Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Constitution Daily: Constitution Check: Lyle Denniston: Did The Founders Want Term Limits For Supreme Court Justices?

Mike Huckabee, Former Governor of Arkansas
Constitution Daily: Constitution Check: Lyle Denniston: Did The Founders Want Term Limits For Supreme Court Justices?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Damn! I found something that I agree with Mike Huckabee on. And perhaps tomorrow I’ll find something that I agree with Michael Moore on, but don’t hold your breath. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but a U.S. Justice in many ways is just as powerful as a U.S. Senator on a lot of things. U.S. Justice’s whether they are supposed to or not, can literally rewrite laws and say this is constitutional and that is not. They did that with the Affordable Care Act in 2012, to use as an example. They can also throw laws out and say this is good and this is bad. And not just to Congress and the President, but state and local laws as well.

U.S. Justice’s have a lot of power and responsibility and yet they’re the only federal officials that have guaranteed job security for the rest of their lives. Just as long as they don’t officially break the law and get impeached and convicted by Congress. And yet they have no one to report to that holds them accountable. They have all of that power and no one to say, you’re doing a good or bad job and they should continue to work, or its time for them to step down and put a fresh face on the court. Here’s an old saying, but it is as true today as it was when it was said the first time. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Why should U.S. Justices’s get lifetime job security? Why should they have something that no one else in the country has, unless you live in a state where state and local judges are lifetime appointees as well? I’m not calling for turning the U.S. Supreme Court into a political branch and having Justice’s running for election and reelection. I think that would be very dangerous and turning the court into another political body and perhaps debating society. Where a lot of very important issues wouldn’t get decided, because Justices’s don’t want to make tough political calls one way or another. And besides we already see that anyway where Justice’s tend to make calls that are already supported by their political party.

I’m also not saying that U.S. Justices’s should only be able to serve a certain amount of years and terms. Because again if They are qualified to serve and the President still wants them there, the President should be allowed to reappoint that Justice. And I just lead into what I would do. Give each Justice lets say six-year terms. And then the President would have to decide to reappoint that Justice or replace that person with someone else. And the same thing for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Make Justices like everyone else, work hard and be productive and even fight for their jobs. To get them to give the best service and judgment that they possibly can.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Intelligent Channel: Alex Cherian: Jayne Mansfield On Visiting U.S. Troops in Vietnam (1967)

Source:The Intelligent Channel- Jayne Mansfield was never afraid of being too cute, even oversees.

Source:The New Democrat

“Archivist Alex Cherian presents a highly emotional 1967 film clip of actress Jayne Mansfield returning home from a goodwill tour of U.S. troops in South Vietnam. Clip is copyright Young Broadcasting of San Francisco, Inc. Special thanks to Pat Patton and KRON-TV for helping make this material publicly accessible. For more info, visit the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive at:SFSU." 

From The Intelligent Channel

It’s great to see the human sides of great Hollywood celebrities and entertainers that Jayne Mansfield was (even if it was for just a brief period) because thanks to their handlers and themselves we generally only see them at their best. Meaning their strongest, that is when they are sober and not in trouble, but living well and staying out of trouble. But they are humans just as well who aren’t always at their strongest. And visiting troops in a military hospital during a war could break anyone down. And leave them with memories that they’ll never forget because of the injures that they’ve seen at the hospital.

Jayne Mansfield talking about an American troop who was twenty-five and I guess about to lose his leg if he hadn’t already lost it. That troop wasn’t the only twenty-five year old soldier who lost a leg in the Vietnam War. And I imagine this soldier survived this war. Unlike a hundred-thousand or so American troops who didn’t in that war.

You can be against the war, but still support your troops. People who didn’t choose to go over there in many cases. Who were drafted, but ended up surviving the experience in good shape physically. Or coming away with serious injuries, or simply not making it out Vietnam alive.

I don’t know how Jayne thought about the Vietnam War, or if she thought anything about it to be honest with you. She wasn’t known as a Hollywood political activist (to put it mildly) unlike Jayne Fonda who is perhaps the most famous Hollywood political activist of all-time. But to see her go over there and support all of those young American men and women who in many cases weren’t there by choice, because they were drafted into the military, is pretty impressive. This is something that she didn’t have to do. Nor did Raquel Welch when she went over in the late 60s as well to entertain them. And she deserves a lot of credit for that.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Kieran Monroe: Video: Jayne Mansfield on Jack Benny in 1956


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Wow! And I thought Jack Benny was pretty popular and that the Jack Benny Show was pretty popular. And then I hear that they have to grab the purses of women, including Jayne Mansfield in order to get them to appear on the show. I wonder if they paid the audience just to show up. How they make any money paying people just to come to the show. Jayne Mansfield showing her quick comedic side as an actress on this show. Playing along and doing very well on it. Going toe to toe with perhaps one of the top 5-10 comedians of all-time who inspired many other comedians as well.

Jayne Mansfield was probably at her peak and at the top of her career at this point. Which is a damn shame, because she was only I believe twenty-three years old at this point. And probably should’ve had another twenty-years as a Hollywood star had she took care of herself and laid off heavy drugs including booze. Because her career moderated, but didn’t collapse the way it did in the early and mid 1960s. Leaving her depressed and wondering what was the point in going on. Every comedy and variety show wanted a piece of her. Not just physically, but they also knew she was a very good comedic actress. With an excellent sense of humor.

Jack Benny had Jayne, along with Marilyn Monroe, Diana Dors and Mami Van Doren, who by far in away had the longest career of any of these Hollywood Goddess’s, on his show in the 1950s. Dina Dors had the second longest career of these starlets, with Marilyn burning out in 1962 and Jayne in 1967. They were both in their mid-thirties when they died. Mami is still alive today in her early eighties and Diana died in 1984. But Jack could get basically anyone he wanted on his show. His show was that popular, good and funny. And inspired future variety shows in the future.
Jayne & Jack


Friday, March 27, 2015

CNN: Politics: Mark Preston: Can This Democrat Really Beat Hillary Clinton?

CNN: Politics: Mark Preston: Can This Democrat Really Beat Hillary Clinton? 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

No one is saying that Martin O’Malley is going to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. Governor O’Malley knows that he’s a long shot. But so was Governor Jimmy Carter in 1975, Governor Bill Clinton in 1991 and Senator Barack Obama in 2008. Jimmy Carter probably had the least name ID of any of these Democrats and he won the Democratic nomination for president going away in 1976. Bill Clinton had the Democratic nomination locked up by February or March of 1992. With Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008, it went to June. But Senator Clinton was a well-financed frontrunner in 2007-08 who lost to Senator Obama.

When someone starts off as high as Hillary Clinton for president like she is now, there’s only one way for her to go, which is down. Doesn’t mean she’ll go all the way down, but Democrats have wanted a strong challenger to her since at least the summer of 2014. And with her latest controversy that makes even more sense. And that the fact that she’s not campaigning and has kept quiet about when she’ll officially announced just gives Democrats that itch about wanting an alternative to her even stronger. They want to know where she is and where she is on the issues, right now and what type of campaign she’ll run.

