Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Discerning History: Video: History of the Filibuster: The Right for Senators to Make Assholes Out of Themselves

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

You want to know why there's so much hot air in Washington? For one its in an area that gets about five months of summer. Sometimes more, hot humid endless summers at times, where people prey for rain. Which only makes the area hotter and more humid but these summer showers all five- minutes of them do give us some temporary relief. Another reason for hot air is we are the seat of power for not only the United States but North America and the rest of the world.

We are an area of six-million people where people from all over the world come to express their five- minutes worth. And get to tell Congress exactly what they are thinking in order to get their help. And when they talk to senators, senators get to speak until they decide to shut up. Or there are sixty votes to tell Sen. Hot Air and their allies, to "shut the hell up! Or there's a Blizzard in South Florida, you know whatever comes first, it used to be worst.

Up until 1975 it took 67 votes to kill a filibuster, which meant that 34 Senators could defeat 66. If you're a sports fan that probably makes as much sense as the team with twenty-one points beating the team with forty-two in a football game. I don't have a problem with the current sixty vote rule. I do believe in things like minority rights. So there's some type of check and balance in Congress both in the House and Senate. And that the Minority Leader the Leader of the Minority Caucus and Ranking Members the Leaders of the minority memberships of Committees, should be more than just their caucus's Chief Spokesperson's but that they shouldn't be able to rule the Senate like they are in charge.

Two problems with the Senate and there are problems with the House as well, but since this blog is about the filibuster, which only happens in the Senate (Thank God!) I'm just going to focus on the Senate. Can you imagine a filibuster in the House, with 435 Representatives being able to talk until they run out of breath, or 261 votes are gathered to get them to, shut the hell up! "You're not the only one with nonsense to say!" You think there's already too much hot air in Congress now, have a filibuster rule both in the Senate and House.

There would be so much hot air in the House, people could do their sun tanning on the House floor. No more weekend getaways to Florida or Southern California paid for by lobbyists because they could do that on the House floor. But the two main problems with the Senate have to do with two rules, one of them needs to be replaced. The other needs to be thrown away like the piece of trash that it is. The trash is the Motion to Proceed Rule, get this it currently takes 60 votes just to move to a bill in order to debate a bill.

Which makes the the Leader of the Senate as weak as what the Vice President use to be, before the President gave them a real job. The Leader should just be able to call up any bill that they put on the Senate agenda. Thats passed out of committee or that the Leader and Minority Leader call up together under Emergency Rule. And this way the Senate would look more like a PTA meeting, or the United Nations. Because things would actually get accomplished in the Senate.

The Senate Rule that should be replaced is the is the Cloture Rule better known as the filibuster. I would replace that with a Motion to Table, that could only be made by the Leader or Minority Leader. After a Senate Debate has concluded, no more blocking amendments, just have those need 60 votes to pass anyway. So controversial amendments would have to pass an extra level to pass, as well as forcing them to be relevant to the legislation.

Reforms like this an establishing a real Rules Committee in the Senate and make that bipartisan. And then we would actually see something strange in the Senate, senators working and producing. Instead of just showing up and getting a great tan from all of their own Hot Air.

Friday, August 29, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields & Brooks: Islamic State in Syria & Iraq

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Of course Congress has to and needs to not only approve any new war America gets involved in Syria and Iraq. Because what President Obama and the National Security Council are considering is a new war and new operations as they involve Syria and Iraq. Air strikes in Syria for the first time in Syria at least from this President. And perhaps the possibility of us putting ground troops on the ground in Iraq especially Kurdistan to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group there. This should be the first debate that the House and Senate deals with when they come back in September.


AP Archive: Vice President Designate Nelson Rockefeller- Speaks To U.S. Senate Rules Committee- 1974

Source: Associated Press- Vice President Designate Nelson Rockefeller-
Source: The New Democrat

Nelson Rockefeller becoming the second appointed Vice President of the United States in less than a year in 1974. Right after Gerald Ford in late 1973 because of course having to do with President Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal that forced him to resign as President. But also having to deal with Vice President Spiro Agnew's resignation because of a tax and bribery case that he was under investigation from the State of Maryland and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gerald R. Ford Library: Nelson Rockefeller Swearing in Ceremony as Vice President of the United States- From December 19, 1974

Source: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library- Vice President Nelson Rockefeller-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I'm not sure we've ever had a more qualified nominee for Vice President of the United States. And you might be thinking, "that is not saying much", (and perhaps with stronger language) but the fact is we've had very qualified Vice President's including the current one in Joe Biden. But Vice President Biden's predecessor Dick Cheney whatever you think of him was a very qualified Vice President. And in a lot of cases served especially during the crisis of 9/11, served President Bush and the country very well. George H.W. Bush was a very qualified Vice President for President Reagan and you can go down the line.

