Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Samuel Wilson-CBS News: Ronald Reagan Debates Representative John Anderson For President- September 21, 1980

Source: Samuel Wilson- U.S. Representative John Anderson, I, Illinois-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

It seems strange to me that President Jimmy Carter would turn down a chance to debate Ronald Reagan in 1980. Even with a third-party candidate like Representative John Anderson in the debate. Because Jimmy Carter was the underdog in this race even though the polls were close for most of the election. But with the situation of the country with the economy and the Iranian hostage situation with all of those Americans being held hostage in Iran and Russia on the march in Central Asia. President Carter was the underdog in this election simply because of the situation of the country under his watch. And the fact that millions of Americans were looking for new leadership and taking a long look at Ron Reagan and perhaps even Representative Anderson. President Carter needed to take advantage of every opportunity that he had to convince Americans that he deserved another opportunity as President similar to George Bush in 1992 and he didn't take that shot.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Politico Magazine: Opinion: Thomas E. Ricks: Why Am I Moving Left?

Thomas Ricks

Politico Magazine: Opinion: Thomas E. Ricks: Why Am I Moving Left?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

I can see why the last thirty plus years would move someone who is not a radical-rightist would move someone Left politically. Probably to the center-left because it is hard to imagine someone on the Right moving to the far-left for obvious reasons. But in Tom Ricks case I can see why he has moved left. Because he sees the current situation of the country and the people who have been in charge and thinking that something has to change and get those people out of power. Who seem to believe that the wealthy should do well even at the cost of everyone else and somehow that will trickle down to the rest of us.

Or no limits on campaign finance to the point elections are won in a lot of cases based on who has the most money to finance the biggest smear campaign against the other side. Or the Second Amendment rights at all costs. For me those issues are examples of why I'm a Liberal, but I just didn't suddenly come to liberalism. I've always believed in equal opportunity and that opportunity needs to be expanded to people who need it. I've always believed in the Second Amendment to go along with gun control. Not gun prohibition which is different. Because I don't believe criminals and the mentally handicapped have a constitutional right to own possess, and fire guns.

I've always believed in civil and equal right for all including for homosexuals. Because we are all people and should be judged by our character and be judged based on how interact with others and our personal and professional qualifications. Not by our race, ethnicity, complexion, religion or sexuality or gender. I've always believed in civil liberties and personal freedom in general. Because it is not the job of government to run our lives for us and try to protect us from ourselves. And if anything the nanny state has gotten bigger the last fifteen-years or so.

These are just some of my liberal values, but these are American values as well. The Constitution is a liberal document whether today's so-called Progressives and hyper-partisans on the Right want to believe that or not. So I can see why Tom Ricks would just suddenly realize that the Left may be right for him. But you would think more Americans would understand these values as well.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Dish: Andrew Sullivan- 'Why Am I Moving Left?'

Source: The Dish
Source: The New Democrat

Whatever Andrew Sullivan is calling himself these days, I still consider him to be a Conservative. Conservative Libertarian even if that makes you feel better. Because similar to Barry Goldwater it is not that conservatism has changed, but similar to liberalism it is the people who call themselves Conservatives or Liberals that have changed. Using the old labels and throwing out the classical ideology and putting in something that is more comfortable with their ideological perspective.

Today's Conservative is someone who's supposed to believe that the Federal Government should decide who can and can't marry.

That deficits and debt doesn't matter except when there is a Democratic administration.

That tax cuts automatically pay for itself.

That America can afford to and must police the world.

Security before liberty.

That expanding government into the economy is a good thing if it is done with private market principles.

The Second Amendment is not only absolute, but the only absolute Constitutional Amendment that we have. Meaning it isn't subjected to any form of regulation.

That there's so such thing as waste in the Defense Department. Even though it is a government agency run by bureaucrats. And no limits to what America can spend on defense.

Corporation's are people.

Andrew Sullivan's politics hasn't changed. He believes the same things that he did probably twenty years ago. But what has changed is the Republican Party and the broader American Right. To the point that Sullivan looks moderate to liberal or libertarian by comparison. But conservatism today is what it was when Barry Goldwater put it on the map in 1964. That big government is government that interferes in the economic and personal affairs of Americans. Whether it is taxing a lot of their money from them to spend on their behalf. Or trying to run their personal lives for them.

