Thursday, July 31, 2014

CBS News: Alabama Governor George Wallace on Face The Nation From 1965

Source: CBS News- Governor George C. Wallace, D, Alabama-
Source:CBS News

Governor George Wallace trying to make the case that police brutality was just as common in the North as it was in Alabama. What he didn't show however was demonstrators being beat up and beaten simply for marching for civil rights for Americans who were simply denied those rights because of their race and complexion. Or people in the North being hosed down by policemen, or being attacked by police dogs again simply for marching for civil rights that were being denied.

Ed Sullivan Show; Jim Morrison & The Doors- Light My Fire (1967)

Source:Ed Sullivan Show- Jim Morrison and The Doors on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967.

"On this day in 1967, The Doors were banned from The Ed Sullivan Show for breaking an agreement with the show’s producers...

"The Doors Light My Fire Ed Sullivan 1967. I do not own this video."

Source:Kill Matic  

The Lizard King (or The Leather King) Jim Morrison and The Doors, on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967. This performance is memorable for a couple of reasons: Jim Morrison standing up for the First Amendment and refusing to be censored and leaving in the lyric higher. But also because he really put out there, stuck it out there really, with the big boner sticking out of his skin-tight leather jeans. I guess he was just too excited to be on Ed Sullivan. There was a rumor that the producers stuck the camera on Morrison so people could see his erection, just to embarrass him. I can believe that. 

Source:Ed Sullivan Show- Jim Morrison and The Doors on the Ed Sullivan Show, in 1967.

"In July 1967, The Doors scored their first No. 1 on the US singles chart with an edited version of Light My Fire, which spent three weeks in the top spot. The country loved the song so much that even the full six-minute and fifty-second album cut eventually made its way to the radio airwaves. 

As a testament to their success, a few months later the psychedelic rockers were invited to perform the single live on The Ed Sullivan Show – a right of passage for any up-and-coming artist of the era. It would be a legendary appearance, and their only appearance when it ended with the Doors’ infamous banning from The Ed Sullivan. 

The incident was ignited by Jim Morrison’s refusal to change the lyric “Girl we couldn't get much higher” despite producers’ requests due to the word “higher” being deemed inappropriate for a family show. Forever the rebel poet, Morrison defied the advice, concluding, “we’re not changing a word.” 

Just 22 seconds into the performance, Morrison delivered the offending lyric without hesitation, eliciting a telling smirk from guitarist Robby Krieger. But Sullivan wasn’t smiling. The show’s stoic host was equally unwavering in his post, with a producer delivering the news directly after the band’s performance that “Mr Sullivan wanted you for six more shows, but you’ll never work The Ed Sullivan Show again.” To which Morrison famously replied, “Hey, man. We just did the Sullivan show.” 

Source:Ed Sullivan- The Lizard King Jim Morrison, on The Ed Sullivan Show, in 1967.

From I Likey Old Stuff

"Up Close and Personal With The Lizard King Jim Morrison, on Ed Sullivan in 1967", is what the title of these photos should be. I guess The Leather King was simply too excited before he went out on stage that night and The Ed Sullivan Show made sure the world got to see that up close on national TV.

Before I make Jim Morrison look real bad here I'll say that this was one of The Doors best performances ever even as short as it was. The Lizard King (and I say that for a reason) was at the top of his game with the vocals and everyone played very well.

But if you watch the video (and you are not blind) you see something real obvious and may get to thinking: "What the hell" (Or something stronger than that) Because you see Morrison in his classic black leather suit. Nothing strange there from him, but with a big fact erection sticking out of his leather jeans.

I don't know how you go out on stage with that sticking out and that is assuming you are sober. And perhaps The Lizard King wasn't and this was one of the reasons why he was The Lizard King because he was so out there and not just wore the black leather jeans at most of his performances, but his leathers were so skin-tight and revealing that anything that got him excited sexually was going to be seen by a lot of people and this case being on Sullivan by millions of people.

And this  happened to The Lizard King in one of the most public places possible on Ed Sullivan on national TV on Sunday night in 1967.

You can also see this post at The Daily Journal, on Blogger.

Kansas Politics: CBS News:- 1980 GOP Convention: Ford/Bush VP Drama

Source: Kansas Politics-
Source:Kansas Politics 

CBS News trying to figure out who Ronald Reagan had nominated for Vice President at the 1980 Republican National Convention. Reagan had narrowed it down to former President of the United States Gerald Ford of all people who had already served briefly as Vice President for Richard Nixon before President Nixon resigned in the summer of 1974. And of course former Ambassador to China George H.W. Bush who had served in other positions as well.

CBS News: President Jimmy Carter- On Hostage Crisis (1980)

Source: CBS News- President Jimmy Carter, United States-
Source:CBS News

I give President Jimmy Carter a lot of credit for all the time and effort that he put into seeing that the American hostages in Iran were brought home. Which includes the rescue attempt in the spring of 1980 even though that failed. But it should give you an idea how badly he wanted to see those hostages come home. But he was essentially in an impossible situation with the Iranian terrorists holding all of the cards. And with America looking and being somewhat weak militarily and economically at this point. It was going to be very difficult from the start for the Carter Administration to bring those hostages home in a timely matter.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CBS News: John Anderson vs Ronald Reagan: 1980 Presidential Debate

Source:CBS News- U.S. Representative John Anderson (Republican, Illinois) 1980 presidential candidate.

“In 1980, the League of Women Voters invited independent John Anderson to their first presidential debate, and President Carter refused to attend. Ronald Reagan showed up and the result was one of the most unique debates in modern times, preceding the Perot inclusion by 12 years.”