Nelson Rockefeller was a very successful businessman running a couple of companies. Including Rockefeller Center in New York and the International Basic Economy Corporation. He was Assistant Secretary of State for American Affairs. Governor of New York for fourteen years from 1959-73. And all of these things happening before becoming Vice President of the United States. So with a resume like this and that he and President Gerald Ford were fairly similar when it came to social and foreign policy, you would've think that President Ford would've used Vice President Rockefeller as his Chief Counsel and perhaps even Chief Operating Officer. But apparently that didn't happen.
Gerald R. Ford Library: Nelson Rockefeller Swearing in Ceremony as The 41st Vice President

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The LBJ Library: President Lyndon Johnson & Governor Nelson Rockefeller, 1/07/1966

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

Governor Nelson Rockefeller Republican from New York, trying to get President Lyndon Johnson to give him some public assistance from the Federal level to deal with some small business issues and problems that were going on in New York City. Perhaps having to deal with riots or other social unrest the city was going through in the mid and late 1960s. Which was a rough time for New York during this period with high crime and high poverty and other issues dealing with social unrest in a city of roughly eight-million people that was crucial to the whole State of New York.
The LBJ Library: President Lyndon Johnson & Governor Nelson Rockefeller- 1/07/66

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Joe Pyne: Joe Pyne Interviews Jack Anderson- April, 6, 1969

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

Jack Anderson was a Washington columnist and a watchdog of Congress and wrote columns and did investigations with his partner Drew Pearson about what they saw as potential Congressional corruption. And I guess Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut was one of Mr. Anderson's victims. Senator Dodd was accused of political corruption, by using his own campaign funds for his personal use. As Joe Pyne said in the video Senator Dodd claimed poverty, but as Anderson said "the man lived like a millionaire". And the Senate agreed with that and censured the Senator in 1967.
Joe Pyne: Joe Pyne Interviews Jack Anderson- April 6th, 1969

Monday, August 25, 2014

Richard Remembers Joe Pyne: Joe Pyne Interviews Governor Lester Maddox

Source: Richard Remembers Joe Pyne
Source: Richard Remembers Joe Pyne: Joe Pyne Interviews Lester Maddox

Joe Pyne to the left of Lester Maddux in this interview. Which just goes to show you that there's a certain point for smart right-wingers as far as how they'll go even when it comes to how we treat criminals and convicted inmates when they say, "enough is enough, these people are people to and deserve to be treated like human beings. Criminals and inmates sure, but that doesn't mean treating people even inmates like animals, but people in prison that deserve the respect of being treated like a human being".
Richard Remembers Joe Pyne: Joe Pyne Interviews Lester Maddox

Guy John: Governor Lester Maddox Says It's Not About Race

Source: Guy John- Governor Lester Maddox, D, GA-
Source: Guy John: Governor Lester Maddox Says It's Not About Race

Lester Maddux who unless I'm mistaken was Governor of Georgia at one point, but him saying that denying African-Americans service to his business "is not about race", reminds me of the famous bank robber Willy Sutton saying that robbing banks "is not about the money". Who are they trying to fool? Of course the racial discrimination that came about in the form of denying African-Americans service was about race. And it was also about skin-color as well. The Anglo-Saxon South lost the ability to treat Africans as property thanks to them losing the Civil War in the 1860s. Their response was that "if we can't treat them like property, we'll do the next best things. Separating the Africans from the Caucasians. And denying them the same quality of service that we give ourselves and for the ability for African-Americans to achieve any type of education in life that will allow for them to be successful in America". They lost all of those battles and losing the ability to deny service to African-Americans, I guess was Lester Maddux's last straw.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The LBJ Library: Video: President Lyndon Johnson's Meeting With Governor George C. Wallace, 3/18/65

