Michael Stinnett - 9/03/2013: Legal rulings such as Citizens United and lax campaign financing laws have undermined the democratic process allowing wealthy donors to buy elections; so-called Super PACs are a pernicious influence on society and should be abolished. A Super PAC, or independent expenditure-only committee, “may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. Super PACs must, however, report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or quarterly basis – the Super PAC's choice – as a traditional PAC would. Unlike traditional PACs, Super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates” (Super PACs). The recent ruling protects political spending by corporations in candidate elections, citing the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech. In justifying the ruling, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote that “'If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech'” (The New York Times). 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
So does anyone really believe that the Obama administration had nothing to do with the removal of Mohammed Morsi as the duly elected President of Egypt? If you do, I’ve got some nice land I would like to sell you here in Florida.
Did you notice the casual indifference as Egypt spiraled into chaos? You were supposed to notice. Obama went golfing; John Kerry went sailing. I mean we’re just bystanders, and those poor Egyptians — we hope they can sort themselves out. Yeah right.
These guys play a pretty fair hand a lot of the time, but they have overplayed this one. Anyone who thinks the U.S. is not complicit up to its eyebrows in the Egyptian army’s unlawful coup needs a refresher in our history.
It is now common currency to say that Morsi, who served just a year after he was legitimately elected in June 2012, failed some kind of democracy test. He did no such thing. There was a test, but the failure belongs to Washington. It professes to like democracies all over the planet, but it cannot yet abide one that may not reflect America’s will. Read more
Can Conservatives and Moderates get along? Could a Liberal be friends with a Republican? Is inter-political party love possible? Of course- these things happen every day. But if relationships are built on common values, how is this possible? Many Congressmen and Congresswomen believe Democrats and Republicans have different values, and that these values are an impassable gulf between us. However, the intractable divisions between the parties, from gun control to budget cuts, are all political, not value-based.
Except for sociopaths, all of us want our country to prosper and be safe. We want to see ourselves reflected in the leaders that represent us. Americans want to feel heard. How we achieve these aims is where we diverge. This is where politics steps in. Read more
This may seem farfetched at this time in our history but I assure you, America will someday have an out-of-the-closet and into your hearts, gay president.
As a gay man, I found it exciting when Barack Obama — the first black president — became the first president to endorse gay marriage. Some even say that he is the first gay president, similar to how Bill Clinton was the first black president. Obama’s wife Michelle of course, would disagree with that idea entirely, I am certain, accept in only the honorary title in which it would be intended.
Even though we gay people have found our way into many American hearts, we still have a way to go to win our way into the White House. I am confident that when that day does come, that gay or lesbian president will serve their country with its interests with their whole heart. Read more
When a senator or senators from our United States Senate decide to oppose a bill from being voted on by blocking it with a filibuster, then that senator or senators should have to provide a strong defense on why they oppose it and why it should not be put to a vote, on the floor of the Senate.
It is obvious that our legislative process is being held up sometimes by the objections of just one senator, and without even a proper explanation and defense of their objections to the American public.
I am not one for completely removing the filibuster rule in the Senate but I do think that when the rule is used just to stop all or most legislation to go through, to bring discredit to one’s opponents, the rule obviously needs some amendments. Read more
I find it fascinating but frightening that the GOP is falling so far out of step with average Americans, that it now resorts to underhanded legislation, not meant for the good of the people they serve but to overcome the voters’ will at the polls. In my opinion, not only does the Republican Party work to warp our very democracy but it delusions itself into believing a conspiracy at every turn.
The GOP it would seem, now questions anything that would doubt its own idea of what they want the facts to be. As far as they are concerned, those fact-checkers have to be conspiring with the liberals and those independent and well-trusted organizations that measure job growth, poll voters or anything that produces facts and statistics which contradict its own politics and agenda, have to be all conspiring to undermine the GOP’s own set of generated facts.