It seems strange to me that President Jimmy Carter would turn down a chance to debate Ronald Reagan in 1980. Even with a third-party candidate like Representative John Anderson in the debate. Because Jimmy Carter was the underdog in this race even though the polls were close for most of the election. But also with the situation of the country with the economy and the Iranian hostage situation with all of those Americans being held hostage in Iran and Russia on the march in Central Asia.

President Carter was the underdog in this election simply because of the situation of the country under his watch. And the fact that millions of Americans were looking for new leadership and taking a long look at Ron Reagan and perhaps even Representative Anderson.

President Carter needed to take advantage of every opportunity that he had to convince Americans that he deserved another opportunity as President similar to George Bush in 1992 and he didn’t take that shot.

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Economic Policy Journal:Michael Rozeff: The Real Reason Harry Truman Backed a Jewish State

If you are going to say that President Harry Truman who is not only one of our best presidents, but perhaps our most honest president recognized the Jewish State of Israel for political considerations and the Jewish-American vote, then you need to back that up because that is a serious charge.

Jews were being murdered, genocide even in Europe mainly by the Nazi Germans. That is the main reason why the Jewish State of Israel was created and if President Truman was thinking "this could help me with the Jewish-American vote", so be it because the man is a politician after all and all politicians weigh those considerations. But it doesn't mean they make decisions simply based on if it can help them politically.

I kinda like the other idea that was considered apparently by President Truman about a united Federal Republic that could include both Palestinian-Arabs and Jews. Where there would be a United Federal Republic that would include what is the State of Israel and the Commonwealth of Palestine today. Palestine is not a independent nation right now, but they aren't a province or state inside of Israel. They are somewhat independent inside of Israel without the full benefits of being an independent nation. But under this Federal Republic there would be a Jewish state and a Palestinian state inside of this Republic.

Under that type of system maybe Israeli's and Palestinians aren't fighting each other today except for the radical terrorists like Hamas. But instead living somewhat peacefully inside of this greater country with both states having autonomy over their own domestic affairs.

CBS News: 'President Gerald Ford Talks Ronald Reagan On Face The Nation in 1976'

Source:CBS News- President Gerald R. Ford (Republican, Michigan) talking to CBS News Face The Nation, in 1976.

"President Gerald Ford talks about the possible nomination of Ronald Reagan for president, and the possibility of Reagan as Ford's running mate on the June 6, 1976 edition of Face the Nation. Ford's eventual running mate was Robert Dole, and they lost to Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. (CBS NEWS)"  

From CBS News 

President Gerald Ford trying to run as a centrist in 1976 even though he had a pretty conservative record in Congress as a Representative from Grand Rapids, Michigan and as House Minority Leader. And then had a pretty conservative record as President especially when it came to fiscal policy and taxes. But also as it related to foreign policy and national security. But Ronald Reagan saw President Ford as not tough enough when it came to Russia and foreign policy in general and was a basis for running against him in 1976. 

You can also see this post at The FreeState, on Blogger.

CBS News: Governor Ronald Reagan- Talks President Gerald Ford: On Face the Nation in 1975

Source: CBS News-
Source:CBS News

I don't have the exact date on this, but I believe this is early 1975. The year I'm sure of and it was just after Ronald Reagan left the California Governor's Mansion as a two-term Governor of California. 1975 representing a new Congress with the next major national election being the 1976 presidential election. With the speculation in Washington being who was going to run for president. President Gerald Ford who inherited the job from President Richard Nixon in 1974 when President Nixon resigned. And would Ron Reagan run against the President or not in the Republican presidential primaries.

Associated Press: President Obama Chides House GOP For Pursuing Lawsuit

Barack Obama- The do nothing Republican House of Representatives.

I agree with the President when he says that House Republicans rather sue the President and try to go back in time and repeal legislation then do their jobs and address the issues of the country. Like fixing the Highway Trust Fund and that is just one example. But addressing the long-term infrastructure deficit in the country would be another one. That in the time they could've spent doing real things and making real contributions for their constituents, they've spent that time investigating things that are already known or currently already under investigation. Suing the President and going on recess and vacationing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Politico Magazine: Thomas E. Ricks- 'Why Am I Moving Left?'

Source:POLITICO Magazine- is Thomas Ricks moving Center-Left or Far-Left? Perhaps joining Occupy Wall Street?

“In my late 50s, at a time of life when most people are supposed to be drifting into a cautious conservatism, I am surprised to find myself moving steadily leftward.

This is unexpected. It comes even as I am financially comfortable and enjoying my work. (I’m writing this from my summer home in Maine.) I’m not a natural progressive—I spent the last quarter century covering the U.S. military, first for the Wall Street Journal and then for the Washington Post, and now for Foreign Policy magazine . I have written five books about the Marines, the Army and our wars.”

From Politico Magazine

So what I think Thomas Ricks is arguing here is that even though he’s spent most of his career covering the U.S. Military and national security state in Washington, the situation in the country is moving left.

Perhaps Ricks sees what’s called growing income inequality (or the wealth and education gaps) are a big problem and that status quo (which is what real Conservatives believe in conserving) is not working and we need to move left from that.

Ricks doesn’t say how we should address these issues and layout any policy proposals to how to deal with the issues that he laid out in his column. Just points out issues that he sees as problems and thinks the status quo to how we deal with these issues is not working. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Campaign For America's Future: Opinion: Digby: No Labels Gets a Label and It's Not Pretty

Campaign For America's Future: Opinion: Digby: No Labels Gets a Label and It's Not Pretty

No Labels even though I respect the goals of their group as far as trying to bring Congress together and get the chambers to work in a bipartisan bicameral fashion, the group has failed at least to this point. As Digby pointed out in her blog now four year in since John Avalon and others founded this group and if anything Congress is more partisan now. Rabid partisans in the Republican Party if anything hate President Barack Obama even more now. "It was bad enough that someone of his background gets elected President of the United States, but then gets reelected?"

