Friday, February 26, 2016

It sounds like a lot of young people in Oklahoma. That is a good thing. I am happy there are more young people taking ownership of their vote and their place in it. It sounds like America is alive again. Both parties. It is a great day when America has all the generations participating. But, young Americans have been absent for awhile now. 

Everyone knows what amendments the radical right wing wants added to the US Constitution and it has nothing to do with term limits.

Marco Rubio is calling for a Constitutional Convention along with Tom Coburn. He states it will be a very limited Constitutional Convention and citizen rights won't be touched, but, he wants to set up term limits on House Representatives, Senators and Judges.

According to Article V, Congress shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, "on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States," meaning 34 state legislatures would have to submit similarly-worded applications calling for specific amendments or specifying the same type of amendments to be considered. Once an Article V Convention has proposed them, then the amendment or amendments would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38 states) in order to become part of the Constitution.

It is one of those dreamscapes that Republicans sell to the deeply religious to change the status of religion under the US Constitution. Rubio is desperate and will try anything to win.

April 6, 2015
Can a group of states ban together (click here) for the first time since 1787 to change the Constitution at a convention? It all comes down to a matter of math and a few important numbers: 5, 27, 34, 38, 535 and 9.
The second method has never been used. It involves petitions from at least 34 states to call a constitutional convention, where one or several amendments are proposed. The amendment or amendments are then sent on to the states, where 38 states are needed for ratification.
If you are really interested in big questions involving constitutional conventions, there is an excellent overview available from Thomas Neale at the Congressional Research Service. It discusses the background of the Article V process and some current movements underway to bring some issues to national prominence using Article V.
Currently, the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, a group that tracks petitions, says there are 27 active petitions on this issue that have been filed with Congress. The group is targeting 13 additional states, hoping to get seven states to approve balanced budget resolutions. That magic number of 34 would force the 535 members of Congress to act....
...There are deep political and legal disagreements about these concepts, as well as the proper role of Congress in determining convention rules, so the issues could come down to number 9 – as in the nine Justices of the Supreme Court....

Bernie was in Flint

February 25, 2016
By Kathleen Gray

Flint — Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (click here) gave Flint residents the chance to vent their anger and frustration about how they’ve been affected by contamination of the city’s water supply, with lead leaching from pipes.
For about an hour, the Woodside Church, where the forum was held, transformed on a snowy Thursday afternoon from a place of worship to a political gathering spot.
“Day-to-day I see people who can’t even afford a ride to go and get water,” said Earl Logan of Flint. “And you’re charging us to drink death.”
Other residents talked about the need to remove and replace the lead service lines and pipes in the city, and yet others were angry with the state government for the response — or lack of response — to the crisis....

I am sure he was upset as any of the rest of us. There are other cities coming to the foreground. Flint lead the way in being strong and resolute. It took one doctor to make a difference.

There is much in Flint that still has to be dealt with including those effected by the lead and those dead from Legionnaires' Disease.

Marco Rubio needs to run on the issues. Personal attacks go only so far and the national race will end it.

February 25, 2016
By David Wright

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida (click here) is in serious danger of losing his home state to Republican presidential rival Donald Trump, a new poll shows.
Trump leads Rubio 44% to 28% in the Sunshine State, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of Florida released Thursday.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas placed third with 12% support, ahead of Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 7% and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 4%.
The survey shows Florida voters are beginning to make up their minds: Only 5% of likely Republican primary voters said they are undecided, though 30% say they may change which candidate they support.... 

Marco Rubio has no desire to save people's lives.

Q: You outlined turning (click here) over major poverty programs like Head Start to the states. But some of the states opted out of federal programs like Medicaid.

RUBIO: Well, here is the distinguishing factor. Under ObamaCare, when you turn Medicaid over to the states what you're saying to them is the money will be available up front for the expansion for a few years, then the money will go away but you get stuck with the unfunded liability. I'm not saying we should do that. I'm actually saying that what we should do is take the existing federal funding that we use for some of these programs, and we're still working through which ones those should be, collapse them in to one central federal agency that would then transfer that money to fund innovative state programs that address the same issues. But it would be funded, it wouldn't be something where states are told you get the money for a few years then we'll back away. And it should be revenue neutral....

Florida has a high population percentage with health care issues; both the elderly and working poor. Florida has refused to accept the Medicaid expansion and as a result Floridians with children have died. Men, women and the elderly with inability to conduct their lives because of their income are dying in Florida. The reasons are easy, the refusal by the Florida governor and legislature to accept Medicaid expansion. 

We know it for a fact. People have died unneedlessly because their states have refused the Medicaid expansion. Mr. Rubio's idea to award Medicaid moneys as a block grant will make the circumstances of the working poor and elderly worse.

Block grants are awarded to states and are used for whatever method the state wants to issue them. Block grants of federal Medicaid dollars can be used by states to balance a budget without providing services to those needing them. It is ridiculous to think Republicans have an answer to health care. They had decades to end the deaths of uninsured Americans, did they do anything about it? No. They let people die and it didn't bother them not one bit. 

During those decades Ronald Reagan was in the White House and homelessness exploded in the USA.  