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

President Lyndon Johnson talking about the need for Alabama Governor George C. Wallace's need to enforce the law in Alabama. And in this case the law was a Federal court order that said civil rights marchers in Alabama had a right to march and that Alabama was responsible for keeping the peace and keep order in Alabama. What Governor Wallace I believe was trying to tell the President was that keeping order during this march would be difficult. And what President Johnson was saying was that he would help him do that in anyway he can.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The LBJ Library: Video: President Lyndon Johnson's Meeting With Governor George C. Wallace, 3/18/65

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Lyndon Johnson vs. George C. Wallace was a mismatch at least when it came to persuasion. Because Governor Wallace was a master at propaganda and touting his own, well excuse my French, but bullshit. Even though I doubt he believed his own bullshit, but instead use it to hold power. But LBJ wasn't someone you bullshitted without any response and LBJ would cut people off if they knew they were simply wrong. And tell them "don't shit me! We both know better and tell them what is actually going on" and ask them "what you intend to do about it?"

What I believe happened here during this conversation between President Johnson and Governor Wallace at least according to the LBJ tapes, was the Governor trying to convince the President that he was limited in what he can do to see that everyone in Alabama can vote. Because he governed his own administration, but not all of the local governments in Alabama. And what the President said was "don't shit me George! We both know who has the power in Alabama and that person is you. Now are you going to enforce the civil rights laws down there or, am I going to do that for you?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mike Gardner: Video: NBC's The Today Show: George Wallace on the Eve of the 1972 Florida Primary

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

If George Wallace couldn't win in Florida in 1972, he wasn't going to win anywhere outside of Alabama. Because Florida looked like Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina culturally and politically in 1972. Not to pick on those three states, but only Florida has progressed somewhat economically and culturally to the point where you don't have to be with the Religious Right in order to do well in the state politically. So if Governor Wallace doesn't win Florida, he might of well just ended his presidential campaign then and there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mike Gardner: Video: CBS Evening News: Ohio 1972 Presidential Democratic Primary

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The Democratic Party didn't have a traditional frontrunner for president in 1972. They were out of the White House and even though Hubert Humphrey who was their nominee for president in 1968 was still running for president the Democratic Party was very divided between the progressive establishment that then in 1972 Senator Humphrey came from, the New Left in the party that I least call the McGovernites led by Senator George McGovern and the George Wallace Dixiecrats.

The New Left

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bocatek Videos: Lou Gordon Interviews Governor George C. Wallace in 1972

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Lou Gordon giving Governor George Wallace of Alabama a very tough interview in 1972. I just wish this video showed the entire video, but Governor Wallace again running for President this time as a Democrat after bolting the Democratic Party in 68 for the Independence Party. Wallace one of the last of the Dixiecrats being given a tough interview by a Northern reporter Lou Gordon who I believe worked in Detroit, Michigan. And perhaps the Governor was unprepared for it.

Friday, August 15, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: David Brooks & Ruth Marcus on Police Power in Ferguson

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Liberals and Libertarians coming together on Ferguson and its militarization of police. Something where we should definitely be able to agree especially for a town that is as small as Ferguson, Missouri and is a suburb of St. Louis. And any member of Congress who says militarization of police is wrong and should be stopped, find out how they voted when Congress approved the Pentagon's selling of those weapons to local police departments. I would like to know how Senator Rand Paul voted when that came to Congress because he is now against it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

PBS: Video: Firing Line: William F. Buckley Interviewing George C. Wallace: The Wallace Crusade From 1968

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The only thing about this video is that I just wish it was longer and we got to see a whole interview between Bill Buckley and George Wallace. Because Buckley was a true Conservative and he would've taken the more progressive or liberal stance against Wallace when it came to civil rights and segregation. Or least that it how it would seem. I even as a Liberal believe you can be a Conservative and still believe in commonsense American values like liberty, equality, equal rights and civil liberties. But that is me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

PBS: Firing Line- William F. Buckley Interviewing Governor Leander Perez of Louisiana

Source: Firing Line With William F. Buckley- Governor Leander Perez D, LA-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I never heard of Leander Perez from Louisiana before I saw this video. But apparently he was both Governor of Louisiana and a judge in Louisiana and this interview was done in 1968. And they were talking segregation and the civil rights laws. And the Governor telling Bill Buckley that he’s not a racist even though he says Negros (which is what African-Americans back then were called) are morally inferior to Caucasian-Americans. And Perez saying that he’s being honest and that is the truth, “why hide it”? With Buckley replying “so you are an honest bigot”.

