Politics Archives

Name That Party

Which political party has this as its platform?

Meet the Needs of Working, Unemployed and Farm Families
– Raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour.
-Unemployment insurance for all workers.
– Moratorium on farm foreclosures
– Labor law reform to remove barriers to workers who want to join a union.
– No privatization of Social Security. Increase benefits.
– Universal prescription drug coverage administered by Medicare. Universal health care system.
– Restore social safety net. Welfare reform that includes job training, supports and living wages.
– Full funding for equal, quality, bi-lingual public education. No vouchers.

Make Corporate Giants Pay
– Repeal tax cuts to the rich and corporations.
– Close corporate tax loopholes.
– Restitution to workers’ pensions.
– Strong regulation of financial industry.
– Regulation and public ownership of utilities
– Prosecute corporate polluters. Public works program to clean our air, water and land
– Aid to cities and states. Federally funded infrastructure repair and social service programs

Foreign Policy for Peace and Justice
– No to war with Iraq – End military interventions
– Repeal Fast Track and NAFTA, stop Free Trade Area of the Americas(FTAA). No secrecy.
– Save Salt II Agreements, reject Star Wars and Nuclear Posture Review
-Abolish nuclear weapons
– End military interventions.
– Cut military budget and fund human needs.

Defend Democracy and Civil Rights
– End racial profiling.
– Repeal the death penalty.
– Enforce civil rights laws and affirmative action.
– Repeal USA Patriot Act.
– Legalization and protection of immigrant rights.
– Public financing of elections. Overall election law reform including Instant Runoff Voting.
– Youth and student bill of rights. Guarantee youth’s right to earn,learn and live.

Click here to find out.  Amazing how closely it tracks the platform of the major party you probably thought it belonged to.  You can probably pick out the individual items, or groups of them, and argue that they are good policy regardless of who approves of them.  However, it does make you wonder, with so much in common, if the destination of the two parties hasn’t always been the same place, especially since, in very recent days, some folks have been tipping their hand.


Mormons Join the Calif. Gay Marriage Fray

While other Christian groups and denominations may have doctrinal issues with the Latter-day Saints, they do line up on a number of political issues.

SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is asking California members to join the effort to amend that state’s constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

A letter sent to Mormon bishops and signed by church president Thomas S. Monson and his two top counselors calls on Mormons to donate "means and time" to the ballot measure. A note on the letter dated June 20 says it should be read during church services on June 29, but the letter was published Saturday on several Web sites.

Church spokesman Scott Trotter said Monday that the letter was authentic. He declined further comment, saying the letter explains the church’s reasons for getting involved.

The LDS church will work with a coalition of churches and other conservative groups that put the California Marriage Protection Act on the Nov. 4 ballot to assure its passage, the letter states.

In May, California’s Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, saying gays could not be denied marriage licenses.

"The church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children," the four-paragraph letter states.

Mormons say they have 750,000 member in California, who could have a big impact.

What’s not clear in all of this, regardless of the addition of the Mormons to the fray, is how California will deal with the genie they’ve already let out of the bottle; what to do with marriage licenses that the amendment would directly affect.  This quandary, brought to you by Judicial Activism(tm), is the result of liberals in government not letting the legislative process do its work and trying to usurp it.  Some complained here in Georgia that the constitutional amendment that passed here was unnecessary since we already had a law against same-sex marriage.  The California situation is a prime object lesson for why that argument was, at least, disingenuous. 

[tags]California,Latter-Day Saints,Mormons,same-sex marriage[/tags]

Turned Around

When Reagan won the election in ’80, New York Times Film Critic Pauline Kael famously remarked in amazement, “How could he have won? I don’t know anyone who voted for him.”

I’ve heard it’s the case that “people are really excited” by Mr Obama’s candidacy … however like Ms Kael, I’ve never met a anyone like that … except by proxy on  blogs.

I guess I have to “get out more” … or not.

Lessons in "The Market"

Learned by Josh Marshall, lefty blogger at Talking Points Memo. First, he starts out the post being inspired.

I happened yesterday on this article in The Atlantic by Jonathan Rauch about the Chevy Volt. GM is throwing tons of resources into a breakneck schedule to produce an electric powered car that is dramatically more advanced than the hybrids currently on the market. The question is whether they can have the technology developed in time for release date.

It’s sort of inspiring to see an American company try something so ambitious.

American companies try ambitious things all the time. Energy companies might try this more often, if there wasn’t the ever-present concern that their return-on-investment might get sucked away by the government as “windfall profit”. The freedom to innovate while keeping the fruits of your labor, and responding to needs by the consumer, is a feature of what we call “the market”. Familiarizing oneself with the concept would be very helpful in the current economic climate.

