Kire Schneider Online

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mark Russell PBS: Video: Mark Russell Takes a Look Back at Election 1976: We Got a President As Good As The American People

You might not be aware of this, but Richard Nixon is Jimmy Carter's hero and best friend. President Carter sends President Nixon, literally one President to another a birthday and Christmas card very year. As well as pound cake every year, well at least up until 1994 when President Nixon died. Actually President Carter still sends President Nixon those gifts in heaven or hell, you know wherever President Nixon is currently residing. You're probably wondering why in the name of Judas would a Liberal Democrat be sending a Republican these gifts. 

Well I'll tell you if you must really know. Without Richard Nixon throwing the next presidential election away to the Democratic Party back in 1973-74 or whenever President Nixon got involved in the Watergate Scandal, that Democrats would've thrown the 1976 presidential election back to President Ford. Like two bad quarterbacks opposing each other and throwing interceptions. Unless Jimmy Carter was the Democratic nominee, Jimmy Carter would've never been President of the United States. Or someone like him at least up until today, we would've never had a President that was just like the American people. 

Which is what Jimmy Carter was in a lot of ways, which would've been a very good thing. Because we have a lot of ignorant people in America and we need a President that's much better than that in order to govern the country. This is America, it aint Haiti this is the major leagues of the world. And we probably could've avoided or handled a lot of the problems we faced as a country with someone better as President. I'm a Liberal Democrat, but looking back now and it should've been obvious back in 1975-76. The wrong guy won in 1976. 

Gerry Ford was much more qualified, prepared and up to the job of being President of the United States than Jimmy Carter could've ever been. And is one reason why President Carter the incumbent President lost in a landslide to Ron Reagan in 1980. Again two reasons how Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States in 1976. Watergate, the Republican Party holding the White House for eight years. And a lot of the problems we were facing as a country happening under their watch. Whether it was Nixon-Ford's fault or not and some of them were. 

A sitting President who has been on the federal payroll since 1947sServing as a US. Rep., House Minority Leader, Vice President of the United States and of course President of the United States, is another way of saying sitting duck when it comes to politics. But of course you have the Democratic Party that did almost everything they could to throw the election. Again like a bad QB, hopefully unintentionally, but who knows. Like their presidential nominee giving away details to Playboy Magazine of all publications, like how he felt about women to use as an example. That no one in their right mind would say while they are sober. His daughter saying some strange things as well. 

Jimmy Carter won the Democratic nomination basically by default because of his lack of competition, like with Hubert Humphrey. Where the term filibuster was created for who had a speech off the top of his head about anything. The man could spend an hour straight greeting someone, who seem to have an interest in everything. Including things that he never heard of. George Wallace, of course not electable nationally. Jimmy Carter was basically the right candidate at the right time and won by default. Because America was looking for an outsider someone as good or as mediocre as them to be their President. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mark Russell PBS: Mark Russell Special- 1987

Source: Mark Russell PBS
Source: Mark Russell PBS: Mark Russell Special- 1987

1987 a year that I was eleven years old for the most of it, there you have it my age, now see if you can add 24 years to that and come up with the right answer on your own. I finished fifth grade in 1987 and started 6th grade. But enough about me, this blog is not my autobiography, not enough time and I would like you to read the whole blog before you fall asleep.

1987 was a fascinating year politically and I actually remember some of those stories as a eleven year old. Democrats took over the Senate, I don't remember hearing about that, but I knew we had a Republican President and a Democratic Congress that year. Which was a very common arrangement in the 1970s and 80s, like an unhappy marriage. That stayed together for the sake of the kids.

I remember hearing about Iran Contra and even having some idea about what that was. I remember hearing the names Col. Oliver North, Admiral John Poindexter, Bud Macfarline who was President Reagan's Director of National Security. I remember even seeing parts of the Iran Contra hearings that were held I believe both in the House and Senate on TV. I remember hearing that Vice President George Bush was going to run for President.

I remember hearing names like Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, Joe Biden, Gary Hart, Paul Simon all Democratic members of Congress who were going to run for President. I remember hearing the name Bob Dole and knew he was the Senate Minority Leader. And what that job was and knew he was going to run for President as well. I obviously wasn't a political junky yet, but my parents were and got to here these stories.

1987 wasn't a fascinating year because of these things that were happening and the people who were involved. But what was going in these people and their lives. You have two major Democratic presidential candidates, both strong liberal voices in the party, having to drop out because of personal scandals. Gary Hart a former two-term Senator Who did not run for reelection in 1986 because he wanted to run for President full-time in 1988.

Gary Hart came close to winning the Democratic nomination in 1984 and was probably going to be the frontrunner in 1988. But then dares the media to follow him around. Because as he said he had nothing to hide. Well if he had nothing to hide, he must of had an open marriage. Because he was caught having an affair with Donna Rice who was a federal employee at one point. Their love affair could probably make a good porno movie on Cinemax, or well MSNBC.

You have Joe Biden a three-term Senator and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee who presided over the Bob Bork' Supreme Court nomination, that's a story by itself, have to quit his campaign because of a plagiarism scandal. No wonder Joe Biden talks so much, he has so much material to use from other people. Way to go Joe! I could get to the rest of 1987, but I already here some snoring so I'll spare you for now. Perhaps in a future blog.

