Derik Schneider Online

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Young Turks: Video: Panel: What Will Happen After Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Retires?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

It must be a slow news day if I’m blogging about the retirement of a U.S. Senator. Even Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the most powerful Democrat in Congress and most powerful Democrat in Congress since 2005. Leader Harry Reid was President Bush’s biggest headache in Congress in President Bush’s second term. Both as Minority Leader and then as Leader of the Senate in President Bush’s last two years. A bigger headache to President Bush than his Vice President Dick Cheney and his Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. House Republicans must be throwing a big bash right now, even though a lot of them probably don’t drink, because it violates their religious beliefs. Because Leader Reid was their biggest headache the last ten years or so, not including President Obama. Because Leader Reid cold single-handily kill their agenda and their bills.

As far as who replaces Harry Reid either as Senate Minority Leader or Senate Leader in the next Congress, probably 50-50 odds right now as far as which position the next Democratic Leader will have. My choice would be the current Assistant Minority Leader Dick Durbin, whose been Leader Reid’s top deputy since Harry Reid became Senate Democratic Leader back in 2005. A strong Liberal Democrat pro-personal freedom and civil liberties leader. As well as being in favor of economic opportunity and freedom for struggling Americans. But I’m afraid the panel is right and that Chucky Wall Street will probably be the next Senate Democratic Leader. Because of all the money he raises for Democrats, because of his connections with Wall Street.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Nation: Opinion: George Zornick: "Lets Just Get Rid of The Hyde Amendment": Pro-Choice is Not Choosing Others to Pay For Your Choices

The Nation: Opinion: George Zornick: Let’s Just Get Rid of The Hyde Amendment 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I going to get to The Hyde Amendment and why I support that and why I’m against public funding for abortions. But I also want to use this opportunity to explain what freedom of choice or pro-choice means to me as a Liberal. Because a lot of people who call themselves Liberals, like to brag about how pro-choice that they are. Because they believe same-sex marriage should be legal, abortion should be legal. And some of them support marijuana legalization. But when it comes to things like education, gambling, pornography, prostitution, gun ownership and now thanks to Mike Bloomberg, junk food and soft drinks and I’m sure tobacco and perhaps even alcohol is next, “they say big government knows best.” And go out-of-their-way to support the nanny state.

That is not me. Freedom of choice is exactly that. Do you believe in it or not. And if you’re in between, then you believe in limited choice. The right to do things that you approve of, or don’t see as harmful enough that it should be illegal. I’m pro-choice on everything that doesn’t involve hurting innocent people for everyone twenty-one or over. Including all the examples I’ve already mentioned. But where would individual choice and freedom be without personal responsibility for the people who make those choices? It would be very expensive and unaffordable even to the point that we would either have to limit or eliminate choice, or make it come with personal responsibility. Otherwise a lot of innocent people would get stuck with others bad decisions. As far as having to pay for it.

Adults should have the freedom over their own lives. Just as long as they pay for it, or they can get someone else to agree to pay for their choices. Or someone volunteers to do that. Freedom of choice is not the freedom to force others to pay for choices. Once you decide to do something it’s up to you to come up for the funds for it. Unless someone else agrees to do that for you. Otherwise you’re making a choice that can’t afford and won’t be able to follow through on. I’m 98-99% pro-choice on everything again as long as we aren’t hurting any innocent people. And aren’t forcing our costs onto others who have no choice in the matter. And that includes abortion which is why I support The Hyde Amendment. Not because I’m against abortion, but we don’t have the right to pass the cost of our choices onto others.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The American Prospect: Opinion: Sasha Abramsky: "Sharing The Wealth": Why Expanding Economic Freedom is Better

The American Prospect: Opinion: Sasha Abramsky: Sharing The Wealth

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I’ve been asked several times why I’m a Liberal and what it means to be a Liberal, to define Liberal, define liberalism. And I give the same answers to all of those questions every time I’m asked that to everyone who asks me it. A Liberal is someone who believes in protecting freedom for those who have and still deserve it. Expanding freedom for people who don’t have it, but who deserve and need it. And punishing people when they take freedom away from the innocent. Nothing in there is sharing the wealth or what the one time Governor and U.S. Senator from Louisiana Huey Long said, share the wealth.

I’m not interested as a Liberal in sharing the current economic pie to slice it up and give it to people who don’t have a piece of it, because they didn’t work for it. What I will do is make sure that people who earned their wealth and economic freedom get to keep most of it. And take their share of taxes away from them to fund government priorities that we all rely on. But not to the point that it discourages their productivity in the future. While at the same time instead of sharing the current economic pie, expand it so more people can benefit from the economy and also have their own economic freedom.

