Monthly Archives: February 2013

A NEW CENTRIST THIRD PARTY

Here is the enhanced fact sheet on my idea to begin a movement to create the AMERICAN CENTRIST PARTY. 

A MOVEMENT TO CREATE A CENTRIST CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS
EVOLVING INTO A THIRD POLITICAL PARTY

The recent history of attempts to start a third political party in the U.S. has not been successful.  They usually just help the major party candidate whose views were farthest from their own:  Ross Perot, John Anderson, Ralph Nadar.

The basic flaw in past efforts to create a third party has been the focus on a presidential candidate, not building a party.

A new third party, to be effective, needs to start from the bottom up—not from the top down.  That means finding congressional candidates who can embrace the basic principles of a platform which is fiscally conservative, as well as socially and culturally centrist.  At least initially they need not give up their affiliation as a Democrat or Republican.

When a sufficient number of congressional candidates are elected over 4 or 6 years, only then can a presidential candidate by presented.  Electing a third party candidate as president will accomplish nothing if he/she has no congressional support.

A Sample Platform For What a Potential Caucus And a Third Party Could Adhere To:

  1. Support a woman’s right to choose while providing more information and incentives for adoption.
  2. Reform the tax code to include a minimally graduated flat tax of 18 to 20 percent based on each year’s balanced budget, and a minimal national sales tax of (3 to 5 percent).
  3. Hedge fund carried interest and dividend income taxed as ordinary income.
  4. Capital gains taxed at 20%.
  5. Provide authorization for a line item veto and limitations on ear marks.
  6. Have an immigration policy which encompasses secure borders, annual quotas of guest workers, a path to citizenship, no citizenship for children of illegals, and no benefits for illegals.
  7. Reform of the Obamacare health insurance plan to include tort reform, allow insurance companies to cross state lines and increase deductibles and co-pays (including Medicare) to control costs and increase reimbursements for doctors and hospitals.
  8. Raise the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare to 70.
  9. Raise the cap on Social Security tax from $113,700 to $250,000.
  10. Support the separation of commercial and investment banking.
  11. Do away with the Electoral College.
  12. Conventions and election cycles have to be shorter.
  13. Support legalization of gay marriage.
  14. Ban assault weapons and multi cartridge guns.
  15. Special tax on “fracking” production to research and promulgate regulations to environmentally safeguard the process.

A third centrist political party can be an energetic and effective force to break the current dysfunction and polarization in our congressional logjam.  It must be created by allowing it to grow from the bottom up.

I believe this idea is worth pursuing so I have secured the services of a research assistant from George Washington University to build a list of 50 or so prominent business, academic and political leaders and look into organizational issues.

The first of 3 communications went out February 25th to seek their endorsement and/or seed money.  I’ll let you know how we progress.

ArtSchwartzSig

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OTHER FAVORITE MOVIES AND MY BEST PICKS FOR 2012

My blog in November on my all-time favorite movies elicited a number of responses from readers who had some other favorites to offer. These are some of their suggestions:

Shangri-La                                                                Wuthering Heights

Third Man Theme                                                 Shawshank Redemption

Ben Hur                                                                     Casablanca

It’s a Wonderful Life                                            The Sound of Music

For Whom the Bells Toll                                    Lonely are the Brave

…and from Donny Conn, The Italian Pizza Statues go to

Cinema Paradiso                                                    Swept Away

Life is Beautiful                                                       II Maestro

I wouldn’t disagree with any of these!  Musicals don’t always come off well on the big screen.  The Sound of Music, however was certainly an exception and was maybe the best musical of all time.

And now here are my picks for the best films of 2012. Aside from the fluff they serve up in the summer, this year had some pretty good films.

The Untouchables: A story of an upbeat, somewhat quirky caretaker who infuses his paraplegic patient with enthusiasm and adventure. Very up-beat.

Under African Skies: A documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s Graceland album. It tells us how it came about. Including some of the problems he had to overcome and gives us some of the music from, the celebration concert.

Ruby Sparks: Not easy to describe, but a clever fantasy of a writer who writes the scenario and script for his romantic relationship.  When he types it, it happens.  A real sleeper.

Salmon Fishing In the Yemen: The book was good and the film was an equal. It’s the story of a wealthy Yemenite who enlists a British scientist to bring salmon fishing to this desert kingdom.  Very entertaining.

Searching for Sugar Man: A great documentary about a very humble Detroit folk singer who doesn’t do too well here in the U.S. but becomes a huge hit in South Africa.  Narrated mostly by his daughter he returns to the lower continent after 25 years to sold out concerts.  It’s a winner.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A charming, highly entertaining story of the adventures and misadventures of a group of English senior who decide to retire in India.

Argo: A well-done, tightly directed film where they maintained the tension and suspense even though we already knew the outcome. Best all around picture.

They didn’t all make the Oscars list, but they were all well done, interesting, and entertaining.  If you missed any of these, it’s not too late to cheek out a DVD I think you will enjoy them.

ArtSchwartzSig

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HERE WE GO AGAIN

I hope your New Year is off to a great start.  So here we are again back in the blog biz. It took a bit longer than I expected but we managed to get through the reconstruction period without too many scars. It’s pretty much the same format and the same routine on a new site.

With the election over, thank goodness we’ll try to ignore the daily battles in Washington. Here’s a sample of what we’ll be posting in the weeks ahead:

  1. A catch up on my Favorite Movies (one of our most popular blogs) and my picks on the best movies of 2012.
  2. A short history of A Small Beginning – about the early days of the civil rights movement of UCONN.
  3. Six things new employees should be told from our guest columnist, Allan Starr.
  4. The great family debate – you’ll never guess what it was about.
  5. Something between Red and Blue – an expansion on an idea I’ve mentioned before on a way to breakthrough our legislature logjam.

In general, the posts will alternate between three different categories. The first area will be personal stories. The second area will be management related. The third category will be important issues on non-political as I can make them.

I hope you’ll open and read the posts that interest you, your comments will always be welcome and encouraged.

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