The modern rightist or Republican or what I call rabid partisans on the right do not resemble what it means to be a Conservative. Because as much as they may talk about how much they love the Constitution they spend as much time trying to change it. Instead of being about conserving individual freedom both economic and personal. Limited government, that government closest to home is the best government. Defend America first with a limited foreign policy. Not try to police the world ourselves. And keeping spending down so we don't rack up large deficits and debt.

The rabid partisan is against Barack Obama no matter what even if they are actually in favor of it. Instead of fixing problems looking to blame President Obama for everything that has happened since the Earth was created. It is not that conservatism has changed, but the far-right that used to be so small in the Republican Party that they looked like a group of people who want to outlaw eating meat. Where today they have enough power to decide if the Republican Party can win elections or not. Sullivan is still Sullivan, but his party has changed.
The Free Speech Project: Speaking Freely With Andrew Sullivan

Friday, July 25, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields and Brooks on President Obama's Handling of Border Crisis, Mideast Violence

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

As far as the border crisis the issue I believe is fairly simple to resolve. Governor Rick Perry finally called up the Texas National Guard after claiming for weeks he wanted to do that, but never actually acting on it. The President has sent up a bill to Congress to deal with the humanitarian crisis and get the Border Control the resources it needs to help secure the border. The Senate plans to take it up before Congress goes on recess, but will probably pass a smaller bill. The House doesn't seem to have the votes to do anything about it.

As far as Gaza, Israel and Hamas. Again I covered this yesterday, but as long as Hamas is in the picture there will never be peace between Israel and Palestine. Because Hamas doesn't want peace and their only goal is for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel to create a united Palestinian Islamic State. And as long as they are strong enough to hurt Israel they are going to do exactly that. Israel will certainly never surrender and the only way you get Hamas to end their part of the conflict. Is either destroying them, or making them weak enough where they feel they need a short-term peace.
Hamas Fighter

Thursday, July 24, 2014

RAND: With the Death Toll Rising in Gaza, is There Any Hope For Peace?

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

Here is one of the few times that I've ever agreed with Senator Lindsay Graham on anything. As long as Hamas is part of any Palestinian government there will never be peace between Israel and Palestine. Because Israel will always feel the need and rightfully so to occupy at least parts of Palestine especially Gaza in order to make Israel as secure as possible. So if you want peace between Israel and Palestine, you need to get Hamas out of the picture as part of any government coalition and treat them like the terrorists that they are.

I don't claim to be an expert on Israel and Palestine because I'm not. But I believe I have a short-term solution in how to end the conflict there. You make the West Bank an independent country from Israel which would be Palestine or the early days on an Independent State of Palestine with the West Bank Palestinian government in complete control there of the governing there. Including security, armed forces, foreign relations, their own currency there.

Then Israel working together with Palestine and perhaps in coalition of NATO they takeout Hamas in Gaza so Hamas is no longer able to control Gaza in any way. And once Hamas is out of picture Israel and Palestine can once again talk about the final solution and territorial rights of both countries with the West Bank and Gaza now under complete governing control of the Independent State of Palestine. With Hamas out of the picture as part of any governing coalition.
Al Jazeera: Gaza Death Doll Continues To Rise

Foreign Policy: Opinion- Tom Ricks: Want a Better Military? Make it Smaller: Why America Can't Afford to Police the World

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

If you truly believe in a strong American military and that it is essential for not only America to be safe, but for us to play our part in seeing that the rest of world has a shot at living in peace and you are not part of the anti-military far-left, or anti-military libertarian-right, or the America police the world Neoconservative Right, then you believe there are and has to be limits to what we put our military and our service people through in seeing that we accomplish those goals of a secure America and a safer world.

Theoretically any country that controls it's own currency which is most of the world outside of the European Union can borrow and print money indefinitely to finance their military and other governmental operations. Well until their currency is so weak that it becomes essentially worthless. Borrowing money is just that and when you run up debt you have to pay that back even if it is a little bit at a time. Even if your national government doesn't pay the debt back that debt gets passed down to its taxpayers in the form of higher interest rates. Everything that government does has costs including the military.