Congressional Republicans and not all of them, but certainly the rabid partisans in the House especially have decided "we aren't going to work with the President on anything. Instead we are going to stop him whenever possible and try to sue/impeach him on anything that he tries to do without consulting us first. And are going to try to wait out his presidency and wait for the next President". This is now the attitude of the Tea Party Republicans at least in the House, but in the Senate with people like Ted Cruz. And to a large extent the Congressional Republican Leaderships in the House and Senate are buying into this.

And of course I'm not making the argument that "it's all the Republicans fault", but what I'm saying that is neither side is completely innocent and yes I am a Democrat. But I'm right here because Democrats have their own rabid partisan fringe they have to deal with when President Obama just announces any willingness to deal with Congressional Republicans especially in the House on anything. And if anything this environment has gotten worst since No Labels was created in 2010. Because again President Obama has been reelected, Democrats still control the Senate and the Tea Party has taken some losses.

But why has No Labels failed? Their whole notion and strategy was doomed for failure from the beginning. The idea that you take Republicans and Democrats regardless of their backgrounds and put them in a room and expect them to work together. Or somehow having them sit together during joint sessions of Congress when the House and Senate are together like at the State of the Union. That somehow this would bring the sides together and force them to forget that they are Democrats and Republicans and have another election coming up. And that if they work with the other side they'll get a primary opponent as their reward. Give me a break! That was a fantasy that was never going to work.

Again why has No Labels failed? The country is simply more partisan and divided politically than it was just five-years ago. That by itself is not the fault of No Labels. I blame that both on the political strategists of the Democratic Party and Republican Party at the state levels. And perhaps a certain extent at the national level with the gerrymandering and creating so many partisan House districts. But another problem is American voters themselves voting for the most partisan and ideological candidates possible who do not run for office to govern, but to beat the other side. Instead of voting for mainstream candidates and incumbents in both parties who are there to govern.

I don't have a solution for the rabid-partisanship of the country other than to say Americans need to wake up and decide do they want their public officials to govern. Or to beat the other side and decide which one is more important. If you vote for people who want to govern and create positive change for the country, we'll see less partisanship as a result. You vote for the guy or gal who simply is looking to "hold the other side accountable" which is a common phrase with both Republicans and Democrats, the rabid-partisanship will just continue and get worst.

George H.W. Bush & Ronald Reagan: Debating Illegal Immigration at a 1980 GOP Presidential Debate

George Bush and Ronald Reagan both essentially arguing for some type of comprehensive immigration reform in the form of what is called a guest worker program. Where workers from lets say Mexico can some into America and work most likely jobs that Americans do not want to do and won't do. Pay taxes on that income here making probably a lot more than they could make in Mexico. But then need to go home when the season is over for the job they have here.

The American Mind: Video: Charles Kessler Interviewing Dennis Prager: "The Religion of the Left"

Just to sort of point out the obvious. There is no one religion of the Left and Dennis Prager doesn't seem to understand that because his idea of a leftist is essentially a Communist, or other some type of collectivist statist on the Left who sees the role of government to protect and take care of people to look after the general welfare of everyone. Instead of allowing free people the freedom and responsibility to manage their own affairs. That branch of the Left obviously exists and this blog covers that at least once a week now. But that is not the entire Left.

Now where I agree with Dennis Prager and is one example of why I respect the man at least to some degree. Is how he talked about what he calls leftist (again what is that) and differentiating that from liberalism. Instead of saying that "Liberals are collectivists and statists to their core. But who are against the military, law enforcement, religion and private enterprise". He said that people who he calls leftists are that instead.

And the other point that Prager made about John Kennedy saying that he was "a Liberal who believed in lower taxes, strong defense, individual freedom and opportunity" and so forth. Well guess what all Liberals believe in those things, otherwise we wouldn't be Liberals and liberal wouldn't be that beautiful word that Prager describes it as. I'm a Liberal and a Leftist which puts me on the center-left of the American political spectrum. Those collectivists that Prager is always putting down and critiquing are on the far-left in America even though they look mainstream at least in Scandinavia.

CBS News: John Dickerson: President Jimmy Carter's 'Malaise Speech'

Source:CBS News- President James E. Carter (Democrat, Georgia) delivering his 1979 crisis of confidence speech, at The White House.

"Over thirty years ago, Jimmy Carter gave his famous "malaise speech," in which the president said the country's economic woes were in part due to a "crisis of confidence." CBS News political analyst John Dickerson dug up this archives clip from 1979." 

From CBS News

I covered most of this yesterday, but John Dickerson's comment about President Carter's speech being "tone-death" was spot on. This speech sounded like a President who was out of ideas and that his administration was also out of ideas. That they tried everything they could think of to fix the economy and that nothing was getting through. But that they also wanted to get reelected and had to do something drastic which was to try to put the blame on the American people for the problems with the economy. And telling them they were spending too much money and blaming the bad economy on materialism. 

You can also see this post at FRS FreeState, on Blogger.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Dish: Andrew Sullivan- 'Why Am I Moving Left?'

Source: The Dish
Source:The Dish

Whatever Andrew Sullivan is calling himself these days, I still consider him to be a Conservative. Conservative Libertarian even if that makes you feel better. Because similar to Barry Goldwater it is not that conservatism has changed, but similar to liberalism it is the people who call themselves Conservatives or Liberals that have changed. Using the old labels and throwing out the classical ideology and putting in something that is more comfortable with their ideological perspective.

Today's Conservative is someone who's supposed to believe that the Federal Government should decide who can and can't marry.

That deficits and debt doesn't matter except when there is a Democratic administration.

That tax cuts automatically pay for itself.

That America can afford to and must police the world.

Security before liberty.

That expanding government into the economy is a good thing if it is done with private market principles.