In 1987 you had great political stories inside and outside of Washington relating to the Federal Government. The Administration with Congress and of course presidential politics outside of Washington with Dick Gephardt doing well enough with his 1988 presidential campaign, that he gets elected Leader of the House for the next Congress, the 101st Congress.

And this is four years before 1992 with Bill Clinton, Ross Perot and the rest of the gang. Where you have a President go from a 90% approval rating to losing reelection in 1992 with just 37% of the Popular Vote. How time flies when your approval rating is dropping like an asteroid being dropped from a bridge. But that is American politics for you with our ups and downs. We love you until we don't.

Mark Russell PBS: Looks at Campaign 1980: Can a Hollywood B-Actor Play President?

The 1980 Presidential Election wasn't interesting because of how close it was, because that presidential election was decided over the weekend. Actually it was decided by 8 PM on election night. The Carter Campaign just didn't know that yet and you can make a case that presidential campaign was over after the debates. Where the American people were clearly in the mood for a change. The economy was in the toilet with high unemployment, interests and inflation rates. With of course another recession in 1980. 

America being embarrassed by third world Islamic terrorists in Iran. And with Russia on the march in the Middle East. And the only outstanding question and it wasn't an outstanding question because of how intelligent a question it was, but because it was the only question that was left on the table and to put to finally sum up a long question, that might feel like a story now, was Ronald Reagan competent, sane and still alive. 

Ronny answered all those questions in the affirmative in the debates, which is why he won something like 56% of the popular vote and forty States. The 1980 Presidential Election wasn't interesting because of the end result, but because of everything that led up to it. All of the background that led up to the 1980 presidential election. All of the backstories that were behind the 1980 presidential election. From both parties that made the 1980 general elections one of the most fascinating general elections America has ever had.

On the Democratic side you had a President in Jimmy Carter, whose approval rating was lower than a baby dwarf's. And because of that was facing a primary challenge from a very popular politician in the Democratic Party. Who was probably the most popular Democrat in America at the time Senator Ted Kennedy. But if you want to know how not to run a presidential campaign, look at the 1980 Kennedy Campaign for President. Ted Kennedy is the author of the book, How Not to Run For President. He wrote the bestselling book while campaigning for president. 

I mean look at their theme, "vote for Ted Kennedy because I'm a Kennedy". Which is basically like saying "vote for me because I'm Jesus Christ". Actually that wasn't the Kennedy Campaign theme, they didn't have one.  Senator Kennedy didn't even know why he was running for President. So he settled on, "vote for me because I'm a Kennedy! My brothers were Jack and Bobby, what else do you need!"

And on the Republican side you had an actor playing the role as the frontrunner! His best role and movie ever that people actually went to see and enjoyed. But the difference being that Ron Reagan didn't make a dime off of this movie, it all went to his campaign. Running against George H.W. Bush, the Manager in Chief. "Vote for George Bush because I have a great resume. I know how to run things." George Bush had a hard time inspiring QBs to throw the ball. Or getting dogs to bark, but he did have a hell of a resume.

2008 was a great Presidential Election, but mostly because of everything that led into the general election. Because after the economy crashed in September and Barack Obama passed the tests in the debates, most of the country that wasn't living in a mental institution and was alive, knew that Senator Obama was going to be the next President of the United States. 

Again because America still saw Ron Reagan as a bit of a risk, wasn't sure if Reagan was ready for the greatest role of his life. A movie that people would actually see, it wasn't until late October that we knew he was going to be the President. And after he passed those tests the competitive part of Election Day 1980 as far as the presidential election was over around 5PM Pacific Coast Time. One of the biggest blowouts in American political history.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Strode Reality: Andrew Sullivan- The Politics of Homosexuality: Intro on Prohibition

Source: Strode Reality-
Source: Strode Reality: Andrew Sullivan- The Politics of Homosexuality: Intro Prohibition

As a straight man I'm obviously not the most qualified person to speak about homosexuality and what homosexuals go through in America or anywhere else around the world. But I am qualified to speak about what I see as far as the bigotry that's thrown at homosexuals as a Liberal, as a blogger and as someone who is friends with gay people and someone whose worked with gay people as well. Plus the bigotry that I've seen and read get thrown at gays just because they are gay and who they are attracted to and how gays carry themselves.

Which is what I'm going to do in this piece, rather than trying to speak as an expert on homosexuality which I'm clearly not. Just like a gay person wouldn't be an expert on heterosexuality because of simple fact they aren't straight and they do not know what it's like to be straight. And bisexuals may be the only people who could possibly be qualified to be experts on both homosexuality and heterosexuality because they've lived the life as both at least to a certain extent.

As a Liberal I actually do believe in the old fashion conservative notion of personal responsibility. That we must be held accountable for our actions for good and bad. Fine, I agree with that, but I'm going to give homophobes a pass when it comes to their homophobia just for this reason. Because and I don't know this as a fact, but if I had to guess the overwhelming majority of homophobes didn't decide that they are against homosexuality. Or the way they would put it, they do not agree with homosexuality, when they turned eighteen or twenty-one.

