Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Monday, March 30, 2015

Real Time: Video: Bill Maher Interviewing Mike Huckabee


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

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

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

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


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


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

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


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Allan Gregg: Video: Tom Hayden on His Life as a Political Activist


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I was hoping this interview would be about if not mostly about if not the whole thing being about the 1960s. The New Left, anti-war movement, the Vietnam War and everything else from that period. Especially since Allan Gregg was interviewing Tom Hayden. One of the key leaders of Students For a Democratic Society and the New Left in this period. Before Occupy Wall Street was literally born, but the late 1960s version of OWS. But at least half of this interview is about the current Iraq War and 2008 in general. Especially since this interview was done in 2008.

Being that as it may, what Iraq and Vietnam have in common is they are both wars by choices. At least from America’s point of view of getting involved in something that at the very least could be argued had no business being involved in, in the first place. And for what, to build a liberal democratic utopia in a country that doesn’t have any type of democracy up until new pre-2003. And this liberal democratic utopia was supposed to be put together by Neoconservatives in the Bush Administration of all people. Which isn’t that different from what Neoconservatives wanted to do in Vietnam in the 1960s.

The anti-war New Left of the 1960s, were middle-age yuppy Baby Boomers by 2002-03 when the drive for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was put together. When Congress gives President Bush the authority to go into Iraq. Most of the New Left of the 1960s grew up and moderated and became spouses and parents and working good middle class jobs and even starting their own private business. They became capitalists and private enterprisers in the 1980s and 90s and so on. Which was one thing they were trying to get rid of in the 1960s and 70s. People tend to moderate with experience and knowledge.


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


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

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: Campus Unrest at UCLA in The Late 1960s


Source: Daniel JB Mitchell-Angela Davis-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

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.
Daniel JB Mitchell: Campus Unrest in The Late 1960s & Early 70s




Saturday, March 21, 2015

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

Source: Dissent Magazine-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

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.
Sam Seder: Cliff Schecter- The Rise of The New Left



Friday, March 20, 2015

Salon: Opinion: Mike Conrad: America's Anti-Liberal Myth: Why Democrats Learned The Wrong Less From 1984

Salon: Opinion: Mike Conrad: America's Anti-Liberal Myth: Why Democrats Learned The Wrong Lesson From 1984

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Just correct some of the things that Mike Conrad said. Walter Mondale lost badly in 1984 to Ronald Reagan winning just one state and just over forty-percent of the popular vote not because he was seen as too liberal or too Far-Left. But because he was President Jimmy Carter’s Vice President. President Carter if you remember back in 84 and before that was one of the most unpopular president’s in at least modern American history. 1984, after some really bad economic times in the late 1970s and early 80s, was a year when the American economy started bouncing back. Even with the debt and deficits going up, but people were going back to work with strong economic growth again.

Which meant President Reagan could point how things are now going well, meaning 1984 and say something to the effect, “its morning in America again. Our long national economic nightmare is finally over. People are going back to work and earning a good living again. With the cost of living going down again. Oh by the way, remember 1978-79 and 80 and President Jimmy Carter? Do you really want to go back to that again? And oh by the way, my opponent Walter Mondale was President Carter’s Vice President.” Fritz Mondale was actually a pretty mainstream progressive to liberal politician. A New Democrat even like Jimmy Carter. And didn’t lose badly because of his own politics. But the politics and political activists of the Far-Left flank of the Democratic Party. That he had to have to work with to have any shot of winning in 1984.

The lesson from 1968 with Hubert Humphrey, 1972 with George McGovern, 1980 with Jimmy Carter, 1984 with Fritz Mondale and 1988 with Mike Dukakis, all presidential elections that the Democratic Party lost in landslides, except for 1968 is that when the Far-Left runs the party and the leadership needs their Far-Left flank to win, Democrats lose. Because there’s a limit to what Americans expect government to do for them. Especially if they have to pay high taxes to pay for it. Americans tend to like having the freedom to manage their own affairs. And don’t want their government taxing them to the point that their individual decision-making would no longer be an option for them. Because now government is going to do that for them.

Liberalism didn’t lose in 84, but socialism did to the point that Democratic Party regrouped and reformed its message especially economic message. And instead of talking about a government that taxes enough and big enough to take care of everyone, especially the poor, that the message became about how can government help people help themselves. This started in 1988 and I know Governor Mike Dukakis lost forty states, but that had to do with the fact that he wouldn’t defend himself against clear bogus charges from the Bush Campaign. Not because of his message, because his message was about opportunity and freedom. The man ran on Welfare to Work in 1988.

