Hillary Clinton makes a good point on healthcare.

Bernie Sanders has some very popular ideas when it comes to health coverage in this country. A lot of people on the left would like to see a “Medicare for all” where people’s taxes would pay for everyone to be covered regardless of income. This would eliminate the profit motive that many feel keep millions of Americans from becoming insured. I am not opposed to this idea in principle. I have also seen how the insurance companies have harmed individuals with their unethical business practices. Moving to the system that Senator Sanders is suggesting would help to eliminate that as well.

Hillary Clinton would rather us take a different approach to get universal coverage, in part because of the hurdles that would have to be cleared to reach Sanders goal vs hers. Back in President Obama’s first term the passage of Obamacare was a major fight. Part of that fight included giving up the “public option” in HR 3200 that would have allowed people to buy into a public health plan (like Medicare) on a sliding scale based on their ability to pay. The mechanisms for this were labelled “death panels” and HR 3200 was poisoned for the Senate version which sought universal coverage though more of a patchwork of Medicaid and subsidies.

Fighting that fight was difficult and could only be done because for a brief period of time the Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate. The GOP could not stop the ultimate bill from being passed. The end result is we have an infrastructure in place that can handle the specifics of the Affordable Care Act. Can we afford to tear down that infrastructure and build a new one meant to handle what would be needed to implement the Sanders plan? Is it even mathematically possible for his plan to pass at all? The Democrats would need major swings in both houses, something that is exceedingly difficult in the House because of gerrymandering.

This is not to say that a hard fight is not one worth fighting. However, it is about keeping our feet grounded in reality while we advocate for the issues and candidates we support. It is unrealistic to believe that a President Sanders would be able to implement Medicare for all in his first term and he would likely be required to propose amendments to the Affordable Care Act to make any improvements to the law. Of course, this is the primary season and politicians say what their ideals are now and then temper their campaigning to be closer to reality when the general election rolls around.

Liberal Dan Radio 1/6/2016: VanillaISIS, Guns, and Birthers

On the first episode of Liberal Dan Radio for 2016:

A militia group has taken over a federally owned building in Oregon and has exposed many hypocrisies in politics and public safety. I will discuss those examples of hypocrisy.

President Obama wrote an executive order expanding the amount of people required to hold federal firearms licenses and conduct background checks. I will explain why this is not him writing new law but instead dealing with an imperfectly written law that wont get fixed because of GOP obstruction.

I will also be discussing Ted Cruz and his eligibility for President. Is he qualified? Are there hypocrites supporting him? I will go into all of the possibilities.

Those topcis and more on Wedesday January 6th, 2016 at 8pm Central.

Liberal Dan Radio 12/23/2015: The Year in Review

On the final Liberal Dan Radio episode of 2015 I will be discussing some of the big issues from the past year.

I will also be discussing some more recent subjects including (but not limited to) the primaries, the so called Sanders “data breach”, the recent Ted Cruz children political cartoon, and Trump’s supposed “vulgarity”.

This will lead us to a discussion on fauxtroversies, made up controversies. Are people too quick to anger? Are people just that much more offensive these days? Is it a little of both.

Those issues and my annual night before the war on Xmas at 9pm central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Liberal Dan Radio 9/23/2015: Tick Tock Tick Tock

On the September 23, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

A recap of the debate last week that I live tweeted followed by a discussion of the various wrongs done to Ahmed by his school and by society .

I will also take your calls as well if you would like to discuss any issue.

Those topics and more at 8pm central on LIberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right!

Remember, if you want to support the podcast you can always go to the Liberal Dan Go Fund Me page.

Liberal Dan Radio 09/09/2015 – Freagle: Politically Connect

On the September 9, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Open lines and subjects for the first half hour of the show. Then at the bottom half of the hour I welcome back Niki Papazaglokis, founder of Freagle, to discuss the official launch of the project and how you can use the tool in order to learn more about the candidates running for office and how you can Politically Connect.

Those issues, headlines, tweet of the week, and more at 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Remember you can help the show expand by contributing to the podcast at the Liberal Dan Radio GoFundMe page.

Liberal Dan Radio 8/19/2015: POTUS 2016, Participation Trophies, and author Gary Rivlin

On the August 19, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Are participation trophies good for children or do they promote a sense of “entitlement”. NFL players James Harrison took away participation trophies that had been given to his children and the internet has applauded. But are they right? Are such trophies bad for kids? Or are opponents of these trophies just manufacturing arguments with no proof to back them up?

