Campaign Funding

I am sure that most Americans realize just how much it costs to campaign these days.  Thanx to Citizens United it will get more and more expensive.  Think about it….last election it cost damn near a billion dollars to run for the office of president.

Personally, I would like to see all elections publicly funded….people would pay a fee as in a tax filing every year….no more dark money or PAC interference.  Each candidate would have an election budget spent however they see fit but no additional money when it is all gone.

This political system needs reforming…..it has gotten out of hand……and wasteful.

The goals behind the public financing of elections have shifted. The old dream of completely eliminating big, private money from politics has been dashed by Citizens United and other court rulings.

“It’s probably not a realistic goal in any case,” says Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute. “People who are interested in politics have many ways of influencing the political system.”

Now, the hope among some advocates of publicly financed campaigns is to impose limits on the size and scope of campaign treasuries while increasing citizen involvement. To do that, reformers are promoting the use of matching funds and so-called democracy vouchers, which allow citizens to steer government money directly to the candidates of their choice.

Source: The New Strategy for Advocates of Publicly Funded Campaigns

If we are serious about the slogan…”Of the people, by the people and for the people” then this reform is a necessity.

Of courser as badly as it is needed reform is not forthcoming…..cash can buy at lot things….can keep things as they are today.

We will truly have the “best government money can buy”…..

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Time To Graduate From The College

This time I am referring to the Electoral College…..time for the country to move past this antiquated system and move on to a more reliable popular vote.

Since I began analyzing politics some 50 years ago I have been opposed to the electoral college….and ever election since those dark days have done nothing to give me confidence in the EC as necessity for this republic.

Now that we have an election, 2018 mid-terms, are quickly approaching maybe it is time for me to once again insert my objections to this archaic system.

My attacks on the EC here on IST began back in 2008, although I had written many articles of condemnation the old fashioned way, by paper…..

Source: Can The Electoral College Be Killed? – In Saner Thought

After the Bush win in 2000 the calls have been getting louder, it is as if the American people are starting to wake up from their idyllic slumber….and it has gotten louder since the Trump win in 2016.

assault on the heels of Donald Trump’s victory last November—the second time in five presidential races the popularly elected candidate lost the election—but it’s not due to any groundswell in Congress for a constitutional amendment to adopt a national popular vote. Instead, the most viable campaign to change how Americans choose their leader is being waged at booze-soaked junkets in luxury hotels around the country and even abroad, as an obscure entity called the Institute for Research on Presidential Elections peddles a controversial idea: that state legislatures can put the popular-vote winner in the White House.

It was mid-February, inside a four-star resort in a third-world country, when I heard the pitch to transform American democracy. The institute flew 11 political journalists to Panama for an “educational seminar” on election reform. (My peers included reporters representing outlets ranging from Breitbart to U.S. News & World Report.) The trip presented a bargain: three days of sunshine, sightseeing, fine dining and free cocktails on the institute’s dime, in exchange for being educated by seminar coordinators in the pool, at the bar, overlooking the Panama Canal—and most aggressively, during the five-hour workshop in a windowless conference room—about the history and weaknesses of the Electoral College, and the potential of a radical alternative.

Source: Is the Electoral College Doomed? – POLITICO Magazine

To be fair if my reader is not well versed of the EC and his not too familiar with its functions then I would like to help out…..

Source: What Do You Know About The Electoral College? – In Saner Thought

Source: The Electoral College Wasn’t Meant to Overturn Elections – In Saner Thought

To be fair….not everybody thinks the EC is a worthless piece of crap……in case you need more info before you choose a side…..

Source: Electoral College: Reasons Not To Abolish – In Saner Thought

Will She Ever Shut Up?

She is back!

Just when you thought it was safe to read the news……you then have your Johnson banged into a door.

I am talking about Hillary Clinton.  She is back and with a new book telling the world about her place in the world during the 2016 election and of course assigning blame for her overwhelming loss.

NO!  I have not read the book and will never….but apparently she does what she and all her cronies have been doing since the vote count….blaming Bernie and his supporters for her loss.

Letter to the editor: 

Hillary Clinton blaming Sen. Bernie Sanders for her loss is deeply offensive and beyond the pale.

Millions of citizens from all walks of life (myself included) supported Sanders passionately because we loved the positions he was willing to fight for and the fact that he was not beholden to wealthy corporate donors.

