When Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retired from the Supreme Court in January of 2006, one of the issues she felt very strongly about was the increasingly common call for federal judges, and state judges, to be elected as opposed to appointed. She was decidedly against the idea, and has put a great deal of her time, outside of hearing cases on various federal courts of appeal and encouraging greater civics education, to fighting efforts in various states to turn to an elective system of placing judges on the bench. A number of states already have an elective system in place, or variants of it, but at the Federal level the Constitution in Article 3 creates the appointive process of nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate. The question I have been pondering more and more lately is whether it is really desirable to have elected judges. I will attempt to answer that question with this article. Read more
There has been some ongoing debate about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and some comments she made about constitution making in countries that are endeavoring to rewrite, or develop whole new constitutions. I would like to examine whether she is being unfairly attacked in these debates. Read more
I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. Then I watched him force Navy Seals into Sensitivity Training and send them from Iraq to Bosnia on a bunch of pocket wars that made no damned sense at all. I watched a brave man’s body dragged through the street in Somalia.
In 2000, Dick Cheney stood before the Republican National Convention and told the U.S. Military that “Help is on the way…” “Thank God”, I thought. “These poor military guys could use a break.” I voted for Bush.
Then 9-11 happened and I watched, in horror, as the bravest and best young people in our nation were ordered to stand around Iraq and Afghanistan and wait to get shot or blown up. I watched them come home with crippling injuries and missing limbs and tried to figure out what the hell we had accomplished for all of this sacrifice.
When Obama was elected (I didn’t vote for him but was willing to give him a shot.)
I had the same thought as when Cheney spoke, in 2000. “Maybe now they’ll get that break.”
I mean come on; Obama said he would end these stupid wars, right? Nope; more deployments, more car bombings, more death. Read more
What is worth reading in todays world? Naturally there are any number of books that one can find online, in a bookstore, or the library that will peak someone's interest, but I would like to talk today about political memoirs. The question I have, and would like to offer an answer to, is the question of whether or not political memoirs offer anything of substantive value to our study and knowledge of the political scene of a given period. Read more
As the director of a nonprofit 501(c)(3), I have had to quickly learn how these kinds of organizations function. I had been an employee, volunteer, and member of nonprofits in the past, but taking a leadership position in one has been an entirely new experience. Now, I understand these organizations are sophisticated endeavors meant to do nothing less than fill in for government.
Where our representative government and its bureaucracy have utterly failed to meet the needs of communities in the US, nonprofits have stepped in. The modern nonprofit is a uniquely American creation, as other developed nations utilize the power and resources of government for education, arts, environment, health care, nutritional programs, etc.
In America, these kinds of “progressive” agendas can be defunded and neglected by local, state, and national branches of government. In response to unmet needs, grassroots groups form to gather resources, provide services, educate, and empower identified populations in their communities. In short, regular people are called and chosen by their neighbors to make what is missing and to scrape together resources. Read more
A secret court rebuked the NSA's secret program which collected secrets of countless Americans -- yet this report was, until now, secret.
Bradley Manning revealed secret messages that educated the public, shed light on corruption, contributing to our understanding of our government -- and he was sentenced to 35 years.
Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA, telling Americans about invasive operations that sacrifice our liberty in the name of security -- and now he himself is being deprived of both.
A government with too many secrets lead to abuses, violations, arrests, intimidation, humiliations, divisions and forms of authoritarianism.
These are the secretions of an ill government, not the symbols of a vibrant civil society.
A secret democracy doesn't secrete democracy.
Share frustration and share a libation while you trade news, views & sips of booze at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
I spent a little time in California over the summer. It had been awhile. I remember going there as a kid and being so impressed. It seems that the days when everyone in the nation looked up to California, that magical land filled with perfect weather, sandy beaches, gorgeous women, and glamorous movie stars, have gone the way of the VCR and the cassette deck.
The first condition that I noticed was that the check stations, that used to manned by friendly, professional, state officials, who welcomed you to California and asked if you were bringing fruits or vegetables to or from that state, now look like the ruined shacks from Fallout 3. I was waiting to be attacked by "Mole-Rats".
Oh, and the rest areas are all closed so don't bother trying. You have no choice but to pee at truck stop as you're paying $6.02 a gallon for gas. Read more
In the early 1970's, a group of scientists announced that after conducting some tests, they had concluded that the compound ozone seemed to have depleted in the upper atmosphere.
Time magazine ran with the story by suggesting that scientists had discovered a "hole in the Ozone Layer". All of the science turned out to be wrong but not before the media had blamed spray-on deodorant and the U.S. government had issued a ton of grant money and passed laws that controlled people’s lives.
Science had a new hypothesis: Warnings of man-made disaster equals Big Bucks
Since the research on the ozone didn’t really work; leftists re-packaged the scare tactic and called it Global Warming. For two decades they managed to grab federal cash and gain control over people’s lives by scaring the hell out of everyone.
