SCOTUS Flinches

By now you have formed your opinion on the latest ruling by our bought and paid for supreme court…..but while you were listening to Bill or Joe or Wolf they quietly refused other rulings that could have been landmark…..really?  What would those be?

Thank you for asking….let me throw the stuff the cowards would not touch……

The Supreme Court quietly made a bunch of headlines today, mainly by rejecting potentially explosive cases. Here’s a roundup of the day’s (in)action:

  • Gay rights: The court announced that it would not take up the highly charged case that began when a New Mexico wedding photographer refused to do the honors for a same-sex commitment ceremony, Politico reports. New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that this amounted to illegal discrimination. That ruling will now stand in New Mexico, but only in New Mexico.
  • NSA: The justices declined a conservative lawyer’s unusual request that it bypass the usual appeals process and immediately take up a case arguing that the NSA’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records violated the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable search and seizure, the AP reports. A lower court had agreed with the lawyer that the program was “almost certainly” unconstitutional.
  • Campaign finance: After last week’s ruling, reform advocates are likely happy that the court decided not to take up a challenge to the 100-year-old rules banning direct contributions from corporations to candidates. Iowa Right to Life had asked the court to rule that corporations had the same free speech rights as individuals, the AP explains.

As is customary, the Court offered no commentary on any of the decisions.

Apparently there is NO money in ruling on these issues…..with the exception of the campaign finance….they avoided that one because of the fuss they raised with the one ruling last week……..they will most likely see it again under the guise of another precedent…….watch for it!

2012–Best Quote Of The Year

I have a contest every year where my readers and friends get to vote on the most anal statement of the year…..that is coming next month….I decided to do a “Best Quote Of The Year” award starting this year….and I already have one and the year is not over….I do not think this one can be topped…….

The winner is my ex-governor Haley Barbour…….as my readers will remember I do not have much loike for Barbour but I give him his props for being a very astute politician……

Since the election the GOP has being promising a lot of re-examination of policies and stances since they got their pee pees spanked at the ballot box……first, I think it is ludicrous that they did not notice how bad they were on issues during the campaign….but I guess hindsight is 20/20…….

Anyway, when asked what the GOP should do about their focus in the next election….Barbour said……

“The ground game is really important, and we have to be, I mean we’ve got to give our political organizational activity a very serious…” he said, taking a pause and looking for the right word. “Proctology exam. We need to look everywhere.”

Like other Republicans in recent days, Barbour stressed the importance of being more inclusive to Latinos, African-Americans and other minorities. Barbour in particular chided the party for its tone on illegal immigration, saying many illegal workers contribute to the economy and comprise an important part of society.

He is the same person that said, “We (GOP) had shitty candidates”………hopefully the conservs will listen to Barbour….he does know what he is talking about……..I guess we will see just how serious the GOP is about an all inclusive party……..like I said….WE SHALL SEE……..

2012 Election Issue #6–Income Inequality

I know it is the weekend and I usually take a break from politics to post on other happenings in the real world….but this election is nearing its end and there are a few things that I feel need to be discussed before the fatal day of voting…….

The income gap between the rich and everyone else is large and getting larger, while middle-class incomes stagnate. That’s raised concerns that the nation’s middle class isn’t sharing in economic growth as it has in the past. And it sparked the Wall Street protests that spread to other cities in the country.

President Barack Obama would raise taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, plus set a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for those who earn $1 million or more. He also wants to spend more on education, “a gateway to the middle class.”

Republican Mitt Romney blames Obama’s economic policies for failing to create enough jobs so that middle- and lower-income Americans can earn more. He wants to cut taxes more broadly and says that will generate enough growth to raise incomes for all Americans.

Why it matters:

Income inequality has risen for three decades and worsened since the recession ended. A report in mid-September from the Census Bureau found that the highest-earning 20 percent of households earned 51.1 percent of all income last year. That was the biggest share on records dating to 1967. The share earned by households in the middle 20 percent fell to 14.3 percent, a record low.

Poverty has deepened. Fifteen percent of Americans were below the poverty line in 2011, the Census Bureau says, slightly lower than the 15.1 percent in 2010. That was the first drop after four straight years of increases.

But the recession has pushed up the poverty rate sharply since it stood at 11.3 percent in 2000. About 46.2 million people were poor last year, 46 percent more than in 2000.

Some economists argue that income inequality contributed to the financial crisis. As middle-class incomes stagnated in the 2000s, Americans borrowed to fuel more consumption and buy larger homes. That caused an explosion in household debt that couldn’t be sustained when the housing bubble burst.

At stake, says Obama, is “the basic bargain at the heart of America’s story, the promise that hard work will pay off.” Romney says Obama’s policies have made the middle class poorer. He says he will remove barriers to opportunity, such as excessive regulation of small business, so that more Americans can succeed. “We’re not the party of the rich,” he said. “We’re the party of the people who want to get rich.”

This is a subject was seldom talked about on the campaign trail……it is something that needed more attention, in my opinion.

This is my last attempt to inform the voter in this election…….remember go vote on Tuesday!

Thoughts?