Clinton represents everything that is wrong with the political class in this country, in both the Democratic and Republican parties, which have lost touch with the real needs and cries of the people they’re supposed to represent. I sincerely hope that Sanders joins the growing movement for a viable new progressive party.

With her latest blame game, Clinton has only further alienated every true progressive who didn’t support her to begin with.

Lydia Johnson; Roanoke, Va.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has spent years in Congress as an independent, not helping the Democratic Party much. But when Democrats put forth a woman, he pushed his way into the Democratic primary. Sanders has no allegiance to the Democratic Party and has done damage by bringing out the whining kids. I am not a fan.

— Victoria Kugler

I voted for Clinton, but in the primary I wanted Sanders. One problem was that Democrats had Clinton anointed.

— Karen Benson

Clinton blames Donald Trump, Sanders and just about everything and everyone for her failed run for the White House. How about looking in the mirror? She did not campaign very hard. She did not visit key states. She lost in the final weeks. She thought she had it in the bag. The ultimate example of entitlement.

— Sharon Raguckas

She is a typical arrogant politician……she just cannot bring herself to look at her terrible candidacy ans the reason she lost…..she had NO message but that has been the problem with most Dems since 2008….they have NOTHING to offer the American people.

I know it is a bitter pill to swallow….but do it anyway….you lost….stop whining and go spend some of your money…..

Time for her and her cronies to step aside and let the Dems get on with finding a message that will resonate with the American people….doing it the Clinton way is a dead issue.

Will she ever shut up?

Rats Desert A Sinking Ship

Obstructionism and division has been part of the American political scheme for decades.  And since the election of Trump and his brand of autocratic rule Congresspeople are deciding to cut and run from government service.

After Democrats handed President Donald Trump his biggest legislative achievement, Republican leaders are worried he doomed his party for the 2018 midterm elections.

Trump, “paved the way for hazardous, rolling deadlines over the next six months,” Burgess Everett, Seung Min Kim and Kyle Cheney report for Politico.

“The debt and spending bill approved by Capitol Hill on Friday averted imminent fiscal disaster, but it’s added more misery for a Republican Party whose agenda has floundered even with unified control of Washington for the first time in a decade,” Politico explained. “It’s also given Democrats significant leverage to imperil tax reform, the GOP’s best hope at a major legislative victory.”

Source: ‘It is not going to be pretty’: GOP panicked over midterms as Trump continues destroying their agenda

Repubs have NO one but themselves to blame for their current state of confusion and sluggishness…..and some are running sacred and have decided to desert this sinking ship we call democracy….

Outraged by the behavior and radical right-wing agenda of Donald Trump and GOP congressional leadership, Democrats are laser-focused on winning back the House in 2018.

And that could spell huge trouble for Speaker Paul Ryan, who could end up struggling to maintain his majority.

There is no question Democrats have a massive advantage in voter enthusiasm over Republicans for the midterm, and a record-shattering edge in candidate recruitment. But many political experts are still skeptical that Democrats can win the House, due in part to how Republicans rigged and gerrymandered congressional districts.

Source: Seventh Republican retirement signals House GOP’s massive Trump problem in 2018 – Shareblue

Could this be the only way the Dems can return to the power of DC?  They have no new ideas and Trump is about as popular as a turd in the punch bowl….that alone is a scary thought….

This country needs help….but this is not the type I am talking about.

Is The Toxicity Terminal?

Why are so many looking to the 2020 election?

We have a president Trump….to some he is a godsend….to others he is the anti-Christ…..his presidency is toxic too many hanging fruit for the media to chase and yet they persist on thinking ahead to 2020….

Is Trump too toxic to be re-elected if he decides to run?

President Trump is historically unpopular. His overall approval ratings languish at around 37 percent, and his specific actions often poll even lower. (On the eve of the Joe Arpaio pardon, just 21 percent of Arizonans favored such a move.)

As Trump moves ever-further into the toxic swamps of the far-right, his numbers keep sinking. If this keeps up, Trump will end up having to bow out of the 2020 race or face the prospect of losing to any halfway competent Democrat in a landslide … right?

Source: Trump is toxically unpopular. He still might win in 2020.

So thinking about this realistically what do you think?  Yes or no?  Can he pull his presidency out of the crapper to be re-elected in 2020?

