The New Democrat Online

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Week: Opinion: Ryan Cooper: The Beginning of The End of The War on Drugs

The Week: Opinion: Ryan Cooper: The Beginning of The End of The War on Drugs

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I think it’s a mistake to put same-sex marriage in the same group and discussion as the War on Drugs. Because a big reason why so much progress has been made on marriage equality has to do with the American courts. Ruling that these gay marriage bans are unconstitutional because they are discriminating, because they create two different classes. One for straits and the other for gays. Straights can marry because they are straight and gays can’t simply because they want to marry someone of the same gender. Which is why gay marriage bans are unconstitutional because it empowers one class of Americans over another.

I’m sure there are certain unconstitutional aspects of the War on Drugs. But the fact is under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Federal Government gets to decide what they’ll allow to be legal and what they won’t. Unless there’s already a constitutional right to own or purchase something, like firearms. Where all Americans have the constitutional right to purchase and own firearms. There is no constitutional right in America to purchase one drug or another. The Federal Government gets to decide what they’ll outlaw and legalize and what they’ll enforce and what they won’t.

Which is why we aren’t seeing state bans on marijuana being thrown out by U.S. courts or state courts because those laws are constitutional. And why the federal Controlled Substance Act won’t get thrown out by any court. Because those drugs are substances and potential commerce and the U.S. Government has the right to decide what commerce is legal and what isn’t. Look, I would love see the War on Drugs, a bogus war that is not real and not a real war, I would love to see it get thrown out as unconstitutional. And we legalize marijuana at the federal level and decriminalize heroin, cocaine and meth at least to the extent that users and dealers aren’t treated as the same. Users and addicts get rehab at their expense and dealers go to jail.

But these things aren’t going to happen through the court system for the most part. The way you defeat the War on Drugs as far as finally ending it, because it as already lost politically, is through the legislative and political process. Get the word out across the country that marijuana is not something that should be endorsed, but that is has similar side-effects as alcohol. And it is a waste of money arresting people and sending them to prison for simple possession or usage of marijuana. Go state by state and lobby Congress as well and not just young Democrats, but Representatives and Senators of both parties. As well as continue to push ballot measures.

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.

Monday, March 30, 2015

EN Vagency: Video: Muhammad Ali Then and Now David Frost interview Then and Now

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

If there was one person that should’ve wrote a comedy book with all sorts of wisecracks, jokes and monologues in it, its Muhammad Ali. The man was comedian with big fists and quick feet. A true punchers wit who it hadn’t been for boxing, he would’ve ended up in Hollywood as a comedian and comedic actor and perhaps writer and commentator. The only other pro-athlete that I can compare with Muhammad when it comes to humor and wit, would be Charles Barkley. Another very talented athlete who is very bright and very funny at the same time. Who can express how they feel in an intelligent, accurate, but funny way as well.

A few things that makes Muhammad the greatest of all-time the best heavyweight boxer of all-time. His physical size. 215-220 pounds of solid muscle on a 6’2-6’3 frame. The man had the body of a big wide receiver or running back. And then you add how quick he was with his footwork, hand speed and intelligence. He knew his opponents better than they knew themselves. Larry Holmes being the exception to that. And then his work-ethic. No one worked as hard in and outside of the ring than Muhammad Ali. The man wasn’t just a great boxer, but a great professional as well.

You put all of these things together and that is why Muhammad Ali is the greatest heavyweight boxer of all-time. And yes he fought at least five years too long. He should’ve retired after he beat Leon Spinks and won back the World Heavyweight Championship in 1978. But when you’re as great as Muhammad was and that is after losing five years of your career when he was in his mid and late twenties, it is real hard to call it quits and retire. Because you feel invincible and feel like a god or something. And I believe that is what happened to Muhammad Ali.

Real Time: Video: Bill Maher Interviewing Mike Huckabee

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Is it just me, or does Mike Huckabee sound like he’s moderating? One of the advantages of living in such a huge vast diverse developed liberal democracy like America, is that we have all types of people, cultures and lifestyles. That we are all free to be ourselves. But we can’t force our lifestyle and way of life on to other people. And I think that is what Governor Huckabee was essentially saying, at least when it came to language and how we communicate with people.