Lack of name ID is certainly a weakness and can be a problem. But if played right it can also be a strength. Because it gives the candidate the opportunity to introduce themselves to the people who they’ll need to vote for them. Tell them all about them self and what they are about, what they’ve done in the past, what they’ll do in the future and why people should vote for them. That is where Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and now Martin O’Malley all were before they became Democratic nominees for president and then won the presidency the same year.

Martin O’Malley has everything that voters I believe especially Democrats at least say they want in a presidential candidate. Youth, energy, outsider, newcomer to the national scene, intelligence, experience, likability, charm, humor and vision. He connects to everyday people very well and also appeals to lets say yuppy Democrats, wine and cheese Democrats who have a tendency to look down at working-class Americans. He’s a Democrat that is liked by women, young people and minorities. Young Democrats and perhaps minorities are, Secretary Clinton’s weakness’s right now. And if Governor O’Malley is successful in getting his name and message out in the next 8-9 months, we’ll have a real Democratic contest in 2016.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Daily Iowan: Ethics & Politics Initiative: Quentin Mislag: Martin O'Malley: The Nation's New JFK?

The Daily Iowan: Ethic & Politics Initiative: Quentin Milsag: Martin O'Malley: The Nation's New JFK? 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I don’t think there will ever be another John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. These are great politicians and I use the term accurately and positively that don’t come around very often. Which of course that might sound cheesy, but its true. Politicians that not only have a strong grasp of the issues and knowledge of the subjects they deal with and are especially interested in, but can communicate them in a way that makes people think, “you know what, that’s very interesting. I’ve thought about that issue myself, just not in that way.” Don’t come around very often.

As well as giving people the feeling that the person whose campaigning for their votes also understands how they feel and what they are going through. But is interested in not only helping them out, but also has a plan to do that. As well as having good ideas, whose likable, can make people laugh, intentionally. Martin O’Malley has all of these great qualities. He represents the best of Jack Kennedy and Bill Clinton, but without the negatives of Hillary Clinton. You don’t have to worry about Governor O’Malley running just on his name ID. Because frankly he doesn’t have much to run on. Or running straight for the middle and not taking strong positions on key issues. Because he has a track record of making tough decisions.

You don’t have to worry about Governor O’Malley running simply for the women’s vote and simply wanting to be the first female President of the United States. Without any real clear agenda and vision for where he would take the country. And giving people an idea about what a Hillary Clinton Administration would look like. And would she actually be doing the job as President and not her husband Bill Clinton. Whose always wanted to run for President again. Because in case Martin is not a big enough clue, he’s a man. Governor O’Malley is a Democrat who’ll appeal to all factions of the Democratic Party. Just as soon as they discover him, if that happens at all.

Americans are and will be looking for something different in 2016. Democrats and Republicans and most importantly Independents. Who’ll decide who the next President of the United States is. And running for President with the message of, “vote for me because of my last name, resume and oh by the way, I’m a women”, won’t be good enough. Americans also aren’t looking for another Bush. Someone who on policy grounds will probably look very similar as President George W. Bush, but perhaps a bit smarter with better experience and better track record. They want someone who tell them like it is, at least how they see things. And tell them where they want to take the country and what their presidency would look like.

Martin O’Malley would be that Democrat. Senator Rand Paul would be that Republican. Not that I’m endorsing Senator Paul for President, but at least he would be different and you would have a pretty good idea of what type of President he would be before he got the job. Governor O’Malley is someone who believes in both economic and personal freedom. Using government to expand the opportunity, middle class and even upper class. Making government work and not just bigger and making more people dependent on it. He not Far-Left and won’t scare Independents and their wallets away from them. And he’s not Dead-Center and not being able to expire anyone behind him. He’s a Center-Left Liberal Democrat in the Jack Kennedy sense. Who believes in opportunity and freedom for everyone. And deserves a long look from Democrats and Independents as the next President of the United States.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The New Republic: Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig: 'House GOP, White House Budget Overuse The Word Taxpayers'


Source:The New Republic- if TNR had their way, Tax Day would be a national holiday that they and other Socialists would celebrate.

Source:The New Democrat

"Earlier this week, House Republicans released their budget for the 2016 fiscal year, “A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America.” There is much to criticize in it, including deep cuts to social spending, questionable accounting, increasingly quixotic Obamacare repeal procedures, and disturbing gestures toward more military spending. But the plan is also an ideological document meant to advance a particular set of beliefs about how government should function, and toward what end. Its composition and slick rollout (including an upbeat YouTube presentation, a BuzzFeed-esque gif set, and a highly navigable website complete with rolling documentation of news coverage) are meant not only to advance certain policy measures, but persuade voters to adopt its ideological point of view.

Which is why its use of the term “taxpayer”—though hardly atypical of political documents—is notable. In the 43-page budget, the word “taxpayer” and its permutations appear 24 times, as often as the word “people.” It’s worthwhile to compare these usages, because the terms are, in a sense, rival ideas. While “people” designates the broadest possible public as the subject of a political project, “taxpayer” advances a considerably narrower vision—and that's why we should eliminate it from political rhetoric and punditry.

Though addressing people as “taxpayers” is common enough to appear politically neutral, it tends to carry more argumentative weight than it’s typically credited with. The House budget is full of examples of seemingly straightforward deployments of the term which are, upon closer inspection, clearly furthering a particular ideology. “There are too many scenarios these days in which Washington forgets that its power is derived from the ‘consent of the governed,’” the plan reads in one instance of the term’s use. “It forgets that its financial resources come from hard-working American taxpayers who wake up every day, go to work, actively grow our economy and create real opportunity.” In other words, Americans’ taxes are parallel with taxpayers' consent, suggesting that expenditures that do not correspond to an individual’s will are some kind of affront. The report goes on to argue that  

food stamps, public housing assistance, and development grants are judged not on whether they achieve improved health and economic outcomes for the recipients or build a stronger community, but on the size of their budgets. It is time these programs focus on core functions and responsibilities, not just on financial resources. In so doing this budget respects hard-working taxpayers who want to ensure their tax dollars are spent wisely.

Put simply, taxpayers should get what they pay for when it comes to welfare programs, and not be overcharged. But, as the Republican authors of this budget know well, the beneficiaries of welfare programs tend to receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes, because they are in most cases low-income. The “taxpayers” this passage has in mind, therefore, don’t seem to be the recipients of these welfare programs, but rather those who imagine that they personally fund them. By this logic, the public is divided neatly into makers and takers, to borrow the parlance of last election’s Republicans.

Democrats often refer to "taxpayers," too. At 150 pages, the White House budget proposal for 2016 uses the term 26 times, predictably invoking it when referring to cuts and reductions in services. "The Budget includes initiatives to improve the service we provide to the American public; to leverage the Federal Government’s buying power to bring more value and efficiency to how we use taxpayer dollars...," President Barack Obama writes in his introductory message. "The Budget includes proposals to consolidate and reorganize Government agencies to make them leaner and more efficient, and it increases the use of evidence and evaluation to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely on programs that work."