The Second Amendment is not only absolute, but the only absolute Constitutional Amendment that we have. Meaning it isn't subjected to any form of regulation.

That there's so such thing as waste in the Defense Department. Even though it is a government agency run by bureaucrats. And no limits to what America can spend on defense.

Corporation's are people.

Andrew Sullivan's politics hasn't changed. He believes the same things that he did probably twenty years ago. But what has changed is the Republican Party and the broader American Right. To the point that Sullivan looks moderate to liberal or libertarian by comparison. But conservatism today is what it was when Barry Goldwater put it on the map in 1964. That big government is government that interferes in the economic and personal affairs of Americans. Whether it is taxing a lot of their money from them to spend on their behalf. Or trying to run their personal lives for them.

The modern rightist or Republican or what I call rabid partisans on the right do not resemble what it means to be a Conservative. Because as much as they may talk about how much they love the Constitution they spend as much time trying to change it. Instead of being about conserving individual freedom both economic and personal. Limited government, that government closest to home is the best government. Defend America first with a limited foreign policy. Not try to police the world ourselves. And keeping spending down so we don't rack up large deficits and debt.

The rabid partisan is against Barack Obama no matter what even if they are actually in favor of it. Instead of fixing problems looking to blame President Obama for everything that has happened since the Earth was created. It is not that conservatism has changed, but the far-right that used to be so small in the Republican Party that they looked like a group of people who want to outlaw eating meat. Where today they have enough power to decide if the Republican Party can win elections or not. Sullivan is still Sullivan, but his party has changed.
The Free Speech Project: Speaking Freely With Andrew Sullivan

Salon: Joshua Sager: 'GOP's 30-Year Spin Job is Over: We Are Not a Center-Right Nation'

Source:Salon Magazine- The two faces of American conservatism? I don't think so, but you're welcome to differ.

"It is a persistent belief among many in the political and media establishments, fed by decades of right-wing propaganda, that the United States is a “center-right nation” that finds progressives to be far too liberal for mainstream positions of power. "

From Salon 

"RT (formerly Russia Today) is a state-controlled international television network funded by the Russian federal tax budget.[5][6] It operates pay television channels directed to audiences outside of Russia, as well as providing Internet content in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, and Russian.

RT operates as a multilingual service with conventional channels in five languages: the original English-language channel was launched in 2005, the Arabic-language channel in 2007, Spanish in 2009, German in 2014 and French in 2017. RT America (since 2010),[7] RT UK (since 2014) and other regional channels also offer some locally based content." 

From Wikipedia 

"When does the Democratic Party do best? When it champions the progressive policies and causes that will build a stronger America. With the fiscal cliff negotiations heating up - will Democrats heed the advice of FDR - and stick to the party's progressive roots?" 

Source:Russia Today- A Big Picture With Thom Hartmann.

From Russia Today

First of all just to comment on Joshua Sager's column in the Salon (which is hardly a center-left publication)  Joshua's Sager's idea of a center-left America looks like, well Sweden. A country of roughly nine-million people which doesn't have nearly the amount of diversity across the board that a huge country like America has. That is essentially a country of Social Democrats and other Socialists. Where their center-right party looks like Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson, not Barry Goldwater ideologically.

What is center-left in one country is not necessarily center-left in another country. Especially when you are comparing a small country with a huge country. The amount of what could be called Scandinavian Social Democrats in America including Salon, The Nation, AlterNet and other far-left publications in America might add up to 30-40 million Americans in a country of roughly three-hundred and fifteen-,million people. Sure, bigger than a bathroom at a gas station, but still small in a country of over 300 million people. 

In Sweden their population of nine-million people or Scandinavia as a hole of twenty-five million people or so the number of Social Democrats in that entire region might be the entire region. Sweden is sort of divided between Marxist Socialists and and Bernie Sanders Social Democrats.

But where I agree with Josh Sager is that America is a center-left country and the idea that we are center-right and that depends on how you define center-right as well, has been proven false over the last 5-10 years. 

Americans like economic freedom and personal freedom as well. They believe in things like public education and economic opportunity for people who are disadvantage economically. And believe that government has a role to play in seeing that Americans who need it get a hand up so they can make it in America. They believe in things like public infrastructure investment, public education, regulating business, protecting workers and consumers.

And if you look at the issues and a big reason why the Republican Party is in so much trouble today and can't find enough candidates to win Republican leaning Senate seats to win back the Senate and win back the White House is because the country has moved left as the Republican Party has moved right. But we haven't gone from a Barry Goldwater center-right country to a Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein social democratic Far-Left country. 

Right now we are in the land of Clinton politically this center-left New Democratic era. That says: "Government isn't the problem or the solution. But when used effectively in a limited way can play a positive role in most Americans lives."

American Thinker: Scott Mayer- Goldwater 2.0 and 'Smart Conservatives'

Source:Amazon- Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative.

"Two prominent authors from the conservative side of the aisle have recently written thought-provoking articles highlighting Barry Goldwater’s particular brand of conservatism and how it relates to politics in 2014.  But I must admit the stark contrast between the two pieces has me a little befuddled.

The first article as written by Jeffrey Lord in The American Spectator makes the case that based upon what America has today become -- Goldwater and his limited-government message has been vindicated...

"From the documentary "Mr. Conservative: Goldwater On Goldwater" (2006)" 

Source:Moon Rogue- Washington Post Conservative columnist George Will, talking about Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater, as part of the 2006 HBO documentary Mr. Conservative.

From Moon Rogue

I'm not sure what Scott Mayer means by "Smart Conservative" and I read his entire post on the American Thinker. So I'll give you my own interpretation of what a Smart Conservative is. It would be a real Conservative classical Conservative if you will. Not someone who bashes big government with one hand as they are trying to expand it on the other hand. Like with President George W. Bush in the early 2000s with No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act and later the Medicare prescription drug expansion which by the way wasn't paid for.