After twenty years and no data to back up their claims; liberal scientists did some more research. This time they conducted focus groups to find out why people didn’t care about global warming. They found that people didn’t care because the globe had not become warmer. Not to be deterred they decided to “re-brand” Global Warming by calling it “Climate Change”. Read more
We have all been seeing for years now the arguments put forward by some that President Barack Obama was ineligible to run for President because he was not a "natural born citizen" as his father was from Kenya. Despite Hawaii finally giving over a copy of the long form of Obama's birth certificate, and the repeated refusal of courts to entertain the issue, many are still making the same, tired arguments. Well, we have a debunking of that argument in the form of an Obama opponent who was born in Canada, holds dual citizenship due to Canadian law, and one parent who was not a US citizen at the time of his birth. That person? None other than Tea Party favorite and ultra conservative politician from Texas, Senator Ted Cruz. Read more
If one paid attention to MSNBC, Think Progress, or the Daily Kos, and according to the numbers, approximately one does; one would believe that a hurricane of white supremacy is ripping this country to pieces. A vast army of over-weight, red-neck, white men, in Confederate Flag adorned 4-wheel drive trucks are racing around the country side raping, lynching and generally tormenting innocent and terrified minorities.
Dedicated liberals spend their days scouring the internet for video of some poor white slob who is running for city council and happens to be caught on camera giving a poorly worded speech. Hand that video to some leftist jerk at Think Progress and you have recipe for “twisted overt racism”.
What these dedicated liberals don’t want to notice is that day after day, Americans from all races, backgrounds, religions, and creeds work together and get along astonishingly well. People go to restaurants, concerts, sporting events and school functions without a racist incident. Read more
THE POLITICUS invites YOU to participate in our 3rd annual user generated college writing challenge. Contestants are asked to create smart, sophisticated and topical articles about our favorite subject politics!
The articles can cover a broad array of subject matter related to politics and news (for example education, gay rights, environment, energy, government reform, etc.).
Contestants are encouraged to submit multiple articles if they like.
Contest will start September 3rd 2013 and end December 31st 2013. We will pick THREE winners each month for the next FOUR months. Please see the monthly cash prizes below:
Winners will be announced on the 5th of each month, starting 10/5/13. Payout will be sent on the 15th of each month starting 10/15/13.
- 1st Place: $100
- 2nd Place: $50
- 3rd Place: $25
Freelance journalist and former Political Reporter for ABC News and Politico Read more
From Egypt's Arab Spring to Morsi's sudden fall, peaceful possibility turned to clash & confrontation as democratic dreams are dashed by death & devastation.
Momentum on immigration reform hit a stalemate, talks of job creation turned to threats of a shutdown & while Obamacare rolls out to boost health coverage, the GOP continues to vote to repeal it.
Post-election promises of cross-partisan collaboration turned to divisive legislation from Texas to North Carolina curbing voting rights, reproductive rights & workers rights.
We started this season with summer hopes, but are reminded again that some are hopeless.
Raise your spirits as your raise a pint, with seasoned conversation on a summer night at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
My most recent thoughts on politicians (I thought I'd already put this up, but must not have)
Every few years we get the chance,
stroll down the road,
tick another box or two,
decide which toad
will screw us over for the next few,
break promises so easily made,
take junkets too,
raid our wallets with glee,
those well-dressed few
who spew smug platitudes and see
no shame in cat-calls, insults, petty
games – he said, she said. Lice!
You disgust me,
you clowns for whom we pay the price.
(first published in Ink, Sweat & Tears (August 12)
I recall vividly in the summer of 1987 when Court of Appeals Judge Robert Bork was before the Senate Judiciary Committee going through the ordeal of a hearing on his nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. I had been studying the history of the Supreme Court for a couple of years at that point, and was very interested in seeing this process play out. By the end of it, I was sorely disappointed, and a little frustrated at the antics of the Senators, both on and off the Committee. Since then, I have been more and more disillusioned about the process of nominating, and confirming, an individual to the Supreme Court. While this disillusionment applies equally well to lower Federal courts, I am focusing my attention on the Supreme Court. Read more
A few years ago I was asked to give a short talk on the subject of Roe v. Wade. As I have always been interested in the Supreme Court and the individuals who have served on it, I readily agreed. Knowing how controversial that particular decision was, I decided to try a little experiment. Opening the talk, I asked how many supported the decision. Roughly half the hands went up. Then I asked how many opposed it. Again, roughly half raised their hands. Then I asked the most important question. How many have actually read the decision? Sadly, out of perhaps 20 people two raised their hands. I asked them when that shocking revelation revealed itself "How can you support or oppose something without even having taken the time to read it to know what it actually says?" Read more