And based on this when countries figure out their national budgets every year they have to look at what they need to finance. The money available to finance those operations including the military and what they can afford to spend on those public investments. The military is always part of any national budget and the key word being budget. Even the United States has to budget it's military and we simply can't afford to police the world anymore based on previous debt we've already run up and the current shape of our military.

Which means other countries especially developed countries have to play their part in securing their own national defense. And I'm thinking of Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea to use as examples. Which means American taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for the national defense for people who aren't willing to pay for their own national defense. And I'm thinking of Europe especially, but Japan is another big one. And what we should be telling those countries is that "we still want to be your allies and work with you and even help you be able to defend yourself like with training and equipment. But those things aren't free and you are going to have to compensate us for those resources".

We should get our military out of Europe and Japan and even Saudi Arabia and Korea and perhaps have a fleet of ships in the water nearby in case there are some new developments and threats that emerge in those countries. That no one could see coming that would pay us to do for them. But America has its own problems and we need to be rebuilding America and getting our own economic and fiscal houses in order and demanding that countries that can afford to pay for their own national defense do exactly that.
Hill Center: Tom Ricks- U.S. Military Leadership in Decline

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

John Pilger: George Wallace- The Most Powerful Politician in America

Governor George C. Wallace, D, Alabama, 1959-67-1971-79-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times Plus

Was Governor George Wallace ever the most powerful politician in America? I have my doubts, but he probably was the most powerful Southern governor during his time as far as the amount of power he had in his state. The Kennedy Administration at least in the early 1960s didn’t know how to deal with him, because President Kennedy believed he needed the South and even Alabama to get reelected in 1964. But also wanted to pass civil rights laws that Governor Wallace was obviously against. A horrible innocent with civil rights marchers being killed by law enforcement in 1963, brought President Kennedy to the point where he believed he had to get behind the civil rights movement in full. And makes his great civil rights speech to the country in the summer of 1963.

But the Johnson Administration knew how to deal with him which was by enforcing the Federal court orders and even doing it in public and making the Governor look weak by comparison. And of course that famous Lyndon Johnson treatment where he brings the Governor into the Oval Office and has Wallace saying that “if he stayed any longer LBJ would’ve had him coming out in favor of civil rights”. Governor Wallace was a threat, but how powerful he was is at best an open question. Because the Federal Government whipped in every court battle. Wallace was a threat to the Democratic Party in the sense that there were Democrats back then who believed they still needed the South to get reelected and gain more political power.

And I mean there were Anglo-Saxon Southerners people whose families came from Britain, that powerful Democrats believed they had to have to get reelected and to gain more power. Lyndon Johnson our civil rights President, was a strong supporter of civil rights and equal rights, until he became President. And made civil rights part of his carrying out President Kennedy’s agenda and fulfilling his legacy as part of his own administration. So there were still Democrats in the 1960s and early 1970s, who believed they had to have racist Southerners as part of their electoral coalition. And these voters were George Wallace voters in the 1960s and 1970s. So in that sense George Wallace was very powerful in the South, because of all the Southern Democrats that he represented.
John Pilger: George Wallace- The Most Powerful Politician in America- 1974

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Young Turks: Video: Cenk Uygur & Anna Kasparien: "The Establishment Should Fear Elizabeth Warren"

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

What are the real political differences between Senator Barack Obama from 2005 to late 2008 and Senator Elizabeth Warren now? They both used and use great rhetoric in the sense that they know how to move their bases and the progressive wing (if you want to call it that) of the Democratic Party. But if you look at their voting records in the Senate they were and are both with their leadership in the Senate that would put them with center-left of the party. But certainly not leftist radical Green Party Progressive Caucus types the Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader types that The Young Turks tend to follow and love.

I don't know if Senator Warren is going to run for president or not and what I've seen from her so far doesn't give me much to vote for. Long on rhetoric and short on policy, but keep in mind U.S. Senator is not only her first experience in Congress, but in public office in general at least as an elected official and she's only been on the job for eighteen months.

