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Thanks to fellow Kossacks padretom's recommendation, I have decided to  put a list of goals for the Democrats to achieve if they retake Congress into a diary so that it can get more views and get up on Facebook (I myself do not have a Facebook account, no one cares if i had a chicken pot pie for lunch,and the world out there is full of nutsos). Instead of simply the 11 I originally posted, I have added some for a full 20 point program. i will also flesh out some of my ideas.Starting Below:

Thanks to fellow Kossacks padretom's recommendation, I have decided  about  putting a list of goals for the Democrats to achieve if they retake congress into a diary so that it can get more views and get up on Facebook (I myself do not have a Facebook account, no one cares if i had a chicken pot pie for lunch,and the world thee is full of nutsos). Instead of simple.the 11 I originally posted, I have added some for a full 20 point program. i will also flesh out some of my ideas.Starting Below:

 1, limit filibuster to 10 per side. Filibusters used to be rare, and need to be so again, since having that possibility is important when we are in the minority. Republican abuse of the filibuster and other procedural tactics are partly why nothing gets done and Congress has the collective popularity of dog poo-flavored ice cream.

2 lift the limits on the Antiquities Act in Alaska and Wyoming and Amend the act so no state can ever be exempted again. set aside places like the Arctic, Bristol bay, the Great Lakes and the North Woods of Maine as monuments.  The limits in both states were an attempt by Congress to pare executive power after a 1920 Supreme Court ruling expanded presidential power under the Act. Both limits are both arbitrary and unnecessary, since Congress already has all the  imput and power it needs to create monuments- through passing legislation. Congress can defund or abolish monuments, and only Congress can declare an area a national park or wilderness. the Antiquities Act is Plan B, congressional legislation is the preferred route, but since Congress moves with the speed of a naked hiker through an Alaskan blizzard at the best of times, having the ability to set them aside quickly is a good thing, as the Congress in 1906 recognized. 22 states and Puerto Rico have no national monuments, and there are at least 200 sites national wide that could be monuments.

3 Revive the CCC and make it a permanent agency, opening it to anyone age 18 and up regardless of race or gender. the Original CCC employed 3.2 million men from 1933-42, building the infrastructure for several national parks, and 800 state parks. that was limited for political reasons to 18-25 year old white men. Native Americans and blacks were excluded on racist grounds, and women on sexists grounds. a modern CCC would be open to men , women, and all ethnicities. pay in the original CCC was 30 dollars a month, figure a modern pay rate would be 12-13 bucks an hour, depending on region

4 create a Department of Conservation and increase the money for environmental Agencies like the EPA and the Park Service. the Department should consist of six agencies - Bureau of Land Management, CCC, EPA, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service and Park service. Unlike FDR's proposed department in the 1930s, which would have merged the Park Service and Forest Service, the modern department retains each agency as a separate entity, under the same department banner. Each agency would get the same funding - 20 billion each, for a total of 120 billion annually. for the first couple years of the department, the agencies would be addressing backlogs in maintenance- the Park Service backlog is about 12 billion - or in the CCC's case establishing infrastructure in the states with state headquarters in the state capitals and the federal headquarters in DC.Once those backlogs were eliminated the funds would support a large increase in national monuments  and parks within the system

5 pass legislation shutting down tax havens and impose a 1% transaction tax in the stock market. the gap between the taxes people owe and pay is rising, the IRS last estimated it to be 500 billion, which would basically wipe out this years deficit. ironically, a surplus is bad economically, since all past periods of surplus have led to depressions or "Panics" as they were called in the early years. the only time we have ever been debt-free as a country was under Andrew Jackson in 1833.

6 impose new taxes on the rich to pay for  a New New Deal, and spend the money on roads infrastructure, high speed rail and improving health care. the top tax rate is 39.6, it has not been above 40 since 1980. the cost of fixing our infrastructure is at least 3 trillion, and the more people are covered by insurance the more likely they are to be to take care of health concerns without going broke. a healthy citizenry saves the feds and states tons of dough in spending that would otherwise be on treating and caring for sick patients.