This video is called The Wallace Movement, but very little if any mention at least in this short video of Governor George Wallace of Alabama. Who was a Dixiecrat, a right-wing (at least on social cultural issues) Nationalist who was basically still fighting the Civil War and wanting to lead Confederates in that war. Not ready to perhaps even see African-Americans as people, let alone as Americans deserving of the same rights and protections, as well as responsibilities as European-Americans. Bill Buckley was a Conservative. And one of the conservative values is treating individuals as exactly that. And not treating people as members of groups. Worst or better simply because of their race.

The so-called Wallace Movement of the South of the 1960s and 1970s, was different. And more of a racially based nationalistic movement of Southern Caucasians, predominantly Protestant and perhaps even Anglo-Saxon. Who felt having African-Americans in their community was some type of an invasion. When the fact was and still is that Africans are just as American as Europeans and as such deserving of the same rights as European-Americans and every other race in America. The Wallace Movement simply saw African-Americans as inferior. And not deserving of the same rights and protections.
Firing Line With William F. Buckley: Governor Leander Perez- The Wallace Movement

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Fiscal Times: Opinion: John Grgurich: U.S. Economy Grows Better Under Democratic Presidents: Is That Good Luck or Good Policy?

The Fiscal Times: Opinion: John Grgurich: U.S. Economy Grows More Under Democratic Presidents. Is That Good Luck or Good Policy?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

I know this is going to sound like a copout and trying not to take a hard stand and everything else, but the answer to why the American economy does better under Democratic presidents than Republican presidents to put it simply, is both. Democratic presidents tend to have better economic policies which I'll get to later than Republicans. And when a Democrat is President a lot of times they become President just right before the economy is about to take off. Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton are perfect examples of that. Harry Truman would be another one and Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter are unfortunately the exceptions to that.

As far as policies Democratic presidents both liberal and progressive tend to want an economy that works for everyone. Sure Republican presidents I'm sure believe in the same thing. But Democrats put in the policies that make that economy come about. Which is why they focus so much on education, infrastructure, job training for low-income workers and unemployed workers whether they are educated or not, encouraging companies to invest in low-income areas.

Republicans tend to believe in what George H.W. Bush called when he ran for president in 1980 'Voodoo Economics', that some others call Trickle Down Economics. "You cut regulations and taxes for employers and individuals and the economic activity that will come from those business's and individuals that now have that extra money will now be invested in other business's and that economic activity will benefit everyone as a whole". That is the theory anyway, but the results have been at best mixed for thirty-five years or so ever since the policy was introduced in Congress by then Representative Jack Kemp and Senator Bill Roth.

As far as the lets say good luck, yes Democratic presidents have inherited economies that were just about to take off. Bill Clinton comes to mind in 1993 with the Cold War just ending and with the start of the Information Technology Revolution just getting under way around 1990-91 with all of the cell phones and laptop computers now online and of course the internet just getting under way. The Clinton White House had their own web site under way from the start and had email as well.

So yes Democratic presidents happen to of become President when the economy is just about to boom. But they've also have pushed policies that empowers all workers to be able to take advantage of economic booms. Economic booms do nothing for people without the skills to take advantage of them. Which is why education is always so critical for any economy to do well. And Democrats tend to push those polices more than Republicans.

Monday, August 11, 2014

PBS: NewsHour- Judy Woodruff: Why Are We Still Fascinated by Richard Nixon?

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

Is there a more fascinating politician than Richard Nixon, that is why we are still fascinated about this man. Because there is so much to him from both good and bad. And forty years later we are still trying to learn more about the man. Every book that is written about him, or every movie that comes out about the man, or any new research and information that comes out about the man is seen by a lot of people and discussed everywhere. And not just in America, but around the world. Because of how consequential he was when it came to both American foreign and domestic policy and of course of the criminal operation inside of the White House and Watergate that along with the Nixon tapes brought down President Richard Nixon.
PBS: NewsHour- Judy Woodruff: Why Are We Still Fascinated By Richard Nixon?

