Ederik Schneider Online

Freedom or Totalitarianism

Freedom or Totalitarianism
Liberty or Death

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Atlantic: Opinion: Megan Garber: MSNBC's Move Away From Leftist Partisanship & The Unbundling of TV

The Atlantic: Opinion: Megan Garber: MSNBC's Move Away From Liberal Partisanship & The Unbundling of TV

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

First of all, I’m not surprised that MSNBC or NBC News that runs the cable network wouldn’t of looked into revamping MSNBC several years ago. Because it is a business losing operation as far as viewers and advertising revenue. They not only trail Fox News Channel, but CNN as well. And if it wasn’t for MSNBC their talk show hosts would probably be over on RT and Democracy Now where Thom Hartmann, an admitted Democratic Socialist works. Because none of the big networks would pick them up. Rachel Maddow couldn’t get on Meet The Press as a weekly commentator because of how far-left she is.

MSNBC doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party and they sure as hell don’t represent Liberals either. They represent the Green Party, or the Green Party wing of the Democratic Party. Their talk lineup except for Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz who are basically FDR Progressives, speak for the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist wing of the Democratic Party, especially in Congress and their supporters around the country. And even though socialism is a growing movement in America, they are nowhere near as large as the Tea Party movement. Or the Center-Left New Democrats that came on to the scene in the Democratic Party in the mid and late 1980s.

I can’t watch MSNBC now other than their documentaries which are pretty good and not just Lockup. Because it is like watching FNC except its coming from the Far-Left. Nothing but Occupy Wall Street and Far-Left talk radio talking points about how evil Republicans are. And how corporate America and American capitalism are destroying America. And the problem that MSNBC is that is how a large majority of Americans feel about hyper-partisanship whether it comes from the Far-Left or Far-Right. And even the fringes in America have free speech rights even if they believe that people they are against don’t. And I do read their blogs and publication, but their TV shows have become unwatchable for me.

Long-term if MSNBC wants to be a strong player on the cable talk market, they need to dump most if not all of their current talk lineup. And put shows together that about information and facts that educate their viewers. And not just some facts that are negative about the other side and try to make them look as bad as you possibly can. But real hard information about the issues that they cover. More Andrea Mitchell and programs like her’s with intelligent Center-Left analysts who have a better grasp of reality and is really going on. And not just there to make something look bad or good as they can get away with.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Liberty Pen: Video: George Will: A Conflict of Visions

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Pre-1930s there was much if any public social safety net or social insurance in America at least at the federal level. The 1930s with the Great Depression and the New Deal obviously changed that. But Americans were still expected to work and produce, be responsible and productive and if they lost their job, or couldn’t get a good enough job to take care of themselves there would be a safety net to help them out. Of course the Great Society comes around in the 1960s, but even that we were supposed to be productive and responsible with our own lives. With the safety net there for people who fall through the cracks of the private enterprise system. And I’m sure there are some Conservatives and Libertarians who disagree with this, but that’s fine.

The late 1960s really changed America politically especially with the Left and that is the whole Left and the Democratic Party. For one the Green Party was created because Greens Social Democrats who are socialist on economic policy and dovish and foreign policy and national security, didn’t believe Democrats the party of FDR, Truman, JFK and LBJ were progressive enough. No now you have this more socialist more leftist Left in and outside of the Democratic Party who don’t believe government in America is big enough and that we are too individualistic as a society. And that we need to go way beyond the social safety net concept in America to create a welfare state big enough to take care of everyone. Where no one falls behind or gets too far ahead.

Thanks to the New Left, the Democratic Party from 1968-88 loses 5-6 presidential elections and four of them being landslides. Loses the U.S. Senate in 1980, fails to win it back in 82 and 84 because the Center-Left and Far-Left inside of the Democratic Party can’t agree on what kind of party that they should be. Should they be a liberal and progressive party especially with Dixiecrats moving on to the Republican Party, or should they become the social democratic Green Party. That complains about what type of country America is and bashes our system, form of government and most of the things that we stand for. And tries to transform the American liberal democratic state and become more of a social democratic collectivist society.

What George Will was talking about in his speech was social democracy and the welfare state and what he sees as failures in that type of system. But that is not the type of country that America is yet at least and we are still a long way of becoming that big centralized unitarian social democratic state that you see in Britain and Scandinavia. At least as far as how big the central government is and the amount of that the central government spends and taxes on behalf of its people. But that is what the debate on the American Left. Do we want to remain that liberal democratic state that empowers people to be able to manage their own lives for themselves. Or become a social democracy where the central government takes responsibility to seeing that everyone’s welfare needs are met.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Week: Opinion- Ryan Cooper: Why Self-Respecting Atheists Should Ditch The New Atheists

Source: The Week-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

There two groups of people in people in lets say American political culture that probably annoy me the most, even though I would die to defend their right to express their obnoxious ignorant opinions, which is what Freedom of Speech is about, right, the right to offend and annoy and all of that short of harassment and libel.

One of these two groups of people are people who I call religious fundamentalists regardless of their religion. Who believe that you have to not only be religious to be moral, but a believer in their religion. We see this both with the Christian-Right in America and the Muslim-Right in the Middle East. People who want to impose their moral values and way of life on everyone else.