The Rise Of Populism

Well the title is misleading……a form of populism has most always been there….it just got a lot more attention in the last couple of years.

And since the rise of Donald Trump more people are paying attention.

Why?

Every European country had its “Trump-esque” figure in the last elections……

A good article in the American Conservative……..

The suicide in the Friuli region of northern Italy earlier this year of a 30-year-old man, identified in the newspapers only as Michele, has become a symbol of the country’s unemployment tragedy, particularly as it affects young people. Though much worse in the South, the country’s economic crisis also has had a blighting effect on the North. The national unemployment rate now stands at nearly 12 percent. A 40 percent youth unemployment rate nationwide, however, has people speaking of a generational apartheid in Italy. There is no work to be found for young people. In the workplace, comparatively speaking, they have been walled off from the rest of the population.

Friuli is a region of plain and mountain in the northeastern part of Italy, flush against borders to the north with Austria and the east with Slovenia. The annals of Friuli antedate by many centuries the arrival of the ancient Romans, who founded the colony of Aquileia there nearly two hundred years before Christ. The barbarian invasions swept over Friuli in the general wreckage of the Roman Empire. An Aquileian state arose in the Middle Ages, but was absorbed in the 15th century by the expanding Venetian empire. Then Friuli passed through French and Austrian phases of occupation and control before becoming part the newly founded Kingdom of Italy, in 1866.

Source: Why Every European Country Has a Trump or Sanders Candidate | The American Conservative

While this “populism” was popular will it be the wave of the future or just another passing fad?

Seriously? 2020?

As things shake out in DC all eyes turn to the possibilities for the 2018 election.  We all are aware of the antics in Foggy Bottom….all the games….all the jockeying for position…..all the theater…with all that going on there are still some people that are looking to the 2020 elections for the “change” we are a;ways in search of…..

Not for the first time….there is a stir in the backrooms about a possible 3rd party ticket….an independent ticket…..

And suddenly, there’s a hot rumor about a presidential ticket for 2020—featuring a Democrat and a Republican, no less. The potential pairing is GOP Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, reports Mike Allen at Axios. The two (nicknamed “the Johns”) have been making the rounds of late talking about health care, and things are going so well that they’re reportedly toying with the idea of an independent bid in 2020, with Kasich as the presidential contender. Coverage:

  • Nothing formal:CNN has a source familiar with the discussions who confirms all of the above, while stressing that it’s all informal at this point. “The idea of a joint ticket has been discussed, but not at an organizational or planning level.”
  • Expanding platform: Both Axios and CNN say that while the two have been focusing on health care for now, they’ll be expanding their platform in the near future. Job creation and immigration will be two main topics, with a particular focus on helping those losing jobs to automation. A podcast or perhaps a cable show also may be in the works.
  • Health care: The pair plan to release their ideas for stabilizing the nation’s insurance markets next month, and they aim to get other governors to sign on, reports NPR. They wrote about the broad strokes and the need for a bipartisan approach in the Washington Post in June. One specific idea: They don’t like the ObamaCare rule requiring businesses with 50 or more employees to provide insurance; the number should be higher, they say, as it currently hurts small businesses.
  • Worry for Democrats: At the National Review, Jim Geraghty argues that it would be bad news for Democrats if such a ticket comes to be. (He’s skeptical it will.) “If you’re a vehement Trump foe, you want the anti-Trump vote split in as few ways as possible,” and Kasich-Hickenlooper could steal needed electoral votes from Democrats (including a total of 27 in the governors’ home states).
  • Not quite a denial: Hickenlooper was asked about the possibility of a joint ticket in early August and said, “I don’t think Kasich would ever do that,” per Politico. But he didn’t exactly rule it out: “You never know. You never say. … I do like the idea of working with him in some context at some point.”
  • 503 days: On Thursday, Hickenlooper said on MSNBC that he wouldn’t even think about a presidential run until his gubernatorial term ends, per the Hill. And he knew that he had precisely 503 days left.

A couple of thoughts……too damn early to be thinking that far ahead.  Who knows what direction this country will travel 7+ years from now.  Second, who the Hell is Hickenlooper?  If you are not a political junkie then this name means absolutely NOTHING to you.

This is a stupid report that deserves to be shelved until 2020 looms closer.