The Far Right Republican Tea Party has overplayed its hand. The House of Representatives, its stronghold on the federal level, is consistently unpopular, having a 10-19% approval rating this year according to the Gallop poll. And now the Tea Party is threatening to shut down the government, and put thousands of employees on furlough, to try to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. How do they think this latest ploy will shake out for them?
Regarding the 2014 mid-term elections, can anyone say “landslide.” Any Democrat with a pulse will be able to make a serious bid on an incumbent Republican-held office this next cycle. Embarrassingly out-of-touch the GOP has become, and American voters are likely to show them the door at the next opportunity.
Here is the problem with the Far Right: they think their positions are popular because they listen to the people in their districts that show up to town hall meetings and send emails. The constituents who are taking the time to complain are the radicalized Far Right who listen to Fox News and other Right Wing media. Read more
Ted Cruz did cram all the words he could ram as he tried to slam and sought to damn a health program to hep your fam, invoking Sam from Green Eggs and Ham.
His ideas have dust and opinions rust, but with gusto, lust and bluster robust he fret and fussed and cringed and cussed
as he may and must to filibust.
He took the floor for many and more with a right-wing roar at his conservative core. But what lore in store was he fighting for? To slam the door on the working poor?
Like a babbling book he shimmied and shook, taking hammer and hook to the plan he forsook. Yet for this scheme he did cook, did he actually look at the Dr Seuss book from which quotations he took?
Because, sir and m'am, our friend Sam-I-Am works out of his jam, burst through the dam and with a bam and a blam LIKES Green Eggs and Ham. Sadly, that won't quiet or clam the Senator's scam.
He filibustered with Green Eggs and Ham. But really it was all Greed, Ego and Sham.
If Cruz Control isn't your speed, shift gears to talk Obamacare, the UN and DC stalemates with some fresh mates, fresh ideas and fresh pints at your local progressive social club. Read more
Nearly every day since my sophomore year of high school, I have carried a U.S. Constitution in my left-hand pocket whenever I go out. People often ask me why. They’re usually fairly incredulous when they ask. It strikes many as odd, and I understand their reasoning. It strikes a few as honorable. Despite my brother’s warnings not to do so (I think the phrase he used was “social strike-out”), I’m going to tell you just one of the many reasons why I do this. Read more
Dear Gov. McCrory,
Though I’m fortunate enough to hail from Ohio, the greatest state in our union, I still keep abreast of what’s going on in North Carolina—my second, wonderful home state. As a Republican, Duke student and political science major, I was disappointed to listen to the radio interview you gave a couple of weeks ago, during which you expressed an interest in defunding certain areas of study at North Carolina public universities. The sound bite the media grappled on to was your declaration, “If you want to take gender studies that’s fine. Go to a private school, and take it.”
I listened to the interview in its entirety, rather than just picking and choosing the choicest bits. I am guessing (hoping) this comment doesn’t express a malevolent view of the academic field of gender studies. Rather, I think it is a poor phrasing of your larger belief that public tax dollars should only fund areas of study that produce jobs for students. I’d like to respond to this larger sentiment and the potentiality of defunding certain academic disciplines, rather than the specific gender studies statement itself. Read more
Oftentimes I feel as though the views of the Republican Party are not properly characterized in campus discourse. Today I’d like to briefly summarize four oft-ignored perspectives on the Republican economic agenda, which isn’t as scary as it is usually portrayed in campus debate.
First and foremost, the Republican Party is not a party that only cares about rich people. Republicans want everyone to have a good-paying job that provides for his or her family. Many Republicans come from humble beginnings and humble backgrounds. Many were immigrants who came to this country with nothing but a dream. They know what it is to face hard times, and are not callous to the difficult circumstances in which many impoverished people find themselves.
In short, Republicans do not differ with Democrats at all in terms of empathy. Rather, they differ in their beliefs regarding the means by which to help the poorest among us. I think it’s safe to say Republicans have more faith in the power of free markets than the Democratic Party. Republicans would argue that free markets, unencumbered by unnecessary government regulation, allow for the greatest growth in prosperity for all. Read more
“Why should I respect a Republican or Democrat’s political views on campus when he or she draws conclusions completely contrary to my own?” Some of us at Duke answer this question with, “I shouldn’t have to. If my opponent is wrong, then there is simply no reason to respect what I deem to be conclusively wrong.”
These individuals operate in a world of black-and-white policy answers. But it surprises me, at a school that arguably teaches one of the best liberal arts curricula in our country, with hundreds of professors teaching and debating conflicting ideas with one another every day, that any Duke University student can come away from his or her studies passionately believing that he or she has found definitively right answers to America’s policy problems at the humble age of 22. These students are paying $60,000 a year to ignore the prying hands of a Duke education that is desperately trying to open their minds. Read more
My AP English teacher once told me that I would get beaten up at least once in college for telling people I was a Republican. She made the comment in the middle of class, laughing as she said it. I don’t think it was necessarily meant as an insult, but the memory has stuck with me ever since.
It’s a bit funny to think about now. Not only have I never gotten into a brawl surrounding politics (that would be a low point in anyone’s life I think), but a majority of my good friends at Duke University are of the opposite political persuasion.
In fact, I haven’t just peacefully coexisted and debated the other side—I’ve actually experienced it. This past summer I worked for two organizations simultaneously. The first organization was the Romney campaign, where I acted as the student overseeing all of the Young Americans for Romney campus groups in North Carolina. The second organization, Friends of the Earth, I interned with for a short period of time in London. It’s as liberal as the name might lead you to believe. It was quite a dichotomous pairing. Read more
Last year, I wrote a column extolling the virtues of being a member of a minority political viewpoint on campus. Today, I write a companion column delineating the detriments that arise when campus discussion is dominated by the liberal viewpoint. And it is my claim that, paradoxically, those harmed above all by this status quo are liberal students.