The other group of people who Ryan Cooper calls New Atheists, people who I would militant Atheists, or even fundamentalist Atheists. People who believe that anyone who is religious is either stupid, crazy or a bad person who will or has murdered a lot of people. Its worst on the Far-Left in America because they believe anyone who is a fundamentalist Christian or perhaps just a Christian is a bigot especially if they are of Caucasian background. And anyone who critiques Islam and other non-Christian religions except for Judaism are bigots or racists or both. Even if their critique is correct.

This might be the main reason why I’m not religious or a non-believer other than being an Agnostic, because I simply don’t know if there is a God or not. Which I believe is the most honest and accurate answer about whether there is a God or not, because none of us actually know. But the other reason being I don’t want to be lumped in with people who want to force their moral and religious values on me. And I don’t want to be lumped in with people who look at believers good religious folk who aren’t bigots of any sort as stupid, crazy, immoral, or all of those things. Which is why I believe Agnosticism is growing in America.
The Agenda With Steve Paikin: Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss- Rise of The New Atheists

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Week: Opinion: Jeff Spross: "Why Reform Conservatives Should Join The Democratic Party": Not So Fast

The Week: Opinion: Jeff Spross: Why Reform Conservatives Should Join The Democratic Party

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I wonder 20-25 years ago when the New Democrats started emerging in the Democratic Party did someone from lets say The Nation on the Far-Left or National Review on the Center-Right write a piece with the title something to the effect, “Why New Democrats Should Join The Republican Party”. Maybe I’ll look that up later and of course the New Democrats were the Center-Left Democrats who saved the Democratic Party from frankly McGovernism. The Far-Left or New-Left that took over the Democratic Party in 1968 and ran that party up until 1988 or so. When New Democrat Governor Mike Dukakis won the Democratic nomination for president.

The New Democrats weren’t about and still aren’t about making the Democratic Party a centrist party with no hard left or right. But making the Democratic Party a center-left party with Liberals and Progressives as the main faces and leaders of the party. That still believes in using government to achieve great things. But that government can’t do everything for everybody all the time. And we can’t tax our way to prosperity and take so much money from people that they don’t have freedom over their own lives. And that government should be used to empower people. Not make people dependent on government.

The Reform Conservatives at least to me look like the New Democrats of the Republican Party. Conservatives who want to bring the GOP back from its hard-right if not far-right image and make it a party that can appeal to working class and minority Americans. So it’s not just a party of Southern a rural Anglo-Saxon Protestant men. And rich Anglo-Saxon Northeastern men. But a party that can compete and win in the Northeast and Midwest at the national level, win back Florida and even be competitive if not win California. The Republican Party did all of these things very well up until 1992 when again they lost to New Democrat Bill Clinton in the presidential election.

Welfare to Work is a Reform Conservative/New Democrat anti-poverty program that was passed in 1996. Reform conservatism is about using conservative policies to appeal to a broader base of American voters. Who like things like smarter and limited regulations, lower taxes, economic freedom. But don’t want government trying to run their personal lives for them including if they can join a union or not. And are people who aren’t just Anglo-Saxon as far as ethnicity and not just Protestant when it comes to their religion. Don’t just live in the Bible Belt and aren’t just men.

The Republican Party as a conservative has a history of appealing to a broad base of Americans. That was gone by 1996 or so when they became the party of the South and rural Midwest and West. And what Reform Conservatives are saying is that the Republican Party needs a conservative message and policies that appeals to more than just their traditional Bible Belt/country club base. They have to find ways to connect with working class voters. As well as Latinos and Asians and women of all races. And even Jewish and African-Americans if that is still possible for them at this point. To become governing party in the near-future.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Roll Call: Congress: Tamar Hallerman & Niels Lesniewski: Senate Democrats Show Limits of GOP Control

Roll Call: Congress: Tamar Hallerman & Niels Lesniewski: Senate Democrats Show Limits of GOP Control

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

For all of you non-political junkies, first of all I’m wondering why you’re reading this at all, but secondly this piece is for the average political junkie who probably does at least look at C-SPAN everyday. So you might be better off watching Fashion Police, Project Runway or Access Hollywood or something to find out which latest hot celebrity is in trouble or whatever. Because this piece is about the U.S. Congress which is by far other than the presidency itself the most interesting part and important part of government anywhere else in the world.

First of all I think the Senate Democratic Leadership made a policy mistake by using the cloture rule to block any consideration of the House Republican passed Homeland Security funding bill that defunds President Obama’s immigration order. What the House Republicans did was stupid and is why we are we are with Homeland Security employees wondering if they are going to get paid next week. But at least allow that bill come to the floor to be debated and try to amend the bill and strict that portion of the bill out with the amendment process. That Leader McConnell has put back in. If that amendment passes now you have what you wanted in the first place which was clean funding bill. If the amendment fails then you can still block the bill from final passage.

Now politically what Senate Democrats are doing is working very well for them. Congressional Republicans are still getting blamed for the new-made up crisis by House Republicans and with Senate Republicans unable or unwilling to bring up a clean funding bill for Homeland Security. But the good guys (meaning Senate Democrats) still have an opportunity to save the day at the end of the day. By telling Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell that if they give Senate Democrats a clean funding bill and bring it up for final passage and it passes, Senate Democrats wouldn’t block consideration of a repeal of President Obama’s immigration order, but as part of separate legislation. Pass Homeland Security and then debate and work on a bill to repeal the immigration order and pass immigration reform after Homeland Security is funded.