If your way of life is going to church seven days a week and never doing anything without praying to Jesus first, dad works hard, mom stays at home and raise the kids, the only music you listen to is country or gospel, the only channel you get to watch is Fox News or CMT, great. If you want to party like it’s still 1955, except for the creation of Fox News, be my guess. Just as long as you don’t kidnap anyone from outside of your world and force your lifestyle on them. Or try to get big government to do that for you.

Americans can live in modern America. Which is really everywhere outside of the Bible Belt. And yes the Bible Belt covers a lot of land in America. Just not that many people. You got to go where the people are. Which is how Democrats win presidential elections with only winning half of the states or less. Because they win most if not all the big states. Or you can live in modern diverse America, where you may see five people at once who don’t look like you. And perhaps practice five different religions, or don’t practice at all. But one thing that makes us great is our diversity and freedom. We can all live our own lives, without big government forcing one lifestyle or another on the whole country.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

CBS News: Video: Fidel Castro on Face The Nation, in 1959

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

This was just after the Castro Communists had taken power in Cuba in 1958, from the authoritarian Batista Regime there, after winning the Cuban Civil War. Cuba replaces one authoritarian regime from Fulgencio Batista and creates a new one with Fidel Castro. I saw a documentary about Che Guevara last week and it featured a lot of Fidel in the same film. For obvious reasons and they essentially said Fidel wasn’t sure exactly what type of government he would replace the Batista Regime with. That he became a Marxist Communist, leftist dictatorial authoritarian after he came to power as President of the New Communist Republic of Cuba. But Fidel was never a Democrat Socialist or otherwise. He’s always believed in socialism and what it can do for people. But never believed in governing the country through democratic means. With allowing any time of real opposition, or decentralizing power to anyone else outside of his regime in Cuba.

Bat Man: Video: CNN World News Special: Pelican Bay State Prison

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

First of all, just to speak of Susan Rook at CNN. I miss her, I wish she would come back. She’s so freakin cute and sweet and makes hard news worth listening to and watching just with her beautiful baby-face and sweet voice. She still looks great today from the few shots I’ve seen of her online. And works as a photographer and as an agent. She’s still pretty active, just not as a news anchor.

Now as far as Pelican Bay, maybe I should be careful how I put this, but if there’s such a thing as a human zoo it would be called Pelican Bay. Or the Colorado State Maximum Security Prison. Except that animals at zoos are able to move around in their yard and are probably outside most of the day. And can eat as much as they can handle and get plenty of exercise. As well as both human and animal contact. You get almost none of that if you’re an inmate at Pelican Bay.

I’m sure most if not all the inmates at Pelican Bay are quite frankly hard-core assholes who deserve to be at a maximum security prison. But there’s a right way to do that and the wrong way. The wrong way treats these people as if they’re wild animals like grizzly bears or tigers or something. And when you treat people like that, that is how they’re going to behave. But if you punish bad behavior while at the same time giving people incentive to improve, that is what will happen in most cases. The whole carrot and stick approach.

Politics and Prose: Video: John Dean: The Nixon Defense

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Not being there or even being alive in 1972, I would say that President Richard Nixon was involved in the Watergate burglary coverup the day he found out about it. The President is on tape like the day after they find out about in June, 1972 as telling his Chief of Staff to direct the FBI not to go into this Watergate business any further, period. I first heard about that in the early 1990s when I was in high school. President Nixon didn’t have someone on his team in the White House to say, “with all due respect sir, this is very important story and case. We can’t cover it up. It would be bad for American justice and bad for this administration.” Perhaps being a big more diplomatic, but he didn’t have someone to tell him no. And this is what should be done instead.

What President Nixon essentially had was a team of loyalists. A team of yes men who believed in him so much, or at the very least believed in how far they could go with him. They weren’t there to say this is what should be done here and there and give their advice. But to find out what the President wanted to do and go about accomplishing those things the best way that they can. President Nixon didn’t have a good team in his White House at least when it came to people who knew what was right and wrong and what should be done. Other than maybe Al Haig who was his second and final Chief of Staff who told him when it was time to step down and resign.