Or today's so-called Conservatives who sound like Ron Paul when it comes to the welfare state and putting down government involvement in the economy. While at the same time wanting to expand government when it comes to the Federal Government regulating marriage to prevent gays from getting married. Or trying to outlaw pornography from the Federal level. Or trying to keep the failed War on Drugs alive at the federal level. Representative Michele Bachmann (thank God she's leaving Congress at the end of this year) comes to mind as a fake Conservative.

Similar to Ronald Reagan Barry Goldwater suffers from a case of cherry picker's disease. People who claim to love the man and say they are that type of Republican or Conservative. But only based that love and affection on a handful of issues and policies. They cherry pick what they love about them and ignore their disagreements with them on issues they disagree on. Or even worst try to convince people that their political idols don't actually believe in what they believed.

The fact is Barry Goldwater doesn't represent the Republican Party of today. But at best a wing of the party the conservative libertarian wing of the party that may be strong enough to nominate their first Republican presidential candidate since 1964 in 2016. And of course I'm thinking of Senator Rand Paul and you see other Conservative Libertarians in Congress along with Senator Paul like Senator Mike Lee, Senator Ron Johnson, Senator Jeff Flake, Representative Justin Amash and Representative Walter Jones who represent this wing of the party in Congress as well.

But Barry Goldwater even though he probably is the father of the modern conservatism today and back then that type of conservatism is a classical form of it. The real thing which is how I would put it that truly believes in limited government and federalism and just doesn't cherry pick where they support limited government based on things they like and dislike. But believes the individual and states should be making of the decisions about their own affairs when it comes to both domestic and personal issues. Instead of those key and personal decisions being micro-managed from Washington.

Daniel JB Mitchell: Video: National Health Insurance Debate Under Nixon

President Richard Nixon's health care reform plan that he proposed in 1974, just another example of how President Nixon was ahead of his time and his plan looks very similar to what became the Affordable Care Act in 2010, or what is labeled as ObamaCare especially by its opponents. But the Nixon plan expanded health insurance through the private sector by helping people who couldn't afford health insurance on their own, but not poor enough for Medicaid get financial help to purchase private health insurance.

Senator Ted Kennedy's health care plan was what a lot of Progressive Democrats and Democrats even further left than that in Congress wanted during the 2009-10 health care reform debate that produced the Affordable Care Act. Which is Medicare for all and outlawing private health insurance companies. Making our health care system look very similar to what Canada has. With perhaps leaving private doctors and hospitals in place.

James Miller Center: President Jimmy Carter: Crisis of Confidence Speech (July 15, 1979)

Just to start out and to give you an idea of where I'm coming from. This is one of the most depressing speeches in American history. Especially coming from the President of the United States and coming from someone with the intellect of a Jimmy Carter. Not saying it was one of the worst speeches, or it was even a bad speech. Because he did make some good points about how the country was doing at this time in the summer of 1979 one of the worst summer's the country has ever gone through economically and perhaps in general.

But the problem with the country or even lack of confidence had nothing to do with the people itself. But the actual economy with the runaway inflation and interest rates, the energy crisis that made us look like a third world country in a country with all of the natural resources that we have. This crisis had nothing to do with materialism, or people being selfish, but what it was about the fact that a lot of Americans were unemployed, or seeing their business's fail and finding themselves on public assistance for the first time in their lives.

What President Carter was doing instead of focusing on the true economic challenges that the country was going through instead was trying to put the blame on the American people and suggesting that they were selfish and materialistic. Which obviously didn't play well which is what we see from the polling data after the speech where President Carter's poll numbers went down even further. So this speech was ineffective and if anything cost the President political power.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The New York Times: Editorial Board: End Marijuana Prohibition

The New York Times: Editorial Board: Repeal Marijuana Prohibition

I believe The New York Times hits the nail on the head by why they believe marijuana prohibition should be ended. Other than saying that "marijuana is clearly less dangerous than alcohol". I don't believe that has been proven yet, but we do know the side-effects and risks are similar. Which tells me that you either prohibit both of them, or legalize both of them. But you don't prohibit one of them because they have a strong lobbying force advocating against marijuana prohibition. Which are the alcohol, tobacco, junk food makers and Prison Industrial Complex who would all lose a hell of a lot of money to marijuana legalization.

The arguments against marijuana legalization are tired and old. Because they could be used against either alcohol or tobacco. Especially alcohol when you say things like. "Marijuana can be addictive, or leads to harder drugs, over-consumption is dangerous, it can lead to other crimes and car accidents". You replace marijuana with alcohol and you are talking about the same side-effects. So I'm not buying that and besides it is not the job of government to protect people from themselves. But to regulate how we interact with each other. Meaning protecting innocent people from predators and punishing those who hurt innocent people.

The Times gets the federalist argument correct on this and speaking as a Liberal Federalist myself (and yes there is such a thing) that instead legalizing at the national level and attempting to prohibit states and localities from keeping marijuana prohibition in place that instead you let the states and localities make these decisions for themselves. And let them figure it out for themselves which is exactly what is happening with gambling and same-sex-marriage and I believe at least at same point with prostitution as well.

The New York Times is a progressive paper with a few right-wing writers like David Brooks and Ross Douhat. Which means they could've taken the personal freedom or social liberal approach by saying "that marijuana is personal or freedom of choice issue". Or they could've taken the progressive paternalistic nanny statist approach which is what alcohol prohibition and the War on Drugs is based on. But they got it right this time and I expect people in power on sides of the political spectrum will take them seriously.