I know this as a Democrat that when Democrats took control of Congress in 2007 after being in the minority in the House for twelve years and the Senate for four years, that just because you control both chambers of Congress, doesn’t mean you get your way all the time. The House can pass anything they want to on their own with just the majority party if they are united. The Senate is a place where minority rights is real and where the Minority Leader is almost as powerful as the Majority Leader. They almost have to work together to get anything done. Congressional Republicans need to learn that quickly, because 2015 will be the only year they’ll have in this Congress to pass major legislation. And find ways to work with Congressional Democrats especially in the Senate to pass the legislation that they have to. Like appropriations and later on hopefully a budget.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Week: Opinion: William Falk: Vladimir Putin Raises The Stakes

The Week: Opinion: William Falk: Vladimir Putin Raises The Stakes

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I have a hard time seeing even Vladimir Putin attempting to invade any of the Baltic States for one reason only which is NATO. If Russia attacks the Baltic States, that brings in NATO and then Europe and America would respond to what Russia is doing and would send in ships, planes, personal to defend those countries. And then Russia would have a big decision to make. Do they really want to take on NATO that is so heavily backed by America. Russia could sort of get away with what they did in Ukraine even though they are now paying a heavy price for it financially and economically because Ukraine is not under protection of NATO.

I’m sure Vlad Putin as dreams if not fantasies of reuniting the old Russian Empire and perhaps go back to the Soviet Union days, but with more of a private enterprise economy and a more developed country perhaps. But he doesn’t have the resources and the manpower to do that. The Russian Federation military is not the Soviet Union military obviously, as far as numbers and resources and manpower even. And they are very limited to what they can do especially their economy and economic growth is so linked with their state-owned energy industry that is struggling right now because of all falling oil prices and economic sanctions.

The Putin Administration needs to pay a heavy price for invading Ukraine. They need to continue to pay that heavy price since they brought that on themselves. And if that is short of physically being eliminated from Ukraine, then the economic price should be so severe that people in the Russian Government think to themselves, “how long are going to put up with this dictator and how much damage are we going to allow him to do to our country before we look at replacing him?”. And could come fairly soon as people inside of the Russian Federation are already very aware of the damage that their President has done to their economy.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Valhalla Cinema: Anatomy of a Murder 1959- A Rapist Gets What's Coming to Him

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I saw Anatomy of a Murder last week on TCM and Robert Osborne described the movie as a very serious, or deeply serious, or something to that effect. But if you are familiar with Jimmy Stewart and a lot of his movies, his movies tend not to be that serious. Similar to Cary Grant because of how spontaneously funny they both were especially with improvisation. Sure Anatomy is about a very serious topic which of course is about a man accused of murdering a man who just raped his wife. An Army Lieutenant at that and very important person in his community. But there’s a lot of humor with funny people all throughout the movie.

And I think that is what I love most about this movie. They deal with very serious subjects which are murder and rape of course. But sex in the late 1950s when the country was about to change dramatically culturally and you could already see signs of that change by 1959 with the Rock and Roll Generation. And that is what this movie deals with which are very serious subjects, but they take a very humorous look at them with a lot of sarcasm and wisecracks. Including with the judge played by Joe Welch and the two lead attorney’s played by George Scott the lead prosecutor and Jimmy Stewart the lead defense lawyer.

Anatomy of a Murder at least a first is about a rape. But they don’t show that part. A women played by Lee Remick having a good time at a bar and ends up walking home and offered a ride by the owner of the bar and he ends up raping her. Her husband finds out about it later that night and goes to the bar to confront the man about it. And ends up shooting and killing him for it. Under most circumstances that would be a clear case of first degree murder, or at least second degree murder. But Paul Biegler played by Stewart goes with a temporary insanity plea and that becomes his main defense.

I first saw this movie about a year ago and it is already one of my favorite movies of all-time. Seen it three or four times since because of the versatility of the movie. Dealing with very serious subjects in the movie and yet everyone plays a comedian at least at some point in the movie. Which is typical for a Jimmy Stewart movie and this movie has a great cast as well. With George Scott, Ben Gazzara, Lee Remick, Arthur O’Connell and many others. And this movie gives its viewers a very good lock at the court system and what it is like to be on trial. And try such a big legal case.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

David Von Pein: Video: NBC News's David Brinkley on JFK Assassination, November 23, 1963

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I think what David Brinkley was getting at with what is my limited ability for mind reading that I have is that the country was in shock. Or at least everyone covering this story was. The first U.S. President assassinated in a hundred-years. A man who seemed to have everything in life being assassinated by a man who had nothing. Jack Kennedy being assassinated by Lee Oswald. I mean think about that for a second.

If someone as powerful and as successful as Jack Kennedy can be assassinated by someone as little and as big of a loser as Lee Oswald was, than anyone can be taken down in America. And since 1963 a lot of very powerful people in America have either been taken down by small people or seriously weakened. Richard Nixon was essentially taken down over a third-rate burglary, comes to mind pretty quickly.