But the only people that should fear the Senator if she runs for president are the Hillary Clinton establishment Democrats. Because if Senator Warren does run she'll take real stances and force Hillary Clinton to officially go on the record on things that she would rather keep a big secret at least until the general election in 2016.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chris Brandt: U.S. Representative Steve Cohen Schools DEA Official About Marijuana & The Quality of Life

Source: Chris Brandt- U.S. Representative Steve Cohen D, Tennessee-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I agree with Representative Steve Cohen that marijuana prohibition is definitely a joke and overwhelmingly hurts ethnic and racial minorities compared with Anglos and Caucasians.  It is a war on freedom to criminalize what people do to themselves, especially when we are talking about a drug that can't kill you immediately, unlike heroin or cocaine. We are really talking about a drug as it relates to health aspects like alcohol.  It is actually far less dangerous than tobacco, which is legal.

I would have a lot more respect for Republicans and so-called Conservatives today who preach about the value of individual freedom, if they applied that belief to personal freedom, freedom of choice, and civil liberties. Instead of just calling for individual freedom as it relates to economic policy, especially for wealthy people, but not the working class as it relates to the right to organize and other working class issues. And freedom of religion, but really just for Christians, with everyone else being subjected to big government on the grounds of national security.

If people who call themselves Conservatives want my political respect, then they need to support personal freedom as well and civil liberties and apply those beliefs to all Americans and not just Anglo-Saxon Christians. And get behind issues that involve activities where they may not personally approve of, but where there no victims involved. Like personal personal possession and usage of marijuana. Instead of preaching the value of individual freedom as it relates business's, the wealthy and Christians. But big government authoritarianism for everyone else.
Chris Brandt: U.S. Representative Steve Cohen Schools DEA Official About Marijuana & The Quality of Life

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Steven Lahoe: Video: FNC's The Kelly File: Megyn Kelly Interviews Bill Ayers, a Leader of the Weather Underground

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Bill Ayers was part of the antiwar movement in the mid and late 1960s protesting the Vietnam War and perhaps other United States national security policies. Which was also part of what became the New Left in the late 1960s that was a socialist anarchist movement. That believed the center-left in America wasn't moving fast enough the Democratic Party especially to address inequality, racial injustices, poverty the Military Industrial Complex. And this movement wanted to takeover the Democratic Party and move the country in a much different direction even through using violence.
Weather Underground

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Young Turks: Video: Cenk Uygur: Congress Does Nothing, Almost Literally & it's Not Just Republicans

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Just to be serious for a minute and then go to being an asshole. Today's Progressives (lets say) especially MSNBC make the mistake in how they judge Congress. They also make the mistake in what they call Congress. They call it the Republican Congress even though Republicans only control the lower house of Congress. And they refer or our national legislature as the Congress and Senate. As if they are two different institutions apparently unaware that the Senate is not only part of Congress. But the official and actual upper chamber of Congress. Unlike a lot of other developed countries.

But the mistake that Cenk Uygur makes in this video even though he seems to be aware that the Senate is actually part of Congress along with the House of Representatives is how he judges Congress. You shouldn't judge Congress and that is what both chambers pass together after they work out the final bill, by how much legislation they pass. That would be like judging a cook by how many meals they prepare. Or a pitcher by how many pitches they throw. Or a teacher by how many students they teach.

You should judge Congress by what actual legislation they pass. The quality of legislation they pass, not the quantity of legislation they pass. A pitcher could throw 110 pitches in a game, but if he gives up six runs on ten hits and they are all earned. Or a cook makes a hundred meals one night and half of their customers comes down with food poisoning. Or a teacher with a hundred students, but half of them can't read at grade level and the teacher is an English teacher, well these people aren't doing their jobs even if they are doing a lot of work. They aren't doing a good job the job they were hired for.

The productivity of this Congress a divided Congress with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate (what the American people voted for) is as slow as a mule in a NASCAR race. They simply aren't acting on things that they should be doing. Like fixing the highway trust fund and passing a highway bill to use as an example. But it isn't a bad Congress because they aren't passing a lot of legislation. But what they are actually doing. Are they passing good legislation or not. Are they addressing the concerns of the country, or not and this Congress is clearly failing at that.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Movie Clips: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939- Liberty is Too Precious of a Thing

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

A lot things about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are simply inaccurate. Rarely do you see even fifty senators on floor of the U.S. Senate let alone a hundred. Or back when this movie came out in 1939 we had ninety-six U.S. Senators because we had forty-eight states back then. The only time ever do you see a full Senate is when they are voting on amendments to bills or nominations. Or final passage of bills, or when there is some special ceremony going on in the chamber. And if you watch this movie you see basically a full Senate whenever it is in session.

