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Thursday, November 4, 2010

CBS News: Evening News- Ben Tracy: 'The Tea Party Plan For Capitol Hill'


Source:Google- U.S. Senator Jim DeMint: one of the Tea Party leaders in Congress.
"At least 39 Tea Party-backed candidates are headed to Washington. Ben Tracy reports on the movement's plans for office in January."

From CBS News
Source:Towelroad - U.S. Senate Candidate Sharron Angle, R, Nevada

A lot of Republicans, especially incoming House freshmen, won in the Congressional races last night.  Many of the incoming Republican Representatives were also members of the Tea Party.  That's the glass half full analysis of the effect that the Tea Party had for the Republicans last night.

The glass half empty view is that there's still the Democratic Senate that they're going to have to deal with in the 112th Congress, along with a Democratic administration .

They needed to pick up 10 seats in the Senate to become the majority but they only got six,  assuming Patty Murray holds on in Washington State.

The Tea Party blew it for Senate Republicans and relegated Mitch McConnell to Minority Leader for at least one more Congress. Its pretty simple, had the Republican party nominated establishment conservative candidates or center-right Candidates in states like Delaware, West Virginia, Colorado and Nevada, like they did in Indiana, with former Senator Dan Coats, they might easily have picked up 10 seats. Once they were in the 10 seat neighborhood, then 11 or 12 seats becomes a possibility because they could divert resources to other states instead of spending them in states that they should have had locked up.

In Delaware, Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell, who doesn't look old enough to run for the Senate and proved that she doesn't have the qualifications to run for state office anywhere, won the Republican primary and started out  20 points behind Democratic County Executive Chris Coons. She never closed the gap.

Had Republicans nominated veteran U.S. Representative Mike Castle, who is a Republican in the Ronald Reagan tradition (low taxes, strong defense, government out of our wallets and bedrooms etc.) but  isn't a religious conservative  and isn't trusted by the Christian Right, he would probably have been elected to the Senate by 10 points against a little known county executive. This was blown opportunity number one for Senate Republicans. 

In West Virginia, the Tea Party Republican Senate candidate, Mr. Measse  (and I apologize for not knowing his first name) was against things like the Minimum Wage, Medicare and Social Security, despite the fact that these are very important to a lot of West Virginians.  A Republican establishment candidate would probably have given popular GOV. Joe  Manchin a run for his money. 

In Colorado, the Republican Tea Party nominee, Ken Buck spent the last two weeks trying to get his foot out of his mouth  on such issues as separation of church and state, Medicare and Social Security.  An establishment Republican candidate probably would have beaten the incumbent, appointed Democratic Sen. Mike Bennett who spent the last month working his tail off just to get back into the race and make it competitive.  He finally pulled out a victory for himself and Senate Democrats. 

Finally, in the Nevada Senate race, Republicans had the good fortune to run against the unpopular Senator Harry Reid.  They nominated Tea Partier Sharon Angle, who seemed to be trying to do everything she could to lose the election.  Every time she opened her mouth, she demonstrated that she is a complete fool, e.g., declaring separation of church and state unconstitutional (it's explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution).

She proclaimed loudly that she was against the minimum wage, Social Security, and Medicare.  These provide important financial support for many Nevadans.  She said that she could not tell the difference between Latinos and Asians.  The Republican party threw this election away by nominating a Tea Partier instead of an establishment candidate.

It was a good night for House Republicans.  They will no longer be the minority party, at least for the next Congress.  Democrats should be feeling that they dodged a bullet because Republicans could've had a much better night.  They blew it by fielding many very low quality (Tea Party) candidates.




Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Book Archive: Chris Hedges- American Fascists: The Radical Christian Right


Source: The Book Archive- Chris Hedges, on the American Christian-Right 
Source: The Book Archive: Chris Hedges- American Fascists: The Radical Christian Right

It would be funny, if it weren't so tragic, when hypocrites who complain about big government, are in favor of incorporating the tenets of their religion in government rules to form their own version of big government. A Christian theocracy in the U.S. would be just as oppressive as the Muslim theocracy in Iran. Social freedom would be severely curtailed. Women and ethnic and racial minorities would be treated as second class citizens.  Homosexuals would be treated as criminals. 