Friday, August 8, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields & Brooks on Iraq, Richard Nixon's Legacy

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 
What choice does President Obama have, but defend Americans who are still in Iraq? That is what the airstrikes are about defending our personal that is still in there. Now you can make a good argument about President Obama not acting early enough. But the fact is the country and for very good reasons wants us out of Iraq. And if we say we are going to be there indefinitely, Iraq will take that seriously and not do what they need to do in order to govern their own country.

As far as Richard Nixon's legacy as President. Watergate and the other criminal activities that went on in the Nixon White House are still the biggest part of President Nixon legacy. But you have to look at his whole administration and presidency and the positive things that he accomplished as well. Especially in foreign policy like ending the Vietnam War, opening up China and Russia. But also what he tried to do when it came to energy policy, Welfare reform, health care reform. And what he did when it came to environmental policy.
ISIS Victory

The Fiscal Times: Opinion: David Daven: Here's How to Ensure That Big Banks Don't Need Another Bailout

The Fiscal Times: Opinion: David Daven: Here's How to Ensure that Big Banks Don't Need Another Bailout in the Future 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Looking back at with six-years of hindsight I'm not sure if I would've voted for TARP or the Troubled Asset Relief Program  if I was a member of Congress back in 2008. For one even I didn't vote for it, it would've passed anyway. So it wouldn't been like the banking system was going to collapse because without this taxpayer, but debt funded relief package wasn't going to go to the failing banks. But also there were better options on the table like breaking up these failing banks. Bankruptcy and perhaps most importantly not putting TARP on the national debt card, but having it paid for from the start.

Now a couple of options that I would've liked to of seen President Bush and Congress back in 2008 take and had these options not of made it into the banking relief package perhaps they become part of Wall Street financial reform in 2010 that was passed by Congress that became the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform bill of 2010, named after Senator Chris Dodd and Representative Barney Frank.

First of all breaking up big banks so they don't get so big and become so important in the economy that if they fail that could hurt the economy. So once a bank gets to a certain point, the Feds perhaps the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation steps in and says "you are too big now and you have to sell off some of your assets to get down to a healthier size at market value".

Second forcing banks of all size or at least up to a certain size to pay for bankruptcy insurance. So when they do go under they have a choice. Either collect from their bankruptcy insurance that they paid into, or file for bankruptcy. But no longer would they be eligible for a taxpayer bailout.

Hindsight of course is 20/20, but there were already other and better options on the table in 2008 when TARP was passed on an emergency basis and seen as something that had to be done right then as is. And in 2010 when Congress and now President Obama being in charge, but instead came up with the best compromise they felt they could so they could get something done.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Daily Beast: Opinion- Jonathan Miller- For 2016: Take Martin O'Malley Seriously: A Liberal Democrat With Results

Source: The Daily Beast- Governor Martin O'Malley-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

It is way too early right now to be talking about 2016 for president especially since we are still three months away from the 2014 mid-term elections that will decide who controls Congress next year, or will Congress be divided again and who will control the majority of state governorships and state legislatures. But I wouldn't be much of a political junky if I didn't look ahead to elections down the road. And this is one thing that makes politics so interesting is that politicians and potential politicians do the same thing which gives of good stuff to write about.

I'm a native Marylander or Free Stater for those of you not familiar with Maryland, as well as a Democrat who voted twice for Martin O'Malley for Governor of Maryland. And I'm as proud of those two votes as any votes that I've ever cast. For several reasons, but here's a few. He's a hell of a great Governor who governs one of it not the wealthiest states in the union as far as quality of life, per-capita income and wealth. So of course he has a lot going for him as well as location being in the Mid-Atlantic. But it still takes a good leader to make those things work, or the state can lose ground to other great states in the region like New Jersey or Virginia.

We have the best public schools in the nation and those rankings came during his administration. Maryland doesn't invest heavily in education, but we invest well and get solid results. During the Great Recession we always had an unemployment rate below the national average and never had serious debt or deficit issues unlike most of the rest of the country. If you want to look at the economy and freedom issues. Again with the great schools not just K-12 but we have a great state college system with Maryland University and others. We have great roads and other infrastructure as well.

The taxes both personal and on business are a little high compared with our competitors in the area. And I would like to see them come down especially since we now have legalized gambling and will probably legalize marijuana in the near future as well. But for the taxes we pay in this state and again a bit high the results that we get in return are pretty good. We are gaining business's and tourists everyday. Maryland is a state where you have good skiing in the winter, good beaches in the summer on the Atlantic. Where you can gamble, smoke and posses marijuana without going to jail for it. Where gays can get married and where you are never more than two hours away from doing anything.

