Monday, September 20, 2010

Time To Write Laws In Plain English And Have Expiration Dates, OutLaw Lobbyist Fees To Congressmen, Tea Partys Cannot Afford Fake Conventions

Paul Krugman
Mark LeVine
David Ignatius

"Anger is sweeping America. True, this white-hot rage is a minority phenomenon, not something that characterizes most of our fellow citizens. But the angry minority is angry indeed, consisting of people who feel that things to which they are entitled are being taken away. And they’re out for revenge. No, I’m not talking about the Tea Partiers. I’m talking about the rich." - Paul Krugman
"Democracy is having a difference of opinion with those in power without getting whacked." - Vincent Calvino
"Indeed, can one consider spending upwards of a trillion dollars a year on defence - enough money to cure most of America's economic and social woes, not to mention much of the world as well - anything less than insane" - Mark LeVine

I took two days off in a row from posting to this blog, it was nice to kick back and read a couple of fiction books, for a change. The middle quote above is from one of those characters I read, brownie points if you know the author and where the book is set... Here is a cool application for those who have an iphone or ipad: has a map that shows all of the settler activity in Israel's West Bank. You can either download it onto your phone or go to the website and look at it there. They will soon have this app ported for other makes of cell phones.

Mark Levine's pundit piece begins with an interesting confession from Bill Clinton: "In possibly the most dramatic mea culpa in Presidential history, Bill Clinton, newly appointed as UN Special Envoy for Haiti, admitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US policy of compelling poor developing countries to buy US agricultural products at subsidised prices, which destroyed local agricultural sectors, was a disaster.

“I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else."

For where Clinton helped lay the groundwork for the re-militarisation of America's political and economic systems through his uncritical embrace of neoliberalism (which, despite the "liberal" in the label, inevitably leads to neoconservatism and war), Obama, with the greatest of care and deliberation, is heading to the 'dark side' that the millions of Americans who voted for him did so with the justified expectation that he'd avoid." Mark goes on to talk about how Obama became enamored with the dark flame, enough to keep on hiring mercenaries to do the wetwork, and keep the radition of maintaining an assassination list on his desk. The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, a Republican, has shown to have a bigger pair by making the first cuts in the defense budget.

If Democrats are smart, instead of trying to demonize the tea party, which can only backfire and make them more popular, they will introduce legislation designed to change the way that Congress works, get rid of the dead wood. For example, if all laws were to be written in plain English, the same sixth grade level that is required in newspapers, and state what the intent of the law is, and have an expiration date of twenty years. This way, we get rid of the grey areas, make it easier for our law enforcement and judicial system, and we also have the opportunity to let it end if it turns out to be a bad law, or renew it if it was good... Another simple thing is to end the bribing of our congressmen by lobbyists, they can no longer use donations from lobbyists for their personal campaigns. I would like to see the end to earmarks and all lobbying fees, but american greed may not let it be easily changed. So, take away the personal profit and make the Congressman turn over all fees from lobbyists to the general funds, make that money go directly into paying off the national debt.

If the tea partys are smart, instead of creating a campaign based on anger, if they would start making lists like this to change and improve the function of our government, a national debate could happen instead of saying that you are for limiting government. There would be specific suggestions instead of hazy generalities. The tea party candidates would then come across being more pragmatic than wingnuts, but somehow I doubt that my advice will be read.

The rise of right wing extremism is happening all over the world, like some kind of evil psychic wave. We expect it in areas where there is little education and the populations are used to having strong, one-man gangster type rulers, like in Asia and the Middle East. In Europe, it has graduated past skinheads bashing the coloreds at soccer games and running the Gypsies out on their ears. Intolerance has even taken hold in that bastion of liberal, socialistic of countries, with the Sweden Democrats winning their first seats in parliament. (note how many European fascist groups call themselves social democrats, and in America they have the words freedom or liberty somewhere in their title): "A far-right party in Sweden has won seats in parliament for the first time, denying the governing centre-right coalition an overall majority. The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats have won 20 of the 349 seats in the country's single assembly, following Sunday's general election."

The majority leader did not win enough votes to form a government outright, so a coalition will have to be made. The majority is considered to be center-right, and the prime minister has said that he will not work with the Swedish Democrats, who want to deport all Muslims and other immigrants. So, those of us who are concerned with the domestic rise of Tancredoism might want to keep an eye on how Sweden handles this political complication.

Although the idea of having tea party candidates set off a love fest in the national media, organizers who hope to cash in on the fad are finding tougher times. TPM reports that the second tea party convention has been canceled: "According to the Las Vegas hotel that was supposed to play host to the second national tea party convention, the much-hyped event has been canceled. Organizers of the convention haven't returned my calls, but grassroots tea party leaders I talked to today said that they haven't heard a word about the convention in awhile -- and Nevada leaders told me that if the event is canceled, good riddance.

If the convention really is off, the loss of the event will stand as the third high-profile tea party organizing fail in a month. With the election rapidly approaching, the failure of the LibertyXPO in DC this month, the second DC 9/12 rally and now the second convention suggest those that hope to leverage the movement for big, nationally-covered productions may have tapped out the tea party grassroots." Maybe they couldn't afford the speaker fees for Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin this year, especially after Sharron Angle pulled out of her commitment. Maybe they could hold their conventions at Meg Whitman's or Linda McMahon's houses this year, at least they are rich enough to provide snacks for everyone...

1 comment:

  1. The Republicans are so funny, when the economy is good you say let’s all celebrate “Cinco de Mayo, my brothers” but when the economy is down “it’s all your fault, you damn immigrant”. When most Americans (with Latin America roots) go to the polls this November we will remember that the GOP has gone on a nationwide rant in proposing and passing several anti-immigration legislation (that our US Courts continue to strike down) and have continue to blame the immigrant for the flat economy or worse. We will remember who stands with us and who stands against us, so trying to stop it now is somewhat funny, but go ahead, you will not change our minds. Plus the more radical of the GOP are now attacking our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, in a misguided attempt to garner some much needed votes, they really are fools, and leading the GOP towards obscurity because they are no longer a party of ideas, just of empty suits. Your hate made you do it, in November; you will reap what you have sown. I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would say about todays GOP, he unlike the current GOP was a man of ideas.


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