That its something that was already part of homophobes lives much longer before those two very important birthdays. And that since a lot of their homophobia if not all of it comes from a religious vantage point and they grow up in strict religious households or communities, that a lot of their homophobia comes to them when they are in church or from their families. That's one theory and the other one coming from lets say lack of exposure to gay people and not being friends with those people and not having a good idea what its like to be around gay people.

This might sound like a fantasy or something, but I bet if you took the one-hundred of the most bigoted homophobes who didn't have violent or murderous tendencies, that their homophobia was purely verbal and how they think rather then how they act and you had them live in a community of homosexuals for let's say a week or a month or even longer than that, the homophobes views of homosexuals would change drastically. Because they would see that gay people are people almost just like them, but attracted to the other gender and perhaps a little more feminine or masculine. To play off of a gay stereotype.

And that gay people perhaps have different interests, but that they would find things to agree on as well. And even talk about that and homophobia like all other forms of bigotry are based on simple ignorance. Having strong feelings about something that you simply don't know much about which of course is dangerous. I really believe this because just look at the last ten years where back in 2003-04 gay-marriage was seen as a fringe issue. Now at least half of Americans are in favor of gay-marriage.

But even ten years ago when gay marriage was unpopular the idea of civil unions seemed mainstream and an appropriate alternative. So we've made a lot of progress in just ten years. Which gets to my point that the more people know about something and see that its not dangerous and certainly not a threat to you, the harder it is to hate that thing. And more Americans are simply learning more about homosexuality and knowing gay people and seeing that these people are good people by in large just like straights.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Robin Smith: Hugh Hefner- Playboy, Activist and Rebel: A Leader in American Individualism

Source: Robin Smith- CBS News Correspondent Mike Wallace-
Source: Robin Smith: Hugh Hefner- Playboy, Activist and Rebel: Official Trailer

I laugh every time I hear people call Hugh Hefner a radical or an extremist or immoral doing the work for the Devil. Whatever it might be because Hugh Hefner represents what an overwhelming majority of Americans say they are in favor of. And what the Far-Right and Far-Left in America are against which is individual freedom. The right of Americans to be able to live their own lives and not be dictated to by government or collectivists. Who believe they know better than Americans how Americans should live their own lives.

What makes Hef different from most Americans who believe in individual-freedom is that Hef is honest and public about his feelings as they relate to sex and how men feel about women and vice-versa and the role of both in society and so-forth. Where many other Americans who believe in the same things as Hef economic freedom balanced with personal freedom including sexual freedom, tolerance and against statism. And the political correctness police, but are not as public with their beliefs.

Hugh Hefer is not some type of Socialist radical looking to bring down corporate America and make the whole country dependent on the state for their well-being. But he’s also not some type of theocrat looking to ban all social activities that he doesn’t approve of. He represents where the mainstream of America is instead. And is very successful in corporate America himself fighting for. And promoting what he’s always been both which is individualfreedom.

As well economic freedom balanced with personal freedom. Which is how he’s united the Far-Left and Far-Right against him and in some cases for the same reasons with how his magazine talks about and promotes sex in America. Sharing his thoughts as well as his writers thoughts. But also how many other Americans feel, but who tend not to be as public about those feelings. Hugh Hefner is not saying you must live like him and this is the American way of life. What he’s saying is this is how he lives and is the life for him. And that every other American has the right to make these decisions for themselves.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

HBO: George Carlin- On Expressions and Sayings

Source: HBO-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

You know how cliche's become cliche's? Because someone comes up with a really simple and hip way of putting something in perspective in a way that even morons can understand. Like "well that is all she wrote". Which could be used for several different situations, but generally used in sporting events when it is clear that the game is over as far as who is going to actually win the game. Someone comes up with a real, gee I don't know (talk about cliche's) nifty way of putting something in it's place that everyone can understand.

America has become a cliche country. You see that everyday in our country, culture politics, sports , someone comes up with a clever and new way of doing something or way of talking. Five minutes later it is no longer new because everyone else who wants to be cool, (oh I'm sorry, awesome) ends up doing the same thing or talking the exact same way. The modern America sitcom is a cliche taken from whatever the latest hit sitcom is and now everyone is writing and acting like that.

We are a country of Faddist's. The American religion is Faddism. We do what we believe we need to do to fit in, in life and be like everyone else. So we are cool or awesome too. You want to know why Americans are stereotyped as dumb? I'll tell you anyway, because we don't think for ourselves. We let the latest hipster or hipsters do that for us. Whatever the profession and whatever the lifestyle is. Cloning is not supposed to be biologically possible yet, but you wouldn't know it with so many people looking and talking and acting like everyone else. Faddism is in and individualism is out.
HBO: George Carlin- On Expressions and Sayings

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Politico: Blog: Dylan Byers: Chuck Todd: Senate Democrats May Overthrow Harry Reid: Why Senate Democrats Need New Leadership

Politico: Blog: Dylan Byers: Chuck Todd: Senate Democrats May Overthrow Harry Reid

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

First of all, I hope that Senate Democrats will overthrow Harry Reid as their leader which will be the Senate Minority Leader in the next Congress and I'll explain why. If there are two faces that are the faces of Congressional gridlock in this Congress and previous Congress's going back at least since 2009, it is current Senate Leader Harry Reid and current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Leader Reid because he won't allow amendments to major legislation in the Senate, especially from Senate Republicans, but even from Senate Democrats. And Minority Leader Mitch McConnell because of all of the legislation that Senate Republicans have blocked under his leadership because of the sixty-vote rule.

