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How the Media Controls Politics

The Two Party duopoly has near total control over how the American people view their candidates, with the complicity of the Media when it comes to political debates. The nonpartisan League of Women Voters (LWV) sponsored the presidential debates from 1976 until 1988. In response to both campaigns’ demand to control the questions, the composition of the audience, and hall access for press and others as parts of the presidential debate in 1988, they refused to participate. Their October 3, 1988, press release states: “The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debate scheduled for mid-October because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”

Journalists should be mindful that politicians need them more than they need politicians. They have the unique and heavy responsibility of keeping us informed under our democratic system which some of them seem to have shirked. Media plays a special role in our system of checks and balances and is considered to be the “fourth estate,” the watchdog for all Americans when it comes to informing the public. Unfortunately, in pursuit of access, they seem to have lost their mission by succumbing to the Beltway Beast and have abrogated their responsibility. Surely, the media has to take some responsibility when:

>> 50% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attack in the run up to the war in Iraq in 2003. Even in 2009, 33% still believed this, despite President Bush’s own assertion that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.

>> Nobody seems to know how many Al-Qaeda members there were on 9/12/2001. Were they in the hundreds, thousands, or millions? How many are there now in 2013?

>> Everybody seems to tie the affordability of healthcare to insurance coverage when in reality half of the healthcare costs are hospitals and doctors.

Make a Change

Excerpts from Confessions of an Old Man

Confessions of an Old Man“Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.” Late Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson’s song, “Man in the Mirror” can be taken as a challenge by members of the MI generation to take a look at themselves, take charge of their destiny, and make a change. And they have the power and tools in their hands to do so. They can also make their parents and grandparents help them accomplish that goal. For the first time in American history, millennials will represent the largest segment of eligible voters: 32 percent in 2018 and 34 percent in 2020. Democrats and Republicans, both parties being gravitated toward extreme positions, offer a great opportunity to make a change starting in 2018 and beyond. One can see the frustration of many Americans with the daily grind of working hard and getting nowhere, going through security checks at every high-rise building and airport, waiting in lines at every government office, and forever being on hold when calling a government agency or credit card company. The choice is to make a change or have the federal government take more control over our life.

 

The United States has fought communism and socialism since World War II to promote democracy, freedom, and human rights. However, it now finds itself working toward a socialist order and building a wall. It has a centralized health-care system controlled by the health insurance industry and the government (Medicare and Medicaid). The government decides how Americans behave financially by printing money and dictates how we spend money through the tax code. It is monitoring our emails, phone calls, and physical activities by placing video cameras at virtually every street crossing and in every building. Furthermore, American politicians pick their voters through the gerrymandering process instead of voters getting to pick their leaders.

 

The major impediment to a change and improving the future for the MI generation and the middle class are the two major political parties: Democrats and Republicans. Both parties believe they are the best for the country and that the country will not function without them. There is no room for a third mainstream political party or independent leader in their eyes. Both parties have done and will continue to do everything possible to keep third-party or independent candidates from even running for election. They have total control over who gets nominated for any public office at the state and federal levels.

 

A majority of Americans consider themselves as independent. However, they have no voice in the governing of the country. The bottom line is that both parties are the same when it comes to governing and living off the backs of the MI generation. Both parties’ leaders behave like children and blame one another and everyone but themselves for their failures to govern. Their only interest seems to be getting reelected, instead of serving the people.

 

“So the trillion-dollar question is how do you go about making a change, and what is the road map toward accomplishing that?” ….More

 

Debt & Deficit

We are witnessing a grand, inter-generational Ponzi scheme that’s destined to drown our children and grandchildren in red ink. Our leaders like to call their strategy borrowing, but it is really tantamount to stealing—from our children, worse yet. Why? Because we have no plans to pay the debt. The real irony is that while civilian leaders from both parties insist that our national debt is not an immediate problem, a military man, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, has made the point that the debt is actually a national security threat. In a speech to business executives in September 2011, Mullen declared, “I’ve said many times that I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is our debt.”

