Posts tagged politics

Move to Amend's Response to the Senate Vote on SJR 19

The hubbub created by Washington insiders and political operatives around SJR 19 was little more than a sideshow to divert our attention, before an election, from the appalling records of both major parties on economic, environmental, and social justice issues.

“We the people” have seen our human rights shrink, along with dwindling economic opportunities and environmental desecration, while “corporate personhood” and “money as speech” have flourished under both party’s leadership.

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SJR 19 failed to receive the necessary 60 votes in the Senate yesterday. It was never the magic pill to right the wrongs wrought on our Democratic Republic. The bill did not address the root of the rot infecting our democracy: Corporate Personhood.

There was a silver lining for the Democrats, who score a win (even though the bill was destined to fail) by associating their Party with campaign finance reform — right before an election.

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Our democracy is in crisis; SJR 19 and the proposal to overturn Citizens United merely addressed a symptom of our diseased democracy, but left the cause of the disease — large corporations wielding Constitutional rights — untreated.

Help Move to Amend pass the We the People Amendment! Share this link with everyone you know!

Move to Amend is the only grassroots organization building a real amendment movement in all 50 states to pass an amendment that actually solves our root problems by ending corporate Constitutional rights and money as speech.

For months DC non-profits have been raising money around SJR 19, a bill they knew was doomed to failure from the start. Move to Amend has a strategy to win and is doing everything possible, within our means, to pass the We the People Amendment, but we are nowhere near as well funded as the DC groups.

While Congressional Approval Remains at Historic Lows, Millions Remain Locked Out of Primaries | IVN.us

While many Americans disapprove of the institution as a whole, a large number are barred from participating in primary elections. States with closed primaries only allow voters registered to a specific party to decide who appears on the general election ballot.

Closed primaries combined with the two parties’ control of overwhelming amounts of resources have contributed to a 2014 primary election cycle that is more ceremonial than democratic.

Nationally, voter turnout in primary elections is near non-existent. It’s not necessarily because people don’t care; not caring, more often than not is a symptom, not a cause, of being disenfranchised. Sometimes it’s because they are not allowed (i.e. independent voters in closed primary states) and other times it’s because the primaries are uncontested (see the case of New York below).

No matter the causes, the fact of the matter is a very small minority of Americans get to decide who shows up on the November ballots.

mentalflossr:

Average Internet Speed by State


Kevin Drum in Mother Jones added this commentary to it:

Via Vox, here’s a colorful map from Broadview Networks that helps illustrate one reason that policymaking in Congress often seems so disconnected from the real world. It’s because policymakers tend to be pretty well-off folks living in a pretty well-off region that shelters them from the problems many of the rest of us encounter. If you live in Missouri, you might be annoyed that internet speeds in the US are so low. But if you live in Washington DC or northern Virginia, guess what? Your internet speed is pretty good! Virginia is ranked #1 in the nation, and DC is right behind it. So is it any wonder that this really doesn’t seem like a pressing problem in Congress? Especially when all the big ISPs are telling you that there’s plenty of competition already—plenty!—and then slipping a few grand to your Super PAC? Of course it’s not.

mentalflossr:

Average Internet Speed by State

Kevin Drum in Mother Jones added this commentary to it:

Via Vox, here’s a colorful map from Broadview Networks that helps illustrate one reason that policymaking in Congress often seems so disconnected from the real world. It’s because policymakers tend to be pretty well-off folks living in a pretty well-off region that shelters them from the problems many of the rest of us encounter. If you live in Missouri, you might be annoyed that internet speeds in the US are so low. But if you live in Washington DC or northern Virginia, guess what? Your internet speed is pretty good! Virginia is ranked #1 in the nation, and DC is right behind it. So is it any wonder that this really doesn’t seem like a pressing problem in Congress? Especially when all the big ISPs are telling you that there’s plenty of competition already—plenty!—and then slipping a few grand to your Super PAC? Of course it’s not.

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.