Senate Republicans won huge on Tuesday. So you could argue that the McConnell tactics have worked and that Mitch should be rewarded for that with the promotion to Leader of the Senate. Senate Democrats lost big Tuesday night and even lost their majority. Not all Leader Reid's fault, but the fact that so many Senate Democrats who lost were tied to President Obama an unpopular President and the fact they couldn't offer and vote on amendments in the Senate to separate them from the President, contributed to their losses's on Tuesday. Whether that is fair or not, the fact is it worked.

But here's another reason and why Leader Reid should step down as Democratic Leader or be defeated for reelection in the Senate Democratic Caucus. Leader Reid is up for reelection just as Senator in 2016. He is not popular in his own state, running for reelection in a swing state like Nevada. Even though it will be a presidential election with a lot more Democrats voting in 2016 than in 2014, he would be better off concentrating in his own reelection as a seventy-six year old in 2016. And lining up as much resources for himself. Instead of trying both to win reelection as a U.S. Senator and electing as many Democrats as possible in 2016 to win back the majority.

Senate Democrats would be much better off in the next Congress with a new leader who won't be up for a tough reelection or reelection at all. That will give Senate Democrats a fresh face as they try to take on Senate Republicans and whatever partisan agenda they may try to pass in the Senate. As well as work with Leader Mitch McConnell and President Obama where they can and must in order to keep the government running smoothly. And to do things for the economy like infrastructure, energy, immigration and tax reform.

I give you Dick Durbin the current Assistant Majority Leader and Chuck Schumer the Chief Political Strategist for the Senate Democrats as great alternatives. They both know how to legislate, things they prefer to do than obstruct even if that means working with Republicans. And they both know how to debate and use the media and the Senate rules very well to kill bad legislation when a bipartisan compromise can't be reached. They were both great at these things during the Bush Administration when Congressional Republicans and President Bush tried to pass bad legislation. And would be very effective as the top two Democratic leaders in the next Congress. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Grizzly Battle: Video: CNN: President Barack Obama's Post Mid-Terms Press Conference

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I believe President Obama did what he needed to do in this conference. Which was to graduate incoming Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for winning back the Senate for the first time since 2004. And House Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans for adding to their majority. As well to layout where he will be willing and believes he can work with Congressional Republicans in the next Congress that will have a Republican House and a Republican Senate.

I'm not one of these doom and gloom utopian the perfect and compromise is the enemy of the good Democrats. I live in the real world and know that President will have to work with Congressional Republicans as well as Congressional Democrats especially in the Senate if he wants to get anything that is substantial done in the next Congress. So I'm not expecting the President to cave on any of his or the Democratic Party's key agenda items in the next Congress. He said he won't do anything that weakens the Affordable Care Act and I believe him.

But here's where I believe they can work together. The Keystone Pipeline will be one of the first big items that House Republicans will pass in the next Congress. Perhaps within the first month and that will pass with a bipartisan majority. And will be sent to the Republican Senate where it will have bipartisan support and I don't expect Senate Democrats doing much to try to block the bill. As long as they are involved in it and are allowed votes on their amendments.

As far as infrastructure and other energy policies and issues like immigration and tax reform. If anything is done on those issues, it will have to come from Congress first and probably starting in the Senate. Where traditionally it is much easier to get bipartisan bills passed over there than the House. Trade agreements I believe will be big in the next Congress and where President Obama will have bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

Whatever happens in the next Congress will probably happen in the first seven months or so because the August recess. As far as major legislation and after that Congress will be back in town, except presidential candidates in Congress. And then Washington politics will switch to presidential politics and the major presidential candidates will drive what happens or doesn't happen in Washington. So how productive the next Congress will be will depend on House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and what they want to get passed out of Congress and signed by President Obama. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Lisa Dejardins: What Will Happen in the Next Senate

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

What will happen in the next Congress a united Republican Congress as far as Republicans controlling both the House of Representatives and Senate, will be based on what Speaker John Boehner and Leader Mitch McConnell actually want to get done and get passed out of Congress and signed into law. And what they want to try to pass by themselves with mostly if not all Republican votes in both the House and Senate and try to force Senate Democrats who will be brand new to the minority, to try to block, or force President Obama to veto partisan legislation.

President Obama is smart to invite Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell down to the White House this week to try to see where they may be able to work together in the next Congress. But the fact is Republicans are in charge of Congress and Congressional Democrats and the President will be on the defensive at least in the early going of the next Congress. And Democrats will react to Republicans based on what Republicans want to and try to do. The next Congress will be as effective and popular as Republicans are effective at running it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Heather Digby: Sunday's Theme Of The Week: Both Sides!

Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Heather Digby: Sunday's Theme of The Week: Both Sides!

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

You want to know why a lot of Americans and if I had to guess hate politics and politicians and why our voter turnout is so low at least compared with the rest of the developed world, it is because yes both sides and I'm a Democrat, but both sides spend so much time and what I percentage of that I don't know, no one does, but they spend so much time blaming the other side and raising money to defeat the other side. And very little time perhaps especially with a divided Congress and divided government, which I believe won't change much after tomorrow, governing and presenting a positive message for the country.