The negative effects are bountiful. Often discussed is the fact that disenfranchised perspectives on specific issues go unheard. This is true. Duke University's Chronicle published a story last semester reporting on how students opposing same-sex marriage remain, almost without exception, silent. The same in my experience could be said for pro-life, anti-affirmative action and pro-Second Amendment arguments. This political climate robs students of vital preparation for rebutting arguments with which they disagree. From a sheer standpoint of teaching argumentation, you cannot learn to effectively debate what you almost never hear. As evidence, look no further than the proclivity of many anonymous commenters to resort to ad hominem attacks when confronted with a conservative Chronicle column. Read more
If you read at an average pace, it will take you four minutes to finish this column. By the time you’re done, approximately nine U.S. students will have dropped out of high school. That’s 1.2 million dropouts a year—dropouts who are qualified for only 10 percent of new jobs, are eight times more likely to be incarcerated and are 50 percent less likely to vote. When Texas projects how many prisons it will need 10 years from today, one of the data points it considers is the percentage of literate Texas fourth graders. The correlation is strong—six out of 10 American prison inmates are illiterate.
America’s educational problems permeate all aspects of our society—from economic growth to crime to national security. And that’s not a new, tantalizingly fresh concept I’ve just written. In preparing to write this column, I found so many websites with educational crisis statistics that my Google Chrome froze from an overload of tabs. Read more
The UN General Assembly meetings this week offer President Obama a chance to capitalize on recent diplomatic developments with Syria and to extend a hand to new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in the hopes of launching renewed negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. In an op-ed in the Washington Post last week, Rouhani urged other leaders “to respond genuinely to my government’s efforts to engage in constructive dialogue.” It is critical for Obama to show that his administration is willing to answer Iranian concessions with some relief of sanctions that Rouhani can bring to the Iranian people.
Iran is Ready for Talks
A prominent adviser to the Iranian leadership, Amir Mohebbian, explains that Iran’s leaders see the next six months represent the best opportunity to reach an agreement, before campaigning for parliamentary elections begins in March. This is a window the US cannot afford to miss. It is time for the US to offer a reasonable deal that would signal to the Iranian people that the West is willing to work towards a larger agreement. Read more
Right around 12 pm EST today, Party of One Ted Cruz wrapped up his pointless nonfilibuster so he could appear on the Rush Limbaugh Show.
The right wing talk show host is the poster boy for limp noodles, having been detained for having someone else's name on his Viagra prescription and running loads of ads for pecker pills on his floundering radio program.
But not today.
Limbaugh was audibly aroused as he waited for the Texas senator to join him: Read more
The world weeps for Syria. To the growing list of atrocious statistics achieved during the Syrian Civil War, we may now add the 100,000th death. While the West twiddles its thumbs, weighing its fear of being embroiled in a prolonged conflict against some moral imperative to intervene, Bashar al-Assad and his regime continue to pass bloody milestones.
When your neighbors are taken prisoner or murdered and your schoolmates are tortured at the whims of the regime, it's hard to sit by… so many Syrians are not. But the rebels who wage war on Assad have also committed violent acts in their fight against the government that, when viewed in isolation, may be considered extreme and even cruel. And yet we do not view them in isolation. Many of us intuitively consider the rebels’ use of violence to be justified in light of the violence committed by the other side. So, the argument might go, it is only appropriate to judge the cruelty of the rebels’ actions in the context of the greater battle and in reference to the violence that Assad is currently using – violence justified in virtue of reciprocity, what I call "reactive" violence. Read more
I recently had a conversation with an Australian student in which neither of us knew what the other was saying. We were both speaking English, but it was probably the most unproductive conversation you can imagine.
We were ostensibly discussing the merits of the liberal commitment to supporting the welfare state. It was one of those moments I was looking forward to while signing up for the Duke in Oxford program; here was my chance, I thought, to attain enlightenment in an oak paneled room while discussing a subject whose pretension matched that of my environment. And with a foreigner!
But it was not to be. I became increasingly confused because he said there was no commitment at all – liberals are only concerned with supporting the free market. I tried explaining that liberals generally favor expanding the welfare state and otherwise checking the unregulated market. After several minutes of fruitless efforts we decided to change the subject. Read more
Did you know 100 years ago The National Press Club hosted a Spelling Bee challenge pitting lawmakers against journalists? I'm not sure who won 100 years ago, but yesterday Tim Kaine came out on top.
Skip to 20 minutes in if you don't want to hear the introductions. Yes, it take 20 minutes.
Another gunman, another senseless massacre. A reprise of calls not to politicize the tragedy. Will we find the fortitude for sensible solutions or fall to the familiar fate of silent stagnation?
Another budget "crisis" created by Congress, more showdowns and potential shutdowns, ever more efforts to oppose and undercut Obamacare. When will we find the force to fight this foolishness?
Nearly another war with fuzzy goals and foggy strategy, but diplomacy has stalled that misadventure for now. Nearly a recycled revival for Larry Summers, but advocacy has led the Fed away from that folly.
Seems we've heard many of these stories before, but when we learn from history, we can make a better choice. When we let history be repeated that we all are defeated.
From the tragedy at the DC Navy Yards to forging an international response to the crisis in Syria to the drunken drama unfolding on Capitol Hill, let's all hope our leaders studied these history lessons.
Share reactions, ideas for actions & thoughts with traction as you find open arms and open minds in our friendly faction at your local progressive social club. Read more