Posts tagged government

The result of all this polarization is that the ideologically rigid have come to dominate the electoral process, taking a more active role in elections out of enthusiasm for their own side or hatred for the other side. They elect candidates who are more attuned to partisanship and less open to negotiating. Voters who want moderation and compromise become disillusioned and withdraw from politics, which further strengthens the hand of the hyper-partisan voters.
What is the end game on all this? It’s tough to say. Self-reinforcing cycles like this are hard to break, and so long as each side has a reliably large base of voters, the cycle will keep on churning. The Republicans, though, are already pushing the extremes of ideological purity — they just kicked out their conservative majority leader in favor of a libertarian crank whose policy positions are rooted in Ayn Randian fantasy. It’s possible they’ll isolate themselves so badly (they’re base is aging and emerging voter demographics are trending against them) that they’ll achieve rump party status and undergo a forced recalibration. You can only lose so many presidential elections before realizing something’s wrong.

 (via Extremist lunatics are ruining Congress — and a new report says it’s our fault - Salon.com)Didja catch what Malloy did there? He gave you solid analysis from inside the Two Parties Are All That the USA Can Handle paradigm box.
For the sake of honesty, working in support of any political party when you are not either donating or being paid money is a waste of your time. The system is not responsive to needs of people who don’t pay (damn, I don’t know where to find that academic study that proves it). It’s also constructed to prevent real partisan plurality. That’s why I suggest that anyone who wants to see things work needs to fix the system, not the symptoms, first. The media and content generators (consider the secondary role that political officials, partisan hacks and spin doctors have) have a stake in the stasis of the political hegemony, too.
Pundits and journalists will always scoff at the notion at any more than 2 parties in the USA because 3+ parties mean more work for journalists to do an adequate job on covering politics. Pols will scoff at it because it would mean losing power and more work for them to legislate.

The result of all this polarization is that the ideologically rigid have come to dominate the electoral process, taking a more active role in elections out of enthusiasm for their own side or hatred for the other side. They elect candidates who are more attuned to partisanship and less open to negotiating. Voters who want moderation and compromise become disillusioned and withdraw from politics, which further strengthens the hand of the hyper-partisan voters.

What is the end game on all this? It’s tough to say. Self-reinforcing cycles like this are hard to break, and so long as each side has a reliably large base of voters, the cycle will keep on churning. The Republicans, though, are already pushing the extremes of ideological purity — they just kicked out their conservative majority leader in favor of a libertarian crank whose policy positions are rooted in Ayn Randian fantasy. It’s possible they’ll isolate themselves so badly (they’re base is aging and emerging voter demographics are trending against them) that they’ll achieve rump party status and undergo a forced recalibration. You can only lose so many presidential elections before realizing something’s wrong.


Didja catch what Malloy did there? He gave you solid analysis from inside the Two Parties Are All That the USA Can Handle paradigm box.

For the sake of honesty, working in support of any political party when you are not either donating or being paid money is a waste of your time. The system is not responsive to needs of people who don’t pay (damn, I don’t know where to find that academic study that proves it). It’s also constructed to prevent real partisan plurality. That’s why I suggest that anyone who wants to see things work needs to fix the system, not the symptoms, first. The media and content generators (consider the secondary role that political officials, partisan hacks and spin doctors have) have a stake in the stasis of the political hegemony, too.

Pundits and journalists will always scoff at the notion at any more than 2 parties in the USA because 3+ parties mean more work for journalists to do an adequate job on covering politics. Pols will scoff at it because it would mean losing power and more work for them to legislate.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the Senate Any Amendment Must Include Corporate Personhood! | Move to Amend
Senate Joint Resolution 19 is a proposed Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, but it doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights at all.
Move to Amend has vowed that we will not support any halfway measures that don’t amend the Constitution in two necessary ways:
Make clear that only human beings, not corporations have Constitutional rights;
Make clear that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.
Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past four years from the bottom up. This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town meeting debates, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Nearly 600 cities and towns have now passed amendment resolutions.
Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 16 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment. “Ending Corporate Personhood” was a major theme in the demands that came from Occupy encampments across the country.
The plan is that this amendment will get a vote in the Senate this year — before election season. We cannot allow a proposal that doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights to get traction — the amendment must match the demand of our movement: “A Corporation is Not a Person! Money is Not Free Speech!”
Fill out this form to send a message to the authors of SJR19 — let them know that Corporate Personhood MUST be included in the language of the amendment.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the Senate Any Amendment Must Include Corporate Personhood! | Move to Amend

Senate Joint Resolution 19 is a proposed Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, but it doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights at all.

