CPAC 2014 is over, and the hard core rightists of our nation have had their fill of entertainment for another year. The convention also provided a week of really solid material for comedians like Jon Stewart, who had his audience snorting into its microbrew with his play-by-play of over-the-top CPAC moments. This back and forth between the unknowingly ridiculous right wing politicians and knowingly ridiculous left-leaning commentators still isn’t old for me, though after years of this it probably should be.
Relentlessly, the right ups the temperature on its rhetoric, creating frenzy around something with a lot of style and little substance. What real leaders do is identify problems, work on solutions in partnership with others, and implement policies that improve people’s lives. CPAC folks don’t do any of these things. They are like actors pretending to be leaders on a stage. The pontificators of conservative ideology are either really poor quality performance artists, or really good ones- I can’t decide which. Read more
Around my community of Southwest Washington all eyes are on the Oregon Legislature this week as committees decide the fate of the Columbia River Crossing (CRC). For those in other parts of the country, the CRC is the replacement project for the I5 Bridge that connects Washington and Oregon in Vancouver and Portland. It’s a heavily researched, debated, and berated piece of infrastructure legislation that has come to represent the divisions in our national discourse. The CRC is nothing less than a symbol of political breakdown over common sense use of government. Read more
Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were charged Tuesday with illegally accepting gifts, luxury vacations and large loans from a wealthy Richmond-area businessman who sought special treatment from state government.
See court forms attached!
Two campaigns for governor come to an end yet we don't ask how these winners stand to govern -- rather how Christie's victory boosts his Presidential run and how McAuliffe's win may bolster Hillary's race.
As we deal with the healthcare website's problems, instead of standing firm for getting Americans covered, the GOP is ready to run midterm races against Obamacare and Dems wimpily wonder whether to run away from it.
And as America climbs back from the shut-down, instead of standing tall to run the country, The Tea Party fixates on running primary right-wingers, and Ted Cruz limbers up for a run for the White House.
With so much running, you'd think they are marathoners, but they are just politicians running wild. We could use a few who run less, stand a little more -- and are upstanding, understanding and outstanding as well.
What good is running for everything if, in the end, you stand for nothing?
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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
With the talks already ongoing to try and avert a government shutdown in the face of another debt ceiling crisis, I have decided to look at the broader question of whether it is genuinely possible to have an actual dialogue, on any subject, given the current political atmosphere. The first item in this conversation is to determine what dialogue actually is. Despite many different definitions that come to mind, and a lot of searching, I have happened upon a quote that seems to make the most sense. In the book On Heaven and Earth then Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, in his introduction has this to say on the idea of dialogue:
"Dialogue is born of a respectful attitude toward the other person, from a conviction that the other person has something good to say. It supposes that we can make room in our heart for their point of view, their opinion and their proposals. Dialogue entails a warm reception and not a preemptive condemnation. To dialogue, one must know how to lower the defenses, to open the door to one's home and to offer warmth. Read more
Mickey Edwards steals a page from those early Progressives who believed the cure for democracy was more democracy. Joining a long list of Republican "reformers" who are trying mightily to help the GOP avoid a rendevous with hostile demographics, the one-time Oklahoma Congressman wants to scrap the two-party system altogether in favor of a more participatory "nonpartisan" democracy able to govern itself without party labels.
It's an appealing vision of a restored "civic republicanism" that Edwards offers in his latest book, The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans. Appealing to me, at any rate, because it reflects my own belief that it is far more important how a party or a country thinks than what it thinks - since, as Edwards says, "democracy is not about policy but about process" and "how we select our leaders, how we deliberate, how we decide" are what really determine whether Americans are fit for self-government. Read more
In May 2009, former International Monetary Fund chief economist Simon Johnson wrote an important essay in The Atlantic on the origins and implications of the 2008 financial collapse, called "The Quiet Coup."
The financial gloom that swept over the US economy at the twilight of the George W. Bush administration was "shockingly reminiscent" of other Third World, emerging economy crises Johnson had witnessed during his days at the IMF.
