA is imperfect, but is working OK and needs some more stability and improvements due to initial design flaws and several efforts by the GOP to sabotage it.

So, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. McConnell, and Mr. Pence, get your fannies in a room with a white board and figure out how to get something done. I do not care which party benefits from what comes out of this. The key is we benefit. Do something that will be signed into law by the mercurial man in the White House. So, Mr. Pence you better have the Queen of Hearts’ blessing to make deals or you may lose your head.

Here are few items for the list:

  • Stabilize the ACA: pay insurers what we owe them (yes we reneged on two deals with them) and invite them back to the market to have more competition. Consider expanding Medicare to age 62 as a trial to improve the risk pools in both the ACA and Medicare. Push for the remaining states to expand Medicaid.
  • Address better gun governance: another mass shooting occurred yesterday and nobody in office cares. More suicides occurred yesterday and nobody in office cares. A few accidental shootings and homicides occurred and nobody in office cares. It is a holistic problem that needs holistic solutions. Do something, anything that will help even if it is just a little. Universal background checks and elongated waiting periods would be well received by the majority of Americans.
  • Address climate change at the federal level: Cities, states and some industries are moving forward without an active federal government role, which is rightfully being sued by 21 children for failure to address what they have known about for three decades. They actually have a good case. This is also a jobs and economy issue as we can look backwards and get passed by or look to growing renewables industries. As a good example of looking backward, we let China seize a significant majority of the rare earth metals market share from us which is now a threat to national security.
  • Address the debt and deficit: Trade deficits are not a big thing as we are a consumer driven economy. The far bigger crisis is our national debt and growing deficit. We have to pay for things and the less we do, the more risk we have with a growing interest cost as a percent of our annual budget. We must increase taxes and reduce spending, both. The GOP has forsaken its role in being a budget hawk passing a tax bill that made a growing problem worse. Revisit the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction plan and do some of those things.

I will stop there, but there are more problems to address. Immigration is a problem, but it has been made worse under this president by cutting funding to help some Central American countries improve the lives of their citizens and the lack of judges to address the increased migration. A wall is not an answer. It is merely a structure. Dusting off that bipartisan Senate bill from 2013 would be a good start as well as addressing DACA. We need to keep educated young people in our country, as growth is an issue.

So, legislators, please get in a room and do some things that will pass. The focus should be on helping Americans, not helping legislators. Stop worrying about keeping your job and do your job. And, yes continue your oversight role as we are a republic not a kingdom.




22 thoughts on “Out of the pool

  1. Great piece Keith. Somehow I just don’t think we will ever get the government we need and deserve. The donors own the damn place. Until we get a handle on that? It’s going to be a long slog. Asking the politicians to in a sense, police themselves, seems so outlandish and out of the realm of possibility. We would need a President with both sides of his or her political party, and a grassroots effort demanding elimination of dark and big money from politics. I’m going to still hold out hope…but I don’t think I’ll see it before I depart this earth. Sad

    • Thanks. One thing is for certain, I would not wish this man in the White House on anyone. How we elected this man with his history is beyond me. Very little of what he is doing and saying is out of character from his past.

  2. I feel your frustration Keith.
    We have a similar problem in the UK. But part of my ire is directed against the part of the British public who think that voting for Farage’s snake-oil party will solve everything.
    How many more examples or warnings do they need.?

    • Roger, it is quite comical to watch the movie on Brexit with Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead strategist. The leaders wanted nothing to do with Farage and Johnson given their track records. The had to manage the fall out from these two. Keith

      • It speaks volumes for the state of the Conservative Party that they feel a divisive member of the social ‘elite’ (I use the words sarcastically) is their choice; while not thinking about the impact this will have on the views of the public at large.
        As with the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn they live in a bubble and feed off their shared hysteria.

      • Roger, the unlearned lesson is by picking a person who lacks character and is more self-centered than the average politician, it is actually a disservice to the party. I have consistently shared with my two and select other GOP Senators, that as an Independent and former GOP voter, I view the current US president as a clear and present danger to our democracy, our planet and the Republican party.

        I saw a great line of a letter to the editor who said it is not the media, it is not the Democrats. The president needs no help in being chaotic and defaming his own character. He does a very good job of his all by himself. The same could be said for Johnson and Farage.


  3. Note to Readers: Former host of “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart has been fiercely active in helping gain funding to pay for the medical costs of the 9/11 first responders in NYC. He gave an “out of the pool” criticism to a Congressional Committee in person as the funding has run out. He said in essence they did their jobs, now you do yours. Forceful is an understatement. Let’s hope it sinks in. Congress and this president need to be shamed like that when they fail to do the obvious. In essence, he said I don’t give a crap about your politics, do the right thing.

