For the past nine blogs, I have been explaining why the republican party now classifies me as a RINO, a republican in name only. I self describe myself as a Colin Powell/ Bob Dole type of republican who is too moderate for todays party of Abraham Lincoln. I have not voted republican for years and I won’t until at least one major candidate has the courage to publicly censure any tea party member who spreads lies about our President Barack Obama such as he is a Muslim and not a U.S. citizen along with all their other lies.
Still, I have a list of policies that I definitely want championed from any of the democratic candidates vying to be the presidential nominee.
This represents my top ten wish list for domestic policies:
1) I wish for a vice presidential choice to be of the stature of the Georgia democrat, U. S. Congressional Representative, John Lewis whose background as a senior congressional leader as well as his heroic exploits during the 1960s civil rights demonstrations, make him ideally suited to head a plan to address current civil rights issues.
There needs to be a willingness to address the issue of racism in this country along with a real effort towards reforming policing standards and judicial accountability across the board; implementing a way to independently investigate and judicially handle police shootings. Then there should be a mandate to collect data regarding all police shootings resulting in a fatality or a serious injury. In addition, instituting a method to review and redress the high rates of minority incarceration is important, considering that some of our candidates and elected officials have admitted to committing similar drug usage activities, that require others to do jail time. If someone like Representative John Lewis were to become Vice President, he could credibly lead in this area.
2.) The must have wish list has to include the following:
a.) The support of same sex marriages and LGBT anti discrimination laws; b.) the defense of current abortion laws and women’s access to affordable medical care. There needs to be recommended education standards and a social safety net for pregnant women which have proven successful in the reduction of abortions in other countries; c.) the continuation and improvement of Obama Care and the broadening of Medicaid expansion to all states; d.) the promoting of immigration reform legislation including the right of citizenship; e.) and the intent to pass legislation to enforce universal background checks on gun owners for all purchases or transfers of guns.
3.) There should be creation of an independent task force of competent, non partisan peoples to review and recommend reforms on how the U.S. government hires contracting firms. This is to insure that the highest quality companies are bidding and being granted serious consideration to do any government work. I no longer want to hear about a failed computer system roll out, as in the Obama Care start up or that the construction of the new VA facility in Aurora, Colorado has cost overruns in excess of one billion dollars.
4.) An independent commission should be set up to review all government run programs to ensure that they are being optimally managed with reasonable accountability procedures in place, and with computer software designed to early detect errors. This includes fixing the current social security system without resorting to cutbacks, ensuring its solvency for 50 years. One suggestion would be to increase the salary cap to where employees who now stop paying into social security from about an annual pay of $118,000 to 1 million dollars.
5.) There needs to be a strong commitment to end all state laws designed to limit qualified voters from having easy and reasonable access to the ballot box, thereby depriving citizens of their constitutional right to vote. In short, it is time to pass a new “voting rights” act. This legislation should include the requirement that state gerrymandered districts be drawn by independent , highly qualified, non partisan assigned professionals, so that the vote properly reflects the will of the state’s population.
6.) There has to be a plan to limit the harm of climate change in our country with a major concerted effort to inform the public as to the serious consequences of not facing up to this problem.
7.) There should be legislation passed to assure that women will be paid the same pay rates as men for doing the same jobs with similar training and backgrounds. Also, the minimum federally legislated wage rate should be raised to $10.10 per hour with future annual increases being tied to the rate of inflation.
8.) There has to be a review to reduce the number of cumbersome and unnecessary government regulations making it difficult for peoples to run small businesses as well as assisting them with easier access to bank loans and credit. Currently, the U.S. ranks 14th when compared to other countries as to the ease in starting a new business.
9.) A far reaching, well developed plan with the necessary allocated funding should be established to update our crumbling U.S. infrastructure which includes the expansion of our ports to handle the bigger container ships and a fast train system to rival those in Europe and China as well as other essential infrastructure projects.
10.) Assist college students from being burdened with too much student loans to where they are paying off these loans forever. One idea would be to have the college loan interest rates lowered with rules banning nefarious banking practices.