But what Mr. Smith did very well (and I'm talking about the movie) is the writing and the speeches. The writing looked like stuff they got from the Founding Fathers (the first Liberals of America) when Jimmy Stewart's character Senator Jeff Smith is talking about the Constitution. And liberty and freedom for all. The line that is in the title of this post. "Liberty is too precious of a thing to be buried in text books". You probably would never see a line in a movie like that today. For one it would sound corny to Hollywood filmmakers. But also Hollywood has moved so far left they would probably see that line as conservative or libertarian or something and doesn't deserve mentioning.

But that is a great line and one of the best ever written with real meaning that should never be forgotten. Because once the concept of liberty is forgotten we then become slaves of either the state, or private organizations that want to control us and use us to make profits off of us. That liberty can never be forgotten as long as we want to be free people with the right to chart our own courses in life and live up to our own choices and responsibilities and not be under the control of anyone else.
Movie Clips: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939- Liberty is Too Precious a Thing

Monday, July 14, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Jeffrey Brown Interviewing John Oliver on Making Fun of Serious News

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

If John Oliver is in America to find public officials making complete assholes out of themselves, he's in  the perfect country. Actually I can't think of another country other than maybe France or Italy. And the perhaps funniest thing about our assholes, I mean (sort of) public officials is that they work for us. Let me rephrase that. Our public officials are paid by us American taxpayers to work for us. Whether they work for the broader public, or just their lobbyists and high contributors is still officially an open debate. And that is only because there isn't enough evidence yet to put our public crooks in jail yet.

Friday, July 11, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields and Brooks on Suing the President and the Texas Border Crisis

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Is the President going too far with executive power? It depends on which party you are a member of and which party the President is a member of. Congressional Republicans didn't seem to have any problems with President Bush during the 2000s when it came to executive power. But now are going crazy over President Obama when it comes to executive power. And on the other side Democrats hated President Bush over his use of executive power, but don't seem to have many issues at least that they are raising publicly when it comes to President Obama's use of executive power.

As far as the Southern border and the situation with the immigrant smugglers and the children they brought. It is probably the worst crisis that President Obama has had to deal with at least since the BP oil spill in 2010. But at least he's prepared to deal with it and has already acted on it. And if Congressional Republicans are truly angry about the situation down there and the President's use of executive power and executive orders than they can work with President Obama and Senate and House Democrats to solve the problems down there. Like making sure our security and immigration services have the resources to end the crisis in a responsible manner.
Suing the President

Thursday, July 10, 2014

CNN: Crossfire- Paul Begala Takes on Rick Perry's Conspiracies

Source: CNN-U.S. Representative Bill Flores, R, Texas-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Paul Begala makes a god point that Governor Rick Perry could call up the Texas National Guard himself and then the Federal Government would reimburse him. Unless the Tea Party is able to prevent that funding in the House by not voting for it. Or their allies in the Senate are able to block it and prevent it from coming up for a vote. I would hope that wouldn't happen, but the Tea Party mindset doesn't seem to want to allow the Federal Government to do anything that requires more money.

As far as the Southern border crisis. Well this is one of the reasons why Democrats and responsible Republicans in Congress want to pass immigration reform to prevent these crisis's from happening in the future. The Democratic Senate passed a bipartisan bill last year and are still waiting on the Republican Leadership in the House to do anything as it relates to immigration. And if that is not good enough for Governor Perry, well again he can all up the Texas National Guard to help deal with the crisis. 

The Young Turks: Video: FNC's Neil Cavuto: Michelle Bachmann's Latest Insanity Turns Neil Cavuto Reasonable

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

You know you are in trouble as a Republican (well smart Republicans know, not Michelle Bachmann) when someone on FOX News freaking Neil Cavuto of all people who is generally loyal to the Tea Party goes against you and tells you "that you are simply wrong. Stop talking so I can explain to you why you are wrong. Would you just shut the hell up for a minute so I can show you how wrong you are! You are not even a senator you can't filibuster on my show!"

