If by a “Liberal” you mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal".
-President John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Willow Palin goes off! CHECK IT OUT!

Willow Palin Facebook Posts: Homophobic Slurs, Curse Words & More (PHOTOS)

Check out the link above from the Huffington Post.

Tell me what you think about it. Are the Palin's hypocrites? Was she just a little oversensitive here? Or is this just getting blown out of proportion? Comment and let me know your thoughts.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Pelosi SHOULD step aside; Republican sweep in Ohio; Tax Cuts

It's a pleasure to be back and writing you all again. In this edition of the "The Liberal Approach" we are going to look at Speaker Nancy Pelosi's reign, and a bold call for her to step down as the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives. We are also going to take a look at the Republican wave that swept across Ohio on November 2nd and what kind of impact some of the newly elected Republican statewide officials will have on Ohio. We will also take a brief look at the issue of whether or not the Bush tax cuts should be extended, and for who they should be extended for.

First up, we have Speaker Pelosi. She has been one of the most productive Speakers in the history of the United States(something most Republicans can't argue with). She made history by becoming the first woman to earn such a high ranking position. I, as most liberals, are thankful for her service to this country and for pushing for progressive ideals. She fought hard for health care reform, Wall Street reform, the stimulus package, among other things. One might ask at this point: "Well, then why should she go?". Here comes my rationale for this. The reality we face today is vastly different than what we faced two years ago. Pelosi has become a villain to the right, who spent $65 million in attack ads featuring her. While I'm not saying we should cower to Republicans, we should definitely look for a fresh liberal face to lead the party. The idea of her remaining as the Democratic leader hurts our electoral prospects in 2012. Thats the reality we face today. Through no fault of hers really, we got our clocks cleaned in the US House, and I whole heartedly believe it's time for her to step aside and give someone else a shot.

November 2nd was a rough day for the Ohio Democratic Party and their statewide ticket. The Republicans swept every major office in Ohio. They won the US Senate race handedly, took back the Ohio House, and increased their majority in the Ohio Senate, and handedly won both Ohio Supreme Court races. The impact of this could be felt for years to come. Lets take a look at which of the newly elected Republicans will have the most impact.

**Governor-elect, John Kasich,  defeated incumbent Governor Ted Strickland by the slimmest margin of any of the major statewide races in Ohio. In any typical year, that wouldn't necessarily give him a mandate. But with the Ohio House and Senate comfortably in the hands of Republicans, anything Kasich wants, he'll probably get. This man's plan is too phase out the Ohio income tax, which needless to say, will cost Ohio thousands of jobs and make our communities less safe. In believing that Ohio "should be run like a business" (his words, not mine), it's quite obvious who will benefit from that, and hint: It's not the middle or working class. Lastly, for those college aged students who sat home on election day, thinking your vote won't matter, you are in for a rude awakening. Prepare for our tuitons' to start rising by double digit percentage points over the next few years. The era of an affordable college education in Ohio is over.

**Attorney General-elect, Mike Dewine(yes, the former Senator who got stomped by Senator Sherrod Brown in 2006), is now in charge of "protecting" Ohioans. This scares me. First off, Dewine plans on joining the lawsuit against "ObamaCare". The impact this could have on Ohio families is severe. If successful, we could go back to insurance companies denying your children coverage because of a pre-existing condition, more families will be forced to decide between sending their child to college or paying for their cancer treatment, families will go bankrupt, college graduates will be dropped from their parents plans, and well, by now, you get the point. Dewine also has a history of siding with Wall Street, while alienating those on Main Street. Attorney General, Richard Cordray, protected  Ohio, took criminals off the streets. saved Ohio pension holders millions of dollars, realized the good that will come from the health care reform bill & kept Ohio out of the lawsuit against it.  As one can see, Dewine is going to stand with Wall Street and the insurance companies, all while helping Governor-elect Kasich destroy Ohio jobs and make our streets less safe.

**I could go on and on about how the newly elected Republicans are going to destory this state(Husted, Mandel, Yost, etc.), but the biggest blow to Ohio comes in way of the what the next Apportionment Board is going to look like. Let me give some background to those who are scratching their heads and asking, "What is the apportionment board?". The Apportionment Board is the administrative body that draws the single-member districts of the Ohio House and Senate every ten years after the federal census. Republicans have controlled the Ohio Apportionment Board since 1991, and 2011 will be no different. The board is made up of the Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, and one member each from the majority and minority parties respectfully. Republicans control 4 of the 5 seats again, and with that, here comes more gerrymandered districts. Given the recent election results, and with Republicans now in control of the board once again, the electoral prospects of Ohio Democrats is going to be hindered for years to come. And sadly, there's not much Democrats can do about it.