The Beltway Beast continues to borrow just to make interest payments that are estimated to be $5 trillion over the next decade. All the while we are doing nothing to pay down the staggering U.S. debt that is projected to reach $25 trillion by 2020 according to the Federal Budget Outlook of 2013 and 2014. Add to that $1 trillion in student loans and the result is a significant amount of money taken out of the economy that could be invested in creating jobs at home.

U.S. Debt

Equally alarming, perhaps even surreal, is that party leaders who can hardly agree on the color of the White House can be found nodding their approval at the fiscal fiction “that deficits don’t matter,” as then-Vice President Dick Cheney told a disbelieving Paul O’Neill, the treasury secretary in George W. Bush’s first term. That was over 10 years ago. Fast forward to President Obama, who told George Stephanopoulos in March 2013 that “we don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next 10 years, it’s [the deficit] gonna be in a sustainable place.” House Speaker John Boehner agrees that there is no immediate debt crisis. Neither one of them want to tell us who will pay the mounting U.S. debt.

Confessions of an Old Man – How Millennials are Being Robbed

Confessions of an Old Man – How Millennials are Being Robbed is about how the next generation’s future is being stolen and what can they do about it. The goal of the book is to get Millennials angry enough to actively engage with the American political system and take control of their destiny instead of their future being decided by rich old white men. It is a statement of collective guilt that places the responsibility on my generation, the baby boomers, for dealing a bad card to their children and grandchildren. My generation controls the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the presidency, so we cannot shirk from the responsibility.

This book describes an array of challenges young Americans face, brought about by the mix of government duplicity and inaction. It starts by defining the MI generation and characterizing its economic and political power in decades to come. It then provides an analysis of adverse impact of student loans, national debt, health-care cost, global warming, and retirement on future generations. The book concludes with a challenge and a road map of a better future for all Americans…more

Table of Contents

  1. The MI Generation: “The MI Generation – An ATM for Congress and the White House”
  2. Stealing from Millennials: “There’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money.” President Donald Trump
  3. Profiting from Student Debt: “Uncle Sam borrows at 2 percent and charges students 7 percent interest”
  4. Inequality Everywhere: “The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work.” Comedian George Carlin
  5. Health Care – Anything but Affordable: “The worst of capitalism and socialism”
  6. An Insecure Secured Nation: “How many nuclear bombs does America need to feel secure?”
  7. No Planet, No Jobs: “We cannot survive our way out of climate change denial”
  8. Un-Retirement: “Americans are too broke to retire”
  9. Immigration: “America is not just a country, it’s an idea.” Bono
  10. Divide and Rule: “A permanent feudal class”
  11. Do-Nothing Congress: “It is part of the problem”
  12. Make a Change: “Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.” Michael Jackson
  13. The Road Map: “Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.” President Obama
  14. NextGen Pledge by House of Representatives
  15. NextGen Pledge by Senators

Book Reviews

“An inspiring, provocative encouragement to younger generations to exercise political clout….the author supplies a surprisingly sober analysis–one that’s consistently reasonable and pragmatic….this is an intelligent call for practical reform….A spirited critique of American politicians’ treatment of younger generations, and a plan of action for youth empowerment.”
Kirkus Review

“Exploring the ways that the baby boomer generation has robbed millennials of future economic stability, Moon uses in-depth research to quickly establish himself as an authority on the subject…. Anyone who is interested in learning a little more about economics, government, the environment, and the implications of the so-called “American Dream” is sure to enjoy Moon’s Confessions of an Old Man.”
San Francisco Book Review (4 stars)

I recommend this book to all who desire imminent change, but I deem it a must-read for Millenials. In his confession, this old man is guaranteed to convince the reader that serious issues can be conquered by working the democratic process–but the people must act.
Manhattan Book Review (5 stars)

If you value your country and the future of our society, and would like our future to be better, then buy this book. If you know someone who wants to learn about new ways of thinking outside the box and tired of the same failed ideas being used over and over that is ruining it for the current (and future) generations, buy this book for that person….Each section gives valuable information, examples and interesting observations that affect everyone. Engaging narrative and well edited, I highly recommend this for anyone who wants a better country now and for its future generations.
Indie Book Reviewers (5 stars)

