Leadership Qualities and Presidential Candidates ~ The Deal with Trump

Sara's ramblings

I’ve read a lot of hand-wringing statements over the years about ‘What’s Wrong with this Nation.’ I agree with some, and many are blown way out of proportion. Many are essentially the same kinds of generational worries that have stressed out humans for millenia (“Kids these days ain’t got no upbringin’ at all,” Dad used to joke).

We tend to have selective memories about the “good old days,” waxing nostalgic about ‘simpler’ times because the bad stuff didn’t apply to us. Or, like childbirth, we survived the excruciating parts but got a wriggly, living bundle of joy with happiness that completely overwhelms the memory of experienced pain.

That said, I’ll throw in my own “What’s Wrong with this Nation” statement: We have experienced too few admirable leaders in recent years. Servant leaders, with great strength in their ability to listen, respond, and lead. Not roll over under the auspices of negotiation…

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The Moron’s Case For Hillary Clinton…because some of you really are that stupid.

An old colleague and I were having breakfast this morning when he looked up at the news (I can’t remember which network …MSNBC, I think) and noticed a split screen of Donald Trump and Hillary Clint…

Source: The Moron’s Case For Hillary Clinton…because some of you really are that stupid.

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The Sun is Starting To Rise

The media is, predictably, focused on maintaining a 2 horse race. They spent the last 3 weeks discussing what Trump needs to do, to get back in the race. So when he modulates his rhetoric, they present it as a miraculous tactical adjustment to his disastrous, polarizing campaign.

Given that, Donald faces a number of structural problems:
• He has no traction with Black, Latino, LGBTQ, Democratic, Educated and Women voters. This is, when totaled, a plurality.
• The number of people who are vulnerable to his new softer rhetoric are not enough to change the tide.
• The States he needs to win are all Deep Blue, or leaning Blue. His popularity is in States that don’t have enough electoral votes to carry him.
• He has no ground game to Get Out The Vote, making his poll numbers unlikely to materialize in November.
• Any shift to the middle, will alienate his radical followers. There are already indications of people leaving his rallies, after he starts talking.
• The Time required for him to change Blue to Red is running out faster than his campaign can gain speed.
• The HRC counterattack is kicking off and will continue relentlessly, through November.
• The Press, WaPo & NY Times for two, see him as a threat to their business and their reputation.

Having said all this, anything is possible. The biggest hurdles that remain for HRC are the Debates and turning out the vote.
It’s not sunny yet, but it’s not completely dark on the horizon either.

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Let’s Set The Record Straight

Let’s set the record straight:

PBO was born in Hawaii.

The planet and everything living on it is choking on the exhaust of fossil fuel.

Guns kill living things. Nothing is safer around them.

Dick Cheney made up reasons to attack Iraq.

Everyone has a right to love whomever they choose.

The NRA doesn’t give a shit about your Rights. They’re selling weapons to anyone with cash.

Trump, and his entire elitist family are frauds.

Citizens United further wounded a democracy already staggering from voter suppression.

The media is a profit driven business that thrives on outrage, sensationalism and fear.

Private prisons are holding pens for the politically, economically and socially oppressed.

Pharmaceutical companies act in the best interests of their stock holders.

We are fighting people around the globe, with weapons we sold them.

Sovereign Citizens are antigovernment recruiting agents for insurrectionists.

Vaccinations don’t give you autism, but lead in your drinking water does.

There is no magic pill or injection that will make you feel like you’re 21.

Noah’s Ark is a fairy tale and the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

Christians lie, cheat and steal at the same rate as other organized religions.

Working longer hours, for less money doesn’t build character; it makes life a living hell.

Cutting taxes for corporations doesn’t create jobs; it leaves you to pay the bill.

Immigrants don’t suppress income; Hedge Fund Managers and tax policy do.

American Exceptionalism is a myth concocted by politicians to justify imperialism.

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Activism, Organization And Change

We need more paid agents of change. When your passion is your job, there is time to be both intense and effective.

That said, there is still too much heat and too little light coming from single issue fires. That energy must be harnessed. Single issues must find a way to develop politically, to enable viable change. In the end, it is the inability to organize to the level of current competition that is the hallmark of lost causes.

Activism is the engine of energy that sparks and spreads awareness. Left unattended, it runs out of fuel, having altered the surrounding landscape, and leaving behind reminders of success and failure. Activism is the fire.

But, Change is not achieved in the inferno of a passionate cause. To manifest, that fire must be managed, shaped and sustained. It must be organized into a vector of greater social purpose. It must become part of an evolving way of life, rather than a threat to it.

Activism is an expression of individual freedom, Organization is a directed performance.

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The Gray Lady is Showing Her Age

The New York Times, who let the Iraq War buildup go unchallenged, gave Big Oil Climate Change deniers editorial space to promote their propaganda, pocketed ad money from fat PACs and paid lip service to voter rights, want to be seen as the people’s proxy in the Primary campaigns, but they come off as an opportunistic old suitor with a score to settle. While giving free rein to race baiting demagogues and radical religious fundamentalists, they treat leaked political innuendo like vetted facts in repetitive front page political exposes.

Guardians of Democracy is not a title in perpetuity nor a self anointed role. A Free Press has always had a hand in defining and refining our democracy, but a peacock press who turns a blind eye to reality and is given to self induced and inflated controversy, does nothing to lubricate the machinery of representative government.

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

Act II – A Public Option and Pharma Regulation

A Public Option, the lost battle for better cost control, while winning concessions for the broader uninsured public, is worth resurrecting. The time, 2 years after launch, is ripe. There is still more good work to do.

The PPACA has a track record that’s successful when examined using empirical macro data. On the one hand, insured enrollees are up, coverage cost growth is slowed and improved access to preventive care – an investment in a healthier tomorrow – is available to more students, new families and young workers.  While we know it’s working for millions, there is, on the other hand, room for improvement.

The cost of Health Insurance for some, went from nothing and scant coverage, to a mandatory something and some well patient care. Regardless of the fact that many were going rogue, they are now paying something, where they were paying little or nothing before. For those making too much to be subsidized, the PPACA isn’t what they wanted, or like living with.

A Public Option offering more coverage than their current high deductible plan, at the same price, would be a win. Expanding Medicare to fill the gap for these individuals would be a way to introduce a fledgling Public Option, without reversing the rotation of the planet or exposing too much to lobby fueled Republican attacks. So, there’s one opportunity for the next President and Congress, the composition of which is currently in the process of being resolved.

Another target for cost improvement is a Federal Pharma purchasing plan. There is too much being spent on ads that pump up demand for false hope relief and vanity snake oil, instead of making investments in improving productivity, streamlining distribution of essential medicine and rolling out proactive prevention programs. Research subsidies need to be prioritized to focus on Public benefit and restructured Patent regulations need to strip the shield of anti-competitive exclusivity Pharmaceuticals currently enjoy, to restore balanced, uninduced demand by limiting Pharmaceutical ads in both frequency and inflated promises. 

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