Friday, July 25, 2014

PBS: NewsHour- Shields and Brooks on President Obama’s Handling of the Border Crisis, Mideast Violence

As far as the border crisis the issue I believe is fairly simple to resolve. Governor Rick Perry finally called up the Texas National Guard after claiming for weeks he wanted to do that, but never actually acting on it. The President has sent up a bill to Congress to deal with the humanitarian crisis and get the Border Control the resources it needs to help secure the border. The Senate plans to take it up before Congress goes on recess, but will probably pass a smaller bill. The House doesn't seem to have the votes to do anything about it.

As far as Gaza, Israel and Hamas. Again I covered this yesterday, but as long as Hamas is in the picture there will never be peace between Israel and Palestine. Because Hamas doesn't want peace and their only goal is for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel to create a united Palestinian Islamic State. And as long as they are strong enough to hurt Israel they are going to do exactly that. Israel will certainly never surrender and the only way you get Hamas to end their part of the conflict. Is either destroying them, or making them weak enough where they feel they need a short-term peace.

Kanaal Van Datruiktumeneer: The Doors at The Roadhouse 1968

Source: Kanaal Van Datruiktumeneer- Jim Morrison-
Source: Kanaal Van Datruiktumeneer: The Doors at The Roadhouse 1968

At least the early part of this concert sounds like the Oliver Stone version of The Doors from 1991 with Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison. With The Lizard King drunk and wasted and barely being able to stand up and move around without losing his balance. And giving an awful performance in Miami, Florida and finally getting frustrated and starts cursing at the audience. Which is a true story and one of the few things that the Oliver Stone movie portrayed accurately. The New Haven concert would be another one. The actual Live in London concert was very good and you get to Jim Morrison and The Doors (as I call them) at their best. With The Lizard King at his best in his classic rock and roll uniform the black leather suit, concho belt and cowboy boots that he put on the rock and roll map himself. Which is about an hour long that I have on DVD. They play everything and Morrison is brilliant on the vocals and very entertaining as well.

Liberty Pen: Glenn Beck & Andrew Napolitano: The Future of the Republican Party

Source:Liberty Pen- Judge Andrew Napolitano.

“Glenn Beck and Andrew Napolitano converse about big government, foreign entanglements and the future of the Republican party. Liberty Pen

From Liberty Pen 

If you want to know what the definition of Libertarian or Conservative-Libertarian is, Judge Andrew Napolitano just gave it in this video. “The best government is the government that governs least.” And then he went onto say: “If you take that a step further, the best government is the government that does nothing, then you have chaos.”

Just to show how different Judge Napolitano’s definition of Libertarian, from let’s say a lot of so-called, young Libertarians today, who are probably primarily Millennial’s and in some cases Gen-Xers, the young Libertarians today, sound like anarchists. Everything that government does (according to them) is unconstitutional, including law enforcement and the military.

Andrew Napolitano, doesn’t want to eliminate government. He wants to eliminate the New Deal, the Progressive Era, Great Society, and the civil rights laws. He wants America to be strong at home so it can defend itself from a foreign invader and have the law enforcement and military that can do it. But he’s not looking to eliminate government all together.

You can also see this post on WordPress.

The Book Archive: S.E. Cupp & Brett Joshpe on Conservative Ideas in American Life and Popular Culture From 2008

At least to me S.E. Cupp and I'm not familiar with Brett Joshpe, but S.E. to me looks like a real Barry Goldwater get big government out of our wallets, bedrooms, classrooms and boardrooms Conservative. Who doesn't want to outlaw anything that she disapproves of and wouldn't personally be involved with. Like certain times of entertainment, language, homosexuality, gambling and perhaps even marijuana and same-sex-marriage. That she and young Conservatives are the hope for the Republican Party in the future as the country is becoming more tolerant and individualistic. And even liberal and libertarian.

Senate Democrats: John Tester: Taking Care Of Veterans Is A Cost Of War

Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator John Tester with the lines of the veterans affairs debate. Senator Bernie Sanders, "that if you can afford to send your soldiers to war, you can afford to take care of them when they come back". And the one from Senator Tester "taking care of veterans is a cost of going to war". Something that House Republicans or at least the Tea Party Caucus has either forgotten or simply doesn't understand. That it apparently it was easy for them to run up the national credit card during the Iraq War. But guess what that bill has come due and its time to pay and they don't seem to want to pay the bills.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

RAND: With the Death Toll Rising is Gaza, is There Any Hope For Peace?

Source: RAND-

Here is one of the few times that I've ever agreed with Senator Lindsay Graham on anything. As long as Hamas is part of any Palestinian government there will never be peace between Israel and Palestine. Because Israel will always feel the need and rightfully so to occupy at least parts of Palestine especially Gaza in order to make Israel as secure as possible. So if you want peace between Israel and Palestine, you need to get Hamas out of the picture as part of any government coalition and treat them like the terrorists that they are.

I don't claim to be an expert on Israel and Palestine because I'm not. But I believe I have a short-term solution in how to end the conflict there. You make the West Bank an independent country from Israel which would be Palestine or the early days on an Independent State of Palestine with the West Bank Palestinian government in complete control there of the governing there. Including security, armed forces, foreign relations, their own currency there.

Then Israel working together with Palestine and perhaps in coalition of NATO they takeout Hamas in Gaza so Hamas is no longer able to control Gaza in any way. And once Hamas is out of picture Israel and Palestine can once again talk about the final solution and territorial rights of both countries with the West Bank and Gaza now under complete governing control of the Independent State of Palestine. With Hamas out of the picture as part of any governing coalition.
Al Jazeera: Gaza Death Doll Continues To Rise

CBS News: Video: See it Now: Edward R. Murrow on Senator Joe McCarthy: No Fear From 1954

This was not commentary on Edward R. Murrow's part, but Ed Murrow accurately describing the dangerous actions of Senator Joe McCarthy who was the Chairman of the Select Committee on Communists in Government. Not the exact title, but close enough and what Murrow was doing was explaining how dangerous this type of fascism on the Senator's part was to our American values of Freedom of Assembly and Speech. That Americans shouldn't be judged by who we associate with, or what we think, but by how live our lives as Americans.