There are countless examples of this reading of “taxpayer” bleeding out of official rheotric and into mainstream political commentary. Consider Megan McArdle’s recent meditation on prison reform in Bloomberg View, in which she points out that “prison is … very expensive,” and therefore, “while we're punishing the criminal, we're also heavily punishing the taxpayer.” Imagining tax payment as a kind of punishment is the upshot to the general use of the term, however innocuously the majority of its speakers may intend it. If money owed in taxes is imagined, as in the budget plan and McArdle’s usage, to belong to the taxpayer, then programs operating off of public revenue do seem to have some obligation to correspond to their funders’ consent, and serving the interests of others does seem unfair. But these are all obfuscations brought on by the term.

The same laws that determine that money deposited into a person’s bank account belongs to that person also determine that taxes owed on that deposit do not. Public revenue is just that: a pool of public money to be used for the good of the public, not 300 million pools of private money each to be used to serve private individuals’ interests. What is in the interest of the public may involve expenditures that can’t be filed in a pay-in-cash-out formula, as the “taxpayer” terminology would suggest. Kids, for example, usually don’t pay taxes whatsoever, but spending on children is a necessary social function. Our roads and public utilities, too, are available to anyone inside our borders, not because they have been purchased, but because strong infrastructure provides for the common good.

Along with wrongly dividing the public into various private interest sets, taxpayer terminology also seems to subtly promote the idea that a person’s share in our democratic governance should depend upon their contribution in taxes. If government should respond to the will of taxpayers because programs are incorrectly supposed to be financed on their dime, then those contributing larger shares would seem to be due greater consideration, like shareholders in a company. (It would also mean that the countless undocumented immigrants who contribute more than $10 billion a year in taxes ought to become voting citizens.) But this view is precisely contrary to the democratic vision invoked in historical verbiage like “consent of the governed,” as it mistakes the source of a person’s rights. Our share in democracy arises not from what we can pay into it, but from the fact that we are persons and personhood confers certain obligations and dues.

Whereas "taxpayers" is strewn throughout political documents, “people” is associated with populist and revolutionary movements, and not for nothing. Power to the people, the evergreen revolutionary slogan trumpeted by popular fronts around the world, has a ring that power to the taxpayers does not precisely because it demands an inclusive view of public goods. The same could be said about the first line of the U.S. Constitution: "We the Taxpayers" would have been an odd construction for a nation born from a revolt against British taxation. So let's leave "taxpayer" to the IRS and remove it from everyday speech. With every thoughtless repetition of the word, we’re carrying political water." 


This article from Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig in The New Republic is just another example that TNR is gone and finished and has now become a different current affairs magazine. Another version of the New-Left The Nation or Salon. (To put it nicely) 

To suggest that using the term taxpayer is somehow insulting to people who don’t make enough money to pay federal income taxes, is ridiculous. The term taxpayer is generally used for Americans who pay federal income taxes. Most of those Americans tend to be middle-class Americans and even the wealthy, even after all of their tax breaks. It is not used as an insult for people who collect public assistance because they don’t make enough money to support themselves. And in some cases don’t work at all.

Americans who do collect public assistance especially if they are working, do pay taxes. They pay payroll taxes to pay for Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance. If they drive and own a car even a cheap one, they pay gas taxes to pay for roads and other infrastructure. And they may even pay state and local income taxes even if they are low-income. And if they aren’t working and are on Welfare or Unemployment Insurance, they pay sales taxes and perhaps even gas taxes if they have a car. So even low-income Americans are taxpayers. And even income taxpayers when it comes to payroll taxes. So really except for being a political correctness warrior or something, I don’t see what Elizabeth Bruenig is complaining about here.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

From Cult Till Camp: Video: Jayne Mansfield Interview by Wim Sonneveld


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Holland has a lot of English speakers, at least today and perhaps back then as well. Something like 9-10 Dutch speak English at least as their second language. And can travel to Britain Scandinavia, Canada and America just speaking English, because of how well they speak it and understand it. And most of this interview was done in English with Wim Sonneveld speaking it very well. And then he would do a little translation for Holland. And I guess Jayne Mansfield was over in Holland promoting Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter. A movie that she did with the great comedic actor Tony Randall in 1956.

In Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, Jayne Mansfield essentially plays herself. A very young and hot starlet named Rita Marlowe who has very similar characteristics as the real life Jayne Mansfield. A hot baby-face goddess who is somewhat immature and looks and acts a lot younger than she actually is. Who portrays herself in real-life as a dumb blond or blonde bimbo, but behind the scenes is a lot sharper than that. And knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. Which is to be taken seriously as an entertainer. And not just someone who looks great and needs those looks to be successful in life.

And that is how Rita Marlowe played by Jayne and Rock Hunter played by Tony Randall connect. Because Rock Hunter is an up incoming advertiser whose looking that one big client that can move him up in his company. And he meets Rita Marlowe whose in New York looking for that person to give her the positive publicity and image that she’s looking for. This is a pretty funny and entertaining movie. But hardly a stretch or hard role for Jayne to play in this movie. Because the Rita Marlowe character is very similar to the real-life Jayne Mansfield.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Jayne Mansfield: 'Sex Symbol, Playmate, Actress- Interview'

Source:Jayne Mansfield- Hollywood Babydoll Jayne Mansfield: the sex symbol and playmate.
Source:The New Democrat

"Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933 -- June 29, 1967) was an American actress in film, theatre, and television, a nightclub entertainer, a singer, and one of the early Playboy Playmates."

From Jayne Mansfield

This photo is from The Girl Can't Help It from 1956, starring Hollywood Babydoll Jayne Mansfield and actor Tom Ewell. They had excellent comedic timing and chemistry in it. Baby Jayne was born to do comedy and to make people laugh and feel good. She was an excellent comedian who should've stuck with comedy. 

Source:The New Democrat- Jayne Mansfield strawberry shortcake.

I think part of Jayne Mansfield's dumb blonde image had to do with the fact, one because of the roles she got. But two she never really grew up personally and was basically a big teenage girl with the baby-face her whole adult life with the personality to match. And if you look at a lot of her movies and a lot of those movies are either very funny, or she's very funny in them and she was a very funny actress with a great personality, you see her playing women that are a lot like her. I've blogged before that I don't see Jayne as dumb, but as immature and simply too cute personally for someone of her years.

Jayne Mansfield was always a big little girl who never grew up. When she turned 16 or 17 and perhaps even 18 that is about as far as she ever got emotionally. And when her career went south in the early 1960s, she handled that like a teenage girl who doesn't know how to manage disappointment like a mature grown woman would be able to. And as a result her life goes south as well and she stops taking care of herself. Not that she ever did a good job of that to begin with. But she starts drinking way too much and using drugs. And was never happy again in her life.

The interviewer questioned Jayne about her dumb blonde image. And she intelligently answered that had to do with a lot of the parts that she got in Hollywood. Hollywood saw her as this hot baby-face adorable goddess with the great body and they ran with that as long as she was useful to them.