That is what you saw if you bothered to watch the Sunday morning news programs yesterday. Commentators representing how the country feels about American politicians and politics. Which changes nothing because the partisans on both sides who have enough power to at least keep gridlock going will take that as "look the mainstream media blaming both sides equally again. Just means we need to hit the other side harder so we don't look as bad". The whole negative argument of "you may hate us, but you'll hate the other side more if they come to power".

Look I'm both a Liberal and a Democrat and proud of both labels. I'm not saying either side is equally at fault otherwise I wouldn't be a Democrat and probably a Liberal Independent instead. Just saying that neither side is innocent here and that both party's negatives are so high right now, that they feel they can't win on just being positive or being very positive, that they have to make the other side look worst. So they don't lose more political power especially coming after a big loss. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

CNN: Video: State of the Union: This Election Isn't Over

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The victory for Democrats in 2014 might be at the state level in the governor's and state legislature races. Where they are not only in position to win back governorships, but win them in big states. Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and perhaps Ohio which might be out of reach. But they are polling well in Wisconsin as well. And in Massachusetts and Colorado where they may lose, they currently hold the state legislature's in both states. And in Massachusetts case, they won't lose both the governorship and legislature.

As I blogged last night, the U.S. Senate is still not out of the question, because of Georgia and Kansas where Senate Democrats are favored to pick up, at least according to the polls. Strong Democratic leaning candidates in Michelle Nunn who is a Democrat in Georgia and liberal leaning Independent Greg Orman in Kansas. But for that to mean anything, they have to hold onto North Carolina and New Hampshire where they are currently leading. And perhaps pull out Louisiana where Mary Landrieu is in a dead heat with Republican Representative Bill Cassidy.

On Tuesday night, House Republicans will not only hold their majority, but perhaps add ten seats and even have a bigger majority that they had in 2011-12 after they won back the House. But the question is who will control the Senate in the next Congress with a Republican House that has a solid majority. And perhaps no one will really control the Senate as far as getting anything done with a 50-50 or 51-49 majority. And the 114th Congress is essentially divided as well like the current Congress.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The McLaughlin Group: U.S. Senate Elections on Election Night

Source: The McLaughlin Group- John McLaughlin-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Just to sort of follow-up on what I was talking about yesterday and the U.S. Senate elections. Senate Republicans should win back the Senate on Tuesday, probably six or seven seats. Or maybe they only win five, but somehow Larry Pressler who is an Independent in North Dakota, wins that Senate election and decides to caucus with Republicans. Giving Senate Republicans a 50-48 and 2 majority. Or similar scenario but Independent Senator Angus King decides to caucus with the Republicans instead of the Democrats.

But as The McLaughlin Group pointed out which is why I'm leaving some hope for Senate Democrats, there are still a couple of critical factors that could save the Senate for Democrats. Michelle Nunn wins the Senate seat in Georgia, Gregg Orman wins in Kansas. Mary Landrieu doesn't win Louisiana, but Representative Bill Cassidy doesn't win a majority, forcing the election into a December runoff. Kay Hagan holds the steady lead she's had for over a year over Tom Tillis in North Carolina and the same thing with Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire over Scott Brown.

Under the reasonable scenarios I just put out, Senate Democrats could lose every other seat that is in play for Republican pickups and still retain the Senate with a 50-50 plus Vice President Joe Biden majority. Keep in mind, only Mary Landrieu is either down barley or tied with her opponent. And she is a great campaigner and has a great campaign machine and Democrats have a great get out the vote operation. And Senator Landrieu has already won a runoff back in 2002 in a big Republican year where Democrats lost the Senate that gave Republicans a united Congress.

Under any other election year and scenario with an unpopular President in Barack Obama that I voted twice for and don't regret those votes or would change for anything, we should not only be talking about Republicans winning the Senate, but are they going to win 8 or 10 seats. Not 5-7 and giving Democrats life in the Senate. Along with House Republicans picking up twenty or more seats and padding their majority. That is not happening because of the unpopularity of the Republican Party with their candidates and that they have weak incumbents as well.
The McLaughlin Group: The U.S. Senate Elections On Election Night

Friday, October 31, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields and Brooks on the MidTerm Mood

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Most likely and for me that means the best guess and best educated guess, Senate Republicans win back the Senate on Tuesday and perhaps add five seats to their House majority as well. I don't see a wave for 2014 where Republicans win 8-10 seats in the Senate and twenty or more in the House. But things are so bad for Democrats right now that Republicans despite their own problems with voters, do not need a wave to do well in Congress on Tuesday.

Democrats still have hope even in the Senate. They win Georgia and Kansas where they are currently ahead with Michelle Nunn over David Perdue in Georgia and Greg Orman over Republican Senator Pat Roberts has been in Congress since 1981 and maybe Democrats hold Republican gains to four or five and barely hold the Senate having to rely on a couple of new Independents to hold their majority. But they would also need to hold North Carolina and New Hampshire with Kay Hagen respectfully to pull that off. Also may need to hold Arkansas or Louisiana as well.