Josh then finds in himself a newfound concern about alternative energy sources. Despite his upbringing, he says, he was never really focused on it much.

But that’s changed over the last several months: most of the key issues that face us today, from environmental issues proper, to our geostrategic position vs. other great powers and the future of our economy, all turn on our reliance on fossil fuels. Not just ‘foreign’ ones, all of them.

And what has likely contributed heavily to this rediscovered concern? How about the gas prices that have been rising quickly over “the last several month”? But that’s nothing to be ashamed of. The price of an item is an amazing bit of information that gives suppliers knowledge of short-term future demand, gives consumers an incentive to buy more or less of a product, and, depending on the price itself, gives innovators an incentive to come up with new and better way to supply the need. This is a feature of what we call “the market”. (Detect a pattern here?)

This is instead of nationalizing the particular industry or forcing the price to an artificially lower value which could easily bring about shortages (just ask Venezuelans) and stifle innovation. I mean, a new source of a product just may cost a bit more as it’s getting ramped up, and forcing existing prices lower make consumers less likely to make the transition, unless you force them to do so. The keyword here, which must be used over and over again, is “force”. And when your government is forcing all of your economic decisions on you, this is a feature of what we call “socialism”.

Would Marshall know the free market it if jumped out and bit him? I think it just did, but according to the title of his post, he’s “shocked, shocked”. Likely that’s an intentional pun on the Chevy Volt subject, but his surprise at seeing American innovation, and his lack of understanding of his changing attitudes tells me that he apparently doesn’t recognize the source of those teeth marks.

[tags]Josh Marshall,free market,economics,supply and demand,oil industry,socialism,communism[/tags]

Shire Network News #134, Hosted by Yours Truly

Normally I don’t mention new episodes of the Shire Network News podcast here, since it’s not directly related to this blog.  However, this week I hosted the show, so if you ever wanted to hear a whole lot more of me than a 3-minute commentary (though I can’t imagine why you might), Shire Network News #134 has been released.  (Just a warning; as much as I may make my commentaries and this hosting duty family-friendly, that’s not entirely the intent of the producers.  A few words of the 4-letter variety make an appearance by other contributors.)

The feature interview is with journalist Bill Bishop, author of "The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart".  He says America is increasingly divided, not just politically, but by basic, fundamental world views. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

The big question now is whether they’ll ever let me host it again.  :)  (My sound equipment is not, shall we say, optimal.  Kudos to "Brian of London" for removing what he could of the awful hiss.)

[tags]podcast,Shire Network News,Bill Bishop,The Big Sort[/tags]

Bush Lied! (Or Not.) – Part Deux

More deconstructing of the meme that Bush lied and the Democrats were misled. This time, it’s from James Kirchick. This isn’t someone on the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy mailing list; he’s been actively speaking out against the Right. And now we hear from him:

Yet in spite of all the accusations of White House “manipulation” — that it pressured intelligence analysts into connecting Hussein and Al Qaeda and concocted evidence about weapons of mass destruction — administration critics continually demonstrate an inability to distinguish making claims based on flawed intelligence from knowingly propagating falsehoods.

Oh please Read the Whole Thing(tm). Frankly, I’m thrilled that the Washington Post Editorial Page Editor and now an assistant editor of the New Republic are finally arriving at the truth. At the same time, the information that they’re working from — the Senate Intelligence Committee report recently released — doesn’t really break new ground in terms of the facts presented, and in fact comes to the same conclusion that the 2004 report from the same committee came to, Senator Rockefeller’s bleat about being led to war “under false pretenses” not withstanding.

As much as the media has presented and pushed and given air to the charge of lying on the part of the Bush administration, and as serious a charge as it is, one would hope that it would give as much attention to the report and those on the Left who are backing the President.

One can hope. One can always hope. But hold not thy breath.

[tags]James Kirchick,The New Republic,Iraq war,Bush lied,Senate Intelligence Comittee,media bias[/tags]

"Edgy" Film to Get Out the Vote

I’d use a different adjective, but then, I’m not the target audience.

A stunning 20-something woman hooks up with a seemingly innocent guy at a rowdy singles bar. Hot foreplay starts on the cab ride home and progresses into the bedroom.

That is until, while searching for a condom in the bedside table, she sees a photo signed "Thanks for your support!" from Republican candidate John McCain.

Horrified, she bolts, dropping her bag and spilling a campaign button on the sidewalk: "I only sleep with Democrats." The camera quickly cuts to a cool, bespectacled man with a donkey pin on his lapel. The couple’s eyes lovingly lock.

