Is More Democracy Better?

We have just practiced one of our “inalienable rights”….we voted in the midterms and according to the pundits democracy has won out over the silliness in the country today.

But has it?

I still have not seen a backlash that all were predicting…..okay the Dems won the House…..who did not see that coming?  Repubs keep the Senate….and this is a surprise?  At what point will all that make a difference to my life?  But it does give the high paid pundits something to talk about…..

Just what did the midterms prove?

People voted…..Trump still has a 40% approval……Dems still are as rudderless as always….do I really need to continue?

But now let’s look at the democracy we love (about here someone will no doubt point out that the US is a republic…..thanx for that now go back to sleep)……

Candidates and Political Parties…….the candidates no longer need to hold to party ideology……

n the late evening of August 29, 1968, a balding fifty-seven-year-old wearing a black suit and a black tie took the stage at the International Amphitheatre, in Chicago, to accept his party’s nomination for the Presidency of the United States. Framed by a gray backdrop, Hubert Humphrey promised America a bright new day: “It is the special genius of the Democratic Party that it welcomes change, not as an enemy but as an ally; not as a force to be suppressed but as an instrument of progress to be encouraged.”

When he was first elected to the U.S. Senate, some two decades earlier, Humphrey was hailed as a liberal hero for his outspoken support of civil rights. When he served as Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vice-President, he continued to champion progressive causes like equal-opportunity hiring and privately expressed misgivings about the military escalation in Vietnam. But, during the primaries, he did not publicly distance himself from Johnson even as the President became less and less popular, and activists gradually came to see Humphrey as the hapless face of a failing establishment. “Once a fiery liberal spirit,” the satirist Tom Lehrer lamented in song, “Ah, but now when he speaks he must clear it. / Second fiddle’s a hard part, I know, / When they don’t even give you a bow.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/11/12/is-more-democracy-always-better-democracy

An outside group, Indivisible, has taken upon themselves to help the Dems grow a spine…..a lofty task……..

After more than year of playing defense against President Donald Trump and the GOP’s attacks on healthcare, workers, immigrants, refugees, the LGBTQ community, and the common good, the progressive group Indivisible on Tuesday published a new action guide aimed at helping organizers and constituents go beyond resistance and pressure the new House Democratic majority to fight for a positive, ambitious agenda.

“This guide is for what comes next,” Indivisible notes, contrasting the new roadmap with its viral 2016 Trump resistance guide.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/11/14/help-democrats-stiffening-their-spines-new-indivisible-guide-details-how-trump

The GOP may be a hopeless cause…..they have sided with sex deviates and have lambasted a military man in defense of a cowardly president……their redemption will be harder for these spineless slugs…

Democracy is a fascinating topic and I will re-visit it in the near future….

Turn The Page ….but Stay Tuned!

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Closing Thought–27Nov18

How many of my readers were on the internet in 1999?

Well I was and I participated in an experiment into democracy……

Democracy on the internet…….

in 1999 I felt that the internet was the future of democracy and voting…….now a look back into those days……

In 1999, the organization responsible for the backbone of the public internet, ICANN, tried to build a democracy.

In theory it was utopian: Internet users from around the world would register as at-large members of ICANN, elect delegates to represent their continent, and these delegates would sit on the ICANN board of directors. The structure of internet would be governed by its users.

ICANN was in a position to do this because it’s in the business of determining how people are found on the World Wide Web. It governs the directory that every computer uses for directions to the right web page on the right server. If you register a web page, it gets registered by an ICANN-approved registrar. This proposal wasn’t just about who could register a .edu domain versus a .org, but instead who would be allowed to have a place on the web at all.

https://qz.com/1422925/the-public-internet-was-almost-a-democracy/

I still think that the internet could be used for good but that would require a free internet and there are too many working to make sure that is NEVER the case.

Any thoughts?

Peacemakers, Warmongers And Fence Setters

You are about to go to the polls and vote for your favorite candidate or in my case the one with the least smell about them…..but who represents your political thinking…a peacemaker?  Or a Warmonger?  Maybe a coward that sits on the Fence and watches the political winds?

Who represents you?

In lifetime voting records tabulated by Peace Action, the average House Democrat has a 72% peace voting record, while the average House Republican scores only 10%. In the Senate, the difference is 69% to 14%

As a foreign policy crisis explodes over the apparent Saudi assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, the failure of the U.S. Congress to assert its constitutional war powers over three years of illegal U.S. military action in the war on Yemen and booming U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners is finally coming home to roost.