The whole idea of America is that the people are in charge of their own lives and have the right to choose the social paths that they take without interference by government. 

Our nation's forefathers rebelled against the United Kingdom to escape high taxes, authoritarian rule, and government enforced religious dictates. Freedom of religion is part of our Constitution, the 1st Amendment thereof, so that Americans would have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to practice religion and which religion, if any, they would practice.

There cannot be any dictation  by the U.S. government on choice of  religion or practice of religious tenets.  The 1st Amendment is explicitly clear that government shall neither sponsor nor intrude upon the practice of a religion.  There is an explicit separation between religion and the State in America, regardless of  what the Christian Right, Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle or Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell says or thinks.

I'm troubled, and somewhat amused, when Christian Conservatives complain about the intrusions of big government while they promote authoritarian Christian theocracy.  Are they completely ignorant of the provisions for separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution or are they just ignoring it to achieve their religious goals? Either one is truly dangerous. They must be prevented from succeeding for the sake of the United States of America.




Associated Press: Mark Hamrick- Gridlocked Congress Could Threaten Economy


Source: Associated Press: Mark Hamrick- Gridlocked Congress Could Threaten The Economy

A few nights ago, this blog  predicted that the House Republicans would pick up 45-50 seats and win control of the chamber.  It also predicted that Senate Democrats would lose seats but retain control.  I was 2/3 right.  The Republicans won control of the House for the 112th Congress. Senate Democrats retained a small majority.  Instead of picking up 45-50 seats, the House Republicans gained in the neighborhood of 65 seats.  This will give them a working partisan majority. Incoming Speaker John Boehner (bayner, as in the vocalization of a jackass, not boner or bonehead) and incoming Leader Eric Cantor will be able to push their agenda through the House even though it will die in the Democratic Senate.

65 is a bad neighborhood to be in if you're a Democrat, especially if you're a House Democrat. It   means that Republicans will be in control of the House for at least two years, which, as a Democrat is bad enough for me, but, also, that the incoming Democratic Leadership, who will run the minority,   has a lot of work to do to get back to majority.  They're looking at being in the high 180's to low 190's.  They'll have to pick up in the neighborhood of 30 seats in the 2012 election to regain majority.

They'll need a very strong showing by President Obama in the 2012 election to regain majority. I don't think a narrow victory by the President in 2012 will bring back a Democratic House. I think the President will have to win the popular vote by around 55%, similar to Ronald Reagan in 1980  (over Jimmy Carter), and win about 35 states. I think thats possible, considering the likely Republican competition, especially if the economy starts to improve and unemployment  follows.

The good news for House Democrats is that while House Republicans are regaining most if not all of the seats they lost in 2006 and 2008, they're also picking up Democratic seats.  Potentially, a lot of freshman Republican Representatives could lose in 2012 because they represent normally Democratic districts. 

As I said a few nights ago, If House Democrats lose big, Speaker Pelosi and  Leader Hoyer need to step down.  It's time that House Democrats go in a new direction and elect new leadership. I would be looking at young but veteran House Democrats, especially outgoing committee chairman, who might be more interested in serving as Minority Leader and potentially the next Speaker of the House  than as ranking member of a committee. 

The good news for House Democrats, in an otherwise bad night, is that this is one election and, depending on how voters view the Republican House over the next two years, it could be a short time in the minority for them. 




Saturday, October 30, 2010

CBS News: Evening News- Katie Couric: 'Return to Moderation?'

Source:CBS News- U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle, R, Nevada: Harry Reid's, only ticket to reelection.
"The capital prepares for the Million "Moderate" March; The 2010 midterm campaign hits the home stretch; And, yet another controversial comment from New York's Republican Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino."

From CBS News

Return to moderation?  As a liberal, I know exactly where I stand on the current issues of the day. I don't call myself an expert on anything.  Others can judge that for themselves.  I do know where I stand and I think my readers know that when I write about something I don't flip a coin to decide what my position is going to be or split the difference.  Nor do I look for a position that will offend the least. As someone who's not currently a politician, I have the freedom to say exactly what I think.

