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I'm not sure I can take "Four More Years" of yelling at the TV, and I don't even watch American Idol!

We have to get that second term, the alternative is unthinkable, but can we have some realistic and measurable objectives please, then can we achieve them?

In Four More Years (actually it's five), my eldest daughter will be thinking about college. The middle child will be 10th Grade and the human freak that is our youngest daughter will be a teenager ::: sigh :::

So it will be a difficult enough time without me sitting here and throwing my laptop/phone/cat whatever is handy through the television in abject frustration.

Plus, I will be old by then and I have my blood pressure to think about.

I don't expect four more years to be a panacea to all of societies ills, any more than I expected the first four years to manage that, but some modest progress would be nice.

In five years time we will not have Single Payer healthcare, but it would be nice if the Insurers had been castrated a bit. It would be great if the Federal Government was offering, or close to offering a decently affordable Plan I could buy into. It would be marvelous if we could strip billions out of the Medicare budget by controlling and reducing medical costs from suppliers, and administration, and be on the way to using that money to fully fund Planned Parenthood, or a series of publicly owned clinics offering similar services.

In five years I want to see Ed Schulz, or Rachel showing graphs where there is a modest uptick in the earnings of the 80%, and a corresponding dip in the grotesque incomes of the 1%, even the 0.1%. Unemployment below 5% would be great, and the spread of re-training, funded college and other benefits for those with real employment issues could be operating by then.

No one should ever lose a home because they became unemployed, or sick. That's not Socialism, that's decency.

I'd like the prison population cutting to below two million, with a stated ambition to get it to 1 million in ten years. These are modest proposals that don't even approach European averages. This is not radical stuff. We need more and better Probation Officers, Social Workers, Teachers. They matter a great deal and between them, properly funded they could really make a dent in anti-social behaviour that leads to prison and a life of hopelessness ... which leads to prison, or drugs, or acohol abuse, or all of the above.

I would like to see Collective Bargaining reinstated everywhere. It was removed in a year, surely it can be restored in five? I would like the Government to open meaningful and ongoing dialogue with Trades Unions. I want to see those Unions represent their members, and to see their membership grow. They are our backstop, which I guess is why they are under all-out assault.

It must be possible for "Right to Work" to mean "Right to Work", rather than it's current meaning of "Right to Fire". Stability in the workforce increases wages, and productivity, and profits, and improves the health and general wellbeing of the nation. If employers don't want stability, then they are either stupid or they are operating a different agenda to the rest of us.

I want to see a complete end to Foreclosures. I don't mean that they should slow, or that there should be "schemes" to help. I mean a mandated end to the practise. If a Bank makes a mortgage loan, then they are responsible for the conduct of that loan. There should be help for the Banks, and the homeowners. Comprehensive help that, if all fails, leads to the family staying in the home even if they are only renting it.

Those folk were considered a decent risk at one time, very few become a poor risk out of choice.

I'd like the Fourth Estate to read the First Amendment.

I'd like the Churches to read it too ... and not just the bit they agree with. Read it all please.

I would like all of our troops to come home, and I want them to stay home unless and until someone tries to actually invade us, or we go to the aid of an ally who is invaded. Actually invaded, not pretend. We could cut the Military Spending in half and still be the most powerful country on the planet, and think of what might be achieved with the other half of that budget.

Finally, and I am aware that this is an incomplete "starter" list, I would like the Obama Presidency to hammer one point, one single, easy to understand point ....

I want them to be remembered as the Administration that started the ball rolling on real, meaningful Campaign Finance Reform. At some stage we have to start to get the money out of politics. I'd like Barack Obama's legacy to be that of the President who return democracy to the people of the United States of America.

He won't achieve it, but someone has to start.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I do not deny the President his achievements (8+ / 0-)

    but ...

    "Please Sir, may I have some more?"