The race for election is getting more hectic every day. Now some people are trying to be Ted Cruz birthers. Most of their arguments are false. However, I will go into one argument that could actually be problematic if true.

Then in the bottom half of the hour I will be discussin the book Katrina: After The Flood with author Gary Riviln. Praised by such people as Michael Eric Dyson and John Barry, the book is an important read to see how race and racial issues revealed themselves in the early days prior to the storm.

Those topics, headlines, tweet of the week, and more this Wednesday at 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Remember to support the show and help it grow you can contribute at the Liberal Dan Radio GoFundMe page.

Liberal Dan Radio 8/5/2015: Three Years

On the August 5, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

I will discuss the last three years of Liberal Dan Radio and several of the issues being discussed today, including the Planned Parenthood fauxtroversy and the GOP debate craziness.

Tune in at 8pm central for Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

And remember, please contribute to the Liberal Dan Radio Go Fund Me page.

#blacklivesmatter and Bernie Sanders

I follow Imani Gandy (@angryblacklady on Twitter) and she wrote this article about the fighting that is going on between Bernie Sanders supporters and the #blacklivesmatter movement. The entire article is something that should be read, especially by people who may have been taken aback by what happened at NetRoots. But I wanted to take a look at this one line from it, because understanding THIS is to understand why people are so angry at the response given by Sanders supporters.

” Most Black voters want the answer to one question: What is Sanders’ plan to address the police brutality crisis in the Black community?”

Every candidate should be asked that question. And every candidate should have a response other than all the things that they have done in the past. Because after all those things, we do have so much further to go. White candidates especially need to show that they acknowledge their privilege and display to minority voters how they intend to use that privilege to eliminate privilege and prevent actions like those that happened to the myriad of black lives (like Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, John Crawford,  etc) that have been extinguished without penalty because of white supremacy.  And they need to show that they have been paying attention and not be stupid like O’Malley and say “all lives matter”  (since that is the hash tag used by racists to shut down conversation on the disproportionate wrongs happening to the black community).

I am white progressive.  I believe the problems in our country wont be solved until white people stop looking at problems in the black community are things that happen to “them” and instead look at it as things that happen to “us”.

But I am not perfect. I know sometimes I get advocacy wrong.  Many times people who label themselves as allies to the fight for equality will make a mistake in wording or in action.  Should such a person be shouted down in the same way as a confederate flag waving racist apologist? Maybe, maybe not. Is it reasonable to suggest that someone who marched for civil rights might be more open to sit down and listen without having to be shouted down?

Perhaps. However, supporters of Sanders do themselves no favors by shutting down conversation with a “who else are you going to vote for?” response. Sanders SHOULD be expected to show that he will be an advocate for equality and the destruction of a system of oppression.  And white people demanding that oppressed people behave in a way that white people deem “civil” is just a ridiculous display of privilege. And when an oppressed person shouts, those who are not oppressed should listen because there are very good reasons for oppressed people to be angry.

Perhaps white people would be better off asking what they can do to make oppressed people feel like those white people are open to sitting down and listening to the oppressed people and their needs. If people in non privileged classes felt that privileged people were listening to them, they wouldn’t feel the need to raise their voices at them. And instead of “demanding” that Sanders’ past makes him deserving of some sort of pass for mistakes made, perhaps all politicians should be proving what future actions they will take to prove they are the most deserving of their support.

To use a baseball analogy, it doesn’t matter that we all know the GOP will strike out when it comes to proving support for oppressed communities. The bases are loaded with important issues that are vital to black voters.We can only win by driving all the issues home. Bunting isn’t going to get you much crowd support. Go for the home run.

WAKE UP WHITE PEOPLE

There is a serious problem going on in America today.And if good white people do not realize the issues facing our country today and do not wake up, they will be dooming us to failure.

So what are the urgent problems that caused me to utilize a slogan typically used by white supremacist assholes? The problems are the issue of racism, the existence of multiple systems of justice in this country, ignoring your privilege, and those people who are not seeking to fix those three problems in a meaningful way.

In Charlotte last week another mass murder happened. It was another example of a white person going on a killing spree and getting arrested with no harm done to him. Tamir Rice, a black child waiving a toy gun in a park, was rolled up on and shot immediately without any warning. He had not killed anybody. But he died at the hands of police. John Crawford III was in a Walmart with a pellet gun. The police were called. In the middle of the first warning to drop the weapon, an officer raised his and killed another black man. Again, this was a black man who had killed nobody and had not shown himself to be a threat to anyone. Regardless, he is dead.