In the movies Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter and The Girl Can't Help It, she essentially plays herself in those two movies. But that was just part of why she was portrayed the way that she was. The other part had to do with how she presented herself in public as this baby-face adorable little girl with the great body. And how she lived her life.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Foreign Affairs: Graham K. Brown & Arnim Langer: Lessons From Affirmative Action Around The World

Source:Foreign Affairs-
Source:The New Democrat 

Imagine fifty-years ago when the U.S. Government under the Johnson Administration had a federal policy designed to empower racial and ethnic minorities in this country who were stuck in poverty that was built around infrastructure, education and job training. That all of that money, or at least some of it that went into the Great Society was put into low-income communities. Things like roads, bridges, schools, health care centers, job training centers, incentives for economic development. Are we still looking at an African-American poverty rate of thirty-percent today and a Latino-American poverty rate of twenty-five percent today?

Fifty-years later after affirmative action, who’s benefited from it the most part. Caucasian-American women who were already doing well. And Asian-Americans who were already doing well. Latinos are doing better, but a lot of them have come to America and started their own business’s. And some of them have benefited from affirmative action. Like the kids of immigrants and others. And yes African-Americans no longer have a poverty level of fifty-percent and that is a good thing. But at thirty-percent it is still twice that of the national average. About the level they were fifty-years ago. Twice that of the national average.

So what we’ve done as a country with affirmative action is to tell Caucasian men and women as well, as well some Asian-Americans, that they are already doing very well in this country. And because of that they are going to be denied access in some cases like at college and federal contracts, so people who aren’t doing as well and in many cases aren’t as qualified for those opportunities to have that new access so they can do better as well. And a lot of African and Latino-Americans have taken advantage of that access that they wouldn’t of gotten except for affirmative action. But at the expense of Caucasians and Asians who were more qualified going in.

I’m all for empowering people of poverty regardless of race and ethnicity to do well in America. That is something I believe as a Liberal, liberating people from poverty. But there’s a right way to do that and a wrong way. And the wrong way to empower people who are struggling at the expense of people who are doing well and have taken advantage of the opportunities they were given in life by working hard and being productive. What you do with people who are struggling is give them opportunities to get themselves out of poverty. You invest in their communities with new economic development. You give them education and job training opportunities so they can get themselves the skills that they need to get a good job. You modernize their schools, roads, bridges and everything else that communities have to have to be strong.

And when you invest ins struggling communities, you invest in inner cities and rural areas. And you don’t make those communities even poorer by building new public housing projects in those communities, so you have more poor people moving in there. And even few property owners and leaving the schools there without the resources that they need to give their students a good education. You instead put public housing projects in economically successful areas. So the residents there can immediately get the resources that they need to be able to live a good life. Where their kids can go to good schools. While you’re tearing down or renovating the public housing projects in poorer communities as part of a community rebuilding plan.

We could’ve been doing these things fifty-years ago when economic times were good and weren’t running up huge debts and deficits. Even with the Vietnam War, instead of affirmative action. Instead concentrating so many poorer Americans in one community where they are dealing with bad schools for their children. Where the parents of these kids haven’t finished school themselves in many cases. Where they are dealing with high crime and criminal gangs. Because when business’s leave communities crime tends to move in. Because the resources aren’t there to fight crime in an effective way. And with a better more proactive and even more liberal approach to economic inequality, we could be dealing with much lower poverty rates in this country.


Monday, March 16, 2015

The Washington Post: WonkBook: Christopher Ingraham: The Orwellian Deception of Chuck Grassley's Leniency Industrial Complex

The Washington Post: WonkBook: Christopher Ingraham: The Orwellian Deception of Chuck Grassley's Leniency Industrial Complex 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Anyone who calls them self a Conservative and especially a fiscal Conservative, but who supports the American Prison Industrial Complex and our current criminal justice system, I at the very least would question how fiscally conservative are you. I would also question how conservative you are when you have Conservative Republicans in Congress like Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, who oppose our Prison Industrial Complex and our criminal justice system as is. At least when it comes to sentencing non-violent offenders in America.

Seriously, what is fiscally conservative about locking non-violent drug offenders who aren’t dealers but users in prison for 3-5 years if not longer? Especially when a lot of these people are educated and productive already, or could be in college, or vocational school, or in a job training program getting the education they need to be successful and productive citizens in life. But no, the so-called Modern Conservative, Neoconservative really, says, “no, what we should do instead is have those offenders locked up in prison sitting in cells most of the time. And when they are out of their cells, they are sweeping floors or making license plates, or something.”

Is the so-called fiscal Conservative or Modern Conservative aware that locking up these productive young people who also happen to be non-violent drug users who are only guilty of possessing or using illegal drugs comes at the cost of taxpayers? That taxpayers get stuck paying for the cost of living of offenders who otherwise could support themselves on the outside? Money that government has to take from individuals through taxation to spend on people in prison who otherwise could be on the outside earning a living and paying taxes. Instead of sitting in prison and collecting taxes.

A true fiscal Conservative would say, “government should only spend what it needs to in order to perform the duties that we need to as a country. And should spend that money as fiscally responsible as possible.” And part of that is not locking people up in prison, which is the most expensive way to house people, that don’t need to be in prison. That could be in drug rehab or halfway houses at their expense by the way. Or in college, a vocational school, or a job training program, preparing for life as a productive adult.

The Smarter Sentencing Act, which is a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill in the U.S. Senate, supported by the Senators that I mentioned earlier, is not about being soft on crime. But being smart on crime and treating offenders based on the treat that they represent to society. You go hard on violent offenders and other serious offenders. But you’re more lenient on offenders who don’t represent a serious threat, if any threat to the country.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

CNN Spotlight: Charles Manson (2014)


Source:Constantly Sporadic- CNN talking to Jeff Gunn.

Source:The New Democrat 

"CNN revisits the vicious, horrific killings by Charles Manson's followers, 45 years later. CNN Special Report - Face of Evil: The Charles Manson Murders. Tuesday, August 18, 2015." 


"Description:  "CNN Spotlight: Charles Manson" 8/9-10/2014.
Why people still pay attention to Charles Manson-
  By Ted Rowlands, CNN
 Sat. August 9, 2014" 

Source:Michaels Backporch- with a look at The Manson Family.

From Michaels Backporch

I’m not making the excuses for Charlie Manson, because he was and probably still is pure evil. But the fact he was born that way, seems odd to me at the very least. That would be like being born a racist or something. And also the idea that he had a loving childhood and everything else, because he had all of these relatives that took care of him, I mean the fact that he was moved around so much during his childhood says a lot right there. He didn’t have that one or two adult relatives who loved him enough to bring him up right. And he eventually ends up in reform and boys schools to take care of him.

Having said all of that, this man is personally responsible for countless murders. And not just the Tate murders on that horrible hot night in August of 1969, but other murders as well that haven’t been completely tied to him. He knew what he was doing when he put him crime family together and what he wanted these young adults to do for him. Which was to get revenge on society for treating Manson the way he was treated as a young person. And if the Manson Family wasn’t stopped when they were, they would’ve kept on killing into the 1970s.