  4. Excellent post, Keith! I like your idea of a civilian board, but … I can envision it being comprised of civilians who just happen to be CEOs of large corporations whose interests are not in line with 99% of the nation. I would like to see one comprised of just average people who are educated and savvy enough to understand the problems, but not wealthy and not affiliated with the fossil fuel, gun or auto industries in any way.

    Your list of issues is a good start … health care, guns and climate change being three of the big ones. I would love to see McConnell and Trump taken out of the process altogether, for they have as much as said that their own self-interests, their own lust for power, is more important to them than the well-being of this nation. Frankly, I would like us to simply start over. Oust every single one of the people in our federal government and just start over with a few requirements for any potential replacement candidates, such as net worth under $1 million, relevant combination of experience and education, and a proven track record in humanitarian causes. Sigh. Yeah, I know it’s unrealistic, but … I can dream, can’t I?

    You do have some great ideas here. I shall re-blog! Thanks!

  5. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Once again, our friend Keith has been thinking and come up with some ideas that I think have a great deal of merit. Granted, they will likely never see the light of day, but … I surely wish they would. Heck, I’m all for starting a campaign to elect Keith Wilson as the next president of the United States! All in favour? Thank you, Keith, for some excellent thoughts.

    • Jill, you are most kind. Thanks for the reblog. I left you an ear worm at the start of my current blog, but it is a very symbolic one. Keith

      • I will check out the latest ear worm in just a bit. That’s funny, for I was just telling David how you and I exchange ear worms, and I mentioned that while we share a love of most of the music I play, you also like ‘head banging’ music that I don’t care for. He was delighted and said that you must like a band called “Status Quo”. I told him that I’ve never heard of them, but that I would ask you. So … do you like Status Quo?

      • I shall let David know … he’s so certain that you must have heard of them, and in fact is incredulous to find that I have never heard of them! Perhaps they were more popular in the UK than here.

  6. You know a lot about your government, Keith, far more than I ever care to know. But I understand governors (small g), and their main concern is winning and keeping power, along with the great lifelong pension cheques they will get for having helped “You the people” get governed. Being voted out is not like getting fired, though it should be. I presume your elected governors are like those in Canada, they get a healthy pension for every year served, even if they did nothing noteworthy for their electorate. And they get those pension cheques no matter how much they are making in the public sector on their return, or from their many investments. Riddle me how that makes any sense?
    Government in the west is a scam on a scale equal to organized religion, like the Roman-Catholic Church, the richest corporation in the world. The people give, and the Church takes. The people give, and the governors take.
    Right about now the Marxian revolutions should be taking place, if Karl Marx had never warned the capitalists of what was sure to come. Lucky for them he did…

    • Thanks Rawgod. To be frank, no matter the economic or government construct, greedy people will find a way to exploit. Putin has his oligarchy, just like we do. The US construct has gotten out of whack, where we have allowed economic disparity to widen. Much of this is due to the infamous “elephant curve” where businesses chase cheap labor anywhere they can find it, so the rich people in the trunk do quite well and the poor does a little better (globally, more so than here), but the middle class is the trough between the trunk and body. This is why populism gained a foothold.

      America has a fettered capitalistic approach with some socialistic protections, but some of the protections have waned with the tax cuts, regs cuts, the union squelching, etc. Plus, the move to more equity pay has led to some poor long term decisions, when leaders manage quarter to quarter rather than three to five years.

      This is a cut short answer to what you noted, but we the people need to guard against being misinformed. With Trump, he distracts people with his inanity, while he steals your candy.


      • Everything Trump does publicly is hiding something he is doing behind the scenes which he knows to be unpopular, and probably despicable.
        But media being what it is, they flock to the public circus, and fail to look where they need to. Yup, there is something very wrong with this world, and it is only going to get worse, if it ever get better.

      • Trump is more than peeing in the EPA pool. It’s bad enough he is letting nature be polluted, the air being polluted, and your waters being polluted, he is now letting killers into wildlife preserves to wantonly decimate your once-protected wildlife. He isn’t happy unless he is letting his friends poison the world, ruining it for everyone else. For that alone he should have his dick cut off, and fed to a hungry bobcat!

      • Rawgod, that is some strong punishment. The Trump EPA is the “Environmental Punishment Agency.” I am about to post a climate change piece where a Wyoming rancher standing in front of a leaking methane cap calls Trump’s former EPA director Scott Pruitt on the carpet for loosening rules to allow this to happen – he is essence said Pruitt was killing children as they are more harmed by the methane gas leaking. This area is called “Four Corners” as it bleeds into a corner of four states and can be seen from satellites because of the flaring. Keith

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