Jack Kennedy just after 1 PM November 22nd, 1963 had everything going for him, including bringing a divided Texas Democratic Party together. A Northeastern Liberal, a Yankee doing that by the way. In Dallas, Texas on a beautiful fall day in November with his beautiful wife getting ready for a parade in his name in Dallas. And hours later is assassinated by a little piece of trash who had nothing going for him in life. And perhaps the only thing he was ever successful at was killing a U.S. President.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Reason: Hit & Run: Peter Suderman: "How President Obama's 529 Tax Plan Proves The Welfare State is Doomed"

Reason: Hit & Run: Peter Suderman: How President Obama's 529 College Tax Plan Debacle Proves the Welfare State is Doomed

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I don’t agree with libertarian Professor Milton Friedman on everything as a Liberal myself. But I think his best quote is “no free lunch’, which is something that I agree with. And what he was talking about was government and public services. That if government is giving you something, then it is not free. Just like food you buy at a grocery store or a phone you buy at an electronics store, you’re paying for the services that you receive. And government is no different other than how you pay for those services. The private sector charges you with bills and the public sector charges through taxes.

Just once I would like to hear a politician say, “I have a plan that would make this or that affordable”. Instead of saying, “I have a plan to give you free X or Y”. Just replace the word free with affordable and then maybe more Americans will actually take politicians seriously and give them a few minutes of respect before they turn the channel. Because every American who pays taxes knows that the government services that they are getting are not free. It might be free for your kids, take education to use as an example. But their education is sure as hell not free for you, if you pay property or sales taxes. And your kids will have to pay that back through taxes when they start working.

I have no problem with a politician having a plan to provide this or that for the people. Just as long as it something that the whole can use and will benefit everyone involved. And I’ll even pay my fair share of taxes to pay for it and not complain about that. Just as long as everyone else is doing the same thing. Just don’t try to fool anyone and try to convince them that they’ll get those services for free. Because again any American who pays taxes will know you’re simply wrong if not lying about that and won’t take you seriously. Unless they are already on your side. Tell them, “this will benefit you, but this is how much it will cost you. But it will be worth it.” And more Americans won’t treat politicians as bullshit artists.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Atlantic: Opinion: Shadi Hamid: France's False Choice: Can Islam and Liberalism Coexist?

The Atlantic: Opinion: Shadi Hamid: France's False Choice

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Because of the fact that Muslims have emigrated from the Middle East and North Africa to the West and developed liberal societies where religion and state aren’t mixed in and where people have the right and freedom to be themselves in these free societies, gives me at least the idea that they decided to leave their native countries that are underdeveloped and a lot more religiously conservative and less tolerant to live in a free society. Where they’ll have the opportunity to build a good life for themselves and their families. They didn’t emigrate to France and Britain to use as examples, to start Islamic theocracies. They moved there so they can have freedom and economic opportunity that they weren’t getting at home.

America at least has already proved that religious conservatism can coexist in a liberal society and liberal democracy. We have a Religious-Right after all and by in large religious conservative are good decent productive Americans who have contributed a lot to America. They just have social views having to do with the women’s place in the world, homosexuality, privacy in general, freedom of speech as it comes to expression and certain forms of entertainment that are way out of step with a solid majority of Americans. And even though they have tried to get their values into law and force others to live under their values they’ve done it through the political process for the most part. Instead of doing it violently.

To me at least it is not a question of can Muslims succeed and live well in a liberal society. The question is do they want to. Do they want the freedom to be themselves and live under their own religious and moral values, while at the same time allowing for others who don’t agree with their values and way of life to do the same thing. Because that is what liberal democracy, the liberal society and free society are about. The freedom for people to be people, for individuals to be individuals. The ability for people to be themselves and live their own lives and not be forced to live a certain way of life because that is how someone wants them to. And these are questions that only Muslims can answer for themselves.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Liberty Pen: Video: Harry Browne's Social Security Solution

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I’m not sure Harry Browne understood the Social Security program and I truly mean that. Because Social Security is a true social insurance program, not a welfare state program and they are different. The role of the welfare state is to take care of the people and meet their everyday needs for them. Which is very common in Scandinavia. The safety net or social insurance system is there for people who need it. And in Social Security’s case there for people who didn’t have enough money to support their retirement and for people who aren’t capable of working full-time because of some disability.

So what Harry Browne is doing here is talking about converting a retirement insurance system, which is what Social Security is, into a retirement system instead. That everyone could use as their very own retirement fund. But with a libertarian instead of socialist approach to it. The libertarian approach has to do with private accounts that I guess individuals and their employers would contribute to, depending on the program. The socialist approach would be to make Social Security the sole retirement system and program in America. Single payer Social Security for all when it comes to retirement.

You can talk about all sorts of ways of improving pensions and the retirement system in America that is a public/private system. But some things we shouldn’t do at all because they would be bad for the system. Give the U.S. Government a monopoly when it comes to retirement in America. That would be one bad option. And the other bad option would be to take security and insurance out of the Social Security system and make sure that is always there for people who truly need it. And instead talk about ways of improving private pensions and retirement accounts in America instead.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hoover Institution: Video: Uncommon Knowledge: Peter Robinson Interviewing David Mamet on Conservatism

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The type of liberalism that David Mamet seems to be talking about an interested in is how Liberals get stereotyped by what my father calls knee-jerk Liberals. People who are actually not very liberal at all, but who wear the label because they thing Progressive is a sellout and they don’t want to have to deal the negative Americans stereotypes of Socialists and socialism. Or even a further left ideology than that. That if you’re a Liberal, you’re really a European leftist ideologically and you don’t like America and what it stands for. And that is putting it simply.