So, Marco Rubio can play in his sandbox insulting other candidates, but, that is a convenient way of avoiding the real problems of Americans. 

He backs Speaker Ryan's vision. I suppose if he doesn't have his own vision Ryan's is convenient. But, Ryan turns Medicare into a voucher program. That is not good for Americans. 

His ideas about guns are no different from every other radical Republican. This is his reason for extremist views:

Criminals will ignore gun laws because they're criminals (click here)

Well, that is a  stroke of genius. This is THE premise Republicans use to pander to the gun rights groups. Instead of finding ways to limit guns and gun violence the Republican Party gives in and turns it over to the Supreme Court to write the legislation.

Military style weapons can be regulated as stated by the Supreme Court and restated in recent decisions. Yet, with the knowledge of what is constitutional and what is not the Republican legislature in Washington, DC hides under the bed because they are afraid of the raging storm called gun lobbyists.

The federal Republicans simply state "It is a states' rights issue." "W"rong. The test of the issues have gone through the Supreme Court more than once and there is still no comprehensive federal law that prevents guns to travel over state lines. In states with stringent gun laws are actually degraded because of the lack of federal legislation. New York City and Chicago are prime example of it.

There are incredible numbers of deaths in our cities and while they try their best to legislate laws that would work FOR THEM, the lack of federal laws are absent causing problems for cities. Deaths are meaningless to Republicans and Marco Rubio is proving to be stamped out of the same "Inside DC" machine.  

On, yippee, Uber enters the trucking industry.

This is not a good thing. Brokers (the middle man) does a lot for truckers and the freight companies.

There are several organizational structures in the industry. There are companies such as USPS, UPS and FedEx that carry the freight brought them directly from the public. These larger companies are often unionized. That is a good thing, because, these companies often hire part time labor during busy times such as Christmas. The unions do have a say in the part time wage, but, they also uphold a strong wage structure for the full time employee. That form of structure is a retention guarantee. In having a good retention structure, there is consistency in the safe handling of freight when it comes to truck drivers and jet pilots.

Then there are the contractor truck drivers. They receive contracts for their services. These are the folks that sometimes deliver giant cranes to construction sites or they work with companies like UPS during those busy times of year. If one ever passes a UPS hub there is always a possibility there are contract truckers at the bays to be loaded. These drivers are taking freight a distance and are not local drivers.

Then are the independents. They own their rigs, at least one rig and often more than one. They have no company looking over their shoulders and work with brokers to move freight, frequently EXEMPT freight. This is where the brokers come in. If independents become dependent on computers there will be independents going out of business.

Brokers front for a lot of money. If the broker is interested in moving melons out of Medina, California to New York's produce market, it costs money. An independent can walk into a broker's office and receive cash as an advance on the transportation. The reason is obvious. The cash pays for fuel and whatever might be driver(s) salaries. It is also an incentive to work with a broker. The independents have a percentage of the income available for repairs and the unexpected, but, it also provides for timely payments if the truck(s) are financed. Brokers of freight are very good things and perhaps under appreciated. Yes, they get a piece of the action for handing the freight transaction.

If computer apps are used instead of a human being to move freight there are independents that will go out of business because invoicing companies has a turn around time of up to 3 months or more. Independents will find themselves needing a bookkeeper that is also an accounts receivable clerk. Independents don't have common ground with other independents in recovering freight costs to companies. Brokers are significant entities in the movement of freight and deal with reputable companies. For an independent that learning curve will find themselves facing a bankruptcy court.

I don't like Uber. I don't believe it is a good thing. Uber is a Wall Street dream of finding a marginal profit of American and European infrastructure and squeezing every penny out of it. It looks empowering to Americans with a lower income, but, think about that. Someone that needs another job to make ends meet probably have lower quality cars as well as a significant stress in making ends meet. That is the beauty of poverty and the working poor, they die early from the financial stress in their lives. You know, the white guys that die earlier in a study released recently. When Americans die early there is a bump of SSI savings. There is a lot of reason to build stress into the American society. 

The point is Americans are fine, especially truck drivers. Working with a broker is a far better idea than working with Uber that will increase the death rate of truck drivers. Let's hope that increased stress and death rate doesn't result in truck accidents where mom and her kids get caught up in it and might not make it to the emergency room in time to save their lives. 

Uber is a plague and needs to end. The people who thunk it up need to realize the socially responsible move is for them to close their doors. Uber is like a paycheck lender. It simply is not at all a good idea.

February 23, 2016
By Russ Banham

Now several mobile applications (click here)  are looking to alter this paradigm for the better. By replacing the traditional middleman linking truckers to shippers and vice versa, the apps are shaping up to be as disruptive to the trucking industry as Uber was for the taxi business.
One of these new apps is Cargomatic, the brainchild of a tech entrepreneur from Silicon Valley and a logistics expert from Los Angeles, which launched in 2014. Another is Convoy, a Seattle-based startup launched in September 2015.
Not surprisingly, both companies leverage the similarities of their apps to Uber in their marketing materials. The comparisons are obvious, although the apps transport freight and not people. Like Uber, both companies have created algorithms that address the transportation needs between two parties, with all the financial logistics, such as billing and payment, handled by the app....