One of the things I love about blogging is that I can get all of the best available objective evidence before I make a judgement about what is in the best interest of the country, or whichever jurisdiction it is involved.  If it's an issue on which I'm confident that I'm well informed, such as civil rights, I can proceed without  further research.  I would like to think that the average politician operates in the same way but I have my doubts. 

When I'm considering voting for someone, especially for the first time, I'm not interested in a candidate who claims to be a moderate or centrist and says vote for me and I'll work for the best interest of the country, not possibly knowing what that could  be ahead of time.  Once in office, such politicians can take positions that come as complete surprises to their constituents.  I think voters have the right to know where candidates stand on the issues before they get to office.  After all, they're running to represent us. 

I especially don't respect politicians who claim to be moderates or centrists but vote like Liberals or Conservatives. They're centrists in their private lives but once it gets down to voting or governing their liberalism or conservatism comes out.  Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman  claims to be a centrist in public but its hard to tell the difference between him and Liberal Democratic Senator  John Kerry, one of my political heros, the "Northeast Liberal". The only issues they've disagreed on have been the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Sen. Kerry is very proud of his liberalism and Senator Lieberman is not. 

Then there's Senator Arlen Spector who's admitted to being a Goldwater Libertarian Republican in the past,  "Government out of my wallet and bedroom," and that sort of thing.  On domestic policy, Senator Spector tends to be more progressive than Senator Barry Goldwater had ever been, especially in medical research and infrastructure spending.  Senator Spector woke up from a Republican nightmare just eighteen months ago, saw the light and decided to become a Democrat again, a liberal Democrat, I might add. (Perhaps it had something to do with getting reelected.)

Senator Spector has a progressive record on civil rights, civil liberties, women's rights (incluiding reproductive), and gay rights and is as much as a centrist as the current Pope is a Muslim. I mean who did he think he was fooling? Arlen Spector should've remained a Democrat for his whole career, especially, in a blue state like Pennsylvania. He could've been Governor of Pennsylvania if wanted to.

He, along with Ted Kennedy, voted against Robert Bork for Supreme Court Justice.  As a Pennsylvania Democrat, he would've never had to worry about a primary challenge from the far right and probably not from the far left either. 

I have more respect for Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, Social Democrats, Socialists, Theocrats, and Authoritarians than I have for Centrists.  With the former, you know where they stand on the issues, whether you agree with them or not. Two politicians for whom who I have some of the most respect are Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, both Conservative Libertarians, because you knew where they stood and they were loyal to their principles.  They didn't take positions just for presumed political advantage.

Republican Senator Tom Coburn is a Republican for whom I have a lot of respect.  He is a true fiscal conservative, not someone who claims fiscal responsibility just because his party is out of power, but someone who's always been there.  I have a lot of respect for Liberal Democrat Jack Kennedy, even though he was a little late to the party on civil rights, but he finally made it.  He had clear liberal convictions on most issues.  I also have great respect for Jack's brothers Bobbie and Teddy.  They  were ahead of their big brother on civil rights.

I have a lot of respect for Liberal Democrat Sen Russ Feingold.  I desperately hope that he gets reelected on Tuesday night though it's not looking good for him.  Unfortunately his convictions are probably going to cost him his seat on Tuesday.   For Russ Feingold,  it's not about getting reelected. It's about doing what he believes is best for the State of Wisconsin and America.  Today, that might sound corny but it's true. The problem with Congress is not Sen Russ Feingold, it's that there are not enough Russ Feingold's who are willing to vote their convictions.  For a lot of members of Congress,  everything is about the next election. 

Does centrism have a place in politics?  I don't see it as a governing ideology. Could you imagine a  centrist as their party's nominee?  First of all, a centrist would never get the presidential nomination of the Democratic or Republican Party today. But, for a second imagine that did happen.  What would their campaign theme be? "Vote for me because I'm stuck in the middle trying not to get squashed?" 

The problem with Washington is not the lack of moderation.  The problem is a lack of bipartisan cooperation. Thats not moderation, thats combining the best from both sides of the aisle to make legislation that works.  We as a country have a long tradition of bipartisanship and we could use more of it today. What you get with moderation is splitting the difference.  A computer can do that and it's not Leadership.