I recommend this book, “Confessions of an Old Man” to everyone who wants to read a clear, coherent vision of a better future for our country. Mr. Moon does a splendid job of stating his thesis in the beginning and backing it up with clear, coherent arguments throughout the whole book. Highly recommend.”
Sherrie Warner – Barnes & Noble Reviewer (5 stars)

Munir Moon has a great ability to take complex ideas, concepts and put them in the simplest terms for all to understand easily and in a way that we can relate to, no matter if you are a Millennial, or a Baby Boomer, or a Gen X-er….a well-rounded approach to critical thinking and improving the conditions and can improve lives for future generations.”
Stefan Beacher – Goodreads Reviewer (5 stars)

“It is inspiring and well-researched – it is clear that the author knows what he’s writing about…Any book that presents solid ideas in a fresh way is worth a read, and I thought it was very eye-opening and inspiring as well.”
Nicole Hastings – Indie Book Reviewers (4-5 stars)

I feel like Munir Moon did a wonderful job of getting his message out and doing so in a very digestible manner. I was unaware of so many things discussed in this book, and I consider myself to be fairly well educated and in touch with current affairs….Recommend for readers of economic and political nonfiction.”
Essiea Harmon – Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers (4-5 stars)

Well-researched and intelligently written, this book is a tool for reflection that everyone with a good conscience should read, a book for those who love the children of America. This book should be perceived as a wake-up call to right the wrongs the generation before this one and the present generation are doing to the future of millennials. It’s a very realistic, prophetic statement about what we’ll leave to those who will come after us.”
Divine Zape – Readers’ Favorite (5 stars)

Other Books by Munir Moon

“A diagnosis of American middle-class woes and a hopeful blueprint for its revival. … It’s a thoughtful, lucid study, and it’s refreshing to see an unflinching discussion of the middle-class difficulties that doesn’t surrender to fatalistic despair. … As a brief primer on the state of the middle class, this is a valuable contribution to public debate. … A sensible, bipartisan analysis of the future of a major segment of American society.”  – Kirkus Reviews

 

“He marshals impressive statistical evidence in favor of his thesis that government aggrandizement has come at the expense of voter power. …he offers a measured,serious diagnosis of today’s political difficulties, coupled with a wealth of provocative potential solutions. …An engaging critique that sees the two-party system as the source of the United States’ political travails.” – Kirkus Reviews

How many nuclear bombs does America need to feel secure?

Excerpts from Confessions of an Old Man

Confessions of an Old Man

The US is the most secure nation, physically located between two oceans and friendly countries to the north and south. There is no question that the United States is a superpower unprecedented in human history. It has thousands of nuclear bombs and a powerful military force that can destroy the planet in no time. Yet, American leaders continue to tell its citizens that everyone is out to get them and that they are not safe. Furthermore, the United States ended up with an insecure president in 2016. Speaking of insecurity, American leaders continue to remind everyone how powerful America is, even though the rest of the world knows that.

American soldiers, mostly from the MI generation, have been sent all over the world to fight wars that are perpetuated by the Beltway Beast to profit a few—creating more enemies and making more Americans feel insecure. As in previous conflicts, American leaders continue to send mostly members of the MI generation to fight unwinnable wars to give the American public an illusion of security. Over a third of enlisted US military personnel are racial minorities and almost 72% of Active Duty military personnel are millennials.

Every day, Americans are being reminded of their physical insecurity when visiting an airport, a high-rise building, or government office with X-ray security checks at the entrance. They find cameras at virtually every street crossing in large metropolitan cities. Politicians and media pundits on television and social media elevate smaller countries, such as North Korea and Iran, and their leaders as being threats to the United States.