And by 1992 the Democratic economic message was the Opportunity Society with Bill Clinton. Using government not to try to take care of everyone and making dependents of everyone, but using government to empower people in need to help everyone who needed it. Governor Clinton said that Welfare shouldn’t be free. But an investment in human capital and potential. That Welfare should help people in need pay their short-term bills. But help them get on their feet so they can pay their bills themselves with a good job. Infrastructure, education, job training, things that lead to opportunity for people to get the freedom to take care of themselves and manage their own lives. Classical American liberal values of opportunity built around education and work that leads to freedom.

Democrats win when they talk about education, job training, infrastructure, opportunity with the goal in mind to empower people to be able to live in freedom. And paying for these things in a fiscally responsible way that doesn’t hurt anyone especially middle class and low-income Americans. We lose when we don’t respect hard-working Americans tax dollars. Or when we put down people for being successful and wealthy. As if owning your own business and being able to put money away for the future is a bad thing. Or run on big government with all sorts of new programs designed to take care of people so they don’t have to take care of themselves. These are the lessons of 1984, if you want to pick one year. But 68, 72, 80 and 88 would also be good years to choose as well.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Al Jazeera: Inside USA- Angela Davis on The Prison Industrial Complex

Source: Al Jazeera-Angela Davis-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Just to talk about this interview for a minute or less, depending on how fast you read. I guess Al Jazeera didn’t think the interviewer was important enough to give out his name. Because I have no idea whose the guy who interviewed Professor Davis on this show. Also this was not what you would call a hard-hitting interview. (Baseball season is close) This was an interview where the two people in it share the same views and where their minds are already made up. The interviewer asked leaning questions to get the person being interviewed to back up what they already think and know. Which is their right of course and opinionated journalism certainly exists. Especially on ideologically leaning news networks like Al Jazeera.

Having said all of that, I agree with Angela Davis when it comes to the prison industrial complex. America being this great liberal democracy that we are, locks up too many people in this country. And part of that has to do with the facts that we arrest send people to prison for too many things. When sending them to even county jail for a shorter sentence, or getting them in halfway houses for non-drug addicted non-violent offenders, or drug rehab for drug offenders, would be a much better more cost-effective way of dealing with people with these conditions.

And another reason why we lock up more people than anyone else and a lot of people on the Left especially the Far-Left aren’t going to want to hear this, we have a lot more dangerous criminals per-capita and in total numbers than anyone else. I mean if you look at some of our super-max and other maximum security prisons, you would be able to see that the inmates who are there, are exactly where they need to be. But that doesn’t excuse how we treat people who aren’t dangerous in this country. And I’m not talking about so-called economic terrorists who steals people’s money by using cons and other scams. But drug offenders meaning users and other low-level non-violent offenders like car thieves. Offenders like that who don’t need to be in prison.

So based on this we need a criminal justice and prison system in this country. You want to live in anarchy, be my guess, but you won’t do it in America. But we need one that treats hard-core criminals for exactly what they are. As threats to society who need to be in prison and then after they are there they need to be treated in a humane responsible way that protect society and people in prison. But also prepares them for life on the outside, assuming they aren’t serving life without. While we come up with a smarter and more responsible system for how we treat low-level non-violent offenders in America.
Al Jazeera: Inside USA- Angela Davis on The Prison Industrial Complex


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mike Gardner: Angela Davis on Buchanan/Braden in 1984


Source: Mike Gardner-Angela Davis & Pat Buchanan-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Good to hear the so-called Liberal or Progressive on this show, which of course would’ve been Tom Braden. If you were thinking, Pat Buchanan, you must be as high as a kite on something illegal right now. But good to hear the so-called Liberal or Progressive on this show critique and question communism. You don’t get much of that today from so-called Liberals and Progressives, who really aren’t and much further Left than that to the point they would Democratic Socialists or even Communists themselves today.

To Angela Davis’s credit, she gave up communism in I believe the 1990s and calls herself a Socialist and I believe Democratic Socialist today. Politically she has more in common with Senator Bernie Sanders than President Fidel Castro of the Communist Republic of Cuba. Her ideas are still roughly the same and probably her politics hasn’t changed at all. Except that she no longer embraces communism and would like to see a democratic form of socialism in America. And as Americans tend to get older, we tend to get less radical and moderate more. Even if we start out on the Far-Left like Angela Davis.