The UN already reported two years ago that a child was dying every 10 minutes in Yemen, wracked by the war and its consequences, including malnutrition, diphtheria, cholera and other preventable diseases.  Data already showed that more than a third of Saudi-led airstrikes were hitting schools, hospitals, markets, mosques and other civilian sites. But none of the dire warnings by UN agencies and NGOs could trigger the constitutionally required debate and decisive action by the U.S. Congress.  Even now the Trump administration is trying desperately to salvage its blood-soaked arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/23/peacemakers-warmongers-and-fence-sitters-who-represents-you

I look for the person that I feel will keep the US ot of useless wars….and like I said these days I just hold my nose and vote or I look for an alternative candidate that has NO chance of winning but at least I have voted my principles in most cases…..too many cannot say that.

Today is your day to send whatever message you have close to your heart….please go vote…..your country needs you.

Midterms Biggest Loser!

Today is the big day…the day that we all have been hearing about for over a year…..the 2018 Midterms (or is it mid-terms)….but no matter which way you vote….whether as a human or otherwise….there is one thing that is for sure….no matter who wins what the biggest loser will be democracy.

When Angelina Cruz, the head of the teachers’ union in Racine, Wisconsin, goes canvassing, she doesn’t just knock on doors. If she sees someone in the street she approaches them and starts a conversation.

“D’you know you can vote today,” she asked a young black man who walked by last Saturday.

“I can’t,” he said. “I’m a felon.” (A felon is someone who has committed a “serious crime”.)

“On papers or off papers,” she asked. (In Wisconsin your voting rights are only restored after prison, parole and probation have all been served, and you are “off papers”.)

“On papers,” he said.

“Well, ask your friends to vote,” said Cruz.

“Most of them are on papers too,” he yelled back.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/11/02/why-democracy-will-be-biggest-loser-us-midterms

This may not matter to too many people….if not please do one thing no matter what…VOTE!

Dems may win the House but that matters not because…within the Party there is a “Civil War” brewing…..

Now here is something really interesting, via Politico: there’s a growing cultural divide within Democratic ranks:

As the party’s attention turns to the presidential nominating season, one of its biggest challenges will be navigating this culture war in its own ranks. The energy at the moment is with the liberal wing, centered around cities and college towns and on the coasts, its members mostly white and college-educated and far to the left on social and cultural issues compared with the rest of the party. But its voting majority is still more blue-collar and diverse, many of whom favor an incremental approach on social issues and who are more interested in preserving the clout of longtime powers like Crowley and Capuano than in notching symbolic victories for the “resistance.”

In many of the cases outlined above, the policy differences between the candidates are microscopically small. Nearly all Democrats favor tackling income inequality, raising taxes on the wealthy and the minimum wage, and reforming the criminal justice system. There is some dispute over how fast to move and how far to go, but the broad outlines are the same. The differences, in one analysis, are stylistic, and so it is easy to imagine that they will be worked out over the next year as the party settles on another presidential nominee.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/democrats-hidden-civil-war/

The Midterms may make these divisions more pronounced…..but the real battle will begin January 2019….how will the country turn?

2018–Where To Put My Vote

There are just a few days (One lousy week) before we vote and I have heard many people fret over where they can put their vote……(this may not help much in the Midterms but 2020 is coming)

There are many people, voters, that are not happy with the Democratic Party or the GOP and they have a decision as to where to put their vote.

We could always look to the parties of the past…Libertarians, Greens, Reform Party, Constitution Party and of course those on the far Right and Left…..or how about some of the up and coming parties…..

Like The Party of Reason and Progress (PORP)……would you like to know more?

The Party of Reason and Progress (PORP) is an organization dedicated to promoting reason and empirically sound decision-making in modern politics. Our mission is to implement effective and rational policies through educating the general public and supporting reasonable and logical public officials and initiatives.

https://partyofreasonandprogress.org/platform/

Then there is a name from the past…….the Whig Party…..would you like to know more?

Whigs have traditionally stood for representative government, individual liberty, social and economic progress, modernization, public education, a vibrant legislative branch, and ongoing cooperation between the private and public sectors. Our forebears, the original American Whigs, built on those traditions and led the fledgling United States during a period of robust economic, social and political development in the years between the Revolution and the Civil War. We proudly point to some of the giants of American history in our lineage, including such leading lights as Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln, among others.

http://www.modernwhig.org/

If you are more radical Left than the others and are looking for a party to put your trust in then may I suggest the Resistance Party……would you like to know more?