That if you’re a Liberal you believe in political correctness who defines that as being against any speech that offends groups of people who you generally support. And that some language is so offensive that it must not only be talked down upon, but banned. And speaking groups of people, that all people are members of groups. And because of that they should be treated as members of groups and not as individuals who can take care of themselves and even think for themselves. Even if a lot of members of their so-called tribe feel differently about certain issues.

That if you’re a Liberal you not only support the welfare state, but you are all about the welfare state. And that people are generally stupid and can’t be relied to take care of themselves. And are going to make mistakes that the society as a whole is going to have to pay for. So why don’t we just have a government a superstate big enough to take care of everyone with taxes high enough to finance this superstate to take care of everyone. That individualism and individual success and wealth by nature are bad things. Because it encourages people to go on their own and those things should be discouraged.

These are the negative and false stereotypes of liberalism that David Mamet seems to of bought into. And I would think someone as smart and as good of a writer that he is would know better than that. And perhaps has spent too much time with the Far-Left in America and now believes that everyone on the Left is part of the Far-Left. That there’s no such thing as Liberal, Socialist, Social Democrat, Democratic Socialist or Communist. That all of these political groups are liberal and all of these people are Liberals. Which is simply not true.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hezakya Mixologist: Video: CBS News Special Report, Malcolm X The True Story, From 1992

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The real story of Malcolm X is of a man who came from a modest but not a bad upbringing who didn’t finish high school who got into trouble as a young man and became a thug and did time in prison. It’s in prison where he becomes educated and who actually became a prison inmate who was rehabilitated and became educated in prison. He was a man who became a better man in prison and able use what he learned to become a productive member of society and was able to build a good life for him outside of prison as short as his life was when he was murdered in 1965.

Malcolm X first became part of the Black Power movement in the 1960s. Not the Black Panthers, but African-Americans who wanted in Malcolm X’s movement who wanted to empower African-Americans to be able to take control of their lives and live in freedom. If Malcolm X was a racist when he first became part of this movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s using hatful language and slurs towards Caucasian-Americans, he wasn’t a racist when he died. He learned that not all Caucasians as he said were racists or White Devils. That there were good Caucasians as their were bad Caucasians like any race of people.

Malcolm X as an African-American leader was not a thug. But a leader who was about empowerment of a race of people in America who even though were officially free under law and no longer slaves, were overwhelmingly dependent on public assistance. Who trapped in poverty and in bad schools and not having the opportunity for a real future and being able to live in freedom. Malcolm X wanted to empower all of these Americans to be able to take control over their own lives and live in freedom. He wasn’t interested in integration for integration’s sake, but freedom for a community of Americans. Whether that meant desegregation or separation from the rest of the country.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Reason: Hit & Run: Elizabeth Nolan Brown: Montana Bill Would Ban Some Tight Clothing

Reason: Hit & Run: Elizabeth Nolan Brown: Montana Bill Would Ban Some Tight Clothing

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Montana is sort of known for being part of the Libertarian West. People who don’t want big government in their bedrooms or wallets, or schools. That they just want to be left alone and allowed to live freely and enjoy and live off the land in their vast beautiful state. Before this new Congress Montana’s two U.S. Senators were both Democrats. And neither one of them could be accused of supporting big government and wanting to empower big government over the individual. Their new Republican Steve Daines seems to fall in that same category.

Which is why I’m surprised that one of their legislatures one of their state senators would propose a law outlawing certain outfits that can be worn in public. A clear violation of personal freedom and freedom of choice. We are not talking about men and women going naked in public in Montana. Just about what they actually wear in public. Having to do with tight pants like biking pants. They stopped short of banning skin-tight skinny jeans for women and skin-tight jeans for men. And that might have to do with their cowboy and cowgirl industry that they have out there.

You would think even a Montana state senator who represents maybe twenty-thousand people would have better things to do than try to play the state father. And dictate what adults who I’m guessing he views as his daughters and sons what they can wear in public. Again we’re not talking about indecent exposure and men and women showing up naked or something, just tight outfits. You would think this senator instead might have things like, gee I don’t know the state budget, public education, taxes, law enforcement, just to use as examples on his mind to worry about instead. But no, he’s worried about how free adults dress in public.

The Week: Opinion: Pascal Emmanuel Gobry: Hey, Liberals: Conservatives Don't Have to be Moderate to be Smart

The Week: Opinion: Pacal Emmanuel Gobry: Hey, Liberals: Conservatives Don't Have to be Moderate to be Smart

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Back in the mid and late 1980s as the Democratic Party had just lost its second straight presidential election a landslide and third landslide lost in twelve years and about to lose their fourth landslide in 1988 a new democratic coalition emerged in the Democratic Party. And essentially took over the party by the early 1990s. And was made of governors for the most part and Washington outsiders in general. Bill Clinton is the most famous member of this group, but add Governor Mike Dukakis, when Governor Bob Kerry, Senate John Kerry, Senator Gary Hart, Senator Al Gore, Representative Dick Gephardt and many others.

These New Democrats ideologically formed the Democratic Leadership Council, The New Democratic Coalition and The New Democratic Network which is still in business today. The New Democrat would be the Democratic version of the Reform Conservative. Smart Liberal vs. Smart Conservative. The Republican Party has been going through an adjustment really since 2007 and haven’t recovered yet politically from the Iraq War, Great Recession and other mistakes both politically and on policy grounds from the Bush Administration. And looking for ways to comeback and broaden their coalition to become a governing party again which means having the White House.