Now onto news that fires me up, as I'm sure it does most of you other liberals, we finish this segment of "The Liberal Approach" discussing the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year. There is now serious speculation going around, speculation that President Obama might actually favor extending ALL of the Bush tax cuts, including the cuts for richest 2%, in defense of making sure the middle/working class cuts are extended as well. Mr. President, this is not what you promised the past two years, and even during your campaign. Force the Republicans to filibuster middle/working class tax cuts in defense of the rich. This is a winning issue for you. The American public is on your side. Let the Republicans sit up there and explain why adding billions of dollars to the deficit is good for the country, even though they just campaigned on the contrary. End the cuts for the millionaires and billionaires. Let the tax rate go back to 39% for them, which is what it was in the 90's when we saw a budget surplus and 22 million jobs created. You have the votes in the House and Senate, either extend the cuts for the working/middle class, and let the tax cuts for the upper 2% expire, all while knocking off billions from the deficit, or cave, and let the rich and the Republicans win once again. And if you make the wrong choice on this and continue to bow down to the Republicans and corporations, don't be surprised if we(your liberal base)goes shopping for new candidate come 2012.

Thats it for this time. Stay tuned for the next installment of "The Liberal Approach".

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2010 Midterm Elections: Where do we go from here?

I have not written anything on here for a long time(since March, I believe). A lot has happened since that point. We just finished up a very tough or joyous(depending on what side your on) election season. Lets go over last Tuesday's results.

The Republicans now control the US House of Representatives.
Democrats still maintain control of the US Senate, albeit by a much slimmer margin.

Republicans have retaken the Ohio House of Representatives and swept all the major statewide races here in Ohio.

Midterm elections traditionally go for the party in minority, and against the party of the President. This election was really no different. The fact the Democrats were able to hang onto the Senate, speaks volumes about the current, and in fighting going on between "traditional" Republicans and "tea party" Republicans. Had the GOP not nominated Sharron Angle in Nevada, Ken Buck in Colorado, or Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, we could be very likely be looking at a split Senate(with Vice President Biden breaking the tie). Let's take a moment and give thanks to the Tea Party for securing the Democratic majority in the Senate...alright, moment taken.

What does all this mean for 2012? Frankly, at this point, it's hard to tell. The tide has definitely shifted to Republicans, largely due in part to the economic recovery being slower than originally anticipated. But to follow what was said by Tea Party Republican Senator-elect, Marco Rubio of Florida, with these election results being a "second chance for Republicans", I personally couldn't agree more. The fact remains though, that this class of Republicans are just the same as the old school Republicans. They have nothing to offer thats different than what they did when they controlled everything. The version of compromise that you and I believe in, is different from the version they believe in. They believe that the President and Democrats in Congress have to accept everything they propose, as is, and just shut up about it. Obviously, anyone with half a brain will realize that is not compromise. So what do Democrats do now?

First of all, we have the lame duck session of Congress. The super majority the Democrats have in both the House and Senate remains(until January). Here is the way the Democrats can get back on track with the American people. First, Democrats need to show they stand up for the working and middle class, and extend unemployment benefits. Second, Democrats need to stand with the American people, and repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Third, put a freeze on scheduled cuts to doctors' Medicare reimbursements. Fourth, in order to gain back some of their progressive base, pass the DREAM Act, which would give illegal immigrants and others who come to this country looking for more opportunities, a pathway to citizenship. Obviously, there are some other things that can and should be done as well, but if Democrats want to regain the trust of the American people, and especially their base, then they need to get stuff done with this lame duck session.

Thats what needs to be done in the lame duck session. In the next installment of "The Liberal Approach", we will discuss those who are in the running for House leadership positions, Nancy Pelosi returning as Minority Leader, and where Ohio Democrats go from here after the recent Republican wave across the state.

Until then, stay classy liberals.

P.S.- Check out the following link for all 2010 election results. http://www.politico.com/2010/maps/#/Senate/2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Irritated with the ODP and all these threats

Welcome to the next installment of "The Liberal Approach". Some very interesting things have been happening lately, here in Ohio, and around the country. I'm just going to get a few things out there, and let you share your opinions.