As far as outlawing racism, which is what Angela Davis said she was in favor of. I wish they went into that deeper to find out what she means by that. If she’s talking about hate crimes and acts of discrimination by denying people access because of their race, that is already illegal in America. If she’s actually talking about outlawing racist thought and speech and groups even if they don’t commit racist crimes, then that would unconstitutional and a form of fascism. “Toe the party-line and believe and communicate the way we do, or we’ll throw you in jail.” That is un-liberal democratic and shouldn’t be tolerated in America.
Mike Gardner: Angela Davis on Buchanan/Braden in 1984


Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Daily Beast: Opinion: Lawrence Gelb: GOP Hates Barack Obama More Than a Nuclear Iran

The Daily Beast: Opinion: Lawrence Gelb: GOP Hates Barack Obama More Than a Nuclear Iran 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Even through Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is the strongest and most powerful Republican in Congress and that includes the Speaker of the House John Boehner, who outranks him in the U.S. Constitution, being a stronger leader than John Boehner is not much of an accomplishment. And even though Leader McConnell is effective at bringing Senate Republicans and Democrats together to resolve some crisis that Republicans generally in the House caused, he doesn’t control the caucus in the sense that he can prevent one of his radicals from making a dumb and irresponsible move. Like telling Iran that Barack Obama shouldn’t be trusted, to use as an example.

Hate is a very strong word and probably the harshest word short of calling someone a mass-murderer or something like that. So it’s not a word I throw around and only use when I mean it to describe how someone feels about someone else. And I’m not a mind-reader obviously. I’m also not God or George Washington, incase that isn’t obvious enough either, but just going off the available evidence at hand I don’t know how else to describe how at least a large faction of Congressional Republicans, including all forty-seven Republican Senators who signed this letter to Iran and how they feel about President Obama. Other than Mitch McConnell himself, because he and the President seem to actually be able to get along.

There use to be this tradition in Washington that you fight the other side or team all day and then shake hands and work out a deal and perhaps even have a drink with at the end of the day. But you treat your opponents as exactly that and not as enemies, which is different. You hate your enemies, but we’ve all had opponents at some point in life that we actually like. And perhaps became friends after we started competing against each other. But with a strong faction at least in the House of Representatives, you would think Barack Obama plays for the enemy. Meaning the terrorists that would like to attack America and authoritarian regimes that would attack Americans if they felt it was in their interest. And based on this Congressional letter from the forty-seven Republican Senators, they seem to believe the same thing.

There great reasons why President Obama is not asking for Congress to weigh in on a final agreement with Iran when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program.

For one, this is not a treaty.

Two, Congress will get to weigh in later not on Iran’s nuclear program, but whether economic sanctions on Iran will be loosened or ended based on the Islamic Republic’s behavior. Which is something that Congress gets to do anyway when it comes to sanctions and something the President needs Congressional approval for.

Three, a political reason, but just important as the others. Congressional Republicans won’t support any agreement with Iran that is anything short of surrender on Iran’s part. Which means Iran completely gives up their nuclear program, or there’s no deal. But the whole point of compromise and negotiation is that neither side gets everything that they want.

These Senate Republicans know that the Obama Administration knows that they meaning these forty-seven Senators won’t support any deal that is anything short of complete surrender on Iran’s part. And Senate Republicans also know they can’t stop the President from negotiating with Iran. So what they’re trying to do, which to me is at least borderline treason is to tell the Iranian Government that they not only don’t trust Barack Obama, but they don’t like him if not hate him. “And neither should you” meaning Iran, “because this guy can’t be trusted.” And it violates all forms of proper protocol and how Democrats and Republicans are supposed to relate with each other.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Nation: The Almanac: Richard Kreitner: FDR Signs The Emergency Act, Launching The New Deal: March 9, 1933

The Nation: The Almanac: Richard Kreitner: FDR Signs the Emergency Banking Act, Launching the New Deal: March 9, 1933

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

If you think President Barack Obama had it tough when he became President of the United States back in 2009, imagine being President Franklin Roosevelt when he became President in 1933. A country where the economy is literally in free fall. The economy shrinking at ten-percent or thereabouts, twenty or thirty-percent unemployment and about that or more people living in poverty. Without a functioning public safety net to help people who are going through these harsh realities. But that is what President Roosevelt inherited from Herbert Hoover and I’m sure people close to FDR were asking or at least thinking, “President Roosevelt, are you sure you still want to be President?”