Charlie Manson is not physically responsible for the murders that his crew committed in the sense that he physically murdered all of those people. But he’s responsible for ordering the murders that we’re committed and motivating his crew to commit the murders that he did. Which is called conspiracy to commit murder. The conspirator is just as responsible for the murders as the murderer who physically committed the murders. That is why Manson was sentenced to death in 1971, I believe along with his crew members who committed the murders. And when their sentences were commuted to life, he was given life as well.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Film Archives: Seymour Hersh- 'The Truth Behind JFK'


Source:The Film Archives- President John F. Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts) 35th President of the United States (1961-63) 
Source:The New Democrat 

"Hersh's 1997 book about John F. Kennedy, The Dark Side of Camelot, made a number of controversial assertions about the former president. About the book:Amazon... 


"A monumental work of investigative journalism from one of the greatest reporters in American history, revealing the Kennedy White House as never before.

In this widely acclaimed and bestselling book, the award-winning investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh reveals a John F. Kennedy we have never seen before, a man insulated from the normal consequences of behavior long before he entered the White House. His father, Joe, set the pattern: Kennedys could do exactly what they wanted. There was no secret that money and charm could not hide. Kennedys wrote their own moral code.

By the end of Jack Kennedy's life, his private recklessness had begun to edge into his public life, putting him -- and his nation -- at risk. Now, for the first time, Seymour Hersh tells the real story of those risks, as he brilliantly re-creates the life and world of a crisis-driven president who maintained a facade of cool toughness while negotiating private compromises unknown to even his closest advisers." 

Source:Amazon- Seymour Hersh's 1998 book about John F. Kennedy.

From Amazon 

This photo is from the same book event at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, for left-wing author and journalist Seymour Hersh, talking about his 1998 book about President John F. Kennedy. But the video that this photo is from is not currently available online right now.

Source:Politics & Prose Bookstore- left-wing author and journalist Seymour Hersh, as Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, talking about his 1998 book about President John F. Kennedy

My like and respect for Jack Kennedy goes to his intelligence, his politics, his policies, what he wanted to do as President. I’m a Liberal Democrat because of JFK and when I learned about his politics and philosophy, I started basing my own politics around him. As well as his personality, especially his sense of humor. 

What I like about JFK might sound like a lot, but that is as far as I go with him as far as liking and respecting the man. He personal life wasn’t just reckless and irresponsible, but it was dangerous. The way he lived his life as President of the United States. Forget about how he treated his wife, which was bad and everything, but that’s their business. My problem with him is how his life effected his presidency.

Jack Kennedy as President of the United States dated mob ladies, girlfriends of Italian-American mob bosses, like Sam Giacana. Knowing full-well that the Italian Mafia is at least partly responsible for him being President of the United States and that his Justice Department led by his brother Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, was running a campaign to take down organized crime in America. Probably also knowing that his mob girlfriends could’ve at any point gone to their mob boyfriends and tell them about their relationships with President Kennedy. And perhaps also knowing that these mob bosses were putting tails on their girlfriends and getting evidence about their relationships with the President of the United States.

At any point during Jack Kennedy’s affairs with his mob girlfriends, the mob could’ve said: "You come down hard on us and we’ll let your secrets out and all of your personal affairs as President.” Which probably would’ve ruined JFK’s political career. And probably would’ve started all sorts of Congressional investigations into his personal life and his association with mob ladies and mobsters. And to see if there were any working relationships and everything else. This would’ve been JFK’s Watergate, if not worst. Because of all the potential blackmail that the Italian Mafia had on President Kennedy.

If there was anything that ever made Jack Kennedy unqualified to be President of the United States, it was his own personal life and personal affairs. Not that he cheated on his wife, but who he cheated on his wife with and the connections that his women had. And how all of that could’ve been used against the Kennedy Administration. Especially as it related to their campaign to take down organized crime in America, especially the Italian Mafia. Work that had to be done for the country to a safer place to live where crime is not such a big part of American life.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Slate: Alec MacGillis: 'Martin O'Malley Could Challenge Hillary Clinton'


Source:Slate Magazine- Governor Martin O'Malley (Democrat, Maryland) 2007-15.

Source:The New Democrat

"Martin O’Malley is having himself a bit of a moment—not really through any of his own doing, but because the swirl of anxiety about Hillary Clinton’s readiness for a presidential campaign has Democrats looking around for alternatives, and the only person standing there right now is, well, Martin O’Malley. The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor just passed up a run for his state’s open Senate seat, making it even clearer that he’s serious about a presidential run; he got national coverage for a wonky speech Wednesday at the Brookings Institution; and he turned up Thursday morning on Morning Joe.

But let’s not affix the rising-insurgent pin to O’Malley’s muscle-gripping black tank top just yet. As I argued two years ago, back when he was first making 2016 rumblings, it’s awfully hard to imagine O’Malley playing the liberal challenger, a role that has been occupied in Democratic presidential primaries by, among others, Gene McCarthy, George McGovern, Gary Hart, Bill Bradley, and Howard Dean. While O’Malley carried out a staunchly liberal agenda in Maryland—legalizing same-sex marriage, ending the death penalty, and much more—and while he has proven feisty at partisan sparring with Republicans, it is hard to envision him stirring liberal hearts and minds the way previous insurgents did. It’s not just that he’s a notoriously leaden public speaker; it’s that, as progressive as his governing record is, he’s oddly reluctant to champion liberal values in the terms many on the left crave. During the Obamacare debate, he chided Democrats who “immediately run to the values of caring and fairness” instead of focusing on the economic case for health care reform. His idea of visionary language is calling for America to be an “opportunity-expanding entity.” He’s more likely to quote Thomas Friedman than Thomas Frank. He is, by his own account, not a tribune but a technocrat, not an orator but a doer." 


To be completely honest and truthful, the reason why Martin O’Malley had a good week this week, is because Hillary Clinton had a bad one. She’s actually now had two bad weeks over her alleged email scandal that she still doesn’t seem to be able to adequately explain. And I’ve been blogging for two years now that Secretary Clinton has to have not just a strong Democratic challenger in 2016, but a strong center-left Democratic challenger before the general election again whoever the Republican challenger will be. Not just because of her past and all the things that she seems to want to keep from the public including about her own job as Secretary of State, but the fact her only potential message as a presidential candidate, seems to be: “Vote for the first female President of the United States.”

If Hillary Clinton survives the email scandal, which I believe she will since there doesn’t seem to be anything illegal on her part that was done and gets through the next 5-7 months without an additional scandal, then the focus will be on her presidential campaign and how she would run for president. What would her message be besides the first female President of the United States, her resume that includes Secretary of State where she had a fairly successful term and being a U.S. Senator for eight years. And oh by the way, her last name is Clinton and you know who her husband is and that as Democrats we all like if not love Bill, so Democrats should like her too.

I think the presidential campaign that Hillary wants to run other than the things that I already mentioned, is a very safe campaign where she doesn’t take any hard positions on any controversial issues. And she basically just runs on judgement and leadership and this is what the country needs. Without laying out any strong positions and programs about what would come with her presidency under her leadership and judgment. She seems to want to run for the center and independents before she actually enters the Democratic Caucus in Iowa that is in December. 

All these factors opens the door for a strong center-left Progressive Democrat like Martin O’Malley who has a strong progressive record as both Mayor of Baltimore and being a big part of that big city’s turnaround. Both economic and with crime and law enforcement. And as Governor of Maryland where Maryland public schools are the best in the country.