It is really the first part that I'm interested in. As far as what Representative Bachmann (who will no longer be a Representative in six months) was proposing. Defunding the Executive Branch, how would that work? Isn't she pro-military and pro-national security and against terrorists and everyone who would wreck America as we know it? Well that is Republicans like her claim they are. Their voting records in Congress tends to suggest something else though. What part of the Federal Government does Representative Bachmann think these key functions of government are part of?

I have a great reform proposal for Congress. That everyone who serves on the intelligence committees has to be intelligent. That should go without saying, but Representative Bachmann just happens to be a member of the House Intelligence Committee. (And you wonder why Americans tend to get stereotyped as stupid) The House and Senate intelligence committees are about intelligence right, again that should go without saying. Well to understand intelligence you first have to be intelligent yourself so you know what the hell you are supposed to be learning.

My new reform for the House and Senate would say in order to serve on the intelligence committees you first have to show some certain degree of intelligence. Have and IQ north of one-hundred at least and a professional and congressional record that shows you are not only intelligent, but responsible and do not have a record of saying completely false things. Or simply making them up. And under this policy Michelle Bachmann would've never been eligible to serve on the House Intelligence Committee. And instead had an army of teachers trying to teach her how to be a U.S. Representative instead. Before she was eligible to serve on important House committees.
I'm Fighting For Mental Institutions!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Politico: Report: Dylan Byers: No Mas Sarah Palin: Sarah Palin the Political Gift That Keeps on Giving

Foreign Policy Expert? 

Politico: Report: Dylan Byers: No Mas Sarah Palin

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

Take Sarah Palin completely out of the American political scene and you would see riots from hundreds of thousands of political comedians and satirists. Because she pays their bills and is always supplying people information to write about her to show the rest of the world how dumb Americans can truly be. She wants to talk about all sorts of abuses by President Obama and why now he needs to be impeached. Yet she couldn't name any on her own and would need an earpiece in her ear giving things to say about the President during an interview.

Crisis on the Mexican-American border? She's an expert on that because she can see Mexico from her backyard? Oh wait my bad she's an expert on foreign policy because she can see Russia from her backyard. Yeah I know that line is six years old now and just one example why John McCain isn't President right now. But again she is the gift that keeps on giving for comedians and satirists and why the older ones never seem to retire.

Besides this is about immigration policy not foreign policy and what makes Sarah Palin and expert on immigration policy three-thousand miles or so from the American-Mexican border. I know she knows about Russians immigrating to Alaska from Siberia, Russia. Or Canadians immigrating illegally to Alaska from British Columbia, Canada. Because she can see them from her backyard because she can see both Russia and Canada from there.

The fastest ticket to a united Democratic Congress next year both the Senate and House is for House Republicans to go off on an impeachment rant following Sarah Palin's lead. The next fastest ticket to a united Democratic Congress next year is for House Republicans to focus on what they call 'illegal Mexicans' on the Southern border invading America. Because either one of them would get Democrats and Independents behind President Obama similar to impeachment 1998 with President Clinton. So as a Democrat I hope they do this, but as an American I hope they would just shut up, or grow up whatever comes first.

The Centrist Review: Solomon Kleinsmith- The Centrist/Moderate False Equivalence Deception

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

The problem that I believe that Centrists have and my question would be what is a Centrist, but the problem that I believe they have is exactly that. What is a Centrist? I believe that is a question that American voters tend to ask as well. And you can give you all you want about forty-percent of the country that are political Independents. Fine, but that doesn't mean they are all Centrists. It just means they don't like the Republican Party, or Democratic Party and perhaps the two-party system as a whole.

Americans as much as we get stereotyped as being divided politically tend to believe in similar things. We tend to believe in free and unregulated free speech at least in most cases. We tend to believe in the Right to Privacy and personal freedom as long as we aren't hurting innocent people. We believe in the Right to Self-Defense as long as it is regulated. We tend to believe in the Freedom of Assembly and being able to associate with whom we please. We believe in property rights and the ability to make a good honest living and live independently. We tend to support the Freedom of Religion. And I could go further.