"Blue Balled" — an edgy, video short distributed on YouTube and other Web sites this week — has a simple message: If you vote Democrat, you are intellectual, hip and savvy. If you vote Republican, you are an untouchable — bumbling, square and uptight.

…and are less likely to have an STD, perhaps? 

The 527 group putting this out is called "Truth Through Action".  They actually sell "I Only Sleep With Democrats" shirts on their web site.  OK, so then, what’s the truth that their action is trying to convey?

[tags]Democrats,politics,Truth Through Action,[/tags]

Cruel to be Kind

No, not the 80’s song by Nick Lowe. The “kindness” brought to you by a government that just doesn’t seem to understand basic economics. Employment of minimum wage earners keeps going down (the cruel part) because of the hikes in the minimum wage the government keeps mandating (the “kind” part).

The percentage of teens classified as “unemployed” — those who are actively seeking a job but can’t get one — is more than three times higher than the national unemployment rate, according to the most recent Department of Labor statistics.

One of the prime reasons for this drastic employment drought is the mandated wage hikes that policymakers have forced down the throats of local businesses. Economic research has shown time and again that increasing the minimum wage destroys jobs for low-skilled workers while doing little to address poverty.

According to economist David Neumark of the University of California at Irvine, for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, employment for high school dropouts and young black adults and teenagers falls by 8.5 percent. In the past 11 months alone, the United States’ minimum wage has increased by more than twice that amount.

So it should be no surprise to see teen jobs disappearing or to hear bleak testimony from employers across the country that make these hiring decisions.

And it’s not just teens looking for a summer job that this hurts.

There’s no end to the economic data that confirm these common-sense observations. Research from the University of Georgia, the University of Connecticut and Cornell University indicates that increasing the minimum wage causes four times more job loss for employees without a high school diploma than it does for the general population.

Furthermore, minimum wage hikes don’t effectively target the people who are typically portrayed as the key beneficiaries — low-income adults raising kids. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, just 14 percent of those who benefited from the most recent federal minimum wage hike are sole earners in families with children.

The whole “living wage” canard used to buttress the case for increased minimum wage, then, is an incredibly small amount of those who benefit, and arguable more folks are hurt because of it. The question always asked is, “Is it better to have a lower-paying job, or no job at all?” Democrats will consistently ignore or hand-wave away this question, in the interest of “caring”.

Well ask those unemployed folks how much that “caring” helped them.

[tags]minimum wage,economy[/tags]

McCain Derangement or Just Partisan Sewage

Often praised progressive blogger “hilzoy” at Obsidian Wings writes in reaction to McCain:

“MATT LAUER: “If it’s working Senator, do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?”

SEN. MCCAIN: “No, but that’s not too important. What’s important is the casualties in Iraq. Americans are in South Korea, Americans are in Japan, American troops are in Germany. That’s all fine. American casualties and the ability to withdraw; we will be able to withdraw. General Petraeus is going to tell us in July when he thinks we are. But the key to it is that we don’t want any more Americans in harm’s way.”

“hilzoy” writes:

Several thoughts: First, my initial reaction to this was fury. There are men and women over in Iraq, in the middle of nowhere, counting the days until they come home. There are families who jump out of their skins every time the doorbell rings. There are spouses trying to keep their marriages together while they’re thousands of miles apart, soldiers wondering whether anyone will really understand what they’ve been through and kids growing up without knowing one of their parents. How could anyone say it doesn’t matter when they come home?

Geesh. Can she read at all? Why do families of the troops stationed in South Korea, Germany, Japan and elsewhere not “jump out of their skins” every time the doorbell rings. Uhm, that would be, as McCain noted, “What’s important is the casualties …” Duh.

Because of the low but continued casualties, staffing levels are high and that is one problem. But … we’ve had troops stationed in Germany and Japan for over 60 years and in South Korea for almost as long. The “fury” reaction to that is noticeably lacking … just as is rational thought on the part of yet another progressive blogger.

The Politics of Healthcare

I really can’t add anything to Don Surber’s observations, other than to say that somehow I don’t think we’ll learn from the mistakes we made pillorying politicians who didn’t toe the AIDS funding line.

Question: What lesson does AIDS teach us about the dangers of government-run health care?

Answer: The politicization of health. AIDS was peddled as being able to happen to anyone, when in fact it was transmitted mainly via male homosexual sex. Anyone who dared challenge that was branded a “homophobe” and merrily sent on his way. The Independent reported on Monday: “A quarter of a century after the outbreak of Aids, the World Health Organization has accepted that the threat of a global heterosexual pandemic has disappeared.”

