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Paul's View

The subtle art of debating

The recent Republican presidential debate held in Houston, Texas by CNN may very well be one of the most embarrassing political events I had ever witnessed in my many years watching politics. The exchange between the three leaders of the pack, Trump, Rubio and Cruz, was tantamount to a name calling exchange between three third graders with the only difference being Wolf Blitzer's inability to send them off to the principal's office for detention.

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And then there were none

What I look for in a candidate for any office comes down to three basic factors: experience, a vision for the future, and, thirdly, evidence of the ability to apply that experience in a manner that will translate into successfully bringing that vision to fruition.

Not one of the seventeen original Republican candidates, in my estimation, fit the bill, not a one, and that includes the frontrunner, Donald Trump. It is not having a legitimate candidate in the mix that has resulted in an illegitimate candidate's ability to rise to the top.

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If it works there it should work here

For the very first time in the history of Maryland the number of Marylanders over the age of 50 exceeds the number of children attending elementary school.  Apparently seniors in Maryland comprise a growing population despite the fact that the death rate of this group far exceeds the death rate of the other group.

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Capitalizing on the socialism idea

Socialist capitalism or capitalist socialism, either way that is the system under which we live. Anyone who uses the term socialism as a dirty word is either unaware of this reality or they are simply attempting to haphazardly throw out a misunderstood buzz word for purely political purposes or both.

For those interested in the literal meaning of the word socialism, it refers to the situation in which the government controls both production and distribution, in other words ownership is with the government rather than the private sector. That, of course, is not how it is understood by most in today's America. The word socialism in today's society is often understood to mean any government controls or actions that impact the free market.

With that in mind, the fact of the matter is that every time a safeguard has been put into place for the safety and benefit of our citizens, it has added a socialist element to our capitalist society.

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Keeping it real in the world today

I strongly believe that the effect ever-increasing income inequality and the associated dwindling of our middle class over the last thirty or more years has had on our economy has been devastating.

Supporting the candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders, therefore, makes a good deal of sense.

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Suffocating the voice of the people

 

The 2014 election serves as the poster child for the impact that gerrymandering has on our elections. The 2014 election was, to say the least, a total disaster for Democrats as it resulted in Republicans taking over the Senate as well as pick up additional seats in the House. This occurred despite the fact that Democrats received more votes in total across the country than did Republicans.

Likewise, in the 2012 elections, although seven states voted for President Obama, they elected a majority Republican Congressional delegation. Virginia is one such state; Barack Obama won this state twice, yet eight of Virginia's 11 members of the House are Republicans while just three are Democrats. How is this possible? Simple. Gerrymandering of voting districts!

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Chest thumping isn't leadership

During President Obama's State of the Union speech he made some very specific claims. Two days later on the Republican debate stage those claims were categorically disputed and his actions, or inactions, thoroughly lambasted. I get that. That's politics, especially in a presidential election year.

The question is how would any of the candidates on that stage have handled any of the issues differently? Of particular concern to me is the issue of so called "leadership" and their role as Commander-in-Chief. What would they do differently in that role? Is it enough to simply say that they would be tougher and stronger as leaders? What does that really mean, anyway?

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Racism and political correctness

As a political observer, I am thoroughly convinced that a Donald Trump nomination as the 2016 Republican candidate for president will very likely result in both a landslide victory for Democrats in keeping the White House and a retaking of the Senate. It could even result in drawing enough Democrats to the polls to give them an outside chance of retaking the House of Representatives. From a Democrat standpoint, therefore, a Donald Trump candidacy would be a welcomed event; from an American standpoint, having a blatant racist at the top of the ticket of one of our two major parties, it would be an affront to every ideal for which this nation stands.

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The Donald and his cheap labor plans

   A recent controversy involving Donald Trump concerned whether or not he said that wages in

   America are too high and should be reduced. After Bernie Sanders took him to task for it, Trump

   denied that he ever said it. He did, indeed, say it. I myself heard him say it on more than one

   occasion during more than one interview. His saying it, however, is not of major concern; he says

   a lot of things since there apparently is no filter between his brain and his mouth. The real

   problem concerns the inability of some voters to take the time and effort to understand the true

   impact of what he is saying and why he is saying it. What is being missed is the importance of

   the context in which he says the things he says.

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Of caterpillars, loopholes and stump speeches

During this current campaign season we once again are hearing a great deal about closing the corporate tax loophole. What, however, is, exactly, this loophole? How does it work and how do we close it? A perfect place to start is with the all-American company, Caterpillar, who masterfully took advantage of the loophole to avoid paying, as Bernie Sanders would put it, their fair share of taxes.

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