These aren't centrist values at least in the sense they came from some centrist philosophy. These are bedrock classical conservative or classical liberal values that the United States was founded on. And I could add another one which would be Americans tend to believe in equal rights for all Americans. These are the liberal and conservative values that made America great. They didn't come from Centrists, but Liberals and Conservatives who wrote the Constitution.

Where would a Centrist be on these key core issues? And if they believe in all of these things the way they are would they still qualify as Centrists? Since these are liberal and conservative values that come from the center-left and center-right in America. Not the dead-center or the mushy-middle. Or would they reform these key individual rights and make them less liberal or conservative and more moderate. Perhaps the Right to Privacy, but only on the first floor of your home and only inside of your home.

I wonder how the civil rights movement would've gone in the 1960s had there not of been a Progressive President in Lyndon Johnson who had served twenty-four years in Congress and eight in the leadership. And instead we had a Centrist Independent instead with no clear record when it came to civil rights because that person was perhaps stuck in the middle. Or if we had a Centrist President during the Civil War, or World War II. Maybe we respond to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but not respond to the Nazis in Europe murdering all of those Jews. Or perhaps just supply our allies with equipment and hope for the best. Or in the Civil War's case Africans can be free in America, but just not in the South.

These might be slight exaggerations and poking too much fun at centrism (or not enough) and I'm not saying that centrism doesn't have it's place. I believe divided government is where it is useful to take the best from the Democrats and Republicans. Throw out the garbage from both sides and take what is good from both sides and put it in a final package that can work. But my point is there are times when right is right and wrong is wrong. Meaning those things are clear and that you need to take a stand whether it is the liberal or conservative thing to do. Which was my point about those examples I laid out in the previous paragraph. And you need to take those stances for the good of the country. Which is where centrism doesn't seem very useful or evident.
The Moderate Centrist: What is a Moderate Centrist

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Daily Conversation: Video: President Obama at the 2014 White House Correspondents Dinner

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I'm glad that President Obama can laugh at the year that he had in 2013 and perhaps the White House Correspondents Dinner might be the only platform where he can. Because it was really one of the worst years at least in my memory (all thirty-eight years) that a second-term president has had in his first year as a second-term president. I mean you have to go back to 2005 with President George W. Bush or even before I was born in 1973 with President Richard Nixon who was dealing with Watergate.

I like President Obama's line about CNN where he said "that now I have to go to Malaysia to get attention from CNN". Because CNN is too busy covering airplane crashes and missing passengers who probably drowned in the ocean. To actually cover real news. Like I don't know millions of Americans who didn't have health insurance now have it. Or the situation in Ukraine or the economy with the new jobs figures. "Wait we can't report those things because those issues are real news and Americans are only interested in what is not important but what is sexy".

The President also had a good line about MSNBC. "Glad to see MSNBC here which is probably seeing the biggest audience that they've ever had". MSNBC another so-called news network that doesn't have the resources to cover real news even though they are owned by NBC News one of the largest news divisions in the world. Which is why their ratings are south of the toilet because they do not report on things that a large percentage of the country is actually interested in and that is important.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Independent Political Report: Isa Infante- Hobby Lobby Should Spur Demand For Single Payer Health Care

Source: This post was originally posted at The New Democrat 

I'm in favor of eliminating the middleman or middlewomen (for the political correctness police) when it comes to health insurance. But single payer in this country wouldn't be the way to do that because of all of the costs that would come from it. Like taking Americans right to decide where they get their health insurance from. And depending on the nationalized health care system that may include government only health insurance as well as even taking Americans right to decide who their doctor is and which hospital they go to. And you can give me all the cost reductions you want from how Sweden, Britain and Canada do it. But those people lose choice as their payment for those cost controls.

Hobby lobby doesn't deny anybody anything except for women who want contraceptions, but yet decide to work for employers that do not provide them. Hobby Lobby is about whether or not employers should be forced to provide their employees contraceptions even if it violates their religious beliefs, or not. It is not about getting rid of contraceptions or eliminating birth control. Just saying that employers shouldn't be forced to provide them if contraceptions violate their religious beliefs.