If the Democratic choice is between a mushy-middle of the road Moderate, who doesn’t want to take any strong positions on anything controversial, with no real agenda and vision, versus a McGoevrnite who’ll call them self a Progressive, but is really a hard if not Far-Left Social Democrat like Senator Bernie Sanders (the only self-described Socialist in Congress) or Senator Elizabeth Warren, who everyday sounds more like Senator Sanders as far as how she puts down American corporations and wealthy people, (as if being wealthy and successful is a bad thing) then it will be 1972 and Democrats will lose. If the GOP does something smart and nominates Jeb Bush. Because Americans will say: “We don’t know where Hillary stands on anything. And the alternative to her is so Far-Left, that we can’t afford everything that they want government to do for us.”

But that is where an opening for someone like a center-left Progressive like Martin O’Malley can come in. He has a record of results and can say:“We can empower more Americans to be successful on their own with opportunity and freedom agenda. Through things like education and infrastructure, being smart on crime and not just tough. I know these policies work, because this is what we did in Baltimore and Maryland.”

Governor O’Malley looks strong because his record looks strong. And Republicans will be able to say that taxes are fairly high in Maryland. But the Governor will be able to say, so is opportunity and economic development. Because people want to invest and live here, including Baltimore which is going through an economic turnaround with all the new technology companies that are doing business there. And with a new casino as well. Because of Maryland’s infrastructure and workforce.

Then Governor George W. Bush in 2000 when he was running for President, liked to call himself a “reformer with results.” In response to the reform-minded Senator John McCain who gave him a strong challenge in the Republican primaries. Martin O’Malley could call himself a Progressive with results. Leading one of the best and wealthiest states in the union for eight years. And can point to real success’. Like legalizing same-sex-marriage, legalizing gambling, decriminalizing marijuana, outlawing the death penalty, new infrastructure investment, the best public schools in the country, great universities and a high quality of life. All of these things that would go unnoticed had Hillary Clinton figured out how to be a Democratic presidential frontrunner by now.

The drawbacks for Governor O’Malley, have to do with the facts that he didn’t go out on top as Governor of Maryland. His approval rating started tanking, the economy started dragging when the rest of the country overall is starting to boom economically. He left the current Governor of Maryland with a sizable budget deficit. His handpicked successor, his Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown lost in a big upset to a Conservative businessman in Larry Hogan. And a lot of these things can be traced to the fact that Governor O’Malley started campaigning for president too soon, when he still had a lot of work to do as Governor. 

But up to that point of the last I guess year of the O’Malley Administration, he has a proven record as a center-left Progressive Democrat who knows how to govern and get good results. And when the country is looking for someone outside of Washington, he could fit that bill for the Democratic Party.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The New Democrat Coalition: U.S. Representative Ron Kind: The American Prosperity Agenda

The New Democrat Coalition: U.S. Representative Ron Kind: The American Prosperity Agenda

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

There’s a faction in the Democratic Party that I’m and this blog is part of that I believe at least represents most of America. We represent most Americans because we believe in things that tend to unite us as a country. The New Democrat Coalition and most of the Democrats that make it to the leadership of the party in and out of Congress and who tend to get elected President of the United States. Including the current President who has New Democrat leanings at least, tend to be New Democrats as well.

Americans tend to believe in both economic and personal freedom. We like to keep most of the money we make ourselves in order to take care of ourselves and our families. We don’t want big government or any other government to manage our economic affairs for us, or even try to. Which makes us very different from Europe especially Scandinavia, at least from that perspective. And we don’t want big government in our homes and personal lives in general. Snooping on innocent Americans and telling us what we can do in the privacy of our own homes, short of hurting innocent people. This is where a majority of Americans tend to be.

Now people who say that Americans who believe in a high degree of both economic and personal freedom and economic freedom, must be Libertarians. Especially people who tend to be very far to the Right or Left and aren’t fans of either personal or economic freedom, or at least one of them. And some on the Far-Left in America aren’t fans of personal freedom either and believe in the nanny state to prevent Americans from making unhealthy decisions with their own lives. But Americans tend to want both and don’t want big government managing their economic or personal affairs, but aren’t anti-government. And don’t want government to shut down or do practically nothing.

Americans tend to individualistic and want freedom. New Democrats what all Americans to have that individualism and freedom. So those things aren’t based on who your parents are and their income levels. But what you’re able to contribute to society and how hard you’ll work to achieve freedom for yourself. New Democrats believe in these things and what we believe the role of government is to make sure that all Americans have that opportunity to obtain freedom for themselves. But also for their children as well.

And that means we need things like a modern infrastructure system.

A public education system that works for everyone that is part of it.

Tax reform that encourages more economic development and not less.

An energy policy that takes advantage of all of our natural resources and not just oil and gas, but all of them.

An immigration system that encourages people who want to work and be productive and who have skills to offer America to come here. And that brings undocumented immigrants who are only guilty of being undocumented to come out of the shadows and pay for being here illegally, but allow for them to stay in America and contribute.

These are the things that New Democrats believe in and if I had to guess things that most Democrats believe in. And for the Democratic Party to be the majority party in Congress again, especially in the House that has so many swing districts and areas, more of us are going to have to get elected to the House of Representatives. And run for the Senate in states where neither party has an overwhelming advantage. And doesn’t like big government from either fringe.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

YouTube Movies: Malcolm X- 1972 Documentary


Source: YouTube Movies-
Source:The New Democrat

If it wasn’t for what Malcolm X fought for, for the African-American community as far as freedom and independence and trying to empower that entire community and free them from poverty, injustice and ignorance, then I probably wouldn’t have much respect if any respect for him. Because he used a lot of if not racist, certainly racial and nasty rhetoric towards Caucasian-Americans. And even though he did reform himself at the end of his life in 1964 or so after being exposed to more Caucasians-Americans as well as people oversees, he still said a lot of racial things that Caucasians probably couldn’t get away with.

Malcolm X is someone who I believe from the Center-Right in America, Conservatives and Conservative Libertarians, all the way over to the Far-Left can respect at least to some degree. Probably on the Far-Right which includes Americans of multiple races and ethnicities would say, “he was no good, he was a troublemaker, why should a Blackman have so much power?” That type of thing, but the Center-Right and Center-Left I think can if not respect the man because of what he was fighting for, for his community. Which was freedom and independence and moving his community off of public assistance though things like education, economic development, infrastructure.

Malcolm X wanted the African-American community to be a community of business owners. Small, medium and large business owners that would open their business’s in their communities and hire the people there. As well as working good middle class blue-collar jobs. His goal wasn’t integration and certainly not integration for the sake of integration. But he wanted freedom whether that meant getting that freedom living in separate communities from the Caucasian community. Or even living and working together, which by the time he dies he thought could work. With African and Caucasian-Americans living and working together.

Malcolm X was no Al Sharpton. Where he would use a lot of racially charge if not racial rhetoric to charge people up. And try to make Caucasians guilty and get them to give the African-American community more Welfare and other forms of public assistance. Malcolm X wasn’t about public assistance, but about independence. The ability for people to be able to live freely and not need government to take care of them. Which is where he separated from Dr. Martin King’s more social democratic movement that called for all sorts of new federal Welfare spending for the African-American community and Americans who live in poverty in general.