Within the first two-years a lot of the New Deal was already passed and I’m sure that had some positive effect towards the Depression. Putting money directly in people’s pockets who perhaps otherwise wouldn’t of had it. But the new infrastructure investment and the public works projects was where the real improvement in the economy started happening in the 1930s. Because those projects literally put people back to work with good jobs repairing and building the country. But to be completely accurate it isn’t until the 1940s with World War II when the economy starts to completely climb out of the Depression and we start to see income and unemployment levels start to look like they were pre-Great Depression.

What the New Deal was and still is was the creation of the public safety net in America. We are still not like Europe and I imagine never will be as far as what the central government provides to the people as far as taxpayer-funded social insurance programs. But we’ll always have a public social insurance system, at least as long as we need it for people who truly need it. And have been knocked off their feet economically and need help getting back up. Which is where we should be as a modern liberal society. That helps people in need, but also helps them help themselves so they can live in freedom. And not have to be taken care of indefinitely because they can take care of themselves.


Monday, March 9, 2015

AP Archive: Angela Davis- Radical on Trial


Source: Associated Press-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Angela Davis should’ve never have been in jail, at least for what she was charged with here. Which was being involved in a Marin County court-house shootout in 1970. They had nothing on her other than the fact that she was legally involved and helping people who were accused in the case, like George Jackson. This was about the California establishment trying to take down a women that they were terrified of. Because she was fighting against racism, the prison industrial complex and wanted a different type of government and economic system. That was different from America’s liberal democratic capitalist system.

And to show you that California had nothing on Professor Davis, just look at the fact that she was found innocent. Even though I doubt she had the personal resources that she would’ve needed to defend herself. But had such a large following and different groups that wanted to help her, she was able to get the defense that she needed and deserved. I’m not a Socialist or Communist obviously. Just read this blog on a regular basis if you’re still not convinced. But I wish there were more Angela Davis’s today regardless of race or gender. People who are willing to take on the prison industrial complex that benefits so many wealthy people and business’s at the expense of everyone else. And will risk their freedom to fight the system.

California didn’t try to put Angela Davis away because she was a criminal, terrorist or did any other illegal activities. They tried to put her away because of her political views and what she was fighting for. Which was a different type of government and economic system for America. Which I would’ve opposed her on, but she has every right as a an American to advocate for it. As well as fighting against the prison industrial complex that puts non-violent offenders away for long periods of time. For committing minor offenses mostly on the so-called War on Drugs and things like shoplifting. It was fascists in California that tried to put Angela away simply because of her political views.
AP Archive: Angela Davis- Radical on Trial



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Top Documentaries: Free Angela Davis 2013- About The Struggle of One Women to Free a People


Source: Top Documentaries- Angela Davis-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Freedom of speech in America is not about the right to say things that most of the country already agrees with. Or the right to be friendly, or the right say non-controversial things that people don’t necessarily agree or disagree with, but haven’t thought much about. But freedom of speech is exactly that, the freedom to speak freely. Even if it may intend to offend others. Which is why I’m so against political correctness in America, whether its practiced by the Far-Left or Far-Right. And will defend the Far-Left’s and Far-Right’s ability to speak freely as best as I can. Because political correctness is illiberal and Un-Liberal Democratic. Because it is a form of fascism.

That is exactly what this movie, Free Angela is about. One women’s struggle a UCLA professor in Angela Davis who got that position in her mid-twenties, not just her age, but a young African-American women in the late 1960s early 70s getting such an important position as a great school like UCLA. And she was in a fight for her life to be able to speak against injustice in her community and America as a whole. And even use provocative if not extreme far-left rhetoric to express how she felt about America and the state of the African-American community. She didn’t and doesn’t still have the right to express her feelings about these issues because a lot of people agree with her. But simply because she’s an American with the right to free speech.