I believe the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries will not just be about a mushy-middle Centrist who's afraid to take any solid positions on anything controversial in Hillary Clinton. Or a New Deal Progressive who will take the strongest positions possible perhaps even just to get to the Left of Hillary. I believe there is room for at least one more person who can run and say "I share the same Democratic and liberal values as you do. And I have a record of producing solid results. I'm not from Washington (even though I live next door to it) and I know how to govern". Who will still be fairly young in 2016 who can appeal to other gen-xers and Millennial's and that person could be Martin O'Malley.
CNN: State of The Union- Will Governor Martin O'Malley Run For President in 2016?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

CNN: Political Ticker: Jeremy Diamond & Eric Weisbrod: Congress Defined As: Clueless, Useless, A Joke

Congressional Logic

CNN: Political Ticker: Jeremy Diamond & Eric Weisbrod: Congress Defined as Useless, Worthless, A Joke

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

I'm not an expert on this, but when your profession or institution is ranked somewhere down where lawyers, used car salesman and conman are ranked when it comes to your popularity, commonsense tells you that it is time to reevaluate the job that you are doing and perhaps your profession. Congress right now and that includes both the House and Senate (for all you Progressives out there) has an approval rating somewhere around ten-percent. And since I'm in a generous mood I gave them the ten. Like to meet that ten-percent and see if any of them are not living in mental institutions or perhaps addicted to some type of drug.

The United States Congress makes the United Nations look effective. That is real hard to do because the United Nations a lot of times looks like nothing more than a debating society if that and not even a real good one. Where not much more than pre-rehearsed talking points are exchanged. With not a lot of individual creating thinking going on. Especially from people who are supposed to be diplomats and lawyers. Well that is Congress and both chambers. Instead of trying to pass legislation and working with each other to get something that the President can actually sign that would address the problem passed. They blame the other side for why nothing has been done.

Congress is so pathetic (again being generous) that they can't even pass the bills that they are required to by law and under the Constitution. The Federal budget is supposed to be passed by April. The Democratic Senate claims that they don't have to pass a budget. And they say something to the effect "you can't make us anyway!". One of their twelve-year old speechwriters probably gave them that Pulitizer caliber writing on that one. Congress is supposed to pass what thirteen appropriations bills by what September. They haven't passed one yet and at least the Republican House has passed a few.

Congress doesn't pass budgets and appropriations bills anymore because if they did that then Representatives and Senators might have time to actually read the bills. And then decide they can't vote for that because it is garbage legislation (again being generous) or it may hurt them in the next election. So what they do is lump a four-trillions dollar budget (big part of the problem right there) that includes all of the appropriations bills in what and what only Congress calls an omnibus bill. Which is a clever way is saying a large sack of garbage that nobody wants to put their hands through and see what is in it. Because they don't want to know.

Still wondering why Congress is so unpopular? If you are, perhaps you've just come home from a ten-year vacation in an Afghan cave with no access to any outside information. Or have been in a coma for the last 10-15 years. You would've had to, to be that clueless about the U.S. Congress assuming you are an American.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Crooks & Liars: Report: Allison Lundergan-Grimes Delivers Epic Smackdown Right to Mitch McConnell's Face

Allison Lundergan-Grimes 

Crooks & Liars: Report: Alison Lundergan-Grimes Unleashes Epic Smackdown Right To Mitch McConnell's Face

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

This is a prefect example of why as a Democrat I'm not worried about Democrats losing the Senate this year. Because the most unpopular member of Congress that is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is up for reelection in a state where Democrats are not only still competitive, but in power controlling the governor's mansion and the State Senate. Allison Lundergan-Grimes who will be Mitch McConnell's opponent in November also just happens to be Secretary of State for Kentucky and a popular Secretary of Kentucky. Who is thirty-five, an outsider with a lot of energy to combat Leader No. The Do Nothing Senator, just a couple of nicknames that Mitch has picked up, Leader Obstruction would be another one.