7 add a public option to the health care exchanges. this will force the insurance companies to compete directly with the feds for services.  blame Max Baucus for scuttling the public option in the ACA debate, but like with SS and medicare, improvements come with time.

8 lift the ban on negotiating prices for drugs by the feds. Allowing price megotiation will save the feds money and custmers money, as the feds have greatest buying and purchasing power, with then forces prices lower. theres is no reason a month supply of drugs should cost 20000 bucks.

 9 raise estate taxes to 80% for any family  with assets of 10 million or more. the Founders were very much in favor of high estate taxes, they had just fought a war  against a system  that favored the rich and powerful that concentrate wealth in just a few hands. instead today  we have traded in lords and princes, for CEOs and bankers. in 1975 the estate tax was 77% for estate worth 10 million or more. the first million was exempt then the taxes kicked in, raising with each extra million.

10. lift the cap on membership of the House and raise it to 500. When the house was first created it was designee to expand in membership as the country grew in population. the 435 we have today was the count as of the 1910 census. and the cap was an anti-immigration measure.the 1920 census was never taken into account, had it, the House would have gone up to 483 members. the cap was out in place in  the late 1920s and the only exemption to that cap was when Alaska and Hawaii wee admitted in 1959. the House temporarily had 437 members, the Presidential election of 1960 had a total of 537 EVS.

11 admit Puerto Rico and DC as states. We have not admitted a new state since August of 1959, a 55 year gap, which is the longest such period in US history- there was a 47 year gap between Arizona and Alaska.admitting DC as a state mirrors the treatment Canberra gets in Australia or Berlin in Germany, it would raise house membership by 1 and Senate membership by 2. Adding PR would put an end to the longest period between becoming a part of the US and becoming a state- PR has been a part of the US since 1898-116 years. Alaska waited 92 years(1867-1959) before becoming a state. PR would likely get 5 house members and 2 senators. this would raise House membership to 441 and the Senate to 104. a majority in the House would thus require 221 and a majority in the senate would require 53. Becoming president would require 273 votes as opposed to the 270 it does now.

 12 Reinstate Glass Stengall. One of the reasons for the crash in 2008 was that banks were taking needless risks and there was no separation between banks that were buying up toxic derivative swaps and those interested solely in providing a place for people to put their money. Glass Stengall would separate banks from doing that.

13 Repeal Taft-Hartley and other anti-union measures. Taft Hartley was passed in 1947 and vetoed by Truman, the house and Senate overrode his veto. the bill constrained the ability for union members to strike. FDR was working on proposals to create Workers Councils in the US before he died in 1945, in a setup similar to what Germanys worker laws are today.

14. raise SS cap to 90% and index it to inflation. When SS was reformed in 1983 the goal was to peg the cap to 90% of wages. unfortunately we havent come close to that, currently the cap of 117000 is about 83%. 90% would put it at 186000. With increased work participation from agencies like the CCC, bith SS and Medicare would be on much stronger footing.

 15 Raise the membership of the Supreme Court to 11. The Constitution does not give a specific number  to the membership of the Court, it only states that there should be one. the original SC had 7 members, and for a brief time during the Civil War there was 10 members. We only associate the SC with 9 justices because thats the number that the court has stood at the longest. FDRs attempt to pack the Court with 6 extra justices - which was the numbers of justices at the times which were over 70- was an overreach, had he simply proposed raising it to 11, it would have passed and  he would have gotten the votes needed to uphold his New Deal programs - the Court at that time had been rejecting many New Deal programs. adding two justices would likely allow the ability to overturn Citizens United as that would shift the the balance from 5C-4L to 6L-5C.

16 eliminate gerrymandering, by requiring a judge draw the boundaries in each state. gerrymanders has been around since the 1820s, and while its legality has never really been fully tested, it is a practice which distorts the will of the people.