Ham Papartiet : Legalization of Marijuana in Utah?



Source: Ham Papartiet- ABC 4 News Utah-
Source: Ham Papartiet: Legalization of Marijuana in Utah?

Utah probably has more registered Republicans, right-wing nuts and NRA members per capita than any other state in America.  You'd have a better chance of seeing a man with multiple wives there than an elected Democrat (sorry, bad joke).  The legalization of marijuana use (considered a capital crime by some Christian theocrats) is being considered by the State of Utah.  That is a sign that similar efforts in California should make headway and it's a message to the rest of America that it's time to rethink the War on Drugs.  Perhaps punishing people for what they do to themselves instead of what they do to others and treating them as drug dealers and career criminals is not the best approach to this problem.

I've made these points before so they might be as refreshing to read as a drivers manual but my argument hasn't changed.  Utah's exploration of marijuana legalization reinforces my argument so I'll take the time to make it again.

The prohibition of alcohol 80 years ago proved that if people want to do something badly enough they'll find a way to do it, regardless of the consequences.  If they can make a successful business out of it, it becomes doubly attractive.  That's one of the reasons prohibition was repealed. I believe that we should legalize marijuana and that let that be the end of it.  I'm not advocating the legalization of heroin or cocaine.  We should legalize marijuana with appropriate regulation and taxation designed to discourage, or limit, it's use.  We should treat marijuana the same way that we treat alcohol and tobacco, two legal drugs that both have negative health effects.

Junk food and drink, with their excessive fat, sugar, salt and caffeine are serious health hazards in America.  Obesity, which leads to deadly diseases, is caused by junk food and lack of exercise.  It is the 2nd leading cause of preventable deaths in America, right behind cigarette induced lung cancer.  Alcohol abuse is the leading cause of liver cancer.  All of you who drink, smoke, eat a poor diet and don't exercise and oppose the legalization of marijuana use should think about the choices you are making.  By the way, if you have all of these bad habits and stay the course, you'll have a hard time making it to the age of 60. 
  
Marijuana, used and grown without control in a black market in America, isn't a leading cause of any disease.   With legalization and regulation of use there would be control and record keeping for public health purposes.   Prohibition doesn't make attractive substances or go away.  We already have legal drugs in America that are killers but they're regulated to make them as safe as possible.  We can do the same thing for marijuana  We know it will be grown and used.  We should make it as safe as possible.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Gral Hueter: Women in Tight Denim Jeans in Stiletto High Heel Boots


Source: Gral Hueter- 
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

When I'm walking down the street somewhere or sitting down in public and see an attractive well built  woman walk by, or she's ahead of me by ten feet or so, and she's wearing tight jeans in or over boots,  like cowgirl or work boots, of course I take a look. Unless I'm in such a hurry that I don't have the time. Its hard for a guy not to stare at a women dressed like that. Sexy women love jeans, because they look good in them and they feel good in them and it makes them feel good and comfortable and perhaps even like being checked out in them. And let the world no that they're put together and have great style as well. Women don't wear skinny jeans (denim or leather) because they're trying to hide and don't like being seen in public. The opposite is true whether it's popular celebrities like Sofia Vergara, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, to use as examples. Or beautiful sexy women in your neighborhood and hometown. 

I just love the sound that the boots make on the ground.  It's like listening to Frank Sinatra sing or Jimmy Hendrix play guitar.  It's poetry in motion to me. Men should thank attractive well-built women who dress like that.  These women look great and are not afraid to show the world that they look great.   They're wearing what I believe to be the sexiest combination in women's fashion right now tight denim with boots. Of course guys are going to notice women dressed like that.  We would have to be blind not to. And tight denim meaning skinny jeans have become so mainstream now thanks to the designer jeans revolution of the late 1970s and then the next one of the late 1990s and early 2000s, that women feel they can wear skinny jeans especially dark wash denim practically everywhere. Perhaps short of to their weddings or church. But women now wear dark wash jeans and boots to the office and dress them up. And not just on Casual Friday. 