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 10:41:37 AM PST

  •  We need to elect a lot of old, old people..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, commonmass

    people who don't have a working life ahead of them but can do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing because they don't have to make money when they are done with their government "service".

    So, let's elect a bunch of 75 year old dems and let them write the laws.  We'll push Obama to sign them.  Since he can't serve another term, he can be as liberal as he likes.

  •  I say let's have a constitutional convention (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    and restructure ourselves into a Parliament. There would be far fewer calls for a "vote of no confidence" if people thought the leadership of the Parliament could change overnight. I'd also say, let's have non-partisan elections for Presidents. Let them be like Her Majesty: above the fray, but retain stronger powers of veto and some engagement in the power of government, unlike Her Majesty.

    I would love to see how that would work out here. It would certainly shake things up, which is what we need.

    Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:11:26 AM PST

    •  I too would like a Parliamentary system (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      Basically because it has to be responsive to the voters, because if it isn't then the whole damned lot of them are binned at the next election.

      But a Constitutional Convention right now is a non-starter. Imagine, for a moment, who would carry sway, and what kind of Constitution we would end up with :)

      But you know that!

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:15:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why am I re-reading Richard III at the moment? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg

        Don't tell me: let it haunt me in my nighmares, and it has nothing to do with Constitutions, but a lot with bad men.

        Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

        by commonmass on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:23:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Everything you ever wanted to know about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg

        Anglo-American-Germanic culture and history can be found in Shakespeare and Goethe. Every man a shill, every monarch a scoundrel, every common man a pawn. Nothing has changed, which is what makes great literature great: it speaks the truth and if you're lucky, you get to keep your head.

        Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

        by commonmass on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:30:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I sympathize with your concerns, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, commonmass

    under your plan, it seems you would abolish the entire concept of security for a loan. So if a borrower defaults, the only thing the lender could do would be to get a judgment for the amount of the loan. But they would not be able to enforce that judgment against the collateral. I guess there would be no more collateral.

    It's a nice idea to suggest that foreclosures should be abolished, but I'm afraid if we did that, no one would ever be able to get a loan to buy a house. Who would be willing to lend under those circumstances?  And then we would become a nation of renters, and I'm not sure that is a good way to spread the wealth around.

    •  You have to think more broadly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      The desire to own a home will not go away.

      Most people do not default, and very few actually desire to.

      Lenders lend money for all sorts of purchases without security, and they used to do so more than they do now.

      Market stability brings more than enough security for property loans to be made safely, suggesting that full "bricks and mortar" security is necessary is just another lie they want you to believe.

      It would end predatory lending overnight. It would end ballooning payments and home inflation.

      Banks need to lend and people need to borrow. Very little would change except that the market would not be available to speculators.

      The banks would not suffer.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:50:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can tell you this: (0+ / 0-)

        My home equity credit line carries an interest rate of 3.5%.  But credit card interest rates are above 20%.  The difference is that in the former case the lender has security.

        As a borrower, I would like to continue to have that choice.  And it's good to remember that allowing lenders to take a security interest has benefits for both the borrower and the lender.

        •  Your CC rate is so high (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          because it is pretty much unregulated, and the Banks are profiteering.

          You have to get out of the way of thinking you are conditioned to, before the possibilities become apparent.

          The difference between the two rates is not the security, it is the price fixing that goes on over interest rates.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:28:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll add to this .... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            If the Banks are borrowing money (to lend to you via a credit card) at, say 3%, and require an additional 2% for admin and reasonable profit, then are they saying that they need an additional 15% to cover bad debt?

            If that is the case, that is their fault for their crap lending decisions, which they don't have to improve because they simply make YOU pay it.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            by twigg on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:31:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It sounds like you are in favor (0+ / 0-)

              of the banks' tightening up their lending practices, which they actually have been doing since 2008.  Unfortunately, the effect of that has been a major drag on the economy.

              But that's ok I guess, because people with bad credit can always go back to using pawn shops and loan sharks if they can't qualify for a credit card.

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