In each case, he said, concerns that the financial sector could not pay off the debts it had accumulated caused capital markets to seize up, forcing firms like Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy as fear of insolvency became a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Weaknesses in the banking system "quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy," said Johnson, "causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people." Read more
The Obama NSA has been secretly collecting millions of phone records of American citizens. For all this intelligence-gathering, they haven't found the intelligence to realize how wrong this is.
Turkish authorities have heard the rumbles of uprisings across Europe and the Mid East, but haven't listened to their own people's concerns, nor learned how to peacefully quell a protest.
A Senator who listened to the challenges faced by New Jersey & the nation has passed away. A Governor who can only hear the drumbeat of ambition has chosen an illogical expensive way to replace him.
With governmental leaders these days, you don't have to ask, "Can you hear me now?" But when it comes to responding to their citizens, the real question is, "Why the heck won't you listen?"
If you want to be heard, listened to & engaged, start a convo with the welcoming cohort at your local progressive social club
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Yes. I busted my ass for Obama the first time around.
Opened my checkbook, campaigned, knocked on doors. Did everything I could to see that he carried Florida in the Presidential election.
Not easy in a place where Fred Thompson signs were as common as plastic pink flamingos at the time during the primary and right wing nuts carried Soviet flags outside of local Obama campaign headquarters. Where women thought Palin was the essence of true feminism. I had the lone Obama sign on my lawn in a sea of McCain - Palin cardboard.
But I got the last laugh. At least I thought so at the time.
We had elected a Democratic President and controlled the two Houses of Congress. And we carried Florida.
Maybe something would get done.
Maybe universal healthcare. Maybe peace would come. Maybe a society which would leave behind racism. Maybe repeal of the Bush tax giveaways to billionaires. Maybe we would spend money on people rather than aircraft carriers. Maybe we would stop torturing people. Maybe Gitmo would close.
Maybe. Read more
Marcus Licinius Crassus was the richest man in Roman history. Indeed, he is considered one of the richest men who ever lived. He made his fortune as a supporter of the dictator Sulla by confiscating the properties of Sulla’s political enemies.
He was also a shrewd acquirer of real estate, especially when it was on fire. Rome had no fire department; fires were left to burn themselves out. Crassus organized some 500 men and, when there was a fire, he would show up and offer to buy the property for a song. After the beleaguered owner sold out the burning buildings, Crassus would call on his fire department to put out the flames and then restore the buildings.
In any case, Crassus was described by Plutarch as the ultimate man of avarice. Crassus never had enough and always wanted more.
It was Crassus who, wishing to add glory to his wealth lead the legions which defeated Spartacus in the slave revolt. Several Roman armies were off fighting elsewhere and Crassus offered to personally equip several legions and lead the fight against the slaves. Initially he had trouble. Read more
I was reading in USA Today an article about former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and a book he has published concerning immigration. The article also discussed a possible campaign by Continue Reading →
The post We do not need another Bush in the White House
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I live in one of the states whose governor decided to refuse cooperating with the federal government on implementing ObamaCare — in Oklahoma. I am also one of many who do not have health care but needs it. My income is not low enough to qualify for Medicaid and not high, enough to afford health care, that is — under the old system.
ObamaCare is the first time I will be able to afford health care. I will still have to pay for part of my health care but at a rate, I can afford. However, my governor, Mary Fallon, does not seem to care much about my health care or others like me. Even though I am a full-time working Oklahoman who pays state taxes, what I need and many other Oklahomans need does not seem to be of a concern to Governor Fallon. Read more
Losing an election can be a very bitter pill to swallow. Some Republicans are refusing to accept their loss and instead have begun beating the war drums of vengeance, promising to fight against not only the election results, but against democracy itself and the will of the People.
Donald Trump is a good example, he tweeted a few incendiary comments after the election results gave Obama a clear win. Here is a list of those tweets Yahoo! News provided for us: Read more