First of all, this past Wednesday, the Ohio Democratic Party decided to hand out a list of endorsements. While not many of them come as a total surprise, there is one that hits close to home that irks me. As many of you may already know, I am now interning with Sean Buchanan's campaign for the Ohio House of Representatives(68th District). Now this might seem a bit biased, but I assure you, had this situation turned out in the favor of my candidate, I would still be a little irked. Like I said, this past Wednesday, the ODP announced who they would be endorsing in several statewide races. They chose to stay out of the Senate race between Lt. Gov. Fisher and S.O.S Brunner; which I am happy about. But when it came to decide whether they would endorse in the 68th District State House race, the ODP decided to go forth with an endorsement of Kathleen Clyde. Now, in my opinion, this will not have a great impact on the race, but the mere fact that I work closely with Sean Buchanan, and have a friend working for Rick Hawksley, this irks because of a particular reason. I've been told by very reliable sources up until this point, that the Ohio Democratic Party was going to stay neutral in this race, from both Sean's people and Rick's people and from some who work with the ODP. I believe this risk alienating supporters of the other two candidates. Not that I don't think Clyde would make a great candidate, because she will if she wins the primary, but the mere fact that Buchanan was told on numerous occasions by those of the Democratic caucus, that there would be no endorsement of anyone until after the primary. Also, I believe this has a chance at making the ODP look bad if Buchanan or Hawksley win the primary. And personally, if I was either of them and they won, I'd be even more ticked off with the party. But like I've already said, I don't believe this will have a big impact on the voters of the 68th District. To quote Buchanan "It’s the voters of Portage County who get to decide.” And I could not agree more.

Next point I'd like to go to is the US Senate Democratic primary here in Ohio, between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and S.O.S. Jennifer Brunner. In the past couple weeks, there has been lots of attention paid to this race(as there should). Its due largly to the fact that Fisher petitioned the ODP to endorse him in the race against Brunner. Now, I am a Lee Fisher supporter, although I believe Brunner would be a strong candidate as well. But I felt the Fisher campaign was wrong in trying to pursue this route. It would alienate Brunner voters, whom are largely made up of women to no surprise, and it would hurt Fisher's prospects of getting those supporters on his side in the fall, if he is indeed the nominee. The ODP made a right decision in this case, and that was to stay out of the race and let the Democratic voters of Ohio decide who their candidate would be in the general election. While I am a strong supporter of the ODP and will work closely with them on numerous things, I just don't see why they didn't stay out of both these races. They seem to have contradicted themselves in this situation, by the mere fact they said from the beginning that they were remaining neutral in both races, and then go on and endorse in one race and stick to their original stance in another.

Lets move beyond the state level now, and onto the national level. Within the past week since the healthcare bill passed, there have been many threats against both sides of the aisle; those who voted for the bill and those who voted against it. I would like to condemn both sides for their hostile words and hopefully all this rhetoric will die down soon. First of all, I will address those who are threatening the Democrats who supported the bill. I would just like these people to realize, that there is a reason why many Americans(including many who are against this healthcare bill) voted Democrats into office the past two election cycles. Every Democrat who voted for this type of healthcare overhaul, CAMPAIGNED on this type of reform, or at least something similar to it. If you actually did not know a particular Democrat was for this type of reform before voting for him or her, then I guess you should of done a little bit more research and became a little more informed on the policy beliefs of these individuals. To put it simply, you should not be surprised, you should be rejoicing that the Democrats actually got something done(you cannot really say that about the Republican Party). And to my fellow Democrats threatening and harrassing Republicans who voted against the bill, please don't stoop to the levels of those who are less informed. Nobody is going to want to vote for a Democrat if they see we are making and doing the same things the disgruntled Republicans normally do. Rise above the hate and rhetoric, and celebrate in this historic feat.

Well, thats all for this installment of "The Liberal Approach". Hope you enjoyed this. My next post will come within a couple days.

Mark Miller

P.S.- Encourage all your friends to read, comment, and follow this blog.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Its time for Rush to leave for Costa Rica!

In case you missed it, and I'm guessing you already know if your reading this blog, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3590(basically the healthcare bill from the Senate) and H.R. 4872(Reconciliation bill of changes to H.R. 3590), comprehensive healthcare reform legislation. Tonight is a victory for the Democratic party and its followers, but its also a victory for the entire nation. No longer will people be denied the basic fundamental right of healthcare coverage. No longer will the hardworking men and women of this nation go bankrupt because they can't afford insurance. No longer will 45,000 Americans die each year because of a lack of health insurance. I could go on and on, but you get the point, and surely understand the impact this legislation will have on our lives.