We are in the midst of a global crisis of democracy. As the foundations of the post-war international order are shaken, in part due to the real failures of existing American, European, and international institutions to address the needs of ordinary people, extreme right-wing movements are on the rise. Amid austerity, inequality, high youth unemployment and underemployment, strained relations between Russia and the West, and a refugee crisis caused in large part by the disastrous failures of American foreign policy in the Middle East, the threat posed by a virulent anti-democratic Right waxes every day in the United States and in Europe. In the United States, the radicalized Republican Party under Donald J. Trump is laying the foundation for a program dangerously reminiscent of fascism that we may refer to as Trumpism. Under Trumpism, the United States appears poised to continue to depress the wages of workers, to dismantle what is left of our social safety net, to suppress dissent in violation of the Constitution, and to mobilize racism, scapegoating minorities, who are threatened with mass deportation or worse, and who are already experiencing an uptick in hate crimes. We should not underestimate what a grave threat Trumpism represents to our democratic norms, constitutional checks and balances, the rule of law, and human and constitutional rights.

https://www.theresistanceparty.org/

These are the newest of the fledgling parties that deserve a shot at government for the traditional two have screwed the country so bad that it needs a new direction.

Place your vote where it will do the most good….but never compromise your principles.

Turn The Page!

Let’s Talk 2016

We are mere few days away from the 2018 Mid-Terms and the president still talks about the election we had in 2016…..I believe that most everyone knows that we have a president named Trump and yet he cannot stop talking about the 2016 election….on and on……

You know the election of 2016  and we have a president, like him or not, I want to move on and talk about the world we have today….but we cannot…..it seems the winner of the electoral college cannot move past the election….every rally and campaign stop he makes he constantly relives the election of 2016…..so I thought ‘why not’ it is something interesting because NOTHING happening in the Trump White House is all that interesting.

The biggest confusion is the “Obama Voter” that switched and voted for the old angry white guy….(what were they thinking?)…….

One of the most puzzling elements of the 2016 election, at least for a lot of Americans, was the millions of voters who switched from voting for Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016. Somewhere between 6.7 million and 9.2 million Americans switched this way; given that the 2016 election was decided by 40,000 votes, it’s fair to say that Obama-Trump switchers were one of the key reasons that Hillary Clinton lost.

The existence of those voters has served as evidence that the most plausible explanation for what happened in 2016 — that Trump’s campaign tapped into the racism of white Americans to win pivotal states — is wrong. “How could white Americans who voted for a black president in the past be racist,” or so the thinking goes.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/10/16/17980820/trump-obama-2016-race-racism-class-economy-2018-midterm

As long as we are talking about the 2016 election and since the president cannot open his mouth without saying something stupid about Hillary Clinton I might as well include her in this post…….

IMO she was a terrible candidate and the final tally in the Electoral College proves my point…..yes I know “she won the popular vote”….and where did that get her?

She can go back to the circuit of getting paid “appearance money” and step out of the light for awhile…..(she just cannot step away)…..

“No, I’m not going to run again.” So declared Hillary Clinton this week in an interview with BBC Radio. Clinton, however, said she planned to remain in the public eye criticizing President Trump, reports CNBC. One thing that seems clear: Given her re-emergence on the national stage, lots of people think she will, in fact, run for president in 2020—and lots of Democrats are conflicted about that. Details and developments:

  • Pro-Hillary: A Politico piece headlined “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Hillary?” talks to some of those conflicted Democrats. But it also quotes from Clinton adviser Philippe Reines, who argues that no other Democrat even comes close to her base of support. “Chalking the loss up to her being a failed candidate is an oversimplification,” he says. “She is smarter than most, tougher than most, she could raise money easier than most, and it was an absolute fight to the death.” He thinks it’s unlikely, but possible, that she will run. The chances are “not zero.”

Anti-Hillary: A good example of the “please, no” camp is a piece by Liz Mair in the Daily Beast, who likens Clinton to a zombie who won’t stay down. “Hillary remains caught up in the delusion that the only reason she lost in 2016 was because of Russian interference,” writes Mair. “She does not seem to have fully processed the fact that she lost the Electoral College, the only vote that counts.”