We also know that embryonic stem cell research is not going to make Michael J. Fox all better and that with a 90% 5-year survival rate for breast cancer in the USA (lower in Britain and other government-run health countries) women would be far better served with pink ribbon money going to lung cancer, which has less than a 20% 5-year survival rate.

But politically correct diseases will get the research money. Sickle cell anemia, yes. The heart disease that actually is the No. 1 killer of black people, no.

[tags]AIDS,health care[/tags]

Bush Lied! (Or Not.)

Democratic Senator John D. Rockefeller claims victory in investigating whether or not Bush lied in order to get us into war with Iraq. 

"In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent," he said.

"Bush lied, people died!", went the call, which is now a piece of Received Wisdom on the Left.  But just a the slogan was disingenuous, so is Rockefeller’s pronouncement on the report.  Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post (no stalwart of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, they) lays it out.

On Iraq’s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you’ve mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq’s support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq’s contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." The report is left to complain about "implications" and statements that "left the impression" that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

So what went wrong?  Hiatt comes to admit that it’s what the Right has been saying all along.

But the phony "Bush lied" story line distracts from the biggest prewar failure: the fact that so much of the intelligence upon which Bush and Rockefeller and everyone else relied turned out to be tragically, catastrophically wrong.

(Wow, is having the MSM call the "Bush lied" meme "phony" one of the signs of the apocalypse?) 

So the line has been drawn, ironically by the Democrats themselves.  Henceforth, anyone parroting this idea is themselves lying or hopelessly uninformed.  Stay tuned.

[tags]Bush lied,Washington Post,Frank Hiatt,Senator John D. Rockefeller,Iraq war[/tags]

Pope Benedict XVI, on Redemptive Politics

Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes, not divine, but demonic. – Pope Benedict XVI, Truth and Tolerance; p. 116.

(Hat tip Kyle-Anne Shiver, on a great post on Black Liberation Theology & Marxism, via Don Sensing.)

The Angry White (Fe)Male Vote

Many of the pundits watching the 2000 election returns kept referring to the voting bloc they labeled "angry white males", who were supposedly bringing Bush the victory.  For 2008, we may have to modify the tag for the potentially election-changing group; angry white females.

The woman who shouted "McCain in ’08" at the Democratic rules committee was speaking for a multitude. After mounting for months, female anger over the choreographed dumping on Hillary Clinton and her supporters has exploded — and party loyalty be damned. That the women are beginning to have a good time is an especially bad sign for Barack Obama’s campaign.

"Obama will NOT get my vote, and one step more," Ellen Thorp, a 59-year-old flight attendant from Houston told me. "I have been a Democrat for 38 years. As of today, I am registering as an independent. Yee Haw!"

A new Pew Research Center poll points to a surging tide of fury, especially among white women. As recently as April, this group preferred Obama over the presumptive Republican John McCain by three percentage points. By May, McCain enjoyed an eight-point lead among white women.

If Obama’s going to be the unifying candidate, he’s got his work cut out for him.  Yes, I’m sure that some of this intensity will die down by November, and he’ll certainly get that convention bounce, but in an election that most, including me, thought would be a walk-away for the Democrats, Obama has a lot longer way to go that he could have ever imagined.

[tags]Hillary Clinton,Barack Obama,John McCain,angry white females,US presidential election,Democrats[/tags]

Cardinal Donald Trump Speaks

"You’re fired."

The firebrand pastor of St. Sabina parish was removed from his duties there Tuesday, according to a statement released by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In the statement, Cardinal Francis George says he asked the Rev. Michael Pfleger, 59, to "take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties." The statement said Pfleger "does not believe this to be the right step at this time." "While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests," George said.

Are we to take it that this is the very first time Rev. Pfleger has spewed this kind of vitriol?  Kinda’ doubt it.  Just like Obama’s recent leaving of Trinity UCC, this seems more like a case of being unable to avoid ignoring the issue once it hit the national stage. 

What a hassle, those internets.

[tags]Rev. Michael Pfleger,Barack Obama,Cardinal Francis George,Catholicism,St. Sabina[/tags]

Obama is Insane

From a theological perspective at least. Heresy? Via the corner.

GG: Do you believe in sin?
GG: What is sin?
OBAMA: Being out of alignment with my values.

I can’t imagine a way to spin that as reasonable in or out of context. Sin is being out of line with Obama’s values?

Well, in the light that for the liberal/progressive hypocrisy is the only sin … that makes sense. That is, the only error one can make is not “being true to oneself” or acting differently than one the values one believes in.

However … that isn’t what sin is.

 Page 31 of 37  « First  ... « 29  30  31  32  33 » ...  Last »