American Thinker: Barry Goldwater: The Birth of Modern Conservatism

I agree with Bruce Walker that Barry Goldwater represents the birth of modern conservatism and that he and Bill Buckley are probably the fathers of modern conservatism. Similar to how I believe Wendell Willkie and Jack Kennedy to me are the fathers of modern liberalism which is the topic for another post. But perhaps where I disagree with Bruce Walker is what it exactly means to be a Conservative. That it is not about conserving a way of life and telling Americans through government force even "that this is how we live and this is they way you should live to".

Individual freedom which so-called Conservatives and real Conservatives along with Libertarians talk about all the time is exactly that. The individual freedom for individuals to live their own lives and not have government down their back regulating how they live their own lives. We are not talking about individual collectivism and the nanny state imposing regulations in how Americans should live their own lives. Barry Goldwater was a true individualist because he actually did believe in individual freedom.

The post I wrote yesterday about Traditional Values Conservatives is not the modern classical conservative movement that was fathered by Barry Goldwater and a few others. The Traditional Values Coalition is truly a collectivist movement at least when it comes to society and culture and how Americans should live their own lives. What Barry Goldwater and his followers believed was that Americans should have individual freedom both economic and personal the right for people to make their own decisions about their lives. And he was against both the welfare state and the nanny state  and wasn't political allies with the Christian Right that later emerged in the Republican Party.

And had the modern Republican Party took the Goldwater route in building their new national party instead of the Christian Right route they would be much further along today politically. Because that is where Americans are now believers in individualism that Americans should be free to live their own lives as long as they aren't hurting innocent people. As you see with the supporters of Ron Paul and Rand Paul where they both get so much of their support from young Americans.

The National Jacob Heilbrunn Interviewing Senator Tim Kaine: Reforming the Relationship of Congress & the President When it comes to Use of Military Force

The National Interest: Jacob Heilbrunn Interviewing Senator Tim Kaine

This might be or might not be common knowledge at least for Americans who live outside of the Washington Beltway and don't follow American politics and current affairs closely, but the United States hasn't officially declared war since World War II. Which essentially means every military conflict that America has been involved in since where we our using our own military force has been unconstitutional. One of the reasons why the War Powers Act was created I believe in 1973 was that so future American use of force would at the very least be legal. The Vietnam War had a lot to do with that.

I believe part of the problem is that we don't have a real definition of war and war conflict. I think most Americans understand what war is, but we don't have an official definition of war. America was clearly involved in the Libyan Civil War that I supported in 2011 with our non fly zone to protect the Libyan rebels and people from their own government, but officially and perhaps legally we weren't at war. The War in Iraq was obviously a war and the same thing with our involvements in Kosovo in the late 1990s. But the President didn't seek permission from Congress to go to war.

Congress did pass a Congressional resolution that granted President George H.W. Bush permission to go to war with Iraq in the early 1990s to get the Hussein Regime out of Kuwait. And Congress granted President George W. Bush permission to use military force against Iraq in 2002 which led to the War in Iraq. But the President in both cases didn't ask Congress to declare war which is required under the U.S. Constitution and Congress didn't declare war in either case.

The War Powers Act has served it's purpose when it comes to the President of the United States. To give that person the flexibility to respond to military crisis's around the world, or when America is actually attacked either at home or abroad. But it is overdone and is leaving Congress almost powerless to even conduct oversight of these operations and has left Americans who end up having to pay for these military operations out of the loop as far as what is being done with their money. Because the President can essentially declare war and apparently not even have to tell anyone. With Congress left ninety days later with an up and down question of whether or not to support the troops or not.

Senator Tim Kaine makes a good point about why the Congress that he's a member of is so unpopular. And part of that is because the House and Senate duck tough questions so they don't have to take clear stances on the issues that can hurt them in the next election. And foreign affairs and national security is a perfect example of that. So I agree with him at the very least it is time for Congress to reform the War Powers Act if not repeal it.

What I would like to do is create a War Power Act for the 21st Century that would include both the President of the United States and the National Security Council, but Congress as well. And part of that would be a Congressional National Security Council that would include the House Speaker, House Majority Leader, House Minority Leader and their deputy, the Senate Leader and their deputy, the Senate Minority Leader and their deputy. Along with the chairman and ranking member of the Congressional national security committees. House and Senate Armed Services, House Foreign Affairs, Senate Foreign Relations, House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

The President would first have to consult with the Congressional National Security Council before proposing to Congress about using military force. And give them the briefing and intelligence on what they see and what they want to do and how they would go about trying to accomplish it. The CNSC would have access to the same intelligence and briefings that the President, Vice President and National Security Council gets. And once that is done the CNSC would way in on what they think about what the President wants to have permission to use military force for and give the President an idea about how much support they would get in Congress for authorization for use of military force.

After briefing the CNSC the President either way whether the CNSC approves his request for military force or not could ask Congress to approve it or not. And Congress would have a window to approve or disapprove the authorization or not. But no longer would the President just be able to use military force without consulting Congress even the leaders and national security leaders. With Congress weighing in ninety days later. With the exception of when America is actually attacked either at home or abroad then the ninety day exception would still be in place.

Constitution Daily: Lyle Denniston: 'The Constitution Outside The Courts: The U.S. Sentencing Commission'

From Constitution Daily

Making punishment fit the crime should be an obvious statement if it isn't, but if you look at our criminal justice system that of course is not always the case. We have thousands if not more people doing five years or more for simple drug possession and in a lot of times that is their first offense. Look at the War on Drugs where we have thousands of people doing long sentences again for drug possession, or selling small amounts of marijuana and other illegal narcotics. Doing long sentences for selling things that people want to buy, have and use.