The Far-Left in America regardless of race would respect if not love Malcolm X because of how he talked about racism as it was directed towards African-Americans. And the rhetoric he used against racist Caucasians and Caucasians in general. Especially men, but they would separate from him back then like the Black Panther Party and today with Occupy Wall Street and other Far-Left movement’s when it came to economic policy. Because they don’t see public assistance and government dependence as bad things, even if it is indefinite. But as acts of compassion that, “this is how compassionate societies treat their people in need.”

So Malcolm X was someone who had broad appeal, respect, as well as hated across the political spectrum racial melting pot in America. He was loved for being a freedom fighter that literally wanted to empower an entire community of people to be able to live in freedom. And not to have to live with racism and injustice and be able to take care of themselves. But by his haters he was seen as a troublemaker and perhaps even as a troublemaker by people in the mainstream civil rights community that saw his rhetoric as unhelpful for their cause and movement. And one of the tragedies of his death is that it cost us an opportunity to see how he would’ve grown and be treated today.
Source:YouTube Movies

Saturday, March 7, 2015

CBS News: Mike Wallace- 1964 Interview of Minister Malcolm X


Source: CBS News-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Malcolm X made perhaps the most honest and truthful statement he ever made in life in this interview late in the interview, when he said in response to Mike Wallace’s question, “have any death threats been made against you?” With Malcolm saying, “yes, I’m probably a dead man already.” I believe Malcolm was already moving away from the Nation of Islam anyway and moving in the direction of separation of the races in America might not be necessary after being exposed to Caucasians and people of other races in Mecca.

But then to basically accuse the Leader of the Nation of Islam Elijah Muhammad of not just having bastard children, but having bastard children with multiple women, would be like an Iraqi in 1990 or something running to the streets of Baghdad and calling for the death of Saddam Hussein. There certain things you don’t make public if you want to continue to be healthy and stay alive. Especially when you live in a dangerous environment to begin with. When you’re not just taking on the establishment, but taking on the establishment of your own community.

Elijah Muhammad did live multiple lives. The man in public as being this morally superior man who could guide the African-American community and show them how to live and improve themselves, was a different man in private. To the point that he cheated on his current wives, had multiple wives, fathered multiple children with multiple women at the same time. And perhaps even ordered hits on people that he saw as threats to his leadership, including Malcolm X.
CBS News: Mike Wallace- 1964 Interview of Minister Malcolm X


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Foreign Affairs: Opinion: Michael T. Klare: Hard Power, Soft Power & Energy Power

Foreign Affairs: Opinion: Michael T. Klare: Hard Power, Soft Power, and Energy Power

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I’ve been thinking about this myself, but up until now have never gotten around to blogging about this. But what if in response to Russia invading Ukraine and threatening to cut off Ukraine and Europe from oil and gas that Europe desperately needs, America and Canada and perhaps Mexico stepped in and said, “we’ll give you what Russia has given you to make up for what they cut off and give it to you at cheaper rates. In exchange you continue to enforce current economic sanctions on Russia, as well as impose new ones.”

Russia is already headed for recession this year and if it wasn’t for their energy sector they would already be there. Because they don’t have much else going for their economy other than their energy and military sectors. They have a very education system and produce a lot of well-qualified workers, but who can’t get good jobs because of President Putin’s unwillingness or inability to develop the rest the Russian economy. While we are also helping Ukraine develop their own military and economy and be able to ditch Putin’s Russia.

Whether you’re talking about hard power which tends to be the neoconservative response to foreign crisis’, or soft power which tend tends to be the liberal response and to a certain extent energy power as well, none of them are silver bullets that can stop military conflicts on their own. Unless you not only have overwhelming force and use it and aren’t too concern about the lost of innocent lives as a result. But what I prefer as a Liberal is Smart Power where you put all of your options on the table and use the best of what you have to work with. And not become overly dependent on any one form of response.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NORML: Blog: U.S. Congress: Legislation Introduced To Get The Feds Out of The Marijuana Enforcement Business

NORML: Blog: U.S. Congress: Legislation Introduced To Get The Feds Out Of The Marijuana Enforcement Business

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Representative Jared Polis has been against the War on Drugs and in favor of marijuana legalization as long as I’ve known of him and I believe he was elected to the House in 2007. And has worked with Ethan Nadelman and other anti-drug war groups in Colorado the state he represents and other places. So Representative Polis is not a Johnny-come-lately to marijuana legalization. Someone trying to seem hip or cool with young voters who are against the drug war and are in favor of marijuana legalization. He has a long consistent record on this.

All Representative Polis and Representative Earl Blumenauer another Democrat, but from Oregon would do, is get the Feds out of the business of criminalizing marijuana. So if another city or state decides to legalize marijuana the people there who choose to get involved in marijuana, adults that is won’t have to worry about the Feds arresting them for that. Even if marijuana is already legal in their state. Thats all I’m asking for really is to get the Feds to butt out and worry about Federal matters and see what the states do on this issue.

What I and Jared Polis are in favor of is exactly what the drug warriors are against both the Neoconservatives and Progressives. Because you get the Feds out-of-the-way and similar to same-sex marriage you’ll see several states move to legalize because not they won’t have to worry about the Feds arresting their people as a result. Because a lot of states especially big states like Texas that have high prison populations are already looking at legalizing or at least decriminalizing marijuana because of the high cost of having so many low-level non-violent offenders in prison. Who don’t represent a security threat to their state.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Slate: Blog: Beth Ethier: Senate Leader Mitch McConnell Promotes Industrial Hemp: Senate Leader is Fighting to Remove Hemp From Controlled Substances Act

Slate: Blog: Beth Ethier: Senate Leader Mitch McConnell Supports Industrial Hemp: Senate Leader is Fighting to Remove Hemp From Controlled Substance Act

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

This might be the only bipartisan bill short of a federal budget and the appropriations bills that Congress may pass this year. At least in the Senate where I think Leader Mitch McConnell will have Democratic support including from Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Pat Leahy the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and the two Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. To give Leader McConnell credit, he supported at least limited marijuana legalization in the last Congress. Saying that the states should have the ability to legalize marijuana if they chose too.

But this bill that Leader McConnell will be pushing in this Congress starting in the Senate is about Kentucky. His farmers want it to go along with tobacco and perhaps move away from tobacco. What is good for Kentucky farmers I guess is good for the rest of the country according to Mitch. There is also a bipartisan coalition of Representatives in the House that will try to push a similar bill. Good luck getting Speaker John Boehner who apparently only listens to his hard right now and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to agree to even bringing the bill through committee and later the House floor.

But this bill is an excellent first step to finally ending marijuana prohibition that should’ve been ended with alcohol prohibition in the 1930s. And when that step is taken then America can take big steps to finally ending the failed War on Drugs. By treating drug addicts and users for what they are that is people who need help and get them treatment in rehab. And stop treating them like criminals. While you continue to punish drug dealers who pray on drug addicts who can’t control themselves. And end up ruining their own lives that costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year.