Again I'm in favor of eliminating the middleman (or middlewomen) when it comes to health insurance and getting employers out of it. As long as it doesn't lead to government run and only health insurance. But that would mean employees being their sole financiers when it comes to their health insurance. And for that to happen American workers broadly and not just the top need to either be making a lot more money. Or the cost of health insurance needs to come down.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book TV: Video: Laurence Tribe: Uncertain Justice: A Review of the John Roberts Supreme Court

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

A lot of the Supreme Court's 5-4 rulings where the right-wing comes out on top 5-4 looks fishy to me. And looks like an example of where the Tea Party and their big money backers have bought those five right-wing justices. And those five justices are just there to protect the wishes of the partisan right-wing of the Republican Party. The hard libertarian-right and the far-right. The campaign finance decisions are a perfect example of that.

But as Laurence Tribe mentioned in his talk you'll see cases where Supreme Court rules 5-4 in favor of the Left, but where the so-called swing vote Anthony Kennedy who I believe is more of a Libertarian than anything else, at least a Conservative Libertarian will rule with the Right. And with Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Sam Alito ruling with the Left instead of Justice Kennedy. Or Justice Antonin Scalia perhaps the Tea Party's favorite Justice ruling with the Left when it comes with the privacy issues.

Actually if you look at most of the Supreme Court decisions they tend not to be 5-4 either way. And a lot of them are 6-3 or 7-2. The Justices agree on a lot more than they get credit for. Its really just the controversial decisions where there are clear differences between the Left and Right that makes the Supreme Court look a lot more partisan than it is. Like with campaign finance or corporate power, unions affirmative action to use as examples. So the Supreme Court is not as radical as it tends to get portrayed especially by the radical-left.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Fiscal Times: Opinion: Mark Thoma: Are Calls For Wealth Redistribution Based on Envy or Justice?: How to Expand Economic Wealth in America

Money, Money, Money 

The Fiscal Times: Opinion: Mark Thoma: Are Calls For Income Redistribution Based on Envy or Justice?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

Wealth or income redistribution, it depends on how you define it because government at all levels does it all the time everyday. And generally when government redistributes wealth it is noncontroversial. It taxes these people who live here to fund a school or fix a road over here. Social Security taxes today's workers to pay for today's retirees. So for anyone who says they are against wealth redistribution they should also explain how they feel about public education and roads and so forth. Things that the public uses everyday that if anything most of us tend to take for granted.

But this post is not really about noncontroversial income redistribution because where would the fun be in that. But to talk about the controversial forms of wealth redistribution at least at the hands of government. That is calls from the let's say so-called progressive-left or even socialist-left that says "the Federal Government should tax the superrich and perhaps just plain rich people. (Perhaps minorities would be excluded) To take care of Americans who aren't doing very well and perhaps people who aren't technically but have to work very hard and a lot just to pay their bills".

If you want a society that is financially free at least in the sense that it is successful and not only able to pay their bills, but set aside money for themselves and even donate to charity and perhaps look after family members and friends who may need a little extra money, that economic success simply has to be encouraged and rewarded. Instead of essentially punishing people for making it on their own and making a lot of money to take care of people who aren't successful.

Otherwise you will create a dependent society in America instead of that free society where wealth is discouraged and dependency on government in order to survive financially is encouraged. Because you are telling people whether intentionally or not that they shouldn't be successful because we the government will take a lot of that money from you. And also telling people that "if you aren't successful the wealthy will take care of you at the hands of government".

What we should be doing instead as a society especially for struggling Americans is to empower them to become successful on their own. Either by finishing their education or furthering their education. So they can get themselves the skills that they need to be successful in life. And that means reforming public education in America, making educational and job training opportunities universal for low-skilled adults. And for the college educated who now need more skills because their good job left for another country or no longer exists. And investing a lot more in infrastructure especially in underserved communities so they have the roads, schools and business's that they need to be economically successful.

You want more Americans to be doing well in America you don't discourage the Americans who are doing well already to stop being successful. What you do instead is continue to encourage people to be successful in this country. As well as empower more Americans to be successful as well.