Instead of creating a dependent society where more Americans everyday become dependent on government and productive taxpayers to take care of them, or create a Basic National Income, where regardless of whether people are productive or not, or even work at all, are guaranteed a basic income so they don’t have to live in poverty, lets put people who need it back in school. Lets make sure their kids get the education that they need to be successful in life. Lets put people to work at good jobs and give people small business credits so they can start their own business’s and become successful business owners.

Lets expand economic freedom and expand the current economy so more American can benefit from it. And so more Americans will want to get a good education and be productive in the future and live in economic freedom as well. Lets rebuild America and especially target those resources to underserved communities. With both public infrastructure investment and private economic development in underserve areas of the country, both urban, suburban and rural. When you make it harder for people to be successful in America, it becomes harder to be successful in America. And as a result less people become successful and less people even work for it. Because government is taking so much of their productivity away from them.

My approach is much different from creating a National Basic Income where everyone no matter what and what they contribute to the country would be guaranteed of not having to live in poverty and with a middle class income. Or even taxing our natural resources to benefit everyone even if they didn’t work to develop those resources. You don’t need social democracy or democratic socialism to create more economic security in your country. And when you’re the size of America both physically and in population, but you produce the energy resources of much smaller countries, than you really can’t afford to do that. Without really discouraging economic production in your country. So what you do is give your people the tools that they need to be able to create their own wealth. And everyone benefits as a result.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Salon: Opinion: Mike Conrad: The Left's Real Choice in 2016: Why it Doesn't Need Elizabeth Warren to Run

Salon: Opinion: Mike Conrad: The Left's Real Choice in 2016: Why it Doesn't Need Elizabeth Warren to Run

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I agree that the Democratic Party needs a strong progressive challenger to Hillary Clinton. At the very least to challenge Hillary for working-class blue-collar voters that use to be the core of the Democratic Party that are now moving to the Republican Party. My preferred choice is former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. Who I believe once Democrats get to know him, especially young Democrats they’ll get to like him a lot. And then they look at his record as Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland, they’ll like him even more. A Democrat not of Washington, but someone whose had to govern and get things done with real results, with real executive experience. Not from Congress who just has to look and sound good and stay out of trouble. But doesn’t really have to govern as long as they are fighting the good fight.

Martin O’Malley, will probably sound like a corporatist or centrist mushy-middle New Democrat to a lot of so-called Progressives. But he isn’t because his whole agenda is about the middle class and empowering more Americans to join it. Through things like infrastructure, education, job training, making government work and not just bigger. These are things that Democrats use to stand for as a party. And not just a faction of the party, but we use to be a party of Democrats Liberals and Progressives who wanted to use government to actually empower people. And not make people dependent on it for the rest of their lives. O’Malley is a JFK Liberal Democrat and someone who knows how to govern and who actually has governed. And not sit in Congress or teach at an Ivy League university.

But if Martin O’Malley is not progressive enough for today’s lets say real Progressives and not people who are more socialist in nature, but who call themselves Progressives, you have alternatives as well. And you don’t have to pick a McGovernite who’ll scare the hell out of American business’s and send all of our good jobs oversees as a result. Because they don’t want to get taxed and regulated out of business. Or a Democratic Socialist who’ll do exactly that and make state and local government’s, as well as individuals almost meaningless, because of all the power that will now be in Washington. Someone like Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio would make a great progressive challenger to Hillary.

If Progressives want to be a real factor in the Democratic Party and hold real leadership positions in the Administration, Congress and at the state level, they need to go back to their roots and go back to what progressivism really is. And not make it democratic socialism under a different name. They need to go back to FDR and LBJ and be about using government to empower people and so the American economy works for everybody. Not make government so big that people essentially don’t have to take responsibility for themselves for anything. Because Uncle Sam is big enough to do practically everything for everybody. Senator Brown is a real Progressive. He would be the Howard Dean of 2016 and someone who could go straight to blue-collar Democrats and Independents for their votes. Be able to compete in the Midwest, Northeast and South for their votes. Because of his appeal to working-class Americans that he’s represented in Ohio in Congress since 1993. And is someone who real Progressives should look at.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fora-TV: Video: Peter Coyote: Sleeping Where I Fall: Where The Counter-Culture Prevails

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I think Peter Coyote hit on the head so to speak and I’m not sure what I can add to it. Other than to point out why I believe he is right. If the goals of the counter-culture movement was to end war and capitalism, etc then of course they failed. If anything those things are more prevalent today. Especially when it comes to capitalism where most of the world now has some type of private enterprise private market economy that comes with basic property rights. Back in Peter Coyote’s time the 1960s, maybe half of the world had an open economy that was liberated from state-control.