What may be the only victories for Democrats on Tuesday night could at the state level and not in Congress. But governor's races and legislature races where Democrats have real pickup opportunities in both areas. Pennsylvania, Florida, perhaps even Georgia, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan. If they win those states or just a few of them and not lose any big states where they currently are in power, we could see better redistricting that could favor House Democrats in the future.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lib Dem Voice: Barry Holliday- Electoral Reform, How To: How to Reform the U.K. Parliament

Source: Lib Dem Voice-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Things are already changing very fast in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the Scottish independence referendum in September, devolution and federalism is coming to Britain perhaps as early as next year. At least an agreement on what a federalist United Kingdom would look like. With the unitarian socialist state in Britain collapsing, with more power headed to the states as Americans would call it and the people of Britain over their own domestic affairs.

But devolution and federalism I believe will only work as an American outsider looking in on Britain, if they reform their Parliament as well. Because at the end of the day, for England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland to be able to function properly in the United Kingdom, they will need to be well represented in Parliament in London with a functioning bicameral Parliament so not all over the power and resources are not so centralized in London with the national or federal government and in England.

For a bicameral Parliament to work in Britain the House of Lords or whatever they may call it in the future, perhaps the U.K. Council or Lordship, perhaps even Senate, needs to function like the upper chamber of Parliament that it is supposed to be. Where they actually have a say in what laws are passed in Parliament and not just be a rubber stamp for the House of Commons. Where they can conduct real oversight of the U.K. Government and have at least the same power and authority as the House of Commons. And where members of this body can be part of Prime Ministers Questions.

The way I would reform the U.K. Parliament is similar to how the U.S. Congress looks. The lower chamber the House of Representatives where Representatives represent districts inside of states. And where the upper chamber the Senators represent the whole state in America. But since Britain is a lot smaller physically and in population to America, where they would represent districts as well inside of a state. But with each state lets say in the U.K. Senate getting an equal amount of Senators. But in the House the Commons would be proportioned based on population.

England would still have more Commons than anyone else because they are by far the biggest state in the United Kingdom. But this would be a real bicameral parliament and the Lordship or Council or even Senate, each state would be represented equally. So England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland would all have the representation in parliament needed to bring back the resources that their districts and states need from London to be able to function properly.
UK Parliament: Open Lecture- Reform in The House of Lords

Monday, October 27, 2014

National Journal: Opinion: Norm Ornstein: What If Independents Keep Senate Majority Status in Flux?

National Journal: Opinion: Norm Ornstein: What If Independents Keep Senate Majority In Flux?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

What if, what if, what if, what question is more fun to ask and even ask yourself than what if? But the reason why it is such a fun question to ask, is because it gives people that chance to imagine and throw out countless hypotheticals and imagine all sorts of interesting things. But to speak about Norm Ornstein's what if, he may be on to something right now because of how partisan and divided America is politically right now. With an unpopular President, but an unpopular Republican opposition that Americans aren't crazy about having complete control of Congress, both the House and Senate.

This is where the centrists, or as I prefer the more independently minded Senators and Senate candidates come into play. Because let's say we do have a 50-50 Senate in the next Congress with Democrats still in control of the Senate because of Vice President Joe Biden, or a 51-49 Senate in the next Congress that goes either way, without either party having enough of a partisan advantage to run the chamber by themselves, that is where the Independents come into play. Especially if they don't caucus with either party, or are not in lockstep with the political or governing agenda that their leadership wants to push.

In a divided Senate like that, that is where the Independents have the power, Assuming the Leader and Minority Leader are actually interested in governing and passing legislation in that Congress. And not simply looking for the next partisan advantage that will give them a clear majority in the next Congress. When the leadership's in both parties aren't interested in governing and simply looking for partisan advantage, as we've seen a lot in the Congress from both parties in both chambers, Independents do not mean a hell of a lot.

Whoever the next Senate Leader and Minority Leader is, they will still set the tone as far as what that Senate can pass in the next Congress. And if you are like me, you are looking for new leadership at the top in both parties without Harry Reid Mitch McConnell leading their respective caucus's. And hopefully new blood will come in and decide to work with the other party. Because whoever will holds the next Senate majority, it will be paper-thin, perhaps 52-48 at best for one side. And if they decide to govern, the Independents will come into power and a lot legislation could get passed. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Swiss Habs: Video: NHL Network: NHL 1979-Stanley Cup Finals-Game 5: New York Rangers @ Montreal Canadians: Full Game

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The Montreal Canadians accomplishing something in 1979 which may sound impossible today, which was to win their fourth straight Stanley Cup. Winning two in a row is a huge deal now and has been going back to the Pittsburgh Penguins of the early 1990s, 1991 and 1992 when they won back-to-back cups. The Detroit Red Wings did in the late 1990s in 97 and 98, but no one else had done it since. Because of expansion and free agency with the parity, it is very hard to dominate the NHL for more than one season now. 

The Canadians not only won four straight from 1976-79, but five overall in the 1970s. The team of that decade, which is what the Edmonton Oilers were in the NHL in the 1980s. And with the way the NHL is set up today, no other team has dominated an entire decade and been the team of the decade in the NHL since. Because there's so much parity and so much traveling and so many other things that players have to go through to get through a long 82 game NHL season. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Politico Magazine: Opinion-Richard Norton Smith- Nelson Rockefeller's Last Stand

Source: Politico- Governor Nelson Rockefeller, R, NY-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

To understand Nelson Rockefeller's politics, you have to first understand the politics of the Republican Party up until 1966-67 or so. When the Republican Party officially moved into a different direction politically and became the official right-wing party in America. That had already started in 1964 with Barry Goldwater's nomination for president, but the 1966 mid-terms is where it started paying off for the GOP in Congress and with governorships around the country.