But what the Republican Party is going through now is very similar to what the Democratic Party went through in the 1980s. As their far flank meaning the Far-Left if not took over their party at least was viewed that way by too many Americans that it not only cost them one presidential election after another, but they lost four landslides within a sixteen-year period from 1972-88. Because Democrats were seen as Far-Left. Anti-business, anti-military, anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-success, anti-wealth, pro-tax and spend, pro-big government as it related both to the economy but personal health as well. They were seen as anti-law enforcement and pro-convicted criminal and anti-victim.

What the Republican Party is going through now happened to the Democratic Party forty-five fifty-years ago when the New-Left from the 1960s became a big part of the Democratic Party. Except the GOP doesn’t have a Far-Left and is seen as their Far-Right taking over their party. To the point they are seen as anti-women, anti-minority, anti-secular, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-Latino in general, anti-science, anti-intelligence, anti-education and I’m sure several other things that I can’t think of right now that Americans tend to support. And now you have so-called Reform Conservatives who are trying to change the image of the GOP so they don’t scare so many Americans. Especially people who would be willing to vote Republican if they don’t scare them.

The New Democrats didn’t move the Democratic Party to the middle, as much as the mainstream media wants to portray that. They moved the party back to the Center-Left where John F. Kennedy had it and where Lyndon Johnson wanted to leave it and Jimmy Carter wanted to bring the party back to. And say Democrats are also pro-military, but don’t think we should try to govern the world. We are pro-business, but don’t believe business’s should go unregulated or untaxed and believe their workers should have a right to organize if they choose to. We believe in law enforcement, but we also believe in civil liberties and being smart on crime. And not arresting people who didn’t hurt anyone. We believe in government and freedom and that government when used in a limited way and empower those who need it to also live in freedom.

And hopefully what the Reform Conservatives are saying is that Republicans are still conservative, but we aren’t the Far-Right and we are not haters. They believe in the American melting pot and liberal democracy and that conservative values based on freedom from both an economic and personal perspective can benefit everyone. And if they are successful in doing that as the New Democrats were successful in the Democratic Party, they’ll save the Republican Party and save the center in American politics. Where a center-left Democratic Party and a center-right Republican Party can both equally compete for the votes of Americans who don’t see themselves a pure Democrats or pure Republicans.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Roll Call: Congress: Niels Lesniewski: Odd Couples Push Criminal Justice Overhauls: The World's Greatest Deliberative Body

Roll Call: Congress: Niels Lesniewski: Odd Couples Push Criminal Justice Overhauls: The World's Greatest Deliberative Body

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

It shouldn’t be surprising that both John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are in favor of real criminal justice reform that reduce sentencing for people convicted of non-violent sentences. They are both from Texas and their state has one of the most expensive criminal justice systems both on a per-capita basis, but also in total budget in America. And Texas as right-wing as it gets stereotyped and for good reasons, is one of the leaders now when it comes to criminal justice reform and prison rehabilitation. Again because their state has so many people in prison. I believe the largest prison population in the country at least on a per-capita basis. California might have more prisoners as it relates to total numbers.

John Cornyn is the Senate Assistant Majority Leader, the number two Senate Republican right behind Mitch McConnell the Senate Leader. So he has a lot of sway as far as what will come to the Senate floor in this Congress for consideration. Senator Ted Cruz also from Texas is more of a conservative libertarian or has those leanings. So he’s interested along with Senator Rand Paul and Senator Mike Lee in criminal justice reform. So having these three Senate Republicans in the same group on an issue with Senate Democrats like Sheldon Whitehouse, a LBJ Progressive, Dick Durbin someone who I would call a Classical Liberal and Pat Leahy the Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee a strong opponent of the War on Drugs, is actually not that surprising for people who follow Congress on a regular basis.

What this Senate coalition is talking about is reducing sentences and for non-violent offenders and not sending so many of them to prison in the first place. This is really about the War on Drugs and getting drug offenders who were simply arrested for illegal narcotics possession and being high on those drugs, into drug rehab instead of prison. They are also talking about over-criminalization and arresting people for doing things that actually don’t hurt other people. Online gambling would be an example of that. Marijuana possession would be another one, I would add adult prostitution as another one. And this is something that Congress should’ve done a long time ago.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Atlantic: Opinion- Alana Semuels- A Better Way to Help The Long-Term Unemployed

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

There are people on public assistance who didn’t even finish high school and now are single parents generally mothers who have very little if any job experience even at low-skilled low-income jobs. Some of these people even have a drug problem either with alcohol or illegal drugs. This is probably the hardest population to help people on Welfare. The only harder population as far as moving people off of Welfare to the workforce with a good job would be people who are disabled and even learning disabled to go along with all their other issues.

But then we have a population of unemployed workers who have been much better with their lives and have lived responsibly for most of their adult lives. Finished high school while they were in high school and even have a college or vocational degree or at least a community college degree. But have been laid off during bad turn in the economy and are not old yet and even not even fifty yet, but lets say are in their forties and have positive work experience that goes back twenty-years or more in a field that they were trained for. But now can’t find another job in that field. Those employers are going for younger cheaper employees, or those jobs simply no longer exist.

The educated unemployed are the easiest people to help and move off unemployment. Because they are responsible adults who are nowhere near retirement who want to work because they have responsibilities to meet and they actually like working. And simply need a good job to make that happen for them. For people who fit this group of unemployment they should be back in school. Government should help them with the finances for them to go back to school. And either get more skills in their current field. Or learn another trade and work there. This would be major and great investment in human capital that would eventually pay for itself.