But nobody appears to be asking the following basic question:

Why is every small country or group a threat to the United States but not to Russia, China, or India? More

 

The Greatest Security Threats to the United States

The greatest security threats to the United States are not from nuclear weapons but from cyber space and domestic terrorism. The Russian interference in the 2016 elections through email hacking and domestic terrorism by white nationalists in Charlottesville, VA are manifestations of the real threats to our security and the union.

Excerpts from my book, The Beltway Beast, published in 2014

While Washington continues to fight its previous, ongoing wars, the real threats of the 21st century will not be meeting us at the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Our greatest threats will come from cyberspace and domestic terrorism, not the ones we currently attribute to the Muslims, but the ones that we have not even started thinking about.

Cyber Threats
“Cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation. In short, America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cyber security,” President Obama said on May 29, 2009. The inescapable fact is that modern man has entered a new frontier, the world of virtual reality, where billions have 24/7 access to much of that is happening on the planet. The cyber world creates equilibrium among strong and weak nations, rogue elements, and non-state actors around the globe. Everyone with an Internet connection is on equal footing in terms of access—and can use it for either the benefit or detriment of humanity. At some point, the Pentagon will have to stop gazing at the rearview mirror and start looking into the 21st century, where the real world is now firmly planted. (more…)

The Middle Class Comeback

The middle class is getting crushed. But there is hope. The most common argument about the middle class destruction is the declining or stagnant income, which is true. However, the main culprits are the costs of healthcare, education, and housing that have increased at a much higher rate, making it impossible for an average American family to attain a middle-class lifestyle (see chart below). Furthermore, the tax policies have exacerbated the problem by creating after-tax income and wealth inequality, favoring the non-working income taxed at a lower rate than the working income. Despite the doom and gloom about the middle class making headlines, there are three major forces working together—women, millennials, and technology, which provide hope for the future.

Change in Income vs Cost of Healthcare, Housing and College 1986 -2013 (more…)