Monday, March 2, 2015

The Hill: Kevin Cirilli: 'New Democrats Looking to Strike Against The Warren Wing'



Source:The Hill- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat, Massachusetts)

Source:The New Democrat

"Centrist Democrats are gathering their forces to fight back against the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of their party, fearing a sharp turn to the left could prove disastrous in the 2016 elections.

For months, moderate Democrats have kept silent, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) barbed attacks against Wall Street, income inequality and the “rigged economy” thrilled the base and stirred desire for a more populist approach.   

But with the race for the White House set to begin, centrists are moving to seize back the agenda.

The New Democrat Coalition (NDC), a caucus of moderate Democrats in the House, plans to unveil an economic policy platform as soon as this week in an attempt to chart a different course.

“I have great respect for Sen. Warren — she’s a tremendous leader,” said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), one of the members working on the policy proposal. “My own preference is to create a message without bashing businesses or workers, [the latter of which] happens on the other side.”

Peters said that, if Democrats are going to win back the House and Senate, “it’s going to be through the work of the New Democrat Coalition.”

“To the extent that Republicans beat up on workers and Democrats beat up on employers — I’m not sure that offers voters much of a vision,” Peters said.

Warren’s rapid ascent has highlighted growing tensions in the Democratic Party about its identity in the post-Obama era.

Caught in the crossfire is the party’s likely nominee in 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose husband took the party in a decisively centrist direction during his eight years in office.

Former President Bill Clinton’s rise within the party had been aided by groups such as the Democratic Leadership Council, which believed that previous presidential nominees including Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis had run on platforms that were too far to the left, resulting in crushing defeats.

But the tensions from those long-ago fights are now tangible again. Progressives distrust Hillary Clinton and are pushing Warren to challenge her from the left in the presidential election, though Warren has repeatedly rebuffed their pleas.

Warren spokeswoman Lacey Rose said in a statement to The Hill that “Warren is a relentless fighter for priorities that will help level the playing field for middle-class families.”

Publicly, Democratic lawmakers are hesitant to discuss a growing rift.

{mosads}When asked about disagreements between centrists and the Warren wing, one Democratic member of Congress demurred.

“There’s no need to get me in trouble,” the lawmaker said, laughing. “I don’t need an angry phone call from Bill Clinton.”

Privately, moderate Democrats in the Clinton tradition say they have been working behind the scenes to change the party’s message.

Leaders at three centrist groups — the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), the New Democrat Network (NDN) and Third Way — arranged a series of meetings with moderates after the disastrous midterm elections to “discuss the future of the party,” according to a source close to the NDC.

“Democrats ought to avoid the danger of talking about only redistribution and not enough about economic growth,” said PPI President and founder Will Marshall, who addressed House Democrats during their Philadelphia retreat in January. “Economic growth is a precondition to reducing inequality. You can’t redistribute wealth that you’re not generating.

“There’s a lot of sympathy for that view in the pragmatic-wing of the party,” he added.

Gabe Horwitz, director of Third Way’s economic program, said moderates have been arguing the case for rebranding the Democratic Party around “the middle class and middle-class prosperity.”

“In the last election, Democrats, as a party, offered a message of fairness. Voters responded, and they responded really negatively,” Horwitz said. “Democrats offered fairness, and voters wanted prosperity and growth.”

The policy proposal from The New Democrat Coalition will serve as a rejoinder to the progressive agenda unveiled last week by Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). A Facebook video of Warren discussing the plan has already generated more than 1 million views.

Cummings said progressive Democrats have “got to do a better job of informing not only our own members, but the people who sent them” about disparities in the economy. He said Warren plays a “major role” in shaping that message.

“She acts as a person who has earned the trust of the American people, and I think that more and more, you’re going to hear people listening to her,” Cummings said.

Even before Warren’s election to the Senate in 2012, the Democratic Party appeared to be moving in a more liberal direction.

President Obama’s victory over Clinton in the 2008 race was the harbinger of a broader shift, with the Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate now further to the left than in at least a generation.

One sign of the shift is the decline of the Blue Dog Coalition, a once-sizable bloc of conservative Democrats that is nearly extinct. More than two-dozen of its members were ousted from office in 2010.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who is viewed as a centrist, said the centrist strain of politician is declining and estimated that “there’s fewer than 100” left in Congress.

“We need more moderates and centrists in both parties,” Carper said. “Part of politics is the art of compromise.”

The fight over the future of the Democratic Party poses a real test for Clinton, who will need to keep the factions from breaking apart should she mount her expected run for the White House.

Democracy For America founder Howard Dean, who has backed Clinton for president, said Warren is “right on policy, but the rhetoric needs to be toned down.”

“Our program cannot be soak the rich — that’s a mistake and alienates middle class people. But on substance, the Warren wing is correct,” said Dean.

“The rhetoric about wealth creation needs to be scaled back because Americans like wealth creation,” he added. “The level playing field argument wins it for us. The reason you do not want to talk about ‘tax the rich’ is because when middle class people hear it, they hear ‘they’re going to raise our taxes.’ Democrats can’t do that.”

Warren has insisted she’s not running in 2016, and sources close to the senator strongly dispute that she’s left the door open to a run.

But she has done little to silence her supporters’ criticism of moderate Democrats.

During a public appearance in Springfield, Mass., in February, she said her supporters were trying to draft her for president because they’re “ready to fight back.”

In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Politics Nation” less than a week later, Warren said voters would have to “wait and see” whether Clinton is a progressive warrior.

“I want to hear what she wants to run on and what she says she wants to do — that’s what campaigns are supposed to be about,” she said." 

From The Hill 

The Democratic Party really since the 1980s and perhaps even since the 1960s with Lyndon Johnson, has been a political party that has leaned left, but never left-wing. When you look at the left side of the American political spectrum, the Democratic Party has always at most been a center-left party. 

The Democratic Party has always had the center-left, a progressive wing led by the Franklin Roosevelt's, Harry Truman's, and Lyndon Johnson's of the world. But it's always had a center-right as well from Thomas Jefferson, to John Kennedy in the 1960s, to Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary in the 1990s and today. And it's always had a Far-Left (or left-wing, if you prefer) led by Henry Wallace in the 1940s, Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern in the 1960s and 70s, Ted Kennedy in the 1980s, Dennis Kucinich in the 1990s and 2000s, and now Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders today. 

People who the mainstream media, including The Hill, call centrists or moderates, represent the center-right of the Democratic Party. The New Democrat Coalition in Congress, mostly in the House, but they're the liberal (or classical liberal, if you prefer) wing of the Democratic Party, who believe in liberal democracy, property rights, fiscal responsibility, free trade, limited government, who are pro-business and labor and believe those two factions should work together and instead of being the opponents of the other. 

New Democrats are called moderates or centrists because they're to the right of the left-wing and even center-left of the Democratic Party, but to the left of the right-wing of the Republican Party. But they're not moderates. We're talking about people with a solid and real political philosophy but who are also pragmatic and even progressive in the sense that they believe in moving forward and real progress. But they're called moderates because they're either to the right or left of the partisan political faction of the two major parties and they consider real compromise to be treason. 

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