Now, its time for most important news, and something that is not being discussed by any of the news media outlets. When will Rush Limbaugh leave for Costa Rica? Now now, most of you will probably say the sooner the better. But I think he should take his time, that way, we can all throw him a going away party. Well, more of a "don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out" send off. Check out the petition below.

Sign this petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/seeyarush
OR one of the many other petitions as well.

Mark Miller

P.S- Thanks to those who came out this past weekend to support Sean Buchanan and his run for State Rep.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pass the Bill! A message to the left and the right

As one can probably tell, this post is going to be about the heated debate going on throughout the country, and that is healthcare reform. It has been close to a year now since the healthcare debate began in Washington, and we are finally getting close to the final up or down vote, that will determine if healthcare reform passes or dies. Neither side will stop at nothing to either kill the bill or pass the bill, and frankly, the difference between the two sides is simple: one side is full of ill-informed people, lead by the fear and scare tactics of the Republican party and the other side is full of people who know whats at stake, know that healthcare reform is essential, and frankly, are much more well informed about the issues. Lets take a look at both sides of the story, and I'll explain why I feel that healthcare reform is needed now.

The people that make up the opposition to healthcare reform, are, lets be frank, mostly white males and females of the over 35 variety. Not many of these people are well educated, and I can bet a truckload of money that these people are loyal Fox News viewers or Rush Limbaugh listeners. These people do not understand what this bill will do for them. First of all, this bill is not a government takeover of the healthcare system. This is nowhere close to be anything that could be deemed "socialist", which if you were to ask these people what socialism, communism, or fascism is, they would probably draw a blank, and continue with their pathetic nonsense about how all three are the same thing. Next, with this bill, if you like your current health insurance plan and doctor, you can keep both, whereas the only thing that would change, would be that your premiums stay the same or are lowered. Secondly, this bill would stop the health insurance industry practice of dropping people from coverage when they get sick, which, I really hope would of happened to most of these just so they can see what its like to have to decide between paying for their daughters cancer treatment or the mortgage. Third, this bill bans the practice of denying people health insurance coverage due to a preexisting condition. What these people do not realize, is that the health insurance industry is against them, not for them. The poor is this country have medicaid, the rich can afford their insurance, but its the middle class that gets the knife in the back when it comes to health insurance coverage. Majority of the people who make up this opposition, do not realize that they too, are being ripped off. And my favorite argument against this bill is that it cuts vital Medicare benefits for seniors, who when they scream they don't want a government takeover of healthcare, obviously are blind to the fact that their coverage is a government run program. Oh, and the fact that the cuts that Medicare receives will not affect them one bit, its actually cuts in the Medicare Advantage program which has been a failure and most seniors lose money from anyway. Lastly, this bill doesn't add one dime to the national debt, it actually eliminates over a 1oo billion from the national debt in ten years time. Now these are just the few reasons for those who are against this bill because of false claims, and now its time to address the far left and their worries that this bill could be a sellout to the insurance industry.

Many on the far left of the political spectrum are also against this bill, but not for misinformed reasons, but because they believe the bill doesn't go far enough. I personally believe this bill does not go far enough, I am in favor of the public option. But those who are pushing for a Single Payer type program have to realize that changing the current system to a Single Payer would be a catastrophic move to make considering the very fragile state of our economy. I am glad to say that Rep. Dennis Kucinich(D-OH) now sees this and will be voting for the bill. My far left liberal friends, you must realize that this bill is a step in the right direction and will cover an extra 30 million people when its fully enacted. Now, it might be a hard one to swallow for the time being, but it is a necessary step, and one that is far better than the status quo. And when this bill passes, and all the parts of the bill go into action, then that is the time to start thinking about the future and perhaps moving towards a public option type system. I strongly urge all my liberal friends and idealogues, urge your Congressman to vote for this bill. Stick up for this bill. Stick up for the party that shares your basic values and principles. And most importantly, stand up for the millions of Americans out there right now who just need a little help.

My next post will hopefully come this Sunday, when the House of Representatives votes on the final version of the bill. Until then, keep fighting for healthcare reform!


P.S- I strongly encourage all of you to watch this video and see what is at stake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_PX5L_v_7I