70 Congresspersons who are 70 years old in 2019

District Name Party Year Assumed Office Born Age Years in Congress % Win Votes in 2018 Total Votes casted for the district Winner’s share of Votes Major Challenger’s Share of Votes Win Margin Against Major Opponent
1 Alaska at-large Don Young Republican 1973 1933 85 46 53.3% 280,978 149,779 131,217 7%
2 Texas 30 Eddie Bernice Johnson Democrats 1993 1935 83 26 91.1%    183,174      166,784            16,302 82%
3 California 32 Grace Napolitano Democrats 1999 1936 82 20 68.8%    177,031      121,759            55,234 38%
4 Florida 20 Alcee Hastings Democrats 1993 1936 82 26 Unopposed    202,824      202,659                  – 100%
5 New Jersey 9 Bill Pascrell Democrats 1997 1937 82 22 70.3%    200,416      140,832            57,920 41%
6 Kentucky 5 Hal Rogers Republican 1981 1937 81 38 78.9%    218,017      172,093            46,002 58%
7 New York 17 Nita Lowey Democrats 1989 1937 81 30 88.0%    193,318      170,168            23,198 76%
8 California 43 Maxine Waters Democrats 1991 1938 80 28 77.7%    196,052      152,272            43,720 55%
9 Georgia 5 John Lewis Democrats 1987 1940 79 32 Unopposed              –                –                  – 100%
10 Maryland 5 Steny Hoyer Democrats 1981 1939 79 38 70.3%    304,209      213,796            82,441 41%
11 California 12 Nancy Pelosi Democrats 1987 1940 78 32 86.8%    317,072      275,292            41,854 74%
12 Florida 27 Donna Shalala Democrats 2019 1941 78 0 51.8%    252,586      130,743          115,684 4%
13 North Carolina 4 David Price Democrats 1997 1940 78 22 72.3%    334,495      242,002            80,279 45%
14 South Carolina 6 Jim Clyburn Democrats 1993 1940 78 26 70.1%    206,433      144,765            58,421 40%
15 California 40 Lucille Roybal-Allard Democrats 1993 1941 77 26 77.3%    121,449        93,938            27,569 55%
16 California 47 Alan Lowenthal Democrats 2013 1941 77 6 64.9%    221,036      143,354            77,584 30%
17 Illinois 7 Danny Davis Democrats 1997 1941 77 22 87.6%    246,243      215,746            30,534 75%
18 Texas 31 John Carter Republican 2003 1941 77 16 50.6%    286,007      144,680          136,425 1%
19 California 18 Anna Eshoo Democrats 1993 1942 76 26 74.5%    302,238      225,142            77,071 49%
20 Florida 24 Frederica Wilson Democrats 2011 1942 76 8 Unopposed              –                –                  – 100%
21 North Carolina 3 Walter Jones Republican 1995 1943 76 24 Unopposed              –                –                  – 100%
22 Texas 12 Kay Granger Republican 1997 1943 76 22 64.3%    268,491      172,557            91,018 29%
23 California 8 Paul Cook Republican 2013 1943 75 6 60.0%    170,785      102,415            68,314 20%
24 Connecticut 3 Rosa DeLauro Democrats 1991 1943 75 28 93.6%    154,277      144,452              9,874 87%
25 New York 15 José Serrano Democrats 1991 1943 75 28 96.0%    129,674      124,469              5,187 92%
26 North Carolina 5 Virginia Foxx Republican 2005 1943 75 14 57.2%    277,002      158,444          119,111 14%
27 Wisconsin 5 Jim Sensenbrenner Republican 1979 1943 75 40 62.0%    364,005      225,619          138,322 24%
28 California 3 John Garamendi Democrats 2009 1945 74 10 58.1%    232,251      134,875            97,313 16%
29 California 53 Susan Davis Democrats 2001 1944 74 18 69.1%    268,794      185,667            83,057 38%
30 California 6 Doris Matsui Democrats 2005 1944 74 14 80.4%    201,939      162,411            39,580 61%
31 Illinois 9 Jan Schakowsky Democrats 1999 1944 74 20 73.5%    290,351      213,368            76,943 47%
32 Minnesota 7 Collin Peterson Democrats 1991 1944 74 28 52.1%    281,509      146,672          134,843 4%
33 Missouri 5 Emanuel Cleaver Democrats 2005 1944 74 14 61.7%    283,785      175,019          100,744 23%
34 New Jersey 12 Bonnie Watson Coleman Democrats 2015 1945 74 4 68.7%    252,375      173,334            78,993 37%
35 New York 2 Peter King Republican 1993 1944 74 26 53.1%    241,152      128,078          112,377 6%
36 Arizona 1 Tom O’Halleran Democrats 2017 1946 73 2 53.8%    266,089      143,240          122,933 8%
37 Georgia 13 David Scott Democrats 2003 1945 73 16 76.2%    293,010      223,157            69,736 52%
38 Indiana 4 James Baird Republican 2019 1945 73 0 64.1%    244,363      156,539            87,726 28%
39 New York 12 Carolyn Maloney Democrats 1993 1946 73 26 86.4%    251,604      217,430            30,444 73%
40 Tennessee 1 Phil Roe Republican 2009 1945 73 10 77.1%    224,282      172,835            47,099 54%
41 California 13 Barbara Lee Democrats 1999 1946 72 20 88.4%    294,837      260,580            34,201 77%