If Ever Witchcraft Was Needed

Now would be a good time to use all that one has learned at the coven……

It seems that someone has taken an interest in the campaign funds of Delware’s Christine O’Donnell……as reported in TPM………

Federal officials have reportedly opened a criminal probe into whether former Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell broke the law by using campaign money to pay personal expenses, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The feds are looking into whether O’Donnell’s spent $20,000 dollars in campaign money on personal expenses and rent, MSNBC reported. The probe stems from a complaint by the group Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington (CREW) which was filed back in September.

O’Donnell set a state record by raising more than $7.3 million for her campaign but has faced questions about her campaign finances. TPM reported that her last minute campaign hires included an anti-gay crusader and that she spent $200,000 on her “I’m Not A Witch” and Yale ads.But O’Donnell basically admitted that CREW’s main charge were true back in October, conceding she used campaign cash to pay rent on her Delaware town house because it doubled as campaign headquarters, which CREW charged amounted to using her primary campaign “as her personal ATM.” Commission rules “say candidates can’t use campaign money for their mortgage or rent ‘even if part of the residence is being used by the campaign’.”

Twitching one’s nose might be in order about now……blinking or nodding or snapping of fingers….something….to get ones self out of a predicament…….

Are Political Parties Really Necessary?

College of Political Knowledge

Subject:  Government/Political Philosophy/2010 Election

Lecture #6

This is a re-post of an article from my idle blog called “Revolutionary Independent”….I thought that it was somehow appropriate in this season of party politics and elections and campaigns……

I was asked this in one of my lecture on political philosophy, these days it is called political theory, by a student who said that he did not know what or why we have them in the system……a good question in these times of political chaos in the US……there are movements and then there are what we call parties……most of these are just a meeting place for politicians….

Enough beating around the bush……political parties?

The origins of political parties in the United States of American can be traced to the debates about the ratification of the Constitution. The Federalists, who supported ratification, and the Antifederalists, who opposed ratification, became the first two major political parties in the United States.  Basically, it is two camps on a political issue.

One of the most common–and practical–definitions of a political party is “a team of political office seekers.” Securing elective office for its members is, in fact, one of the most important objectives of a political party. Toward this end, political parties actively recruit candidates to run for office, organize volunteers, hold party conventions and other meetings and raise and spend money to support the party and its candidates.

Parties also represent the broad values or goals stated in their party platforms. While not all of the members of a party adhere to every “plank” in their party’s platform, people who affiliate with a political party usually support most of the party’s positions–at least more than they support the positions of the other party.

But there is a rub here…..American political parties do NOT have an ideology or a set of “real” principles…..that is because of several issues within each of the major parties….1–wide array of opinions….trying to be all inclusive, 2–they are interests based….patronage and special interests control the parties, 3–there is an absence of any form of party government–there is no true leader but many spokespersons, and finally, there is NO third party that will help form a cohesion within the two major parties…….basically, both major parties suffer from massive internal strife, thus making these parties tend toward centrists thinking…….

The American political system has, with a few brief exceptions, always had two major political parties. Third parties, such as the Reform Party today, arise from time to time and win a few votes. Sometimes a third party member is even elected to a significant political office, such as Jesse Ventura, who was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1998. But the American system of elections tends to work against third parties. Because votes are cast for members of Congress in single-member districts on a winner-take-all basis, third party candidates are almost never elected to the House or Senate.

Before a third party can be considered a legitimate party, it must at least “contest” elections at every level, meaning it must field candidates for every office from President to city council (or at least Congress). More importantly, its candidates must win a handful of these elections. While it is not impossible for a third party to transform the political party system through its own electoral success, history is not on its side. More often than not, third parties that experience some initial success end up fading after one (or both) of the two major parties “steals” its issues.

Now with that under our belt….are political parties necessary?

The simplest answer is that….they are NOT necessary but that they are needed….why would I say that?  They are needed because most Americans use them to decide where to put their votes…..they do not attempt to focus their attention on the whole picture just on a single issue….like guns or marriage or yada yada……

Americans for the most part are independent politically….however with that said, they are single issue voters and because of that they look for the candidate that most is in line with their thinking….and that means political parties.  Americans seem to do very little research into the issues…they will check out a candidate but they are looking more at his/her personality and not specific stands on issues….the Political Wire had a good report on a recent poll that illustrates what I am saying……

A Bloomberg National Poll finds that by a two-to-one margin, likely voters in the midterm elections think taxes have gone up, the economy has shrunk, and the billions lent to banks as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program won’t be recovered.

The facts: The Obama administration cut taxes for middle-class Americans, has overseen an economy that has grown for the past four quarters and expects to make a profit on the hundreds of billions of dollars spent to rescue Wall Street banks.

Said pollster Ann Selzer: “The public view of the economy is at odds with the facts, and the blame has to go to the Democrats. It does not matter much if you make change, if you do not communicate change.”

The American people need to spend a little more time researching the issues so they can make a valid and accurate statement with their vote….this cannot be accomplished watching reality TV or the World of Poker contest or the UFC…I am probably talking to myself….but nothing ventured…nothing gained….

Note:  I would like to thank thisnation.org for excerpts in this post……