I've said before that I'm not interested in what I call the hooker look, the boots over knees look. Women dressed like that look to me as if  they think that they need their sex appeal to make a living. When it comes to tight jeans with boots, I'm interested in women who wear modern jeans cut to show off their rear, but not to the point of showing their rear cleavage when they bend over or stand up. Women dressed like this look sexy to me, but also look like they use their intelligence in their profession. I like sexy and intelligent women, women who are proud of their appearance, dress to display it in accordance within modern social norms, and stay away from the boundary of the hooker look. Sexy with style is I guess the way I would describe what I at least believe is the modern sexy look. Women who know they look great ad have great legs and want that to be clear in public. But do it in a professional stylish mature way. Low-rise tight jeans, but not to the point that the woman's cleavage comes out when she stands up or sits down. But shows that she has great legs and a great butt. 
Gral Hueter: Sexy Women in Tight Denim Jeans in Stiletto High Heel Boots




Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sexy Latex Val: Sexy Val- In Her New Guess Black Denim Jeans in Black Zipper Boots

Source: The New Democrat Plus- Sexy Val, in her Guess jeans in boots-

Source:The Daily Press


When I think of sexy women, not women who could pass as hookers, I think of women who are  attractive, well built, and wearing tight denim with boots, tight jeans in boots or jeans over boots.  You see biker chicks, rocker chicks,  cowgirls, female construction workers, and waitresses wearing them.  You see women wearing tight jeans to the office.  If you're a guy and you're religious, you should thank God for casual friday.

This beautiful redhead takes it a step further by wearing a short tight top, and a black leather Jacket with skin-tight black denim Guess jeans and black leather zipper boots.  She is filmed, presumably, by her boyfriend or husband.  Out for the day, we see her out moving around in her sexy outfit. Val has a great body.  She knows it and is not afraid of the world seeing it because she knows who she is. She takes the attitude that if you have it, you should be proud of it and not be afraid to show it. Gotta love her for that.

By the way, I wish black denim jeans were more popular among women.  Black leather jeans are fairly common now.  Black denim jeans they might be just as sexy as blue denim jeans. They sort of have the look of leather jeans.  I  understand why women wouldn't want to wear black jeans in the summer in the State of Maryland where I live because of the heat and humidity.  But in the fall and winter, why not.

So my hat's off to "Sexy Val" for taking care of herself, looking great, and  not being afraid to show the world how great she looks. She makes black denim jeans look as sexy as possible and I would love to see more women take hear lead, especially in the winter, when those jeans would help keep them warm as well.

Learn Liberty: Aeon Skoble- Individualism vs. Collectivism



Source: Learn Liberty- Aeon Skoble, on individualism and collectivism 
Source: Learn Liberty: Aeon Skoble- Individualism vs Collectivism

There are many types of of governments in the world, governments where freedom is vast economically and socially and people have the right to elect their own leaders with open and free multi-party elections and can freely speak out against their leaders.  This is called a liberal democracy, America for example.

Governments where freedom is tightly controlled and limited and government has a huge say in how people live, where you can even risk going to prison without a fair trial for speaking out would be an authoritarian government, with Iran a good example. Then there are governments where social freedom is vast, as in a liberal democracy with open and free multi-party elections where people can speak out against their leaders and government but where economic freedom might be limited and where the people are subjected to high taxes and the economy is tightly regulated. Sweden would be a good example. 

With liberalism and individualism, people have the right to live their own lives as they see fit for the most part as long as they are not hurting anyone else and where people can be as successful as their skills and production will allow, which is determined by a private market, and are not subjected to high taxes and controlled by excessive regulations. That is a liberal democracy, with America being the perfect example. In a liberal democracy, people have the liberty to live their own lives without worrying about government intrusion. 

With a socialist collectivist society, the government tightly controls economic freedom and taxes it highly, so when people "make too much money" compared with the rest of society, that money is taken away from them and given to people who do not have enough and lack the ability to make a lot more money and be more successful.  Even if their skills and production call for it, government will take it away.   This is called a social democracy, where you are no stronger than your weakest link. 

What makes America great and the greatest country in the world and why we're still the envy of the world and people still emigrate here is our freedom and form of government, where if you get a good education and skills, you can live your own life as you see fit and be as successful in life as your skills and production will allow, which is determined by a private market. 