See the Republican Party that Nelson fit into, was the GOP of the 1950s with Dwight Eisenhower. Nelson Rockefeller was no Liberal at least he wouldn't be today. He certainly wasn't a Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist or Social Democrat either of course. But he also wasn't a Rand Paul Tea Party Conservative Libertarian of today, or a Barry Goldwater Conservative Libertarian. If there is such a thing even sixty-years ago, Nelson Rockefeller would've been a Progressive Republican. And I mean that in the classical sense.

A classical Progressive in the sense of someone who believes in hard work, education and opportunity for all. A safety net for people who fall though the cracks of the private enterprise system. Someone who believed in rule of law and a tough internationalist foreign policy and national security. But someone who also believed in civil rights and equal rights for everyone. Nelson was to the Left of Franklin Roosevelt on social issues especially civil rights. But not as far to the Left of Franklin on economic policy and who wanted to create the next chapter of the New Deal.

Nelson wanted a safety net for people who truly needed it. Not a welfare state to manage people's lives for them. And for everyone who was physically and mentally able, which is most of the country, he believed those people should get a good education, work hard and be productive. And then get to enjoy the rewards of their production. That if you were on public assistance because you couldn't find a good job or not qualified to get a good job, that government could help you finish your education so you can become independent.

The Eisenhower/Rockefeller Progressives were no longer running the Republican Party by 1964. When President Eisenhower left office in 1961, Republicans were looking for a new direction and leadership. Senator Barry Goldwater filled that vacuum for them in 1964 and that is the direction they stuck with until President Ronald Reagan left office in 1989. And because of this there was no longer a base of support for Progressives like Nelson Rockefeller to step up and lead the GOP in that direction. Because they were now outnumbered by Conservatives.
The History Channel: Nelson Rockefeller Biography

Sunday, October 19, 2014

History Comes to Life: Nelson Rockefeller Announces For the Presidency in 1968

Source: History Comes To Life- Governor Nelson Rockefeller, R, NY-
Source: History Comes To Life: Nelson Rockefeller Announces For The Presidency in 1968

If Nelson Rockefeller was alive today and still involved in public service in some way, whether it was in public office or working for non-profits, which he did both in his very long and distinguished career in public service. What party would he be affiliated with? I think it’s clear that maybe outside of the Northeast and of course he was from New York I believe GOV. Rockefeller would’ve had a very hard time getting elected as a Republican today. Especially in a Republican Party that’s now dominated by the Christian Right and to some extent Neoconservatives.

But neoconservatism has lost a lot if influence in the Republican Party, at least in the last two elections. Which I believe is a good thing, but the Religious-Right is still there and powerful there. And of course now with the Tea Party movement that’s now run by economic Conservatives and Religious Conservatives and with GOV. Rockefeller being fairly liberal at least to some extent on social issues except for crime and punishment, I don’t see how Nelson Rockefeller gets elected in the Republican Party today. He would probably be a better fit as a Democrat today with his liberal views on some social Issues. And his beliefs in public service and infrastructure investment, but probably like a Joe Lieberman.

Nelson Rockefeller was a social Liberal and somewhat progressive on economic policy. But more conservative on crime and punishment and foreign policy. I mean the Rockefeller Drug Laws aren’t called that for nothing, GOV. Rockefeller played a big role in advancing the War on Drugs in America. And also served as President Ford’s Vice President. Mr. Rockefeleller clearly had conservative leanings, but not enough of them for him to be successful in the Republican Party today. So where would Nelson Rockefeller go politically or maybe he would work on a third-party Movement instead.

I don’t see Nelson Rockefeller as a centrist, but an independent and they are different. A centrist is someone who’s pretty much middle of the road on most major political issues. But Rockefeller had clear political views, some conservative which is why he was a Republican. But also some liberal and progressive which is why I don’t believe he would be a Republican today. So maybe the Independence Party or a movement for that would’ve taken off with Rockefelller and George Wallace as their Leaders.

Nelson Rockefeller would be a prototypical Independent candidate and perfect for that type of political party as well. Someone who could help advance an Independence movement and would’ve been a great third-party candidate today. I don’t think he would’ve gotten elected President this way, but definitely been a factor as a presidential candidate. Sort of like George Wallace in 1968, Jack Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in 1992. And perhaps because of this we could’ve ended the two-party-system that under represents a lot of American voters and we could’ve had more choices in who to vote for.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Billy Hill: Tattoo TV Episode- Questions For Danielle Colby Cushman

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I'm not a big fan of History Channel's American Pickers. But I am a big fan of Danielle Colby Cushman on American Pickers, who is way underused on the show. And basically treated by Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz who own American Pickers, as a little girl who can't handle big responsibility. Danielle might be as cute as a little girl physically, but she's clearly a grown up, at least physically who can do more than just answer the phone and try to bring in new perspective clients for the business.