Yet the shooter in Charleston proved himself to be a danger to others. When apprehended no harm came to him. In fact, it is now being reported that the police brought Roof to Burger King to get a bit to eat on the way to prison. Granted, some might suggest that such a meal might amount to torture. But Freddie Grey died on his way to Jail in Baltimore. Why shouldn’t we view our system of justice as a fractured one?

Want more examples of multiple systems of justice in this country? Look at the black man who was submitting to arrest peacefully who got a kick in the head for his compliance. White men can openly carry and a police officer asks polite questions of them. Black men cannot. Jimmy Joe Berggren reached into a cop car in a police station and grabbed an AR 15 and was arrested and charged after being told three times to put the gun down. Do you believe a black man doing that would have also been arrested and called a “gentleman” by officers? Or do you believe he would have been shot on sight.

When black people do things that are wrong, we often hear that they need to be introspective on how the black community may have contributed to the actions of one bad actor. However, when white people do wrong, they are allowed to be the only one blamed. Nobody asks white communities to look inward at the harm their actions could cause. Nobody asks white Americans to take any sort of responsibility in how their actions (or inaction) leads to violence by other whites. And I think I have figured out why. Society views whiteness as “good”. And if whiteness is good then it must not be the fault of other whites if something goes wrong with one. It must be an exception. But society views blackness as bad. Black people are considered guilty until proven innocent. So if a black person does wrong, it must be because he is a product of his environment. This is one of the major problems in society that white people need to wake up to .

So what can good white people do to wake up? This is not an exhaustive list but it is a good start.

A) Listen. When someone says that something you, or someone else, said (or did) was hurtful and racist, don’t automatically get defensive. Take a moment and try to understand what the other person is feeling. Recognize that the life experiences of that other person and yours are not likely to match. As such that person may react differently to things that you may find tame. I am not saying you have to agree with the other person all the time. But if you take the time to listen and try to understand, you may find that you get along better. You might also learn something.

B) Accept your privilege and work to fight it. You should not, as a white person, feel guilty for being born white. It is not your fault that you have the privilege of being white (and as such you are less likely to be stopped and frisked because of your race by a police officer, you are less likely to be pulled over for driving while black, and you are less likely in general to be treated as guilty until proven innocent by the police). When someone says you have privilege, it is because other people do not. And while you are not to blame for having privilege or even benefiting from it, you are to blame if you sit back and do nothing. You are to blame if you do not work to fix the system that perpetuates that certain people will have road blocks placed in their way simply because of the nature of their birth.

And finally the last suggestion I have is to make their problem your problem. Our country will never fully be united as long as white people continue to look at problems that happen to minorities as problems that happen to those other people. If another person of color is shot and killed, take it personally. Say “one of my people was shot and killed today” and when people ask what you mean by “your people” say “a human being”. White people are the most capable of effecting this sort of change. Why? Because when persons of color try to move that boulder, they are downhill from that rock. They are pushing that rock uphill. White people who do not work to fix the problem are basically pushing the rock down hill, a much easier task (and one that will roll over all those trying to push). But if those entrenched white people also help pull from their dug in positions, the rock is more easily moved and it enables other people to reach the high ground. So this is why you, good white people, need to take the responsibility and fight for what your country should be, and that is a place where all people are treated equally and fairly.

Signed,

A white guy .

Liberal Dan Radio 4/23/2015: Libertarian Problems and also ACA subsidies

On the April 23, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Yesterday was Earth Day. To celebrate it I had shared a picture on my facebook wall saying “Happy Libertarian Earth Day” with a picture of a sunken ship and pollution everywhere. This caused a big debate that I will discuss here. On many issues I do believe Libertarians have it right (mostly because they agree with liberals on those issues). However, in some areas their line of reasoning is flawed and even damaging. Can the invisible hand effectively stop pollution? Does the non aggression principal allow for government regulation? I will be going into these issues in the first half of the hour.

In the second half of the hour I will be discussing King V Burwell. Arguments were made back in March and the Supreme Court will be making a decision. I will have on as a guest Todd Haley, an individual who was able to get affordable health coverage under the ACA and whose case was brought up by Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Public Policy. Mr. Haley would lose affordable coverage and would be adversely effected by a ruling against subsidies on exchanges that are federally run. I will also discuss the ridiculous nature of the arguments made against these subsidies.

Those topics, headlines, tweet of the week, and more on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right at 8pm Central on Blog Talk Radio.

Remember, you can always support the show by contributing to the Liberal Dan Radio Go Fund Me page.