42 Georgia 2 Sanford Bishop Democrats 1993 1947 72 26 59.6%    229,171      136,699            92,585 19%
43 Illinois 1 Bobby Rush Democrats 1993 1946 72 26 73.5%    257,885      189,560            51,061 47%
44 Maryland 2 Dutch Ruppersberger Democrats 2003 1946 72 16 66.0%    253,302      167,201            77,764 32%
45 Michigan 1 Jack Bergman Republican 2017 1947 72 2 56.3%    332,497      187,251          145,301 13%
46 New York 16 Eliot Engel Democrats 1989 1947 72 30 Unopposed              –                –                  – 100%
47 North Carolina 12 Alma Adams Democrats 2015 1946 72 4 73.0%    276,867      202,228            74,477 46%
48 Ohio 9 Marcy Kaptur Democrats 1983 1946 72 36 67.8%    231,937      157,219            74,684 36%
49 Texas 35 Lloyd Doggett Democrats 1995 1946 72 24 71.3%    194,067      138,278            50,457 43%
50 Arizona 3 Raúl Grijalva Democrats 2003 1948 71 16 63.9%    179,518      114,650            64,806 28%
51 California 19 Zoe Lofgren Democrats 1995 1947 71 24 73.8%    220,319      162,496            57,724 48%
52 Florida 8 Bill Posey Republican 2009 1947 71 10 60.5%    360,527      218,112          142,408 21%
53 Kentucky 3 John Yarmuth Democrats 2007 1947 71 12 62.1%    278,720      173,002          102,012 24%
54 Mississippi 2 Bennie Thompson Democrats 1993 1948 71 26 71.8%    221,379      158,921            48,039 44%
55 New York 10 Jerry Nadler Democrats 1993 1947 71 26 82.1%    210,714      173,095            37,718 64%
56 North Carolina 1 G. K. Butterfield Democrats 2004 1947 71 15 69.8%    269,534      188,060            81,399 40%
57 Oregon 4 Peter DeFazio Democrats 1987 1947 71 32 56.0%    372,893      208,710          152,513 12%
58 South Carolina 2 Joe Wilson Republican 2002 1947 71 17 56.3%    257,139      144,642          109,284 13%
59 Texas 9 Al Green Democrats 2005 1947 71 14 89.1%    153,001      136,256              5,967 78%
60 Vermont at-large Peter Welch Democrats 2007 1947 71 12 69.2%    272,451      188,547            70,837 38%
61 Virginia 3 Bobby Scott Democrats 1993 1947 71 26 91.2%    217,722      198,615            19,107 82%
62 West Virginia 1 David McKinley Republican 2011 1947 71 8 64.6%    198,214      127,997            70,168 29%
63 Connecticut 1 John Larson Democrats 1999 1948 70 20 63.6%    272,020      173,133            95,207 27%
64 Florida 21 Lois Frankel Democrats 2013 1948 70 6 Unopposed              –                –                  – 100%
65 Florida 5 Al Lawson Democrats 2017 1948 70 2 66.8%    270,326      180,527            89,748 34%
66 Massachusetts 1 Richard Neal Democrats 1989 1949 70 30 Unopposed              –                –                  – 100%
67 Oregon 3 Earl Blumenauer Democrats 1997 1948 70 22 72.6%    384,326      279,019            76,481 45%
68 Pennsylvania 16 Mike Kelly Republican 2011 1948 70 8 51.6%    262,396      135,348          124,113 3%
69 Texas 11 Mike Conaway Republican 2005 1948 70 14 80.1%    220,377      176,603            40,549 60%
70 Texas 36 Brian Babin Republican 2015 1948 70 4 72.6%    221,956      161,048            60,816 45%

Sources: Ballotpedia, Washington Post, Votesmart.org

Debt Denial: Stealing from Our Kids

Our handling of the national debt is like a grand, inter-generational Ponzi scheme that’s destined to drown our children and grandchildren in red ink. Our leaders like to call their strategy borrowing, but it is really tantamount to stealing — from our children, worse yet. Why? Because we have no plans to pay the debt. None. We continue to borrow just to make interest payments that are estimated to be $5 trillion over the next decade while doing nothing to pay down a staggering debt of $17 trillion.

Equally alarming, perhaps even surreal, is that party leaders who can hardly agree on the color of the White House can be found nodding their approval at the fiscal fiction “that deficits don’t matter,” as then-Vice President Dick Cheney told a disbelieving Paul O’Neill, the treasury secretary at the time.

Fast forward a decade to President Obama, the anti-Cheney, who was telling George Stephanopoulos on ABC that “we don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next 10 years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.” House Speaker John Boehner, considering the President’s comments in a separate ABC interview, concurred that the crisis is not immediate. This pervasive Washington attitude is reflected in Office of Management and Budget’s 2014 projections that show the national debt haplessly climbing skyward through 2020 with no sign of coming down.
(more…)