American Pickers is a real life business owned by these two guys, somewhere in Iowa, which could be said about a lot of towns in Iowa. Who find old pieces that people have had forever that still have value. And they try to buy them a a fair price and then try to sell them for profit. The guys do most of the traveling and picking, why cute Danielle stays at home so to speak, answers the phone and try's to find perspective clients and people that Mike and Frank can work with.

But the few opportunities that Danielle gets to hit the road, you not only get to see her knowledge for the business. Which granted is not as deep as Mike's or Frank's, but she has also hasn't been doing it as long. But you get to see her personality, her humor, how adorable she is physically and personally. And last, but certainly not least, her great body. Tall, curvy, athletically built women who fills out a pair of Levis denim jeans well enough to get her a modeling contract for Levis.\
Billy Hill: Questions For Danielle Colby Cushman

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The New York Times: All The King's Men- Broderick Crawford Playing Huey Long

Source: The New York Times-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times Plus

I think the best way to describe Huey Long (aka Louisiana Kingfish) would be compared him with the recently deceased President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez. Even though Huey was a lot more democratic than Hugo and believed in a greater deal of freedom. But they were both basically dictators who were corrupt who meant well and wanted to do good things. But weren’t really cutout to be chief executives and people with strong Socialist-Communist leanings.

Both Huey and Hugo spoke about share the wealth and Social Justice, but wanted as much power as possible even centralized all the power with them to do these good works for the people. Huey Long was clearly a Democrat as far as party and politically and believed in democracy except when it went against him. And Hugo Chavez was a Socialist, but certainly not a Democratic Socialist.

Hugo was not a full-blooded Communist like Fidel Castro, but probably more like Neo-Communist. Someone who allowed for political opposition and a certain level of economic and personal freedom, but someone with strong dictatorial leanings as well. Huey was probably more democratic than Hugo, but politically they were similar.
The New York Times: All The King's Men 1949- Broderick Crawford as Huey Long

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kings of Boxing: Muhammad Ali vs. Jerry Quarry-10/26/1970

Source: Kings of Boxing-Muhammad Ali-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times Plus

As I mentioned yesterday, Muhammad was simply to big, strong, tall and quick for Jerry Quarry. Muhammad was 6’2 or 6’3, 215 pounds or so of solid muscle, speed and intelligence. Speed in his hands and feet and you combine that with his strength, his ability to both take a good punch and deliver several great punches in a few seconds, plus his accuracy, he was simply too much for Jerry Quarry. Who was 5’10 or 5’11, under 200 pounds. For Quarry to make this a good fight, he simply had to get inside of Muhammad and pound on him.

The problem being that the only short heavyweight boxer to have any success at that, was Joe Frazier who was bigger and stronger than Quarry and could take more punishment and still move in on you and pound your body. Quarry left both of the Ali fights a bloody mess, because he took so much punishment in both fights before he was able to deliver any punishment. The two Quarry fights were a tune up to fight for Ali to fight Joe Frazier for the first time in 1971 and the second time in 1973.
Kings of Boxing: Muhammad Ali vs Jerry Quarry- 10/26/1970

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sweet Fights: Muhammad Ali vs. Jerry Quarry 2, 1972

Source: Sweet Fights-Muhammad Ali vs Jerry Quarry-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times Plus

Jerry Quarry simply didn’t have the defense to fight a big strong fighter like Muhammad. And ended up taking too much punishment in these two fights. Muhammad was simply too big, strong and fast for a brawler like Jerry Quarry, who needed his opponent to be in front of him and not have the great footwork and quickness to beat him. Jerry Quarry was the ultimate fighter’s chance boxer. Meaning he had a fighter’s chance to win fights. That if he delivered enough punishment, especially against a stationary boxer, he could win the fight and beat his opponent before his opponent beat him. The problem that he had against Ali, was Ali was not a stationary fighter. But someone with great quickness and footwork. Who could punch hard and hurt you.
Sweet Fights: Muhammad Ali vs Jerry Quarry 2- 1972

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Monstr Migit: Video: History of the Montreal Expos, 1969-2004

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Times on Blogger, January, 2013 and then reposted

The Expos for the most part were never marketed well in Montreal or the broader Province of Quebec. They seemed to believe that fans would automatically come to their games if they just won or were competitive. Apparently not being aware that Montreal was really never a baseball market and is a big city of over 1M people. In a market of over 3M people with plenty of things to do besides just baseball. And that there were other sporting events to go to besides baseball and not just Canadians hockey but CFL football and pro soccer. 

Other pro sports have done well in Montreal because these are sports that Quebecers grow up with, enjoy playing and watching. But that wasn't the only problem with the Expos. They started off playing in a real ballpark in Jarry Field. But then in the late 1970s move to the huge Montreal Olympic Stadium. Which by that point with its 65-70,000 seats was a football stadium that the Montreal Allouettes played in as well. And  pro soccer was being played there. Big mistake on the Expos management part. 

The Expos needed to market their club better and actually explain baseball to Montreal, which is not Toronto. A big market near Detroit and other Major League Baseball cities where Toronto already liked and enjoyed baseball before it got there. But Montreal was new to baseball and Montreal Olympic Stadium was simply too big with the fans being too far away from the games and not enough people wanting to go there to watch baseball. And these are the main reasons why the Expos left Montreal for Washington.