America has been a liberal democracy for 234 years now and overall it's worked very well.  We are the best country in the world and when we move away from that foundation, we slip back.


Madi Heels: Sexy Blonde- in Black Leather Jacket, Black Platform Boots in Tight Denim Jeans


Source: FRS FreeState Plus- Sexy blonde, in leather n denim, in boots-
Source: FRS Daily Press

Here's another tall, gorgeous, and well built blonde with tight curves wearing a leather jacket, skin-tight denim jeans, and black leather platform boots, the jackpot for sexy outfits as far as I'm concerned.  Even a blind gay man would notice a woman like her walking down the street in that outfit.  (No offense to blind gay man, there's nothing wrong with that if that is who you are). It combines the two sexiest fabrics in fashion right now, leather and denim, with platform boots.

It's a burger and fries or Montana to Rice to use an NFL sports analogy for you NFL football fans especially San Francisco 49er fans. The ultimate combination it can't be beat except, perhaps, by replacing the platform boots with flat boots, which I prefer on women.  This woman looks very sexy without looking like a hooker ( for the most part).  She looks like she might even have a brain and uses it to make her living, might not need her sexy physical appearance. to pay the bills. That's the sexiest combination to me, beauty and intelligence, as good as burger and fries or Montana to Rice, the ultimate of combinations.
Madi Heels: Platform Boots and Jeans




Friday, October 22, 2010

New Fashion 2013: Video: Down by the Riverside: Leather and Denim in Boots: The Modern Sexy Women


This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Press


When I think of sexy women, I think of them in tight jeans with leather boots.  Whether they wear their boots with skinny jeans, the common look for five years now, or jeans over boot's, its a very sexy combination.  It combines two sexy looks, denim and leather, the two sexiest looks in fashion right now.

The body type is an important component of the denim and boots look. I'm not a fan of the valley girl look, a tall, rail thin, blond who doesn't eat full meals and is afraid of meat.  I'm also not a fan of obese women who look like they only eat meat and sweets and wouldn't know exercise if they fell over it.  I'm attracted to healthy, well built, women who eat full meals and keep themselves in shape.  I'm 6'5 and over 200 lbs.  I prefer women who are between 5'6 & 6'+ and well built.

About a year and a half ago, I saw a YouTube video of a beautiful, tall, brunette with a sweet face walking by a riverside wearing a black leather jacket, tight, dark, washed, skinny, denim jeans and black, leather, stiletto boots.  I commented, at the time and still believe today, that her look was the perfect combination, like a cheeseburger and fries. The woman, apparently British, replied to me that she prefers fish and chips (ha ha) but she took my point. Whichever analogy you prefer, it works.

I prefer seeing women wearing calf high boots in tight jeans.  It looks sexy but the women look intelligent and productive, independent of their sex appeal.  Thigh high boots strike me as hooker boots. Women wearing them  look like they need their sex appeal to make a living. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CNN: Vice President Joe Biden- 'Not Your Father's GOP'

Source:Google- Vice President Joe Biden: campaigning for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in Reno, Nevada. 
"Vice President Joe Biden stumps for Sen. Harry Reid in Reno, NV."

From CNN

Vice President Biden has a habit of telling the truth and what he really believes to a fault and in that sense he beats back almost every stereotype of a typical politician.  This habit often gets him into trouble, but today was an example of where the Vice President, whom I supported for Vice President of the United States in 2008, was dead on and telling it the way it helps him, the Democratic Party,and his administration, where he serves as the 2nd Ranking Officer. 

Vice President Biden was dead right: "this is not our fathers' Republican Party," and in my case my father's GOP would be the Republican Party of Dwight Eisenhower, Everett Dirkson, Barry Goldwater, Gerry Ford, and Ron Reagan, Bill Buckley, etc., the party of Classical Conservatism, the party that wants Government out of our wallets and bedrooms and off our backs. Today's Republican Party, the party run by the Tea Party or under its inspiration, is the Christian Right of the 1990s with an economic libertarian theme.