And anyone still wondering why we have two-million or more people in prison in America? I sure as hell am not and by the way we have the largest prison population in the developed world. And we are supposed to be this beacon of freedom and great free society this liberal democracy that everyone else wants to be. It is hard to make the case that we are those great things when we have so many people in prison that do not represent major if any threats to society and are doing time in a lot of cases for what they did to themselves. Or providing services that others wanted from them.

I'm not a fan of illegal narcotics including marijuana even though I do support marijuana legalization. I'm not a fan of gambling or prostitution. But just because I don't like these activities doesn't mean I want to arrest people who choose to engage in them. There are much better more cost effective ways to dealing with activities that come with high risks including tobacco, junk food and soft drinks than arresting people and locking them up for engaging in those activities. It is called regulation to make sure non-adults aren't involved in them and making sure that adults who are involved in them know what they are getting into.

And I'm referring to gambling and prostitution mostly. But with lets dangerous products that people choose to use like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, soft drinks and junk food instead of expanding the War on Drugs which is what some nanny statists on the progressive Left want to do. Again regulate them so people know exactly what they are consuming and tax them for it so Americans who choose to live healthy don't get stuck with the health care bills of people who choose not to live healthy.

But that is just one way to cut the prison population and create that free society and liberal democracy that a lot of Americans on the Left and Right do want. Another way would be to say "prison and jail are not always the answers and they aren't always the first answers either". When we are talking about low-level offenses and instead look at halfway houses, community housing, community service, probational release where offenders aren't free or in incarcerated, but living in a halfway house type environment as they are also working so they can pay their rent outside of the home. And getting treated for why they are there in the first place.

We put in policies like this and we'll have all of the jail and prison space needed for real hardcore criminals that need to be in prison. Violent offenders and organize criminals, but also white collar criminals who represent a serious threat to the economy and Americans economic wellbeing. Instead of having so many overcrowded prisons in America full of not only people that we have to have in prison, but with offenders who do not need to be there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Foreign Policy: Opinion- Tom Ricks: Want a Better U.S. Military? First Make it Smaller: Why America Can't Police the World

Source: Foreign Policy-
Source:Foreign Policy

If you truly believe in a strong American military and that it is essential for not only America to be safe, but for us to play our part in seeing that the rest of world has a shot at living in peace and you are not part of the anti-military far-left, or anti-military libertarian-right, or the America police the world Neoconservative Right, then you believe there are and has to be limits to what we put our military and our service people through in seeing that we accomplish those goals of a secure America and a safer world.

Theoretically any country that controls it's own currency which is most of the world outside of the European Union can borrow and print money indefinitely to finance their military and other governmental operations. Well until their currency is so weak that it becomes essentially worthless. Borrowing money is just that and when you run up debt you have to pay that back even if it is a little bit at a time. Even if your national government doesn't pay the debt back that debt gets passed down to its taxpayers in the form of higher interest rates. Everything that government does has costs including the military.

And based on this when countries figure out their national budgets every year they have to look at what they need to finance. The money available to finance those operations including the military and what they can afford to spend on those public investments. The military is always part of any national budget and the key word being budget. Even the United States has to budget it's military and we simply can't afford to police the world anymore based on previous debt we've already run up and the current shape of our military.

Which means other countries especially developed countries have to play their part in securing their own national defense. And I'm thinking of Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea to use as examples. Which means American taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for the national defense for people who aren't willing to pay for their own national defense. And I'm thinking of Europe especially, but Japan is another big one. And what we should be telling those countries is that "we still want to be your allies and work with you and even help you be able to defend yourself like with training and equipment. But those things aren't free and you are going to have to compensate us for those resources".

We should get our military out of Europe and Japan and even Saudi Arabia and Korea and perhaps have a fleet of ships in the water nearby in case there are some new developments and threats that emerge in those countries. That no one could see coming that would pay us to do for them. But America has its own problems and we need to be rebuilding America and getting our own economic and fiscal houses in order and demanding that countries that can afford to pay for their own national defense do exactly that.
Hill Center: Tom Ricks- U.S. Military Leadership in Decline

The Nation: Bryce Covert: We're Arresting Poor Mothers For Our Own Failures

The Nation: Opinion: Bryce Covert: We're Arresting Poor Mothers For Our Own Failures

I actually agree with Bryce Covert that if we are going require Welfare mothers (for lack of a better term) single mothers on Welfare to work which is what I believe, than we as taxpayers should not only pay for their education so they can finish their education and get a good job, but also subsidize their childcare at least in the short-term so their kids are looked after. While their mom's are either in school, going to job interviews, or working.

Which is why I'm against cutting money for public assistance in order to pay down the debt and deficit. The debt and deficit are serious issues that have to be addressed especially in the long-term and we shouldn't be adding to either in the short-term. But cutting public assistance to pay down debt is not the way to go. You don't cut people who can't survive without your help and put into horrible situations where they may decide to make desperate decisions in order to comply with their Welfare requirements.

I actually wrote a blog about expiring Food Assistance benefits last November as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act. You don't cut Food Assistance simply because more Americans need it. Or cut public housing because more Americans need it. Or cut Medicaid because more Americans need it. Or any other type of public assistance simply because more Americans need it. There are better more cost-effective ways to reform those programs that doesn't require hurting people who need that assistance.

Yes require people on public assistance especially Welfare to work so they don't get the attitude that they don't have to work in order to take care of themselves. Unless they are disabled, but do it in a humane cost-effective way that benefits the country as a whole economically especially them and their kids. By providing them with financial assistance to finish their education so they can get themselves a good job. But also childcare so someone is looking after their kids while they are in school, in job interviews, or are working.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960