But what is called counter-culture is all around us. Americans now more than in the 1960s are free to be Americans. Which is individualistic, which is the freedom for the individuals to be individuals. The freedom for one to be themselves and not feel the need to live in some type 1950s collectivist society where young people were expected to grow up and become their parents and grandparents. What Baby Boomers did and I include Peter Coyote in this group, was to break out from the parents and grandparents lifestyles. And decided to live their own lives instead. Even if their parents didn’t approve.

The part of the 1960s that I approve of is the so-called Hippie Revolution or culture. Which was about the freedom for people to be themselves and not feel the need to have to fit in with the establishment. And we’ve been on this track ever since which has freed millions of Americans all sorts of ethnicities, races, sexualities, cultures, lifestyles, etc to be themselves. It’s when you get into the anti-American, anti-private enterprise, anti-war at all costs, anti-law enforcement, pro-anarchy, anti-American form of government including the U.S. Constitution, where I break away with the New-Left in America.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Daniel J.B. Mitchell: Video: Campus Unrest at UCLA in The Late 1960s

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

If the reason for UCLA or the State of California for firing Professor Angela Davis was because she threatened the administration at UCLA and called for mass-violence, etc, then that would be one thing and they would have real reason to fire her. But that wasn’t why she was fired, at least from everything that I’ve seen so far. She was back then at least a self-described Communist who was teaching philosophy at UCLA. Who was calling for the release of men that she saw as political prisoners in California state prisons.

The 1960s was a crazy radical time. Especially compared with the very conservative establishment status-quo decade of the 1950s culturally. And by 1968 or 69 and perhaps especially in California where radical leftist movements tend to get started, it was even more so. And it looked like the country might be falling apart over Vietnam and other cultural issues. The emergence of the New-Left that Professor Davis was obviously was part of is now on the scene. And they want to take America apart and create a different type of country. That is more collectivist and communitarian and even socialist and less individualistic.

1966 was the exception to this social revolutionary period in California. Where Mr. Status Quo Establishment Conservative Ronald Reagan is elected Governor of California. And one of the first things that he does as Governor in 1967 is take on the campus radicals in California. And goes a step forward and takes on a radical professor in Angela Davis and has her fired at UCLA. California takes it a step forward than that and tries to make a criminal out of her and get her sent to prison. And charge her with a court shooting in the Oakland area that she wasn’t part of. When you take on the establishment, they can hit you back. Which is what happened to Angela Davis.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Democracy Journal: Opinion: Rich Yeselson: What New Left History Gave Us

Democracy Journal: Opinion: Rich Yeselson: What New Left History Gave Us

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

For someone whose really interested in liberalism instead of socialism, than I suggest you read about John F. Kennedy and Wendell Willkie. Because back in the early 1960s and really through that decade even with the emergence of the New-Left in the late 1960s, there was a common term on the Left called Cold War Liberal. Someone who believed that liberty was worth defending. That you needed to be both strong at home with as many people as possible who were doing well who were economically independent. With government having a responsibility to see that as many people as possible could live in freedom. But that again liberty was worth defending and you needed to be strong enough to defend yourself and help other countries who wanted freedom as well. Jack Kennedy was a Cold War Liberal.

Pre-1967 or so that was not just how liberalism was seen, but what it actually was and I at least argue that it still is. That liberalism hasn’t become a statist ideology with a welfare state in our economic lives and a nanny state in our personal lives. That what happened was the New-Left in America instead hijacked liberalism and took it away from the Center-Left where it has always been in America since the creation of the Federal Republic. And made it look like a Far-Left statist ideology that it is seen as today by way too many Americans. The New-Left comes on the scene with their socialist statist anti-military and law enforcement, establishment movement. Looking to tear down a lot of the things that has made America great.

The history of the New-Left is that of a socialist Far-Left movement that wanted and still wants to completely transform the American way of life and form of government. Bring Scandinavia to America, cut in half if not eliminate the American military. And create a central government good and big enough to take care of the people. Where individuals and states would no longer have to do that because Uncle Sam would step in and do that for them. The New Left of the 1960s is why there are New-Left publications like The Nation, Salon, AlterNet, TruthOut, TruthDig and many others today. Because the New-Left and the sons and daughters of the New-Left are around to give them that audience. And why we also have a Green Party today.