All the evidence you need to believe that is to look at some of their candidates, for example, Christine O'Donnell in Delaware or Sharron Angle in Nevada.  They've put up candidates who have been shown to be ignorant of the U.S. Constitution when they come out for amending it. Similar to the Christian Right of the 70's, 80's, and 90's, the Republican Party has moved away from the Culture War because they've either realized they were fighting a lost war or are regrouping.

At least at their leadership level, they've realized that Americans, at least outside the Bible Belt, are Liberal to Libertarian on social issues and that they're not comfortable fighting on this field even though you still see some Culture Warriors pop up from time to time on issues such as homosexuality, gay marriage, Islam, immigration, and lately with Sen Jim Demint calling for making adultery illegal. But for the most part Republicans, at least in the Tea Party, have pulled back from the Culture War battles and focused on fiscal policy.

I'll give the Tea Party credit for putting deficit and debt reduction back on the national agenda where it should be, but I fault them for not coming up with credible solutions to fixing our financial problems.  As much as the Tea Party/Christian Right rails against Big Government, they believe in what they are railing against.  No, they don't believe in the social democratic form of Big Government that's commonplace in Europe, but they believe in a far-right authoritarian conservative form of Big Government that's commonplace in Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China, with limited social freedom. 

As I've said before as a Liberal, if the Tea Party were really a libertarian movement as the mainstream media has described them, and not just an economic libertarian movement, I would have respect for them, because we share things in common, such as actually believing in a true form of limited government.  But they're now the Christian Right of the 90's with an economic libertarian message, so I can't respect them. But I give them credit for putting national debt and deficit reduction back on the national agenda, where it should be.



Monday, October 18, 2010

Times of Earth TV: Sarah Palin Leads Push Ahead of U.S. Congressional Elections





Source: Times of Earth: Sarah Palin Leads Push Ahead of U.S. Congressional Elections


I hope the Tea Party leader who only speaks in quips and one liners (Sarah Palin) is the Republican nominee for president in 2012.  If I weren't a patriotic American, I would work and volunteer my butt off to make that happen. As a Democrat I see that Sarah Palin, who I admit is an attractive and charming political figure (easy on the eyes as well), has political talent, is likable, and definitely can inspire people.

But put her in a situation where she has to think for herself and doesn't have prepared material, as in an interview or a debate, and she's a disaster for the Republican Party. The Tea Party has served the Republican Party well as far as reenergizing the Republican base, which has been asleep thanks to George W. Bush because of the borrowing and spending of his administration. But these are short-term gains and the Tea Party hurts Republicans in the long term as they move farther right with Independents, who tend to be fiscally conservative but liberal or moderate on social issues. 

So as a Democrat, I hope the Tea Party and Republicans stay on the course that they are on. But as an American, I hope the Republican Party gets back to Goldwater/Reagan conservative libertarianism, meaning government out of our wallets and bedrooms and off our backs. It's good for them and the country that they've returned to their fiscal conservatism, but for them to be a major party down the road, they need to get back to their social libertarianism or moderation.

And hopefully the Christian Right will splinter off and form its own third party along with the Tea Party, which is even farther to the right of traditional Republicans on fiscal policy. As I see it, the Tea Party has served a useful role in reminding Americans of the need for fiscal responsibility in America. But to me they are just the Christian Right of the 1990s with an economic theme, because they've realized that their social or theocratic conservatism scares independent voters and they've lost almost all the battles in the Culture War.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

AP: Raw Video- President Obama Urges Democrats Not to Get Discouraged








If Democrats fail to get their voters out in the mid-term elections, then there's no doubt they'll lose their majority in the House and be in danger of losing their majority in the Senate as well. Democrats are either tied or down among Independents with Republicans so their best shot at retaining control in both chambers in Congress is to energize their sleepy base, especially the social Democrats, and convince them that Republican control of either the House or Senate would be a disaster for the Progressive movement and would almost erase everything that Democrats have fought to accomplish the last 4 years.