For the record, I’ve lost friends over my willingness to criticize Barack Obama, going back to the 2008 primary. Only yesterday, the true-blue Obama precincts of Twitter were raging against me as an enemy of the president.

I don’t so much defend the administration as defend the country from Republicans who cynically turned on their own ideas – the individual mandate, cap and trade legislation, immigration reform – once a Democratic president embraced them. I’m almost equally appalled by lazy Beltway wags who can’t see the radicalism of today’s GOP and reduce everything to their own “both sides do it” false equivalence.

You’ve got to see the tweet attacking Walsh:

It is nothing but amazing to see this from partisan Democrats. This rise of the Democrat with an intolerance of dissent in their own ranks shows the incapacity to win legislatures in the USA. If the dissent in the ranks of those who are left-of-center (think ideology, not partisanship) isn’t effectively directed to electoral goals, Democrats will continue to be losers.

Are you sure that is something you want to do? Any chance that you’ve read this blog?

Are you sure that is something you want to do? Any chance that you’ve read this blog?

I ain’t no Democrat, but JohnFugelsang nailed it here.
So this is what Schumer is suggesting: let’s pass the bill now and don’t really follow it until 2017, so in the meantime, the “broken” immigration system that the Democrats continue to push will stay “broken” for another three years and we can still have record deportations and separation of families going on at a record clip. And yes, Obama earns kudos for record deportations.

Wow, how’s that historic 2012 Latino vote for President Obama and the Democrats really working out on the immigration issue? But hey, this is Schumer talking, the same Schumer who likes to call the undocumented the “illegals” on national television and no one says anything, because why upset those so-called immigration “allies.” And the same Schumer who is a border security hawk.

This is very simple: the Democrats think that the U.S. Latino vote is a lock because they aren’t feeling the pressure, and the Republicans don’t care about immigration reform. Meanwhile, deportations continue to occur every day at a record pace, and the community gets fooled.

In the end, Democrats have no backbone, national Latino organizations that side with Democrats have no backbone and it is the true immigrant rights voices out there that are trying to change the dialogue and focus. A note to the Democrats: stop leading with fear of Republicans and stop playing the U.S. Latino community. Don’t assume that we will side with you because the other team doesn’t get it. Democrats need to lead and be bold right now. Call the GOP’s bluff, because that is what it is, a bluff.
Sen. Chuck Schumer Reveals His True Colors with Bizarre “Meet the Press” Immigration “Compromise”

For decades, even as far back as Reagan’s dirty wars in Central America, Schumer has proven himself to be indifferent to injustices endured by Latin Americans.

With just days until the special election in the race for San Diego mayor, police want to know who’s behind the brazen theft of “David Alvarez for Mayor” political signs.

Police have some leads on this one as the crime was caught on tape by a witness.

Michael Russell posted the video on YouTube under the headline “Kevin Faulconer Thugs steal David Alvarez Signs in dead of night.”

He narrates what he sees.

“Definitely busted,” Russell is heard saying on tape.

He confronts the man.

“Who are you, what are you doing,” Russell asks. “Why are you taking down David Alvarez signs?”

Russell tells the man that he recorded the theft on videotape and plans to report the crime. The man, wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, doesn’t reply but gives Russell a thumbs up. 

All of this went down near the trolley station on Friars Road.

The tape shows the theft unfolding along with a quick image of the suspect himself and even a couple shots of a California license plate hanging on the pickup.

Russell reported the crime to the San Diego police department.

According to the police report, Russell told police that he saw a man he described as clean shaven, short hair and light skin with the stolen signs. 

(Download sign theft police report)

According to the police report, Russell “was at the trolley station on Friars Rd when he saw the listed suspect steal three political signs. Russell video taped the crime as it unfolded. The signs say, “Dave Alvarez for Mayor.”

The police report references the existence of a video. But says it has no suspects.

“The question is whether the Faulconer campaign is behind this,” says a political insider. “If he is, and they are willing to do this to stoop to this to win, he’s got real trouble.”

So far no word from the Faulconer campaign. Election day is Tuesday.