And then throw in the fact that she was a Communist back then and even though she’s given up communism since and is a Democratic Socialist today, but back in the late 1960s and early 70s she was a Communist in the heart of the Cold War and she offended too many people. And the establishment in California decided that they can’t have a young African-American women with that much power, that big of a platform and that big of a following loose on the streets. And came up with a bogus case to put her away in jail. Ultimately the good guys and gals won this case and Angela Davis was free in I believe 1971. But she should’ve never of had to go through that as an innocent person.

I’m not defending Professor Davis’s communist and now socialist views. Simply her constitutional right to express them, as a Liberal Democrat myself. I’m not nearly that far to the Left as a center-left Liberal and not a Socialist, but we do agree on the prison industrial complex. Which simply needs to be destroyed and replaced with a responsible and sensible criminal justice policy in this country. If we want to remain a liberal free society. But again Socialists on the Far-Left have as much right to express themselves in America, as Christian-Theocrats and Neoconservatives on the Far-Right. The constitutional right to be heard and express yourself. And that to me at least is what Professor Davis’s case was about.
Top Documentaries: Free Angela Davis 2013- Free Angela and All Political Prisoners


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sam Seder: Video: Philip Mirowski: How Neoliberalism Survived The Financial Meltdown?


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

To me at least neoliberalism and libertarianism at least when it comes to economics are different things. Economic liberalization where you’re talking about decentralization of the central state and privatizing state-owned industries and companies and empowering people to own property. That is different from saying that the state should simply get-out-of-the-way and just worry about criminals who physically hurt innocent people and steal their property and that sort of thing.

And then move up to the mid and late 1990s economic liberalization has been about empowering people at the bottom and near-bottom and struggling working class to move up and live in economic freedom as well. Through things like education, job training, infrastructure, trade, targeted tax cuts to the struggling middle class and people in poverty. Eliminating unnecessary red tape and that sort of thing.

Today’s so-called ‘Modern Liberals’ who are really the New Socialists, people who aren’t Marxists, but still Socialists because of the amount of involvement they want government to have in the economy hate these policies. Because it means less power for the state and more freedom and choice for the individual. The New Socialist or Social Democrat wants the power to be in the hands of the central government on behalf of the people to be used for everyone’s benefit. Under the theory when we are more collectivist less individualistic, we move better as a society. Than when the people have the freedom to fail or succeed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The American Prospect: Opinion: Robert Kuttner: "The Libertarian Delusion": The Role of Government in a Liberal Democracy

The American Prospect: Opinion: Robert Kuttner: The Libertarian Delusion

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Just to start off about the so-called free market and if we’re going to talk about the free market we might as well talk about Santa Clause since neither one of them exists. As much as Libertarians and so-called Conservatives talk about the free market, that is not what they’re talking about since their market wouldn’t be free. Sure, perhaps from government regulations, but non-regulated market is not a free market. Especially if government is subsidizing that market through taxpayer-funded subsidizes.

The other thing about the so-called free market is that business is just part of it. Government is another part, workers are another part and consumers perhaps the most important part of the market. Because without consumers where would business get the resources to do anything and pay their workers. Where would government get the resources to do, well anything. So when you say the free market should set wages, prices and anything else. Are you saying that government, business, workers and consumers should all come together like a Congressional conference committee and decide what the wages and prices should be? Or are you talking about something else.

When Libertarians or Conservatives talk about the so-called free market they sure as hell aren’t talking about bringing the whole market together do negotiate those key issues. They are talking about getting government out-of-the-way so business’s can make these decisions for themselves. Under their so-called free market there would be no such thing as organized labor or collective bargaining. Because again business would have the power and be free to make all of those decisions themselves. So as long as we’re talking markets free or otherwise let’s be clear and factual about what we are talking about.

So what type of market are we talking about if we’re not talking about a free market? We’re talking about the private market and private enterprise. Which is what produces most of the products that we all consume, pay for and generally enjoy and tend to pay for at affordable rates. And everyone whose to the right of a Marxist meaning the Democratic Socialist all the way over to the Libertarian on the Right believes in some form of a private market. It all depends on what type of private market and how big it should be. How much it should be regulated and how much it should be taxed. With the Democratic Socialist the market would be the smallest and most regulated. With the central government being the dominant player. With the Libertarian the private market would be the biggest and not regulated or taxed at all.

And since we all want a private market, well everyone except for the Marxist, it’s just a question to what degree. And for me as a Liberal I want a huge market with as much freedom and choice and consumers with money to spend as possible. That is regulated and taxed yes, but to protect consumers and workers from predators. And to provide government with the resources that it has to have to provide the services that only it can provide and that it does well. Security, law enforcement, regulations, education, infrastructure, safety net and job training for our low-income low-skilled adults so they can also live in freedom and off of government dependence.