Democrats are certain to lose seats in both the House and Senate in the mid-terms and they already know that the question is how many, but can Democrats hold Republican gains in the House to 30 or less where they would still have a 10-seat majority? Or will Democrats lose more then 30 in the House and come close to losing their House majority? Or will Republicans pick up more than 40 seats in the House and have a clear majority like the Democrats?  So the only victory Democrats can hope for in November is holding on to their majorities in both the House and Senate, which is why getting out their vote is critical for them to remain in control of Congress. 




Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Learn Liberty: Dr. Nigel Ashford- What is Classical Liberalism?

Source: Learn Liberty- Dr. Nigel Ashford-
Source: Learn Liberty: Dr. Nigel Ashford- What is Classical Liberalism?

That line from John F. Kennedy, “not ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, is a perfect example of what liberalism is about and what Liberals actually believe. JFK was late to the party on civil rights, even though he was invited several times. But he got there and laid out what the vision of civil rights is. And in 1964 Congress and President Lyndon Johnson passed JFK’s civil rights bill into Law and we’ve lived under equal rights under law ever since.

The last 30-40 Years there have been so many ways to describe what Liberals are. Liberals have been accused of being Doves on foreign policy, soft on defense, soft on crime, soft on welfare, pro-big government, pro-empowering government, meaning the Federal Government, fiscally irresponsible. Basically Liberals have been accused by the Right and Conservative Republicans as being Wimps. )And I could use stronger language) What I want to do here is correct the record and actually explain as a Liberal what a Liberal is, what liberalism is and what being a Liberal Democrat is all about.

The basic thing when it comes to being a Liberal, or a Conservative, is what do you believe the role of government is. And mainly that means what the role of the Federal Government is. Thats the main thing that Liberals and Conservatives, Democrats and Republicans argue about and to me as a Liberal Democrat and a political junky, this debate never gets old, because it’s never settled. We’ve argued this for 100 years longer, than the Indians & Pakistani’s have argued over Kashmir.

As a Liberal, the role of government is really only one thing and there are several things that government to do to carry out that responsibility. But it gets to protecting and expanding individual freedom for responsible people. To serve, represent, defend, protect, be fiscally responsible, treat people equally under law no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, nationally, religion, or sexual orientation. Letting people live their lives as they see fit as long as they’re not hurting innocent people. There’s a libertarian streak in being a Liberal and empower people in need to help themselves get back on their feet, but not subsidize them forever. It’s strange for me to speak for Conservatives. Thats kinda like a Redskin fan speaking for a Cowboys fan. But as a political junky who follows these things, Conservatives are similar when it comes to government and yet clearly different.

I think Conservatives would probably say the role of government is to serve, represent, defend, protect, be fiscally responsible, keep taxes down and cut taxes. The Classical Conservative led by former Republican Senator Bob Taft from Ohio probably believed that government should stay out of the market and let the market take care of society’s ills. The Modern Conservative today led by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and to a certain extent Senator John McCain, would probably say the government should incentivize the market and business’s to empower people in need to help them self. So there’s a debate today among Conservatives on how to help people in need. Liberals believe in empowering people to handle their Problems and to get back on their feet. Conservatives believe in empowering the market to help people in need get back on their feet. So there’s a difference between Liberals and Modern Conservatives.

Now to the bogus charges (to be charitable) about Liberals. “Liberals are not soft on Defense”, what’s the point of having a liberal democracy where people are in charge of their own lives when you’re not willing to have a strong enough defense and foreign policy to protect it.? Liberals, are not on soft on crime. Again what good is a liberal democracy if you’re not willing to protect the streets and keep people in prison long enough to pay their debt to society so people can live their lives safely. Liberals are not soft on welfare. Again we’re for putting welfare recipients to work and giving them job training so they can get a job that can support themselves and their families. Not living off the backs of hard-working taxpayers who work for a living. Again Liberals aren’t pro-big government.

Liberals not for creating government programs to make the government bigger, but using government and the Market to empower people in a fiscally responsible way. Liberals, believe in fiscal responsibility. The Clinton Years are the perfect example of that. President Clinton inherited a 290B$ budget deficit in 1993 when he was sworn in and left office in 2001 with a 61B$ budget surplus. Those are the facts, but that’s a different debate. So I hope this piece helps clear this up as far as what a Liberal actually is for anyone who’s interested in politics.