It is not everyday, every week, every month or even every year that I agree with Newt Gingrich on anything. But he made this point when he ran for president back in 2011-12 that the amount of time that people who are long-term unemployed who were laid off spend not finding another job, they could be using that time to further their education. That you could extend their Unemployment Insurance, but in it would be a requirement that they further their education. Either at work seminar or a community college and they would have a much better opportunity of finding a good job. Which is something we should’ve been doing as a country ever since the Great Recession hit back in 2008.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Diplomat: Opinion: Francis P. Sempa: The Geopolitics of The Vietnam War

The Diplomat: Opinion: Francis P. Sempa: The Geopolitics of the Vietnam War

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I think the lessons of the Vietnam War are obvious. Don’t engage in a war you’re not prepared to or will do what it takes to win. It’s the Old Colin Powell doctrine of you go in with full force or you don’t go in. I’m paraphrasing there, but that is very close. So that would be one lesson, but another one would be don’t try to do for another country what they aren’t willing to do for themselves. Don’t fight other people’s wars especially when they aren’t willing to fight for themselves. The only player in the Vietnam War that was prepared to win was what use to be North Vietnam. The South was corrupt and expected America to win the war for them.

America took a half-assed approach to the Vietnam War. President Lyndon Johnson especially was more interested in looking tough on communism and not having the Right on his back when it came to foreign policy and national security. So he went in to Vietnam with bombs and a lot of personal and we took a lot of casualties, but since he was also playing politics with the war knew that there were only so many casualties that Americans were willing to take especially for fighting someone else’s war. And didn’t go into Vietnam strong enough to actually defeat the Communists and conserve the country for the Democratic but corrupt South.

The lessons from the Vietnam War are the same for the Afghan War and the War in Iraq that America was also involved in. That you can’t fight someone else’s war and expect to win when they are willing to fight for themselves. And hopefully the campaign to destroy to destroy ISIS won’t have the same lesson. That Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, the Syrian rebels will step up to the plate and do what they have to defeat ISIS themselves with America’s help. Because Americans won’t be willing and are unable to win a war for someone else at this point that they aren’t willing to win themselves.

The Week: Opinion: Jeff Spross: "President Obama's Middle-Out Economics is Good, Bottom-Up Economics is Better"

The Week: Opinion: Jeff Spross: President Obama's Middle-Out Economics is Good, Bottom-Up Economics is Better

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I have several questions that I would ask Jeff Spross. Which is why can’t you do both? Why can’t you have policies that improve the middle class in America so their wages go up and they can get better jobs and also assist the poor working or otherwise so they can get good jobs and leave poverty? And then I would ask how does he judge how safety net programs have cut poverty the last fifty-years.

Does Jeff Spross do that by saying that if you add up all the social insurance programs that one receives in cash dollars, they are technically not living in poverty anymore. When you add up their Welfare if they aren’t working, Medicaid, Public Housing, Food Assistance etc in dollars. Or does he measure reductions in poverty by the numbers of people who are now in the middle class with good jobs and not needing public assistance at all to pay their bills.

The fact is public assistance programs and I’m not talking about Social Security and Medicare, but anti-poverty assistance for non-retired adults and seniors in America are only for people whose income is under a certain level. They are for people who do not earn enough money to take care of themselves. And because of that they are eligible for Medicaid, Food Assistance, Public Housing the Earned Income Tax Credit if they are working, but have a low-income job. So if you need these programs or any of them, you are in poverty by definition. Because you don’t earn enough money to live out of poverty on your own.

And then another question I would have for Jeff Spross. What is wrong with encouraging work, which are what work requirements are about. What is he worried about, that low-skilled unemployed adults will get jobs. Or finish their education as well and get themselves a good job and no longer need public assistance. You don’t judge the success of anti-poverty programs by the number of people who need them. Meaning the more people who need public assistance, the more successful the program is. You judge these programs especially as they relate to education and job training for low-skilled and medium-skilled adults, by the number of people who don’t need them. Meaning the fewer people who need them, the better the program.

You judge public assistance by how many people are able to leave public assistance and poverty all together and now have a good job and are able to take care of themselves. Because now they have the skills and education needed to get themselves a good job that allows for them to support themselves and their families and no longer need public assistance at all. And the fact is we need to expand as well as empower the middle class in America. Because they are the people who drive economic and job growth in America. The real job creators with their spending on their basic and recreational needs. And education and job training and things like infrastructure and energy investment are how you drive down poverty, expand and empower the middle class in America.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lena Safranova: Video: Coyote Ugly 2000, Can't Fight The Moonlight

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

For the first minute of this video I was trying to figure out whether or not Piper Perabo was actually singing. Or whether she was lip singing, or perhaps was wearing a secret earpiece and Leann Rimes was feeding her the words for her song. Also I didn’t know that John Goodman and Maria Bello spoke Spanish so well and were able to do it with Spanish accents. For the sake of this post I’m going with Piper was actually singing and say that she did a very good job. I could buy that, especially if I was rich because she does have a sweet voice and I could believe her as a good singer. With a lot of help from Leann Rimes who has one of the best voices in the business. And does a great job with a great song. I could count on one hand the number of Leann Rimes songs that I like and not need all the fingers. I’m not a fan of country or country pop. Country rock I could listen to, but Leann has a great voice and would love to hear her sing to classic rock or R&B. She has a great voice for both.