The libertarian idea of the market is basically government go home. Other than protecting the borders and stopping criminals that hurt people. The social democratic idea of the market is that government provides most of the essentials that people need to live well in life. With private enterprise being for things that are more luxury items and things we would use recreationally and transportation. But that the central government provides us with most if not all the essential insurances that we need in life. That people would be free not to take responsibility over their own lives and not to have to make choices. I want an educated society that is protected from predators with everyone having the knowledge to be able to manage their own lives themselves both from an economic and personal perspective.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Nation: Blog: Alex Luhn: 50,000 March in Moscow After The Killing of Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov

The Nation: Blog: Alex Luhn: 50,000 March in Moscow After the Killing of Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I don’t know enough about the Russian opposition or Russian opposition parties to say that there’s anything looking like a real democratic opposition there that looks liberal or social democratic or even center-right, but not as far to the right as Vladimir Putin. But the fact that the Putin Administration assuming their security forces took out Boris Nemstov one of the opposition leaders in Russia, tells me at least that there is a democratic opposition there at least of some sort. Otherwise why kills someone who isn’t that big of a threat to you. Who isn’t famous that won’t bring any attention to your administration.

As a Liberal Democrat myself I would love to see a real liberal democratic opposition in Russia. Something that looks like what Venezuela has that may at some point with the continued collapsing of the Venezuelan economy under anti-democratic socialist control be able to take over that country from the anti-democratic socialist Maduro Regime there. I would love to see Russians taking to the streets and demanding to not have their country back, but have it in the first place. That builds a free society where all Russian citizens regardless of ethnicity and gender can succeed there. It is a country with an incredible amount of potential in people and resources.

America and Europe can help Russia develop their democratic opposition where it is liberal, conservative, social democratic or where three movements develop that are strong enough to take on Vlad Putin’s neoconservative United Russia Party. The Putin Administration doesn’t believe in democracy certainly not liberal democracy and a free society where the Russian people would elect their own leaders and decide for themselves who represents them in Parliament and who is the President. Through federal elections that are free and open and where one party isn’t essentially guaranteed a large amount of power every time a so-called election is held.

Right now what America and Europe are doing to Russia as far as the Putin Administration is containing their military through economic sanctions. So Russia pays a heavy price for their invasion of Ukraine and any future invasion they may attempt. But these sanctions hurt the Russian people first who aren’t do very well under Putin because of his mis-management of the Russian economy. But things like communication and giving the Russian opposition a voice inside of their economy with things like Voice of America would empower the democratic opposition to take on their government through political means.


Monday, March 2, 2015

The Merv Griffin Show: Video: Jack Lemmon & Jane Fonda on China Syndrome in 1979


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Jack Lemmon to me at least and I bet a lot of other people who knew him and are familiar with him would say was that he was a professional comedian who didn’t do standup. At least on a regular basis, but his sense of humor, timing and spontaneity when it came to humor and his improvisation was great and gave him comedic abilities. That are about as good as we’ve ever seen in Hollywood. The man deserves to be in Comedy Hall of Fame if there is such a thing. And you see a lot of that in this interview without a script. Merv Griffin giving him questions that aren’t even intended to have humorous responses. And Jack answering the questions seriously, but using humor to make his points.

I covered China Syndrome last night, but they really did a great movie and made a great movie about a subject that by 1978 and early 1979 I’m not sure a lot of Americans were thinking about and were worried about. Which was nuclear power and what could happen when nuclear power plants aren’t managed well enough and where profits are put ahead of safety. Which is about as progressive or socialist even as you’ll ever hear me talk. But this was movie that had to be done and let people know about this issue. And again Three Mile Island happens just a month after this interview was conducted in early 79.

China Syndrome wasn’t saying that nuclear power was bad or that corporations were bad. What they were talking about was the dangers of nuclear when it is not managed properly and the potential consequences that can come when it is not managed properly. And in an area like Los Angeles with roughly fifteen-million people with four-million of the city and eight-millions in LA County that is a lot of people who could potentially be seriously injured with injuries that they’ll never recover from. If not killed if you have a major nuclear power accident. And that is what this movie was talking about.