12

The dirty dozen- you have left the teens. We are 12 days from the 2018 Election.

Today, the question is whether the news still matters and influences this election? The dropping stock market, the Saudi government killing people, bombs being sent to many of the major figures of the American left, the fallout over Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the high court- does any of it matter?

We’ll know in twelve days.

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Today’s candidate of the day is Andy Kim. Andy’s race against Donald Trump’s favorite New Jersey Congressman, Tom MacArthur. You may re-call MacArthur as the author of the ACA repeal.

He has to go. Andy is the guy to beat him. A national security staffer in the Obama Administration, Andy will make South Jersey proud. Donate to him here. Volunteer here. This race is razor close, and could be the difference in winning or losing the House.

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The Phillies have been celebrating the ten year anniversary of the 2008 World Series win on social media of late, and I obviously am enjoying it. Every time I think back to being in that stadium the night of game three, or watching Brad Lidge strike out Eric Hinske to win, I get a smile on my face just remembering what a beautiful, happy time the Fall of 2008 was for me.

When I think of the World Series though, my mind returns to the Fall of 1993, when a ten year old Rich went with his father to see Game 4 of that World Series at Veterans Stadium, a game the Blue Jays won 15-14. Lenny Dykstra hit two homers in that slugfest, one that was eventually lost on the first (and less famous) Mitch Williams loss in that Series.

Sure, the result was disappointing- but it was the experience that counted. I still have the programs from that game at home somewhere, and the leaf covered cover stands out in my mind.

I love 2008, but 1993 is forever on my mind.

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Donald Trump is coming to South Charlotte tomorrow, and I couldn’t be happier. The reason Mark Harris is in a tight race with Dan McCready, besides McCready being an ideal candidate in an ideal time, is that the traditionally Republican, higher educated, wealthier white areas in and around Charlotte don’t like Trump and this GOP. Sending Trump to campaign for Harris here is just dumping salt into that wound. Frankly, it’s what Democrats should want. The district runs hours to the east, all the way to Fayetteville. If Trump were campaigning out there, to his base, he may be able to excite his base and narrow the enthusiasm gap.

Anyhow, I’m glad the President could be of help to our cause here.

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I made a big decision tonight- I started Jared Goff over Big Ben in my fantasy football league. I’m lucky to have two very good QB’s in a dynasty/keeper league. Goff better deliver, I can’t keep riding Saquon.

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When this election is all set and over, one of the things to watch will be how many “establishment style” candidates made pick-ups for Democrats, and how many of the more “progressive rhetoric” Democrats made gains. To be clear, I think they’re all pretty close on most ideological questions, I think the gap is style and willingness to compromise. It will be interesting to see if Democrats do better with more aggressively progressive Gubernatorial nominees in places like Georgia and Florida, or with more “traditional” liberals in places like Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada. It’s also possible that the data shows no difference, or is inconclusive. The importance could be instructive though heading into 2020- did activist favorites like Beto flip Texas, did a more old-school candidate like Bredesen flip Tennessee, did both win, or neither? Democrats may be wise to look at that before jumping head first into more “resistance” style politics for 2020.

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I’m going to close tonight on a subject of personal debate- capitalism vs. socialism. Since 2016, I have been extremely critical of socialism, and those who self-describe themselves as socialists. It is often a dealbreaker for me in party primaries. I am not a socialist. I don’t support “the people” seizing the “means of production.” I’m not even comfortable with the “99% vs. 1%” rhetoric some of the left embraces. I don’t tolerate AOC or Bernie Sanders, much less support them.

That is viewing this in the context of an “or” debate. Since I don’t support socialism, I’ve accepted as fact that I support capitalism. What if I put “capitalism” under the same scrutiny. To be clear, I don’t accept that tax cuts for the rich and de-regulation are a “must” part of capitalism, they are a choice made by elected officials in a republic, but they aren’t intrinsic to capitalism. Europe has capitalism without them. With that established, what if I scrutinized capitalism much like socialism?

Capitalism does a good job financing the society we have, but is that a good defense of it? What about our crumbling infrastructure, underfunded schools, homeless veterans, tens of millions without health insurance, and all of our other social failings are not being financed by the political decisions made by our republic, under this capitalist system. As a liberal American, and even in fact as a true believing Christian, there is no way I can say that what we have for an economic system is doing the things I want our economy to do- provide for the common welfare, provide meaningful labor for the masses, enrich our societal fabric, and help the less fortunate. What we have doesn’t work.

I still believe in the theoretical concept of free enterprise and markets. We need our system to look much more like a European capitalist country though- more regulation, the wealthy paying their fair share of the taxes, and a national budget that reflects our values and needs.

So perhaps I’m at least scrutinizing my own position a bit more than those on the socialist-left are scrutinizing their’s.

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