17 Reorganize the budget process. when the president proposes a budget, Congress cant just ignore it. they have to work with the Presidents proposal as a baseline. They can add more spending or cut some, but they have to give the Presidents proposal a fair hearing. if Congress rejects the presidents budget then it  must propose its own alternative , using the presidents proposals as a rough floor. Before Watergate, there was no official budget process, Congress appropriated and spent money as it pleased.

18  Make Election Day a federal holiday and expand the number of early voting days countrywide to a month prior. This will  be one of the methods to increase  the percentage of people voting in elections.
 19 Reinstate the Fairness Act and shut down any station , like Fox News that deals in biased , slanted and false statements and coverage. Each side will get a representative to its side, alongside folks like the Greens libertarians Socialists etc, and a chance to make its case.
20 Making Voting mandatory, like Australia. if you dont vote you have to pay a $100 fine. theres a huge gap in midterms-which get 40% and Presidential elections, which get 60%. there's is no reason we shouldnt get 80% turnout in this country. Australia gets 95% turnout.  making Election Day a holiday, and giving voters a months prior to election, as in #18, will increase turnout as well.

Theres my list. Looking forward to Responses and thoughts from the readers
 .

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Comment Preferences

  •   Theres are my thoughts (0+ / 0-)

    looking forward to seeing what you guys and girls think.

  •  I like this: (5+ / 0-)
    3 Revive the CCC and make it a permanent agency, opening it to anyone age 18 and up regardless of race or gender. the Original CCC employed 3.2 million men from 1933-42, building the infrastructure for several national parks, and 800 state parks. that was limited for political reasons to 18-25 year old white men. Native Americans and blacks were excluded on racist grounds, and women on sexists grounds. a modern CCC would be open to men , women, and all ethnicities. pay in the original CCC was 30 dollars a month, figure a modern pay rate would be 12-13 bucks an hour, depending on region
    but I'm not sure it goes far enough.

    We used to have the CCC in parks and rural areas, and a boon it was for those parts of the country -- not to mention all the three-quarters' starved kids / men it put to work.

    But.

    We need something like it today in urban areas too -- to repair / rebuild / expand

    Our public schools

    Our public libraries

    Our public roads and highways and bridges

    Our post offices

    Our public transit

    Our public health clinics -- we need good, solid buildings with protectable entries and exitways that are ADA-compliant for

    Post offices
    Schools
    Highway departments
    City halls
    Lo-cost housing
    Senior citizen centers
    Community centers
    Polling places
    Libraries

    and we need, at the very least, in every county in America, one Public health clinic in a weather-tight, internet-able (for telemedicine purposes and electronic health records), accessible, secure (need I specify why?) building with good HVAC -- with an on-call transport service attached to it.

     I'd like to see them be independent structures that aren't dependent on the grid for their power -- and can in a pinch access their own independent systems for water and waste control, too.

    why?

    Because in county after county the non-profit hospitals / county hospitals / public health clinics / womens' clinics are being shuttered.

    Some for political gain.
    Some by economic disaster.
    Some by religious fiat.

    It isn't just true in rural areas.The low/no-tax idjits are taking us back to the Stone Age damn near as fast as anything the USAF came up with during its "Baghdad Urban Renewal" phase.

    It's just not making the news.

    We need nurses.
    We need doctors.
    We need certified medication aides.
    We need home-health attendants.
    We need meals-on-wheels folks -- the drivers, the cooks, the kitchens.
    We need dispatchers.
    We need drivers.
    We need litter-bearers.
    We need water-testers.
    We need soil-testers.
    We need ag-extension agents.

    Now, once we've filled those needs we can talk about the needs of our souls -- for art, music, literature, communications -- too. We need to put people whose gifts are there into good paid positions for the benefit of all of us.

    I daresay we could do it for less than the cost of new uniforms and paint for all the military's vehicles.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:36:00 PM PDT

    •  well said. we had programs for those things (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      the Works Progress administration comes to mind. naturally the CCC would be spread all over, not just parks and rural areas but cities as well, more people live in cities these days and thats where the need is. ideally you would use as many of the sites the original ccc used as possible that as still usable then develop new ones using vacant land in cities. addressing the roads, infrastructure, sanitation, etc. there were socialists in charge of Milwaukee for 50 years. we do need all these things, and i think we could get 10 million signed up in the CCC in just a couple years.

