A few odds and ends on All Saints Day

Since very few celebrate All Saints Day after their sugar rush on Halloween, not to mention the fermented sugar rush that adults get, I thought I might throw a few odds and ends down for your reading pleasure. In no particular order,

US Elections will be over Tuesday

This will create a large shout out and huge downsizing in revenue for the local TV stations without campaign commercials. Living in North Carolina, we have the most expensive US Senate race ever, at least until the next election cycle. My local paper said this is a race between a disappointment and a danger. The danger being the current Speaker of the House in NC who has shown what he will do, if given the chance. It is amazing to me that someone can screw people over again and again and then try to pretend it never happened. The incumbent Senator’s dilemma is she is a collaborator and joins her proposals with other legislation, so she does not own much legislation by herself. I am proud she worked with our other Senator to help clean up a long standing water pollution problem that hurt military families at Camp Lejeune.

Obamacare needs a new name in addition to other changes

Obamacare has been polling negatively, but the story is deeper than that. There are 10% – 15% of liberal Democrats who want national healthcare, so they don’t like it as it does not go far enough. If you ask people if they like the Affordable Care Act, its real name, it polls better. In Kentucky, their statewide healthcare system called Kynect is working well and polls favorably. Obamacare does not poll well in Kentucky. The irony is Kynect is Obamacare in Kentucky. Finally, if you poll people about the individual features of Obamacare nationally, with the exception of the mandate, the features poll well. So, one key change should be to officially change the name to Kynect in honor of Obama’s signature piece of legislation doing so well in the home of Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, who are opposed to it regardless of its name.

US economy continues to show gains

Our recovery has been the opposite of sudden, but that is how these things work. This is especially true with housing based recessions, which have shown to take on average six years to turn around. The recession started at the beginning of 2008, with the financial crisis occurring in September-October 2008.  Six years from the start would have been the end of last year and six years from the crisis, would have been last month. Just this week, the Janet Yellen of the Federal Reserve said they are ending their quantitative easing meaning the economy can stand on its own. This President deserves more credit than he is getting for helping position us where we are as other countries are still concerned, yet he should have managed expectations more. And, while early on Congresses were helpful, they have largely blocked efforts to help more through additional stimulus on top of the helpful first round, especially with so many infrastructure needs.

Money is not freedom of speech

Since I started with elections, let me end with the overarching problem in our country, which fuels the partisanship. Based on two Supreme Court decisions, corporations are people and money represents free speech. These are two heinous decisions and will require a constitutional amendment to overcome them. The decisions empower without repercussions dark money to buy elections wherever they can. Just in NC, our $100 million plus senate race is over $70 million funded by people who are not part of the candidates’ campaigns. I will have more on this in the future, but these decisions have allowed money from a few wealthy members of our oligarchy to buy voter influence and elected officials do not care as much of what we voters think after the election as they used to and should. And, this is where we must change the paradigm, as we have real problems to solve and undue influence stands in the way.

Happy All Saints Day and have a great last November.