I was in Canada when I watched Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez do what many, myself included, thought was the impossible: win the nomination as the Democratic Congressional candidate for New York’s District 14, beating incumbent party boss Joe Crowley, one of the most powerful machine Democrats in New York City, who hadn’t been challenged since he was essentially handed his congressional seat nearly two decades ago.
I watched it on Twitter, sensing the shock of my colleagues in the New York press corps. Those of us who were natives had grown up in, and continue to live in, a New York City that is ruled by money at every turn. Politics is no exception; if anything, it is the rule. Candidates in New York are typically taken seriously based on the weight of their “war chest,” how much money their campaign has accrued. In one campaign funding quarter, incumbent party boss Joe…
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I have been personally processing large amounts of information over the past several days regarding the NSA / PRISM data liberation, and the responses of the U.S. Government to same. There seem to be 2 points of the affair which are most contentious: Is the massive, all-encompassing spying being done by the government of grave concern, or no big deal? And whether the people involved in the release of the classified data are heroes or criminals. There has been plenty of heated debate on both of these points, but I have some thoughts on several things which have not received much attention – in fact, you may not have heard or thought of them at all.
Edward Snowden, the former spy who gave the documents in question to the press, stated he was making $200,000 per year. Booz Allen, his most recent employer, recently stated Edward’s salary was…
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People, can we face some hard truths about how Americans save for retirement?
It Isn’t Happening
Here’s a fact: most people aren’t seriously saving for retirement. Ever since we chucked widespread employer based pension systems for 401K’s and personal responsibility, people just haven’t done very well saving. They take money out for college for their kids, or an unforeseen medical expense, or they just never put money in in the first place. Very few people are saving adequately.
In Fact, It Shouldn’t Happen
Next: it’s actually, mathematically speaking, extremely dumb to have 401K’s instead of a larger pool of retirement money like pensions or Social Security.
Why do I say that? Simple. Imagine everyone was doing a great job saving for retirement. This would mean that everyone “had enough” for the best-case scenario, which is to say living to 105 and dying an expensive, long-winded death. That’s a…
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From October 2008 through September 2014, Bank of America paid over $98 billion in 67 separate fines or settlements due to criminal activities. Over these 6 years, this results in an average of $16…
The only vote I would ever cast for Hillary is ‘guilty as charged’.
Trump is a moron and an asshole, among many other things. (Racist, tasteless, tactless, self-centered, hypocritical, hateful, stupid….) The only vote I would ever cast for him would be to vote him off the island.
I voted for Jill Stein in 2012. The world did not end.
Strong showings by candidates who are not republicans or democrats can help instigate change, even if the candidate loses that particular election. It can be easier to get on ballots in the future, public funds can be freed up, private interests may feel better about donating money, good candidates could be encouraged to run in future elections, etc.
The President is only one person. 30 Senators and 100 Representatives working together could arguably effect more change, for example. (Ideally non Republicrat ones)
I have been on the Bernie train since the day he started running, and have been a fan of his for years, but probably more a fan of most of his policy positions, and his honesty and conviction. Out of the 320 million people in this country I would bet there are at least a few thousand who would be very similar to Bernie in their beliefs, principles, ability, and actions. Lets get them into state, local, and national offices and see what happens.
I decided in 2012 to never again vote for a republican or a democrat running for national office (President and Congress) and voted for several ‘third’ party candidates for state and local offices in 2012 and 2014. If 20 or 30 million more people did this, it would certainly shake things up a bit. Imagine Trump / Hillary winning with only 36% of the popular vote. This is not a playoff football game, one loss does not mean everyone has to go home sad.