      •  couple years? Couple months, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541, MorrellWI1983

        if you pay $15 hour and furnish 'em with good tools and materials plus 3 hots and a cot for a 40 hour work week, and they'll stampede to you. For serious.

        Kids in the 1930s rode trains to get those jobs -- across states. Across territories. They'll do it now.

        You'll get people trying to pay off student loans, health care debts, and the underwater mortgages that are killing their
        credit. You'll get military veterans. You'll get Occupy folks, because there ain't no jobs in the big cities -- that's what got 'em into the camps.

        Be damn sure you don't discriminate against older workers, or workers with only a HS or less education.

        Got somebody who can tutor in an engineering field? Put 'em on. Let 'em be supervisors or safety inspectors where there's construction.

        Oh -- and let's teach people how to repair things while we're at it. Got somebody who can do that? Pay 'em extra.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:44:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course thats why anyone over 18 is eligible, (0+ / 0-)

          with emphasis on experience. we'll take anyone willing to do the work, but we would take in a heartbeat those with experience. those whose backs aren't quite up to doing manual labor anymore will be given oversight duties, making sure things are going smoothly. we dont care about political beliefs or religious beliefs, the original CCC took in everyone from communists to fascists and everywhere in between. and it worked, thats why approval  for the CCC was near 80% across the board when polled in 1936 and there were many call to make the agency permanent.

  •  How about... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    ...term limits for SC justices? No more than 20 years on the court. Maybe term limits for ALL federal judges.

  •  Thanks for the discussion! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    First off, 20 is too many. You need only a few.

    But you forgot the biggest two:
    A)    Reintroduce a very simple amendment

    Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    Make the republicans own voting against it.

    B)    Pass an amendment to undo Citizens United.

    Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

    by Mike Kahlow on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 05:51:14 PM PDT

  •  Don't agree with all of it, especially (0+ / 0-)

    without modificatin, and would include some other things not in there.

    You cannot, by the way, make voting mandatory until it is possible, free, and easy without looking like a real asshole to those who have to pay the penalty because they, realistically, cannot vote.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 06:00:46 PM PDT

    •  that is why you first, make the Election day (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris, Amber6541

      a holiday,  and 2 make it as easy as possible to vote, through giving a month before  including weekend hours  to early vote, as well as requiring just a few days proof of residence to vote in a area. wisconsin gets such high turnout, because it has same day registration and before walker all you needed was a water bill and proof of residency within the past 10 days. walkers since pushed that back to 28 days and tried to impose voter id.

  •  If I Had to pare it down (0+ / 0-)

    I'd Combine 2 ,3  and 6 under-protect the environment and put folks to work.
     5 and 9 Under Raise Taxes to pay for it.
     i would add to ' money is property not speech. and reimpose limits on how much you can spend. i would also put limits on advertising to the period from labor day until the election. in 1976 Both Carter and Ford were limited to 35 million in spending. Figure 300 million for a modern equivalent

  •  For taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    I'd propose a waste tax on shoddy made goods or throwaway items that could not be economically repurposed, reused or recycled. Discontinue all subsidies to fossil fuels. Tax capital gains and dividends at ordinary income rates and make them subject to FICA withholding.  I also think we need to consider a fee and dividend carbon tax with 67 percent returned to the people as a credit and the other 33 percent in green and alternative energy transportation infrastructure such as expansion of renewables, ecological restoration to sequester carbon and infiltrate rainfall,  and to get on with the Steel Interstate,  a backbone national electrified high speed passenger and fast freight rail system.

  •  This is all very well (0+ / 0-)

    but I don't understand why you want to dismiss or oppose the Democratic Party's official campaign agenda. This seems more likely to help Republicans than Democrats.

    Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

    by Mopshell on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 03:19:53 AM PDT

  •  I would add raise the minimum wage to a (0+ / 0-)

    living wage and raise SS and Veteran's benefits accordingly.....

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