Kentucky is a red-state at the presidential level, but in Congress it is a purple state. They have at least one U.S. Representative and will have a competitive U.S. Senate election this year. Kentucky is more like Ohio or perhaps Michigan or Indiana politically. Not Mississippi or South Carolina which means Democrats don't have to sound like they are with the Christian Right on social issues and the Tea Party on economic issues to get elected. Which means Lundergan-Grimes can run as a center-left New Democrat and still win the election there because of how blue-collar that state is.

Mitch McConnell on the other hand has been more of a national Republican really since he became the Assistant Majority Leader back in 2003 when Republicans won back the Senate. And then became Senate Minority Leader in 2007 when Republicans lost Congress House and Senate. And he is tied to the national Republican Party and the base of the party that is so unpopular right now. And tied to a very unpopular Congress as Senate Minority Leader. And is just right for the picking to be defeated and sent back to Kentucky for retirement or becoming a Washington lobbyist.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Dish: Opinion: Andrew Sullivan: Neither Living Nor Dead: The Relevance of the U.S. Constitution

Founding Liberals

The Dish: Opinion: Andrew Sullivan: Neither Living Nor Dead 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

Before I give you my take on the U.S. Constitution, I'm going to give you takes from others further Left of me and from people who are to my Right and further Right.

Today's so-called Progressives who are really Social Democrats to be real and blunt about it see the U.S. Constitution in European democratic terms and want to and see America as their type of social democracy. Where government is more centralized with more power and more resources for the good of the people. And where most if not all all things done though government are through majoritarian means with majority rule. They probably see our constitutional amendment process as undemocratic because of what it takes to repeal or amend an amendment. As well as forcing all Americans regardless of generation and the times as having to live under the same Constitution and Rule of Law.

Conservatives and Libertarians see the Constitutional in its original form. (Or that is what they say) And anything that is not specifically laid out for government to do based on the words of Constitution, they see as unconstitutional when government tries to perform those functions. Neoconservatives or the Traditional Values Coalition lets say when it comes to personal choice and freedom say that anything that is not granted specifically with the exact words laid out in it for the people, those rights don't exist for the people. And that government can deny those actions for them. The same-sex-marriage debate is a perfect example of it.

I guess I'm somewhere in the middle on this which is where a Liberal would be between a Social Democrat on the Left and a Libertarian on the Right. All of the amendments and constitutional rights that we have as individuals with the constitutional amendments and Bill of Rights apply to all of us at any time. But when it comes to things for either the people or what can government can do I'm not what is called a strict-constructionist which is sort of a bogus term to begin with. And even people who call themselves that find ways to expand government power to meet their own political goals.

Just because same-sex-marriage doesn't exist in the Constitution, or marijuana, or gambling and perhaps even property rights and the Right to Privacy doesn't mean we don't have the right to practice those things as long as we aren't hurting innocent people with those practices. The Fourth Amendment clearly limits what government especially law enforcement can to when it comes to regulating individuals own lives. And the Fifth Amendment clearly limits what government can do to one's property. And can't simply decide to take it over or take it away simply because it wants to. The Equal Protection Clause clearly protect all classes of Americans equally and doesn't grant government the right to discriminate because it doesn't like one class of people.

I'm a Liberal Constitutionalist because I believe in the Constitution and more broadly liberal democracy. The rights that we have just from the words themselves will always be there unless they are repealed or amended through a super majority process. As it should be because we are a Constitutional Federal Republic in the form of a liberal democracy. Not a social democracy and those things are different. And just because the Constitution doesn't specifically say an individual or government can do something, doesn't mean they can't. You have to look at the Constitution and see where those rights exist or not.

Friday, August 1, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields and Brooks on Finding a GOP Anti-Cruz, Middle East

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Right now House Republicans can't get past their Tea Party base on anything. And that is led and known by the House Republican Leadership who don't have the balls (to put it bluntly) to take them on, on anything. Immigration is just one example so what it happens when it comes to something where they have to look like they are doing anything when it comes to public support, they do what the Tea Party wants them to do even if it is automatically dead on arrival in the Senate and has very little if any support outside of their Tea Party Neoconservative base.

As far as Israel and their conflict with Hamas. Israel is getting beat up by the leftist press in Europe and the far-left in America. But nowhere else including Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt because those big states both know the dangers of terrorism. Which means the ball has always been and is still in the court of Israel when it comes to resolving the situation there. And they essentially have a free hand to destroy Hamas especially if they get the opportunity.
House Tea Party