Coyote Ugly 2000: Video: Tyra Banks Dancing on The Bar

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I believe this was the first scene in Coyote Ugly where the bar was open. And Violet played by Piper Perabo walks in for her tryout or audition and sees the women on the bar in action. And she comes from somewhat of a culturally conservative background, which is one of the reasons why she goes to New York and sees these gorgeous sexy women. And Tyra Banks perhaps being the best looking of these women dancing on the bar. And I’m not saying that Tyra is a great actress, I would argue that she’s not and fairly limited as an actress, but this scene wasn’t so much acting. But sexy women especially Tyra dancing on the bar and she looked as great and did as well as any professional Coyote dancer I believe at the real Coyote bar. And watching her dancing in those tight leather jeans and boots and it is the first scene where you get to see the bar in action, you knew you were watching one hell of a good sexy movie.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Reason: Hit & Run: Jesse Walker: What The Hell Does Politically Correct Mean?

Reason: Hit & Run: Jesse Walker: What the Hell Does 'Politically Correct' Mean? 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I’m not saying this is the official definition of political correctness, but this is mine that I believe others share. And by the way, I’m not a fan of political correctness, except as it relates to slurs and perhaps racial, ethnic and sexist jokes. But political correctness are terms and phrases that are considered by lets say the broader public as acceptable. And something that is not considered politically correct is considered offensive. No racial and ethnic slurs by a majority if not most Americans are generally considered offensive and politically incorrect. Only the Far-Right and Far Left approve of them. Well they approve of the slurs against people they disapprove of.

The extreme version of political correctness which is really a form of fascism, is when people criticize members of minority groups and minority groups in general. And they don’t even use bigoted language. Like with Bill Maher back in September and October criticizing Islam and certain aspects of it, accurately so I might add. And the Far-Left who use to admire Maher now viewing him as a racist for criticizing Islam even though his critique was factually based. But since Muslims are a religious, not ethnic or racial minority in the country, the Far-Left jumped on Bill Maher and called him a bigot if not racist for his critique of Islam.

I agree that people who use offensive language against members of groups or groups in general, especially when they are inaccurate and are intentionally being offensive should be looked down upon as bigots and people who aren’t very bright and everything else. But that is different from saying someone should automatically be fired or not allowed to speak simply because they say things that is offensive. Whether its Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage on the Far-Right, or Michael Moore on the Far-Left. People on the fringes in America have the same free speech rights as people in the mainstream. So when political correctness becomes fascism is when I have a real problem with it as a Liberal who loves free speech and the First Amendment.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Week: Opinion: Paul Brandus: The Deficit is Shrinking, But it's Still a Huge Problem

The Week: Opinion: Paul Brandus: The Deficit is Shrinking, But it's Still a Huge Problem

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Ideally what you want to do with your debt and deficit outlook, is to run deficits and even big deficits when the economy is bad. And when the economy is good and in today’s case is growing well with good job growth, is to run surplus’, or at least start paying down your debt and deficits. The United States has been in deficits since 2002. So obviously we’ve run up debt ever since and the only way to start paying that down is with a balanced budget. You don’t have to have a balanced budget to have a strong economy. But your debt even if it is growing has to be manageable and not growing faster than your economy. To use as an example.

Assuming America doesn’t balanced its budget in the next 5-10 years, which I believe is likely, what we need to do is to have an economy that is as strong as possible which means growing well and producing a lot of good jobs. And during this period the country needs to be doing things that doesn’t make our short and long-term fiscal outlooks look even worst. What is called in Washington PAYGO, which means paying for things that you do as you do them. Whether it is government investments or tax cuts, you don’t borrow the money. You pay for them up front.

So if the Federal Government is doing things to create even stronger economic growth, which I believe it has to do to help avoid future fiscal crisis’, you pay for them. We need to as a country need to rebuild our country through infrastructure investment. We need to get off of foreign oil at least and long-term perhaps fossil fuels all together. To do that we need to produce our own natural resources. Natural gas, solar, wind to use as examples. And to do these things we need a national energy policy that invest in and encourages these American natural resources.

We need to reform our immigration system and we need to reform our tax code. Our poverty rate is way to high for our economy to as strong as it needs to be and to compete with the rest of the developed world. So we need to move Americans out of poverty and into economic dependence. And all of these new things are going to require additional financial resources, but we need to do them and pay for them.

The stronger your economy is, the better off you’ll be to balance your budget and start paying down your debt. Which is why economic and job growth and paying for the things that drives that should be our number one economic and fiscal priorities right now.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lyle Sedre: Video: Wicked Attraction: Loners Become Psycho Killers

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

It is not uncommon for loners to sort of lose it and become so unhappy to the point that they finally snap lets say and decide to take out their frustrations of being so unhappy in life against everyone they believe has wronged them and anyone who gets in their way. Charlie Manson is a pretty good example of this. Which is why we as a society need to keep a better eye especially on kids who struggle to be social and are either isolated voluntarily or by others. And see if we can reach them before their isolation gets to the point that they can’t take it anymore and take it out on anyone who comes near them. Which I believe is the boiling point that Samantha Bachynski reached. And then coming across a young man who just got of prison and is starting to go psycho himself just made of a deadly combination here.