  • Another: Michelle Cottle, a member of the New York Times editorial board, wrote an op-ed arguing that Clinton is doing her party more harm than good ahead of the midterms with all her public appearances. Instead of generating support among Democrats and independents, she’s merely energizing the Republican base, Cottle writes.
  • Bannon’s view: “She’s a lion in winter,” Steve Bannon tells Politico. “Not only is she running, she should run. In the Democratic Party, the question is can anybody throw a punch or take a punch, and one thing we know about Hillary Clinton is she can take a punch.” Trump, for his part, says he hopes she runs.
  • Lewinsky controversy: Last weekend, Clinton told CBS that her husband’s affair with a 22-year-old Monica Lewinsky didn’t constitute an abuse of power because Lewinsky was an adult, reports USA Today. Clinton continues to take flak for this, including from Tarana Burke, who’s credited with starting the #MeToo movement. “It’s absolutely an abuse of power,” Burke tells the Root. “Two people made a choice and one of those people was the most powerful man in the world.” And former Obama adviser David Axelrod wrote: “Just guessing this isn’t the story Democratic candidates were looking for in the homestretch of the midterms.”
  • A tour: Clinton will further raise her public profile with a series of appearances starting next month with Bill Clinton to talk about the 2016 loss and other issues, reports Business Insider. “An Evening With the Clintons” will visit 13 cities, with tickets ranging from $60 to $745.
  • Low numbers: A Gallup poll in September put Clinton’s favorability rating at a record low 36%. That’s down 7 points from the eve of the election. The partisan split: 77% favorable rating among Democrats, 30% among independents, and 4% among Republicans.
  • Clinton also drew attention for asserting that “civility” will return to the US only when Democrats reassume power.

Please…..she lost the 2016 election…time for her to go away….Dems do not need her any longer….they need to find a voice and a message….she did not have one in 2016 and right now the Dems are still looking for their voice.  Right now not even the Party knows who the leader of the Dems is…..so is there a leader?

This is fun!

The Mid-terms will tell the tale…..the Dems may have a chance to redeem themselves with the voter…..will they?

The Crack Widens

Just days before the mid-terms and our politics is so broken that it will take more than one election to repair.

It all began in the 1990’s with the election of Bill Clinton and the Midterms that followed.  The country started dividing itself along red and blue lines…political fault lines.

We have always been a country with two parties and two ways of looking at the role of government.

And with each election after that we have widened the crack in our society…….

The United States is politically fragmenting. It would seem that the various cultural and ideological stresses impacting the nation are destabilizing the country’s two traditional political parties.

At this point in the fragmentation process we can identify four political groupings. They are (1) those of Democratic Party persuasion—and it should be noted that the Democrats are being stressed by contesting interpretations of just what the party stands for; (2) those of continuing Republican Party persuasion, which by now really represents a small “rump” party of Trump supporters; (3) the independents now bolstered by what once was the “moderate” multitude of the Republican Party as well as a growing number of ex-Democrats on the disaffected left; and (4) the mass of apoliticalAmericans who have always been alienated from politics and usually do not vote. This last group also may well be growing. Let’s look at these four groups in more detail against the backdrop of contemporary events.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/19/political-fragmentation-on-the-homefront/

Vote by vote and issue by issue and eventually we have the situation that we have found ourselves in today……division……

Despite common differences and shared values Americans are becoming more politically polarized. And it seems to be happening in large part because our tribal leaders are intentionally dividing us for their own political gains. I find this deeply disturbing and it’s something that is damaging our country as it results in a government that cannot legislate in the best interests of its citizens. So I wanted to write a few thoughts about what’s happening and why.

My general theory of this political polarization is a bit like my theory of an inter-temporal conundrum in finance. Basically, we have short term needs that are best fixed using mostly longer-term views, but we have a  political system and a news media that feeds on our short-term biases. This is creating a whip-saw effect where we are consistently dissatisfied by the wrong short-term policies that are enacted and this leads to the seasaw of changing leadership that results in little effective change. The only real winners in this whole saga are the political leaders who have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

https://www.pragcap.com/theyre-dividing-us/

Like I have written…this division is destroying the country and few seem to notice because they are too busy insulting the people around them……

I rarely tell readers what to believe. Rather I try to indicate why it might be wise to distrust, at least without very good evidence, what those in power tell us we should believe.

We have well-known sayings about power: “Knowledge is power”, and “Power tends to corrupt, while absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” These aphorisms resonate because they say something true about how we experience the world. People who have power – even very limited power they hold on licence from someone else – tend to abuse it, sometimes subtly and unconsciously, and sometimes overtly and wilfully.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/24/hiding-in-plain-sight-why-we-cannot-see-the-system-destroying-us/

All this division worries me.  This country is so much better than the silliness we have as a government these days.

Mid-Terms are approaching….time for a change….then we have 2020 it will definitely be time for a change.

Only you the voter can change the track of this country……make the country come first.