Voter ID Laws Read more
Patience; this is what I have been recommending all along. The economy has been improving for a while now, the stock market has recovered and making money, and now Americans are going back to work.
It was just reported, unemployment fell for September to its lowest number since January 2009. There were 114,000 jobs added in September, and 86,000 more jobs were added in July and August than originally reported.
This is of course, good news for the Obama Campaign and it should turn the election even more in his favor. Mitt Romney’s job to convince Americans that Obama does not know what he’s doing when it comes to the economy, just got a lot more difficult. Read more
Mitt Romney’s overseas trip has been fodder for the press and media as quite a source of humor and more example of fumbling and mumbling we have seen from the candidate since the primary season kicked off. Something that has been noted is that his trip was in reality a visit with potential donors for funding his silk stocking presidential campaign. The question I ask is when did this become ok for politicians in the US to seek campaign funding overseas? Read more
We have had 30 years of what has turned out to be horrible economic policy. All of the facts, when reviewed, will show that the system is failing the majority of Americans. But instead of admitting that failure, we are told that we need to double down. We have not been faithful enough to the system. We were bad capitalists who strayed into the arms of government hooch. Coming to save us is businessman, Mitt Romney. He has made his very profitable career with Bain Capital. Bain Capital specializes in private equity and venture capital. Mitt Romney is a man of the finance world. He has made decisions on a level of business that you or I could never begin to imagine. Mitt Romney has repeatedly touted his business experience as an asset towards reviving the U.S. economy. Read more
Rich people may be evil but they have rights
This post is to remind people that rich people have rights, too. They should not be treated differently because of their status for logical, moral and Constitutional reasons. The federal government’s primary role is to protect people–all people. It was wrong and hypocritical to slaughter scores of Native Americans, enslave African-Americans, and prohibit women and minorities from voting. Too often people go astray from following the Constitution, treating people equally–discriminating on race, religion, gender, status, etc.–and forget it is the primary role of government to protect all people. Read more
There are times in my life that I get so wrapped up in what I want and how successful I can be. I even sometimes let myself feel sorry for myself because my life isn’t as good as I’d like it to be.
Then I turn on the news or I open My Yahoo! to see a story about a child who has suffered abuse or even died because of abuse or neglect, and then I hear more stories about children who are hungry around the world and the death of so many because of hunger.
And then I feel ashamed because I have so selfishly felt sorry for myself over my lack of a better life in America while children were dying, dying because of cruelty and neglect and especially hunger, in other places of the world. Read more
Being a working-class American means you work for a living, simple and clear. Your income level could be within a wide range as some Americans are more successful than others, depending on several factors. But all working-class Americans work, pay their bills, buy things they need and occasionally even things they desire.
Many have kids and they spend a ton of money on those kids. Working-class people make the world go around, anyone can assuredly agree. We buy cars and homes and all kinds of things at Walmart and Best Buy and Home Depot, we’re that jingle in your pocket that says the economy is moving forward because working-class Americans are spending money. Read more
Maryland; my home for all of my fifty-three years.
As States go; I thought Maryland to be better than some. Worse than others; but a State generally inclined toward the Democratic Party; Liberal thought; and a fairly good sense of right vs. expedience.
I knew; as you could not help but notice; that Marylanders were not inclined to take to the streets as the Occupy Baltimore Turnout has so recently demonstrated.
The meager turnout and enthusiasm shown in my Fair City wasn’t for a lack of reason to complain.
It wasn’t because folks in Maryland are just sooo’ happy to be here that they overlook the problems. Read more
There is, at present, in North America and elsewhere, a huge and very important battle going on. The battle is going to decide who rules everything. It is between "the people" and economic interests.
The only "power" that the people have is in being able to put those who seek positions in government into office. We do that presently by voting.
The power that economic interests have is wealth. They use that wealth to buy off those we elect and get laws passed that gives them more and more control of our society. Their interests are economic. Their aim is purely profit. To them, people are only cogs in the corporate, money-making machinery. Read more