Move to Amend has vowed that we will not support any halfway measures that don’t amend the Constitution in two necessary ways:

  1. Make clear that only human beings, not corporations have Constitutional rights;
  2. Make clear that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.

Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past four years from the bottom up. This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town meeting debates, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Nearly 600 cities and towns have now passed amendment resolutions.

Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 16 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment. “Ending Corporate Personhood” was a major theme in the demands that came from Occupy encampments across the country.

The plan is that this amendment will get a vote in the Senate this year — before election season. We cannot allow a proposal that doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights to get traction — the amendment must match the demand of our movement: “A Corporation is Not a Person! Money is Not Free Speech!”

Fill out this form to send a message to the authors of SJR19 — let them know that Corporate Personhood MUST be included in the language of the amendment.

Stop the Utility Power Grab

Community Choice energy programs empower local communities to take control of decision-making about the sources and cost of their electrical power. Not-for-profit, democratically controlled Community Choice energy programs enable local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating green jobs and stimulating the local economy. These programs are dedicated to reducing consumer electricity demand, providing competitive electricity rates and maximizing the amount of renewable energy in their mix.

In California, Community Choice was made possible by state legislation enacted in 2002. Marin and Sonoma Counties were the first to establish Community Choice programs in 2010 and 2014 respectively. Other counties are currently considering establishing Community Choice programs, including Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey, among others.

In 2008, PG&E spent millions trying (unsuccessfully) to discourage Marin residents from choosing Marin Clean Energy. In 2010, PG&E spent $46 million on an unsuccessful ballot initiative (Prop 16) to change the California Constitution to require a two-thirds majority of voters to establish a Community Choice program. The voters spoke, but PG&E is still trying to kill off Community Choice and preserve its monopoly.

AB 2145 would effectively prevent Community Choice programs from operating anywhere in California. If this bill passes, Californians will be stuck with their dirty energy monopoly utility.

AB 2145 represents a backwards step for California. Don’t let utilities derail our clean energy future!

The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

The NSA’s decision to keep the bug secret in pursuit of national security interests threatens to renew the rancorous debate over the role of the government’s top computer experts.

Approximately nine out of every 10 deportees are from either Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. Asylum requests from these four countries have increased dramatically in the last six years, according to data obtained by Fusion from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The United Nations attributes the increase in part to violence related to the drug trade and gangs. Forty-one of the world’s 50 most dangerous cities are now in Latin America, according a study published by Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, a Mexican NGO.

But very few citizens from these countries are actually awarded asylum. The U.S. government granted only 126 Mexican citizens asylum in 2012, despite receiving over 9,000 requests that year. In contrast, almost half of Chinese citizens and two thirds of Cameroonian citizens who applied were granted asylum 2012. Less than eight percent of asylum seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras successfully received asylum in the same period.

That’s it right there; this another reason is why I say the U.S. immigration system and laws are broken and out of date

This is not what they told us in grade school.

This is not what they told us in grade school.

Protest the Transpacific Partnership Tomorrow in San Diego

WHAT: Rally for Congress to Vote NO! On Fast Track for the TPP
WHEN: Friday, January 31, 2014, 11:30a-1p PST
WHERE: In front of the San Diego Federal Building-Courthouse, 880 Front Street

rtamerica:

J&J gave doctors kickbacks for prescribing their drugs

You can get away with a lot if you pay the right people enough to look the other way.

Are drug users likely to be cured by being locked up? Are we really better off with so many nonviolent drug offenders in prison? These are questions that seem important to answer before we go ahead and lock up a million people.

Invite your California State Legislator to Screening of "Inequality for All"-Common Cause

Our nation is at a tipping point. And Robert Reich, chair of our National Governing Board, has proposed some solutions.

One solution outlined in Reich’s documentary film, “Inequality for All,” is to get big money out of politics.

Specifically, we need to overturn Citizens United so that corporations can’t spend unlimited amounts of money on campaigns to manipulate public policy and spending priorities.

California Common Cause and our coalition partners are holding a special screening of ”Inequality For All” for state lawmakers at the State Capitol in Sacramento this January 28, 2014 at 6pm.

This screening could not come at a more opportune time. It is important that our elected representatives consider how statewide budget and policy decisions affect all California residents, not just a wealthy few. To keep this at the forefront of their minds, we are asking them to join us in viewing this timely film.